He laughs. “It was a matter of survival. Leah’s idea of cooking is slapping peanut butter and jelly on burnt toast.”

After his reaction in the living room, I’ve been careful not to mention her or the picture, but since he brought her up, I figure she’s fair game now. “So, do you really not see a resemblance between me and Leah?”

A lot of women have long dark hair and brown eyes, Gina.” He picks up his plate and takes it to the sink. I do the same.

It’s more than that,” I say as he rinses his plate.

He yanks on the handle of the faucet to shut the water off. “Believe me, Gina, you’re nothing alike.” I can’t tell if it’s a good thing, the way he says it. We work in silence. When the kitchen is clean, he wraps his arms around me. “Sorry. Leah’s hundreds of miles away, and she’s still screwing up my life. Believe me, you’re nothing alike. You’re so much prettier than she is.” He kisses me softly, and my body responds the same way it always does. It’s not unusual for men to be attracted to a certain type of woman, I think, as I kiss him back. Ethan’s type is dark hair, brown eyes, and olive skin. No different from me liking men with blue eyes and dark hair. He’s backed me against the counter, and his kisses are rougher now. He whispers again as his fingers glide down my body unfastening buttons, “And so much sexier.” I feel the counter’s hard edge cutting into my back as Ethan’s body presses into mine. By the time he lifts me and carries me into his room, I’ve forgotten all about the picture of Leah.


Though she always dreamed about being the shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, Diane Barnes is a marketing writer in Massachusetts. She participates in two monthly writing groups and regularly attends novel writing workshops in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. She started “Waiting for Ethan” as a challenge to participate in National Novel Writing Month. The original story was about a character who dated a string of freshly divorced men who all had issues with their ex-wives. She won’t say if it was autobiographical. 

In 2012, Diane was one of eight writers who attended the Boston Writers’ Studio, an exclusive four-day intense writing workshop taught by bestselling author Elizabeth Berg. Diane says having her idol read her work was a moment she’ll never forget.

When not crafting novels, Diane spends her time playing tennis, going to the beach or watching her beloved Red Sox. She completed her first half marathon last year (to combat her love of chocolate) and lives in central Massachusetts with her husband Steve; they often fantasize about moving to Turks and Caicos – for the winter months at least.


Waiting For Ethan

When Gina Rossi was in junior high, her best friend’s psychic grandmother got everything right—from predicting that Gina would break her arm and travel to Italy, all the way to leading police to a missing neighborhood child. The one time Gina didn’t listen to her, she almost got herself killed. So when she says that Gina will marry a man named Ethan—but she will have to wait for him—Gina believes her, and waits…

Now thirty-six, Gina’s Mr. Right is nowhere in sight—until the day she’s stranded in a snowstorm, and rescued by the last type of Ethan she expected. It’s very romantic, yet surprisingly not. This Ethan is sexy, and clearly her hero. Still, instead of her “Aha” moment, Gina’s confused. And when Ethan is happy to discover she’s single, does Gina dare tell him, It’s because I’ve been waiting for you? But the bigger question is, does she dare question destiny—by taking it into her own hands? And is she brave enough to handle what happens once it’s time to stop waiting—and start living?

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