Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Author:Christina Lauren [Lauren, Christina]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: 2017-12-05T08:00:00+00:00

I drop my keys on the counter and watch Calvin wordlessly duck in to use the bathroom before bed. I had this strange sense of a Plexiglas barrier between us the entire walk home and am trying to figure out what’s bothering him. Other than the obvious, of course: the looming pressure of his first performance, the stress over our paperwork getting filed in time. Maybe that’s all it is and he just needs some time to process it all. Keeping our sanity intact while we wait for the work authorization to come through is like watching someone hammer a nail through my hand one tiny blow at a time. It’s excruciating, and I have no control. Imagine how it feels for him.

But Calvin finds so much joy in music, and he’s so optimistic about all this, it seems hard to believe that he’s quiet because he’s worried about that. And what was the urgent phone call tonight? Is there another opportunity he’s keeping on the back burner? Am I the only one who’s planning to be faithful?

The prospect makes me want to vomit.

Calvin emerges, and does a double take when he sees me standing exactly where he left me, just inside the door.

“You feel all right?” he asks.

I attempt a smile. “Yeah. Dinner was fun.”

Nodding, he moves to the couch, sitting down, untucking his dress shirt, and putting his head in his hands.

It’s so weird to live with someone I don’t know that well. He didn’t drink very much, so I know he’s not suffering any ill effects from alcohol. We just ate a half hour ago, so I doubt he’s suffering from something he ate . . .

“Are you all right?” I ask.

He nods, and then looks up at me, eyes red and unfocused from exhaustion. “I know it’s only been a little over a week, but seeing Robert nervous tonight made me nervous. What if we did all this for nothing? I feel like the waiting to start is killing me. I just want to perform. I just want to get in there.”

I nod in understanding, but I get a weird twist of guilt, like I should be speeding this up somehow. And doing all this for nothing doesn’t land entirely without impact, either. I realize we aren’t actually together, but it’s been nice to be with him, even platonically. It doesn’t feel like nothing.

The name Natalie floats into my memory, paired with the way he dashed off . . . it leaves me feeling uneasy for a different reason entirely. “I hope that the phone call wasn’t anything bad.”

It seems to take him a few seconds to remember, and then he looks up, sheepish. “Oh.” He grimaces. “I was supposed to be on a date, and completely forgot.”

This leaves me momentarily speechless.

“Hold on,” he corrects, holding up a hand, “that came out wrong. It was a date I made a few days before we had that first lunch. I forgot to cancel it. I’m sorry.”

Well, this is awkward.


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