January 16, 2023
Excerpt from Zane
Once a week, I have lunch with the most handsome man in town.
I’m sure that seems like an exaggeration, since I’m an awkward, weirdo, nerdy girl who makes everyone uncomfortable. But it’s the honest truth.
I’m not even talking about eating lunch at home with my cat, who is admittedly a very handsome boy. I eat most of my meals at home alone, with Miles Standoffish, said cat, or with Miles and my sister, Lily. Generally speaking, I don’t like eating in public; I never seem to get the eating to talking ratio right. I never know when it’s the right time to talk and when it’s the right time to listen. And that’s true even when there isn’t food involved.
Besides, other people’s mouths are gross and I don’t like hearing people chew. Which, I know, seems more about other people eating, but it still makes me uncomfortable. Because what if other people feel that way about me and my mouth? And don’t even get me started with the noises in restaurants.
My point is, generally speaking, it’s better for me to just eat at home with Miles.
But once a week, I make an exception and eat lunch with my best friend, Zane, who just happens to also be the most handsome man in town.
Today, we’re at the diner, which is where we normally eat. I’m watching him from across the table while he tells me a story about the most recent tattoo he gave to one of the old ladies in the town’s “blue-haired group.” They’re a collection of relatively hip old grannies who meddle in plenty of the lives in this town. When I say “relatively hip” I really mean, way cooler than I am, but also much older.
Thankfully, they mostly leave me alone. They probably think I’m a lost cause. Or they simply don’t know what to do with me. Either way, I’m always grateful when people don’t notice me.
Zane’s blue eyes flare as he gets to the climax of the story. “A scorpion. Can you believe that?”
I laugh until I snort trying to imagine Mrs. Hollis with a scorpion marring her weathered skin.
“It’s pretty badass looking, too.”
“If you did it, that’s not surprising. All your ink is amazing.”
His lips quirk up in a lopsided grin. The brow with the tiny ring in it slides up. “Thanks, Starfish. You’re good for my ego.”