by Sara H
Looking for some feedback - character description/intro for a new novel I'm of starting.
|William's twenty years old when he comes to the conclusion that he'll never fall in love. He'll never have a relationship like his parents', never have that feeling of complete devotion to another person, never be willing to throw himself in front of a bus or jump off a cliff if it means saving another person. Hell, he can't even picture himself ever willingly moving in with someone; the idea of mashing his things into an apartment with someone else's or cooking dinner for two or folding another person's laundry is just too uncomfortable to imagine.
It isn't one of those realizations that knocks him off his feet, sends him reeling, makes him weep into the phone to his mother. No, it's just something that strolls casually into his head one day while he's feeding his cats and plants itself down like it's something he's always known. It's something he mentions casually to his therapist a few weeks later when she asks him if he's met anyone new lately. He can't quite figure out why she frowns and immediately begins scribbling onto her notepad when he tells her this. It doesn't seem like much to worry about.
Of course he has girlfriends over the years. Quite a few, actually. Some last for a while, some are fleeting. Each time one ends, he feels bad in the disconnected way that he supposes a normal person would feel when watching the dissolution of a relationship in a movie or on TV. It doesn't ever hit home or send him reeling into a spiral of depression like it does to his friends. He just kind of picks things up and moves on with his life.
Honestly, he's never been the kind of person to believe in love anyway. Well, no, actually that's not true. He loves his parents and his sisters and his cats, and he's pretty sure that he's maybe even loved a few of his past girlfriends. No, the thing William has a hard time believing in is the whole one true love concept: soul mates, fate, destiny. That sort of thing.
It's always seemed like a fairytale to him, or maybe like something of a modern invention, spread like a disease by Kate Hudson and Hugh Grant infested romantic comedies. Those stupid films and the songs and books that go along with them are constantly spilling out ridiculous stories about the guy who doesn't realize that his best friend from high school is the one for him until the ninety-minute mark when he makes a huge romantic gesture and wins her heart, or about the poor, lonely servant girl who falls hopelessly in love with the prince, only to find at the end of the story that he loves her just as much. Happily ever after.
William has always been pretty sure he'll never have a happily ever after. It's not that he's a pessimist or anything. He knows he'll have happy moments in his life, but he also knows with absolute certainty that he isn't fated for grand gestures and bouquets of roses and kissing in the rain. No one is. Real life always interferes with the fairytale ending. Things like trite arguments and debt and the mundanity of everyday life will forever get in the way.
That's what he thinks, at least, until Adam comes along. Adam with his big stupid doe eyes and stupid floppy hair and stupid million watt smile. Adam and his weird little quirks, like the way he only makes tea in the coffee pot and the way he puts ice in his red wine and the way he wears thick winter flannels and wool beanies even though they're in the middle of an August heat wave and they live in LA. William always thought being in a big, serious relationship would be complicated and a bit unsettling. The idea of it alone had always made him itch with anxiety. But being with Adam all the time is easy. Terrifyingly easy, in fact. So easy that he didn't even notice that they were together until Adam's hands were fisting in his hair that first time, pulling him closer and crushing them together.
But that's getting ahead of things a bit. The way it actually started was much more innocent than that.