Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 4, Part II

In the second part of the fourth chapter of Lifeboats, Kit is forced to come to terms with a separation. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

Being in any kind of relationship is hard. Romantic, sexual, platonic – it doesn’t matter. They all come with varying degrees of difficult, which of course vary from person to person. But they all require work of some sort! I’ve found that when it comes to romantic relationships, the beginning is usually the hardest part for me. There’s so much you need to learn about the other person! What are their quirks? Their flaws? Their idiosyncrasies? How do they react to pressure? Stress? Frustration?

All of this only gets more complicated if the relationship becomes more and more serious, but it’s that first obstacle that’s always the worst. At the very least, Kit knows that he’s in a romantic relationship with Nita, but it’s at that point where the boundaries and the behaviors they’ll have or exhibit with one another will need to be work out. It’s all unexplored territory for the moment, and that’s scary. It’s scary not knowing what’s “okay” to feel.

Which is not me trying to say that there are emotions that Kit should feel or ones he shouldn’t. He spends his time with Nita waiting for her passage to her gate observing the Tevaralti and not saying much of anything, which I don’t blame him for. This is a heavy errantry, you know? So it made sense to me that he’d crack little jokes with Nita and avoid the more serious things he CLEARLY wanted to talk about. Nita got close to breaching the subject of their relationship but ended up veering away from it, WHICH I ALSO UNDERSTAND. This is such an emotionally intense time in their lives and this is an emotionally intense errantry. It’s a lot to deal with!

I was reminded, then, of my last relationship and the complicated things I was feeling right when it was first starting to grow. Like I said, that initial foray into a partnership of some sort is always the most exciting and the most arresting part of the journey. Back in 2012, just months into meeting the man who would become my boyfriend, my life was thrown into chaos. I was laid off of a job that paid well and provided stability, but I had no real interest in that specific place anymore. That was when – many of you will remember this! – I decided to turn Mark Does Stuff into a full-time venture. I threw caution to the wind, went on two huge promotional tours across North America, and in the midst of all of this, I started to fall in love. I was not committed to this person when I began my second tour, but we were both at the stage where we were spending a lot of time together and there were a lot of feelings involved.

I remember feeling strangely sad as I left the Bay Area to set out for Los Angeles and the start of that tour because I wasn’t sure where I stood with this person. We hadn’t said that we loved each other yet, so was it weird to miss a person? I felt so silly about that! I was a full-grown adult, too, and I struggled with exactly the same feelings that Nita and Kit experience here. If anything, this was very validating to read. Some problems stretch beyond a period of time or a specific age, and Duane captures this one in stunning detail and with respect.

Oh, Kit. You are making me feel so very many things.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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