Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Deleted Scenes from BREAK

These come from different parts of the book, but I thought I'd post them together because they have a nice little link, which you'll discover if you read carefully.

Neither of these scenes made it to my editor; they were both removed by yours truly when I realized they weren't really important.

Elements of these scenes were snatched up and used elsewhere, and parts contradict with stuff that made it into the book. I figure you're smart enough to figure it out.


“Jesse?” I call.

I hear him stop. “Uh-huh?”

“Feel like a visitor?”

He doesn’t answer for a moment. “Sure. Come in.”

I leave the hammer and transfer over to Jesse’s room. He’s sweaty and gross, a heap on his slated wood floor.

He flops down and peers up at me, his hair covering his eyes. “What’s up?”

His room smells like teenage deodorant and feather dusters. I lean against his bed and close my eyes. “I’m going to ask you something.”


“Can you tell me what happened?”

He sighs and scratches his throat. “The reaction?”

“Yeah. Don’t scratch.”

He starts his sit-ups again, exercise-growling between his words. “I broke out in some intense hives like five minutes after you left. Went inside, took some Benadryl. Throat closed up. Epi-pen. Ambulance. Standard fare.”

“Who did the epi?”

“I did.”

I sit for a moment, watching his pristine stomach muscles tighten every time he sits up. “I should have been there.”

He rests his elbows on his knees. “Stop, Jonah.”

“I should have been there.”

“Don’t beat yourself up about this. Seriously. I don’t want to deal with you.”

“How bad was it?”

He pushes off and resumes the sit-ups. “They’re all the same.”

I thought talking to Jesse would make me feel better, and now I just want to kill him or myself or both.

“Did Mom and Dad stay with you until the ambulance came?”

“Of course. God, I hate ambulances. I wish they’d just drive me. It would have been faster.”

“Could you breathe?”

“It was okay. I only thought I was going to die for a minute.”

Even when I was in the car accident, I never thought I was going to die. Now, I’m jealous of him in this horrible way.

“What’s it like?”

He rubs the back of his neck. “You basically just want to breathe.”

“You’re fine now, right?”

“Of course.”

“Do you want something to eat? I can make you a shake. Or get you a rice cake or something.”

“I’m all right.” He flips onto his stomach and starts push-ups. “Thanks.”

Yeah, thanks, Jess.

I retreat back into my room and sit on the floor. Push-ups are quieter than sit-ups, and now all I hear is the whisper of his wheezing if I listen very, very closely.


The cold road is like an ice pack on my chest.

No, wait. There’s an ice pack on my chest.

I open my eyes and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

The first thing I see is Jesse, both his hands tight on the steering wheel. I’m packed in ice from the top of my head to my shoes, like I’m some kind of corpse.

There’s ice in my shirt, over my hips, stuffed in my socks. I’m soaking wet, shaking. Too much ice, or too much fever?

“Jesse,” I say. Jesse is my angel.



“We’re going to the hospital,” he says. “You’re going to be fine. You stay with me now, all right?”

The psych ward will find me at the hospital, but...they can’t make go back. If Mom and Dad want me, if someone here needs me...

There’s no crying. I sit up as straight as I can. “Where’s Will?’

“Naomi’s got him.”

“Where is he?”

“I’m right here,” Naomi says from somewhere behind my head.

I spin around. There she is in the backseat, clutching Will on her lap.

He’s not crying.

“Did I kill him?”

“Jonah, of course not,” Jesse says. “Just close your eyes. Everything’s going to be fine. You’re okay.”

I didn’t know my heart could beat this hard. My blood feels like it’s made of maple syrup.

Naomi says, “Jess, take the beltway.”

He shakes his head. “This is faster.”

I start coughing, and Naomi says, “Shit, you are sick.”

I shake my head.

“Yeah, you are.”

“What’s wrong with Will?”

“He’s fine, Jonah.”

The more I think about not shaking, the more I spasm like I’m having a seizure. Jesse steps harder on the gas.

I say, “Why didn’t you call an ambulance?”

His voice is steady and clear. “Because I can get you there faster. You hold on, now. That’s an order.”

After a minute, he takes his right hand off the wheel and finds my broken and swollen left one underneath all the ice packs. I close my eyes and think about Jesse’s hand and Charlotte’s eyes, and how I’d rather not die right now.

He says, “Please be okay.”

Will coos, “Jo.”


Nadine said...

Nice! I really like these scenes but I'll admit, I didn't miss them from the book, especially as you had sections of them elsewhere.

Thanks for sharing! I feel like I'm part of a secret club now, lol.

Sajidah said...

I like the sense of "quietude" in these scenes. Very nice.

hannah said...

Oh yeah, Nadine, they totally weren't necessary, hahaha.

suzie townsend said...

I have to say, I love that Jonah's first thought when Will isn't crying is "Did I kill him?"


elissa said...

aw, I like the scene with Will. Did I kill him? nice.