Chapter Twenty-Eight

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I groaned and turned to face the clock.

Noon.

And I was still exhausted.

Laura and I had stayed up ‘till three a.m. talking. And eating of course. My stomach grumbled in displeasure.

I remembered drifting off last night, entirely convinced that my dreams would be consumed by James. It was the only response to having spent so much time with him.

Instead I had a dream that I was captured by a three-eyed demon, and hung from a tree until feasting time. It was something out of “Lord of the Rings”, but at least I woke up before being devoured limb by limb.

Romantic.

“Good morning sunshine.” Laura smiled and stared at me from her bed.

I yawned. “Good morning back.”

“So how are you feeling?”

“Well, James is not on the continent anymore so my life is basically screwed. I feel great!” I laughed.

“But it’s our last full day in New York. What do you wanna do?”

Intelligent Laura, always knowing when to change the subject.

I’d forgotten I still had a whole entire day in New York City. Maybe it was just what I needed. “How about this,” I said. “Sleep for another couple hours, go out to eat, go shopping, a nice big dinner…”

“And a fancy dessert with whipped cream?” she asked.

“Sure, why not? After last night my diet’s shot anyway.”

She laughed. “Great! So let’s get ourselves that sleep then.” She yawned. “Good night.”

“Good night my friend. I’m gonna buy you a car, you know. ‘Cause you’re awesome.” I mumbled something else that was inaudible, and drifted right back to sleep…

***

“But you said I could have the window seat!” The child started screaming and wouldn’t stop, not until his mother made his older sister switch. The girl was only seven or eight, but her face looked like a wrinkled old man when it contorted into screaming position, missing teeth and all.

I felt a little bad for the mother, but I also wanted to smack her little brats in the teeth. Will I ever grow maternal instincts?

“Don’t worry,” whispered Laura. “The flight is only an hour and a half.”

Thank god.

I put on my seatbelt as we readied for take-off.

“So Romes, what happens next in your life?”

I smiled. “Is it bad that I have no fucking clue?”

She laughed. “I think that’s kind of the point. You’re finally living in the moment.” She paused. “You never heard back from Arjun again, right?”

“Not since those last few texts from a couple weeks ago. And he never wrote back to my final three-word message. He must’ve known I was a bad investment. And he’s probably better off.” I smiled.

“And what about James? Do you think you’ll just go back to e-mails and chats at the bookstore?”

That was the part I had tried not to think about. “Well…that’s my prediction. But I’m not going to push it any further just yet. Maybe next year I’ll tell my parents there’s a trade show in Barcelona.”

We both laughed.

As the plane turned to face the runway, I chewed on my gum a little harder. Please don’t pop, damn ears.

Laura however was completely unaffected by the oncoming takeoff. Instead she was busy browsing pictures on my camera.

I couldn’t help but look at them too. James and I on a date in Central Park. Totally bittersweet.

A few moments later Laura switched off the camera and smiled. “Man, what would your parents think if they saw into your crazy little life?”

“I really don’t know. But at least I can keep on living this crazy little life…for one more year, anyway. Let’s see what next year brings!”

We smiled at each other and at last the plane took off.

Back to Toronto, back to all my secrets…

***

I stepped inside and dropped my bags to the floor. My cat Tommy came to greet me first, so I picked him up and squeezed him tightly as he purred.

The light was on in the nearby study, with the noticeable sound of papers rustling.

As I took off my coat my dad poked his head out and smiled. “Welcome back. Did you have a good trip?”

Yeah, it was okay.” More than okay.

“Good. Well go unpack, have some tea, and when you have a little time come and see me in the study.”

Huh?

“For what?”

“Do you remember Auntie Gurmeet in Vancouver?”

I slowly nodded.

“She knows an unmarried lawyer, which is so hard to find! She e-mailed me his picture, very nice boy.” He paused. “Do you want to see his picture now? I can show you.”

I was suddenly frozen, in a macabre tableau of my worst possible nightmare. The only thing missing was a set of dead twin girls.

I'm screwed…

The End

(until book 2 ...)


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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

Thank you for reading “Year of the Chick,” I hope you enjoyed it and had some laughs. This book was inspired by a blog of the same name I wrote in 2008. It’s a fictional tale, but it’s amazing how the elements of reality can trickle their way into fiction (especially the embarrassing ones).

The sequel is called “Last-Minute Love,” and it’s available now as an e-book at Amazon (and Kobo and iTunes!). If you click to the next chapter of "Year of the Chick" which you've just finished, you can actually read the first chapter of “Last-Minute Love” for FREE right now, so maybe that will help you decide ;-).

(also, please find me on Facebook and follow my author page, which I regularly update with fun info and pictures ;-) http://www.facebook.com/RomiMoondi )

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