MAY

Celebrating Our 10th Blog-O-Versary

05/08 – Robin Weaver

Saturday, March 14, 2020

An awkward and clumsy first meet by Peggy Jaeger



Originally, I was going to write about this couple's first kiss. Although it's sweet and tender it's laced with lots of pent-up frustration, so I thought it might be better to show you how they first came to meet - because unlike that first kiss, this meet cute is anything but sweet and tender!

Below is the first meet for my heroine Nell Newbery and the hero Charlie Churchill in my RomCom IT’S A TRUST THING.
When Nell burst full forth into my mind she came with a bunch of emotional baggage and the inherent clumsiness that I, too, am plagued with and have been my entire life.  I’ve been the poster child for falling down while standing still since I learned to walk. At first my mother thought I was merely a little delayed in being able to keep upright when I was learning to move around as a toddler. It became apparent rather quickly that coordination is not my stronghold. To this day and all through my growing years I’ve never been in sports of any kind because I’m so uncoordinated. You now you have a problem when kids won’t even choose you for a game of recess dodgeball!
Giving Nell this affliction as well somehow made me feel better, knowing that I wasn’t the only one who was so clumsy!

A lifetime of congenital clumsiness had prevented me from ever wearing anything taller than a tiny kitten heel. A higher heel spelled complications in situations that involved doing anything with my feet and legs in tandem – like walking. It’s been said by my friends that I can trip standing still.

They’re not exaggerating, so today I’d donned a pair of well worn and much loved ballet flats as a precaution against any movement mishaps. The last thing I wanted to do was trip while I was lecturing.  Not in this age of camera phones where my ungainliness could be uploaded and Instagrammed to the world in a heartbeat.

I should have added walking up stairs to that precaution because three steps away from the second floor landing I slid, stumbled, and slipped.  Honesty, who but me could fall up the stairs?

My arms flailed, my brief case tumbled down behind me, and the papers I’d been holding flew around me like confetti at a parade when I dropped them to brace myself against face planting into the marble.

“Shit. Shit. Shit.”

I landed with my palms splayed flat on the stair. The slap of my flesh meeting the hard step reverberated around me, and my forearms trembled with the force of the hit. My left shin slammed against the stair tread, the sharp edge of it connecting right under my rounded kneecap. One of my consignment store Kate Spade ballet flats popped off and plummeted downward, chasing after my briefcase.

For a moment I went stone still, shocked at the loudness of my hit in the stairwell and the immediate pain filling my hands and knee.

I said a silent prayer of thanks no one had been a witness to my gracelessness and then took the prayer back when a voice drifted up from below me.

Good Lord. Are you okay?”

Why do people ask such a stupid question? Obviously, I wasn’t. I’d just fallen flat on my face, my lecture papers were strewn about me as if they’d exploded out of a canon and, because this was me of the lousy luck, my laptop was probably damaged beyond repair.
Right as I was about to toss the questioner a snarky retort, I felt a hand wind around one of upper arms and haul me up as if I weighed nothing more than a breath of air.
My dress had three quarter sleeves but even through the cotton the warmth that oozed from the hand heated my skin as if touching it bare.

“Can you stand?” the voice asked.

While the hand oozed with warmth, the voice flowed with a sultry, sensual cadence that shot straight to my insides and heated all the parts of me that had been experiencing an arctic frost of late.

Well, a lot more than of late.

Deep toned and sexily accented like Prince Harry’s, I’d bet ten bucks it was English to the core.

“I think so.” With my free hand on the rail, I righted and gingerly placed my unshod foot flat on the stair tread. My knee ached, but I could tell nothing had broken. I was going to be sore tomorrow, though, for sure. And bruised without a doubt. My fair skin always looked like I’d been in a ten-round prizefight whenever I banged it against anything.
I lifted my gaze to tell he-of-the-Tom-Jones-soulful-voice I was okay and the words stuck in the back of my throat.

Concern wrinkled a high brow and the skin at the corners of his eyes. And, goodness, what eyes; a clear blue, reminiscent of the waters of the Caribbean. I’d never seen that color on an actual human before and it was beyond striking. Thick, blond hair tinged with gray at the temples was cut short along the nape. My gaze slid from his gorgeous eyes down to cheeks carved from alabaster and dusted with a salt and pepper, well-groomed beard. My glance flitted to his mouth and the air stuck in my throat finally broke free in a gasp. Full and luscious, smooth skinned and deep blush in color, they were the most perfect lips imaginable. For a hot second the ache in my hands and knee disappeared to form a totally different kind of ache in my core.

I blinked, shuddered, and teetered a bit when I recognized the alien sensation swimming within me as awareness.

Sexual awareness.

Those beautiful lips tugged down at the corners as he stared at me, worry in those compelling eyes. His hand tightened on my arm.

“Steady.” That silky voice slid all over me.

“I-I’m okay. Really.” I tried to move out of his hold but he wasn’t having it.
“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Thanks. I’m fine. Well,” I rolled my eyes as he continued to peer at me, “I’m a little banged up and embarrassed, but fine. Really. I fall all the time. Everywhere.”

Shut up Penelope.

Sir Sexy didn’t look all that convinced, but he did let go of my arm.

“It’s true. And now I’m late.” I bent to retrieve the notes that had gone helter-skelter when I’d stumbled. I didn’t relish going back down the steps to get my briefcase, but I was saved from having to when Sir Hotness did the honors.

After taking it from him I slung the strap over my shoulder. Then he handed me my wayward shoe and I held onto the railing while I slipped it back on.

“Thank you.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

I nodded. “I’ll live. Thanks again, but I’ve gotta get going.”

“Where are you heading?”

I blinked, wondering why he’d asked.

“Room 265. It’s supposed to be right up these stairs.”

He gave me a quick head bob. “It is. Come on, I’ll show you.”

“Oh, no, really. That’s okay. I can find my way. You’ve done enough. I don’t want to make you late for wherever”—I flapped my free hand in the air—“you need to be.”
Those amazing lips twitched at the corners turning his intriguing face into a whole new level of handsome.

“I happen to be going in the same direction.”

He held out a hand to indicate we should move up the remaining stairs.
With my papers bundled in one hand, my shoe back in place and my briefcase, thankfully, not emitting sounds of my laptop jiggling in a thousand shattered pieces, I gripped the rail and walked – slowly and cautiously – up the remaining steps while he kept an eye on my progress.

My chaperone, because that’s what he was at this point, kept his stride coupled with mine. At the top of the landing he pulled the corridor door open and nodded for me to precede him.

It was easy to find my scheduled room. A scotch-taped notice indicating my name, the course I was teaching, and the time the class started was on the wall next to an auditorium door.

“This is me,” I said. “Thanks again for your help.”

His gaze shot from the paper on the wall to my face. With his head tilted a bit to the side, his expression was indecipherable. I couldn’t tell if he was silently laughing at the title of my class, me, or if he was wondering if someone who was as clumsy as I was had personal knowledge and experience with shattering ceilings, metaphoric or otherwise.

“You’re welcome, Ms. Newbery.” He pronounced my name as if the second e was missing, the b and the r rolling off his tongue together, and not berry the way people usually did. I have to admit, I liked this pronunciation way better. It sounded…classier, somehow. “Have a good class. And you might want to ice your knee later on, just as a precaution.”

With that, he nodded again, then walked down the long hallway away from me.
The back of him was as interesting as the front. Broad, straight shoulders encased in a sport’s coat that dropped effortlessly from shoulder to hip; endlessly long legs wrapped in fitted trousers. He held himself in a manner my mother would have approved of: erect, like a solider but graceful, like a dancer. I could actually picture him in both a uniform holding a rifle and a tuxedo holding…me.

Holy crap.

I stayed in my spot until he opened a door at the end of the corridor and then disappeared through it without ever glancing back at me.

I shook my head to clear it of the wacky thoughts, opened my own classroom door and entered into what I hoped wouldn’t prove to be one of the nine circles of Hell.

If you liked that little meet cute, first of all, thanks!!! If you'd like your own copy the book is exclusive to Kindle in ebook or print form here:

Bio: 

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Social Media links:



Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
  

9 comments:

CB Clark said...

What a cute meeting scene, Peggy! Love your quirky sense of humour.

Judith Ashley said...

Great descriptions, Peggy. I can easily fall whether from tripping or just going over, however, it is a balance thing complicated with visual issues as I'm not good at judging distances so it is easy to miss a step, curb, etc.

Diana McCollum said...

I enjoyed reading your first meet scene. Love the description .

peggy jaeger said...

C.B. thankyou!!! awkward and clumsy are my nicknames! hee hee

peggy jaeger said...

Judith - i don't judge distances well either, especially since I've been forced to wear bifocals. Torture!

peggy jaeger said...

Diana - thank you so much for your kind words!

Deb N said...

Peggy - loved, loved, loved. I can totally relate to the clumsiness. In high school, I was the athletic benchwarmer (since we all HAD to play sports - yeah, right.) My biggest (as life events go) claim-to-fame was catching a softball in right field (as I muttered, oh, s*@% a zillion times, then threw it to first base with another litany of curses, until it actually hit the 1st basewoman's mitt. My team mates were astounded, and I felt like a heroine (just that once.)

I was a cheerleader, only because tryouts weren't an athletic event, but more a popularity contest, in that they chose people with spirit. Good thing, since to this day (just celebrated 50th reunion) the guys are STILL teasing me about my propeller like wind-up and my 2-inches-off-the-ground jump. BUT, I did know which way the ball was going on the football field and when to root "run, score" versus "Hit'em, take that ball." Unlike some of the others on the squad, who would go into the "take it back, take it back, wa-a-a-y back" cheer when WE HAD THE BALL :-) and were supposed to be moving forward :-) And life at this age has not gotten any better with trifocals :-)

Thanks for churning up clumsiness memories with this excerpt :-)

peggy jaeger said...

OMG Deb, we are sistahs from other misters!!!

Maggie Lynch said...

Your story had me at "he-of-the-Tom-Jones-soulful-voice." What an amazing way to describe a tone. Really sexy meet cute.

I am fortunate not to have the clumsy gene as a younger woman. It does seem today that I trip more often. I think that is due to not paying attention. I have tripped going upstairs a couple of times. I've also tripped over a tree root in a pathway that left me unable to move for several minutes and a lasting problem with my patella. I now tend to hike any dirt paths looking down at all times--which is frustrating.

I think it's wonderful to have a protagonist with a problem that is embarrassing but not necessarily potentially life-ending. Your style of description and dialog in this passage really makes me want to read more.