a/n: as always, none of my work would exist without kalawxlf.
“No wonder you’re
majoring in arts. You have such long fingers. I bet they aren’t as long as
mine.” The day Bellamy had captured her hand and stroked her fingers, spreading
her palm open, Clarke’s heart had fluttered like an unrestrained butterfly and
she couldn’t swallow. They were having lunch. Her throat was so dry, she had to
cough a couple of times before she could say anything.
“What do my fingers
have to do with the arts?” Clarke fought a shiver as his fingers circled her
wrist, his thumb pressed against her pulse.
They had only known
each other for two months. Clarke was the resident’s assistant of his sister’s dorm
and he was the overprotective brother who wouldn’t allow her to do her job. He entered
her room at unannounced moments, often scaring her senseless, demanding that
she pay attention to Octavia and watch her like a hawk.
A month in, Octavia had
been caught with alcohol in her purse and a boy in her room after hours,
breaking the rules of Ark House. Of course, Clarke had notified Bellamy and
from that day on, the two of them worked together to keep Octavia out of trouble—which
was tough, seeing as she loved breaking rules, especially when it involved
alcohol, curfew and boys.
“Long fingers means a
good artist.” He was nonchalant as he held up her hand and then pressed his
palm to hers. At the contact, all she could think about were how rough his hands
were in contrast to her smooth palms, how the callouses on his fingers from fixing
cars over the summer scrapped against her skin. And then, all she could think
about was those hands on her naked skin.
Suddenly, he startled
her by exclaiming, “Hah! Your hand is smaller! I win! You’ve gotta go get me a
As a woman with writerly delusions, I took it personally. It validated so many secret worries, the worries above and beyond “is my writing any good.” Is anyone gonna care? Should I just keep trying to figure out what I want to do, even if nobody will ever pay me? Am I being a bitch for writing about this? Does this matter?Am I pretty enough for people to like me, or too pretty to be taken seriously? If I ever create anything noteworthy, will people spend the next century and a half critiquing my looks and my sex life, pelting me with insults for trying too hard to be one of the boys? If one of the most famous female novelists of our time is still critiqued for her looks and sex life, what the hell can I expect? And Wharton was straight! I’m not! It’s entirely hopeless! Why even bother?
Meg Clark, on Jonathan Franzen’s New Yorker article about Edith Wharton.