Split Tour: Deleted Scene

A few weeks ago, I reviewed the amazingly awesome Split by Swati Avasthi - a highly powerful novel about the effects of domestic violence - and today I am happy to have the author back for more. What sets The Before The Split book tour apart is that the author Swati Avasthi is donating $1 for every comment left on any tour post to the Family Violence Prevention Fund - so be sure to make your presence known today!


In lieu of a deleted scene, here is a second scene I wrote from Christian’s point of view. Again, this was never meant to go into the manuscript, but was the product of a writing exercise given to me by a mentor, Jim Moore. You can check out the first scene as well.

(Author-mystique-buster: This is all I get in 15 minutes and writing exercises are pretty shabby).

by Swati Avasthi

In October, it rains in Chicago. Inevitable, for at least 4 days. Steady rain. No flashes of lightning, no break in the clouds or even the temp of the big drops. It drowns the fall leaves, leaving them fragile under foot, to be torn by a boot as it passed over the seams in the pavement.

The year I was seven, I had my first pair of black rain boots with a red stripe across the top. My father thought that a boy of six no longer needed puddle jumpers with frog’s eyes on the top or picture of ducks on the side. Not even red or yellow ones. When my mother wanted to get them for me and I was begging in the store to have them, too, he put both hands on my shoulders and leaned into my face.

“Now, Christian,” he had said. “Those are for little kids, like her.” He glanced at a chubby little girl whose T shirt was sliding up over her mound of a waist and whose ponytail holder was just barely hanging on by a tangle. “You’re not like that anymore. A big boy. Daddy’s boy.”

I nodded and neither my mom nor I said anything else. He got the saleswoman and told her what I wanted. I smiled and nodded.

I looked over toward the window where Jace, my little brother, had crawled. He had hoisted himself into the window display. A one year old can, who can barely walk, but can climb like a cheetah.

I should get him out of there, I thought. A big boy would, I supposed. But instead, I watched him. He grabbed the first big boot ­– a pink boot with red hearts and I grimaced at my little brother’s taste – girl’s stuff. He tipped over the boot and studied it. Then, with his shoes on, he stuffed his little foot inside the boot. They came up to his chubby thighs. The next one was the boot my father picked out for me. He examined it and tossed it aside.

How come he got away with it? How come a baby knew his mind and wouldn’t let it be changed by anyone, and me, a boy of six, would nod and smile when I was told. Looking back, I wonder if it was at that moment that I first became jealous of Jace, not when he got into my toys, or at Christmas, but right then. Right then, I knew something but couldn’t really find the words for it yet: that Jace would end up with a freer spirit than me, and I would end up with dull, boring boots ­– boots that were right for me.

He would get the ones with ducks on the sides.


Blog Tour Auction

As part of the Split blog tour and charity auction, I'd like to highlight a couple of items up for bid from the amazingly fantastic list of items available. 

A SIGNED copy of Bull Rider and a phone consult or school visit, donated by Suzanne Morgan Williams.

A SIGNED set of five of Lynne Jonell's books donated by the author.


Amy said...

Wow, I love this scene! I think it fits very well with the characters from the story.

Christina Rodriguez said...

This is brilliant. It makes me wonder if this is how my older sister would've articulated her feelings over similar moments we had as children. I love reading about the dynamics between older and younger siblings.

Karen said...

That was amazing Swati! It explains so much about Christian's actions towards Jace. As i have said on other posts throughout this tour - I can't wait to go back & read Split with all this new insight.

Unknown said...

So sweet! This is a great look into Christian's thoughts, and I think it explains so much about his character.