Guest Post

A Christmas Short Story by Kevin Loh

Kevin is the go-to person if you ever want to get stuck into a fantastic chick-lit book. He’s best pals with Lindsey Kelk and he’s also on the Banana Chance Team with myself. Let him know what you think of his short story on Twitter @iHeartChickLit

The Christmas Notebook

OK, chick lit… chick lit.

As I enter The Library, our local bookstore, the scents of pine needles and the delicious smell of books greet me. The Library is just around the corner from my flat and my favourite place in the entire world. I first discovered it when I was exploring around my then-new neighbourhood and immediately, I knew it would be a magical place for me. I am often found in bookstores and I was thrilled to have found a new hideout. By hideout, I mean a place I can easily lose myself in for hours, browsing through the shelves and *whispers* sniffing the pages of new books. Oh and stroking them.

As I pass by the counters, I wave hello to Lisa, who is manning the tills today. Lisa and I share a passion for books and ever since she recommended me a few festive reads for Christmas a few years back, we’ve been good friends.

I know it’s very uncommon for people to get crazy over newly released titles, but I am one of those people who would mark my calendar, wait eagerly for the books to be on the shelves and rush into the bookstore to get them as soon as I’m on my lunch break.

After selecting a few new arrivals, I head over to the till to pay for my purchases. I look around and take in the festive surroundings. All I Want For Christmas is playing on the speakers, a gorgeously decorated tree is placed right in the middle of the shop and since it’s only a few days until Christmas, there are a few shoppers buying last minute presents. All in all, the atmosphere in The Library is warm and Christmassy, which gets me more excited for Christmas (as if I am not..).

‘Excited for Christmas, Elsa?’ Lisa asks me with a smile, handing over my purchases in their signature carrier bag.

‘Yes! Who isn’t? I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with my parents. They are flying in from Australia two days before Christmas. I can’t wait to spend the entire holiday with them as I haven’t seen them in ages!’ I gush excitedly and smile giddily back at her.

‘Well, Merry Christmas, lovely! Have a great one!’

‘Thank you! You too and a happy new year!’ I blow her a kiss and make my way to the staircase which leads to the cafe on the top floor. As I am about to ascend the staircase, I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder. I turn around and I’m greeted with the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. And for a moment, my heart skips a beat and everything comes to a standstill.

‘I’m afraid you’ve dropped this, miss,’ he holds up a sparkly red notebook. He has a deep, reassuring voice and the most charming smile. So charming, I can feel my insides melt like butter on a hot toast. I realise that I must gawping at him like a goldfish, I quickly plaster on a smile, which I hope doesn’t make look like a loon.

I take the notebook from him and surreptitiously study his face once more. He has the most luscious chocolate brown hair and I’m restraining myself with Herculean effort from running my fingers through it. Come to think of it, he reminds me of John Krasinski!

I thank him profusely and he smiles sheepishly at me before he makes his way out of the shop. Wait. Red notebook? I don’t have a red notebook! This isn’t mine! I try to run after him, but he has disappeared into the massive throng of Christmas shoppers on the streets.

I study the notebook in my hands, it’s a bright red with a gold glitter design which is really pretty and rather Christmassy. I open it to see if I can find any details of its owner. And I gasp as I find a handwritten note inside.

Salutations to the Girl with the Red Scarf

I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a creep, but I’ve been noticing you for a while now. You see, I spend most of my days on the cafe above and one day, a girl with the loveliest smile has caught my attention: you. I’ve never seen someone’s face lighting up like yours at the sight of books and it’s really wonderful that we share the same passion for books. Oh, where’s my manners? I’m Oliver, slightly mortified and very hopeful, wondering if you’d like to grab a coffee with me some time? I’ve written my number below and I look forward to your call. In the meantime, I’m eagerly checking on my phone every five minutes, willing it to ring.

            Warmest Christmas wishes to you!

         Oliver

After reading the note, I smile to myself and I feel my heart pounding excitedly. I take my phone out of my pocket and dial Oliver’s number. How did I get so lucky? This is the best Christmas ever! As the call connects, I pump my fist and skip up the steps to the cafe, with a grin on my face.

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