WIP of the Week 8/1/11-8/7/11

August 01, 2011

Pocket Change by aWhiteBlankPage
Review by phoebes.promise

Rating: M
Genre: Angst/Romance, AH
Characters: Edward/Bella

Summary: Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin." -Denise McCluggage. Brought together by tragedy, pulled apart by fear. The secrets she keeps and the lies he tells himself. Their history unfolds as they find their way back.

Direct and deliberate, captivating and visceral… aWhiteBlankPage weaves a beautiful, unique narrative laden with raw, real emotion. Pocket Change powers through the open, grabbing your heartstrings and never letting go…

After all this time, there is one thing that I know for sure: fast or slow, piercing or silent, change is nothing but a thief in the night.

My mother claimed to love change. Charlie feared it. And then there was Edward. Edward changed everything, but I couldn't let myself keep him.

Storytelling paced perfect, told alternatively from both Edward and Bella, we brace for a journey through shared tragedy and heartbreak. Professional success masks desperate and hollow motions of life and other love. Yet, physical distance and detachment fails to remedy the ever present regret of a love lost. Reality and consequence sting with palpable pain for Bella…


And it's as if the ground has dropped out from under me.

My insides feel as if they are about to combust.

He brushes past me without a word or even a glance.


If it's possible to look through someone, he has accomplished it. I don't know what I was expecting.
I stand frozen, holding the door open. For a brief moment I wonder if it's possible that he's erased me from his memory.

He's at Alice's side. He looks different. Older. He looks the same. He looks like my Edward. He's not. I'm being selfish for wanting his attention. He's here for Alice. It's been years. He probably let go of me a long time ago. And yet somehow, I almost expected him to take one look at me and realize that it's not over. That it will never be over.

Even after all of these years, his voice is like home.

And equally for Edward…

"I should have said yes."

Everything goes cloudy. Bella's face crinkles as the tears fall freely and the words tumble out.

The words that I always wanted to hear but told myself I never would.

I want to believe her but I don't know how.

My fingers twitch to wipe her tears away, but my mind knows that she doesn't want it.

Even in a rumpled dress, sniffles and crying, she is still beautiful. More beautiful than I remembered. And even after all this time, she still doesn't know it.

"I shouldn't have proposed."

To fully appreciate the immeasurable void they’ve left in each other’s lives, this first time author employs bittersweet flashbacks. The past is consciously peppered through each and every chapter. The sweetest young love, a romantic telling of two tender souls bleeding from tragedy and loss. Romantic memories, a progression of first love so gentle, the innocence takes your breath away…

I pick up the blanket and start to wrap it around her before she has a chance to protest.

"Edward, what are you doing?"

When I pick Of Mice and Men up from it's resting spot, I get that smile. So I read, out loud.

"You have to do the voices."

"The what?"

"Lennie and George! They don't sound the same. You have to do the voices."

I look over the page and of course it's all dialogue.

I am not doing the voices.

Except I will and I do.

Stumbling over the words, trying not to die of embarrassment, I read page after page. Bella is in hysterics for most of it. And I realize that today is the first time that I've really heard her laugh like that. Like she means it.

After her giggling subsides, I still feel a little ridiculous, reading to her like a children's librarian. When I look up, there is still a smile, but in her eyes this time.

"Go on. Steinbeck suits you."

I don't know what that means, but I nod and get back to it.

Twenty minutes later, I glance up from the page and she's asleep. She looks so innocent with her guard down. Like a younger Bella.

I reach my hand out to her face, hovering there. I drop it back down to my side before I do something stupid.

I close the book and I just want to watch her forever. For the longest time, she's completely still, like a doll, but eventually she's fidgeting and mumbling and tangling herself up in the blanket. She's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Soon there is nothing but the sound of the rain hitting the roof, drowning out the world.

I lie down next to her. Close, but not touching.

I whisper into her, "Please." And I don't know what I'm asking for. Maybe everything.

I let my eyes close for just a minute. I can feel her all around me even though she isn't touching me. I want to stay here always. I listen to the rain until there's nothing left.

Past moments of discovery, respite and refuge are set against the most organic and magical of backgrounds. aWhiteBlankPage offers imaginative and meaningful imagery. A quintessential, vast and vacant barn exists, seemingly for a pure and absolute reason. A place to share their darkest moments, to harbor, to escape…

I step off the back porch and into the trees like I'm getting on the 6 train downtown. I don't stop. I'm not sure where I'm going. I'm not sure how I would know if I'm lost. I feel like she's one step ahead of me, and if I can only go fast enough, I'll catch her. I walk like I'm going somewhere. There is a sense of calm in my chest that I haven't felt in a long time, maybe ever.

An old barn sits in the distance. Even from here, I can tell it is long abandoned. The elements have beaten the whitewashed walls for decades. Moss and lichen have made purchase on the pitched roof. The heavy barn doors remain permanently open, resigned to the fact that this structure is now only home to bats and field mice.

I walk tentatively towards it. Rays of light filter in through the siding. Everything is so alive. Old buildings have seen so much. The walls and beams probably hold thousands of stories.

I walk through the massive doors, out of the wind. The wooden support beams have been gnawed to toothpicks in several spots. The place still smells like animals. Horses, cows, goats. I don't know. I don't know about these kinds of things.

I climb a rickety old ladder up to some kind of loft. This space belongs to somebody. At least it did once.

I feel like I'm trespassing and I probably am. There are stacks of books all around. The classics, mostly. A plaid wool blanket lies folded in the corner. I stand on the top rung of the ladder, not wanting to disrupt the little city of books.

The air changes. I'm not alone. I can feel it.

The effectiveness to which this tale is told leaves the emphatic promise of a happy resolution a welcomed relief. Stylistically intense and powerful, Pocket Change consumes and stirs. Affairs of a regretful heart are so, so complicated and when written and detailed well as aWhiteBlankPage does… it simply overwhelms in the best of ways. Residual pain, love and time lost can settle. And a future wide and wanting can tease…

Be sure to pause and peek at the stunning and lovely image of the barn on the author’s profile page. Often the quietest places and pieces are the most significant, the most special…

Banner by JaimeArkin


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