Hi! As part of this ARC Tour hosted by Precious at Fragments of Life through Pinoy Book Tours, I will
be featuring a bonus DELETED SCENE from the book Oppression by Jessica Therrien.
HEADS UP! Elyse was originally named Ruth, so in this scene (taken from the original manuscript) that is what she's called.
Deleted Scene 1
Class went by too quickly. It was spent trading glances with William, and dwelling over my irrational interest in him. I knew nothing would, or could, come of his invitation to the party, but I couldn’t deny the temptation of it. Was I really this weak? It was only the first day of class and I was already considering relationships with people. It was ridiculous, and it would have to stop.
“Come on, I’ll walk you to your next class,” William said as soon as we were dismissed.
The possibility of continuing things scared me. It was too enticing an offer to see what I’d be missing out on, to become familiar with all I shouldn’t know. I decided to just be smart and avoid that path.
“Actually, I’m done for the day, so I guess I’ll see you later.”
“Walk you home then,” he said without a beat.
“What if I drove?” I was stalling now.
“No,” I admitted. I felt my cheeks warm, but he just smiled. We continued walking, not saying much, but my mind was whirling. What was I doing? How was I going to get out of this one?
“So Ruth, do you like Mexican food?” He asked randomly.
“Sure,” I answered a little confused. “Why?”
“I’m just trying to decide where we should eat before the party tomorrow.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. It was only a party right? I wasn’t telling this guy my life story or committing to anything really. Just one night of fun, then it would be over. There wasn’t any real risk in that. Young girls in college go to parties. Maybe this would even be good for me—help me blend in. Deep down, I knew I was just justifying my obviously bad decisions, but I was powerless to his charm.
“Yeah, Mexican is fine.” I was hesitant to speak and already regretting my spur of the moment decision, but standing next to him gave me such a thrill. I even felt sort of reckless in a way. His presence was just so persuasive, like he could convince me to do just about anything as long as he was involved.
“I saw you in Mythology,” he commented, and I reacted instantly, whipping my head up to analyze his expression. His face was curious, like he’d been searching for answers too, but I immediately regretted the reflex. I knew it must have given me away. I was surprised he was so quick to confront the moment, and pleased to know that he had been looking at me. I struggled to keep composed.
“Yeah I guess we have that class together too,” I said, trying to seem indifferent, like I hadn’t been thinking about it all day. We were both staring straight ahead as we walked, but I knew he was watching me. Beneath the casual appearances we were attempting to maintain, we were strongly aware of each other.
“Did you find it interesting?” he asked me. His voice alone drew me in like sweet hypnotic music, but I noticed there was something behind his question. He was insinuating something.
“Yeah, I did.” I didn’t mention, of course, the fact that it was mostly due to him being there.
“Me too, I felt like maybe he was right,” he said with a grin. Even from my periphery his smile made my knees weak. I felt completely vulnerable, subject to his intimidating allure. “Anything is possible you know?”
I considered the question seriously, over analyzing it a bit. For a second I agreed with him, after all, I was eighty-nine years old, but one thing changed my mind. If anything was possible, would I be feeling so conflicted about talking to this guy? Would I have to submit to the confines of my cursed and lonely life?
“No, not anything,” I said resigning to the fact that this was not something I could pursue. It was just a small taste of a feeling I could never allow myself to enjoy. Living a normal life for example, for me, that was not possible. The thought brought me slightly back to reality.
“Where’s your imagination?” he asked with surprised inflection.
“I’m imaginative,” I said defensively. “I just...well there are some things that you have to be realistic about.”
“Like what?” he asked me.
Like I’m almost seventy years older than you, I thought. I considered the situation and what he might think of my “imagination” if I were to tell him the truth.
Here’s my REVIEW of Oppression.