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The Perfect Roommate by Minka Kent Read Online (FREE)

My lips part and I’m seconds from coming up with some kind of bullshit excuse, but I stop myself. If Emily lived with Lauren last year, Tessa would’ve met her at some point and she wouldn’t be staring at me with this baffled look on her face.

“Forget it,” I say, forcing a tight smile. “You should get going.”

Something isn’t adding up, and until I figure out why, I’m keeping my cards close to my chest.

 

Nineteen

Today marks the first time I’ve ever called in sick to Sparkle Shine Cleaning Co. It’s Monday. And I couldn’t bear to see Elisabeth, not after knowing what I know. Looking into her eyes and pretending like I don’t know the fate of her future is something I couldn’t bring myself to do, so at six AM, I called the shift supervisor and left a message saying I woke up with a terrible cold, hanging my head upside down off my bed so I sounded nasally.

I’m not proud.

I simply did what I had to do.

Dressed in shades of brown and cream, clean-faced and hair tucked beneath an army green knit cap, I’ve been trudging around the snowy campus all day, following Lauren and keeping my distance.

I’ve followed her from English class to English class, watched her duck into the library between classes, and stop at the Hub to meet a friend for lunch. She checks her phone constantly, another little quirk of hers that used to not annoy me. Now I want to smack the stupid thing out of her manicured little hands.

Around three o’clock, she leaves her last class of the day, straightening her hat and trekking toward the bus stop.

Again, I stay back. Watching.

Only she gets on the blue bus instead of the green.

There are eleven stops on the green bus, all of them on the north route. Our stop is on the south route.

Bristowe’s office—the English department’s building—is off the blue route.

Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, or maybe for once I want to prove myself wrong, but I head in that direction, looking like a maniac in my snow gear, running across campus. But at least I’m an invisible maniac. No one’s checking me out today.

Slipping and sliding, my breath clouding the air around me, I manage to make it there in under ten minutes, just as Lauren is entering the main doors.

Holy shit. I was right.

I wait a few minutes before going in, and then I take the stairs to the fourth floor. Lauren never takes the stairs. Less of a risk of her seeing me.

When I arrive, I wait around the corner, taking cover behind the noisy Coca-Cola machine with a perfect view of Bristowe’s office.

She shouldn’t be here—not for school reasons. Her capstone meetings are on Fridays. This is a Monday. Lauren should be on the green bus, going home.

Their voices fill the quiet hallway, tones pleasant and laced with excitement. I peek around the vending machine in time to see him usher her in.