Friday, May 17, 2013

One Year Later...

The following is a work of fiction based on characters in the novel The Low Notes. It contains SPOILERS to the novel including the ending!


Walking into The Black Jewel I can’t help but smile. The place I’ve heard about so much is exactly how I pictured it. It’s dark but not dank, old but not dated. The stage is dim as music is piped through the speakers from some unknown stereo system. Down the few steps to the sunken sitting area I search the room and they are easy to spot. The strikingly beautiful young woman with the long black hair that seems to melt into a lighter caramel color (I believe they call it ombre) is sidled up close to her man at the small round table. He is handsome with dark hair that is cut shorter than I had pictured but it suits him well. He wears a bit of stubble along his jaw and a beaming smile on his lips as he looks at her while she says something to him that I can’t make out. There’s no doubt they are in love. But it’s not my job to see the sparkle in their eyes for one another…it’s my job to talk about how it all happened.

Reporter:  It’s been a year since you two found each other again…can you believe it?

Kevin Reed: [laughs and glances at Nina] There’s a lot I can’t believe about our story. Some days it feels like I might still be dreaming.

Nina Jordan: I can believe it! So much has changed, so much has happened. It’s been a good year.

Reporter: What has happened since we last saw you? 

Nina: After we ran into each other in New York, Kevin came home with me to Wexley for my sister’s wedding and…honestly it was like no time had passed between us. We kind of picked up where we left off senior year only we didn’t have anything to worry about anymore. 

Kevin: I made the move to New York to be closer to her while she finishes school. We’ve been looking at apartments hoping to move into together this Fall. I’ve been freelance writing and staying busy and this amazing woman to my left just landed an internship at a record label.

Nina: [rolls her eyes with a grin] He just loves to gush. I basically just get coffee for people. It’s a cool experience but it’s not like I’m producing music or anything. I’m a gopher.

Reporter: It’s a step in the right direction! How did your family and friends take it when you came out of the closet as a couple?

[They meet eyes meaningfully and it’s easy to see the weight of their stares]

Nina: My sister Greta was cool with it right away. She and I have become so close in the last two and a half years. It took my dad a little while to understand but he says he’s happy if I’m happy. And I am. My best friend James is very supportive now. He was skeptical at first…

Kevin: [laughs] Skeptical is putting it mildly! He had to do the whole big brother thing and tell me how bad I hurt her and that if I ever pulled any of that [expletive deleted] again I’d be a dead man. I couldn’t blame him. He had the unique experience of seeing us through it all so he knew the whole story in a different way. But I would consider James one of my closest friends now. He’s like family.

Reporter: And your family, Kevin?

Kevin: At first I didn’t think my cousin Jeff was happy for me but he was just going through some stuff of his own. He and Jennifer are separated now and I think he was having a hard time being happy for me while he was first making a decision about their relationship. He’s totally cool with us now and he’s come out to the city a few times to visit. 

Reporter: What about Wexley Falls? I assume you come home occasionally…is it small town gossip or did anyone really notice?

Nina: [puts her head in her hands and stares at Kevin] Remember the grocery store?

Kevin: Jesus. The day after her sister’s wedding we went the grocery store to get food for my house since I’d been in New York a few days. We’d had a really great night—

Nina: Kevin!

Kevin: Well! [both chuckle] So we were holding hands and maybe a little ridiculous with the PDA because we could and who did we have to run into in the store? Principal Andrews. I thought my heart stopped. He didn’t even say anything to us. He just shook his head. I wanted to deck him because he gave her this once-over that was so….

Nina: People can think what they want about us and Principal Andrews is no exception. I lied to his face so I get why he looked at me like that. 

Kevin: It’s hard for people to understand, I know. But when people assume I’m a predator or she’s been duped—

Nina: Or that I’m some kind of slut.

[He sighs and they look at each other with another heavy stare]

Reporter: On to a happier topic, Kevin, looking back when do you think you first fell in love with Nina?

Kevin: God. Sometimes I think I fell for her with that first kiss but with everything that happened after that my emotions were so mixed up. But the first time I thought it for a split second was the night I made her dinner when she got her acceptance letter. I pushed it out of my head fast—but that was it.

Reporter: Nina, did you ever imagine you would have a second chance with Kevin?

Nina: I’m a hopeless romantic so I guess in the back of my mind I always hoped we would get another shot but I couldn’t have dreamed that he would walk into that hotel bar. That—that was fate. That was the universe paying us back for all the hell we went through.

Reporter: It seems like you two are pretty solid. Has it been an easy transition getting back together?

Nina: I thought it was easy at first but then it got harder [laughs]. We had a lot of things to deal with and talk about. I didn’t think I was holding any grudges against him for sneaking off but I was. We are better than ever now but there were a few weeks where it was complicated. Because that’s what we do best I guess [both laugh].

Reporter: So what’s next for you two? 

Kevin: We’re taking it day by day. [He looks over at Nina] I am crazy about her. So I’m here to stay—to make this work—until she says she wants me gone.

Nina: [Bites her lip and lets a small smile settle on her face] I won’t ever want him gone. [Turns to Kevin] Looks like you aren’t going anywhere.

I leave them just as they are about to order dinner, mentioning how nostalgic they are for a date at The Black Jewel. This time it’s under much different circumstances and though they never say it I can tell they are glad about that fact. I thank them for their time and wish them well in their future. A future I have a feeling will be full of love.

Thank you to everyone who read The Low Notes. This one was for you :) 

Today The Low Notes e-book is available for just 99 cents on Amazon only! Tell your friends!

The blog tour I'm over at author Joanne C. Berroa's blog and my darling friend Josh Zimmerman has a special game and giveaway on his blog today to celebrate!

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