An INTERACTIVE story experience where YOUR comments affect future chapters.
(Romance / Chick-Lit)
I managed to roll myself out of bed with just enough time to throw my hair into a messy top knot and put on something comfortable, but cute, for work. My hurried, tired state, definitely kept my mind from wandering to the happenings of the past few days. As I drove to work I just hoped that the store would be busy so I could continue to keep my mind occupied.
Sadly, the store was slow again. Most of the people walking up to the door were looking for the Italian restaurant next door & not our little boutique. My manager Ashley could tell that I was dragging so she suggested I run across the street to get a quick cup of coffee to help me perk up a bit. As I trudged over I decided to check my email to see if I could find something to take my mind off of Jeff and Mark. The manager from Poets & Problems had emailed me back picking a time tomorrow morning to write. This was just the distraction I needed – hopefully I could get my mind to focus on my upcoming writing session.
As I walked back with a slight pep in my step, at least as much as I could muster since I was still quite tired, my hope quickly diminished. My phone buzzed in my hand and I looked at it to see that Jeff had texted me. I was torn between looking at it or not. Maybe he’d apologize and things would be good. Maybe he’d offer some smooth explanation. I opened the door and my manager turns from the display she was setting up.
“What’s going on? You look worse now that you have your coffee,” she says, slightly confused.
I proceed to tell her about the last few days (in between two separate customers and another lost restaurant customer). Once I get to the end I ask her to look at the text. As she takes a second to read it I try to analyze her facial expression, but she doesn’t give anything away.
“I think you should read it,” she suggests in a boss-mode tone (really wishing I worked with my friends at this point, or could at least call them) while handing me my phone with the text message still open.
I hesitate looking down, take in a big breath, and as I let it out I offer an unconvincing, “Okay.”
I look down and see Jeff’s text Sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to upset you. Can we meet later to talk about it?
After giving me a beat to read the text Ashley looked at me and said very matter of factly, “You should at least hear him out.”
She was always so practical and wise, probably because she’s a little over two years into a psychology program at Vandy. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to at least talk to him. I texted him back letting him know that I would call him when I got off work later that night. I knew I didn’t want to see him, so a phone call was a happy medium between meeting up and not addressing it at all. Before Ashley left we were able to discuss the upcoming call a bit more between customers. She had some good advice, I just hoped I remembered it all.
I locked up the store after closing up the store and then headed across the small parking lot to my car. After plopping into my driver’s seat and turning on my car I reluctantly called Jeff. As the ringer blared over my Bluetooth I backed out of my spot, turned out of the lot, and headed towards the interstate home. I had a fifteen-minute drive and hoped the call wouldn’t take more than five of it.
“Hey,” I hear Jeff say hesitantly, cutting off the third ring.
“Hey, so, I just wanted to apologize for running out last night and then ignoring you,” I start, “It’s just that I was so shocked and confused. I guess my ‘fight or flight’ response kicked in.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry I kissed you. I guess I read the situation wrong. Right?” he questioned.
“Right,” I say very firmly.
There’s a pause before he sheepishly says sorry again. I don’t want to end the conversation correcting him, so I continue, “You see, the thing is, in a way, I just met you and Mark. Sure, we knew each other as kids, but we really don’t know each other. It’s been so fun to reconnect with both of you guys, and I’ll admit, you’re very attractive,” I hear him chuckle ever so slightly at this but I maintain my composure, “and you’re a lot like me, free-spirited and creative, but…”
Jeff cuts me off, “But you like Mark?”
“I don’t really know completely. I like the idea of him and I don’t know if he is even interested, but I’d like to see if things could develop there. But I feel that now that we kissed, that may ruin things.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation, we didn’t really kiss, I kissed you, but you definitely did not kiss back,” Jeff concedes.
“True, but I feel like it could still make things awkward.”
“How about this, I know Mark better than anyone. I can talk to him, tell him what happened, and then end it by giving him a nudge in your direction if you know what I mean,” he offers.
“I don’t know, I don’t want to him to know I like him because I don’t know if I like him.”
“Of course, I can be very stealth about it. Just hint at it.”
“Well, if you think it’ll help,” I finally resign to this idea, although I know I may not sleep again tonight.
We say our goodbyes and I end the call by pressing the button on my steering wheel. A few minutes later I get home and text Kayla and Marie to let them know what happened. We continue to text while I get ready for bed and crawl under the covers. Both of my friends continue to comfort me but it doesn’t slow my racing mind or heart. As Kayla and Marie both offer their final goodnight texts, I can’t help but think about all the possible outcomes. I set my alarm for the next morning’s writing session with Poets & Problems, but feel as if it won’t be necessary because I may not fall asleep.
HELP ME SHAPE THE STORY FURTHER:
Answer the following questions or leave any other input or suggestions in the comments. Check back in 2 weeks to see if I’ve incorporated any of your ideas in the next installment!
Do you think Jeff helps Heidi’s chances with Mark or sabotages them?
What should Heidi and Problems and Poets write a song about? Does the session go well?
What else would you like to see happen?
COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED!
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