Time is a curious thing. I’ve been so focused on writing Devoted to Her and brainstorming for my next book. Then I look at the calendar, and realize that it’s been almost a year since the initial release of Dream Date. The first edition was released in August, and the second in November. A third edition with new cover art (but no changes in the text) was released in February. It’s about to be the first anniversary! In light of that, I felt it was time to release the deleted scenes from early drafts of the book. These are, obviously, not revised. Some characters had different names, and there are a few special markings I use to get back to certain parts later. Here they are. These deleted scenes make for a long post, so I’ve split it into pages. You can find the links at the bottom:
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ALTERNATE STARBUCKS SCENE: AMANDA REJECTS NATHAN
This scene was omitted because it made Amanda look quite stuck-up. I did not want to give readers that impression. Also, this scene is from the earliest drafts of the book. I was still fleshing out Amanda’s personality then.
“Your friend’s here,” Claire said.
“Over there,” she whispered, and Nathan looked to where she indicated. Amanda was at a table, sitting alone again. Not far from her, at the table right next to the wall, was her bodyguard.
“You like her. I can tell,” Claire told him, smiling. Nathan shook his head.
“I’ve got a girlfriend, Claire. This is just like a…like a celebrity crush. It’s got no future. Kind of like your crush on this John Levitt or something.”
“It’s Joseph-Gordon Levitt! And I haven’t had a crush on him since I met my boyfriend.”
As if on cue, Oswald chose that moment to appear. Nathan and Claire stared at him.
“What?” he asked of no one in particular, sitting down. Claire giggled.
“Is there something funny?”
“Excuse me,” said Nathan, standing up. He walked towards Amanda’s table.
“Hi,” he said, but Amanda didn’t look up.
“Hi,” she repeated in a bored tone. Nathan asked if he could sit down, and she motioned with her hand for him to do so.
“Are you all right?”
“Yeah. I just didn’t sleep very well,” Amanda said. She yawned, covering her mouth.
“I’m asking about what happened on Wednesday.”
“I’m fine, Nathan. Thanks for saving me.”
Amanda drank some of her coffee.
“Those bastards are in jail now, I assume?”
“Yes. They won’t bother me anymore.”
“That’s good. I’m glad you weren’t robbed.”
Nathan paused, thinking of what more to say.
“By the way, do you have a pet?”
“What?” asked Amanda, surprised by the question. “No, I don’t.”
“I saw you coming out of the pet store.”
“Oh, that. I was just asking for information about pets. I’m considering getting one, and I needed to know which breeds are better suited to indoor living.”
“I see. You want a dog.”
“Yes. Maybe I’ll get a Beagle. They’re cute, and they’re also very intelligent, and protective.”
“Would you want a male, or a female?”
“I don’t know. Probably female.”
Nathan mulled over her answer, eating his food.
“Amanda, I’d like to know your phone number. So we can talk whenever you like.”
Amanda looked at Nathan as if she were surveying him. Then she sighed.
“Listen, Nathan. You’re a great guy. I like you. I really do. I’m just…well, a really busy woman, you know?”
“Tell me about it.”
Amanda waited. She was struggling to find the right words, but being careful to keep a poker face.
“I think it would be best if we didn’t continue seeing each other.”
Nathan blanched, wondering if he’d heard right.
“I gotta go, my friends are waiting for me. Thanks for keeping me company. I’d advise you to refrain from doing it again.”
With that, Amanda stood up and left, taking her cup of coffee and her pastry. Hughes followed right behind her, shooting Nathan a sorry look.
What in the world was that? Nathan thought, puzzled. He felt as though he’d just bungee-jumped and plowed straight into the water.
Did she just ask me outright to stay away?
Nathan finished his breakfast, unable to turn to see if his friends were staring. It would be better if they thought nothing was wrong.
Because everything had turned into a complete, utter mess. And Nathan didn’t know what to make of it.
Simple, dude. Amanda isn’t interested in you.
Finishing his coffee, Nathan stood up and hastily left the Starbucks. He was glad to see his friends weren’t there anymore to witness how everything had gone to hell.
Nathan walked back to class in a daze. Although he wanted to pretend being rejected by Amanda didn’t hurt (in spite of his already having a girlfriend), it did feel as though someone had punched him in the gut. Nathan was terrified to realize he’d held too much hope.
I’ll be damned. I should have been more realistic.
As he entered the building where his next class was located, Nathan vowed to pull Amanda from his heart once and for all. He had to learn not to like those alluring green eyes so much. Or that friggin-kissable mouth. Or those waves of shiny golden hair.
As he walked, Nathan recalled what the weather was like outside. The weather wouldn’t remain warm for very long, which was necessary for what he had in mind to forget Amanda. He would make Kayla a happy girl.
Nathan found her waiting outside the classroom. She looked up when he approached.
“Love,” Kayla said, smiling. Nathan walked right into her and kissed her lips.
“How are you, baby?”
Kayla waited until he broke the kiss to answer.
“Fantastic. I made real good progress last night. The book…are you all right?” she asked, only just noticing his slightly let-down expression.
“What do you mean? I’m fine,” Nathan said. “Listen. You up for some fun this afternoon?”
“Duh. It’s Friday. Where are we going?”
“You’ll see. We’ll have a great time. Just meet me in front of your dorm building, and I’ll pick you up.”
“Are we going to a restaurant?”
“Something like that,” Nathan told her, smiling. “But better. You’ll love it.”
“What time do I wait for you?”
“Let’s say…five o’clock. I’ll bring my car.”
“Deal,” said Kayla, looking excited.