Table for One
Successful stockbroker Lucy Brocklehurst hasn't had a date in four years. In a town where the ratio of single women to men is 7:1, she's determined to wait on God for the perfect mate-as long as it's the hot new youth pastor at her church. Lucy will do anything to get his attention, including volunteering for the youth group. Through a series of misadventures on the teen outings, Lucy finds herself falling in love with a kindhearted chaperone named Edgar Flowers. But when their relationship grows serious, Lucy discovers the lengths his recently-widowed mother will go to in order to keep them apart. What starts out as harmless interference turns into an all out tug of war, with Edgar as the prize! Will Lucy crumble under the scrutiny of her would-be mother-in-law? Or can Lucy and Edgar's budding romance survive the schemes of his meddling mom?
It's a well-known fact that single women outnumber single men in the Church by a ratio of 3:1, probably 7:1 in my small town. Don't get me wrong, I still would have become a Christian, even if someone had warned me. But I can count the number of dates I've had in the last four years on one hand. Okay, so I don't really need a hand to count to zero, but that's beside the point.
The point is that today is the most dreaded day of the year for single women everywhere—including me—on the brink of turning thirty: Valentine's Day. I'm not a curmudgeon. I just happen to believe that retail-sponsored holidays, especially ones that exclude me, are dumb. Be my Valentine, blah, blah, blah.
For the last three years my parents—namely Mom—have sent flowers to me at the office. Pity flowers. They do it because they know, and expect, I won't be getting a special delivery from anyone else. Then when I thank them, they pretend not to know what I'm referring to and tell me I must have a secret admirer.
Which brings me back to no single men in the Church. Guys who have been Christians their whole lives seem to marry young. Then there are the men who come to Christ later in life after they've had their fill of worldly fun. (The “Recyclables,” as my mother calls them.) In our church there is only one single man of marrying age: Carter Lovelace, the new youth pastor.
His spirituality and laid-back personality draw people to him, or maybe it's his dark green eyes and tousled hair. The dude's a chick magnet. A stampede of high heels and skirts greeted Carter the day he entered the sanctuary, and in the few short months he's been with us, the population of single women has tripled in size.
Like we needed more.
But that's not important right now. What's important is that I'm at work, and across from me sits Mr. Jacob Afton, the biggest developer and real-estate tycoon in town. He owns restaurants, hotels, and office complexes, including the one that houses the company I work for, Weldon & Son's Financial Inc.
My leather chair squeaks, breaking the unnerving silence. I refuse to speak first, because he (or she) who speaks first, loses.
Let the showdown begin.