I started a thread recently about a 10-12k story I'm writing in which a university student falls in love with a good friend who has a girlfriend. The problem I encountered is that about two thirds of the way in, at about the end of Act 2, the guy leaves her after a on/off affair that lasts about ten months or so. During the time he is gone, I have a few short scenes and a bunch of summary that follows her as she experiments with drugs and finds a group of people she finds solace in. Eventually, however, Summer ends, some people have bad experiences and go off the drugs, everyone is forced back to reality, has to get jobs and people break up, and the 'high' of it all has to come to an end. Her ex/old friend then pops back up, and the rest of Act 3 is a closing scene, and they are done for good. The problem is this happens so late in the story that it doesn't make sense to be introducing new people and a new way of life. Most of this stuff is covered in summary, too, and so the reader never gets a chance to delve into this part of her life, and it feels integral to the theme and the parallels I'm trying to draw between the high of love and drugs. I then thought of trying out a non-linear structure to the story. Currently it's divided into two parts 'before' he leaves her and 'after' he leaves her. So I was thinking of starting with the 'After' part, opening with a scene at a music festival where my MC has her first pill. It's chaotic and intense and exciting. A guy is interested in her and his pushing triggers a strong negative reaction from her. 'Before' then begins, and we are taken back to Summer the year before and the main story of her and the guy is told, from the beginning to when he leaves. It then flows into the 'After' part again, a year later, in the thick of Summer and her drug experimentation and from there on out the story is told chronologically. Things start going downhill for her and her group of friends falls apart, because they're all pushing for this high that can never be maintained (much like her relationship with this guy..) So that's when he pops back up, and the closing scene happens. My question: Does this seem too jarring? Really the only scene that's out of place is the proposed music festival scene in the beginning to open the story, because from there we go right back to the beginning and flow pretty much all the way through. Will the 'Before' and 'After' time markers help enough?