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Character Insider: Blind Date with Niki Turner

In Nickels, a sweet Christian romance novel by Karen Baney, the book starts with a phone conversation between Niki Turner (the female lead) and her roommate, Marcy, about a blind date. For fun, here’s how I imagine Niki would answer some of those get-to-know you questions a potential date might ask.

1. How much coffee do you drink in a day?

Let’s just say, I drink just shy of the amount that an I.V. would pump into my veins. I love coffee. But never without at least half a dozen creamers. My favorite is an iced mocha from Starbucks. The bigger the better.

2. What do you do for a living?

I’m a software engineer. [At date’s confused look she adds:] Computer programmer. Coder. Developer. Whatever you want to call me. I write software. And I'm pretty doggone good at it too.

3. Describe your ideal weekend.

[Smirks]. Either baking in the sun while floating in my pool or crashed out on my couch watching Office Space or Princess Bride.

4. If you weren’t a software engineer, what would you be?

A software engineer. [Date sighs.] Really, it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. Besides, I’ve only been doing it for four years. I’ve got a long career ahead of me. I’m just getting started.

5. Describe your ideal man.

None. [Date frowns.] You know Marcy set me up with you. What kind of question is that for a first date anyway? How would you answer that question?

[Date sighs and answers:] None. I’m looking for a woman.

[Niki sighs.] Might want to keep looking.

6. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?

Nowhere. I don’t really like to travel. [Date drums fingers on table.] Okay. Maybe back to Germany. I didn’t get to see much of it while I lived there with my brother. He was stationed there.

[Date asks:] Why were you living with your brother?

[Niki cringes.] It’s a long story. Forget I said anything.

7. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I suppose not, since I’m not even sure how I feel about the idea of love.

8. Then you aren’t looking to get married?

We just met. But no. Probably not ever. I mean, that’s a pretty serious commitment. See, this is why I hate blind dates. The guys Marcy picks are always looking for something long-term. I can see it written all over your face. [Rolls her eyes.] This is why I don’t date. I’m not thinking about marriage. My career is going good. I just don’t have time for something serious…

9. Okay. Um… If your friends were coming over, what would you cook?

We’d probably grill out chicken or steak if it’s not too hot or cold outside. I’d make some side dish, like pasta salad, to go with it. None of that store bought stuff. Or, if I felt energetic, I might make my mom’s homemade lasagna. It’s a favorite.

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

[Swallows hard. Picks up her phone to see if she has any messages.]

I haven’t thought about it.

[Nervously flicks her hair over her shoulder then asks server for the check.]



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