It’s been a while since we did flash fiction, but it’s back today!
Write a story (500 words or less) about the worst Valentine's Day ever but give it a happy ending.
Here we go!
Note to self: attending a speed dating event on Valentine’s Day was stupid. More than stupid. Pathetic.
But she hadn’t wanted to spend the holiday alone, not again. So when Lynda had suggested they sign up for the evening at a local hotel’s ballroom she’d agreed. Not without reservations—Lynda wasn’t known for having the brightest ideas—but it had sounded better than spending the most romantic night of the year bingeing Seinfeld and eating ice cream from the bucket.
She should have stayed home.
Lynda had assured her that a speed dating event wasn’t for losers. Everyone was busy these days, especially professionals like themselves who had spent their twenties and thirties climbing the corporate ladder and were just hitting their stride in their forties. These get-togethers were simply more efficient than trolling bars and restaurants every week hoping for lightning to strike.
She hoped lightning would strike now, just to put her out of her misery. Maybe other speed dating nights had a better crop of possibilities, but this one on Valentine’s Day seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.
And, yes, she knew what that said about herself. How depressing.
The bell rang and her current visitor—a retired dentist who talked way too much about teeth—moved on with no apparent regret. It was obvious she wasn’t the only one finding the pickings slim. And she was one of the “slim pickings.”
Suddenly she couldn’t take it any longer. Without a glance at her next “date” she jerked to her feet, raced through the scattered tables, and fled to the wide outer hallway. With no regard for the snow lashing the windows, she opened the door and stepped outside, taking huge, gulping breaths of frigid air.
She’d left her coat in the ballroom. Clutching her bare arms, she huddled into herself and let self-pity flood her. Moisture filled her eyes, not just from the bitter, biting breeze.
Suddenly her shoulders were enveloped in warmth and softness and a deep voice said, “You must be freezing.”
Startled, she spun around, automatically gripping the open edges of the coat to keep it in place. “Ryan! You scared me. What are you doing here?”
The skin around his warm brown eyes crinkled and her belly fluttered. “I had a business meeting. But isn’t a better question what are you doing without a coat in a blizzard?”
He had just transferred from head office two months ago and set her department buzzing with his acumen, intelligence, and energy. She’d done her best to focus on that, and not the silver threads at his temples lending him gravitas and his trim, wide-shouldered body filling out his suits just fine.
His eyebrow quirked. “So? What are you doing out here?”
She contemplated lying, but what the hell. It would be a funny story one day. Might as well start now. “I was at a speed dating event. It was not going well so I escaped.”
“Why do you need a speed dating event? Are the men around here that blind?”
His open admiration warmed her almost as much as his coat around her shoulders. A light on the wall of the hotel spangled on the snowflakes in his hair and sharpened the shadows in his cheeks.
“Do you want to have coffee?” She bit her lip. “I know we work together but—”
“I would love to have coffee.” He pulled the collar of his coat higher up on her neck. His smile held a hint of shyness she’d never noticed before. “I’ve been wanting to ask you, in fact.” He pulled open the door and waved her in. “Lead the way.”
I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s flash fiction! Now hop over to Leslie Hachtel for another quick read!
Leslie and I, as well as A. S. Fenichel (another member of Romance Writers Weekly) all contributed to Love in the Mix: A Cookbook for Romance Readers. It's a unique Valentines' Day gift...and even better, proceeds support the ProLiteracy charity. More than 70 of your favorite romance authors shared recipes and anecdotes to this great collection. Find it at all major retail sites.