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My mind has been so scattered lately, and though I have “inspiration,” and a muse fueling my thoughts, I’d rather escape from that right now, because lack of sleep and repetition can easily lead down a path of saying something I should not currently.  This excerpt is from Blue Lines: Chapter 24: Clearing For Revelations (pp262- 264).

The following is an amended version of one of my favorite scenes in Blue Lines, and part of the sample that I extracted the one time that I shopped the unprepared manuscript through a friend.  It follows a major arc from the previous chapter, however my aim for this scene was to show my female protagonist in an form of beauty that was not a normal description with her trying to prepare herself as such.  It takes place in the late morning while she sits outside her dorm.


Keypsiia huddled on the cement stairwell and her mind became lost in the icy shower.  She stared at the puddle as the raindrops augmented its area on the red brick walkway.  Her distorted reflection made her heart giggle.  Peaceful moments as such were what she longed for.  Her release was found alone in the splendor of nature.  Her lips grew into a wide grin as she mindlessly became consumed by the weather.  The wind whipped loose strands of her hair that were finding freedom from her Scünci, but she was unconcerned.  She pulled the oversized jacket closer to her body and her mind drifted as she continued to watch as the puffs of her warm breath escaped into the cool air of the wintry day.

“Hi Keypsiia, how have you been,” a familiar, but timid voice broke her solace.

Smiling and rubbing her eyes, she looked up to see [BLANK] standing before her.  She closed her eyes again and smiled at him then returned her gaze to the pooling water.

“Hi [BLANK].  I’ve been good, and you,” she smiled.

“The same I guess.  You look cute today.  What are you doing?”

“Just sitting out, my mind is kinda drifting.  How’s the end of the season coming for you,” she asked instantly realizing that they had hit a late season slump.

“Not too bad.  We lost our last two games, but we should be coming back soon.”

“I know.  You’ll get into tournament play, so don’t worry,” she beamed.

“I’m not,” he answered assuredly but, for once, not really focused on basketball.  “Can I sit down,” [BLANK]  asked as he was in the act of sitting beside Keypsiia.

He looked over toward her as she still sat with her eyes closed again basking in the rain and wind.  She nodded ‘yes,’ to accept him next to her.  His scent was vaguely familiar as the winds quickly whipped past them and the warmth he gave off was a welcome addition to her on this cool day.

“Do you ever miss me Keypsiia,” he inquired, pulling the collar of his jacket closer to his neck.

“No,” she rethought her abrupt statement, she turned over toward him.  “I don’t want to sound rude or unfeeling, but no.”

“What happened?  You know, with us,” he further inquired.

Keypsiia opened her eyes and looked into the drizzly sky and her face shone like the sun.  She fixed her gaze on [BLANK].

“We didn’t love each other [BLANK].  We, you and I, just looked good together, that’s all.  I guess we can still be friends, but you have to leave the past alone.”  Keypsiia answered, distantly remembering the hostile events of their break-up.  Conversely, she was extremely joyous with the state of her relationship with Blue and with his proposition to her last night she had no worries in the world.  She pensively stared back toward the puddle, while twisting her lips as she thought.  She smiled again, and glanced back to him.

“Did I hurt you?  If so I’m sorry,” [BLANK]  interjected.

“No, you didn’t hurt me.  I hurt me.  I tried to make you what I wanted, but that was not you.  I know your new girlfriend is very happy with her catch.  [BLANK], please let’s not go there okay,” she asked with a momentary frown.

“Sure.” He agreed.  “I know your boyfriend is happy too,” he whispered painfully.

“Yes.  We are both very happy…” she smiled with eyes closed…

“It’s alright Keypsiia.  I just saw you sitting here and I just wanted to apologize,” he answered after a brief pause.  “That’s all.”

“For what?  Although I feel it’s not needed, I accept.”

“Did we…” [BLANK]  relented, “I’ll see you around.”

“Probably not, but I’ll see you on television or at a game.  You know I’m going to root for you guys.  [BLANK], it makes no sense to torment yourself by being around me.  It may be better that we don’t see each other again.”

“Damn,” [BLANK]  rose to leave.

 In retrospect, Keypsiia felt that her words may have come off harsh, although she had no malicious intent.  She immediately stood and tapped him on the top of his hand.  He turned around and as he reached down, she gave him a hug.  She looked into his pain filled eyes and kissed his cheek.

“It’ll be fine,” she said as he rose from their embrace, “I wish you the best [BLANK].”

“You too,” he returned as more of a reflexive response.

As she sat down he took one last glance at her and noticed the engagement ring that sat on her finger.  She noticed his gaze and looked…

He left and Keypsiia returned to her thoughts as she returned to her perch again on the stairs, she pulled her knees into her body and wrapped her arms around her legs.  She was content that she could end her past relationship amicably.  Her attention returned to the lightly falling rain.  It reminded her of tears.  She thought of how tears are multifaceted objects that can represent the extreme pain of loss as well as the great triumph of happiness.  She recalled…  Her thoughts returned her to her first night in Blue‘s arms when he accompanied her to Sacramento… She marveled at how rain could be the symbol of her life and being.  Her large smile returned and she closed her eyes.  She took on a deep breath of the cold air.  She thought of how she would walk into Blue’s room and see him standing before an open window with his eyes closed.  He would drift into his subconscious as the harsh wind crashed upon his skin.

“Hi Key,” her best friend’s voice greeted.

“Hey Azul,” Keypsiia replied but her heart answered loudly as if waking from sleep.

“Key,” Azul scolded playfully as if a mother, “You’re going to get sick out here.  Put your hood on,” Azul ran her hand along Keypsiia’s damp hair and pulled the hood over her friends’ head.

“Thank you, I’m glad to see you,” she hugged Azul.

“I saw you hug [BLANK]  earlier.  What’s up?  Are you ok?  You’re doing all this hugging stuff,” Azul smiled.  “But if you want to hug me go ahead,” she laughed.

“Oh nothing, he just happened to walk up to me and we spoke a little bit.  He asked about before, but that is the past.”

“Where’s Blue today?”


The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.