The ending of Secrets Between Sisters has been quite challenging for me, and that’s no secret. The book’s been done for months. It has six endings. Each time I write the ending, I’ve come back to the story, reading it, re-reading it, unsatisfied…
One thing I knew for sure about the ending was that Carmella and Howie had to stay together (thank God). Face it, I’m a hopeless romantic. Carmella and Howie had to “live happily ever-after”. But what troubled me was the decision Carmella had to make about the secret. Should she reveal it? Should she not? It’s such a moral issue and it became very personal to me, as though I was giving one of my children moral advice. So every day, I sat down and wrote it. Then the next day, I’d sit down and re-write it.
Finally, last night I was trying to fall asleep, going over and over in my head what Carmella should do and why the heck I couldn’t find it in me to write the ending that I felt happy with. Then, it dawned on me what my problem was. It wasn’t the ending that was bothering me it was….the end… that was troubling me.
By ending this book, I have to say good-bye to these characters. As nuts as it sounds, these people feel real to me. They’re my….well…co-workers. They’ve been a part of my life for years. So, I sat up and decided that I don’t have to necessarily say good-bye. I just have to finish telling this one story. This one aspect of their life. Just as it is in real life, sometimes it’s easier to hide from the truth and believe that this is not good-bye forever. It’s just “so long, see you next time” type of thing.
So today, I wrote the last words. It was satisfying. It made me feel good. And it made me a little sad. And isn’t it ironic, that I write a book about hiding from the truth, when in fact I have to hide from the truth to truly end it? Whoa.