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WAITING FOR ETHAN
BY DIANE BARNES
When Gina Rossi was in junior high, her best friend’s psychic grandmother got everything right—from predicting that Gina would break her arm and travel to Italy, all the way to leading police to a missing neighborhood child. The one time Gina didn’t listen to her, she almost got herself killed. So when she says that Gina will marry a man named Ethan—but she will have to wait for him—Gina believes her, and waits…
Now thirty-six, Gina’s Mr. Right is nowhere in sight—until the day she’s stranded in a snowstorm, and rescued by the last type of Ethan she expected. It’s very romantic, yet surprisingly not. This Ethan is sexy, and clearly her hero. Still, instead of her “Aha” moment, Gina’s confused. And when Ethan is happy to discover she’s single, does Gina dare tell him, It’s because I’ve been waiting for you? But the bigger question is, does she dare question destiny—by taking it into her own hands? And is she brave enough to handle what happens once it’s time to stop waiting—and start living?
WAITING FOR ETHAN
BY DIANE BARNES
When the waiter returns, Gregory tries to make friends by commenting on his nose ring. “Looks good. I’m thinking of getting one myself.” He winks at me. “Did it hurt?”
“Just for a minute.” The waiter studies Gregory, probably trying to figure out if he’s serious about wanting a nose ring. “I don’t think you could pull it off.” He turns toward me. “You could get away with it.”
I think he means it as a compliment, but still I’m insulted. I ignore his comment and order hot chocolate and chocolate chip pancakes. Gregory orders coffee and a western omelet.
“What’s with you, Rossi?” Gregory says. “You order a kid’s meal and drive a kid’s toy for a car.”
I never told him my last name. “How do you know my last name?”
“I know everything about you. For example, you have trouble sleeping.” I stare at him, wondering how he could possibly know that. “Don’t look so worried. There was a prescription bottle of sleeping pills on the sink in your bathroom.”
“So, what’s your story, Gregory? Why did you come back to shovel me out?”
He laughs. “Because I dig chicks who call me by my last name.”
I stop to think about it. I saw Gregory written on his toolbox and assumed it was his first name. He’s not in elementary school. It’s not his lunch box. He wouldn’t write his first name on it. “What’s your name?”
In all the ways I have fantasized about meeting Ethan, it was never like this. I thought I would recognize him instantly. I imagined him shorter. I pictured his hair darker, his features more chiseled, his teeth white, straight, and evenly spaced. We’d both be dressed elegantly, certainly not wearing old sweatshirts and baseball caps. I never imagined we’d be breathing in the greasy fumes of bacon or the sugary scent of syrup. I assumed I’d be sipping Chianti or champagne, not slurping hot chocolate. Sometimes I even envisioned fireworks in the distance exploding in a star-filled sky, not sand trucks whizzing by a diner window on a dismal gray day.
I never figured out exactly what I would say, but I knew it would be something corny like “I knew you would come” or “You were worth the wait.” And he wouldn’t think it was weird. He’d know exactly what I was talking about.
Here in the actual moment, though, I just stare across the table and try to repeat his name, but it gets stuck in my throat.
“Let me guess. Your ex-boyfriend’s name is Ethan?”
Not my ex-boyfriend. My future husband. For just a moment, I consider saying it aloud, telling him about Ajee and her prediction, but then I imagine him sprinting for the exit before I can get all the words out.
“It’s my favorite name,” I finally say.
About the Author, Diane Barnes…Though she always dreamed about being the shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, Diane Barnes is a marketing writer in Massachusetts. She participates in two monthly writing groups and regularly attends novel writing workshops in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. She started “Waiting for Ethan” as a challenge to participate in National Novel Writing Month. The original story was about a character who dated a string of freshly divorced men who all had issues with their ex-wives. She won’t say if it was autobiographical.
In 2012, Diane was one of eight writers who attended the Boston Writers’ Studio, an exclusive four-day intense writing workshop taught by bestselling author Elizabeth Berg. Diane says having her idol read her work was a moment she’ll never forget.
When not crafting novels, Diane spends her time playing tennis, going to the beach or watching her beloved Red Sox. She completed her first half marathon last year (to combat her love of chocolate) and lives in central Massachusetts with her husband Steve; they often fantasize about moving to Turks and Caicos – for the winter months at least.
Links to Diane’s website, blog, books, etc.
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Thanks, Diane, for sharing your story with us!