Joshua and I are Both Alright

  • Round: Books: Page 1 Challenge

  • Genre:
    Fiction: Coming of Age
  • Submitted: May 20, 2013


Status: Elevated to Round 2

  • Want it elevated: 58%
  • Publishing Pro Rating: Under review.
  • 6%


  • 9%


  • 27%


  • 52%


  • 6%


% want it elevated


Page 1 Challenge


What do you do when you didn't do anything wrong, when you make all the right decisions and bad things still happen? This is the story of a Mormon teenager after she is brutally raped and discovers she is pregnant, and is forced into a decision between what is right and what is easy.

Page 1


The camera flashed as I took a deep breath, illuminating the dim room like lightning.

The only other lights were sixteen flickering candles, each of their small flames combining to bathe the scene in a warm glow. They lit up my mother’s chocolate masterpiece of a cake and winked off of the reflective wrapping paper of my birthday gifts. The flash and flames glinted off twenty pairs of teeth as everyone (almost everyone—Daniel only stared hungrily at the cake) smiled. I glanced around at the happy faces of my family and then back down at my candles.

I pursed my lips and blew, watching the flames diminish and die as I exhaled.

Make a wish, I thought. The familiar mantra had been repeated at this exact moment for the last 16 years of my life. But what to wish for? My mind flipped through pictures of things I could want: a new pair of shoes, the outfits on the mannequins in store windows, a body like the mannequins in store windows—sure, I could want those things. But a wish is better than a want. Wants can be satisfied in a single moment, but a wish can grow and deepen—wishes are precious.

What do you wish for, Chloe? I asked myself. The superficial pictures in my head faded, and I thought of things I needed; the ones that didn’t come in a box.

As the fifteenth candle went out, I decided.

I want to learn how to be a better person, I wished. I pushed the last bit of air from my deflated lungs and the last sputtering light in the darkened room vanished.

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