Sarah had stared at the blank sheet of paper in her typewriter, wondering what to put on it, for ten minutes. Before she started staring at the paper, she had gotten herself a cup of coffee, which was now gone. Before she got the coffee, she had stared at the piece of paper for fifteen minutes. Before she had stared for fifteen minutes, she cleaned her kitchen. Before she cleaned her kitchen, she had put the blank paper in the typewriter and stared at it for a full twenty minutes. She thought about her morning and realized that she had nothing to write. Her mind was as blank as the paper.
Sarah got up with the empty coffee mug and went back to the kitchen. The coffee in the pot was cold. She poured another cup and put it in the microwave. Leaning against the counter, she closed her eyes. She’d had writer’s block for the past several months. After coming off the promotional tour for her last book, she had come home to an empty, quiet house with nothing to say or write.
She knew exactly why she had writer’s block: she had come home lonely. She had come home to a house, but no friends, no lover, no one to greet her. Her friendships all but disappeared during the tours. Her boyfriend, Sam, had found someone else and had moved on during this last tour and had informed her of this on a long distance phone call while she was in London. Her parents had called to make sure she got home all right, but no one else did. It was three days before she called Carol, who wasn’t home, and then Annie, who was too busy to talk at that moment. After writing three bestsellers, three big promotional tours, and enough money to buy a house, she had nothing else in her life but writing and now she had nothing left to write – or at least she felt she had nothing else to write. Originally, Sarah had written mysteries and dramas, but now she was wanted to explore another genre. Unfortunately, nothing had come to her since she had come home. She could usually find a grain of inspiration anywhere -a conversation, a wink between two people on opposite sides of the room, a drink mistakenly delivered to the wrong table- but this inspiration had seemed to disappear when she walked through the door of her house.
The microwave sounded; coffee was hot and ready. She took it out of the microwave and poured some sugar in it. She went back to her typewriter and sat down, taking a sip. “What to write; what to write,” She thought. She sat in front of her typewriter for another thirty minutes and finally started writing a sentence.
“Logan took off his glasses and . . .”
. . .
And what? She thought. That wasn’t going to work.
She sat for a minute, moved the paper up and started again.
“Max walked down the stairs to open the door. He could see her through the window. . .”
. . .
Nothing. Sarah got up, frustrated, and decided to take a walk. She grabbed her coat, put on her shoes, and slammed the door behind her.
She walked down her block and jammed her hands in the pockets of her jacket. Sarah thought about the past few months and how she had not been able to type a meaningful word that would lead to anything. Her loneliness had led to her writer’s block, and her writer’s block reminded her of her loneliness. What to write. What to write. She thought. What to write.
She continued down the street then decided to go to her favorite bookstore. When she got there, she saw her last book in the window of the store. Suddenly, she didn’t feel like going in. She walked on down the street and passed by a coffee shop near the bookstore. That was the coffee shop where she met Sam. She continued down the street. What to write. What to write. She thought. Writing was all she had left, so now what would she write. Sarah shed a few tears and looked down at the sidewalk. What would she do now and who could she talk to about it?
Then suddenly, Sarah was flat on the sidewalk. What happened? She thought. She realized that she had run into something, but what?
“Oh God! I’m so sorry! Are you ok?” A voice over Sarah said. A hand took hers and helped her up.
“My head hurts . . . and my butt.” Sarah replied.
“I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention and I didn’t see you. Forgive me, please? Let me buy you some coffee or something?” Then Sarah looked up at the stranger. He was handsome, to say the least. Tall, slightly tanned, a nice smile, spiked hair, and silver glasses that made him look mature and charming. Sarah suddenly forgot about her headache and stared at his chestnut colored eyes.
“Coffee?” She finally mustered. “Sure. That would be great.” She smiled.
They went into the same coffee shop she had met Sam, but Sarah had completely forgotten him. They ordered coffee and sat down at a table. Somehow, the two just started talking.
The stranger introduced himself as Logan. He was a computer analyst who worked from home. Sarah learned they had gone to the same college around the same time and just didn’t know each other. He liked to read and watch old movies. She liked to write and watch new movies. He had read her last book and loved it. She needed the encouragement. He was working on his Master’s degree, but was stuck on a project and had needed a break. She told him that she was working on her next book, but was completely stuck as well and needed a walk.
They talked for about two hours, then realized how late it was getting and how much work they needed to do. They exchanged phone numbers and agreed to get together for dinner that weekend at a local restaurant they both enjoyed. The time had passed so quickly that the sun was high in the sky and the day was suddenly warm. Logan and Sarah walked out of the coffee shop and into the sunshine.
“Well, I am glad I bumped into you – literally.” Logan said with a smile.
“Me, too.” Sarah replied, and really meant it.
“Well, I’ll call you later then see you on Saturday.”
“Ok. Can’t wait.” She smiled. “See you on Saturday.”
“Bye.” They parted ways and Sarah headed back to her house. She turned and looked over her shoulder at Logan just in time to see him turn and look at her.
When she got back to her house, she put Logan’s card on the table next to her phone. Then she sat down at her typewriter and took the piece of paper with the scrambled sentences out of it. She fed a new piece of paper into the typewriter and began to type.
She turned to walk away from the bookstore and bumped right into him. When she looked up, she suddenly saw the most beautiful stranger she had ever seen. Her writer’s block was gone. She finished the first two chapters of her new book by nine, when the phone rang. It was Logan. Sarah’s inspiration had returned and had exploded into a full story in the new genre she had wanted to explore. As she and Logan talked, she mentioned that she was put their meeting in her new book because it was so unique. He laughed and said he was flattered to be the beginning of her new story.
© Copyright 2016 MZimmerman. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Romance
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