The train flew fast through the land, leaving no time for the passengers to gaze outside at the coast. Demi didn’t mind though. She was consumed in the novel in her hands. The small, compact book was battered and old, but she couldn’t take her eyes away from the griping story of murder and scandal. She was completely gone from the world around her and trapped within the walls of the book, holding her breath as the character ran for her life, seeking refuge from a blood thirsty man with an axe.
“Your eyes look like they’re about to pop out of your head.” Laughed Travis, they only voice that could break Demi away from the story. He handed her a cup of coffee in a paper cup. She looked up at her boyfriend and noticed how good he looked with the bright orange glow of the sunset behind him. His jet black hair glowed a fiery red and his smile looked brighter than ever.
“I just got a text from my publisher.” She told him after she stole a quick kiss from him.
“Yeah? What did she say?” Demi had been writing for as long as she could remember, and finally she been able to finish a story that she could call a novel, but the next process was excruciatingly slow for her, and she realised that her life’s work might be for nothing. Much because of her love of gripping murder stories, her finished novel went something along the lines of a murder, but she was feeling doubts from many that had read it so far; all except for Travis who sang praise for it to everyone he talk to. He was her cheer squad, and at the moment her only support for how her chosen career was going. As a freshly graduated high school student, she decided to take a year of before university to take a break to work on the novel, despite what her friends and family suggested. She had high hopes, and she wanted nothing more than to just get this novel published.
“She asked me why the character killed the family.” Demi said, slightly disappointed that she didn’t get the text she was wishing for that would have went on about how fantastic the story was.
“That’s easy!” exclaimed Travis, stretching an arm over Demi’s seat. “Because she hated them. Because they were such arseholes to her. I mean, that’d be enough to make me snap.”
“You wouldn’t be saying that when you get caught for murdering a whole family!” laughed Demi.
“Well, it’d be the truth, whether or not I admit it…”
Travis gulped down his scalding hot coffee as easily as he would water, while Demi went over the text a few more times, waiting for hers to cool. Each time she read that words, it ate away at her, making her feel as though publishing this book was some impossible task that could never be cracked by someone as simple and plain as her. She wouldn’t know where to start to modify the story to make it better; to make her publisher absolutely love it as much as Travis did. Or at least half as much.
“Give me that!” said Travis, taking the phone away from her and erasing the message after about the fifth time she had read it. She sighed, realising that the message wasn’t the only thing that was bugging her at the time.
“Do you think they’ll like me?” Demi asked, leaning against Travis to look out the window at the images of the ocean rushing past. She was talking about his family. Demi and Travis had been dating for almost a year now, and Travis thought that Easter break was the perfect time for her to meet them, as they’d all be there for a little while to celebrate. Demi came from a completely anti-religious family, one that had members spread all out across the country, so she either spent holidays like these with friends in similar situations or alone. And that’s what made her especially nervous to meet Travis’s family, as she’s never been to anything resembling a big family gathering in her life.
“Trust me, they’ll love you.” He said, wrapping his arm around her. But there was something in his voice that she just didn’t believe. She looked at him suspiciously. “Ok, they might attack you a bit with the whole interrogation deal, but honestly, what family doesn’t do that when their son brings home his girlfriend.” Demi’s cheeks flushed and she smiled when he called her his girlfriend. She’d never get used to that title. “Besides, when they see you like I do, they will take you in as though you’ve been part of the family for years. I’ve seen it with Valerie and Brian when she brought him home for the first time. If you can get through their first line of attack, it’ll be all yours.” Demi sighed a breath of relief, trusting in Travis’s words.
The water view rushed past in a blur, and Demi wished she could stop and just slow down. She imagined lounging on the beach, just her and Travis. They were heading up the coast, away from the city, to where Travis’s grandparents owned a huge house close to the ocean where the whole family stayed for holidays and events like this. Demi could see some romantic getaway; a little hide out where they could sneak away from the harsh realities of real life. But knowing her luck, it wouldn’t be as grand as she would want it, and with as many family members as Travis had described, she wondered how any of the family members ever got a moments peace.
“Don’t think about it too much. Just be yourself, OK?” she nodded in agreement at his flawless logic, and hoped that being herself was all she needed to impress these people.
Demi sipped her coffee, which was now cool, letting the bitter taste sit on her tongue. Often in times like these, when she was granted a moment to think, a brutal and gruesome scene that occupied the novels that she was so fascinated in would accumulate within her mind; but now all she could think of was how this week could end up as her own personal murder, one not done with a knife or a gun, or even an axe as it is often depicted in more conventional murder stories, but more one executed with her complete and utter embarrassment and rejection by her boyfriend’s family. She wasn’t looking forward to this week if even her mind was going to torture her with the horrors of reality.