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Excerpt from Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not by Amanda Kimberley Chapter One Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved

Poppy has no idea what excited her about Ridge’s profile, but something made her want to accept a friend request after he joined her Titanic II Facebook Group. He was a complete stranger to her, but then again so was 99.99% of New York too. The only people she met since she moved here six months ago she paid rent to or worked for. 

She had no friends, and for the first few months, that didn’t bother her since memories of her rotten divorce and burying both her parents still loomed over her. Having people in her life would have made things worse. They all felt sorry for her back home in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee but her bitch of an ex stole from them too. The guilt alone made her fall deeper into a depression she didn’t feel she could bounce back from.  

She moved from her hometown of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee to escape her old life and she figured New York City to be the best place to get lost in. What she didn’t bank on was the cold that had nothing to do with the weather. No one seemed friendly, and they all seemed to sport constipated looks on their faces whenever she wanted to give them a warm hello. 

She hadn’t realized how lonely her life became until she saw dots that signified Ridge was replying to her PM. Her heart did a somersault once the short paragraph popped up on her screen.

Don’t get too excited, Poppy! He might turn out to be like the rest of the dark souls in this city!

She started to read the kind text. It was probably—no it most certainly had been the kindest gesture she had had from any native New Yorker since she got here. 

Hi Poppy! It is really nice to “meet” you! I was so happy to have come across your Titanic II group. I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing a ticket for the maiden voyage for quite some time. 

Poppy smiled at the paragraph. It wasn’t overly personal, but it did have exclamation points in it after her name and after the “meet” you. That proved to be the warmest greeting she had gotten since she moved here.

Crap! What should I respond with?

Poppy taps her index finger on her chin for a few seconds and starts typing.

I’m glad you are enjoying the group so far! Let me know if you have any questions while you peruse. 

There! That’s a good reply!

Her smile broadens at her quickness, but only for a few moments because she sees the dots on the PM again.

Actually, I do have a question…

Will this group have meetups before the maiden voyage? I’m kind of curious.

Poppy quirked an eyebrow to the question. It was a legitimate one to ask. Many of the Titanic II groups were doing meet and greets beforehand because that’s what they did with the first Titanic, but she couldn’t help but wonder if his question was a tad loaded in a completely different direction.

I haven’t really thought about it yet because the departure is so far out, and my group is new. Perhaps when I get more group members, I’ll revisit this.

He’s typing again and Poppy assumes it’s to persuade her to start a meetup.

Well, I’d really like to meet you, regardless. Is that a possibility? Name the place.

Poppy’s eyes widened. There was now no denying that this question was, in fact, a loaded one.

I’m sorry but I don’t meet up with people from the internet that I just said hi to fifteen minutes ago. 

Instead of hitting the shift key like she wanted to, her pinky hit the return key.

“Jesus! Now he’s going to think I’m a psycho bitoch! I need to fix this!”

I mean—I’m sure you are nice and all! But can we get to know each other a little more before we meet IRL?

She tried to type it fast. And considering she was a journalist for a living at one point in her sorted past, she touted in the fact that she was a pretty fast typist hovering at around 100 words a minute. But she wasn’t fast enough and the words that flashed in the bubble right before hers stung her heart.

I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to sound stalkerish. I can leave you alone.

“Fuck!” She waited a couple of seconds to see if dots would appear in response to her retort bubble but when they didn’t, she found her fingers typing back another response.

No! You aren’t being stalkerish! It’s just me being me. I’m new in town and my Southern Belle attitude has not been scoring me friendships here in the Big Apple. Can we talk for a little? Then maybe after that, we can go for coffee. That is, of course, if you can handle the warmth of my Southern Charm. ;) 

It was a feeble attempt on her part, but she still hoped he’d understand the subtle Southern flirtation in her short paragraph. When she didn’t see any more dots, she closed her laptop and headed for bed.

Way to go, Poppy! You fucked it up again!

She let out a sigh and pulled the covers over her head. Sleep came within 20 minutes of hitting the pillow.

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