Terry O'Brien from the January 19, 2015 issue
Natalie's life became a lot sweeter once Henry came back to town...
In a Nutshell
Natalie owns a chocolate and ice cream shop. An old flame walks in looking for a birthday gift for his sister. He confesses he had feelings for her back in high school.
This story is a textbook Old Flame story, like I describe in one of my "advanced" writing for Woman's World classes. I think the allure of these stories is that we all have memories of someone whom we admired from afar and it's fun to imagine that they had feelings for us too, but were too shy to say anything. It's sort of Cinderella retroactive in that of all the girls in high school, he noticed her. She stood out from the crowd. It also appeals because usually the guy thinks she was out of his league, and who among us wouldn't like to be considered out of someone's league?
I found myself hoping Henry was getting something for his sister besides truffles.
I enjoyed the marriage proposal "epilogue" at the end, but notice how our point of view drifts in and out. At the beginning, we are firmly in the narrator's pov, looking down upon Natalie's life. Then, we get much closer until we're inside Natalie's head, finding his dimples familiar and getting embarrassed about her babbling on. Near the end, we zoom out again for the last paragraph. It makes it feel a little like we've been sitting listening to a story, doesn't it?
Photo credit: By FASTILY (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons