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The Perfect Roommate by Minka Kent Read Online (FREE)

A tarnished silver chain holds a silver-plated heart, the initials MRC engraved on the back.

My initials.

This necklace was a gift from my mother on my fifth birthday—the last birthday we ever celebrated, when my dad was still there and he wheeled out a pink bike with yellow training wheels and a giant purple ribbon attached to the handle bars.

He got me a bike. Mom got me a necklace.

I outgrew the bike but I kept the silver-plated heart, holding it as proof that once upon a time we were a happy, normal family.

It makes no sense why Lauren would steal this. The chain is chintzy and delicate, the heart discolored. This thing is hardly wearable and even if it were, it wouldn’t be anything that would coordinate with Lauren’s cashmere sweaters and designer jeans.

As much as it pains me, I slip the necklace back into her purse. If I take it back, she’ll know I was in here, going through her things. And I don’t want her to know that I’m onto her, that I’m going to find out exactly who she is.

And when I’m done?

She’ll wish she never met me.

 

Seventeen

Lauren didn’t come home this morning. She texted me saying she stayed at Thayer’s after Wellman’s last night and that she was planning to stay there all weekend. She then told me to text her and let her know if I needed anything.

I need the truth, Lauren. That’s what I need.

Once again, I didn’t respond. I sat at the kitchen table eating a cold bowl of fake Cheerios without a placemat (GASP), and I stared out the window toward the back yard with its patches of muddy, melted snow and ugly, naked trees.

I don’t know how I ever thought this was picturesque.

It looks like a toxic wasteland. Everything is dead.

Last night brought me three, maybe four hours of sleep. The rest of the time I tossed and turned, wrapping my head around all these theories and probabilities, trying to explain what the hell Lauren wanted with my necklace.

The Bristowe thing? That’s something else. The necklace has nothing to do with that, as far as I can surmise.

Sometime around three AM, I sprung out of bed and took inventory of my belongings. I thought maybe … just maybe … she was a klepto who got off on stealing. Kind of like Winona Ryder back in the nineties or whatever.

But a half hour later, everything was accounted for.

Dumping my cereal bowl and shuffling to the shower, I make myself presentable and decide lunch with Tessa should be on the docket for the day. Not because I want to, but because I have to. She’s Lauren’s closest friend, and if I can ask the right kind of questions, I might be able to glean a little more insight into Lauren’s character.

Perched on the edge of my bed an hour later, a towel wrapped around my wet hair, I suck up my pride and text her. Ever since that weird sushi night she’s been distant from me. Used to be she’d text me memes and pictures of hot guys from campus when she’d be sitting around bored in her business admin classes.