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The Perfect Roommate by Minka Kent Read Online (FREE)

Jesus.

Though I dropped almost ten grand on the Audi earlier this week and have purchased a few other “incidentals”—a laptop, a new iPhone, a bunch of music Lauren recommended, groceries from Whole Foods—I still have a mini freak out every time I spend more than five or ten bucks on something.

Being poor all my life, you’d think I’d have the good sense to hoard some of this. And I plan to. I’ll put some of it away. But for now, I’m on top of the world, and I’m not quite ready to let that go.

“I’ll take this one,” I say, holding the bottle up to the associate. I tug on the hem of my top that rides up when I place the tester bottle back. It’s a gray t-shirt sewn from the softest cotton I’ve ever laid hands on and it cost me an outrageous $78 at Anthropologie a few days ago. The phrase “la vie est belle” is scrawled across the front—which was fitting and symbolic.

La vie est belle. Life is beautiful.

Yes. Yes, it is.

The associate—whose nametag reads Claudette—smiles and points me to a register where she begins to wrap my purchase in glittery peach tissue paper and place it in a pretty little bag with baby blue satin handles.

“Can we look at shoes next?” I ask.

“What kind of question is that?” Lauren nudges me. “Duh.”

I’m going to need at least five pairs. Sneakers for trekking across campus, but cute ones. Flats—black and camel. Business professional heels for future job interviews. And something sexy and frivolous for going out.

Linking her arm in mine, Lauren guides me to the shoe section of her favorite department store and hooks me up with her favorite salesman, Todd, who treats me like royalty, complimenting my hair, laughing at everything I say, ignoring all the other customers in favor of devoting his full attention to moi.

And that’s what this is about. It isn’t about the shoes or the money.

It’s the star treatment.

It’s the constant endorphin high.

The dopamine rush.

I am adored.

Maybe I’m selling out, maybe the old me from several weeks ago would have a conniption if she saw me now.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps she’d pat me on the back and say, “Well done, Meadow. You’re finally getting exactly what you deserve.”

 

Thirteen

47 Magpie Drive is lit from within Tuesday night. The house is buzzing with music—Tessa’s pick … Zero 7. Candles are burning, infusing the air with magic. On the stove, the tea kettle whistles and outside the wind howls.

Every few minutes, this flood of warmth washes over me. My heart flutters. I catch myself smiling for no reason.

This is home.

It may be temporary, but I belong here. I live here. I sleep here every night.

These are my friends.

I have friends.

Lauren Wiedenfeld and Tessa Barrett.

It’s only been a few weeks now—enveloping myself in this new way of life—but it’s crazy how easy it’s been. Some nights, I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering how I got this lucky. Wondering why fate decided to place me in Lauren’s path the way it did. And right before I finally drift off, I pinch myself. A reminder that this is real. That I didn’t dream this into existence.