(Please be aware, this article was posted on April 1st)
Finally coming clean about a secret tryst that has been brewing for months but ultimately ended with broken hearts and wistful memories of what was and what might have been, today a major library group announced they are no longer pursuing relationships with Harlequin Romance, Hallmark, and Victoria’s Secret in an effort to launch a new free romance site called eLove.
“In the beginning, we were swept off our feet by their proposal,” said Alma P. Viddin, a librarian who would have been Executive Director of the proposed romance initiative. “They approached us one night. We both had eLove on our minds. It was as if lightning struck. Our pulses raced as they laid out the idea, our bodies warming to the notion, responding involuntarily to the idea we’d always felt but had hidden from ourselves . . . that there was something more, something stronger, something breaking like waves on the beach, between us. And we knew it was eLove.”
First approached by a Harlequin representative during a meeting in Annapolis, Viddin claims that she had never thought things would go this far.
“I never thought of myself this way,” she said. “I’m just a quiet library type, kind of an academic, and not given to meeting people in bars late at night to talk about romance. But I felt my resolve melting as he talked about what we could do together, how intertwined we would be, how their strong assets and business strength would join with our software and distribution networks. I was shaking at the prospects and just wanted to consummate the deal.”
Discussions became more heated through the night and into the morning, Viddin confided.
“He mentioned he wanted to go further,” Viddin recounted, staring mournfully into the golden depths of the chardonnay she swirled absently in the dying light of the day. “He wanted to involve others. It made me uncomfortable, but also excited. I was confused. Was I in over my head? There were so many shades of gray. My throat was dry, my hands trembling as he grasped my forearm and peered into my eyes, reassuring me it would all work, that I’d be safe with him there. His warm hand. It was so strong, yet so tender. I wanted to move ahead all the more as I stared back into his soulful eyes, nestled like the dying embers of a winter’s fire under the mantle of his tousled hair.”
Discussions proceeded with temerity and passion, as both sides shared in the blush of early negotiations. Tensions lurked beneath the surface, however, and in the flat light of a cold March dawn, reality struck, with a heartless email from their contact stating simply:
Now that we know for sure that you love us, we’d like you to pretend that we’re complete strangers in public.
“I was devastated,” Viddin confided. “I felt, deep in my heart, that we’d shared something special, that eLove would be a place we could spend years together, wrapped in the warm embrace of romance and shared aspirations.”
A steely resolve stole over Viddin’s tear-streaked face as she gathered herself. “It would be easy to simply feel betrayed, empty, and alone. But I, for one, shall not give up on eLove. Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.”
Eerily, strains of soft violin music accompanied this statement, from a source that to this day remains unidentified.