From Marty Vee:
This is a RomCom novella I’m sharing in segments, about two people who don’t like each other getting quarantined together. I suggest starting at the beginning:
But I’ll recap anyway:
Billie is a junior reporter for a local network and Edgar, her least favorite person, works in the same position at a competing network. They are quarantined together at his house. She recently found out that most of her previously conceived notions about him are based on someone else’s lies. As these things go, feelings got all involved and they did the deed. On Day 10 she asked the National Guard if she could grab provisions from her house and come back to Edgar’s. Then a video was circulated on Day 12 that confirms she is at Edgar’s house and his ex-wife turns the narrative very negatively against them on social-media. On Day 13, Billie asked Edgar to go to her home with her and he decided not to. So sad. But THEN she pulled a brilliant stunt with a new video and had an argument with the ex-wife AND THEN Edgar showed up at her house and they go through the rest of quarantine together. So happy.
I hope you enjoy it!
There’s a tear in the vinyl booth Edgar and I are sitting in. We’re holding hands under the table on top of his thigh. I’m having a hard time not digging into my purse for hand sanitizer, but I just put it on after splaying the menu open on the table. It’s our first time eating out of the house since the Quarantine was lifted. The smell of onion and cooking meat wafting from the restaurant kitchen is tantalizing but I might not be able to eat through my anxiety.
The door to the outside opens and I look up to see my mom and dad walking in. She lets out an excited squeal and my dad shakes his head but I can see the humor in his eyes.
“Mom!” I exclaim as I stand to hug her.
Hug her. I get to hug my mom.
Seriously, I regret ever taking any hug from her for granted. I regret every time she hugged me and I only leaned my shoulder into her.
I’m making up for that now. I wrap her in my arms and rest my head on her shoulder. Her hair tickles my skin and I breathe in the smell of her hair spray. I feel her tears dampen the shoulder of my shirt. Her inhales are shaky. Her fingers stroking the hair down my back as she whispers, “My baby girl,” over and over.
I register that Edgar and my dad shook hands and are now standing awkwardly next to us.
I’m the first to pull back. My left-hand grabs Edgar’s arm as I say, “Mom, this is Edgar.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She gushes and wraps him in her arms. I had warned him it was going to happen but he seems pleased by her friendliness anyway.
My dad takes the opportunity to crush me in his hold, his head resting on mine. “I missed you, Billie Goat.”
“I missed you too, Dad.”
When we sit down, I’m relieved to watch Mom pull hand sanitizer out of her purse. The little bottle gets passed around to all of us. The pungent smell of alcohol lingers for a few seconds.
I wonder if we’ll ever get to a point like before the virus.
Edgar drapes his arm across my shoulder and pulls me into his side. A satisfied hum vibrates in my throat and I watch both of my parents blink in amused surprise. It’ll take time for them to get used to me being unguarded with him. I stay there, my body formed to his side. His lips press against the top of my head.
I entwine our fingers, our palms pressed together and squeeze.
The future is unsure, but it always was. Some truths remain the same.
But sitting in a booth at my favorite cheap Mexican restaurant with my parents and the man I love, I feel different. Somehow, without the constant self-protection, I’m freer. I found someone who I can be free with.
Someone to be brave with, in an uncertain world.
From Marty Vee:
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you reading my little book. I have been so endeared by the positive feedback I’ve received. Such a joy.
When I started writing this, it felt like an escape from a stressful world. I hope that the reading of it has been just as much of an escape for you.
Shamelessly, I’m going to ask that if you have enjoyed You and Me In Quartantine you’ll share it with a friend or on your social media.
I wish you all the best!