Each week a guest shares a first meeting excerpt. Today on First Sight Saturday, Joan Leotta brings us a scene from A Bowl of Rice, her historical fiction work in which a nurse travels with two eligible young men.
Setup of scene:
Anna Maria, the heroine, is in Vietnam. She is visiting an orphanage with boyfriend number two who seems more attracted to their French-Vietnamese guide than to her. Someone else is on the trip too. She does not react to his qualities right away, but he is certainly a contrast to the guy she is with!
The other man shook the offered hand. “I’m Captain George Wilkins. Since we’re all on leave today and going off base, both of you, just call me George.” He gestured toward the woman at his side. “This is Desiree Roux.”
Mark blinked. The Vietnamese woman smiled and spoke. “My father is French. We live here in Hue for six months a year and in his hometown of Nice for six months each year.”
Mark seemed at a loss for words, so Anna Maria introduced herself. “I’m Anna Maria O’Shea, a nurse at the evac, coming along to see the puppet show.”
“It will be my pleasure to translate for all of you,” Desiree said.
“Where did you learn to speak English so well?” Mark asked.
“We lived in Hawaii for a couple of years when I was young. My father’s business took him there and they put me in a local school so I could learn English.”
Anna Maria glanced at Mark. He was totally focused on Desiree’s beautiful face.
Anna Maria felt a bit hurt, even angry. After all, he was her date. However, it only took a few minutes for her mood to shift. The all-controlling Doctor Mark was under the spell of the lovely Desiree.
He seemed unaware of anyone or anything around him except for the lovely French Vietnamese girl. Anna Maria mused softly, but aloud to no one in particular, as she turned away to look at their surroundings, “No reason for me to feel anything. We have not even shared a kiss, just a few coffees and meals on base. This would have been our first real date. Now I’m more like a chaperone.”
Anna Maria looked past Mark and smiled at Desiree. The young woman returned Anna Maria’s smile.
George smiled at Anna Maria. Hmm, thought Anna Maria, perhaps I should be thinking about him. She put that thought out of her head. This captain wasn’t in her unit. In fact, from his uniform, it appeared he was Special Forces. No chance of them ever meeting again, so no use investing any time. Suddenly she realized the captain was addressing Mark and her.
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Buy Link for A Bowl of Rice
Joan and I welcome your questions or comments. Make sure you return each First Sight Saturday for a fresh excerpt from a new guest author.