When I finished writing Everything Has Changed, I went well over my expected word count. Let me tell you, for me it's easier to write additional scenes than to cut out. But with a longer book, the costs of editing and printing rises, therefore I just had to close my eyes and press delete. Here's a cute scene that didn't make the cut.
Past – Seven Years Old
It was a typical Saturday afternoon in the Carrington household. My TV volume blasted on high as Jimmy bounced his usual hyper self around my room.
"Oh Oh Oh. I love this movie!" Jimmy squealed, plopping onto my pink oversized bean bag pillow. I peered up from my Encyclopedia of Animals book, glancing at the TV and noticing the Disney movie Toy Story was playing.
"We've watched this movie a million zillion bajillion times." I dropped my eyes back to my book and flipped a page.
“Come on!” Jimmy whined. “Get off that bed and let’s do something."
Jimmy moved to my bookshelf and reached for my Buzz Lightyear doll. "To infinity and beyond!" He jumped onto my bed and sailed the Buzz spaceship doll above my head. "I'll be Buzz Lightyear, and you can be Woody, the cowboy." His grin was wide as the ocean as he jumped off my bed, Buzz in hand, and rushed toward my toy box. "Where's Woody?" He tossed everything out of my pink toy box and onto the wooden floor. "Woody, where are you?" he hollered, running to the other side of the room and opening my closet.
I shook my head. "Jimmy, I haven't been able to find Woody in forever."
He peered under my bed, reached in, and threw a doll at me. "Here, let's just use this doll." His eyes beamed with excitement as he bounced on his toes. He seemed super duper hyper today, and I wondered if he had candy stashed in his shorts. He probably raided his mother’s candy stash, again.
I shook my head. "That's Boo. She doesn't play. She's not a play doll. I sleep with her, so she can't be Woody." I looked at my raggedy doll with black hair made of yarn.
"Come on, let's just pretend." He jumped on the bed, pushing Boo in my face. "To infinity and beyond. Come on. Come on. Come on," he chanted.
I plucked Boo from his hands and peered up at him. "Fine." Finally, my face wore a smile to matched his.
After a couple of hours playing, my mom and dad peaked into our room. "You guys aren't sleeping yet?" she scolded. Her blue eyes that matched mine narrowed as she walked further into my room.
I bit my lip as a slow build of anxiety started to rise in my chest. I hated getting yelled at.
My father stayed by the door, a smile on his face and, when he winked at me, that anxiety bubbling inside me lessened.
Mom sauntered in and cleared the wooden floor, picking up the toys and tossing them into the oversized toy box. "We have to get up early for church tomorrow. You know it's way past your bedtime."
"Honey, it's a sleepover,” Daddy said, leaning against the doorframe. “and I think sleeping late is a requirement, isn't it?"
"Mister Carrington, I think you're right. I've seen that rule in the sleepover handbook." Jimmy nodded, sitting Indian style on top of my pink beanbag.
I smiled back at my dad but composed myself when my mother shot him a look. "Victor, same page, remember?"
He stepped toward her, wrapped his arms around her waist, and kissed her cheek. "We're always on the same page, dear."
A moment later Dad made his way to me, tucked me in, and rustled my head. "So as mama says, it's time to sleep, baby girl. And you know your mama is the ruler of this universe."
"I thought you were the king of the house, Dad."
"I'm only the King when mama allows me to be king." He kissed my cheek and pulled the covers closer to my chin.
Mom helped Jimmy lay out his Batman sleeping bag on the floor and tucked him in also, pulling up the zipper on both sides.
"You guys, go to sleep." Her eyes were stern. She kissed us both on the top of our heads and shut the door behind them.
That's when the fit of giggles started.
"Let's prank call people," Jimmy said, slipping out of his sleeping bag. He covered his mouth to contain his laughter.
"Who are we going to call?" I propped up on one elbow, peering down at him. "Your mom?"
"Naw. Mom's at some function. Let's call Hilda," he laughed. Hilda was his nanny. She’d taken care of him since he was a baby.
I picked up the phone next to me and handed it to Jimmy. We both stared at each other, and I smiled at his cheeky grin before he started dialing.
"Hello," Jimmy said in the deepest voice possible. He tried to sound like a scary adult, but it wasn't working. I'm sure Hilda heard me laughing in the background. "I want to order a pepperoni pizza with anchovies," he giggled, and then composed himself. "Isn't this Pizza Hut?"
He threw the phone on the floor and held his belly in uninhibited laughter. I laughed along with him.
We both stopped when the door flipped open. My mother stood under the frame with both hands on her hips. "I thought we were all going to sleep."
Jimmy dropped like a dead fish against his sleeping back and closed his eyes. When she gave me her you're in trouble look, I blew her a kiss and pulled the covers up to my chin.
She shook her head. "Okay. Let's sleep, guys. This time, I mean it." She gave me one last look before shutting the door once again.
When the sound of her muffled footsteps disappeared, Jimmy asked, "Can I turn off that closet light?"
My eyes held the light peaking out from my slightly ajar closet door. "Uh. No." I pulled my Boo doll closer to my chest and bit my lip.
He furrowed his brow. "You afraid of the dark?" He blinked at me, the light from the closet illuminating his sandy brown hair.
"No, Boo is afraid of the dark," I snapped, knowing how silly that sounded. I stuck out my tongue at him, and he laughed.
"It's okay. I'm afraid of spiders." He shrugged like it was no big deal.
"Well then you shouldn't be sleeping on the floor. I just saw a spider this morning next to my dresser."
He jolted to a sitting position, his eyes moving from the floor and over to me before he jumped onto the edge of my twin bed.
I kicked his stomach with my feet. "Nuh-uh. You are not sleeping in my bed."
"Come on," he whined. "I can't sleep on the floor now. Not after what you told me."
"Great. Now you're gonna sleep on my bed every weekend because you sleep over every weekend. We're not starting that."
"Awww, come on now, Bliss. I swear I won't move. I promise. I'll stay on my side." He jutted out his lip in a full on pout. "I'm here every weekend cause Daddy's out playing, Mommy's always busy, and plus you're more fun than Hilda."
I wondered how I'd feel if my mom and dad were never home. His Dad worked as a big shot quarterback for the Chicago Bucks, but you'd think he'd let Jimmy travel with him when he went away for his games. I'd feel sad if I was Jimmy. Really sad. Mommy and Daddy were with me every day, and they tucked me in every night. Instantly, I felt bad for Jimmy.
Scooting over, I made room, and he jumped behind me, lying down against the wall that butted up to the bed.
When I felt him pushing into me, I elbowed him from behind and flipped over. "You said you'd stay on your side."
"I know. But spiders climb up walls." He scratched his arm as if there were spiders crawling on his skin. "Can we trade places and you sleep against the wall?" He begged me with his big brown puppy dog eyes. "Please? Pretty pretty please? I'll love you forever and ever and to infinity and beyond."
"No," I blurted, turning over.
After a few minutes, I heard sniffles behind me. I flipped over and gaped at Jimmy, blinking a couple of times in his direction. "Are you crying?" I leaned in closer, trying to see in the dark.
"No." He rubbed his eyes with the palm of his hands. "I'm just tired." His lip shook when he spoke. He was crying, but I wasn't about to give in.
"Jimmy, I always sleep on the outside. This is my side." I wasn't giving him my spot. "You can sleep on my bed, but you have to stay on your side."
"Can I sleep with your Boo doll, then?"
"No," I snapped, pulling the doll closer to my chest. I'd been sleeping with the same doll since I was three. "Go to sleep." I turned to face the other direction.
"Sorry, I forgot Mr. Rabbit at home. You have your Boo doll, and now you can be my Boo doll," he said, sounding a little more at peace as he rested his forehead in the middle of my back. "I'm really scared of spiders, Boo doll."
I didn't want him to cry again, so I let him be and didn't move. Just when I was about to fall asleep, he tapped my shoulder.
"Jimmy. Just go to sleep."
"Don't tell anyone I'm afraid of spiders. Please?"
"Okay, okay. I'm sleeping."
"Especially the boys in school,” he continued. “I don't wanna get in another fight. Mom said she'd ground me for life if it happens again, and life is a really really long time."
"Fine. I can't hear you. I'm sleeping." I covered my ears with both hands. “Jimmy, I’m just really really tired. Just please go to sleep.”
He lifted my hand from my ear. "I need you to promise you won't tell. Just promise, and I swear I'll go to sleep."
And that’s when I lifted my hand up, extending my pinking.
He wrapped his pinky around mine. "Okay, it's a promise. Till infinity and beyond." He laid back down behind me, resting his head back against my back. “Good night, Boo doll.”