Thirty Days – A Novel by BT Urruela
Release date: February 27, 2018
Cover Design: Wicked Warrior Photography
Formatting: Champagne Formats
Editing: All About the Edits
Gavin is a struggling writer with a complicated past, who’s reeling from the loss of the only woman he’s ever loved. More than a year after the breakup, he’s still suffering major heartbreak and a serious case of writer’s block. In an attempt to help him out of his funk, Gavin’s best friend and fellow writer, Bobby, sets up an account for him on the new dating app SwipeDate.
After a few unsuccessful dates, Bobby challenges him to thirty more dates in thirty days. If Gavin can complete the challenge, Bobby will give him a check for twenty-five thousand dollars.
Does Gavin have what it takes to complete the challenge? Or will the trials and tribulations of modern dating prove to be too much?
By the middle of the third coffee date, I’m realizing how bad of an idea three coffee dates in a row really was. My stomach grumbles and churns, willing me to the bathroom, but Danica, 20, from the Bronx, hasn’t paused long enough for me to get a word in edgewise. I’m not even sure she’s stopped long enough to breathe.
“So, then my mom’s like, ‘okay, Danica, you gotta figure out what to do with your life,’ and I’m like ‘Mom, I’m only twenty. I’ve got, like, a million years to figure things out’ and she’s like, ‘now, Danica, that’s no way to look at life. Time catches up to you.’ Blah. Blah. Blah. And of course, I was like, ‘Mom, you had, like, three kids by the time you were twenty, we aren’t on the same path’… like, not at all.” She finally pauses, her face scrunching in confusion. “Are you okay? You don’t look so good.”
“No?” I ask, trying my best to make the I-gotta-poop face go away. “I do need to use the restroom though, if you don’t mind.”
“Be my guest,” she says, and I make my way to the bathroom as casually as I can, though the countdown has begun. The sweat building on my forehead, and in my palms, tells me so. I nonchalantly swing the door open and take my time entering, but once it closes, I’m in a race against time. Date poops aren’t easy. You must time it like you’re taking a piss. Nobody wants to be that guy taking a shit in the middle of a date. It’s not like I’m a senior citizen here. The worst part of the process, of course, is the fact that toilet paper always likes to come off one square at a time when you’re rushing to line the seat. Who the fuck only uses a square at a time anyway? Why do they make it like that? Why?
Eyeing my phone, I know I only have another minute or so at best before she figures me out. I finish my business, and as I go to wash my hands, my reflection in the mirror startles me. I’m legitimately in an all-out sweat.
Yeah, that’s not obvious or anything.
I grab a wad of paper towels and dab my face the best I can before tossing the soaked towels in the trash and exiting the bathroom.
The walk back is like I’m making my entrance on American Idol or something. I feel all eyes on me, including hers, as I cross the cafe to our table. It’s like I’m in slow motion, the spotlight is on me… they all know. Of course, in reality, no one is paying any attention to me and Danica is too busy Snapchatting or selfie-ing on her phone to notice my approach, but that’s a moot point. I’ve got a writer’s brain, and with that, there’s a whole imaginary world going on around me at all times. It gets real exciting when I’m on a plane and envision it nose diving into the side of a mountain, everyone screaming and frantic as I sit calmly in resignation… or walking down a dark isolated alleyway and seeing my violent gang rape and death playing out before me.
It’s been like that since I was a kid. My parents were never really the type to care very much. Me and my brother were often left to our own devices as our parents worked and spent their remaining time trying to avoid each other and taking shit out on us. It formed, in me, an intense desire to escape. And seeing as an adolescent doesn’t have too many logical options at that point, an imaginary world was necessary for survival. I remember building a little fort in my closet; somewhere I could get away and disappear from the world. I’d sit in there under a dim lamplight and read epic adventure tales. The stories were my own, lived out every step of the way through my imagination. Though not real, it very much seemed so growing up. Those stories were all I had.
Funny how so little has changed.
About the Author
BT URRUELA was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Vice President and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model. He co-wrote the novel ‘A Lover’s Lament’ with author KL Grayson in 2015. He released his first solo novel, ‘Into the Nothing’ in June 2016, ‘Wicked Little Words’ with author Stevie J. Cole in October 2016, ‘Alphas & Fairytales: A New Year’s Eve Anthology’ and ‘Into the Blood’ in December 2016, ‘Thirty Days – Part One’ in February 2017 and ‘Thirty Days – Part Two in May of 2017. ‘Thirty Days – Part Three’ followed in August of the same year and he’s currently working on his short story ‘Bishop’ for the The Frat Chronicles Anthology with his fellow Romance & Erotica Author Fraternity brothers. He plans to release ‘Bishop’ a continuation of that short story expected in March 2018.
He lives in Tampa with his dogs, Kiko and Scout, and is writing full-time. (Author photo by Christopher John / CJC Photography)