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Gwendolyn in Wonderland; Autumn 2011, bookstore, PM to enter
Topic Started: Mar 8 2013, 05:15 PM (1,046 Views)
Espi
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Gwen liked books.

Books were a fun, casual way to pass a lazy Sunday. Gwen enjoyed the eponymous "curl up by the fire with a good book on a Saturday evening" as much as the next girl, of course.

She just...didn't have much time for books. Especially with preparing for senior year, Ann was pushing her extra-hard to do well. Still, Gwen wasn't about to let something like an overbearing mom crush her ability to enjoy literature. Thus, Gwen was in a small, family-owned bookstore on a Sunday she was free, hoping to find something that caught her eye.

One book did. "Daughter of Smoke and Bone." Gwen muttered. She picked up the book, intrigued by the masquerade cover. She looked at the inside cover; she wasn't big on fantasy, which this book appeared to be about, but the main character was an art student; maybe it'd be good.

She her wallet from her little black purse; she had juuust enough money to buy it. Gwen was seriously tempted, but at the same time, she was unsure of whether or not she'd end up liking it.

Maybe she could get a second opinion...
Edited by Espi, Mar 8 2013, 05:15 PM.
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Gwen heard a sound, followed by her full name, followed by her preferred nickname. She turned around. She smiled at the boy, who she didn't quite recognize, but was pretty sure she knew him from school.

"Hi there!" She said cheerfully. And a bit too loudly. Gwen quieted her voice when she added, "I'm really sorry, I don't quite remember your name. M-something, right? You go to Aurora High school a little ways away?"

Gwen realized she still held the book in her hand. She held it up in front of M-something. "By the way, would you say that this is a good book? It looked interesting, but I'm not sure it's really "me", you know what I mean? And I can only afford one book, so I want to make it count."
Edited by Espi, Mar 8 2013, 05:54 PM.
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Maynard! Of course Gwen knew his name! How could she have forgotten such an interesting name?

Gwen chuckled at his joke. "I'll stick with Maynard, if you don't mind." Maynard, if she recalled, was an odd bird, but he seemed nice enough.

She thought for a moment about his question. "You know, I haven't actually got any other ideas. If you say it's gotten good reviews, maybe I'll check it out."

She glanced around; the store was empty, unfortunately. Gwen preferred local-owned stores to large brand places, and it was a shame that the former were dying out. "So, were you looking for a book? There's a lot of nice ones here."
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Gwen was surprised by the sudden rant. He'd seemed pretty quiet before. Still, he'd mentioned some interesting things. Gwen hadn't heard of "Wheel of Time", though. She figured he needed printer ink.

"I see," Gwen said. A delay tactic. Give herself a chance to figure out the other stuff he was talking about.

Manga? Gwen was somewhat sure that that was a kind of Asian comic or something. Meh. Gwen wasn't big on comics. Poetry was surprising. He seemed awfully shy to be writing out slam-style poetry, so Gwen assumed he just wanted to read it. Gwen preferred writing or ranting it, but she could get behind that.

Gwen found an awful lot of conversational topics that Maynard described, but she picked out one quickly enough to make the pause seem pretty short.

"Oh, vegetarian cookbooks? Are you a vegetarian, too? What kind?" Gwen titled her head slightly to stretch her neck. Her violet bangs fell into her eyes and she shook them away.
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Gwen nodded at his description of his vegetarianism. That was pretty much exactly how she was, though she was occasionally lenient on the free-range aspect if she couldn't find them. Eggs were too good to pass up on.

Gwen watched Maynard get very excited. He was surprisingly spunky for someone who'd appeared so timid earlier. Gwen thought he was kind of cute, in a dorky way. Gwen sighed; she'd walked to the store, and she wished she could take a seat.

"Oh, found poetry? That can be interesting; I've tried that a couple times. It's kind of tricky to get it to work together perfectly, but if you do it right it can be really fun to read. Do you write a lot of poetry?"

Gwen cracked her neck again. "Sorry, do you mind if we sit over there?" Gwen gestured to a pair of overstuffed chairs nearby. "I'm kind of tired from the walk."
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Gwen laughed. Maynard was a real cutie, even if he was a bit odd. They were surprisingly alike, though, which was a definite plus.

"Thank you, kind sir." she said, seating herself. She broke into giggles at this. Eventually, when she was calmer, she continued. "But yes, I do like poetry. I write it on occasion, when I find myself in the mood. I don't have a particular preferred pattern; mostly I simply write it the way I like." She laughed again; she sounded so damn formal!

"I like writing about that stuff, too. Especially nature; natural stuff is really beautiful." She looked at Maynard seriously. "But I'll admit that I, too, once wrote about girls I had crushes on." She felt bad at that point; she was no homophobe of course, but maaaaybe the joke didn't come out right.

She looked at him apologetically. "Oh, sorry. I'm not against homosexuality; if anything I'm all for it. I'm not a lesbian, but I don't care who you love or how as long as you do it kindly, and I see no evidence that GLBT people can't love as much or more than heterosexuals. Do you agree?"

Gwen hoped she didn't sound offensive; it was a controversial topic to bring up to someone who was more-or-less a stranger, and she did it pretty bluntly.
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Gwen was glad there'd been no issue about her remarkably tasteless joke. Maynard certainly seemed to be a nice guy, and Gwen wondered if he might be interested in spending time with her later.

Then he dropped another chivalrous bomb. Gwen was surprised; she didn't know of a lot of people who'd pay for someone's book if they barely knew them. Still, it was a very kind thing to offer, so Gwen didn't want to be rude to him.

Gwen smiled. "Oh, that's sweet of you. Don't worry about it, I'll buy the book myself. But thank you for offering, it's really selfless of you." She stood from the chair. "I'm just gonna go buy it, then I'll come right back."

Gwen walked up to the cashier, a kindly older woman who was friends with the couple who owned the store. "Hi there. May I purchase this book?" She asked. Of course she could, so she pulled out her wallet and quickly counted out the money.
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Gwen thought Maynard was a nice enough guy. So she didn't mind going out for gelato.

She nodded, put her newly acquired book into her bag, and replied, "Oh, sure. Where do you have in mind? I don't know a lot of gelato places."

Gwen walked over to Maynard, trying to not trip over her own feet. She stood next to him.

"Oh, my favorite genre? Uh, that's a tough one. Maaaybe romance, but it should be happy and not sad. Sad romances suck. Ooh, and it can't be like, "love at first sight" or it seems cheesy, especially if they have nothing in common."

She paused for a second. "What about you?"
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Gwen listened to Maynard talking. He seemed to have a very thoughtful personality, though he had a tendancy to go on odd trains of thought frequently. Still, it spiced up conversation, and Gwen was enjoying talking with him.

She was concerned about his nerves; perhaps he suffered social anxiety? She felt bad for him if that was the case. Hopefully she could find a way to help.

"Yeah, I like lots of books. It's really more about the book than the genre. I just tend to enjoy romances, I guess." She walked around to face him directly.

"Here, have my number. Try not to call at night, but if you want to meet up for food, that'd be nice!" She quickly plucks a sheet of paper from her bag, jots down her phone number, and holds it out for the boy.
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Gwen laughed. She quickly froze, though; she hadn't meant to be rude, but something about the way Maynard spoke had struck her as wildly amusing. Gwen was slightly concerned with his immediate claiming of her number.

"Oh, I'm sorry! But yeah, nighttime I'm either studying, doing homework or otherwise am occupied. But beyond that, it should be fine. Ring me up if you want to hang out sometime!"

Gwen turned and faced the sunlit doorway. "I've gotta get going; I'll see you later, Maynard?" Gwen smiled, feeling the warm light on her face as she walked out.

[[Gwen O'Connor's story continues elsewhere]]
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