Two years ago I wrote a page-long rom-com. I have a particular weakness for romantic comedies and am constantly taking notes on funny things that happen that I can one day incorporate into one of my own. Children's writing is my passion, but this tiny love story is one of the first things I really shared with friends and family. You could say that this really helped crack my shell of shyness and opened the floodgates. And while I know this isn't my writing at its finest, the genre's not my forte, and my style then is completely different to what it is now, it will forever have a soft spot in my heart. And besides, "I like corny, I'm looking for corny in my life."
I was listening to Van Morrison in the car when I wrote it, so I always recommend listening to this or this in the background. What can I say? I just visualize everything in movie format and need a little soundtrack! For the leading man, break out your smelling salts, because I envision...
Sophie stood outside her (technically speaking) boss's office, coffee in hand. The door was open, but her ballet flat-clad feet had stopped short when she overheard, "Jesus! Is there no one who'll be honest with me for five seconds?" followed by the slamming of a phone.
Timing had never been Sophie's strong suit. She’d gone into her freshman year of college wearing braces, started giggling the first time a boy leaned in for a kiss, habitually ran after the 8 o’clock bus, blew out tires wherever there wasn’t cell service, and spilled tomato soup down her crisp white blouse on the first day of work. This last instance gave birth to the nickname Campbell, which spread like wildfire through the firm. Most of her snobby colleagues were unaware that that was, in fact, her last name.
But worst of all was the way she always, as in without fail, got tongue-tied around her boss, Gabriel Frederick. From their first meeting when she avoided eye contact with his piercing blues to the time he asked her a question in a board meeting, but she’d been so busy gazing at him adoringly that she didn’t hear a word he’d said. To the roaring delight of everyone at the conference table, Sophie had panicked and blurted out something along the lines of, “Yes, I can do that for you! I’d do anything for you!” Upon further reflection, he’d probably just asked her about something like the arrival of new software. The incident had made her a laughing stock, the living embodiment of the stereotypically silly secretary. Gabriel was the exception.
Is there no one who’ll be honest with me for five seconds? The words were still ringing in her ears as she walked into his office. Immediately noticing his head in his hands, she cleared her throat. Confusion briefly flickered over his eyes as he straightened up in his chair and she set the coffee cup on the edge of his desk.
“Um… Can I do anything for you?” She blushed as the familiar words tumbled out.
“No, thank you.”
The color in her cheeks heightened as she whirled around to walk out. But reaching the door, she reflexively pulled it shut, and turned back around as the confession started spilling out.
“I couldn’t help overhearing what you said just now. And-” she looked up- “well, you never said anything after my embarrassment in the conference room. It was a while ago, but you didn’t joke about it, you didn’t- you didn’t even crack a smile. And-” she looked back down- “maybe it’s because you don’t know my name or just don’t care, but I want you to know how much I’ve appreciated it. You’re nice. You hold doors and elevators.”
His mouth was ever so slightly open now and his eyebrows were stitched together in concentration.
“You say please and thank you, you’re not stingy with compliments, I’ve never caught you playing Solitaire like everyone else on this floor, myself included. In fact, the only thing I’ve ever caught you doing is listening to Van Morrison while you answer e-mails, which is kind of wonderful, actually. You let me have your cab one night when it was raining and you don’t just give the homeless guy outside a wad of cash, you sit there and talk to him. You’ve never been to Paris and neither have I. And- and what I’m trying to say is that I really would do anything for you and I think I’m in love with you and if you need any more sugar for your coffee, please let me know!” She spun on her heel to leave when-Aha! Well, I hope you enjoyed that! Once again, it was fun to share. And besides, it's fun to look back on what got you where you are today, isn't it?
She stopped. Her heart stopped. He’d said her name and said it warmly, as if he was smiling. And when she turned around to look at him, he was.