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Larry Hammersley

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End of a String
by Larry Hammersley   

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Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press Type: 

Copyright:  April 9, 2008

Coffee Time Romance
End of a String

Set in the late 1950s this college romance features Slim Canton and Natalie Adams. Slim is on scholastic probation after flunking calculus. Natalie Adams is a brilliant, electrical engineering student, a beautiful sorority girl who has no interest in Slim. This serves to make Slim want to pursue a relationship with her. He takes a desperate step to find common ground between them and hopefully will be able to break through her icy and arrogant barrier.

Slim Canton meets beautiful and intelligent Natalie Adams at an exchange dinner between Slim's residence hall and Natalie's sorority. He learns from Natalie's girl friend, Carla, that Natalie has had a string of boy friends, all important men on campus. Slim's hopes are dashed as he can't match up to the status of her previous boy friends. When she relents and decides to help him with calculus his hopes soar. His desperate step to find a common interest between them works out as they both enjoy roller skating. Finally, after a brief break up of Natalie with Slim, she realizes he is a swell guy. She tells him he is the end of a string of boy friends. Slim couldn't be happier.      Excerpt
“Natalie doesn’t like me.” He watched Natalie
walking away.
“Does that matter to you?” Carla asked, looking
suspiciously at him.
“Yes. I want people to like me.” Slim knew the
expression on his face had given him away—he never
could keep his mom from finding out what he was
thinking, either.
“Especially Natalie.” The remark from Carla
confirmed it.
“Are you sure you’re not majoring in psychology?”
Well, that was a not-so-subtle admission of attraction to
Natalie, wasn’t it, he thought.
“I know you only met us an hour ago, but I have this
feeling about people.” Carla smiled, and somehow Slim
didn’t feel embarrassed.
End of a String
“Natalie must have a string of boy friends. In fact,
both of you must. The two of you are so pretty,” Slim
complimented honestly.
“Thank you. Natalie has had a lot of boy friends—the
basketball center, the president of the senior class, the
son of the nuclear physics professor. I think they all broke
up with her. She didn’t much care for them anyway, and
it was probably just a status thing with her.” Carla
finished her lemon pie.
“That being the case, I wouldn’t have a chance. Uh,
assuming you’re right about me.” Slim still clung to his
illusion of mystery about his attraction to Natalie.

Professional Reviews

The Long and Short of It: End of a String
I thoroughly enjoyed this short story about Slim and Natalie, college students who find love at the roller rink, at the local diner, and over study sessions. Set in the 1950s, “End of a String” has a fun, upbeat tone as the kind, sweet Slim falls for serious, brusque Natalie. She wants nothing to do with him at first, but that doesn’t stop him from trying!

The character development in this short story is wonderful. I felt as though I knew all about Slim and Natalie after just a few pages. I also liked the fact that Natalie is not the typical sorority girl; she’s a brainy beauty who doesn’t care what she says, or what other people think of her. And that, of course, is what Slim falls for!

The details of the time period add to the light-hearted feel of this story as well. Who wouldn’t long for those easy days of courtship, where a float and a night of holding hands at the roller rink was enough to bring two people together? The ending of this story is believable and satisfying. I highly recommend “End of a String” for a feel-good romance set in a simpler time.

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