Monday, May 18, 2015

YA Gets Real: Four Years Later

This is a bit of a continuation from one of the earlier YA Gets Real posts called "Chosen One." Read it here!


A knock sounded on our cabin's front door, so loud and harsh that it shook the nails in our walls. I snatched a frame, steadying it with my fingers. Our wedding photo, a bit of a rarity these days. There was one photographer who knew the art of developing film, and he hadn't told anyone else the secret.

"I'm coming," I yelled at whoever was on the other side of the door. Once the banging stopped, I nudged the corner, straightening the photograph.

Crossing the room, I opened the door wide, no longer worried about who might be on the other side. The villages were like that—peaceful, serene, neighborly.

But my heart stopped beating at the sight of Beltrov standing on the other side. Beltrov, who I had left behind to fight a battle I didn't want to be a part of. Beltrov, who still held that stupid "you're the chosen one" sword in his hand.

"Jude," he said, smiling. His voice was more pleased than I could ever make mine at the sight of him.

My eyes narrowed. "What are you doing here?" The question slid from my teeth like a snake's hiss.

"Well, we won the war, despite your lack of help." He stepped closer, crossing the threshold of my cabin uninvited.

"So I've heard." I frowned, crossing my arms.

"And I figured you and I could pick up where we had left off." Another step, and now we were a foot apart.

I stayed still. "You figured that after four years, and after I left the war behind, you could come in here, announce the fact that you won, and then court me?"

His eyes darkened and his expression soured, as something in his brain slowly kicked into place. Beltrov may not pick up on body language very well, but he read my sarcasm loud and clear.

"You wouldn't choose to be with me? I finished the war so we could have a future inside the city." He waved at the cabin's wooden interior, lines creasing his face as if it were the most disgusting thing on the planet. No, he wouldn't like the villages. Beltrov thrived in the violence of the city, which was why he stayed to fight.

"I didn't stay because I hated the city and the society, Beltrov. The fight wasn't worth it to me." I shook my head. "Besides, it's been four years. I've moved on, and so should you."

His eyes widened, bewilderment invading his features. "You've moved on."

I held out my hand. "Married and everything."

Beltrov leaned to the side, looking beyond me into the cabin. My husband wasn't home, and thank goodness for that. He was nice and naive. A gentle man who wouldn't know what to do with Beltrov's quick temper.

As it stood, the vein in Beltrov's forehead throbbed as he ground his teeth together. "You are giving it all up... for this?"

"It's been four years. What did you expect me to do?" I leaned against the wall. "Not even one letter, Beltrov. I wrote you dozens of times."

"I was a bit busy." He frowned, stepping back and opening the space between us.

"Well, things have changed. I've changed, and I like where things are now." I shook my head, not knowing what else to say. At least I was being honest.

The puzzlement stayed on his face, muddling his features. He ran a hand through his disheveled hair. "Well," he started, pausing to collect his thoughts. "It seems we are finished then."

"Yeah. It seems so." I nodded, not having the heart to remind him we were finished four years ago.

He nodded once, pressed his lips into a thin line, and turned on his heels. He marched away from the cabin, heading back towards the city—the city I only saw illuminated at night during the explosions of war. With the war over, I'd probably never see the city again, or any of the people living within.


These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes. These fun shorts should make you smile on your Monday morning. I love YA books, as a reader and a writer. Still, there are some tropes that deserve to become real. While these stories are still fiction, they provide an alternative, possibly more realistic, version of scenes from stories we love.

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