Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Author Extra: Lunaside by J.L. Douglas

[Moira and Andrea are together at the beginning of Lunaside, and in the story they face all kinds of challenges as a couple. However, every romance has a beginning -- regardless of how humble and awkward it might be.]

The first time I met Andrea I was standing in a strawberry field in a sundress with strawberries on it holding a box of strawberries while my gourmet-chef father talked about how to make strawberry marinade. And yet, I somehow wasn't the only one who ended up embarrassed in that situation.

I didn't notice that Andrea had been standing in the field with us during that whole on-location filming of Taste of Trundle Island, dad's cooking show. If I had been worried about more than how horribly precious I looked in my strawberry ensemble, she might have stood out. I imagine it's not every day that some girl dressed like an old retired guy wanders into a strawberry field, seemingly from nowhere.

Not exactly conspicuous, but it wasn't until my director cut filming and yelled "Can someone please tell me who this kid is? Security?" that I saw her there.

I should clarify: saw her there staring directly at me.

I suppose I should have found that a bit creepy, but as it turned out she was the producer's daughter and she'd come down to see Dad and me in action.

Well, what she literally said to our director was, "I asked my mom for permission to visit. I'm kind of Moira's biggest fan," but my brain just could not process that.

At the words "producer's daughter," our director's expression melted from stern frown into schmooze-grin. Shortly after, he suggested that we've been working too hard and maybe it was time for a break.

My father, who has been much more openly accepting of my sexuality than I would probably have liked, immediately elbowed me with a wink.

"She's pretty cute though," he commented, before sauntering off to join the camera crew at the snack table.

Maybe he was right. Maybe she looked adorable just standing there, looking a bit lost in her sweater vest and few-sizes-too-big khakis, her very short, very black hair disheveled by cowlicks.

However, here in the real world my heart wasn't allowed to leap to think that this cute girl had come to see me of all people. Although everyone in my life knew that I liked girls, actually dating someone was just something that seemed so hilariously unreasonable that I couldn't even comprehend it.

But then as I got closer, she caught my eye in a non-creepy-staring way.

"Hey," she said, "I'm Andrea."

"Uh, I'm Moira," I replied, my nervous hand basically vibrating out to shake hers.

"I know," she answered.

When, after a second or so of silence, we both broke down and laughed at that, I started letting myself wonder if maybe this girl was thinking what I was thinking.

I started hoping she was, anyway.

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