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  • Writer's pictureDenise Liebig

College Life Just Got More Interesting

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Excerpt from Dear Maude

In Dear Maude, Emily Stanton's inexperience in the dating realm is put to the test when the strikingly handsome Gerd invites her to breakfast on Easter Sunday, then doesn't show up until Monday. Here's a snapshot of their Monday meeting:

“Hi.” Gerd’s voice was calm, almost soothing.
“Hi,” I said, struggling to speak around the lump that had jumped into my throat.
“Would you like to go for a ride?” he asked.
I looked up at him and noticed the blue eyes that practically pierced through me at dinner on Saturday were less blue, similar to a faded pair of jeans—a favorite pair that had been worn over and over and over again. I was lost in their comfort and couldn’t say no. “Sure.” I finally answered, then let him lead me toward the passenger seat.
“Later, gentlemen!” He looked over his shoulder as he walked around the back to the driver side.
I loved the smell of his car. The combination of his cologne and the leather seats drove me crazy; it was an unwelcome feeling I didn’t expect. We drove in silence to a park near the school.
Gerd pulled up to the curb, turned off the engine, and faced me. “I’m sorry for being such a jerk.”
“Jerk” is an understatement! I just glared as he paused to test the waters.
He shook his head. “I’m so sorry, Emily. I had a last-minute meeting yesterday morning, and I was running late. I tried to contact Sophia for your number but couldn’t reach her. She returned my calls once she collected her charger…just after you informed her about a certain paper.”
I noticed a twinkle in his eyes.
“That was impressive, Emily. I’ve never known anyone outside the family circle to stand up to Sophia and win. I took you for the quiet and shy type, but I guess you’re a sleeper. I didn’t expect that. You’re just…different,” he added.
Great. I cringed.
“I mean that in a good way. I’m tired of girls like Sophia. They’re extremely selfish, but they seem to be the only kind I ever meet. Then you came along, and…” He paused and stared at me for several seconds. “I don’t know what to do with you. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you ever since I met you. You’re beautiful, funny, smart…shy, I thought. It threw me off that you’re so unpredictable, but I like that too. You’re just so…unexpected. I’ve never met anyone like you, and I don’t know how to be when I’m around you.”
“Try being yourself,” I said.
“It’s not that easy.”
“Because I grew up in a world that expects a lot from me. Being myself has never been acceptable. It’s simply not.”
“Excuse me?”
“See, now you don’t know what to do with me either.”
I can use my imagination… The thought took me by surprise and brought a cough and a stifled laugh that finally cleared the lump from my throat. Fortunately, I quickly recovered and asked, “Do you always blow off girls you find different and impressive?”
A grin settled in the corners of his mouth. “I’m not easily impressed.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
Gerd grew serious and stared out the window for several seconds before turning to me. “You’re clearly not like Sophia at all. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why you’d be her friend, but then, when I discovered exactly why you were invited to dinner…Well, let’s just say I was so surprised that I was speechless. I’m more than just impressed or even curious. I admire you.” He shook his head. “Emily, I didn’t purposely avoid you yesterday. I had every intention of calling you as soon as I received your number from Sophia, but my life is fairly complicated, and…I guess I just needed time to think.”
“What was there to think about?” I asked, growing impatient. Was it too difficult to decide between scrambled or fried eggs?
“Em, I originally invited you to breakfast because I just wanted to get to know you. I didn’t expect to find myself liking you before our date even occurred.” He made eye contact and held me there, taking my hands in his. “But I do…very much.”

--- Excerpt from Dear Maude

Emily might not have known what to expect from Gerd, or vice versa, but their futures aren't what they expect either. Read more by getting your FREE eBook copy of Dear Maude, available at the following retailers:

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