Monday, February 14, 2011

Love at First Sight...Or Not So Much

Today I'm participating in my very first blogfest! What is a blogfest you ask? Well, a group of us have decided to link together and all write about the same subject--and since it's Valentine's Day, you can guess, it is supposed to be a scene from our WIP where a couple meet for the first time. Since my book isn't so much of a romance, I had to do some tweaking but this is adapted from a scene in Nourish & Strengthen when the main character meets her future husband.

Enjoy, and take a look at the other blogs in the blogfest! And Happy Valentine's Day!

     With my three o’clock communications class over, I gathered my dirty laundry in preparation for my weekly chore. My best friend Drew and I had arranged to study in the basement laundry facility while our clothes thumbed to cleanliness. Ready, I walked to his apartment and tapped on the door.
     “Come in!” At least two baritone voices yelled.
     I obeyed, expecting to see Drew, but finding instead two other men staring blankly at a television screen.
     “Drew here?” I asked.
     It was a full minute before they acknowledged my existence.
     “He’s on the phone again,” Drew’s roommate, Bill, finally informed me. “He said to ask you to wait. By the way, you should tell him he needs to tip his secretary if he’s going to ask me to pass on his messages. Otherwise I might get confused and mess it up. A little bit of chocolate always helps keep my thoughts straight.”
     “Since when?” The other man threw a couch pillow at Bill. “You don’t even like chocolate. Now some good home-cooking….”
     I’d seen him briefly the week before, and asked Drew about him. He was Nathan, the newest roommate, the tall, dark, blue-eyed stereotype of a return missionary. Initially when I’d asked, Drew teased me, asking if I was interested in his receding hairline. But I thought he was cute, and he still had most of his hair. Now that I had a closer look, I was drawn to his quiet, casual nature. I scrambled to come up with a topic to start a conversation. To draw his attention from the television to me. I set my basket on the floor near the door and perched on the edge of the loveseat, uncomfortable and not knowing what to say.
     After a distressing moment of silence, Nathan looked directly at me and my heart fluttered. “I’ve got a jar of cherries in the fridge.”
     I was confused. “And?”
     He turned back to the program, quiet for a moment. I thought he was ignoring me now. “You could make me a cherry pie.” He didn’t crack a smile or even look away from the TV.
Like I was sitting there because I had nothing better to do than wait on his every whim. Cook for him? Is that all he thought girls were good for?
     “Only if you do my laundry,” I retorted, wishing I’d thought it through before blurting it out. It wasn’t exactly a fair trade—dumping a bunch of clothes into a washer to sit back and do nothing for a half-hour was much easier than baking a pie—especially from scratch. Besides that, there was no way I would let a strange man go through my laundry.
     “Okay. Deal.” He jumped on that in a hurry, even looking away from the TV and into my eyes, quite serious. “Guess you’d better get baking.” The worst part was his tone of voice. He wasn’t even flirting, his face sober.
     “You know I wasn’t serious.” I started to protest but was saved by Drew emerging with his own laundry.
     “Absolutely.” I walked out the door concentrating on avoiding looking in Nathan’s direction.
Drew and I stepped into the January air, our breath puffing miniature clouds.
     “I take back anything I said about that Nathan guy. I’m definitely not interested.”
     “You can’t just take away your interest like that,” Drew protested in feigned offense.
     “Oh yes, I can. He’s a chauvinist pig.”
     “I doubt that, Chloe.” Drew was serious again. “He likes to kid around. He was probably teasing you.”
     “I don’t think so.”