Bitter to the Heart

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"Do you want to go somewhere to eat?" Beau asked Cora

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"Do you want to go somewhere to eat?" Beau asked Cora.

They were outside the movie theater. It was early enough that another line had formed out front. Well dressed couples and families huddled against each other waiting to get in. Cora had two hours left before she had to get home, but she wasn't hungry yet even though all she'd had was the cereal she'd wolfed down before their date and the chocolate covered raisins.

Right next door to the multiplex was a bookstore. Cora skipped ahead of Beau. "We could check out the books?" she said.

She had her hand on the door before he could say yes. Cora didn't consider herself a vivacious reader, at least not like Eva but she did read. The bookstore next to the theater didn't quite smell like books. It didn't smell like much of anything. At this time of night, there weren't many people around.

"Good evening, young lady," the security guard said.

"Evening," said Cora. She led Beau to a stand near the back to check out the popular books. Right away, she recognized the book she'd pulled off Eva's shelf. She didn't pick it up, but she let her fingers slip across the front cover. Beau stood close behind her. He reached over her and plucked a red children's book off the shelf. "My brother lives for this," he said.

"You have a brother?" she asked, taking down a copy of the book he'd picked up.

"He's ten and a pain in the ass," he said.

She knew all about that. "My sister's twelve," she said. "And she thinks she knows it all." She put the book back. "Let's go upstairs," she said.

They took the escalator up to the second floor, which, in Cora's opinion, was the best floor. The adult section was off to the left leading to the children's section all the way in back. A row of tables sat near the escalator displaying the classics and noteworthy. This floor smelled like coffee because the café was just beyond a row of crammed shelves.

Cora noticed that they'd moved the young adult book section, Eva's favorite section, to the front. She went there first, Beau trailing behind her.

"You like young adult," he said.

"Uh huh," said Cora, while she scanned their selection. There were so many to choose from, all of them arranged by the author's last name. "My best friend Eva does. I'm more of a graphic novel, comic, magazine kind of girl." She plucked a blue book off the shelf and flipped it around to read the back. It sounded interesting.

"Really?" He sounded surprised.

Cora's gaze flicked up to him before flicking back to the books in front of her. "Really," she said. "I probably should read more like these." She held up the book.

"No, I think it's great." He followed her down the row.

"What kind do you like?" she asked, plucking another book off the shelf. This one had a darker cover, a deep purple laced with red. Eva didn't do dark books. She preferred realistic with a dash of romance or straight up romance. Cora would keep this one for herself. She'd need to distract herself in-between dates with Beau, if he even wanted another date. She wasn't so sure. She'd already made up her mind. She wanted another date with him.

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