Excerpt from ‘I Have No Friends’ Novel§
by Russell Dyer
published: november 28, 2015; revised: september 10, 2017; readers in past month: 127
Several people suggested I post an excerpt from my novel, I Have No Friends. The text below is from the second chapter. Keep in mind that this is from the first draft. I haven’t worked on the multiple rewrites and my editor hasn’t looked at it yet.
The main character is called, Lena—she has no friends. The novel starts sadly, with Lena having just lost her baby when she was three months pregnant. In these first pages of the book, the tone is more somber and reflective. The story becomes much more animated, though, and includes more dialog shortly after this scene. However, regardless of whether you have no friends or not, I think you might enjoy reading this bit.
Chapter 2, Page 16
On the third day back home from the hospital, she decided to deal with the baby clothes and other things she had purchased in preparation for the arrival of her daughter — the doctor had told her it was a girl a couple of months ago. She hadn’t bought many things, just some clothes, a rattle, a small spoon with a rubber coating where it would enter the mouth—it has a smiling Minnie Mouse shape on the handle—and a couple of bibs with flowers on them—one said, “Mommy’s Princesss”.
She took a small paper bag with flat paper handles, but no writing or logo on the sides, and carefully folded the clothes and placed them in the bag. She intended to donate them to charity for some poor baby to use.
She considered as she folded the clothes if there were poor babies, poor newborns. What did money matter to an infant. Still, she was going to give everything to charity since she knew she wouldn’t get pregnant again—at least not any time soon.
As she put the bibs in the bag, she wondered if she might one day see some child on the street wearing these clothes, maybe in the park wearing the “Mommy’s Princess” bib, being fed with the Minnie Mouse spoon. In the grand spiritual scheme of reality, she pondered if that girl would be hers, would contain the reincarnated spirit of her lost daughter. She abruptly stopped these thoughts and reminded herself that she doesn’t believe in such things as she tossed the spoon and rattle into the bag.
She began to fold the top of the bag, but hesitated after a moment. She opened it again and removed the spoon. She decided to keep it as something that belonged to her daughter, even if her daughter had never held it or used it, as a memorabilia. It was her daughter’s spoon. She respected that and her. But there was something else to this decision.
Although she had never wanted a baby, she had come to like the idea that she would have a daughter. She intended to love her very much—she had already begun to do so over the past few months. They would be the best of friends. Maybe she would never marry or have a long-term relationship with a man, or even have any true friends, but she would have a daughter whom she would love and who would lover her. They would be like the Gilmore Girls—she always liked that television show.
Nothing would take her away from her—or so she thought. She had to let go of her daughter’s body before she had even been born, but she did not have to let go of the dream, the spirit, the hope.
She would keep the Minnie Mouse spoon somewhere close to her, to feed her hope that one day, maybe years later, her daughter would come back to her, not materialize as someone else’s child—her daughter would never forsake her like that—but as her daughter, with Lena, where she belonged: they would be together. That, she determined, was her belief—her religion.
If you would like to read, I Have No Friends, you can purchase it on Amazon in print and Kindle format. If you buy the print format, you can get a copy for Kindle for only 99 cents extra.