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Prerna Pickett’s short story, The Storm of the Decade, takes place on Main Street, Maine, and follows Priya and Oliver who are forced to work out their problems when they’re stuck together during the biggest winter storm of the decade.
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I hope you enjoy this Q&A session with my characters, Priya and Ollie. Remember to look for the keyword/ phrase! Happy hopping!
Priya: *shuffles some papers on her lap* Okay, I’m going to kick things off since Ollie isn’t, well, much of a talker *side eyes Ollie*
Ollie: Wait wait, I talk *frowns*
Priya: *rolls her eyes* yeah, sure
Ollie: Well, I talk to YOU
Priya: Yes, that’s true. Now, let’s get things rolling *clears throat* Ollie, what was your first thought when you found me at the cafe during the night of the storm?
Ollie: *taps table* First thought? Not sure, but I do remember feeling relieved because you were still alive. And I also remember thinking, wow she looks beautiful even when she’s freezing to death
Priya: *playfully shoves Ollie* You really know how to make a girl swoon.
Ollie: It’s the truth *shrugs*
Priya: All right, Romeo, now it’s your turn to ask me a question
Ollie: *stares down at his notes* uhhhhh, hold on. All right, I got it. Where should we go on our first date?
Priya: Wait, I’m supposed to figure that out?
Ollie: I thought we could do it together. It’s OUR first date. I want it to be perfect
Priya: Perfect isn’t realistic, Ollie. But if I get to help in the planning process, I think we should keep it low key. A nice dinner, maybe ice skating on Main Street, and then some hot chocolate to warm up afterwards
Ollie: That sounds pretty perfect to me. You sure you don’t want to get all dressed up and go to a French restaurant?
Priya: *scrunches nose* No! I want us to have fun and wear warm, comfy clothes. But, honestly, it doesn’t matter. We’ll have fun no matter what we do
Ollie: *reaches over and squeezes Priya’s hand* I have no doubt. You have the next question
Priya: What’s my favorite beverage? I know yours is hot chocolate.
Ollie: Easy, ginger beer
Priya: Dang it. That one was too easy!
Ollie: It really was. I’m disappointed in you, Pree. And now it’s my turn. When did you first start liking me?
Priya: Freshman year. Bella dragged me to a baseball game because she was into Talon and I watched you play. Whenever you were pitching you had this look on your face, not just concentration. Like you were trying to piece together a puzzle. I wanted to know what was going on in your head. And you have a cute butt so that helped
Ollie: *blushes and looks away* Thanks. Yours is pretty cute, too.
Priya: Thank you for noticing. When did YOU start liking ME?
Priya: *grumbles* that’s now how this works, Oliver
Ollie: Come on. I bet <YOU’LL> never get it
Priya: Are you challenging me?
Ollie: Maybe. Come on. Just take a guess
Priya: *squints eyes* well I know you wanted to ask me to Homecoming my sophomore year so before then?
Ollie: That’s correct
Priya: *chews on lip* I honestly don’t know. You’ve got me
Ollie: Giving up already? I’m disappointed. *Leans back against chair*
Priya: Ollie *sends him a warning glance*
Ollie: All right all right. It was that summer. Before Bella and Talon started dating. Talon would drag me to the lake to hang out with you guys because he still hadn’t worked up the courage to ask her out. And it wasn’t just the four of us. Usually a few guys from the baseball team would tag along and a few of your friends, too. So there’s this group of like ten to fifteen of us and everyone would be going a mile a minute and I’d just sit there and watch it all because, as you know, I don’t like to talk. You were the same, a little bit quiet, a little uncomfortable. And then one day, after the guys all chickened out from jumping off the cliffs into the lake, you stood up and took the path up there. You didn’t even look back when you got to the edge and leaped into the water. You came back and everyone couldn’t shut up about what you’d just done and you shrugged off the attention. I remember thinking, “damn that girl so much braver than she thinks she is.”
Priya: *is silent for a few seconds* I forgot I did that. I think I wiped it from my memory because it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
Ollie: It left an impression on me. Obviously *leans in closer to Priya* You want to cut this thing short and find somewhere more, um, private?
Priya: *smiles* yes, definitely. *Glances over at fake camera* sorry folks, something suddenly came up and we have to get going. I hope you enjoyed this mini Q&A session with myself and Oll-
Ollie: *Pulls Priya up and plants a kiss on her before dragging her out of the room*
Priya: -ie! Please forgive our rude departure!