Deleted Scene

When Boy Toy came out, there was a lot of stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor. Most of it was stuff I liked, so I posted those deleted scenes for people to read. For the most part, people who’ve read them have told me that they enjoyed having access to those scenes.

For Hero-Type, there were no deleted scenes, but for Goth Girl Rising, there was one scene that ended up being cut. I figured I’d go ahead and post it here for y’all.

In case you’re curious: This scene was cut for the simple reason that it just didn’t fit. I mean, I like the idea of watching Young Kyra puff on her first cigarette, but no matter where I put this little chapter, it just seemed to break up the momentum of the book.

But here it is now for the completists among you. After you read Goth Girl Rising, check out Kyra and Simone sneaking their first smokes…

(And if you prefer to download this scene and read it as a PDF, has posted a file on the book’s page.)

My First Time

I was twelve.

Simone’s mom was out of the house and Simone and I were there alone. So we did what we had to do, which is look around at all the stuff we couldn’t normally look at when there were adults around. Like, we found these porn DVDs in her parents’ room, which totally grossed us out, the idea of Simone’s mom and dad watching strangers do the nasty, getting off on it. Guh-ross.

We watched part of one of them anyway, just because. Simone had already been messing around with guys, so she pointed out the stuff she’d done, the stuff she wanted to do, and the stuff she would never, ever do, no matter what. (“Unless I really, really like the guy.”)

After that, we went to the kitchen to eat something and when I was poking around in a drawer, I found an open pack of cigarettes.

“Who smokes?”

Simone looked at me like I was nuts. “What?”

I held up the cigs.

She shrugged. “I think my mom? Sometimes?”

“I didn’t know that.”

“I’ve never seen her. I think she only does it sometimes.”

I took a cigarette out. “I bet I can do it.”

Simone’s eyes lit up. “Go for it.”

I shook out a cigarette, the way I’d seen my dad do. I lodged it between my lips and scrounged around in the drawer until I found a lighter.

It was tougher to light than I thought. It looked so easy when Dad did it — he just flicked the flame to life, then held it up to his face and bam! Smoke.

But I couldn’t tell what I was doing. Even though I’d watched Dad light cigarettes a million times, I’d never done it myself. You’ve got this cigarette hanging out of your mouth and when you try to look at the end of it so that you can guide the flame there, your eyes cross and you lose all depth perception and you can’t tell what the hell is going on. I kept missing the end of the cigarette and Simone was laughing her ass off while I was standing there, waving the lighter back and forth, missing the cigarette by a mile every time.

“Let me,” she said, and came over.

“No! I can do it.” I took a few more passes at it and finally got the thing lit.

“Cool!” Simone said. “Let me—”

“Not yet.” I was talking around the cigarette and it was cool. I took a long drag at it; smoke filled my mouth and burned, but I didn’t want to show it. I took the cigarette out like I’d seen Dad do, between my index finger and middle finger, then blew out the smoke.

It didn’t seem right, though.

I tried again. I sucked on the end of the cigarette. Simone watched me with shiny eyes.

This time I got it right. I inhaled the smoke straight down my windpipe, into my lungs. It was sweet and bitter all at once. I felt like I would cough up both of my lungs, but at the same time, my head just took off. It went light and smooth and free, like it hadn’t been in month and months, before Mom died. Yeah, my chest felt like I had the worst flu in the universe, but that was just my body. My brain was soaring.

“Oh, wow,” I said, and the words came out of me on clouds.

We passed the cigarette back and forth, me coaching Simone on how to drag properly. We went to the bathroom and ran the fan to keep the smoke smell down, watching ourselves in the mirror as we exhaled smoke and practiced posing with the cigarette.

Here’s the thing: I looked like Dad. I looked just like he did, when he smoked. And I knew I was cool. That’s when I knew. That’s how I knew.