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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: Love, Internet Style
By Rhonda Clark


Haley positioned herself to see every patron that walked through the door. Once more, her quivering fingers pulled his computer-printed image from her purse. She wanted to make sure his likeness had burned into her mind so she didn’t miss him. This was her first time to meet Ian face to face. Again, she stared into those baby blue eyes, and knew there was no way she’d miss this handsome man. Again, she looked at the door. This time she saw a lanky man in a straw cowboy hat stroll in that looked remarkably like the picture in her hand.

A sharp, quick breath filled her lungs. Even her heart stopped for a moment. Ian was more handsome than her mind fathomed or the photo portrayed. The hours she spent conversing with him on the Internet had done little to prepare her for this meeting.

He paused at the door, and then headed in her direction. Her heart began to race so fast she thought it would jump from her chest. A big smile crossed his face. “Haley,” his baritone voice said, “You’re as lovely as your pictures.”

A blush climbed up her neck and filled her face. She wanted to leap from her chair and pull him into her arms, but that would have been too presumptuous. Instead, she cleared her throat and asked, “Did you have any trouble finding this place?”

Ian took a seat and rested his hat on in the extra chair. A smile filled his face again. “Not at all. You give great directions.”

Haley stared at her Prince Charming. She expected his dishwater blonde hair to be thick and full, but once he took his hat off, it was sparse and almost non-existent. But his smile made up for his lack of hair. “Where are you heading to next?” she asked.

“I’ve got a rodeo outside Tallahassee and then home until the season starts up again.”

For what seemed like an eternity, she was lost in his gaze. She could have stared into those eyes forever. That’s when his cell phone rang. Ian pulled the phone from his belt holster and looked at the number. “Excuse me; I really need to take this call.”

She watched Ian walk away and thought how he was just as wonderful in person as he was when they chatted on the internet. How could God bless her with such a perfect man? Ian was definitely not what she pictured as her knight in shining armor, although he did ride a white horse known as Snowfall. Haley giggled like a girl, just like she often did when thinking of Ian.

When he slipped back into the chair, a grim expression covered his face. “Sorry about that. It was my brother. He’s having truck trouble several miles back. I have to go help him if we expect to make it to Tallahassee on time. I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

Haley’s heart sank as she studied his sincere face; it ached at the thought of their impending separation once again.

“Why so sad?” he asked as his eyebrows knitted together.

A forced smile pulled at Haley’s lips. “Nothing. I was just thinking.” Haley readjusted in her seat and stared at her arms that lay crossed on the table.

“About how you think it will be a while until we see each other again?”

She said nothing. Ian laid his strong, calloused hand across hers. Haley lifted her eyes and met his mesmerizing stare. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Goose bumps ran up her spine.

His voice was lower than a whisper when he said, “We’ll see each other again. God brought us together today, and He’ll do it again.”

A flood of tears filled Haley’s eyes, but she smiled anyway. “It was great meeting you face to face.” A quiver filled her voice.

Ian gave a partial smile. “This has been great. I wish we had more time together.”

She swallowed the lump that threatened her composure. “We always have the ’net.”

He nodded and picked up his hat. “Yeah, we do. I’ll IM you later tonight.” With a twirl, he took his hat and positioned it on his head. Then, he turned for the door.

Haley watched him go. She wiped a lone tear from her cheek as she whispered, “Yes my dear, we’ll always have the ’net.”

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This article has been read 928 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon04/28/07
Your writing is good and enjoyable to read -- but the storyline left me empty. I would have liked to see them spend more than 1 minute together.

You developed the characters well, and I was looking forward to seeing more of their initial reactions to each other. (I especially liked the observation about the sparse hair.)
Julie Arduini04/29/07
Nice character development and creative way to create a romance!
Jacquelyn Horne05/01/07
Just a quick look at a budding romance here. The end leaves a lot of room for imagination. The plot could go on, and on. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 05/01/07
I like this--it's got a mellow, melancholy tone mixed in with the hope. Quite a commentary on our current age. You told exactly the right amount of story for the word limit. Very nice.
Rita Garcia05/02/07
I enjoyed this, "Love,Internet Style." Great title, and this certainly seems to be the order of the day! Talk about "Modern Romance."
Cassie Memmer05/02/07
Nice story. I was afraid when the phone call came that it was the old ploy to get out of a blind date. You fooled me! :o) Many people live lives of hope these days waiting for a good relationship and many use the internet to achieve that purpose. So this is very contemporary and true to life. Nice writing!
Betty Castleberry05/02/07
I like the today feel of this piece. I'm not quite sure what to think of Ian. You did a fantastic job of making this reader give him some more thought. I'm not sure he's ready for a relationship. This was well done.
Sara Harricharan 05/02/07
I liked this 'internet love story.' Very different and well done. I liked the description of Ian's eyes best. ^_^ I wish there'd been more though.
Loren T. Lowery05/02/07
I enjoyed your writing sytle and you seemed to have your pulse on the new dating scene - You made the MC's emotions very real for me.
Cheri Hardaway 05/02/07
It's like reading a book with the last chapter torn out. What happened? I would have liked to have more story, but that is how it goes with only 750 words. Blessings, Cheri
Cheri Hardaway 05/02/07
I want to add that my comment above was meant to be a positive one. It's the mark of good writing to be able to have your reader connect to your characters to the point that they want to know more, in such a limited amount of words. ;o) Cheri