A Little Step Before a Leap

The apartment was bigger than it looked in the photos online. Real estate must be cheaper in a small town than in the cities. I didn’t know. I’d never lived anywhere but one big city and apartments were even more expensive than renting a small house. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I guess if you’re willing to pay for the benefit of not having a lawn to mow, someone might as well take your money.

I also wasn’t used to having the super live offsite. Though she wasn’t the super, she was the apartment manager. Or owner. I should get that straight. She and her husband lived down the street in a nice little house by the lake.

“Right up the road if pipes burst or you lock yourself out,” Mrs. Wright had said. Mr. Wright was housebound so she had taken care of our business arrangements.

“Now, there’s lots of young men for neighbors, dear, but they’re polite and well-behaved or I wouldn’t have them. So you just make yourself at home.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Wright. I’m not worried about them.”

One eyebrow twitched, and she smiled.

“No, I supposed you’re not. I’m off, then.”

Maybe her intuition works better than mine. Maybe I was advertising more than I realized.

No young man was getting anywhere near me until my heart grew back in the hole left by the young man I’d just left forever.

This is an excerpt from next year’s romantic mystery Anacrusis.

Two People Meeting in a Bookstore

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/732128 by Muriel Miralles de Sawicki http://www.sxc.hu/profile/murielleBeing rude to people in the bookstore line was no way for Ellen to get back at her brother but she couldn’t help herself. For weeks now he’d been on her case about working in what he called “the dead zone” as if nobody went to book stores anymore. What did he think she did all day, watch soaps and eat bonbons? The store was busy right now. Where was Jason? Why didn’t he take a day off his precious college education and come see what really happened in a bookstore all day?

She’d asked him that when he called far too early this morning. He had to get to class, as if that was an answer.

“Excuse me.”

Jason vanished in a puff of smoke as the George Clooney type passing the register got her attention. She smiled, as she always did at the customers. Sometimes it was easier than others, right?

“How can I help you?”

He took a step closer and lowered his voice. “I need to find this book on site planning and Amazon wants a hundred bucks for it. Thought maybe this antique store would have a used copy cheaper.”

… more … “Two People Meeting in a Bookstore”