AGGIE’S DEATH/ALTERNATE DELETED SCENE
Here’s another cool deleted scene I found in the hard drive. This was a very early version of Aggie’s murder. In this version, Aggie is Schuyler’s friend, not Mimi’s (as it is in the final book) and she’s also Dylan’s girlfriend. I cut it and changed it because it seemed too much to have Schuyler be very close to the murder victim, also it took away from how intense her friendship was with Oliver. Also, in my mind it seemed like Aggie was a lot like Schuyler and we couldn’t really have that. There’s only one Schuyler! I also didn’t think being at the hospital really added anything to the story. Much better for them to find out about Aggie’s death Monday morning at school.
It’s weird, in re-reading all these cut scenes, I realize that my editor was so right: WRITING IS A PROCESS. You have to write your way through the plot problems to realize what the story is really about.
The story about The Closet (also called the Land of Nod in the final book) is absolutely true. There was a certain nightclub in New York where if you passed out, they put you in the back, and if it looked like you had OD’d, they would dump you in the ER, taking you there in the club’s "ambulance" otherwise known as the nightclub owner’s SUV.
I cut this pretty early on. I didn’t think it added anything to the story. But it’s fun to see here, isn’t it?
They think I have something to do with it. Bliss couldn’t help but notice the way Dylan’s friends—Schuyler Van Alen and Oliver Hazard-Perry, were looking at her. The way their eyes had gone from assessing the situation to assessing her. She’d been a step behind Dylan when he ran outside. All of them had climbed into the taxicab, Jack Force and that loser girl-Schuyler up front, while she’d had to squeeze in between Dylan and some guy wearing eye shadow in the back seat, Dylan’s girlfriend Aggie—that’s what he called her—stretched out lifelessly on their laps.
The rest of the trip was a surreal nightmare—the cab screeching up Broadway, past red lights, the driver cursing at them, and as soon as they’d arrived at the hospital, a squadron of doctors, nurses and emergency personnel scrambling, and Aggie immediately whisked away on a stretcher and none of them allowed to see her.
That was half an hour ago. The five of them were sitting in the plastic chairs in the waiting room, still waiting. Bliss wondered how long she would have to stay. It’s not like she knew any of these kids, she’d just met them all that night. But Jack Force was still there, and he didn’t know them either, so it seemed rude to want to leave.
“She’s not dead,” Schuyler whispered. “She’s not.” Aggie, please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead. Schuyler prayed. But god, she’d certainly looked dead. Her eyes had rolled to the back of her head, and her lips were purple. Her skin, normally so pale already, was almost translucent. And all through the cab ride, Schuyler had searched vainly for a pulse without finding one.
“Yo, dude, I’m telling you, she wasn’t breathing,” Dylan argued.
“What happened?” Oliver asked, hunched forward, dark circles beginning to form around his eyes.
“I told you, I went out to get a smoke, and when I got back inside I couldn’t find Aggie anywhere,” Dylan explained in a slightly defensive tone. “So I looked around, tried calling her, texting her, nothing, so I just hung out, I figured she might be in the Pit—you know how she likes to dance down there.” The Pit was in the basement of the Bank, so crowded and dark it would be impossible to find anyone, especially a tiny girl who was slam-dancing by herself. “So I thought I’d wait it out. Then, I dunno, I kind of passed out somehow. When I woke up, and I was in this little room that was locked.”
“The Closet,” Oliver said wisely.
“I guess. It was small enough to be a closet,” Dylan nodded. “And there were all these people passed out back there.”
“It’s where they put the wastoids,” Oliver explained. “So the club doesn’t look like one big slumber party.”
“They do that?” Bliss asked, Thaydewthaat? She cleared her throat. Damn her accent. “Why?” She’d never heard of such a thing.
“Usually they truck them away in the â€˜ambulance’—Big Rob’s Cadillac with the big trunk, dump them all at the ER. But that was starting to cost, and mostly the kids weren’t OD’d, just out of it.” Oliver shrugged. “They’d wake up, and well—what a long strange trip, right?”
“It’s disgusting,” Schuyler said, although she’d always found the practice funny, until now.
“What did she take?” Jack asked.
Dylan looked up, startled. “What do you mean?”
“She must have been on drugs, right?”
“No,” Schuyler said emphatically. “Aggie’s straight-edge.” It was one of Aggie’s quirks, like her obsession with proper afternoon tea at the St. Regis. Aggie even had a blue-pen X mark that she scratched on her left hand every day to remind herself of her dedication to sobriety.
“Totally.” Dylan nodded.
“And how did you get involved?” Oliver asked, looking straight at Bliss. Bliss knew they were all wondering the same thing. Something about Dylan’s story wasn’t adding up. He’d gone for a smoke—yes—but he hadn’t mentioned for how long—the two of them had ended up talking for ages in that back alley. When they’d smoked every last cigarette they had between the two of them, he finally went inside, and she’d secretly followed him—because after meeting him the last thing she wanted was to go back to Mimi and her demands at Block 122. Dylan hadn’t noticed.
She’d wandered around The Bank, alone, fascinated by how dank and disgusting it all was—the floors were covered in slime, and in contrast to Block 122, everyone was so ugly, when suddenly she’d heard screams from inside a wall. She’d found a door—unlocked it from the outside—Jesus, they locked you in there—and Dylan had burst out—his dead girlfriend in his arms.
“I was with a friend,” Bliss shrugged. Let them wonder. Why did she owe them an explanation? Why did they have to look at her that way? She didn’t kill her.
The ER doctor who’d taken Aggie in emerged through the swinging doors in his green scrubs. “Are those her friends?” he asked the nurse. Schuyler and Oliver approached him. “Is she OK?” Schuyler asked, her voice quavering.
The doctor slowly shook his head. He began explaining—it looked like an overdose—not quite sure what had caused a fatal reaction like that—cardiac arrest, pulmonary failure—extreme loss of blood—the doctor said they were very, very sorry, they did everything they could, but she was dead upon arrival.
Schuyler twisted her hands onto the wings of her cardigan, not hearing or comprehending the words—but when she heard “failure to resuscitate” she crumpled into Oliver’s chest, heaving sobs that racked her small frame. “It’s Ok, It’s OK,” Oliver murmured, soothing her, holding her to him, holding her up as she threatened to slide down against the wall.
Dylan turned to the side and quietly threw up on the floor.
“I think we uh, should probably leave them alone?” Bliss asked, elbowing Jack.
Jack nodded, his face grave. He walked towards the huddled duo. “I’m sorry about your friend, Schuyler.” He said, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Schuyler, lost in her grief, nodded through her tears.
A lot of my writing is influenced by people I knew in real life. A good friend of mine in college used to be straight-edge and he would mark the inside of his wrist with blue pen with an "X" all the time to resist the temptation of drugs and alcohol.
The scene at the hospital was also totally inspired by a similar event that happened in college, when a friend of mine broke his ankle, and the whole gang of his friends waited in the waiting area for him to get fixed.
I’ll try to post more deleted scenes, but I really have to get back to writing Blue Bloods 3: REVELATIONS!!!