I know that there are ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, but are there ‘Choose Your Own Romance’ books?
You are a plain woman with long, curly hair. You keep finding yourself in compromising situations, though. During your lunch break, Joe asks if you’d like to accompany him to a sporting exhibition. Joe’s a sweetheart, and you’re really close, but there’s something missing. Lacking any other plans, you agree to go — as a friend. However, when you stop by the gym, after work, you notice Charles, the jerk who never called you back. Suddenly, there is eye-contact, and you feel uncomfortable. You try to walk away. "Sally, wait," he says, catching up to you. He explains how his phone died and he didn’t have your number elsewhere. He wants to see you tonight. If you decide to break off your plans with Joe, turn to page 16. If you decide to give Joe a raincheck, go to the sporting exhibition, and then sleep with Joe (in a misbegotten, passive-aggressive attack on Charles), turn to page 69. If you decide to continue with the blog article, turn to the next paragraph.
You hesitate, flustered. Charles, sensing your fluctuating heart, grabs you by the shoulders and pulls you in. As your lips meet, you feel yourself melting in his arms. Suddenly there is a flurry of blood and glass as a meteorite impacts the gym. Charles dies instantly, but you aren’t so lucky. It takes a while for the rescue workers get to you. By that time, you’ve already lost a lot of blood. Jim, a handsome paramedic, does his best to bandage and reassure you. His presence is a temporary reprieve from the pain, and his deep voice does a lot to explain what happened. "Don’t worry, everything’s going to be okay," are the last words you hear before slipping into "Survivor’s Shock." Months pass at the hospital with no signs of brain function. Janice, your younger sister, has the power of attorney. She’s scared and confused — you left no living will. If Janice should decide to pull the plug, turn to page 15. If Janice should decide to get ‘the nasty on’ with the cute doctor, turn to page 113. If you decide that you really, really want to continue with the blog article, turn to the next paragraph.
Janice hesitates, flustered. The cute doctor stops by. He puts his hand on her shoulder, to reassure her, but Janice is sure she feels something more. Suddenly there is a flurry of blood and glass as a meteorite impacts the hospital. Unlike the last one, this one is really big and causes the extinction of the human race. THE END.
Golly. I think there’s a lot of potential in that genre. It’d be awesome to have a high-school girl dealing with a boyfriend whose always like ‘I love you’ and ‘if you really love me, you’d prove it’. Can you imagine the page when she gets pregnant? Yeah, it’d be very wrong, but at the same time it’d be very emotionally powerful.
Jim, the star wide-receiver on the football team, has been avoiding you all week. You’re going to talk to him today, for sure. Waiting in front of the gym doors, his teammates pass you. Kevin doesn’t respond well to your questioning. "He’s probably still practicing." He snickers, though. Jim is one of the last stragglers to show up. "Not now, babe," he tells you. "I’ve got to hit the showers."
"It’s always ‘not now, babe’ with you." I’m not going to cry. "We need to talk."
"What. We talk. I’ve got to go," he replies. You physically block his path with his body. "C’mon."
"I thought you loved me," you say — your voice breaking.
His eyes are different than they were before that night. There is hesitation in his voice, "I do love you, babe. But I really have to go." There is a pause. "We can talk later. Okay?"
If you decide to let him go, turn to page 18. If you decide to blurt out how you’re two weeks late, turn to page 34.
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Of course, I’d also want to write where the reader could see the same situation from Jim’s perspective. That way, it could be used to help explore the differences between male and female minds.
Alas, another project for the ‘todo’ pile.
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If you decide to find out how to read CYOA and why they are immoral, turn to ‘Part 1‘.
If you decide to flirt with the receptionist, turn to page 156.