My Nerdy Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson
My Nerdy Valentine
By Vicki Lewis Thompson
Published by St. Martin’s Press (2007)
I had a crush on a geeky-looking guy a few years ago, but when my feelings for him were crushed as he ghosted me, I had totally forgotten that I used to feel excited at the sight of a bespectacled man. Ever since, whenever I drooled over a hero in romance novels, I had been indifferent of whether they wear spectacles or not. When I read My Nerdy Valentine one fine day, it all came back to me. Suddenly I recalled that I used to have a soft spot for bespectacled guys!
My Nerdy Valentine follows the story of Amanda Rykowsky, a psychology student who was doing her internship at the office of Dr Gloria Tredway, an infamous sex therapist. Amanda was very focused on her studies because she had planned her life well ahead: after finishing her internship, she wanted to enrol at Harvard and in the future become a therapist specialising in adolescent psychology. She wanted to have a very stable life and a well-paid job, so she would not depend on anyone in her life – especially not a man.
Amanda was quite traumatized by her mother who gave up everything in her life for her husband. When Amanda’s father passed away suddenly, her mother was so heartbroken and had nothing else to live for. Amanda’s mother had also passed away since. Amanda was determined to avoid a life like her mother’s. And it was not only about her mother. She was involved with a man before, and she realized that she had begun to abandon her studies when she had a boyfriend. So she had decided to stay celibate for the time being and not let anything derail her focus on her dreams.
Enter William Sloan, a geeky stockbroker who worked at a firm in the same building as Dr Gloria Tredway’s office. By a twist of fate, Amanda and William got to know each other after a rather embarrassing incident involving sex toys needed for Dr Gloria’s therapy sessions. William seemed to take an interest in Amanda and had asked her out for lunch during their brief encounter, but she was quick to decline. Amanda vowed not to get involved with any man for that matter.
On the same day she met William, Amanda found a Valentine’s Day card in her desk drawer in the office. Although the card was signed as “Your Secret Valentine”, Amanda was convinced it was from William because she had not been having any contacts on a personal level with any man for quite some time. But when confronted, William denied he had sent the card to her.
For the next several days, Amanda continued to receive valentines and each time, the contents of the card became even more ominous. As days passed, the sender – whoever he was – became more revealing of his totally sexual intentions towards Amanda. Amanda became scared, and she confronted William again. She somewhat wanted to believe that the sender of the cards was William after all, so that it will not sound too creepy compared to having some unknown person sending her those.
But Amanda soon realized that William was not her Secret Valentine: once, she found the card inside her drawer when William had not possibly had a chance to sneak up to her office to do it. And when her Secret Valentine then turned into a complete wacko stalker by sending recordings of suggestive songs to her answering machine at home, Amanda was pushed to the brink of a nervous breakdown.
***WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***
Amanda was scared if the stalker actually knew where she lived. Her apartment lacked security, and worse, she lived on the first floor. Anyone who wanted to break into her apartment through the window would have an easy time at that.
Meanwhile, William was quietly concerned for Amanda’s safety the moment she began to receive the mysterious valentines. William was afraid that the sender could be a stalker with some harmful intentions in his mind. So William pointed out that Amanda needed some protection from the apparent stalker. And he proposed that he became her decoy boyfriend, with the hopes that the stalker will be deterred after learning that Amanda was not available.
William’s intentions were pure, as he did want to keep Amanda safe. But at the same time he could feel something special towards Amanda. However, he respected the fact that Amanda would not want to commit. So William intended to at least protect her as best as he could.
Amanda agreed to the proposition because she was too scared about the stalker. When William suggested he should move in to Amanda’s apartment, she did not even object. However, both of them were determined to be casual when in private. They agreed to appear lovey-dovey only in public, so as to make a statement – just in case the stalker was watching.
However, it was not long before the real attraction between them began to get in the way. Soon Amanda and William began to act like a real couple – whether in public or in private, all thoughts of playing a fake relationship was forgotten.
Nevertheless, Amanda’s relationship with William did not deter the stalker at all. Instead, he became even more aggressive when he noticed William’s presence in Amanda’s life. He still continued to harass Amanda with his valentines and songs left at her answering machine. And being a sick man, the stalker also sent warning messages to Amanda to get rid of William as soon as possible. Ultimately, the stalker spray-painted a large heart shape at Amanda’s house window, indirectly declaring that he knew where she lived.
Finally, one night, the stalker strikes. He kidnapped Amanda while William was not by her side. And only then that the identity of her stalker was revealed: Amanda discovered that her stalker-cum-kidnapper was a Harvey Kenton, one of Dr Gloria Tredway’s clients who had had problems with his wife.
Amanda had always been cordial while dealing with Harvey when he came for his therapy sessions because it was the right thing to do to a client, but Harvey had unexpectedly became delusional about Amanda’s treatment of him. Harvey took it that Amanda was interested in him – unlike his own wife who had always bullied him at home – and the fantasy sparked into an obsession. Now with Amanda bundled into his car, Harvey was determined to carry out what he had been suggesting through his Valentine cards: he intended to rape Amanda!
Fortunately, William was in hot pursuit of the fleeing Harvey (who took Amanda along with him). William managed to flatten Harvey’s car tyres, but the latter kept on driving recklessly. The car only grounded to a halt after Amanda gave Harvey a bashing on the head while he was busy trying to lose William. Finally Harvey was taken away by the police, and Dr Gloria Tredway was also notified about her client’s notorious behaviour.
Following the unnerving episode, Amanda knew her priorities had shifted significantly. She was willing to accommodate a lover – William – into her life even though she knew she had to focus on her studies. However, William did not want Amanda to lose her focus and her dreams of entering Harvard or becoming a therapist. Reluctantly, he insisted that they separate while she finished her internship. Amanda did not want that either, but William knew it was the best decision for the both of them.
Only when Amanda had finished her internship and graduated from school that William returned to her life. William – whom Amanda had not seen ever since the night of her kidnapping – attended her graduation ceremony and proposed marriage. He also informed Amanda that he had already moved to Boston – near Harvard, where Amanda was headed to next. Amanda was so happy that she had found William, a man who was willing to get out of her way to let her chase her dreams first before returning to claim her love. And so Amanda said yes to William’s proposal!