Home>>read It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) free online | Books Directory | MostViews

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2)

By´╝ÜJenny Han

k up. He put the blankets back in the closet and then he put on his sneakers. He undid the laces and pulled them tighter. I kept waiting, but he wouldn't look at me.

"Hey," I said.

He finally raised his head. "Hey," he said. "A friend of mine is coming to get me."

"Why?" I asked.

"It's easier this way. He'll take me back to Cousins so I can get my car, and J can take you home."

"Oh," I said. I was so surprised, it took a moment for the disappointment, the utter disbelief, to register.

We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything. In his eyes, there was no trace of what had happened between us earlier, and I could feel something inside me break.

So that was that. We were finally, finally over.

I looked at him, and I felt so sad, because this thought occurred to me: I will never look at you in the same way ever again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.




I couldn't even be mad at him, because this was who he was. This was who he'd always been. He'd never lied about that. He gave and then he took away. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, the familiar ache, that lost, regretful feeling only he could give me. I never wanted to feel it again. Never, ever.

Maybe this was why I came, so I could really know. So I could say good-bye.

I looked at him, and I thought, If I was very brave or very honest, I would tell him . I would say it, so he would know it and I would know it, and I could never take it back. But I wasn't that brave or honest, so all I did was look at him. And I think he knew anyway.

I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will.

I was the one to look away first.

Jeremiah hung up the phone and asked Conrad, "Is Dan on his way to come get you?"

"Yeah. I'm just gonna hang out here and wait for him."

Jeremiah looked at me then. "What do you want to do?"

"I want to go with you," I said. I picked up my bag and Taylor's shoes.

He stood up and took my bag off my shoulder. "Then let's go." To Conrad, he said, "See you at home."

I wondered which home he meant, the summer house or their house-house. But I guessed it didn't really matter.

"Bye, Conrad," I said. I walked out the door with Taylor's shoes in my hand and I didn't bother to put them on either. I didn't look back. And right there, I felt it, the glow, the satisfaction of being the one who left first.

As we walked through the parking lot, Jeremiah said, "Maybe you should put your shoes on. You might cut your feet on something."

I shrugged. "They're Taylor's shoes," I said, as if that made sense. I added, "They're too small."

He asked, "Do you want to drive?"

I thought it over and then I said, "No, that's okay. You drive."

"But you love to drive my car," he said, coming around to the passenger side and opening my door first.

"I know. But today I just feel like riding shotgun."

"Do you want to get breakfast first?"

"No," I said. "I just want to go home."

Soon we were on the road. I opened my window all the way down. I stuck my head out and let my hair fly everywhere, just because. Steven once told me that bugs and things get caught up in girls' hair when they ride with it hanging out the window. But I didn't care. I liked the way it felt. It felt free.

Jeremiah looked over at me and said, "You remind me of our old dog, Boogie. He used to love riding around with his head out the window."

He was still using his polite voice. Distant.

I said, "You haven't said anything. About before." I glanced over at him. I could hear my heart thudding in my ears.

"What's left to say?"

"I don't know. A lot," I said.

"Belly-," he started. Then he stopped and let out a breath, shaking his head.

"What? What were you going to say?"

"Nothing," he said.

Then I reached across, and I took his hand and laced my fingers around his. It felt like the most right thing I'd done in a long time.

I worried he'd let go, but he didn't. We held hands like that the whole rest of the way home.

a couple of years later

When I used to picture forever, it was always with the same boy. In my dreams, my future was set. A sure thing.

This wasn't the way I pictured it. Me, in a white dress in the pouring rain, running for the car. Him, running ahead of me and opening the passenger door.

"Are you sure?" he asks me.

"No," I say, getting in.

The future is unclear. But it's still mine.

JENNY HAN has her master's degree in creative writing for children from the New School. Her previous books include Shug and The Summer I Turned Pretty . She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit Jenny at dearjennyhan.

Loading...