Featured Author: Betsy St. Amant
Watching rom-coms was much more fun than living them. I was permanently stuck in the part where the guy and girl best friends are obviously more, but no one wants to make the first move, so everything continues as normal except nothing feels normal.
Hence my vent session while folding laundry in my one-bedroom townhouse. If Logan’s friendship wasn’t an ever-present reminder of my single status, my twin bed and HOA dues certainly were.
“Why don’t you just tell him how you feel?” Ivy, my best friend of the girl variety, asked over the phone.
“I’ve dropped hints.” With the phone tucked between my shoulder and chin, I folded my lounge pants with more aggression than necessary.
“And how’s that going for you?”
“Call me old fashioned, but I want him to make the first move.” Though for Logan, making a move would be scooting toward the remote during our rom-com movie nights. But sometimes, when the glow of my clearance lamp caught his eyes just right, it almost seemed like he might.
Ivy popped a gum bubble. “So, chivalry is dead, huh?”
“With Logan?” I moved on to matching my socks. “More like in a coma—the While You Were Sleeping kind.”
Ivy snorted. “You know, Valerie, if the fact Logan even watches all those romantic comedies with you isn’t enough of a sign, well…maybe you’re the one not taking hints.” Pop.
“Maybe he just has good taste in movies.”
“Ivy, if you don’t quit smacking that gum—” I stopped. “What is that music?”
“I’m not playing music.”
“I hear it through the phone.” I tossed my folded socks into a drawer.
Ivy smacked louder. “Nope. Not here.”
I pulled my cell away from my ear. She was right. It was coming from…outside?
I pulled back the curtain on my bedroom window. And there was Logan. Standing in the tiny yard of my townhouse, near his pre-owned Corolla, holding a giant CD player over his head ala John Cusack in Say Anything, and breaking about three HOA laws at once.
My heart lunged. “Uh, gotta go.” I flung my phone on my bed and opened the window just as the song registered.
I leaned out the window and quirked one eyebrow. “Taylor Swift? Really?”
“It seemed fitting.” Logan grinned, his eyes teasing like he knew exactly what he was doing.
A delicious tingle spread down my spine, and I flexed my fingers.
“Can you come out here already? This is getting heavy.” Logan shifted his weight a little but didn’t lower his arms in true Cusack determination. “And it’s raining.”
“I know! That’s so rom-com. How did you pull that off?” I sagged against the frame, enjoying the sight of his gray T-shirt clinging to his muscles—the same ones I’d had to pretend not to notice for the past forty-eight months. I soaked in the view as his hair soaked in water.
“Val, for real.” He lowered his arms, and the way his dark hair slicked across his forehead made me eager to shove it back in place.
“I’ll be right down.” I shut the window, my heart thundering louder than my feet as I pounded down the stairs. Then I stopped at the front door, pausing to flip my hair upside down for volume. But he’d already seen me at my worst. I never wore makeup on movie nights. And there was that time I got sick, and he brought me Sprite and crackers.
And yet, he was still here, mimicking one of my favorite movie gestures ever. Two, really, if you counted the fact that every good rom-com has a rain scene.
I made it outside just as a florist van pulled up next to Logan’s Corolla.
The driver hopped out. “Delivery for Valerie Turner?”
“That’s me.” I raised my hand, even though I wasn’t eleven, and I wasn’t in a classroom.
“Sign here, please.”
I scribbled my name on the clipboard he extended. Taylor’s song about dancing in the light of a refrigerator continued to serenade us as two other men began unloading daisies.
My eyes widened. “Is that…”
“One thousand yellow daisies?” Logan offered a smug grin. “I mean, I didn’t count them, but…” He narrowed his eyes at the deliveryman. “There is one thousand, right?”
“Exactly one thousand.” The driver tipped his hat at us, drops of water sluicing off the end before he headed back to his van.
Surrounded by enough pots of yellow daisies to make even Lorelai Gilmore swoon, I turned my attention to Logan. “This is…I mean…I—”
“Valerie Turner, speechless? I’ve arrived.” Logan winked. “There’s one more thing.” He dove into the backseat of his car, then emerged with several pieces of posterboard. He cleared his throat, squared his shoulders, and held up the first card.
IT’S NOT GOING TO BE EASY.
He shuffled to the next card.
IT’S GOING TO BE REALLY HARD.
I was grinning by the time he got to the next one.
AND WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK ON THIS EVERY DAY…
That card must’ve been when his hand tired because the black Sharpie handwriting started sliding downhill.
BUT I WANT TO DO THAT BECAUSE I WANT YOU.
I crossed my arms, trying to hide to my smile. “Bonus points for the Love Actually and Notebook combo.”
“Thank you.” He tossed the cards back into his car, then shoved his hands in his pockets. “I thought about taking you to a jewelry store and saying, ‘pick one’ like that dude in Sweet Home Alabama, but then I remembered she didn’t actually choose him.” He narrowed his eyes. “Plus, you know—my salary’s a bit lower.”
“A bit,” I agreed, edging closer to him.
Then he opened his arms, his smile hesitant and fearful and containing all the exact emotions fluttering through my heart.
I eagerly stepped into his embrace as the rain fell harder, drenching us in promise. “What took you so long?”
He squinted down at me. “Well, at first I was pretty Clueless. Then I was waiting on Serendipity, but you know, finally realized Something’s Gotta Give.”
“Nice rom-com usage there.” He wore my favorite cologne, and I snuggled into his arms, my pounding heart matching the rhythm of his.
“Honestly, Val, I realized if I didn’t make a move soon, I might be living out a reverse-gender retelling of My Best Friend’s Wedding. We couldn’t have that.” He pulled back, looking deep into my eyes, and this time, I didn’t even need my clearance lamp to see the truth there.
He loved me.
My stomach flipped with anticipation. “You know how these moments end, right?”
“Oh, I know.” Then he grinned, the one that used to keep me up late into the night consoling myself with Ben & Jerry’s. “I’ve been looking forward to that part all day.”
When his lips finally met mine, I wasn’t thinking about my favorite rom-coms or the rain or the daisies anymore. It was just me and him.
And it was better than the movies.
When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha—no whip.
For more romantic comedy fun, check out Betsy’s latest releases: Tacos for Two and The 80’s Rom-Com Club.
Connect with Betsy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BookBub, or on her website.