Today on Carol Presents, I am showcasing Lexie Stewart and her short story, Too Many Suitors. If you’re looking for a fun, fast read, this may be the short story for you.
Here’s Lexie’s bio:
Ever since I learned to read, I could always be found with my nose in a book–even when I was supposed to be doing something else!
I love the magic of stories, love following the twists and turns, love getting to know the strange and wonderful characters and experiencing their stories with them.
I remember a poster stuck to my bedroom wall when I was a kid. A wizard in splendid, purple robes was summoning a dragon in an explosion of red and gold flames. In a way, writers are wizards, summoning stories and souls from the wilderness of their imagination.
I live in Australia where I write and read and marvel at the blueness of the sky.
Here’s the blurb:
Jessica finds herself trying to choose between three men. She’s an up front, pro-active sort of woman. So instead of staying home alone or attempting to see each of her suitors behind the backs of the other two, she invites out the three men. Gym-junkie Brad, workaholic Saul and BFF Jimmy. She explains the problem of her conflicted heart and she tells them what her solution is.
She’ll date all three!
And here’s an excerpt of TOO MANY SUITORS.
He held hand out to me. “May I have this dance?” he asked.
Cheek to cheek with Saul on the dance floor I forgot all about my problems. All I knew was the bliss of swaying slowly in the arms of the man I–
The shrill cry of a mobile phone split through the music like a lightning bolt.
The sound was coming from our table. It was Saul’s phone, of course.
I groaned. I couldn’t help it.
“I’m, I’m sorry, Jessica,” Saul stammered and hurried to his phone like a servant hurrying to their master.
The phone call turned out to be quite a long one and I was left standing there alone on the dance floor with couples dancing around me until embarrassment drove me back to my chair.
When Saul finally returned to the table we settled into conversation.
I pretended not to notice how often he checked his watch or did something with his mobile phone. He was like an alcoholic hiding a bottle of brandy under the table and taking quick sips when he thought no one was watching.
My poor father has high blood pressure and despite the doctors warnings he doesn’t do much
towards improving his health. It’s been a great strain on the rest of the family trying to get him to change his diet and cut down on stress.
I started to tell Saul about this- he had asked after all- and I felt my voice going croaky with emotion.
Saul rubbed my hands and nodded as I poured my heart out to him.
And then his phone rang.
A look of pain came to Saul’s face.
We stared at each other.
The phone kept ringing.
“I have to get this. I’m sorry,” said Saul.
I felt a flush of anger burning my face. I felt so foolish! I’d just been opening up to this man, sharing my life with him and leaving myself vulnerable and the simple truth of it was that Saul’s work was more important to him.
I glared, not at Saul, but at the phone held to his ear. I think I was jealous of it.
I sat patiently as the phone call stretched to the five minute mark. And then I snapped.
In one sudden movement I grabbed the phone out of Saul’s hand and dropped it in a bowl of soup on the table next to ours.
“Jessica,” gasped Saul. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me?” I nearly yelled. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Jessica, lower your voice. People are staring.”
“I swear you’ve spent more time speaking to that lump of plastic than you have to me!”
“I’m sorry, it’s work-”
“And work comes first! I get it.” I couldn’t stop now. Everything that had been bottled up came bursting to the surface, like corked champagne. “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time on you! There’s no room in your life for a relationship. No woman could be anything other than a mistress to you because you’re already married to the job!”
“Jessica, this isn’t fair! Why can’t you understand that I’m just trying to make something of myself?”
“What are you trying to make? A robot? Mission accomplished!”
So will Jessica choose Saul or will it be Brad or Jimmy? Sorry, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. You’ll have to read the story to find out.
And here’s where you can buy an eBook version:
Thanks, Lexie, for being a guest on Carol Presents! I look forward to reading your next short story!