Book & Author Details:
How I Ruined My Life by T. L. Bainter
Publication date: February 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Kyle has gone unnoticed for the vast majority of his life and he’s always preferred it that way. Homeschooled, shy, and only attending church because he’s forced to, there’s not really anything outstanding or interesting about him. That changes, however, when he meets James Porter. The two are fast friends, but Kyle isn’t sure if that’s a good thing or not. While some of the experiences resulting from their friendship are grand, many other experiences leave Kyle broken, angry, and depressed. Is Kyle’s friendship with James really such a good thing, or would he have been better off if he’d simply remained the quiet, lonely boy that no one seemed to notice?
The opportunity to tell Nicole how I feel presented itself to me shortly after the conclusion of spring break. Our school’s principal made an announcement describing an event in April that would be a mixture of an art display and a concert. Students of the school would have the option to display their personal artwork, and the art show would be closely followed by a performance by a local band. After the announcement was made, I hastily asked Nicole if she intended to attend. In gleeful reply, she told me that she would be in attendance and would even be displaying an art piece. Next, I talked to my parents about it and they indicated that we could all go as a family.
Now it’s the day of the event, and I’m panicking. I need tonight to go perfectly, and I cannot stand the idea of anything negative impacting my chance to tell Nicole exactly how I feel. Something occurs to me that, for some reason, had not occurred until now. I consider the possibility that Nicole may not actually reciprocate my feelings. She’s been giving me several signals for months that seem to indicate that she feels the same way about me, but it’s entirely likely that I’ve been misreading the girl all this time. I start cracking my knuckles, and when they cease to make their satisfactory popping noises I replace the nervous tick with wringing my hands and pacing in my bedroom.
I’ve taken at least three showers, today, and I’m still not satisfied with how I smell. I pick up my bottle of cologne and spray a small amount of it on my neck. Still I’m certain that there’s something wrong with my ensemble. Does the scent I chose match the white shirt I’m wearing? Can scents and shirts even match in the first place? The family dog looks up at me with a pose that resembles some manner of frustration. I think he’s tired of my constant pacing.
My hair is a disaster. After my last shower, I asked my sister to straighten it for me. Now I just look like I belong in a ridiculous and reviled boy band. Frustrated, I spray water in my hair and restore it to its naturally messy state. Is that good enough? Nicole has never made a single comment on my hair, so I don’t know if she likes it or hates it. She probably hates it. No, I’m quite certain that she definitely hates it. Perhaps my mother will be able to run me to a nearby salon so that I can change my style.
A glance at the clock tells me that such would be impossible. The art show is going to open in an hour, and it takes twenty minutes just to get to the school. We’ll be leaving shortly. I audibly sigh, clench my fists, and shake them beside my head. “You can do this, Kyle! You can do this!” Constantly telling myself that I can do this doesn’t seem to be reassuring me at all, however. Part of me just wants to go to sleep and wake up in the morning. Perhaps I should try again another day.
No, I think to myself, I’m doing this today. And I have every intention of being successful. I pat my rightmost pocket, because that’s where the necklace is. I can feel its shape on the outside of my jeans, but I still reach into the pocket and touch it. Yes, it’s definitely the necklace that I bought. Then I pull it out and look at it. Once again, it’s still the necklace that I bought. Over the course of the next forty minutes leading up to my family’s departure, I do this approximately seventeen more times, as if I believe that the necklace will magically vanish or turn into something else entirely. What if a hole grows in my pocket and the necklace slides down my pant leg and onto the floor? I simply must ensure that I still have the piece of jewelry at every possible opportunity.
T. L. Bainter was born in 1994 and began writing short stories not long after that. Since the age of six, he has been churning out short story after short story. After receiving an award from the renowned Writers of the Future competition for his short story Edwin, T. L. Bainter found the confidence and encouragement that he needed to write and publish his first novel: How I Ruined My Life. Currently, he resides in Kansas City with his cat, Sooba.