Last week I talked about finding inspiration through music. This week I am moving on to images.
This is Jake:
In actual fact, I have no idea who this person is. However, when I started writing my novel, I brought my characters to life by giving them a full background and personality. I wanted more, though. I am a visual person and I needed to put a face to the name. I had an image in my head of what I wanted Jake to look like, so I went in search of him and this is what I found. This photo, for me, brings him to life.
I didn’t do this for every character, just my two leads. They are key to the story and I needed them to be as strong and believable as possible. This is Aimee:
She may look wholesome and pure, but she has a darker side; secrets that even she doesn’t want to admit to herself. I thought that this image reflected that perfectly.
I knew that the next time I connected with Jake I would have to work hard to be in control of my thoughts and emotions. It wasn’t something I was confident at being able to do, but I was willing to try. Jake’s conflict with his parents was deepening but I didn’t care about that either. All rational thought had gone out of the window and Catherine had to all but restrain me as we were watching Jake’s reaction to his parent’s announcement about France.
‘Can you just hang on for a minute and calm down,’ she said. ‘The poor boy is in the shower. You can’t go sneaking in on him. He’s already had one shock today. You’ll give him a heart attack.’
‘But he’s taking ages. He must be clean by now.’
‘It’s not about him becoming clean, Aimee and you know it. Jake is trying to calm down and figure out what just went on with his parents and come to terms with the bomb shell they just dropped on him. Have a heart.’
‘Oh please. I wish. Catherine, sometimes some of the things you come out with are beyond funny.’
Catherine shot me a warning look which I ignored and continued to look at Jake. ‘Look, he’s finished now. I can go, right?’
‘Just wait until he gets in his room and then you can,’ Catherine said, shaking her head at my impatience.
I ignored her again and stepped into Jake’s room as soon as he did. All it took was for him to glance at my photo, a habit he had gotten into, and I was able to make the connection.
‘Hi, Aimee,’ he said. Not in the least bit shocked. See, Catherine, I didn’t give him a heart attack after all. ‘You weren’t watching me in the shower just now were you?’
I smiled and shook my head and then concentrated as I drew Jake in with everything I had. I raised my hands to the side of my head and filled the room with images, larger and more life-like than they had been before. I willed them into Jake’s head, one by one, before slowing down to let him take a closer look. He stopped when he saw the one of Dillon and I signalled to him to look by pointing to my eyes. I could feel Jake focusing and concentrating on the image. ‘It’s Dillon’ I was screaming inside, hoping that by some means he would hear me.
‘It’s Dillon, isn’t it? Is that a hospital? Has he had some sort of accident?’
I beamed at him. Either Jake was really good at this or our connection was getting stronger.
‘Don’t worry, we’re going to find Dillon. Sophie and I are….’ Jake stopped after he’d said Sophie’s name, suddenly looking awkward. I could see that he felt embarrassed about mentioning her in front of me. Even though he knew it was stupid, I could feel that Jake thought his relationship with my sister might upset me. I smiled reassuringly and held out my hands towards him in a gesture of acceptance and understanding. I wanted him to feel the friendship between us. I felt Jake relax again as he smiled back.
‘You know what, I’ve just thought of something,’ he said. ‘Why don’t we get to know each other a bit better? I know you can’t tell me stuff, but you can show me. After all, if you’re going to keep turning up in my bedroom, especially when I’m half-dressed, I think it’s only fair that I know who I’m dealing with don’t you?’
I threw my head back and laughed, relaxing for the first time since I’d seen Dillon. Then I focused my mind to bring the images before us.
‘You had a dog just like Bobby,’ said Jake, looking around, ‘and a horse too. There’s a stable and there are loads of rosettes on the wall, so you were quite good then? Oh, there’s a rabbit and a guinea pig. I’m picking up on an animal theme here.’
Jake was laughing now. He was enjoying this too. Willed on I re-focused again to show Jake some more.
‘These are your friends, right?’ Jake said, ‘and you’re all dressed up; nice hair by the way. Let me guess, a night out at Wheeler’s? That’s where my brother used to hang out with all the under-age teens. Dad knew about that place, so I don’t know how he ever got away with it. Hang on a sec,’ he said suddenly becoming serious. ‘Are those Emma’s sister’s? Emma Hall, I mean.’
I shrugged my shoulders at him. I remembered my friends Chloe and Sarah were sisters. Chloe was my age and Sarah was a couple of years older, like Dillon. I had a fleeting memory of tension between us all, but I couldn’t think why.
Realising that I had become distracted with thoughts of a time that seemed so long ago for me, I turned my attention back to Jake. He was staring at me intently, his piercing blue eyes looking as though they were trying to see in to my soul.
‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to make you sad thinking about all those things,’ he said. ‘I just wanted to get to know you. If we had known each other for real then we wouldn’t have had to meet this way.’
I nodded in agreement and we were both silent for a while.
‘But even though the circumstances are a bit weird I’m glad you came to me, Aimee.’
Jake’s smile was reassuring. I wanted to stay with him for longer but I was exhausted, both physically and emotionally so I had to step back. At least this time I was able to say goodbye.
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