Read Dear Adam Online

Authors: Ava Zavora

Tags: #literary, #romantic comedy, #womens fiction, #chick lit, #contemporary romance, #single mother, #contemporary women, #bibliophile

Dear Adam (3 page)

BOOK: Dear Adam
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@adamagelast A Storm in Madrid looks most
appealing. My favorite Spanish city.

 

@bookbohemian It said on the cover: "If you
like...Valiente, you'll like this." They were right.

 

@adamagelast Comparison with Valiente sets
high expectations.

 

@bookbohemian Lower them. Nothing
compares.

 

A big laugh escaped from Eden. She covered
her mouth with one hand and looked around outside her cubicle entry
to see if anyone had heard her guffaw. She was still smiling as she
typed.

 

@adamagelast Valiente should be proud to
have such staunch admirers. Let's serenade him with Sinead
O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U.

 

@bookbohemian Peculiarly, I was just
thinking the same thing. Disconcerting.

 

Disconcerting indeed. Who was he? The next
tweet only fueled her growing excitement.

 

@bookbohemian I sent you a DM.

 

She’ll soon find out. It felt as though
having met at a great, big party of strangers, she and @adamagelast
were now moving into a more intimate area – a room of their
own.

 

(@adamagelast) Where are you from?

 

(@bookbohemian) San Francisco Bay Area. And
you?

 

(@adamagelast) Italy by way of the UK aka
Broken Britain. What do you do for a living?

 

(@bookbohemian) I am a legal secretary when
I’m not blogging or tweeting on the sly.

 

(@adamagelast) I am a businessman but my
passion is writing, and I am lucky to have a deal with a major
publisher...

 

(@adamagelast) ...for my first novel. It's
about my life thus far, with some poetic license

 

(@bookbohemian) Congratulations! You must be
excited and nervous about being published.

 

(@adamagelast) I don't really have any
fears, but I have a strong distaste for fame. I will publish with a
nom de plume, and all character names...

 

(@adamagelast) …will be fictionalised.

 

(@bookbohemian) Why is that? Are you writing
about dark secrets? Will your friends and family be upset with your
novel?

 

(@adamagelast) I want many to read it,
without actually knowing I wrote it. It's been a complicated
process making it a reality, but now I am...

 

(@adamagelast) ...certain it will come to
fruition. So long as people will buy the book.

 

Eden sighed. So this was why @adamagelast was
paying such a particular interest in her. A prelude to a request
for her to review his book.

 

(@adamagelast) Unfortunately, unless you and
I become close friends (I have 4 close friends in total) you will
never be able to read my book...

 

(@adamagelast) Unless you happen across it
by accident

 

The disappointment which had started to build
instantly vanished. Did he want her to beg to read it? Fat chance.
But something about him confiding that he had only four close
friends moved her. Was he lonely?

She clicked again at his avatar and brought
up its full size. If the drawing was true to life, he was a
middle-aged man, balding, with a big nose and double chin. Not
attractive at all. Physically anyway. But otherwise …

Eden was surprised to realize she did not
mind at all. @adamagelast was worldly, well-read, funny, and
intelligent. She was charmed by his formality - so out-of-place in
the casual, disposable texting culture. It was like speaking with
someone from another age.

Not to mention that he was a writer. Could a
budding flirtation ever be more promising than this?

 

(@bookbohemian) How will you promote your
novel if you don’t want anyone to know who wrote it?

 

(@adamagelast) Well, I've worked in "the
arts" since I was 16, and I've known a few authors along the way.
Some of them are especially well known now...

 

(@adamagelast) ...Upon reading a first
draft, some of said authors have agreed to endorse the novel, and
even promote it on my behalf

 

(@adamagelast) And I have one or two other
tricks up my sleeve.

 

(@adamagelast) Promotion is not a
concern.

 

(@bookbohemian) You’re certainly lucky to
have friends in high places. Now I don’t feel as bad, having met
Valiente.

 

(@adamagelast) Why don't you feel as bad?
You should.

 

(@adamagelast) I know it sounds like I am
lucky, but the journey to this point, well, retired men have said
to me in years gone by they are thankful ...

 

(@adamagelast) ... not to have lived my
life.

 

(@bookbohemian) When will it be
published?

 

(@adamagelast) Next January if I have my
way. Before Christmas if the publishers have theirs.

 

(@bookbohemian) You feel your novel isn’t
ready yet?

 

(@adamagelast) The publisher said my first
draft is publishable. I disagree, and I want to do more work on
it.

 

(@bookbohemian) So do you have a lot of say
in when and how your novel is published? That’s rather unusual.

 

(@adamagelast) I have a say, within reason.
I have a very unconventional arrangement with my publisher. Though
in that regard I can't say any more.

 

(@adamagelast) Only that I have leverage on
the business end.

 

(@bookbohemian) I see, then you have more
signs of success, knowing so much about the business part. Still
everything rests of the quality of the book.

 

(@adamagelast) The quality of the book is
exceptionally high.

 

Eden laughed out loud again. This time she
didn’t bother to cut it off. He certainly didn’t lack for
confidence.

 

(@adamagelast) I'm not sure of my success. I
keep being informed it is likely to be a success. But I don't
really care about the success per se...

 

(@adamagelast) ...I am, however, hopeful
that a good number of people will read it.

 

(@bookbohemian) Most people measure success
by being financially self-sufficient through their endeavors. But
you don't have the same concern re this book?

 

(@adamagelast) I have been financially
self-sufficient since I was 25, and I will retire at age 30. This
book for me is not about money, in any way.

 

(@adamagelast) Then I intend to have a
family. Should a lady cross my path whom I connect with in the next
few years.

 

Retire at 30? She clicked on his avatar yet
again. That must be a typo. She suddenly remembered something she
read from one of Valiente’s books, which seemed particularly apt at
the moment.

 

(@bookbohemian) Retire at 30. Now it is my
turn to dislike you. "Inferior minds fall prey to jealousy."

 

(@adamagelast) Your quote reminds me of
another.

 

(@adamagelast) Great minds discuss ideas,
average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.

 

(@bookbohemian) Where is that quote
from?

 

(@adamagelast) Eleanor Roosevelt I
believe.

 

Eden raised an eyebrow. She wasn’t quite
swooning yet. But she was close.

 

(@adamagelast) May I ask your age?

 

Eden was relieved he had finally asked. Might
as well lay it all out on the table before they starting talking
earnest. If that was where this was headed, she reminded
herself.

 

(@bookbohemian) I am 35. I will forgive you
for asking such a question. But not if you then ask me how much I
weigh. I will never speak to you again.

 

(@adamagelast) I am 28.

 

Eden read the short sentence several times.
She scrolled up and down all his messages. He must be lying. To be
so mature and formal and worldly – he had to be much older than 28.
Why would he lie though? She just revealed how old she was, not at
all the young woman her picture showed or what most people assumed
she was by looking at her. But if he were lying, wouldn’t he choose
an age closer to hers at least?

Seven years difference. And she thought Troy,
who was three years her junior had been too young. She had hated it
when her brother called her a “cougar."

She told herself to calm down. He’s not
asking her out. They’re just talking. In Twitter for heaven's sake.
Besides, if he was to be believed, he’s in Italy, nine hours time
difference away.

 

(@adamagelast) How much do you weigh?

 

(@adamagelast) I jest.

 

(@bookbohemian) You're definitely not
politically correct. But you quoted Eleanor Roosevelt so I will not
hold it against you.

 

(@adamagelast) I am not very politically
correct, excuse me. I take issue with political correctness. I
believe it's rife in The US.

 

(@bookbohemian) And do you take issue with
Americans in general?

 

(@adamagelast) I don't take issue with
Americans in general, only the ignorant ones, but that applies to
all nations

 

(@adamagelast) I know your age, your
profession, one of your interests. You have a family? By that I
mean husband and midgets.

 

(@bookbohemian) I have an ex-husband and an
almost grown up, strapping son who is most definitely not a
midget.

 

(@adamagelast) You are young to have a giant
son

 

(@bookbohemian) He's a giant to me. But them
I'm quite short. Isn't it late where you are? Or very early in the
morning?

 

(@adamagelast) It's 01:53 here, and you? I'm
a night owl, ala Edward Hopper. Great painting.

 

(@adamagelast) I believe it's 16:53 in San
Fran? Aren't you at work? I'm in bed, and I can smell lemons.

 

(@bookbohemian) I'm at work so thank god
we're DMing. It's been slow today and I'll be off in a little
bit.

 

(@bookbohemian) Do you have lemon trees
nearby?

 

(@adamagelast) Yes, a plethora right
outside. My house here is a mill from early 1900s. It was left
disused after the 1960s until I bought it this year.

 

(@bookbohemian) You probably want to get
some sleep so I will say good night/good morning. I've very much
enjoyed our conversation and laughed

 

(@bookbohemian) too loudly in the
office.

 

(@adamagelast) Glad to be of service, my
dear. If you give me your email address I'll send you a poem I
wrote.

 

Not only a writer, but a poet. Looks be
damned. @adamagelast had her very much intrigued.

 

(@adamagelast) It's something I do as a form
of self-medicating therapy.

I never publish said poems.

 

(@bookbohemian) If you want to share your
poetry, I'm at [email protected] That would be a gift.

 

(@adamagelast) I equally enjoyed it. Alas, I
shall retire to the land of sleep. I bid you farewell, my short
maiden. A bientot.

 

Eden smiled. It felt like @adamagelast had
spotted her from across a crowded room, approached her, then
whisked her away to somewhere private where they could talk. And
now he had just asked for her number.

 

Chapter 3

 

Promptly the next morning, soon after she got
into work, Eden received an e-mail from Adam. The subject read, “A
Poem." Her excitement immediately turned to dread. What if his
poetry was terrible? Then she would have to politely lie and he’d
bombard her with more, each one worse than the last. She didn’t
want to open his e-mail now.

She won’t lie. She’d just be respectfully
critical. Or be so reserved in her comments that he’d take the
hint.

Resolved, she opened "A Poem."

 

----------

From: Adam

Date: Thu, Aug 2, at 9:09 AM

To: Eden E.

 

Multiple echelons of broken fabrics

of society of love of hate of despair

divided by greed and envy and air

and the lights come on and off and on

flickering and separated

by man by animal by insect

lost in lousiness and lust and
licentiousness

lost, broken separated into

days, pieces, groups, individuals

intolerance and agony and celebrity

everyone is crying and smiling

the coffee is burning

the cars are going by, bringing
nostalgia

bringing pain and worry and concern and
fear

of the unknown, of the known

the men and the women

the liars and the whores

the stench is thickening as the brains are
thickening,

and the old man asks me, if I have the
time.

 

The
entirety
of Eden’s being sighed. She
would not have to delicately discourage Adam. His poem was raw and
pulsing, his voice, strong. His talent was so vigorously alive, it
was jumping off of the computer screen.

 

----------

From: Eden E

Date: Thu, Aug 2, at 9:20 AM

To: Adam

 

Would it bother you if I thought immediately
of T.S. Eliot - The Wasteland?

 

I wish I could say this poem out loud (but
I'm in an office with others so I can't). But if I could, I suspect
that saying the list would reinforce the brokenness in the first
line.

 

When did you write this and why? Were you in
the middle of busy city street all of sudden feeling lost and in
despair?

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