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That Guy by Belle Brooks (1)

Chapter One

For the past five years, I’ve been on a diet. I like to refer to it as my ‘train wreck' diet. Why? Well, that’s because it always ends up derailing within a few weeks.

I have successfully gained five kilos during my latest attempt at weight loss, so I’d say I'm failing at this point. But I solemnly swear, I’ll never give up because I’m a go-getter and giving up on my train wrecks is not in my nature.

Tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll contemplate some miracle pill seen on an infomercial or even another fad liquid shake. Who knows? But right now, at this very minute, I must try to get through the delightful challenge of my weekly food shopping adventure.

Every time I set foot into the local grocery store, I hear soft whispering, whispers promising me a never-ending supply of sweet nothings. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I love to loathe such taunts. Today is no different.

Hey, Mindy, a six-pack of glazed doughnuts is on special. You’ve been such a good girl. A treat is in order. Mindy, there’s a bonus! You can eat them all at once because there’s a one-day only expiry date. The challenge is yours.

My mind is such a temptress with an alluring and seductive voice. Every time she corners me, I scream, Yes! Yes! Put all of it in my mouth. I can take it. I can take it.

I swallow hard and frantically hum as I try to drone out the promises of another happy sugar-filled ending. Sadly, it doesn’t work. After taking only a few short steps into the complex, my eyes glue to one of the most beautiful creations I’ve ever seen. Gasping, I place my hand on my chest and breathe, “Oh, hell no. You’re glorious.”

Staring at the delicious red velvet cake, with the extra tiers of cream and freshly chopped strawberries placed symmetrically on top, I can already feel its rich sugar sparking my taste buds to life.

I must have it.

Do it, Mindy. You know you want to. You like it sweet and extra moist, now, don’t you?

“Shut the heck up,” I scold myself under my breath while trying to drown my mind’s taunts. “Steamed vegetables and brown rice. Not cake.”

But no matter how many times I think about alternative healthier options, I can’t divert my thoughts. I twist my lips to the side and press my teeth together as firmly as my chunky thighs currently are.

Having an internal battle with myself over this halo-lit red velvet cake has my head twitching and my eyes narrowing with every passing second. You can do this, Mindy. Walk away! Walk away!

I can’t. Instead, I bend down and place my fingers against the container. A long arm reaches in front of me to claim the delicious treat. I smack the hand encroaching my vision, the one attached to a very hairy arm, and scoff loudly before proclaiming, “Mine,” in a possessive growl.

I’m such a mess.

A man with greying hair scowls at me when I come to stand. He suddenly huffs in an over exaggerated manner, then stomps away.

How rude!

Placing the container encasing the rich treasure I won into the seat of my shopping trolley beside my handbag, I proudly bustle past the remainder of the long wooden table—the table filled with every imaginable decadent dessert.

Just this one cake can come home today, I promise myself. Just this one.

I’ve almost made it out of the danger zone when a silhouette catches the corner of my eye. I’m drawn to this figure instantly. I know I’m gawking with my mouth wide open, yet I can’t seem to stop. Mindy, cut it out. You look ridiculous.

I draw in a large breath. I close my eyes before confirming I need to get the hell out of here and fast. But when my eyelashes flicker open, I’m greeted by the kindest smile I’ve ever seen beaming in my direction. This isn’t a delicious dessert holding my attention. More like a tempting hunk of man meat.

“Hi,” he speaks hesitantly.

Me? He’s speaking to me? How can a man like that be addressing me in conversation? He’s so perfect, like the ultimate macaroon, and I’m so … I’m a cream bun. A gooey white mess.

He’s looking at me, waiting for a response. Shoot!

I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. “Yeah, so … cake … eat … gotta go.”

What the hell was that? I’m not two or four; I’m a grown-arse woman, for goodness’ sake.

Moving like a gust of wind, I turn and stumble out of the bakery section, entering the fruit and vegetable aisle. Once the coast seems clear and Mr Too Hot to Trot, with his perfect charcoal hair and pale baby blue eyes, no longer fills my view, I applaud myself for having the stamina to move in such a way.

The elation I experience is short-lived because once a cob of corn is in my grip, I reprimand myself for acting like a complete and utter idiot in the first place.

Men and Mindy don’t seem to mix.

It’s not that I’m for the pink lady taco. I’m not. I think lady’s private parts are appalling to look at. But every time I’m in the company of a man, I blurt out stupid shit and run like a criminal in escape mode. I can’t seem to be around the opposite sex in a romantic way, and sadly, this might explain the fact I’m twenty-nine years old and have never had a boyfriend.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve rolled around in the hay with a few gentleman suitors in my time. Oh yes, the Min-Star has had her fill of the ‘D’, but nothing more has ever eventuated. This might be because those romps only ever came after I’d danced the mambo with a bottle of liquor.

Every miserable foot placement I take has my heart heavy and my mind sombre. Right now, my life isn’t exactly impressive in any way, shape, or form. I’m single, living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with my furry feline friend, Fletcher, and I work in a horrible job as a receptionist for an escort service.

My best friend, Chris, is so gay that when he walks, glitter sprinkles from his arse, and my family lives kilometres away with no desire to ever set foot in a big capital city like Melbourne.

You seriously cannot make this shit up.

Turning into aisle three has my hands clammy and my bottom lip clamped between my teeth. Mr Too Hot to Trot is back. Oh damn, he’s all sorts of fine wrapped in a pretty bow with a tag that says, Mindy, care to own me?

I do, I really do. Right now, I’m admiring his backside. It appears he must have been at the gym prior to coming here; his loose muscle top and gym shorts spell this out. Every defined muscle from his neck down to his ankles screams, Just look at my body. Go on—look at my body. I work out. Boy, is he as mouthwatering from behind as he was from the front.

Mindy likey. Mindy likey a lot.

And there goes my immature brain, melting at the sight of a man.

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