How a Novelist sees it (or The Way Story Happens)

As a writer, I find that I look at the world differently than most non-writers (or “Muggles,” if you will).

Here’s a series of events as they happened: 
Drove to the store, returned a movie, went to a fast-food place, got a breakfast sandwich, drove away.

Here’s the beginning of story (otherwise known as how it went in my mind):
So my singing career and my latest love affair began on a humid summer morning. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, but being me usually makes that impossible.
I was dressed like curtains: neutral tans and grays that go together in the whole scheme of a room but don’t work together as an outfit. I was determined to blend right into the background. But my over-sized purple shades made just enough of an impression to turn heads. Not in a good way, but in a boy-you’re-a-weirdo way.

I hurriedly returned my movie, hopped back in my car, and headed to the drive-thru with eggs, cheese, and an aversion to cooking  on my mind. The line was long, customers with car windows down and squinting, shiny faces waited patiently to inch forward for that cup of coffee or that large order of whatever. I was my usual unaffected self, singing along to Gavin DeGraw  and wondering if I would ever have another “Crush” again in life.

I pulled up to the drive-thru window and grabbed my wallet.

“Ma’am, yours is paid for,” the girl with the headset said.

“What?” I asked.

“That guy.” She pointed out the window to the car in front of me. I looked at the spotless red coupe and silently recited the numbers and letters on its Tennessee license plate. Just in case. “He paid for your food. He wants your number.”

“Is this a joke? Am I being filmed?” I asked. I immediately looked down at my wrinkled tank top and non-complimentary sweat shorts.

“I don’t think so.” She looked around with a self-conscious expression, all of a sudden too aware of her surroundings. “He just said that you’re a great singer, and he’d pay to get your number.” She handed me my food.

I pulled up beside his car, and he rolled down the passenger window. “Hi.  Thanks.” I held up the bag. “What’s this about?”

“I heard you singing back there. You sound really good. I’m in town with one of my clients, and they need a backup singer for a concert in two days. How about we have dinner and talk about it?  You down?”

What am I . . . crazy, I thought. Of course you are, Purple Shades. I thought again about Gavin’s song “Crush”. This guy was cute. Really cute.

“Okay,” I said. I threw my business card into his car.

He got out of his car and handed me his. “You’re really cute,” he said.

And that’s how my singing career and my latest love affair began.

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