My January Superromance, Molly's Mr. Wrong, involves a once-shy woman who has come into her own. As luck would have it, the guy responsible for the worst date of her life is now one of her students at the local community college. It was a mercy date, you see. Something their mothers had cooked up. And it didn't end well.
I never had a mercy date cooked up by mothers, but I did have my own equivalent the high school mercy date. My school had a yearly girl-ask-guy formal. I decided to take advantage of it and ask the guy I'd been crushing on to go the dance. My big chance. So after a good week of practicing my lines, I approached him in the hall and managed to choke out my request, feeling as if I was going to burst into flames of embarrassment at any moment. Then my crush--who was really, really nice about it--gently informed me that he was going steady with someone and had been for quite some time.
How could I have not known? That was a question to ponder later, when I wasn't a puddle on the floor. However--like I said, he was a really nice guy--he went to that dance with me. A duty date. And it felt like one. No matter how nice someone is, if their affections are engaged elsewhere, the date can be nothing but that. It sucked.
You know...it still embarrasses me to think about it, even if it doesn't seem like that big of a deal now. It was to an easily-mortified high school kid.
However, those feelings are what inspired Molly's Mr. Wrong and I rather like how their story turned out. Here's a brief excerpt:
The lights were off in Mike’s house when Finn parked in the driveway. Maybe his grandfather really was busy and didn’t have time to help the lady. Feeling slightly better, he started up the neighbor’s walk. The door opened before he reached the low porch and a slim woman with straight honey colored hair that fell just past her shoulders and heavy black glasses that gave her a sexy secretary look stepped out the door to meet him.
“Hi,” she said as she closed the door. “You must be…” Her eyes widening as her voice trailed off and Finn had to stop himself from looking over his shoulder to see what had frozen her expression. “Finn Culver.”
She said his name as if it was an accusation and he had the distinct feeling that he had just crossed that line into the Twilight Zone.
“I am.” He ran his gaze over her, looking for a clue. He sure as hell wasn’t wearing a name badge, so he had to know her from somewhere. Mike said she was new in town, but there was something about her that niggled at his brain.
“You don’t remember me.” The words spoken in the same flat tone as his name.
Angular face, hazel eyes, really nice mouth, kind of wide and full. A few freckles. Big glasses. He was drawing a blank. “You seem familiar.” No lie there.
“It was a long time ago,” she said.
She folded her arms over her chest. “The mercy date.”