“When we kissed goodbye and parted I knew we’d never meet again. Love is like a dying ember and only memories remain. And through the ages I’ll remember blue eyes crying in the rain. Someday when we meet up yonder we’ll stroll hand and hand again. In the land that knows no parting, blue eyes crying in the rain.”
* * *
I worked at a factory for part of the summer. But then I got another job offer. Related to my chosen field, journalism. The pay was not as good but I just had to take it. For the experience. Little did I know what kind of experience I was in for.
The offer came from a print-on-demand company in my hometown that publishes books for authors who couldn’t or wouldn’t publish through traditional methods for one reason or another. This company offers numerous services: electronic books, rocket e-books, hard cover and paperback, editing, distribution, promotion, websites, and much more.
My function was to work with the author and the editor assigned to the book to convert the manuscript to the proper format required by our publishing software. Some manuscripts were submitted via paper, some disc, and some electronically. Basically I had to get the manuscript in Microsoft Word and clean it up, incorporate the editor’s recommended revisions, and obtain the author’s feedback, and ultimately approval. This often took a lot of back and forth communication between the author and I.
With respect to the first four books I worked on there was no problem communicating with the author. I had phone numbers and whatever. Two of the authors resided nearby and we met in person several times. But the fifth book presented a dilemma. It was a romance novel about a young woman’s first time. Entitled Take Me to Heaven.
The author of Take Me to Heaven, Emily David, seemed quite unusual. At least very different than the other four authors I had worked with. The book was hot! Although it didn’t contain any explicit sex. As I read the book for the first time I thought about my best friend, Jenny, and her propensity for “hooking up.” No romance. No commitment. Just sex. I didn’t want it to be like that. At least not the first time. I wanted it to be like Take Me to Heaven.
Emily David and I exchanged numerous emails concerning the book. But Emily wouldn’t talk to me on the phone. When our communications eventually turned a little personal, Emily asked for a picture of me. Quite unusual I thought but I complied. I sent her one where I wore a pink miniskirt and matching vest.
In her next email Emily wrote, “Sarah, you are extraordinarily beautiful. I love your long red hair. I can see you have very, very blue eyes. Wow! That miniskirt! And I can see your nipples through the vest. You must not be wearing a bra.” Now, does that sound like a woman? I don’t think so. Not unless she’s a girl who prefers girls. The book sure didn’t sound like that to me.
I wrote back, “Okay, Emily, I know you’re a guy. It doesn’t matter. Authors use pseudonyms for various reasons. Some use one to disguise proclivity. Others to hide moonlighting. And on and on. No big deal. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. But if you want to, please call me. I promise confidentiality.” I repeated my office phone number and also listed my cell phone number.
Two days later I got a call on my cell phone. A definitely male voice on the other end that I did not recognize. “Hello, Sarah.”
“Hello. Who is this? I don’t recognize your voice.”
“I knew it!”
“Yes, that you did, Sarah. What gave me away?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Wanting a picture and then what you said. About the miniskirt and stuff.”
Now he laughed. I liked the sound of it. “Well, I couldn’t help it, Sarah. You…uh…made an impression on me.”
“Just what is your name, sir?”
“David. But not Emily David. No, it’s David Peterson.”
“Well, David Peterson, why did you pretend to be Emily David?”
“You had to ask, Little Miss Intuition. My book, Take Me to Heaven, is written in the first person from a young woman’s perspective. About her first time. How would that play if the author was a man?”
“Yes, I see your point, Emily, ’er I mean David.” I giggled. “Makes sense to me.”
“Besides,” he added, “I feel a little…I don’t know…what with being a guy and…uh…writing a romance novel…I…uh…feel weird.”
“Don’t you dare feel that way, David! I think your book is beautiful! Wonderful. Incredible. So…uh…so…memorable. I just hope it’s…uh…like that…uh…oh, never mind.”
“Take me to heaven,” I whispered.
“What? I can’t hear you, Sarah.”
“David, I can’t talk right now. Pressing business. My boss. Can I call you back later?”
“Sure. I’ll talk to you again soon, Sarah.”
Oh yeah, I had to go. To the bathroom. Not for number one or number two. No, for number three. With my new vibrator.
* * *
David and I talked on the phone incessantly over the next week. Each conversation seemed more personal. We really got to know one another quite well in a short period of time. And then we decided to meet. He lived about a hundred miles away and we agreed on an old amusement park on a small lake about half-way between us.
The moment I saw him I knew it. He would be my first. Sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. I had been spending a great deal of time doing number three lately. He brought me roses. Just like in his book. So handsome. Very, very blue eyes. Like mine.
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