A LITTLE PIECE OF ROMANCE

Hello, this is me taking a little break from "The Arrow of Lead." Summer vacation is almost over so I might go from weekly updates to 1 or 2 times a month. This is just a little one shot as I don't plan on making another long multi-chaptered story anytime soon. I might however turn this into a collection of different one shots. Not quite sure yet.


It was summer vacation again and, as always, she went to someplace warm and sunny in Europe. Spain, Greece, Portugal, Crete, Bulgaria, Turkey etc. With her family of course and only for 1 or 2 weeks. It was some sort of a tradition, and a nice one at that. Many European people does that each summer.

The flight there was only a few hours and soon they were all on their way to the hotel. The hotel wasn't a small one but not a really big one either. It was a normal sized tourist hotel with 5 floors, a restaurant and a swimming pool with a small refreshment bar. And as many of these hotels in these countries, the guests were to leave their room key in the lobby every time they went out. It wasn't strange but normal. It made the cleaning ladies know that they could clean your room without disturbing and it prevented problems like losing the key on the street. Or losing it when being robbed, if you were that unlucky. In the lobby she noticed him, behind the counter, the receptionist.

He looked like he was in his mid 20-ies. She guessed he was probably 23-25. She herself was in her early 20-ies. When she first saw him she thought he was cute and he found her pretty. He worked morning- and night-shifts from 08-12 and 19-01. 10 hours a day was not unusual, some even had 24 hour shifts but 18 hour shifts was most normal.

When she gave him her key for the first time he lowered his eyes and smiled a small shy smile. She smiled back before exiting with her parents.

The days was not that much different from each other. Going to the beach, going to the swimming pool, looking at different shops along the street, eating at different restaurants and just looking around the area. It was the same as each year. Maybe it sounded boring but many tourists do that and it's actually fun. It's strange how fast the days fly by.

And when she went back to the hotel he looked up from his desk and gave her a small smile. She returned it and when she got to the desk she said her room number. He gave her the key with a shy smile and looked down at some papers behind his desk. And she would twirl her fingers while walking past and up the stairs towards her floor.

Each night around 21 or 22 she would sit in the lobby on her laptop. The internet connection in her room didn't work. Actually, the whole floor was experiencing internet problems. So she would sit in the lobby and have no problems with it. And she would sit there till almost midnight before her parents would start to wonder if she would be back soon.

When she sat there she would sometimes catch a glimpse of him. She wanted to talk to him but she was too shy to do so. What should she say? Should she say hi? Should she ask him a question about something like museum or tourist attractions? He looked bored and lonely behind that big desk of his. No one else was around and the only form for entertainment was the TV on the wall. And there wasn't exactly anything interesting on it either.

He was indeed bored. Changing the channels on the TV didn't provide much either as there was only news, debates, some documentary about animals and a music channel. The last one being the only thing that prevented you from dying of boredom. He watched her sit there on the sofa only 3 meters away but those 3 meters was like 3 miles seeing as the desk and his job were in between.

Maybe he should ask her what she thought of the country? If she had been here before? How was this city, did she like it? He was however too shy to actually say something although he did want to talk to her.

She sat there with her laptop on her lap. Sometimes she would put it on the table and other times she would just watch the TV for some minutes. He didn't know what she was doing but it looked like she was reading. At times she would just sit there and stare at the screen while occasionally tap on one of the keys. Other times she would stare wide eyed. There were times when she would have this excited look or surprised look on her face, but most of the time she sat there with a big smile on her face while silently laugh as if she was going to explode from giddiness.

He liked watching her. That big smile on her face, how funny her face looked when she looked surprised, or see how her whole body shook when she silently laughed. he wondered what her laugh sounded like. She had laughed while he was there but that was a small giggle at something her parents said or just her skipping happily in or out of the main entrance. It was not the same. Her smile was contagious, he liked her smile. She was pretty and cute.

As she sat there reading short stories and books on her computer she kept wondering if she should break the silence. She didn't know what to say and hoped he would be the first to say something. He didn't. Both being shy people was a small problem. She sighed inwardly; maybe the next day would be better.

It wasn't. The same thing happened, both at morning when she gave him her key and at night when she came to get the key and later sit in the lobby with her laptop. The third day was different thought. When she came back that evening he looked up from his desk as usual and smiled a small smile at her. She smiled back while walking towards the desk. When she opened her mouth to say the room number he said it for her and gave her the key. She gave him a shy but beaming smile and skipped past towards the stairs.

Knowing he remembered her room number made her happy. The hotel was normal sized with 5 floors and maybe 100-200 guests where the guests would leave after 1 or 2 weeks and new ones would arrive each day. And it would be like that each day for those 3 months summer vacation took place.

That night he had still not talked to her nor she him. It was frustrating for them both as they wanted to talk to the other but didn't have the courage to do so. The next days were just the same and then came the last night. She would leave the next morning and he knew she would soon be gone too.

Trying to muster up her courage to say something, anything, she went to the desk. He saw her coming towards him and thought that she would say hi. Thinking about what he should say to keep a conversation going he panicked a little and began finding the paper in front of him quite interesting. It was actually just a paper saying what to do in case of fire but she didn't know that since she didn't understand the language or the alphabet.

She chickened out at the last second and took one of the brochures from the desk and opened it. Feeling awkward just standing there while looking at it she went back to the sofa to read it there. Truth to be told she wasn't at all interested in it but pretended to be. He felt a sting of disappointment when she walked away with the brochure but pretended like nothing. But he couldn't complain as he didn't do anything. Being shy was such a burden.

After some minutes she went back to the desk and put the brochure back. He was about to actually just jump in it and say hi when she turned around and went back to her laptop. Seeing as it would be strange to say hi to her retreating form he didn't say anything after all. Saying hi while she walked away would be like catching a glimpse of a friend further down the road ahead of you and yell to get that person's attention. They were strangers. He didn't even know her name and she didn't know his. They hadn't even talked to each other before. It was just the 'room number?' and the answer to that. Nothing more, nothing less, not that there could be much more less than that…

This night she sat there longer than she had the previous ones. Normally she would sit there for an hour, from about 22 to 23. This time she sat there almost 2 hours. Just as it became midnight she let out a small sigh and closed her laptop. It was out of battery and she didn't bother to recharge it. There was no point in recharging when it was that late.

He heard her close her laptop and looked at her as she put it back in her bag. She got up and straightened her skirt and top before looking in his direction. He gave her a small nod and a small smile.

"Good night" he said.

She returned his smile and said, "good night."

Then she began twirling her fingers again as she went past the desk and up the stairs. Good night. It was polite and trivial. To many it was nothing, just some normal goodbye and response. But to them it meant a lot, until next summer when she would hopefully return. And either one of them or both would have mustered up the courage to actually start some kind of conversation.


This story is based on something that happened during my summer vacation only a few days ago. Of course I don't know if he wanted to talk to me or something, but I wouldn't be able to write this without adding small things. I am however quite sure that he was shy because of the way he talked, moved and smiled. Maybe he wanted me to leave so he could be alone or maybe he even was gay, I don't know. As you might have understood by reading this one shot: we never talked to each other. Except for the "good night"-part.

I would be really happy if you give me a review! One word review is enough, that's all I'm asking for. If it's more than one word, I would be really happy, but one word is more than enough.

© Copyright 26/07/2012 XiaoChuChu (FictionPress ID:799123). All rights reserved. Distribution of any kind is prohibited without the written consent of XiaoChuChu.