Chance Encounter: A WordPress Interactive Novel (1 of 7)

 

ChanceEncounterWPCover

CHAPTER ONE

 

“Excuse me: May I have your phone number? I’d really like to know you.”

The young man behind the counter popped the question as Emily Wyndham was busy stuffing the pile of scanned books into her bag. She planned to study them for a clue that might solve the puzzle in her mind, even though this means she would have to stay awake until three in the morning. She had been doing this for two months now – working (and yawning) all day, dashing to the library afterwards and then going home to do research late into the night. This is the first time someone spoke to her,.

She looked up. The tag on that library uniform revealed his name – Alex Borgen. What sort of surname was that? She often saw him behind the counter processing books borrowed or returned by patrons. Occasionally he would walk around to assist some helpless-looking students or senior citizens to find an ideal reading.

He seemed to be on duty every evening, which means Emily got to see him every night in this library, the only one in the city that opens until midnight. Yet she never paid him any specific attention – until now.

Unsure how to respond, she dangled a huge hardback on the edge of her bag, which was in danger of splitting and spewing out all the books to the floor. He saw her expression and laughed, then took over the title and placed it on the counter. “Careful, it’s heavy.”

Emily blushed. She was never good at conversations. Throughout the past two months she had been going in and out of the library alone, a silent figure flipping through pages in a quiet corner, a shadow full of thoughts. It never crossed her mind that other people might notice her. Nor did she care. She was used to things being that way.

But this Alex Borgen seemed to have all the time and patience in the world. Resting his hands on that book, he gazed at her, amused, waiting for her response. Was that faint smile at the corner of his lips a reaction to her confusion?

Emily gathered the remaining two books into her arms, taking advantage of this tiny distraction to calm herself. He was really quite handsome – a full head of fuzzy black hair, high and prominent forehead, two thick brows arching over a pair of delightful black eyes, straight nose, and full, sensual lips. At least 180 centimetres in height, a full head taller than her. He looked both stable and agile, like a giant oak tree that is ready to get up and wander around at any moment.

That funny thought got her ready to confront his gaze. “You could easily find out my name, email address and mobile number from the library’s database. What do you want my phone number for?” It was not accusation. Just an expression of curiosity. It suddenly dawned on her that she was not even slightly bothered by his ability to access her personal details whenever he wanted, or that he might have already done it

He smiled, revealing a whole row of tidy white teeth. Such a straightforward shark. “This is the first time I heard your voice. I’d certainly like to hear it more often.” Yes, she was sure he already knew her details.

She felt her cheeks burning, her fingers fondling the tassels dangling from the buckles of her bag. Should she offer her number? Perhaps they could indeed be friends? She could do with a friend.

———-

Do you think Emily should give her phone number to Alex? Your answer, YES or NO, will determine the story’s development in the next 600 words.

The next chapter will be posted on January 29, Friday, at 8pm AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time, GMT+11). Voting begins right after the chapter is posted and ends at midnight AEDT the following Tuesday. The story will have a total of seven chapters, 64 possible endings.

 

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