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Good Housekeeping
Marla Miniano, Contributor
June 22, 2010

Table for Two

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Treat yourself to a tale filled with breakups, hookups, and more from the author of the Every Girl's Guide series.

In Table for Two, a corner table at a quiet coffee shop takes center stage, the latest release from Summit Books author Marla Miniano. The table is the setting for pivotal moments in the lives of the main characters—who, as it seems, are quite the lovelorn bunch. First, there’s the long-time couple on the verge of calling it quits after college graduation. Then there’s the serial dater who accepts her younger brother’s challenge to go dateless for two months. There’s also a photographer who attempts to dissuade his best friend from getting married (and we’re curious to find out why). And finally, there are the two hopefuls: a young man who meets with the girl he never stopped loving, and a young lady who pores over romance novels, waiting for her turn to fall in love.

Cosmopolitan praises Miniano for creating a “romantic yet very real world” in her latest piece of chick lit. Indeed, who doesn’t love a story where everything—and everyone—is connected? And if you aren't yet convinced that this fresh-off-the-presses paperback should be your next book buy, check out the excerpt for a sneak peek at this light and romantic read.


Read excerpt 


This Closure

But one night, seven months and six days ago, you asked me to tell you the truth, and I did. The truth was this: I couldn’t stop thinking about you and that kiss we shared once and never spoke of again. Every moment was a moment further from the one where I leaned towards you and you pulled me in close. Every thought of you brought back that moment, our moment—the feel of your lips brushing against mine for the first time, for the last time. The truth was, at that moment, we were caught in the same place, breathing in the same air, which was why I couldn’t understand how it meant the world to me while it meant nothing to you at all.

You looked at me for a long time before you finally said, “I’m sorry I even asked. I just wanted to make sure you were okay with this.”

“With what?”

“I don’t know. This.”

You untangled your arm from mine and told me, “I’m sorry it meant something to you.” I said, “I’m sorry it meant something to me, too.”

First Chapter

My boyfriend Tristan is late again, and I am not surprised.

I am sitting at our favorite spot, a table for two by the window, in our favorite coffee shop. Not many people know about Café Carmelo—it is sandwiched between a Korean grocery and an appliance service center, along a street fifteen minutes away from a major road housing three universities and more than a dozen big-name coffee shops. People drive past it every day, on the way to school or work, but nobody ever really notices. And with its unassuming exterior and a sign you have to squint to read, it almost seems like it doesn't want to be noticed.

It was my idea to make this our regular meeting place. I figured it would be less embarrassing to be kept waiting for an hour and a half, or to be completely flaked on, when your only witnesses are a couple of bored baristas and a law student burning a hole through a mountain of handouts. Tristan used to say I was being paranoid, that when he stood me up in Starbucks or Seattle's Best, nobody could even tell I had just been stood up. Of course they could tell. There is an unmistakable vibe independent people give off, an enviable confidence that allows them to eat alone and sit alone and hang out at a coffee shop alone without looking pathetic. I am not an independent person. I do not give off that “I'm alone and I'm okay” vibe. What I give off, clearly, is an “I got stood up by boyfriend so now I'm loitering and trying to pretend that I'm okay” vibe.

I open my bag and pull out the envelope containing my resumés, cover letters, and 1x1 ID pictures. Today is my first day—our first day—as official members of the real world. I now understand why it is more common to say “fresh” graduates rather than “new” or “recent” graduates. I feel invigorated and energized, free from the burden of research papers and long exams and thesis proposals, and ready to dive into the adult world of job-hunting and panel screenings and salary negotiations. I feel eager and enthusiastic. I feel, well, fresh.

“Are we yuppies now?” my best friend Diane asked me several days ago.

“Yup,” I replied. “Yuppies.”

“I hate that word,” she said. “It makes me think of little people running around. Like boylets.”

I said, “It makes me think of puppies.”

She shook her head at me. “Sometimes I wonder why I put up with you, Mandy. I mean, you're obviously so much smarter than me. You have all these insights that are like, really deep, you know?”

I grinned. “Fine. Let's call ourselves something else then. Fresh. Fresh graduates.”

“Fresh,” she repeated, mulling it over. “I like it.”

“Does it make you think of orange juice?”

“No,” she replied. “Okay. Yes. Yes, it does. But I still like it.”

We both laughed. “Fresh it is, then.”

I arrange my cover letters in alphabetical order, according to the companies' names, and line up my ID pictures in neat rows on the table. Forty minutes pass and I feel my freshness deflating. My boyfriend Tristan is late. Again. I am always waiting for him to show up, and even though we've been together for three years, I still feel sick to my stomach every single time, like I am about to go on a blind date with a complete stranger who may or may not decide at the last minute to back out. You'd think I'd be able to brush off his punctuality problems by now. I imagine this is what it would feel like on our wedding day, as I sit inside the bridal car, a bundle of nerves, and wait for someone to tell me that the groom has arrived and the ceremony is about to start—that nervous, clammy uncertainty gnawing away at my high hopes until there is nothing left but fear and distrust.

Except we're never getting married, because today, we are going to break up.

Tristan walks through the door, no doubt with a good excuse for his tardiness: He came home late from a graduation party with his block mates, or his mom made him run a million errands. Or he lost his phone, or he couldn't find his keys. Or his car wouldn't start, or his alarm didn't go off. Or he overslept.

And all I will hear is, Look, Mandy, I just don't care enough about you anymore.

Read synopsis


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  • spdls0215 Jun 24 2010 @ 12:07pm Report Abuse
    This is such an exciting story to read. I really hope to win this one :)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • j.allyssa Jun 24 2010 @ 02:27pm Report Abuse
    This one is gonna be great :)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • summerinparis Jun 25 2010 @ 07:59am Report Abuse
    i would love to read this book!exciting!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • sunkhizz Jun 25 2010 @ 10:46am Report Abuse
    interesting! would enjoy reading this :)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • michelle08 Jun 25 2010 @ 11:38am Report Abuse
    can't wait to have a copy of this chick lit =)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • nicholettes Jun 26 2010 @ 10:03am Report Abuse
    Wow! this is so romantic and I can relate to this, back when I was still in college. hayzz, memories, lolz. I would love to read this book...hope I can win it.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • mi Jun 28 2010 @ 01:21pm Report Abuse
    Last modified A long time ago
  • longing Jun 29 2010 @ 11:58am Report Abuse
    I'm sure this one will be another chick lit hit!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • millette05 Jul 09 2010 @ 07:16am Report Abuse
    Love spices up our lives. And I love reading about romance and people falling in love all over again.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Msairra_queenbee Jul 11 2010 @ 07:09pm Report Abuse
    hope i get to win this contests, i love summit books a lot :)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • ninabosch Jul 14 2010 @ 07:40pm Report Abuse
    bookworming time! i've heard feed backs about the book, and it's really interesting. a very good novel :D

    hope i win :D
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Selah Jul 26 2010 @ 12:29am Report Abuse
    enjoy reading this book!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • j.allyssa Aug 01 2010 @ 05:49pm Report Abuse
    Finally finished it! :) Awesome book, I can say. Can't help finishing it even if I have exams to study for the next day. LOL.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • glecy Aug 05 2010 @ 06:21pm Report Abuse
    i all have the summit books and i love all of it... this is another chick lit i will surely buy and keep in my collections. :)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • trishy29 Aug 21 2010 @ 11:56am Report Abuse
    i'm currently reading this.. and i'm on the 2nd story, TIMEOUT.. this book is nice..
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Gresha Sungcad Sep 26 2010 @ 08:02am Report Abuse
    i already read this book.. it's so nice.. :) perfect!! anyone can really relate to its story..
    Last modified A long time ago
  • kaye Jan 22 2011 @ 01:40am Report Abuse
    The quotes are compelling it would be so hard to disagree. :D
    Last modified A long time ago
  • kate ... Mar 04 2011 @ 12:48pm Report Abuse
    i can wait to have a copy ...!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Nie Mar 10 2011 @ 11:53am Report Abuse
    I'd love to have one.. :)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Anne Margaret Junio Aug 16 2011 @ 05:36pm Report Abuse
    I have Table For Two. I love all the stories in the book. Kulang na lang maging heart-shaped 'ung eyes ko.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • littleearth Aug 30 2011 @ 02:50am Report Abuse
    bakit po wala ng table for two sa mga national bookstores? lahat po ng napapupuntahan kong NBS wala ng table for two.. :c please pakirelease naman po ulit.
    Last modified A long time ago
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