If all I could do for a living was write really effing good intros to books, but not the whole book, I could make the best living ever.
Click read more if you have read something of mine that you liked before.
Click read more if you have read something of mine that you liked before.
How to Live Forever is a story I started in May of 2011. It follows the life of a young man named David Holt who is not as ordinary as he appears. The summer of his sixteenth birthday, David discovered he had the ability to read minds, and his life was changed forever. He finds out his father was cheating on his mother… his best friend is secretly the leader of the gang that has picked on him his entire school career… David, confused with how to handle this information, runs away to a suburb of Chicago where he gets his GED and begins working in a biker bar as a dish washer.
Fast forward a few years, and David is depressed and alone as ever. On Christmas Eve, he writes a suicide note to the one person he feels will care (his landlord), and climbs out the window of his third floor apartment. He jumps. And survives. The next morning, he wakes up in a hospital bed. A nurse comes in, and starts checking his vitals. David doesn’t understand how he survived the jump, and is about to ask the nurse when she speaks. “You can’t die, David,” she tells him. “Not yet.”
David learns that along with his gift of telepathy, he is also immortal until he fulfills his destiny and finds the “oracle.” How to Live Forever follows this journey, and the struggles David has, not only in completing it, but completing it with someone who wants nothing to do with him, and finding his true self along the way.
David is ten. His family just moved to town, and it’s his first day at his new school. The following scene details how David and Cameron met, and also shows greater depth into the relationship and tension between David and his brother, Jacob. (Also, yeah, whatever, so this isn’t actually IN SCHOOL, but it’s on the bus GOING to school, so shut it.)
“David! Get down here, David, you can’t miss the bus; it’s your first day!”
“I’m coming, mom!” he yelled down the stairs. David brushed his hair to one side with his hand, smiled at himself in the mirror, and ran out the bathroom door. He was confident today. Not too confident, obviously – you can’t be too confident when you’re going into a situation completely blind – but as confident as a ten year-old on his first day could be.
David ran down the stairs towards the kitchen and grabbed his backpack off the counter. His eight year-old brother Jacob was sitting at the dining table, eating a bowl of Cherrios. David’s mom was standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes.
“Well, come on, aren’t we going?” David asked, excitedly.
“Not until I’m done eating!” Jacob whined.
“You should’ve eaten breakfast, but you didn’t even get downstairs until right now, so I guess I’m going to be that horrible mother that sends her kid to school without breakfast,” David’s mom complained over her shoulder. “God dammit,” she whispered. David pretended not to hear her. He was pretty much used to his parents cursing by this point, and found it easier to ignore them than gasp and put them in even a worse mood for cursing in front of their impressionable children. Jacob obviously didn’t hear a thing, because he was still sitting at the table, making no noise, and eating his Cherrios.
“Jacob, honey,” David’s mom called, “you need to finish up so we can catch the bus.” Jacob took one more bite of cereal, and hopped down from his chair.
“Okay,” he said, “I’m ready. Let’s go.” David rolled his eyes at his brother and grabbed his lunch box. Jacob and David raced out the door, with their mother following silently behind them. They continued to run all the way to the bus stop, and by the time they reached it, the bus was turning the corner onto their street. David’s mother jogged to catch up to her boys.
“Have a good first day at school, boys!” their mother called. The bus pulled to a stop, and the doors opened. A few children about David’s age climbed on the bus, and then Jacob ran to be the next in line. “Jacob! Come back here, and give me a hug!” Jacob sighed, and turned around to briefly hug his mother. David stood next to his mother smiling, waiting to receive his hug, and perhaps a kiss of good luck, but all he got was a press on the shoulder and a quick chastisement. “David! Get on the bus before it leaves! Go!”
David, slightly confused and disappointed, turned and ran onto the bus. There were only a few open seats left, so he sat next to a kid he had seen playing down the street. The boy had platinum blonde hair, what looked like no eyebrows, and two slightly sunburnt chubby cheeks, but he owned a RC car and a real signed baseball from Jose Conseco (who David’s father called “a damn good baseball player who couldn’t keep his fucking mouth shut”), and that seemed good enough friend material for David.
The two boys looked at each other.
“Hi, I’m David.”
“Cameron,” said the boy. The two shook hands and felt very grown-up, and became inseparable for the next several years.
David rolled over onto his back, and let out a content sigh. Dawn had barely broken, and soft rays of sunlight were inching their way through the windows. He swiftly looked over his shoulder to make sure the girl… what was her name?... was still asleep, then quietly got up from the bed and began collecting his clothes. He slipped on his boxers, his jeans, and his white undershirt, and exited the room. He shuffled silently over to the kitchen, and grabbed an apple off of the counter.
Suddenly, he heard a tiny rustle of sheets coming from the bedroom. She’s waking up… he worried. Quickly, he held the apple in his mouth, put his jacket on his back, and slipped out the front door of the apartment. And… safe, he thought with a grin as the door slid close without a sound. He walked down the hallway and pushed the button to call the elevator up to his floor. It was still early morning, so not too many people were making thoughts yet. But it would only be a matter of time…
David listened specifically for the girl’s voice, just in case she really was waking up. He tried to recall what it sounded like, but wasn’t having much luck. He was too drunk last night to remember much of anything. Drunkenness stifled the voices enough that he could ignore them, so he did. But it also had the unfortunate side effect of slight memory loss… especially when it came to one night stands.
But David listened for her anyway. He heard nothing. David smiled just as the elevator door reached his floor and dinged. Another night gone off without a hitch. No messy relationship needed; just nice, simple, easy sex. Wake up before the girl, leave the girl’s apartment, never hear from her again.
This was David’s life. And for the most part, he was okay with it.
David’s childhood was pretty normal, as far as he could tell. He has a younger brother, Jacob, and they fight a lot, but every sibling does. His parents fought sometimes, but every set of parents do. He had a dog, Skip, but he died when David was thirteen, as old dogs tend to do. It was pretty much an average, ordinary life.
The following scene takes place when David was fourteen, two years before he gets the ability to read minds (yes I know, this isn’t really “childhood” but it’s before David was off on his own, so technically he was still a child). His friend is over to play ball, and David goes inside to get a glass of water. This is what happens.
David upper lip twitched into a half-smile as Cameron’s finger’s curled around the small white baseball. It was sort of a game they liked to play together — act like the big bad tough baseball players they’d grown up watching on TV. They loved pretending that their games of catch and batting practice were as serious as the Red Sox versus the Yankees. It made the stakes of the game much higher.
Cameron took a deep breath, scrunched up his face, and pitched the baseball as hard and fast as he could. David, never taking his eyes off the ball, replanted his right foot quickly and firmly as he could, and swung at the airborne ball. With a sweet crash, the bat connected with its target, and David exhaled in delight.
“Going… going… GONE!” David threw his cap in the air and pointed his finger jokingly at his friend. “That’s seven times in a row, man! Just give up!”
Cameron, who had watched the ball soar over his head, looked at David and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Seven to nothing, I get it, I get it. Hey, can you go grab us some water bottles?”
David nodded and started jogging towards the back of the house. He had left the back door wide open, hoping for any sort of breeze to enter the stale household while he and his friend played on the side of the house. However, as David approached the rear of the house, he noticed that the door was now only cracked open. This was peculiar for David, as normally his family either left the door open or closed, never cracked. The door creaked when it was cracked, and his mother had threatened to rip if off if anyone left it cracked again. And since they lived in Virginia, it just seemed simpler to leave it open and hope for a breeze, especially in the summertime.
So David was quite confused as to why the door was cracked. As he neared it though, he heard his father’s voice. He was whispering. David listened.
“No,” he heard his father say, “no, I told you, it’s not like that… No, Cheryl, stop it. Will you just— Shh… she’ll hear me, just hold on. Let me go outside.”
David stiffened up. The back door opened and out stepped his father, talking on a cell phone. The two stared at each other for a second, both sort of flabbergasted.
“Uh… water…,” David stuttered as he pushed past his father into the house.
David stared at his sounding alarm clock in disgust. He hated mornings. Mornings meant there would be people. David hated people.
After slamming his hand down on the off-button, David laid back on his back and stretched a little. He wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep. Not with the voices already starting to boom in his head. No, it was time to get up.
David stumbled into the bathroom and flipped on the light switch. He turned on the shower to scalding hot, and began getting undressed. He liked to look at himself in the full-length mirror as he did this. It was sort of his time to focus and reflect on himself. So while the water of his shower began to heat up, David stood in front of his mirror, and he thought. He thought so loud that it almost covered up the other people’s thoughts — almost, but not quite. David waited for the day the voices would be gone entirely. It was wishful thinking… he knew that wouldn’t be possible for quite some time. He would never really be alone.
Most people avoided showers as hot as his. It burns a little bit to stand under such heat for an extended period of time. But this was exactly why David did it. See, pain thoughts are always much louder than content thoughts. If David was in pain, the other voices would fade away. He saw it as a fool-proof plan for twenty minutes of silence, and would quite literally do anything to have those twenty minutes to himself.
Perhaps that made David a little masochistic. He wouldn’t deny it. But if anyone had to endure a day like David’s, it was undoubtable that they would do the same.
David lives in “the real world” but the people in this world are a little more than ordinary. David himself can read minds, but hates it. The girl he’s been searching for his entire life can tell the future, but doesn’t know how it works, and didn’t know she could even do it until she met David. But besides those, he lives in the completely same world as you and me.
David scratched his eyebrow. He was starting to get a headache again. Too many people in one place could either give him peace of mind, or the worst migraine imaginable.
Sherry’s ass looks huge in that skirt. What the fuck was she thinking?
…like a dog. Seriously, who does that?…
God I hope he kisses me… God I hope he kisses me… God I hope—
“Can I get you something?”
…Reds are playing tomorrow. Did I record that?
…those tits. Mmm… Shit, she’s gonna think I’m not listening…
She’s so beautiful.
“Sir. Sir? Can I get you something? Hello?” David saw a hand waving in front of his face. He had zoned out.
“Sorry?” he mumbled.
“I said, ‘Can I get you something?’” the bartender asked again, with a slight smile. She was tall, with dark hair (which David inferred was dyed), and had a lip ring. That was all David saw. The lip ring enticed him.
“Uh, yeah. Strongest thing you have. Then I’ll have two.” The liquor would help ease his headache. The more wasted he was, the less he was able to pay attention.
The bartender smiled again and David stared at her teeth. They were almost beautiful.
This guy’s gonna need a cab. I hope he doesn’t hit on me later.
David looked away, ashamed.
David is in search of anyone good.
David stood on the corner of Brooke and Main and held his arm out, signaling a cab. An available car passed him without stopping, and he lowered his arm.
Alright, he thought, already soaked to the bone… what’s three more blocks gonna do? David didn’t exactly enjoy the thought of walking in the rain, but at least it’d be quiet. Rain made people focus on one main thing: not getting wet. That was good for David, because it meant he didn’t have to listen to all the other shit people thought about the other twenty three hours and thirty minutes of the day. He turned to his left and started walking down Main Street towards his apartment.
The rain pounding on his muscular back reminded him of his childhood. It was raining the night he found out his father was cheating on his mother. He remembered grabbing his dad’s leather jacket and running out of the house into the pouring rain that eventually mixed with his salty tears. He sat on the ground beside his neighbor’s barn and cried. He shivered, he cried, and he slept. The next morning, he awoke to his mother yelling his name out the back door, and immediately got up and ran. He didn’t want to go back.
He never did.