She sighed as he walked away. This was the way it was now, the way it had been for a long time. His computer and video games were his world. He took no pleasure in anything else, including her.

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Part 1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. She sighed as he walked away. This was the way it was now, the way it had been for a long time. His computer and video games were his world. He took no pleasure in anything else, including her. A few years ago that really bothered her, but not now.

After a long moment she opened her laptop back up and typed in her password. She clicked the play button and smiled. She watched this video ten times today. There was just something about him that she found very comforting. He was handsome, funny, polite and most importantly laid back, something she used to be once upon a time. She bit her lip to hold back a soft sob. Damn, things had changed so fast. It seemed like only yesterday she was level headed, confident and happy. Back then she had been a kid, a twenty-one year old kid if there was such a thing.

Life was good back then. She remembered the year of freedom that seemed like such a treasure back then. It was the year all her dreams were becoming a reality. She finally rid herself of a boyfriend, well she never really considered him a boyfriend.

They had been friends since high school and out of loneliness and boredom they decided to say they were dating. It felt like kissing her brother. He was sweet, too young and boring in a nice way. It was clearly one of the biggest mistakes of her life to allow that relationship, well, the illusion of that relationship. She remembered hiding behind it like she always did, too afraid to go after any real attraction. Unfortunately, she worked with both of them on and off. Dating Henry was her excuse to turn down their advances.

Henry was predictable and boring. He was a nice guy, but not for her. He was also inexperienced when it came to women.

His ideal date was a trip to the mall; every single date for a year. Dana knew it was a mistake to allow it. There was no chance the relationship was going to be physical she made sure of that.

She lied to Henry telling him she was a virgin and wanted to remain that way until marriage. It would have killed her to hurt such a nice guy. Hurting him was unavoidable. For the entire year she sought out advice to get rid of the guy, make him dump her. At the time the advice sounded reasonable. Usually a break was simple. She talked to the guy, feelings were hurt, but it was always a clean break. It had been a long and boring year with Henry. The advice was driving her nuts.

Not that he knew she left the house. She never told him anything. As the year mark approached it was becoming too much for her. She had a game plan. It was not going that far. When Henry came over she was going to take him outside for a walk and end it, lay everything on the table for him. Thankfully Henry came to his senses at the same time. When Dana received the phone call she had to muffle her relieved sigh.

She was practically beaming with the news. That was until he filled the conversation with drama. She was in love with him. He actually said so. She ended the conversation on what she thought was a friendly note, but there was no mistaken the relief in her voice.

After she hung up there was denying she was pissed at his attitude and the way he ended things. At least she was going to do it in person. Her temper escalated days later when she talked to him again asking if he wanted to help with a charity for their favorite history teacher from high school that had passed away the year before. His widow called Dana moments before begging her to call Henry and ask for his help. She reluctantly agreed to make the call. He really thought she was in love with him, obsessively.

She regretted the way she did it, but the results were a relief. He was out of her life for good. It was only after a doctor came running down the hall waving his hands frantically in the air for her to leave the room had she realized the mistake. She missed a great deal of work and college thanks to the illness as well as lost fifty pounds.

The new year, her new life of freedom started off poorly. She lost her job with the top ambulance company in the state and ended up working in another field outside of emergency medicine. She was also kicked out of college when her GPA dropped. She went from being an honors student with a triple major in biochemistry, history and biology with a real possibility at either law school, med school or a promising career in forensic science to working in a pizza joint until she got her act together.

That was a strange period. Her professional career was gone. She was kicked out of school and she had no real focus. Things began coming together slowly. She finally bought a car, she was in a management position that she had no plans of exploring and she had more men actively pursuing her than ever before.

Except this had been different, they were men not boys. She felt overwhelmed and awkward at the same time. She had men at work pursuing her, customers, coworkers and even ex-co-workers.

It was overwhelming. She decided to focus on work and try figuring things out. She knew that much at least. She worked during the day and at night she used the internet to search for answers. It was the internet that changed her life. She was lonely. Her friends were all in relationships or she was avoiding them because she was too embarrassed with her current career choice.

The internet seemed like a safe way of making friends, well on-line friends. She had no plans on meeting any of them in person. Some of the guys she talked to were nice. Most had serious relationship issues they were getting over or immaturity problems. She talked to them until they started to talk about sex and then they were blocked. This went on for months. When she refused to meet them in person they ended the online friendship with her.

One man was hard to refuse, Brian. He was funny, nice and had a lot in common with her. He was also dating someone else, which made him perfect. They talked online for hours at a time. Things changed quickly when Brian dumped his girlfriend for her. It was difficult to continue to talk to him. He wanted to meet her. Her self-esteem was non-existent. She really thought she was the ugliest girl in the world and Brian would take one look at her and run the other way.


A Humble Heart






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