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Chapter 2 - part one

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Olivia’s alarm clock rang entirely too early the next morning; she rolled out of bed and smacked the blaring black machine at 5:45 am.

Normally she wouldn’t be getting up this early for work, but the little classic book shop she owned was getting in today, and there was some early-morning inventory to be done.

She grabbed a quick shower, threw on some clothes, makeup, put her hair up, and left the house without breakfast.

When Olivia arrived at Quill and Ink Classics, she saw that her business partner Alexa was already there, opening up.

Olivia climbed out of her royal blue Pontiac Sunfire and crunch, crunched through the snowy parking lot, the wintery Minnesota wind biting at her parka.

A bell jingled cheerfully as the front door opened, and immediately Alexa was there, handing Olivia a steaming cup of Starbucks.

“Thanks, I needed that,” Olivia sighed appreciatively.

“Long night?” Alexa asked as they walked to the back of the shop.

“Not really... just my past coming back to haunt me again.”

“Cameron called again?”

“Good guess.”

Alexa shoved one of the newly shipped cardboard boxes toward Olivia, and then walked to the computer.

Olivia sliced through the packing tape and pulled out the novels, calling out authors and titles for Alexa to enter into the database.

“So what’s the latest on out favorite Cameron?” Alexa asked between titles, her voiced laced with playful sarcasm.

“Same old, same old,” replied Olivia, “still acting like he has something to apologize for, checking up on me, the usual.”

“Well have you ever even considered calling him back, just to get him off your case?”

Olivia said, “Not once,” with a forced nonchalance, “Little Dorrit, Dickens.”

“Liv, it’s been five months. Don’t you think it’s about time you got him to stop calling you?”

“I’d love to, but that would involve speaking to him. And not to be arrogant or narcissistic, but I think simply the sound of my voice would send him running back to me. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger.”

“He never left though. He’s continued to do the very thing you broke up with him for, and he’s not going to give up. What he needs is closure. The breakup was really quick and spontaneous, it hasn’t sunk in for him yet. That’s why he won’t get out of your life.”

“No...” Olivia said, “It’s because I’m still single.”


“It’s been five months, and I’m still single. Cameron’s still in love with me, and he’s taking the fact that I haven’t had another relationship to mean that I’m still attracted to him.”


“But the thing is, I don’t want to be in another relationship now. I’m perfectly happy single. Lady Susan, Jane Austen.”

“Well that’s all the more reason to call him. Explain that to him. And make it very clear that he needs to move on, because you’re not coming back.”

Olivia discarded the last empty cardboard box and leaned against the wall, sighing deeply. She sat there for a few moments before saying, “You’re right. I do need to call him.”

“Atta girl,” Alexa said encouragingly as she bent down to pick up a stack of yellowing novels.

“You have Advil in your purse, right?” Olivia asked, standing up.

“Yeah. Why, headache?”


Alexa furrowed her brow as she reached into her studded teal handbag, pulling out a small white bottle.

“You know what,” she said, pulling out two pills and handing them to Olivia, “why don’t you take the rest of the day off? I can hold down the fort for one day.”

“Really?” Olivia said, smiling appreciatively. Normally she would have rejected such an offer, but today she had to agree with Alexa. She did need it.

“Absolutely. Go home, read a book, watch a movie, eat some ice cream, just relax. You’re too tense, my dear.”

“Thank you so much, Alexa, I owe you one!” Olivia said. She grabbed her coat and headed for the door.

“You know it!” Alexa called after her, winking.

Olivia walked back to her car, watching her breath freeze in front of her.

She debated with herself as she opened up the car door and slid into the driver’s seat, trying to decide when, if at all, she should call Cameron. Her own hesitation fought viciously with Alexa’s words, and it wasn’t until she was halfway into her own neighborhood that she finally decided to call Cameron the minute she got home.

Olivia opened the front door to her house, hung her heather-grey trench coat on the old-fashioned wooden coat tree, and collapsed on the burgundy love seat in her living room, pulling out her cell phone.

She had not trouble whatsoever punching in Cameron’s familiar number, but when it came to actually pressing the send key, she simply couldn’t bring herself to do it.

What was so terrifying about setting Cameron straight? Confrontation, she supposed. Even though it wasn’t face-to-face in this instance, Olivia had always had a strong fear of confrontation, and had always done what she could to avoid it.

Her thumb hovered over the glowing green button for a moment, before she flipped the phone shut, tossing it onto the couch beside her.

Silently cursing her eternal cowardice, Olivia sighed and walked to the kitchen. Though it was still morning and she could have easily gone back to bed, something told her that sleep would have been stubbornly evasive today. Instead, she brewed herself a cup of chamomile-mint tea, grabbed a blanket and a novel, and curled up on the couch.

Despite the internal battle (to call, or not to call) still being fought in the recesses of her mind, Olivia was surprisingly relaxed.

The sun had come up, revealing through the wide windows that it had begun snowing again, and a Liz Story CD played softly through the house.

Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

Maverick2217 said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm:
I definitely think you could make novels out of almost alllll of these stories, and I highly recommend it!! Especially since short stories leave too much open; I want to know what happens! lol
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writer24/7/365 said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm:
I feel like I know Olivia already. I love this, and I hope you get published (in a book) someday.
BookFreak14 replied...
May 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm :
I agree with writer24/7/365. You should publish this book so I can go and buy it... I kinda feel bad for Camoron... I wonder what he did to Olivia??? Gotta get reading.
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