Christmas Eve/I Know It's Over

Christmas Eve/I Know It's Over

Recently I was holidayifying my website &  MySpace and couldn't resist creating my own Christmas version of the cover for I Know It's Over. The book starts on Christmas Eve, when Sasha drops by to break the news to Nick, and takes place mostly over the holidays so when the season rolls around I can't help but think about him. I actually wrote many of the Christmas scenes during the season several years back and it still seems a little unreal to me that the book's now out in the world.
I Know It's Over

If you haven't read the novel yet this is how Nick's Christmas Eve goes:

i know it's over

The first time
Sasha lay spread across my bed, I felt like the world had changed. She was wearing cutoff jean shorts and a plain white T-shirt, not the tiny, cropped kind lots of girls wear—Sasha never wears that kind of stuff. "So it has to be my rules," she repeated, propping her head up and peering steadily into my eyes. I stared at her long, tan legs and thought: Don't screw this up now, Nick. 

"Your rules," I agreed, and I didn't screw it up, not then anyway. We went on like that for nearly five months, stretching her rules, rewriting them together, until she told me we were getting too serious, that I was too much of a distraction and she had her whole future to think about.

"I want to worry about school," she said, crossing her arms and frowning like only Sasha can—like the world was coming to an end. "Not about trying to get on the pill."

Now I know she was wrong about the world, though—either wrong or early—because I can live without Sasha. The past month has proven that. But I don't know how to deal with what she's telling me now. 

"Say something," she says urgently, grabbing my arm and squeezing hard. "Don't do this to me, Nick."

I glance up the driveway towards my house, at the icicle lights everyone but my mom continually forgets to switch on, and wrench my arm away. Dad will be here to pick me up in less than an hour. Christmas at his place with Bridgette—that was my big problem until thirty seconds ago.

"Nick," Sasha repeats. Snow is falling on her hair and she's wearing the leather gloves her mom bought her at the end of October. She still looks beautiful to me, or at least I know she would if I could feel anything.

I run a hand through my snow-crowned hair and say,"This has to be a mistake." It's what everybody says and now I know why.

"Don't you think I checked?" Her hands close into fists. "You think I'd come over here to tell you if I didn't know for sure?"

"I don't know what you'd do, Sasha." I squint in her direction. The sky is filled with white as bright as sunshine. "I don't know you anymore, remember?"

Sasha laughs like she hates me. She turns in the direction of the road and stands there, motionless. She's prepared to wait, to become some kind of ice princess at the edge of my lawn. Not a nice fairy tale—the pregnant ex-girlfriend—but then I guess most of them aren't. Not in the beginning anyway. I glance at the dark hair spilling down the back of Sasha's coat and shiver. My heart stopped beating at the beginning of this more

There's also an interview with me newly up at Teens Read Too and sometime early in the new year I'll unveil the brand new official paperback cover of I Know It's Over.

But back to Christmas Eve...sometimes the holidays are great and sometimes not so much, for one reason or another. The pressure to be cheerful can be intense; it can seem as though there's no place to hide and just feel whatever it is you're truly feeling. If that's you this year I hope you can find some peace and quiet until it all blows over. Financially this year has proved to be a hard one for lots of people and hopefully those of us who can give will push a little deeper into our pockets and be supportive in other ways small and large.

If you're like me, you can get needlessly cranky waiting in long mall lines or getting stuck behind the slowest possible shopper at the supermarket when all you want to do is grab the peanut butter from the shelf behind her/him so you can chuck it into your cart and get the heck out of there. And you may notice that other folks, possibly also in a hurry to grab their peanut butter, aren't always as polite as they could be. Sometimes they're downright rude and scowly, which is no fun but at times like that I try to remember that I have no idea what anybody I encounter might be going through in their life. They could have lost someone close to them, been downsized or otherwise be going through tough times. Unfortunately, lots and lots of people are going through tough times these days and I know I, for one, need to remember that and be patient and kind. Not just during the holiday season, of course, but on a day to day basis. That's what this holiday is really all about anyway, right?
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