Spinning is a novel about a guy who thinks he has everything going for him who comes to realize that he might have been setting his sights on the wrong goals. Dylan Hunter’s entire world turns upside down when Diane, an old lover, returns to his life with her young daughter (no, she’s not his). That, however, isn’t close to the biggest change he’s going to face. In this scene, Dylan comes to realize how serious he has become about both Diane and her daughter Spring.
Diane was unlike any woman I had ever known. After a week of thinking about telling her I loved her, I even pulled her picture out of my drawer at work and practiced. The picture looked good on my desk. As if it were a copy of Playboy, I had been sneaking peeks at it during the day. I decided to leave the picture on my desk.
If I were going to tell Diane I loved her, though, I didn’t just want to blurt it out during or after sex. I wanted it to be special. Diane loved old movies, so I decided to tell her I loved her on the top of the Empire State Building. I’d pretend to be Cary Grant in that movie. To make sure she arrived, I planned to hold her hand until we reached the observation deck.
We didn’t get there.
Although I had envisioned a quiet and romantic moment alone with Diane, she said that we had to take Spring because Spring would want to see the view. I decided to stay with my plan, but fate stepped in again. The elevator to the observation deck was closed for repairs and wouldn’t open again until the next morning. Diane and Spring shrugged off the disappointment, but I skulked. “This is getting all screwed up,” I said.
Diane offered me a patient smile. “It’s no big deal. We’ll come back some other time.”
I stopped her by a water cooler and took her hands. She eyed me with curiosity, but didn’t say anything.
“Diane, do you know that movie, A Night to Remember?”
“That’s why I brought you and Spring here.”
“Because of A Night to Remember?”
“Knowing how you like old movies, I wanted to be romantic and tell you…” For a moment, my eyes drifted. This was as personal as I had ever gotten with someone.
Diane made a sour face. “A Night to Remember?”
“That’s the movie about the Titanic…with the iceberg?”
“I meant the one with Cary Grant.”
“That’s An Affair to Remember.”
“Yeah, that’s the one.”
Spring tugged at Diane’s coat. “I don’t feel so good.”
I continued. “I wanted to take you to the top of the world, like in the movies….”
Spring tugged harder. “Mommy, I really don’t feel good.”
Diane knelt down next to her.
“I think I might throw up,” Spring said.
Diane looked up at me. “I’d better get her to a bathroom.”
I just laughed and shook my head. Diane gave me an apologetic expression and took Spring away. By the time they came back, Spring seemed okay, but the moment had been lost for me.
“Sorry about that,” Diane said. “Sometimes, it’s too much juice. Other times, I think it’s just too much adult conversation. She was okay by the time we got to the bathroom. What were you saying?”
“Nothing that can’t wait.” I was bummed about the missed romantic opportunity, but I forced myself to get over it and wait for another shot.
Michael Baron is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month. This means we are offering sensational deals on all of his works, including Spinning. You can learn more at our website.