Odd One Out by Nic Stone Read Online (FREE)
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Book One: The Game Plan
Chapter 1: I, Courtney Aloysius Cooper IV, Should Be a Very Sad Dude
I should be devastated or pissed or deflated as I let myself into the house next door and climb the stairs to my best friend’s bedroom. I should be crushed that less than a month into my junior year of high school, my latest girlfriend kicked me to the curb like a pair of too-small shoes.
It’s ridiculous that I have to stop outside the door to get my act together so Best Friend won’t get suspicious, isn’t it? Rubbing my eyes so the whites look a little red, slumping my shoulders, hanging my head, and poking my bottom lip out just the slightest bit so I look sad…
Best Friend doesn’t even look up from her phone when I open the door. Normally I’d be offended since I did all this work pretending sadness, but right now it’s a good thing she keeps her eyes fixed to the little screen. She’s sitting at her desk, laptop open, in one of those thin-strapped tank tops—nothing underneath, mind you, and she’s got a good bit more going on up there than most girls our age. She’s also wearing really small shorts, and she’s not small down bottom, either. In the words of her papi: “All chichis and culo, that girl…”
And I can’t not notice. Been trying to ignore her *assets* since they started blooming, if you will, in seventh grade. Largely because I know she would kick me to the curb if she knew I thought of her…that way. But anyway, when I see her sitting there with her light brown skin on display like sun-kissed sand and her hair plopped on top of her head in a messy-bun thing, my devastated-dumped-dude act drops like a bad habit.
I close my eyes. The image has already seared itself into my memory, but I need to pull myself back together. With my eyes still closed, I cross the room I know better than my own and drop down into the old La-Z-Boy that belonged to my dad.
Despite the squeak of the springs in this chair, she doesn’t say a word.
I crack one eye: no earbuds. There’s no way she doesn’t realize I’m in here….She smiles at something on her phone, tap-tap-tap-tap-taps around, and after literally two seconds, there’s the ping of an incoming text. She L’s-O-L.
I sigh. Loudly. Like, overly loudly.
Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. “You’re back early,” she says without looking up.
“You should put some clothes on, Jupe.”
“Pffft. Last I checked, you’re in my domain, peon.”
Typical. “I need to talk to you,” I say.
Ping! She reads. Chuckles.
Who the hell is she even talking to?
I take a deep breath. Wrangle a leash onto the green-eyed monster bastard raging within. “I can’t.”
She glares over her shoulder at me. “Don’t be difficult.” God.