J.M. Blackman’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: We Met at a Bookstore
When people ask me where we met, I tell them we met at a bookstore. It’s the truth, even if it isn’t the whole truth.
I did meet Laurence at a bookstore. He was tall and handsome, and not too skinny, which I appreciated. Early 30s. Dark brown hair, almost black, and a beard that matched. He was browsing Politics & Current Affairs. He spoke to me, he said, because he couldn’t stop staring at my legs. No, he’d corrected, the man on my leg, rappelling past my knee. He said it was transfixing, that it had compelled him to speak to me. What made me wear them? It was unusual. He was so unusual that I had to smile. The familiar shiver of butterflies discoed inside my stomach.
And then I noticed that he was married.
Now, when he smiled at me, I smiled back, but not in a way that was too friendly--I’d already seen his ring finger. I told him my stockings weren’t really any of his business and moved away.
I went to Philosophy. I had a class that required me to read The Prince. Again. So I needed another copy. Early 30s moved closer to the books I was going through. I tipped all my pulled spines back in place with a slap and left for the safer waters of Fantasy & Science-Fiction. Escapism at its best.
I needed to catch up on the Deadtown series, but I hadn’t read an L.A. Banks book in far too long.
“Is it stupid for me to ask you if you enjoy Science-Fiction and Fantasy?” Early 30s was standing with an Obama autobiography in his hands.
I don’t even remember what I said. I know it was extremely bitchy, verging on hostile. And he had asked me what my problem was and of course, I explained it was that he was married and following me around a bookstore. Could he be more obvious?
He had stepped toward me and I stepped back, dropped my book. He’d picked it up, brushed it against the man climbing my leg, handed it to me. I clutched it like a lifeline. It wasn’t strong enough to keep me afloat. He crashed into me and I drowned.
J.M. Blackman is a Language Arts teacher, author rep'd by Gina Panettieri and a feminist. She endeavors to review nearly everything she reads and is a happy wife. She's a SFF enthusiast, loves dark humor, and has an unhealthy need to protect the image of Batman.