Read An Excerpt

by J.A. Redmerski

Genre: New Adult, Young Adult

 | Read Book Review

I feel the bed move when he sits down next to me. I can’t look at him yet; my eyes stay focused on the TV. My stomach swims with guilt and also something tingly when I think about how close he is. But mostly guilt.

He rests his elbows on his thighs again and sits the way he had been sitting on the recliner, with his hands folded and hanging between his legs. “You have to tell me.”

I look over and say, “It’s nothing compared to what you’re going through,” and leave it at that, facing the TV again.

Please stop prying, Andrew. I want more than anything to tell you because somehow I know you can makes some sense of it all, you can make it all better—what am I saying?—Please just stop prying?

“You’re comparing it?” he says, piquing my curiosity. “So, you think that because my dad is dying that whatever made you do what you did somehow doesn’t live up?” He says this as if the very thought of it is absurd.

“Yes,” I say, “that’s exactly what I think.”

His eyebrows draw inward and he looks at the TV briefly before turning back to me.

“Well that’s complete bullshit,” he says matter-of-factly.

My head snaps back around.

“Pain is pain, babe.” Every time he calls me ‘babe’ I notice it more than anything else he says. “Just because one person’s problem is less traumatic than another’s doesn’t mean they’re required to hurt less.”

I guess he makes a valid point, but I still feel selfish.

He touches my wrist and I look down at it, the way his masculine fingers drape over the bone along the side of my hand. I want to kiss him; the urge inside of me just climbed its way to the surface, but I swallow and force it back down into the pit of my stomach which has been trembling for the past few seconds all on its own.

I pull my hand away from his and get up from the bed.

“Camryn, look, I didn’t mean anything by that. I was just trying to—”

“I know,” I say softly, crossing my arms and turning my back on him. It’s definitely one of those it’s-not-you-it’s-me moments, but I’m not about to lay that on him.

I sense him stand up and then I turn carefully at the waist to see him grab his bags and his guitar from against the wall.

He walks to the door.

I want to stop him, but I can’t.

“I’ll let you get some sleep,” he says gently.

I nod but don’t say anything because I’m afraid that if I do, my mind will betray my mouth and I’ll just dig myself deeper into this dangerous situation with Andrew that I’m finding more conspicuous every day that I spend with him.