Saturday, December 21, 2013

"The Romance Section" by Viola Solaro (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  I'm an introverted, gamer-geek librarian. Which is pretty much the perfect recipe for modern-day spinsterhood. And now the dreaded trifecta of holidays is approaching: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. They used to be my favorites growing up until somewhere along the way I crossed that hazy line where I was supposed to be “dating” someone and my relatives seem to have fewer and fewer qualms about setting me up. It's not like I want to be alone forever. I just want to find a guy that is willing to sometimes talk about things other than gaming. Someone who has dreamy brown eyes and reads science fiction. Someone like that man who just walked into my library...

This SHORT novelette is approximately 8,500 words long.


Working in a library also makes me feel like I’m putting my double majors in literature and business management to good use. My true passion is literature but my parents refused to help pay for college unless I studied something “useful.” It’s an opinion but unless you’re really one of those go-getter types I think that business management has to be the most useless major. For one thing, who doesn’t have one? Makes it a tough sell to any potential employer. Plus, I’m not a go-getter.

Anyway, so here I am. Working at the city library in a suburb outside of Seattle no one has ever heard of. I’m twenty-eight. And to top it all off the dreaded trifecta of holidays is fast approaching: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. To be fair, I have nothing against these holidays and what they represent. They used to be my favorites growing up until somewhere along the way I crossed that hazy line where I was supposed to be “dating” someone.

It was subtle at first, most inquisitions are. Only the last two years or so have things bordered on intolerable. I know my family loves me but getting set up on a blind date with my aunt’s hairdresser’s son is going a little too far. I swear I can practically hear the alarm on my mother’s grandbaby biological clock going off.

It’s not like I’m some sort of man-hating, anti-marriage woman. I’m just picky. Blame my introverted tendencies if you will but there are only a handful of friends I can tolerate being around for an extended period of time. Why would dating be any different? If I already know the guy is going to be a complete idiot then I would much rather spend my evening reading a book or grinding out levels in Guild Wars 2. At least then I can destroy any annoying people with a well-placed mace to the face… in the computer game, of course.

This pretty much sums up my (lack of) dating experience. And I’m sure you can understand now why I’ve been torn between faking a horrible disease and biting the bullet for the sake of eating turkey. The arguments for both sides are rather compelling. Which is a good thing since today was a slow day at the library. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t rain constantly in Washington. It rains in bursts. It’s pretty rare to have days of non-stop downpours.

Washington natives aren’t easily daunted by weather but after three days of driving rain your motivation to go outside is low. I didn’t even want to go in to work today but reconsidered when I realized I had nothing else to do except mope around my apartment and watch BBC dramas. A decision I was beginning to regret. I had run out of things to do hours ago. Every bookshelf was immaculately organized (I checked). All the returns had been put away. I even dusted the archives. The only think I hadn’t done was vacuum the carpet but that was next if no one showed up in the next hour (you have to pace your time-killing projects).

Fortunately I heard the glorious jingle of bells on the front door. I tried not to appear too obvious as I peered over the counter to see who it was. We librarians get a bad enough rap as it is. No need to add “creepy” to the list.

In walked a guy in his early thirties. He was cute in a geeky sort of way with scraggly brown hair, a rumpled jacket and the shadow of a beard from forgetting to shave. My heart did a mild flip. If I ever had a “type,” this guy would be it. Call me weird but I don’t like men looking more groomed than me. Most days I sport a vintage looking shirt, jeans and Converse. I do just enough to my curly hair to keep me from turning into a frizz monster. Makeup is only applied on very special occasions that don’t involve my mother (can’t have her getting any ideas).

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, I believe you can.” He pulled a rumpled piece of paper out of his raincoat and handed it to me. “I’m wondering if you have any of the books on that list?”

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