The Virgin Romance Novelist

By: Meghan Quinn

He scrambled off of my desk, but not before popping off the “d” on my keyboard and taking it with him.

“That little bastard!” I yelled, as he scurried out the door, but not before smiling back at me with the “d” in his mouth. “He now has my d and my e. How the hell am I supposed to write up and coming cat articles in an environment like this?”

Shaking her head and laughing, Jenny said, “He only hates you, you know that right?”

“I stepped on his tail once, by accident. Is he going to hold that against me for my entire life?”

“Pretty sure he is. Hey, what do you suppose he’s trying to spell?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, he has your d and e, he must be trying to spell something.”

“Probably ‘die, bitch, die,” I joked, mainly joked.

“He would need too many i’s for that.”

“Well, let me know if you see other keyboards being scratched to death, we can try to break his code before he acts.”

“Will do,” Jenny said with a smile. “So, I came in here to ask you something.”

“Oh, no. I don’t like that look on your face.”

Jenny held up her hand and said, “Before you say no, please just hear me out. I know you’re not into the whole blind date thing, but I know this guy who would be perfect for you.”

“Jenny…” I drawled out.

I dated, but I never blind dated. I wasn’t really into the possible awkward moment scene where you meet the blind date and see that not only is he a foot shorter than you were told, but he also had a pet mole on his chin that winked at you every time he smiled.

“Hold on, before you say no. I have to tell you that he’s not like Marcus.”

Marcus was the last guy she set me up with, the chin mole winker.

“He’s Drew’s friend and is new to town. We said we would take him out to have some fun and thought that you would want to go with us. We’re going swing dancing…”

Damn her, damn her to hell! She knew I loved a good swing dance and it was very rare that I got to go because I never could find a partner, one that was semi-decent, anyway.

“He knows how to swing dance?”

“Some call him Fred Astaire,” Jenny said, while wiggling her eyebrows.

“You thought Marcus looked like Andy Garcia, when in real life he looked like PeeWee Herman, so excuse me if I can’t fully trust your opinion.”

“I told you, I was drunk when I first met Marcus, okay? I had my tequila goggles on. I apologized for that, can we move on now?”

“Fine. When do you want to go out?” I asked, feeling apprehensive, but somewhat excited about a possible date.

“This Friday,” she squealed while clapping her hands.

Thinking about my options, I nodded my head and pointed my finger at her before she got too excited. “Don’t make this a big deal. I’m only going because I haven’t been swing dancing in a while.”

“Eeeeee!” she squealed again, while clapping and bouncing her feet up and down. “You’re going on a date!”

“You exhaust me,” I said, while pointing for her to leave. “I have to finish this article if I want to get out of here at a decent hour, and before Sir Licks-a-Lot comes back to plot my death.”

Nodding, she got up and clasped her hands by her chest. “You’re going to love Atticus!”

“Atticus?” I asked, but she left before she could answer my question.

Just from his name I was already starting to feel nervous about Friday and who this Atticus might be. Jenny, bless her heart, had great intentions, but her blind dates were usually picked up from the corner of Creepy Court and Loser Lane, but that was because they were usually her boyfriend’s friends, who he himself wasn’t much of a winner, not that I could judge much. I had pretty much been on a handful of dates my entire life. I’m the friend, never the girlfriend, and I was okay with that until I realized I’m twenty-three, still a virgin, and as sexually inexperienced as a tween with Justin Bieber posters covering her walls.

I finished up my work, avoided the stares of Sir Licks-a-Lot and his posse, who seemed to be crowding in the corner, writing a game plan on the wall with their nails, while passing around a ball of catnip. I instantly felt nervous for my keyboard and just prayed it made it through the night.

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