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Cafe Doom  |  The Critique Crypt  |  General writing chat  |  First Chapters  |  When Rosie Loved - Prologue

Author Topic: When Rosie Loved - Prologue  (Read 4327 times)

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When Rosie Loved - Prologue
« on: February 08, 2005, 07:15:00 PM »
I found Rosie on a hot summer’s night, last July. I still don’t know what made me go there that evening. But I did. And thank God I did. I was just in time. Just in time, they said.

Rosie gave me a spare set of keys the day I helped her move in to the flat. Well, that’s what friends do, help one another. And Rosie and I were life-long friends. Good friends. At least, I thought we were. How well, or how long, do you have to know someone before you call them your friend?

Of course, I blamed myself. If I had been a true friend, I would have known what Rosie had decided to do that evening. If I had been a true friend, I would have seen the signs. She was my best-friend; it was my duty to know her and all about her. Know her, I did, but all about her? Obviously not. Lord knows, we spent enough evenings in that flat, drinking wine, sitting on the floor, bowls of crisps, nuts and boxes of chocolates spread out on the low coffee table, talking until the early hours. So we knew each other, right? We had twenty-seven years of history to talk about: our first day at school; holidays we went on together, jobs we’ve had; boyfriends, family…well OK, maybe we didn’t talk so much about boyfriends and family.

Rosie had reasons for talking less and less about boyfriends and  family. I knew most of those reasons. I was there. But now I know there was so much more. More, which I hadn’t seen. More, unspoken.

So yes, I went through all the guilt-ridden emotions after finding her that evening. I expect you would too, if you found your friend like it. I know I am not the one who hurt Rosie. But I know those who did.

Strange really, I didn’t exactly panic when I pushed that bathroom door open, I felt this trembling in my heart and I simply couldn’t react instantaneously. I just stood still. I remember thinking Rosie should not be slumped like that in the deep bath. Her head and right arm should not be limply hanging over its edge. The bath water, I knew, should not be tinged with red.

I couldn’t tell you how long I was standing in that bathroom before I spun on my heels and ran to the telephone. I couldn’t even tell you how long it was before I opened the door to the emergency services, nor how I spent that waiting time. I know that from their arrival I stood against the wall, watching, as they hoisted my best friend from the bath and laid her out on a stretcher. As the ambulance man passed me carrying one end of the stretcher he asked if I was a relative.

“No. Just a friend.”


“Holly. I’m Holly Jenkins.”

“Not you.” He nodded his head down towards Rosie.

“Sorry…Rose. Rose Middleton. Rosie.”

“Will you contact family?”

I couldn’t answer that. Rosie would have seriously been upset with me if I called any of ‘them’. I told the ambulance man that I would be accompanying Rosie to the hospital.

At some stage they’d connected Rosie to a drip, a needle in her arm with a tube which led to a plastic bag containing a clear liquid which hung from a steel frame. There were more tubes running from her nose. Her wrists had been heavily bandaged. I wondered where I had been when the ambulance men had carried out these duties.

I couldn’t help but smile as I sat looking over Rosie. She would go ballistic if she knew what she looked like. I swore to myself I would never tell her. Someone slammed the back doors on us. The siren of an ambulance is not so loud when you’re inside it. I remember thinking that whilst sat by her side.

And by her side I stayed for the next eight hours, until the Doctor assured me that Rosie was going to be just fine and that right now she was just weak. Weak, but fine.

As Rosie slept for a couple more hours, I went back to the flat and started to clean up the bathroom. I found the razor lodged between the edge of a tile and the side of the bath. I picked it up and shuddered as I tossed it into a small wicker bin. When I had the flat looking as Rosie would want it to look, I took a taxi back to the hospital to bring my friend home.

Rosie referred to that night just once afterwards and only then did she say “…that night you spoilt the game…” We never spoke about the game. I asked no questions. I know, that’s weird isn’t it? I guess I could have yelled at her, “Why the bloody hell did you try a stupid thing like that? Don’t you ever scare the shit out of me like that again!” But I knew it wasn’t stupid. And it hadn’t scared the shit out of me.

I took Rosie by the hand and we walked in silence out of the hospital and into the waiting taxi. Rosie spent the journey to the flat staring out the window. I spent it staring at her wrists.

She never thanked me. I know now, why. Because she wasn’t thankful you see. At times I believe she held it against me. We were different from then on. Things weren’t the same. The Rosie I grew up with had gone. Forever. She was alive but only in body. Her mind and soul were elsewhere. And elsewhere was where she wanted to be. Rosie was damaged.

Men hurt Rosie. It was as if she had a small sticker slapped on her forehead which read, “C’mon, come and hurt me. Try as hard as you can. I can take it.”

But the truth was; she couldn’t take it. Rosie didn’t like being hurt. Who does? And like any one of us, Rosie could only take so much. So much hurt. Right from the early days of Rosie’s life she kept being bloody hurt. By men mainly I’m afraid. Christ, could she pick ‘em!

I can even name the first one to hurt her, the first man to mar Rosie’s life and set in stone her destiny. I can name him because I know who it was. I saw it. One of those nights, sitting on the floor drinking wine, squabbling over who would have the last cherry-liqueur chocolate. Rosie told me more about him. She told me more about Patrick.

So, as I said earlier. I was just in time that July evening when I found my friend.  Just in time…that time.

© Deborah Raine 2004

Offline Ed

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Re: When Rosie Loved - Prologue
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 07:46:09 PM »
Hi Debs, nice to see you here :afro:  I felt a bit sad when I deleted your account, but did as you asked, all the same :/

So are you throwing yourself bodily into this new novel, or are you allowing yourself to be distracted? ;)

I like the prologue, but if you're looking for crit - I'm just wondering about the number of sentences beginning with 'I' (perils of 1st person perspective).  Can't say I noticed it on reading through, but when looking back again, just skimming through, it seemed to stand out.  Not sure if it's important, but I thought I'd point it out ;)

Also, this line, "By men mainly I’m afraid." seemed to jar a bit - thought you might need a comma on both sides of 'mainly' to get it to flow right? :scratch:

This one was a little clumsy too, I thought - "Rosie would have seriously been upset with me if I called any of ‘them’."  Maybe transpose 'been' and 'seriously'?

I couldn't see anything else that stood out to me, 'cept a few places where I would have added commas - but then who can ever agree on commas? :grin:

Very nice start to your novel, though, Debs.  The flow was smooth, and the characterisation was believeable and natural :afro:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]


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Re: When Rosie Loved - Prologue
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2005, 08:20:02 PM »
Hi Blunt,

Seems I have made a few mistakes over the past few weeks, asking you to delete my account was one of them! Sorry, and it's good to be back in the cafe with time to spend...and Ty for coming back 'over there'.

I never picked up on the amount of sentences that begin with 'I' - just goes to show, the more ppl you allow to see your 'stuff' the more you will see the corrections that need to be made.

This novel is finished. I am doing the second draft. So I need all the odds and bobs pointed out to me so I don't have to do a 3rd draft! :)

I have a realtionship with the comma...when I can't think of what to say next I bung a comma in... :D Then I forget it's there...

Many thanks for comments - have taken note of them.

deskie debs

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