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“Who’s that?” Chloe asks, smiling. She’s sitting cross-legged on the bed facing me, her fingers wrapped around the steaming mug. “The brother?”
“Yes. Him.” I stress the word with all the disdain I can muster. “He’s arrogant. And pushy! He manipulated me into accepting a ride back with him to Philly, took away my phone and forced me to talk with him the entire drive!”
Chloe blinks for a second and then the giggles start.
“What’s funny?” I ask, swinging myself up to a sitting position and leaning against the wall. I’m failing to see how anything I said was funny.
Chloe, however, is laughing so hard she’s had to set the mug down. “What’s funny?” she repeats. “What’s funny is that he’s you, Everly.”
I shake my head. “No, he’s bossy.”
Chloe snorts.
“Fine, I might be a little bossy, but he was intrusive. Super nosey. You should have heard the things he was asking me.” I cross my arms across my chest and nod, waiting for her to agree.
“Everly, you signed me up for a dating site last semester. Without my knowledge.”
Well, there’s that. “I gave you plenty of opportunities to do it yourself first,” I mutter.
“You sent me on a date, Everly. Without telling me I was on a date. I spent an hour with the guy before I figured out not only did he not need tutoring, he had, in fact, graduated three years ago.”
“You were getting along so well online,” I mumble.
“By which you mean he was getting along with you impersonating me online.”
“Um.” I examine my nails and avoid looking at her. “Well, the thing is, I expected that was going to end differently.” I smile hopefully. “Also, I did that to help. I’m a helper.” I shrug.
“That you are, my friend, that you are.” She sips her tea and examines me over the rim. “So the brother—”
“Sawyer,” I supply.
“Sawyer.” She nods, committing it to memory. “Parents had a Mark Twain thing going on, huh?”
“Appears so,” I agree, smiling. My mom would appreciate their literary baby-naming method.
“So the brother, Sawyer.” She grins. “He sounds interesting.” She raises a brow in question.
“No. He absolutely was not.” I shoot her a dirty look. “No.”
“Okay.” She shrugs. “If you say so.”
“I do.”
“But Everly?” Her tone is serious.
“What?” I’m apprehensive.
“Remember, after we made our college decisions based on your”—she pauses and her lips twitch—“innovative plan to make Finn Camden fall in love with you, you promised me that you’d keep an open mind.”
I nod.
“It’s okay to rewrite your happily ever after, Everly. Sometimes the right guy is the one you never see coming.”
“What’s that?” I ask, pointing to the large shopping bag sitting on my bed when I return from class Monday afternoon.
Chloe looks up from her desk, tendrils of hair escaping the messy knot piled on her head. She drops the pen she’s holding on the desk and turns her attention to me. “It was waiting for you downstairs. I brought it up on my way in.”
I eye the package as I drop my backpack on the floor beside my bed, then slip out of my coat and toss it on my desk chair. Placing both hands on my hips, I stare at it some more.
“I’m assuming that guy, the one you’re not interested in, sent it,” Chloe comments from her desk, watching me with interest.