A lot of you have waited on updates about Kanda Land. I posted one about two weeks ago, but we have new updates since then!
I am now just passing 585 pages (623 tentatively–but this version would cut out some of the outline I had for the story–so I am backtracking and reincluding those elements)
And of course, to be faithful to the Kanda Land fans, for your patience, here is another sneak peek:
[E] rested her head against the seat and hoped that Rowan wouldn’t ask any more questions. Not because she was afraid, but because she was tired.
Rowan was still focused on her, trying to formulate words, but nothing good enough came and so she just held E’s hand. Her soft, calloused, warm hand. E looked over at her startled. She wasn’t used to people taking her hand gently, even less, just to hold it. But she settled into the feeling and rested again.
Rowan looked at her for only a minute more, trying to figure out this puzzling woman and trying to think of how she could fix it, but she eventually gave up her focus and watched the city pass by as they bumped along.
E felt Rowan’s hand in hers and she was enveloped by it. She rubbed her thumb over Rowan’s hand. It was smooth and young. Rowan still looked like a teenager. E didn’t look very much like a teenager anymore. Not after the past year.
She wanted to look at Rowan, she wanted to soak this moment in more, but she wasn’t ready for the attention, so she pretended to not be enthralled by it. But she did hold Rowan’s hand back, firmly. From the corner of her eye, she could see Rowan smile.
The drive was not a long one at all. Maybe 15 minutes. That’s all. When they got out of the car, E embraced Rowan and kissed her forehead.
Rowan looked happy, but confused. She had expected E to kiss her lips. E was an enigma.
E held her hand again and they all walked silently to the hotel, not saying a word. But the air was thick with thoughts and unsaid questions. E wasn’t how Rowan remembered her from high school.
Remember the Somber Walk
In Rowan’s mind E was the silly, spontaneous, cool, and confident teenage girl that had no bounds to her adventurousness. She’d never seen this quiet girl, bowed low from life’s throes.
She didn’t remember seeing E expressionless and lost. Maybe she had just hidden it well, but E was always laughing or standing up for someone, or putting up a fight. She’d never seen the look of fear like the one that came into E’s eyes when she saw that black van. She’d never seen E be so still. She’d never seen E back down.
But, when she thought about it, maybe that E had always simply been on drugs and she never knew it. Maybe adventurous E that always got in the fights was simply barely conscious most of the time. Maybe this is sober E, she wondered.
But, Rowan ought to remember the many times that E walked down the halls of their high school with a busted lip and black eye from the way that Marissa had beat her half dead in the bathroom on many an occasion.
She should have remembered the somber walk she made into class the many days when her mama had gotten into it with her over a breakfast cooked too long.
She ought to have remembered the sullen and empty look in E’s eyes, and the fearfulness and alertness that resided there even as she laughed; even as she put up a confident front.
Rowan ought to have remembered all those things. But she supposed she hadn’t paid as much mind to E as she thought she had. She guessed she didn’t know this woman as much as she had thought she did.
Because this is the E that V knew. This is the E that V could read with one look. This was the E that laid her head on V’s chest as they laid under the tree in Ellindawe, Kentucky. The E that breathed the sighs and held back tears as V gently spoke to her and brushed her hair. The E that didn’t recognize the gentleness and softness and carefulness of V’s touch. The woman who was so afraid and so nervous so much of the time that, sometimes, not even V could touch her.
This is the woman that V loved and cherished. This was the woman V met and fell in love with. Just as she was. Just as she is. The woman she never stopped loving no matter how fickle anything got.
E liked V’s clinginess for a long while, it fed something in her. But at the same time, somehow it drove her fears crazy—the fear of her leaving. She waited for the day that V would get tired of dealing with her and lose her attachment and find someone else more worth her time. She was so scared of it, in fact, that she had ended up running, those three years ago, and went and found S.
The V that was still there for her when she got back. The V that had only embraced her as though E had never betrayed her with another woman. The V that made sure she was safe, even from a distance. So, so, so many times in these past four months.
The Fear of Having Affection Bought
E was silent. Her head was thick and pulsating with V. The days she spent under that tree. The countless hours that V sat and patiently listened to her.
Her eyes were hot with tears. The backs of them burned. No matter how many times she’s left or betrayed her, V has never stopping loving her, nor accepted her any less. In fact, she’s only embraced her all the more.
E’s anxiety skyrocketed each time V showed unwavering kindness, because she was sure, each time, that this time was certainly the one that would come with anger or upset or passiveness. Or that it would be the last time and she’d leave. And the longer and longer that E felt guilty, the more and more she was afraid and avoided it, the more the vicious cycle simply ate its own self and grew bigger and bigger.
The confusion and guilt ate at E and the more V pushed, and the more V tried to be involved and present, and the more V worried and fretted and apologized and tried to make it right, the more of a burden it was to E. The more it overwhelmed her. The more she somehow seethed against V.
What did V want? Favors? Was she trying to buy her affection? Was E just an object to her like she has been to everyone else before V? E was angered to think of expectations that V would have for her doing something nice. Like saving her life today. What did she want for that? Sex? “I love you.” “Thank you”? It pissed E off.
E hated being bought. She’d let that happen to her before. Many times. People used her for her body and for her love so many times that she was sick of her own flesh. And now V? V can’t get enough, too? Now V is worming her way in? She didn’t have enough with E talking to her? That’s what she wanted, right? To be involved? V always wanted to be involved. In everything. And it was too much.
E hated V’s favors and kindness and “rescuing.” She wished V would leave her alone and let her die. She wished that she would leave her be. She wished that she would stop expecting things from her and stop trying to get attention and stop trying to buy her. She wished V would let it go and stop begging for her love.
But that’s only what E saw of love; only what she believed of love; her only experience of love. Was it, in truth, at all what V sought? Did V seek anything at all?
Thank you for catching up! Note below in the comments some interesting things you caught that you can’t wait to find out about!
Leave a Reply