Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts Read Online (FREE)
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No acquisitions of guilt can compensate the loss of that solid inward comfort of mind, which is the sure companion of innocence and virtue; nor can in the least balance the evil of that horror and anxiety which, in their room, guilt introduces into our bosoms. —Henry Fielding
On Friday, July 22, 2005, Simone Knox ordered a large Fanta—orange—to go with her popcorn and Swedish Fish. The choice, her standard night-at-the-movies fare, changed her life, and very likely saved it. Still, she’d never drink Fanta again.
But at that moment she only wanted to settle down in the theater with her two best friends forEVER and lose herself in the dark.
Because her life—currently and absolutely for the rest of the summer, and maybe for all time—sucked beyond infinity.
The boy she loved, the boy she’d dated exclusively for seven months, two weeks, and four days, the boy she’d imagined cruising through her upcoming senior year with—hand in hand, heart to heart—had dumped her.
In a text.
done wasting time cuz i got 2 b with somebody ready to b all the way with me and thats not u so we r done c u
Certain he couldn’t have meant it, she’d tried to call him—but he didn’t answer. She’d texted three times, humiliating herself.
Then she’d gone to his MySpace page. Humiliation was too weak a word for what she suffered.
Traded in the old DEFECTIVE model for a hot new one.
Shook off a LOSER and I’ll be rolling through the summer and into senior year with the hottest girl in the class of 2006.
His post—with pictures—had already generated comments. She might’ve been smart enough to know he’d ordered his friends to say mean, ugly things about her, but that didn’t lessen the sting or the embarrassment.
She grieved for days. She wallowed in the comfort and righteous anger of her two closest friends. She raged at her younger sister’s taunts, dragged herself to her summer job and the weekly tennis lessons at the club that her mother insisted on.
A text from her grandmother made her sniffle. CiCi might be meditating with the Dalai Lama in Tibet, rocking it out with the Stones in London, or painting in her studio on Tranquility Island, but she had a way of finding out anything and everything.
It hurts now, and the pain’s real, so hugs, my treasure. But give it a few weeks, and you’ll realize he’s just another asshole. Kick butt and namaste.
Simone didn’t think Trent was an asshole (though both Tish and Mi agreed with CiCi). Maybe he’d tossed her aside—and in a really mean way—just because she wouldn’t do it with him. She just wasn’t ready to do it. Besides, Tish had done it with her ex-boyfriend after the junior prom—and twice more—and he’d dumped her anyway.