Roomies by Christina Lauren Read Online (FREE)
Read Roomies by Christina Lauren full book online for free here.
According to family legend, I was born on the floor of a taxi.
I’m the youngest of six, and apparently Mom went from “I have a bit of a cramp, but let me finish making lunch” to “Hello, Holland Lina Bakker” in the span of about forty minutes.
It’s always the first thing I think about when I climb into a cab. I note how I have to shimmy with effort across the tacky seat, how there are millions of neglected fingerprints and unidentifiable smudges clouding the windows and Plexiglas barrier—and how the floor of a cab is a really terrible place for a baby to meet the world.
I slam the taxi door behind me to block out the howling Brooklyn wind. “Fiftieth Street station, Manhattan.”
The driver’s eyes meet mine in the rearview mirror and I can imagine what he’s thinking: You want to take a cab to the subway in Manhattan? Lady, you could take the C train all the way there for three bucks.
“Eighth Ave. and Forty-Ninth Street,” I add, ignoring the clawing flush of awareness that I am absurd. Instead of taking the cab all the way home, I’m having the driver take me from Park Slope to a subway stop in Hell’s Kitchen, roughly two blocks from my building. It’s not that I’m particularly safety minded and don’t want this cabbie to know where I live.
It’s that it’s Monday, approximately eleven thirty, and Jack will be there.
At least, he should be. Since I first saw him busking at the Fiftieth Street station nearly six months ago, he’s been there every Monday night, along with Wednesday and Thursday mornings before work, and Friday at lunchtime. Tuesday he’s gone, and I’ve never seen him there on the weekend.
Mondays are my favorite, though, because there’s an intensity in the way he crouches over his guitar, cradling it, seducing it. Music that seems to have been trapped inside all weekend long is freed, broken only by the occasional metallic tumble of pocket change dropped into the open guitar case at his feet, or the roar of an approaching train.
I don’t know what he does in the hours he’s not there. I’m also fairly certain his name isn’t Jack, but I needed to call him something other than “the busker,” and giving him a name made my obsession seem less pathetic.
The cabbie is quiet; he isn’t even listening to talk radio or any of the other cacophonous car-filler every New Yorker gets used to. I blink away from my phone and the Instagram feed full of books and makeup tutorials, to the mess of sleet and slush on the roads. My cocktail buzz doesn’t seem to be evaporating as quickly as I’d hoped, and by the time we pull up to the curb and I pay the fare, I still have its giddy effervescence simmering in my blood.