Here’s a short exert from my novel Amy & Zach:
As soon as I saw Zach, I knew he was my type. Dark scruffy hair, brown eyes that looked at me intently, a kind smile and, perhaps most importantly, easy to talk to. I felt like I’d known him my whole life within a few hours of meeting.
“So, tell me about yourself, Zach,” I said, as we walked out through the living room and to Harriet’s balcony.
We sat down on plastic chairs, looking out at the street below.
“What do you want to know?”
“Whatever you want to share. Who are you?” I felt myself blush, wondering if I was being too nosey or forward. He didn’t seem to mind.
“Well. I’m thirty one years old. Born and raised in Massachusetts to be a good Jewish boy.”
“You’re Jewish?” I asked, then regretted it instantly, as if it was an issue or a problem. I was really just interested.
“Well, my family are. I’m not that religious. But, you know…”
All I could think of was his penis. I’d never slept with anyone Jewish before. He saw me glance down towards his groin and I blushed.
“Okay, and what do you do for a living?” I asked next, trying to recover from my embarrassment.
“I work for myself, I’m a website developer. I design sites for a number of clients.”
“Wow. Do you enjoy it?”
“Yes. I do. Very much, actually.”
“Yes, a brother, Aaron. He’s married. Two children.”
I smiled. His eyes were locked on to mine while he talked and I couldn’t take mine off of his. I felt a rush of excitement in my chest and blushed yet again.
“We had a blast growing up. He was always the jock, you know, the sports fan. I was the opposite. The nerdy one.”
I smiled again, and asked about his parents.
“They’re great, very supportive. They travel a lot. My dad was a lawyer, he’s just recently retired.”
“My mum’s a lawyer,” I told him. So is my dad, I realised, but I didn’t say it out loud.
“I like the way you say ‘mum’ instead of ‘mom’.”
“We spell it with a ‘u’.” I was about to go on to tell him that several words were spelt differently in Britain, before wondering how that could possibly be deemed interesting. Luckily, he spoke before I had a chance to get extraordinarily dull.
“Cool. So enough about me, tell me about you.”
“Erm, well…” I didn’t know where to start and didn’t want to bore him. “I’m twenty nine. I work as an Account Executive for a PR firm, with Harriet.”
“And you like it?”
“Sometimes, yes. I transferred here from our London office.”
He nodded enthusiastically, his eyes still staring right into mine and I felt like he was really interested.
I told him about my family. As I spoke, I became aware of some sort of invisible force between us. I wanted to touch him.
“Any hobbies?” he asked, sipping his beer. I’d nearly forgotten I had hold of mine and took another swig myself.
“I’m a complete nerd I’m afraid,” I admitted, allowing myself to breathe out and thanking him silently for breaking the awkward moment.
He grinned. “Don’t be afraid. You can’t possibly be more of a nerd than me.”
“Okay,” I laughed, relieved. “I read a lot, watch movies, spend an extraordinary amount of time on the internet, I watch documentaries, mostly about wildlife and that sort of thing. This is the first party I’ve been to in months, and to be honest, I’d rather stay at home with a good book, or a great movie, than go out to a night club, or whatever.”
I’d met my perfect woman. I imagined us sitting, side by side, each on our laptops, eating cereal, writing blogs and discussing books and turning down invitations for nights out because we’d rather stay at home, together, being nerdy, discussing the mating habits of African lions. Not that I was into the Discovery Channel myself, but if Amy was, I was willing to start watching it too.
“Well, I too spend an extraordinary amount of time online,” he said, smiling again, winning me over more and more each second. “What music do you like?”
It went on like this for a good few hours. We had so much in common it was almost scary. We didn’t even go back for more drinks.
“What a beautiful night.” I sighed, staring up at the shiny silver specs scattered high above.
“I love warm summer evenings, with clear night skies,” Zach said, moving a little closer. My eyes fell from the stars to his and I realised he was about to kiss me. My heart started beating even faster.
“Well!” Harriet made us jump, she was standing in the doorway, hands on hips. “You two really hit it off, huh?” She nudged me and winked.
I looked behind her and noticed there were only a few people left. I looked at my watch, and was shocked to find it was gone 2am. The latest I’d stayed up in a long time. I blushed and said something about getting a cab home.
Harriet wandered back into the room and I looked at Zach, and smiled nervously. I felt terrified he wouldn’t ask me out, or ask for my number, or something. He looked at me kind of sadly.
“I had the most amazing time,” he said, and I sighed with relief.
“Would it be too soon if we, I mean, I don’t know if you’re busy tomorrow-”
Me, busy on a Saturday? Ha!
“But would you like to do something? Maybe get lunch or something?”
I grinned. Lunch. He didn’t even want to wait until dinner. He wanted to see me again in a few hours.
We agreed he would come by my apartment at 1pm, and we’d walk from there to a restaurant and have something to eat.
We said a very polite good bye. I hugged Harriet, who was in heavy conversation with the only guest left – Sid. The guy she liked from work, the guy I’d suggested throwing this party for. So, I thought as I took the elevator down to the street and found a cab, the party was a success, not only for me but for Harriet too. I felt slightly smug that I’d suggested it and foolish for not looking forward to it more.
Back at my apartment, I couldn’t sleep. I just lay in bed, thinking about Zach. I hadn’t been prepared for this. For this fuzzy feeling.
I woke up after only a few hours sleep, but felt very awake and kind of excited, and lay there, smiling to myself about my good fortune. I had a shower and then mooched around my apartment. Four hours to waste until I met Zach for lunch. I rearranged the books on my shelf, cleaned out the kitchen, changed my outfit three times, and finally deciding on a purple long sleeve cotton top and black jeans, slouched on my sofa and started painting my nails, hoping our conversation hadn’t already peaked and we’d have no more to say.
The buzzer rang and I jumped up to answer it.
“It’s me, Zach. Sorry I’m a little early.” I realised I’d missed his voice. Already. I had it bad.
I laughed. “Come on up.”
He was carrying a brown paper bag with bread, salad, cheese, and a bottle of wine, plus a handful of DVDs.
“I’m so tired. Can we stay in and eat lunch here?”
I smiled, realising that was exactly what I needed, rather than going out, and kissed him. He dropped the bag and DVDs to the floor and wrapped his arms around me. The passion and excitement of the moment was overwhelming. I didn’t care that I was ruining my still-wet nails, quite possibly leaving purple polish all over his shirt. He ran his hands threw my hair, and then down my back, and up inside my top. He started undoing my bra. I’ll spare you the intricate details. Suffice to say it was good. Very good.
Ditto. It was amazing. And she didn’t get nail polish on my shirt, for the record.
We spent the rest of the day in bed, watching films, eating food and, well, you know. I knew I was falling, I knew it was probably way too fast, and I knew it could very well lead to heartbreak and more depression. But I didn’t care. Whatever bad may come of this was in the future. Right now, only good thoughts were in my mind. After our seventh (yes, seventh!) stint in the bedroom, Zach closed his eyes and dosed off. I watched his head on the usually vacant pillow besides mine and sighed, a corny, girly, happy sigh.
And in case you were wondering, the circumcision thing is no big deal. If anything, I quite liked it.
Read another extract here >>
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