My Summer Roommate
By Bridie Hall
YA Contemporary Romance
Chloe needs a place to crash for the summer before college. When Chris offers, she moves in with him. It’s just for two months, no biggie. But soon she realizes she may have made a mistake. He’s too perfect—a former snowboarder, laid-back and kind to boot. And he’s smitten with her. But she’s got trust issues and a relationship feels daunting. When he keeps trying to win her over, the temptation becomes overwhelming.
Just as she gives in and decides it’s not worth fighting their emotions anymore, Chris reveals he’s made a stupid mistake which might ruin Chloe’s trust in him and tear them apart.
“Hey, wait up,” Harper calls as I run ahead. It’s an early morning and we’re running in the park. Isabelle suggested I join Harper on his regular run when I mentioned to her that I started running two weeks ago. Harper was dubious at first. I think he was afraid I’d slow him down. But I push myself every day to get the poison out of my system.
The poison being Chris, of course.
The day Chris broke my heart I crashed at Izzy’s place. The next morning, when I knew he was at work, Izzy helped me move my stuff from his place to hers. We managed to avoid him altogether. Now, my boxes litter her upstairs hallway, and I sleep on an air mattress. Harper has been evicted back to his place and he’s none too happy about it, but he puts up with me because I’m Isabelle’s friend. He’s great like that.
“What’s the rush?” he says now, breathing almost normally.
I shrug, but the gesture gets lost in the movement of my entire body.
“You’re pushing yourself like you’ve got a marathon to win next week,” he says. “Why don’t you try enjoying it instead?”
I want to say ‘are you crazy, this is not about enjoyment’. But I don’t. Mostly, because I’m tragically out of breath.
“Don’t beat yourself up about Chris.”
I risk a sideways glance, but I quickly lose half a stride to him. I don’t want to get into a discussion about Chris with Harper, of all people.
“He’s a guy,” he says, like that explains it all. The arrogance of it annoys me so much that it gets me to speak.
“Guys do stupid stuff, Chloe.” He chuckles. “Haven’t you learned that already?”
I stop. Now I want to talk about it, but I can’t do it with my heart trying to gain independence by jumping out of my throat.
A few paces ahead, he stops too when he notices I’m not following him.
“So? Is it supposed to be okay because he’s a dude?”
He walks back the few yards separating us. He looks intimidating, so tall and serious.
“No,” he says. “But you’re too smart to be blinded by one stupid act.”
“It was a pretty big and pretty stupid act.”
Getting love advice from Harper is surreal. I wonder what Isabelle will have to say about it. I don’t know how much he even knows about Chris and me. I never discussed it with him, so whatever he knows must’ve come from Izzy.
“Was it a pretty big love or a pretty small fling?” He raises one eyebrow at me, like a displeased teacher, and I want to slap him across his gorgeous face and thank him at the same time.
“Shouldn’t we be running?” I grumble and start off again, although my legs are killing me.
I wish things were as simple as he put it. But they’re far from it.
Bridie Hall sold her first story at fourteen. Since then, she has written dozens more, translated books, studied writing, and started writing novels. Her days revolve around stories and words, her sleepless nights involve plotting and inventing fascinating new characters. The only activity that takes up more of her time than writing, is reading.
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