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Click Me Happy!
A Romantic Novella with Three Endings
By Olga Núñez Miret
Text copyright ©2013 Olga Núñez Miret
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Cover art: Raquel Antúnez Cazorla
Chapter 1. We meet the “heroine”
Chapter 2. The group and Lance
Chapter 3. Mad about the boy
Chapter 4. The ‘Fun’ bit
Chapter5. The Boy Leaves
Chapter 7. Enter “the author” (Hero?)
Chapter 8. Flirting. Part 2
Chapter 9. Can You Live Without It? Part 1
Chapter 10. Can You Live without It? Part 2.
Chapter 11. A Romantic Holiday/The Couple Finally Meet
Chapter 12. Unhappy Ending. Zane is bad, bad, bad news.
Chapter 13. Neutral Ending. Zane is a fairly nice guy but...
Chapter 14. Happy Ending. Zane is a fabulous guy!
You’ll probably be wondering: what’s this thing about ‘A Romantic Novella with Three Endings’? I had some comments about the ending of one of my novels ‘The Man Who Never Was.’ It seemed people would have preferred a happy ending. I don’t think it’s unhappy, it’s open but...I had to admit happy endings are not my strongest point, and that got me thinking.
When the idea for a romantic story forged itself in my brain, I thought: Most people would probably expect a happy ending. I’m not really much of a romance writer (or I didn’t think so anyway), so I’m bound to think things will end up badly. Or at least not necessarily in romantic bliss. The more I thought about, the more it bothered me. And I decided to offer the readers the choice. I started thinking of writing two endings: one happy and one unhappy. Eventually I realised I would probably had chosen a neutral ending as my preferred option (I love extremes but don’t tend to adopt them myself) and I thought, why not three?
Basically I’ve written the story of the characters and at a certain point I’ll give you the option to choose one of the endings. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from reading the three, or even inventing a different one. I give you the situation, see what you think!
At the end of the book I offer you some links where you can get in contact with me, and get information about my writing. Feel free to post your opinion, share with others, make comments...And, especially if you like it, I’d be very grateful if you could write a review. Of course if you don’t like it you can also write a review, but I won’t be so grateful.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy!
“No. Not another bleeming romantic novel! I’m going to puke! Come on, come on, look at it! Pink cover with a hunk showing off his chest and a gorgeous girl looking impressed. And somebody’s idea of a Scottish castle on the background. I can’t stand it any longer!”
Lilith Darville was far more attractive than she ever gave herself credit for. She was not a ravishing beauty (whatever that means) but she had nice brown hair, that she always wore short (no talent for creating hairdos), big almond shaped brown eyes, a beauty spot on her left cheek, a small nose and a well-defined mouth. A very pleasant combination whatever her opinion.
She only wore makeup under extreme duress (and on very special occasions), and although she used to be big as a child, between healthy eating and plenty of exercising she was now slim and reasonably fit. Not a supermodel but, who wants to be that skinny anyway?
“What’s it called?” Asked the Head librarian and good friend of Lilith, Debbie.
“What does it matter? It should be called: Just look at the six pack in this guy, get horny and buy my book. Does anybody believe all this rubbish?”
“It’s not about believing, Lilith. It’s fantasising. Who wouldn’t want to go out with a gorgeous guy and be the centre of his world, and have other women envy you and...?”
Lilith looked at Debbie from head to toe. Debbie was in her late forties, a few years older than Lilith, and Lilith always joked with her that she dressed like and advert for Laura Ashley, with flowery skirts, modest blouses and the librarian’s compulsory uniform, a cardigan. Today it was green.
“Do you really feel like that, Debbie? You’re an accomplished woman, fabulous guitar player, know everything about books and about this town, are happily married to a clever and kind guy and have a wonderful son. Do you really need these books?”
Debbie looked down and then fixed her gaze on Lilith. A slight rosy tint coloured her cheeks.
“No. Of course I don’t need them, but they spice life up a bit and make it less dull. There’s no harm in them.”
“We women waste our time reading this rubbish instead of going out there and...”
Yes, and...what? Lilith had been feeling unfulfilled. Sure, she loved books and working at the library was enjoyable. She’d worked there since she got her Masters’ Degree in Library Science quite a few years back. She helped Debbie manage the library collections and had created a mass observation archive where local people deposited their recollections of the local events, be it in writing, in recordings, or more recently even videos. It had proved a great success and a local film student was planning on creating a documentary using some of the materials. Yes, there were rewards in doing such a job, but still...
Debbie smiled at her, shaking her head.
“I have a new project for you. That might help.”
Debbie tried very hard to keep Lilith’s spirits up. But there was only so much spending a day at a spa and going to the theatre, shopping, or to watch a movie could achieve. She was convinced that what Lilith needed was that rare, scarce and, some women even thought, mythical thing: a good man. Of course Lilith wouldn’t hear of it. But still, Debbie knew she was right.
“E-books. We can’t stay behind. We must move with the times. There’s no excuse for us not to set up a borrowing service for e-books. All the libraries nearby have done. I want you to attend the next meeting of the Libraries Management Group and find out all you can. And you should join some social media websites. They are a mine of information on new writers, books, reviews...And of course, that way you’d finally manage to keep in touch more easily with your friend Rowena.”
Lilith and Rowena had known each other since nursery. Instead of growing apart with time and age they’d become closer and closer to the point where some people believed they had a special link, like twins, and they could communicate with each other without needing to speak.
You’ve probably seen those fridge magnets with funny quotes. Do you remember the one that says something like: ‘God, if you can’t make me thin, please make my friends fat’? In the case of Lilith and Rowena the opposite was true. Although Lilith was quite attractive, years of sharing the limelight with Rowena, who had been a true beauty since she was a baby, had managed to convince her that she was ugly. Anybody who looked at Rowena first never progressed to look at Lilith and if they looked at Lilith first, once they saw Rowena that was that. Long black hair, gorgeous green eyes, perfect heart-shaped mouth and a fabulous body to go with it, she was a male dream come true. And she had a wicked sense of humour to add to the package.
After all those years of being great friends, with Lilith living vicariously through Rowena’s love life (boyfriends and more boyfriends, fiancées, flings...), Lilith could not go on one of their annual holidays abroad due to ill-health (appendicitis). She insisted that Rowena shouldn’t miss it and after much convincing Rowena went alone. And during the holiday in Cancún she met Scott, an Australian rancher, with not only lots of money, but the looks of one of the heroes in the covers Lilith hated so much. The long-distance romance progressed at breakneck speed and within 6 months Rowena had moved to Australia and a few months later they got married. Although she had told Lilith that she would open her own interior design business she had become a domestic goddess, mother to a boy and a girl and dedicated full time to gardening, committees and baking. Lilith didn’t understand it.
Debbie looked at her friend. She knew that although they’d become quite close she’d never be able to fill the void Rowena had left.
“I’m not at all convinced about Friendties and Puffin and all that nonsense. As far as I can see, the more means of communication that they invent the more miscommunication that seems to result. And really, this compulsion to tell everybody your business...If you don’t have anything important or interesting to say, shut up. It’s the decent thing to do.”
“There are differences of opinion about what is interesting.”
“Well, the type of pizza you’ve eaten is not, unless it’s poisoned and becomes a health hazard.”
Debbie sighed. They’d had the same conversation many times.
“You can set up your own privacy level and only share what you want to share. And you don’t need to give personal details to anybody.”
Lilith shook her head. Not convinced.
“At least you could use Eye for messages and calls. It’s free and you could see your friend.”
“I’m thinking about it.”
Yes, she’d been thinking about it for months. Debbie smiled.
“So you’ll attend the next Libraries Management Group. I’ll let them know. It’s next Wednesday afternoon. 1 pm. At the Central Library in Hudson.”
Before Lilith could object Debbie left. She knew this should shake Lilith up a bit and hopefully make her give herself a chance to meet somebody. And of course it would be a great programme for the library.
Wednesday afternoon. Libraries Management Group. Lilith was there. Feeling somewhat apprehensive. She knew most of the people who were going to be there. But she’d never liked that kind of meetings. Everybody trying to upstage each other in a ‘Mine is bigger than yours’ kind of scenario. Well, the library equivalent of that. ‘My catalogue is bigger than yours’?
Martin Kingsley, chair of the meeting, was the Head Librarian of the Central Regional Library, and therefore God. He introduced her:
“We have a new member from our sister library in Woodgreen, Lilith Darville. Welcome. I understand that you’re part of a task force to try and include e-books in your library. It’s an excellent idea. I’m sure everybody will be happy to assist. I won’t introduce you to everybody, as I think you know them all.”
Lilith nodded. No, she didn’t know them all but she’d catch up. ‘Task force’. Task force of one. Anyway, managerial speech.
There were never ending reports read, discussions as to gripping stuff such as the width of doors and access to toilets...Nothing about reading or books. At the very end there was some discussion about budget and purchases.
As she was going to rush out after the meeting, Mr Kingsley caught up with her.
“Oh Lilith. I’ve had an idea. We have this young guy on a placement with us. He’s a wizard with computers and IT. He’s been helping us sort-out our website. He’s finished with that and I was thinking he could be a great help for you. He’d be able to help you navigate through options and get familiar with the system. His name is Lance Davies. I’ll send him your way. He should be there next Monday.”
“Thanks.” She guessed.
Next day Debbie asked her how it had gone.
“Well, you know...a meeting is a meeting. Martin Kingsley in his kingdom. Nothing about books though. Although at the end of the meeting he came to talk to me.”
“Martin? Really? Wow! You must have felt so honoured!”
Lilith and Debbie looked at each other and burst out laughing. They’d decided long ago that Martin was pretentious and believed he was the emperor of libraries sent on a sacred mission to save the universe through penny-pinching and thrift.
“He told me they had a ‘young guy’ placed with them who was a wizard with computers and had been redesigning their website and now...he could give us a hand.”
“That’s surprisingly generous.”
Lilith looked at Debbie and nodded.
“Yes, I thought the same. I wonder what’s wrong with the guy for him to just “lend” him to us. He must have done something to upset him.”
“Well, anybody who is capable of upsetting Martin gets in my good books. What’s his name and when is he coming?”
“He’s starting on Monday and his name is Lance. Lance Davies.”
Debbie could hardly contain her excitement.
“Lance...such a great a great name.” Lilith looked at her friend and shook her head.
“I think the romantic novels are affecting your brain. He’ll be a nerd.”
On Friday night Rowena phoned Lilith, as she used to do every couple of weeks or so.
“When are you going to sign up with Eye?”
“You know I’ve told you I’m thinking about it. Anyway, things are happening.”
“Things?...What kind of things? Have you met somebody?”
Although Rowena had never met Debbie, they shared the opinion that Lilith needed a man. In Rowena’s case she wasn’t that bothered if he was a “good” man or not, as far as he was fun to be with. Lilith sighed.
“No...I haven’t met anybody. Debbie wants me to look into digital books and set it up at the library. I went to the libraries meeting and the chair of the meeting is sending us a young guy to help with the project. He’s starting on Monday.”
“Oh, so you’ll meet somebody new then.”