MENTOR: Eden Plantz
MENTEE: Bryson McCrone
TITLE: FINDING SIMON HASTINGS
CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Contemporary
WORD COUNT: 63,000
Simon has always been confused about his sexuality — And that was before being raped by a man. Now, he’s more confused than ever and must overcome his past to discover who he truly is.
I am impure.
I am disgusting.
I am a monster.
When I finally crawl out of bed, it’s not by choice. The sun has been keeping me up for the last twenty minutes, shining through my window. I forgot to close my curtains after pulling the shades last night, so I get up, unlock my door, and head to my ensuite bathroom.
Most people would be happy to wake up and have more time to lay around, but I’m not most people. When I’m alone, given time to think, my mind rolls away to a place too dark for me to simply forget.
It’s a Friday, thank God. But that only means escape from school for the next two days. I still have to work all this evening and Saturday. Joy.
It’s not that I don’t like my job. I really do. I mean, the little supermarket I work at even has a Starbucks inside. But checking out customers and bagging groceries isn’t exactly my life’s goal.
I look in the mirror just like I do every day, but I don’t see me. I see someone who’s broken, fractured, tearing at the seams. My eyes are red and puffy, dark bags hanging under them like hammocks. My skin is dull, and my dark brown hair sticks out in all directions like a pile of broken twigs. I kind of look dead. I’d comb my hair if I cared enough. But that wouldn’t change anything. I’m still Simon Hastings. The same old pillow-biting, fruit cake that all the assholes in school have dubbed me.