Second Date (500Words, Week 3, Day 1, 1/1/18)
“Well, how do YOU organize your books, then?” Nina threw the question at Martin in an attempt to divert attention away from her reddening cheeks. Things weren’t going quite the way she’d had in mind.
Martin pulled his gaze away from Nina and let his hand follow his eyes back to the bookshelf. “I organize my fiction by author and my nonfiction by title. Your way is much more interesting though I’m not sure how you find things later.”
Interesting was just another word for weird and Nina knew it. “I don’t usually go looking for books once I’ve read them.”
Martin snapped around to look at Nina again. “You’ve read ALL of these?”
“Of course.” Her reply was so simple and matter-of-fact that it was Martin’s turn to blush. Nina watched his cheeks flush and felt better. They each had their oddities.
“Nina, there are so many books here – it’s like a library!” He rotated in place, looking again at all the books on all the shelves. “This is amazing.”
His awe was endearing and Nina felt herself relax a bit. She didn’t bring men into her home often or easily and the Book Room was only the beginning. Martin seemed different, though, so she’d taken the leap and felt horribly unsure of what would be expected of her by him.
“Would…you like something to drink?” Nina asked, taking a step towards the entrance to the kitchen.
“Yes, please.” Martin seemed reluctant to leave this room full of books. “Might you have tea?”
“Yes, I have quite a bit. Come with me into the kitchen so you can choose which one you want.”
They walked down the small hallway, each lost in their own thoughts. When they emerged into the kitchen, Martin drew in a sharp breath and froze,
“What? Wait. What is that?”
Nina’s heart sped up a bit in this moment of truth. “What are you talking about, Martin? What is what?”
Martin’s eyes had gotten huge and his face was pale. He looked at Nina and back again several times before his mouth remembered how to speak. “Nina? I swear I’m looking at a dragon. A large, green and gold dragon. And if you don’t see it then I’m sure I’m losing my mind.”
Nina looked at Gornlia and smiled. “You are not losing your mind. I can see her. It’s not typical for others to be able to, so I needed you to tell me what you were seeing first. She’s quite friendly if you’d like to touch her.”
Martin shook his head and pressed the heels of both hands into his eyes. “You’re telling me,” he asked, with his eyes still covered, “that you have a friendly dragon that lives in your kitchen?”
“Yes. I read all my books and I live with a dragon. Both things are true. Would you still like that tea?” Nina took a step forward and put her hand on Martin’s elbow. “You can open your eyes, Martin. Gornlia isn’t going anywhere and she won’t hurt you unless you ask her to.”
Martin’s arms flew out to the sides and his eyes popped open. “Why would I ask her to hurt me? And HOW would I do that? Not because I want to – because I don’t want to confuse her!”
Nina smiled and clasped her hands together. “Oh, she’s smarter than you. You won’t confuse her.”
* All 500Words are fiction. Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *