Hello romance readers! Today’s Tuesday Tales post is from a new April Fool’s Day romance, Just Kidding…Not! This short story is another holiday romance set in the small historic town of Oak Grove Square. In this story we meet Irene, the owner of the local bookstore, Pageturners. A healthy lady, striving to live a balanced life in mind, body and soul, her April Fool’s joke brings an unlikely and unlooked for love to her doorstep.
This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘train.’
Return to TUESDAY TALES here to read more story snippets.
Irene hurried into Pageturner’s, the bookstore she owned on Oak Grove Square. Letting the door bang shut behind her, she rushed over to the tiny heater sitting on the floor behind the counter. Holding her arms out, she rubbed her hands together briskly. “Brrrr! This February weather can go. I’m ready for summer.”
Sam, the elderly gentleman that helped her out part time, sat on a stool next to the source of warmth. “And then you’ll be jawin’ on about it’s too blasted hot, or too muggy, or too something.”
“You know me too well.”
“Afraid so. You’re just like my daughter was. Always complaining about the weather.”
“You miss her.”
“Every day. With every breath. Same as my wife. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them and wish they were still alive and sharing my life.”
A sly grin inched across Irene’s face. “And here I thought you had a thing for Bertie, down at the quilt store.”
Sam laughed and slapped his thigh. “Shore ‘nuff do. Doesn’t mean I love my Nellie any the less. I still love my wife with every fiber of my being. But I’m not dead too. I can love her and still hold a little flame for Bertie. Not that she’s given me any hope. I don’t think I’m ever going to make any progress with that stubborn gal.”
“Maybe you ought to give up on Bertie and find someone else.”
Sam shook his head in dispute. “Naw. I’ve set my cap for her. Giving her chase is enough for me. I don’t need to find anyone else. Besides, I doubt if I’m up for a new love at this late stage of my life. Too hard to train someone new.”
“Samuel Bateman! I can’t believe you just said that.”
“What? It’s the truth. Gotta train the little woman. ‘Pert near everyone knows that.” The lopsided grin and the twinkle in his eye hinted that he wasn’t serious about his words. “Speaking of loves, love, so when are you going to hitch up with a handsome young man?”
“Ha! Like that’s going to happen anytime soon.” Irene shrugged her jacket off and went and hung it on the coatrack just inside the bookstore’s front door. “There’s not a hint of romance headed my way. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m happy with my life the way it is, thank you very much. I have this bookstore that I adore. I’m blessed with good friends. I love my yoga classes and my gardening. My cats. And best of all…I have you, Sam.”
Sam gingerly stepped down from the stool and stretched his arms out, twisting from side to side. “These books aren’t going to keep you warm at night, girlie.”
“Nope. That’s what the cats are for.” Irene laughed. “Just kidding.”
Sam merely closed his eyes and shook his head in mock disbelief. He headed towards the coat rack to retrieve his jacket.
Irene stopped him as he lifted a hand to grab the black leather coat. “Hey, Sam. Real quick before you go. I wanted to run something past you. Something that came to mind while I was at the merchant’s association meeting.”
“I’ve got all day. There’s nowhere I have to rush off to. What’s your brainstorm?”
“I was thinking about having a party here. For the kids. An April Fool’s Day party.”