Dykopath – Preview

AN: I am so so excited to say that my first novel is now available for public purchase.
For now, here’s a sneak peek of the first chapter. If you like what you see, feel free to find the payment button below and support my work!

Chapter 1

I used to write songs. I don’t know when exactly I stopped doing that; it’s not like I woke up one day and decided to never write a song again, but one day was the last. I have a feeling it was somewhere between person eight and twelve, that’s when I noticed the numbness. You would think it would have come sooner than that, but I guess I held on to my one person too tightly, and for far too long. I suppose that’s a side effect of infatuation, especially the degree of infatuation with which I was poisoned.

* * *

We met at school – she was a friend of a friend and we had classes together, pretty soon we were good friends, best friends, even. Before I knew it, I’d fallen for her, while she was in a relationship with Rose, one of the other girls in our inner circle. Crap.
I thought I could just push past it, move on, act like it never happened but then Helena noticed. Of course she did: she was endlessly intelligent and my closest friend, and she could read us all like books.
One night, during a residential school trip to France, Helena and I were killing time in my room after dinner and she sprung it on me.
“You’re not straight, are you?”
“Yes, I am.” I spoke too quickly for credibility, damn it.
“But you fancy Amy!” She teased,
“No, I don’t!”
“Then why are you smiling and going bright red?” Helena grinned,
“Shut up!” I laughed, actively trying to bring the corners of my mouth back down.
The day after that conversation, during the end of trip dance (I didn’t go because I hated dancing and my awkward gangly body), Amy’s relationship with Rose came to a very sudden end, and all eyes were on me. The last thing anybody wants at an all-girls’ school is the attention of the entire student body. The scrutiny of teenage girls can be crueler than some torture methods.

 

Dykopath

Izzy Mehmet tells the tale of her first teenage romance, which takes a turn unlike most first love stories.

£2.50

 

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Part V – Burning

I tried so hard to get her out of my system. I tried to get as far away from home as possible and start fresh where nobody would know me, but life is a cruel bitch and I’m not the only one who wanted to start over. She seemed quite pleased by this, said that she was finding moving so far a bit scary and she was glad there was a familiar face. 

She’s sitting on the kitchen counter, singing terribly, only stopping to giggle at her own wailing; my hands are shaking, trying to unwrap the stupid stock cube. I end up chucking it in so awkwardly that boiling water splashes onto my hand, it scalds me, I wince. She stops singing and jumps off the counter, her eyes widen, she brings my burnt hand to her mouth and kisses it. Her lips are as soft as I’d always imagined. 

I pull my hand away and turn back to the pasta, finding myself leaning back against the counter she was sitting on, my knuckles white from having to clutch it so unexpectedly. Her arms have snaked around my waist and she’s looking directly into my eyes with an expression I don’t recognise. Her lips are as soft as I’d always imagined.
Fin.

Part IV- Leaving

I’ve literally had it up to here with mum. So what if I was five minutes late home last night? Five minutes is hardly the difference between life and death, is it? Okay, that sounds stupid, a lot can happen in five minutes but it’s not like we live in the bloody slums. Surely they should just be grateful that I’m not an idiot who comes home literally off her face like my sister.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about this whole Ben situation, I can’t believe I kissed him. Well, no, I can believe that, but I can’t believe he thinks I’m his girlfriend now – it was literally just a silly kiss at a party! I don’t care how much you look like a Ken doll, I don’t want an actual relationship, especially not now as we’re all about to literally disperse across the country.

I can’t wait to get to Dundee and finally start the rest of my life. I know it’s far and that’s a bit scary but what’s the point in leaving home and literally only going half an hour down the road?

Ben’s just sent me literally the hundredth message this morning, it’s not even eleven yet…I need to speak to Holly, like, now.

Part III – Shame

I hate the bit just after you’ve put the slice in, waiting for it to pop out again. I always set my toaster to two minutes (I only found out those numbers were minutes and not a heat thing a few months ago, my whole life’s a lie, I swear!). You can go through everything from the night before in two minutes. I just want to hide in the house for a week, is that too much to ask?

If I write this down I can’t forget it because it will be physical and tangible, does that make sense? Even if I burn this page, it’ll be written into the ashes for all eternity. 

Bloody hell, that was pretentious.

Alright, here goes, my disgusting confession: I got off with Stephen. In my defence, it was his birthday and I was drunk and…fine. I’m a “slutty drunk”. Whatever. I just regret letting down a mate. Poor Paige, I didn’t even notice her leave. I left her on her own all night, the poor sod. I was meant to be her wing-woman.

And now I’ve burnt my toast. For fuck’s sake.

Part II – Blank Canvas

I’m not sure why I’m sat here in the dark, the lights work perfectly – not all of them, the bulb in the kitchen’s bust but otherwise there’s no real excuse. I’ve got painter’s block, you see (is that a thing?), and to get rid of painter’s block you’ve got to sit in the dark, apparently.
Tom’s making a right racket upstairs putting all his stuff in the drawers I called dibs on, probably, and I’m sitting here, in the lounge, in the dark, writing out my thoughts like they’re worth anything to anyone.

There’s a nasty orange light coming in from the streetlamp; it’s not nice at all but it’s the only thing stopping the room being pitch black. I appreciate street lamps more than most people. I find myself in this situation far too often. I suppose you think I’m a nutter, “just get up and turn the light on”, but I don’t want to, honestly. I don’t want to move at all. All I want is this bloody barrier between my thoughts and all my creative bits, wherever they are, to piss off so I can just get on with it.
Tom’s coming downstairs now, I know how this is going to go “why are you sitting in the dark, Jen?”, I don’t know, Tom, why am I sitting in the dark? Does anyone know why I’m sitting in the dark, because I certainly don’t. All I know is that I don’t want to be the one to turn the light on, I wouldn’t mind if you switched it on, Tom, but I can’t do it myself. For now, I suppose the streetlamp will have to do.

Part I – Pillock

She is like the music she’s dancing to. Soft and elegant yet moving something deep within her – igniting something primitive in me. No, not like that, you perv. I just mean that I really, really like her but there’s nothing I can do about it. I watch her all the time, not in a creepy way (at least I hope it’s not creepy), I just like to look at her, the way she moves and smiles, the way she makes huge gestures with her hands when explaining the simplest thing and misuses the word ‘literally’. I just love everything about her.

I didn’t know she was going to be here tonight, I didn’t think she even knew Stephen but here she is, at his party. She’s at my best mate’s party, and she knows who I am, that’s got to count for something, right? 

Who am I kidding? She’d never go for me, she would want someone tall and muscular and…manly. She would want a man. I can’t be that.

There she goes again, hands in the air, waving about while her seemingly soft lips part and meet again, allowing the sounds of her mind to pour out.

I can see that glint in her eyes, she likes him. He leans in to her, getting closer, she looks up at him, drink in one hand, the back of his neck in the other. They kiss. They’re still kissing. They’re not stopping. I can’t watch this. I need to leave. Why do I always do this to myself?

So I curl up in my bed and stare at the wall, like an utter pillock. Knowing that I’m going to repeat this cycle again, of falling for a straight girl, having to watch her with some guy and deal with only ever being her friend. Maybe not even that, but never anything more.

Marriage – A thing of the past?

2013, the year in which the world finally realises it’s in the 21st century and almost everything and everyone takes on a more modern approach to everyday life.
Technology is booming, people are becoming more accepting of ‘different’, but one thing which is both changing drastically and not changing at all is marriage.

Almost 40% of marriages in the UK end in divorce, but does this mean that we should simply stop getting married in order to save ourselves the hassle of going through solicitors, signing papers, possible custody battles and all the rest? Would it not be easier to simply ‘break up’?

According to the Telegraph, fewer people are getting married now anyway, in 2011 the number of married people had fallen to 20.4 million, which seems like a lot, right? Compared to a decade ago, that is almost 200,000 less people saying ‘I do’.

It seems that Britain has fallen out of love with marriage. More and more couples are simply living together, having children and growing old together whilst avoiding paying for a wedding (which is understandable, weddings are expensive, but marriage pays for itself in the long run – more on that later.)
However, I can’t help but feel that we are beginning to take marriage for granted. They say that ‘every little girl dreams of their wedding day’. I never did, but I do want to get married someday, and evidently so do thousands of people on the LGBT spectrum, of which the majority don’t have the opportunity to do so. How can we disregard something which so many people wish they could have?

Marriage has a lot of benefits, especially financially. (I won’t go in to the whole ‘respectability’ side of it. I don’t think a relationship should be held at a higher standard than anyone else’s simply because it’s a marriage.) Inheritance can cause a lot of problems for couples who cohabit but are not married – Couples living together who own property and other assets with a combined value of more than £650,000 face an inheritance tax (IHT) charge if one of them dies.  It turns out unmarried partners can only pass assets up to the nil-rate band of £325,000 free of death duties. Sums above that attract an IHT of 40%, presenting families with a few problems in the event of death.
Anything left to a spouse or civil partner, on the other hand, is exempt from IHT. The partner is allowed to “inherit” the full £650,000 which can be passed to, for example, children on the death of the surviving partner.
Also, if the deceased partner did not write a will prior to their death, the other cannot inherit anything from them, no matter how long they lived together or if they had children together – so those of you unmarried folk may want to get writing.
Getting married also means paying less tax! We are all taxed individually, but married couples are given a bit of leeway in arranging finances to reduce the family tax bill. This means that married couples can reduce the income tax paid on savings, investments, or rental property if one spouse pays less tax than the other.

If this is the case, then assets can be switched so they are owned by the lower-earning spouse. So, if one spouse is a 40% taxpayer and the other does not earn, and if savings are held by the non-earner, they can’t be taxed on the interest.

But it’s not all about money – marriage in its current form has a little bit of tradition and a little bit of modern value mixed into it. Marriage as it stands now was only really invented 12 years ago, and these days the more common method of marriage is through a civil ceremony rather than through religion. While some may believe that a marriage is not ‘official’ unless it is performed before God, others may say that marriage has nothing to do with religion, but more to do with two individuals loving each other unconditionally, respectfully, and wanting to spend the rest of their lives together.

Once again, I return to the state of marriage equality rights. Modern marriage does not involve religion, and so same-sex marriages should not be banned in any modern country, thankfully, the legalisation of same-sex marriages is on the rise. If marriage is so outdated, why would hundreds of thousands of people be fighting for the ability to get married at all?
Some may say that marriage is nothing but a ‘piece of paper’ and that it doesn’t prove anything, especially with the current divorce rate, but to me, personally, marriage shows commitment and determination to pull through difficulties – no marriage is perfect, but not all need to end badly, or at all.