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First Page: Random Memories – Romance

First Page: Random Memories – Romance

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


It’s sunset time. Birds are flying home. The city is lighting up, will it rain or no?

“Is it going to rain?” Emily wants to know. Nat and Ram shrug, who cares? It’s around 8.p.m., Emily, Ram and Natasha are up in their usual place: Lying flat on the terrace, eyes glued to the sky. Anything seems possible here and now. You just lie down watching the sky with stars, clouds and random objects. You can lose yourself in smoky dreams or get into a heated conversation in the dark emptiness.

Today, Emily feels talkative. Something is disturbing her.

“What’s the plan tonight?” Emily wonders.

“What about booze and fun?” Natasha suggests. The day is dead, time for some booze to kill the night. The beers are in a puddle of fresh dew trickling from the surface of the cans. Ram throws a can each to Nat and Emily. Cheers!

This is their last semester together, and looking back it has been a bland experience.

“Do you think sometime in future, maybe we three will meet?” Emily wonders.

“Why wouldn’t we?” Ram rewonders.

“We should stay in touch forever” Nat asserts feeling nostalgic and drunk.

Emily is cupping her beer can, lost and uninterested. So Ram wants to know if she gave up booze. “No, just don’t feel like tonight” Emily replies sounding sad. It is disturbing to see Emily being so sad these few days. Ram downs his can at one go to drown the uneasiness rising in his stomach. “Well girls, how about a picnic before exams?” Ram suggests.

Nat and Emily look on curious.

“We can go off-roads, to the lake, waterfalls, forests, do some trekking.” Ram explains.

“That would be great: miles and miles of greenery, blue skies and sparkling water” Nat replies. It sounds sarcastic though her mouth is bent into a smile.

“So when do we slot this trip?” Ram asks eagerly.

Emily is disturbed and her senses are pleasantly numb to her environment. Nat senses Emily’s aloofness and it intrigues her. Emily always kept stuff to herself: bottle up and burst out, that’s her.

“Emi, how is Brian?” Nat inquires. His name shoots into Emily’s heart and she can see Emily fold tighter into a bud.

“He is good” Emily replies non-committal. Nat doesn’t want to dig deeper right now or Emily might just close up.

None of them feels like talking. Emily’s brain is flooded with a whirlpool of thoughts. Ram’s mind feels empty so he looks for something to think. And his mind just stays empty. So he lets it be. He instead distracts his mind contemplating Em and Nat, trying to guess at their thought processes. Seeing a lot of each other these past three years, Em and Nat seem to have developed a remarkably similar body language. Em is leaning her head to the wall, eyes closed just like Nat, hands hugging the body. He feels bored after a while so walks up and down the terrace.

If he looks down, he can see a bunch of people hanging around and he could barely recognise them. He stares skyward, it is an empty box after all the jewels are removed. He wonders when was the last time he seen some stars. It seems ages ago. He plonks himself on the wall of the terrace far and away from anyone’s view.

First Page: Doll-Baby (New Adult)

First Page: Doll-Baby (New Adult)

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.

The guy at the front table looked disturbingly familiar. Something about the way his sandy brown hair curled in front of his ears, and the way his knuckles stood out on the fingers he’d wrapped around the handle of his coffee mug.

I knew him from somewhere, but I couldn’t place where. God knew I’d been around so many guys in my life it was a wonder I remembered any of them, and this might not even be a guy I knew from my past. Maybe he was just someone I’d seen around town.

My gut told me I was wrong, though. He was part of before. Part of the time I wanted to forget.

“Elianna, order up.” Bill banged the bell on the pass-through between the kitchen and where I stood. “Table four. Make sure you give Hank the vinegar this time. You always forget.”

“Because who the heck puts vinegar on mashed potatoes?” I turned my back to the diner to take the plate so I wouldn’t have to look at Mr. I-Know-You any longer. I hadn’t waited on him; he was at one of Kenzie’s tables.

When I turned around again to bring Hank Hannigan his eggs, bacon, and vinegar, the guy at the front table was staring straight at me.

My heart stopped, and I fumbled the plate. I still didn’t have any clue who the hell he was, but the way he was looking at me scared the frig right out of me. I managed to hang onto the plate, just barely, and took a deep breath.
He turned to look out the window again.

“Elianna?” Bill’s low voice behind me snapped me out of the fear-trance. “Hey. You’re shaking.”

“No, I’m not.” I took another breath and tightened my grip on the plate. The bottle of vinegar was right in front of me on the counter. All I had to do was pick it up and bring it and the food to Hank. I didn’t have to go anywhere near the front table. I didn’t have to look at the guy again at all. As long as Kenzie didn’t decide she needed another smoke break before the guy left, I’d be fine. She could handle creeps a lot better than I could.

Bill said something else behind me, but I didn’t pay attention, just picked up the vinegar and walked out from behind the counter. By the time I got to Hank’s table a few feet away, I’d pasted a smile on my face and put a spring in my step. Hank smiled and said something pleasant to me. He didn’t even notice anything was wrong, and I hadn’t expected he would. I had a ton of practice in faking it.

I was careful not to look toward the front table again. My section was the counter and the tables to the left of it, which meant I had no need to see the front of the diner at all. Not that the place was big enough for me to completely avoid it unless I really made an effort. Today, I made the effort. I only had four customers in my section and they didn’t need much, so I kept myself busy cleaning the condiment bottles and wiping down all the surfaces.

Bill, who besides being the cook was the owner and my foster dad, was probably pretty impressed. He didn’t know I was doing it to hide. And to keep from completely losing my shit.