Page 7


She named us after the authors of her favorite children’s books. She even decorated both of our nurseries in honor of our namesakes. I know this because there are pictures.
It’s junior year. I know the drill by now. The sooner we take the obligatory shots, the sooner we can leave for the dance. I grab Tim’s hand and lead him to the fireplace. Mom loves this shot. Behind her Eric is doing the universal, “I’m watching you,” gesture, pointing two fingers from his eyes to Tim’s. “Ignore him,” I tell Tim. “Smile for my mom so we can get out of here.”
I glance over at Finn, but he’s not looking in my direction at all. He’s glancing at his phone and saying goodbye to Eric. He’s not even interested enough to look? I know I’m still young, but he could look. He’s just too good a guy, I decide. He still views me as Eric’s little sister. Off limits. But that will change when I turn eighteen. I know it will. I’ll get into Penn. He’ll see me as an adult—a young one, but legal. And eventually he’ll see me as so much more.
I can be patient.
“You’re not saving yourself for him, are you?”
I’m checking my Facebook when he starts talking again. I stop on a picture in my timeline. My friend Sophie just posted pictures from Thanksgiving with her new boyfriend. Those two are looking awfully cozy. Let’s see what else she posted this weekend. I click on her profile but I don’t get to see much because a second later the phone is removed from my grasp and slid into the inside breast pocket of his blazer.
“That’s my phone.”
“This is my car.”
“So we’re getting to know one another and you’re being rude.”
Is this guy nuts? I eye his pocket and decide it’s a lost cause while he’s driving. Sighing, I fold my hands in my lap and watch the traffic. “We’re not getting to know each other. You’re giving me a lift home, and that’s the end of this story.” I lift a finger to gesture between us.
“Back to my question. Are you saving yourself for Finn?” He tilts his head in my direction and cocks an eyebrow in question.
Is he seriously asking me if I’m still a virgin?
“I’m twenty-two, asshole. I’m practicing for Finn, not saving myself for him.”
There’s a hint of a smirk on his face that makes me want to punch him, or watch porn with him. I’m not sure which and it confuses me. I wish he wasn’t so attractive. He’d be easier to ignore.
He runs a hand over his jaw. I think he’s trying to wipe the smirk off of his annoying face. “Glad to hear it, Everly, glad to hear it.”
“Are you?” I don’t care what his thoughts are on my sex life. My question is sarcasm, at best. “I think it’s weird that you have an opinion about my sexual history and rude that you’re bringing it up.” There.
He nods. “I’m glad you’ll appreciate what you’re getting.”
“I’m glad you’ll appreciate me.”
I lean against the window and stare at him.
“I’ve been practicing as well,” he continues.
“For a lot longer,” I interrupt.
He grins. “Right. I’ve been practicing longer than you have and I’m glad to know you have a baseline to judge me by.”
“A baseline.” I turn a bit in my seat so I can tuck my left leg onto the seat. “A baseline is what we’re calling my sexual experience?”
He shrugs. “Yeah. Unless you wanna tell me their names. We’ll go with baseline. Did you want to get into specifics?” He runs his gaze over my face while I pull my right leg up onto the seat and really get comfortable.