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The Perfect Roommate by Minka Kent Read Online (FREE)

“But you’re nothing like Grandma.” I think of my grandmother’s overfilled porcelain doll curio cabinet, doily-covered coffee tables, immaculate 1980s-era kitchen, and her home cooked Sunday dinners.

“You don’t know the woman I grew up with.” Eyes rolling, she cups her pointed chin in her hand. “God, we fought like cats and dogs. She kicked me out about half a dozen times and I ran away a half a dozen other times. But you know what? She always left the back door unlocked and I always came back.”

Mom yawns again. I yawn again.

I think this is her way of saying Grandma was always there for her and she’s always going to be there for me? But I’m not entirely sure. She’s never been good at apologies or expressing feelings that run deeper than surface level, and I suspect for the time being, this about as momentous as it’s going to get.

“Your room is empty. We’ll need to get you a new bed, but you can have mine tonight. I’ll take the couch,” she says.

“You don’t have to do that—” I have no intentions of staying here longer than a day or two. Not sure where I’m going next, but I can’t stay here and tread these same old waters.

“Don’t argue with me.” She rises, one hand on her hip like she doesn’t have time for this shit.

There’s the Misty Cupples I know.

Obviously, I don’t know what it’s like to be a mother, but I imagine the threat of losing your only child might rearrange your priorities or gift you with the kind of perspective you didn’t have before.

Only time will tell.

“Goodnight, Meadow,” she says before shuffling away in the flattened and faded house slippers I gave her eight Christmases ago. “Get some sleep.”

 

Forty-Seven

Two Months Later …

 

“Meadow.” Someone calls my name from a sea of graduates dressed in shiny purple robes. “Over here.”

Scanning the crowd, my gaze settles a dark-haired girl offering a hesitant wave, her familiar round eyes trained on me.

“Tessa.” I amble toward her, equally as reluctant, my heels sinking into the grass.

I haven’t seen her since … before.

“How have you been?” Her graduation tassel hangs in her face, and she moves it aside. “I’ve been meaning to get a hold of you …”

Tessa’s explanation dwindles, but I don’t hold it against her. I could hardly expect her to know what to say in regards to a situation like this. And besides, I’m not sure we were ever really more than acquaintances sharing a common friend. Sure, we hung out from time to time, but we didn’t have the kind of strong bond I once thought I shared with Lauren.

But we did have our moments.

“It’s okay,” I say, offering an understated smile. “This last month has been … crazy.”

She exhales, glancing down, nodding. “That’s putting it nicely.”

Detective Caldwell informed me weeks ago that they’d brought Tessa in for questioning, that she knew nothing. And they were able to confirm everything down to the last detail, which was a relief. I’m not sure I could’ve handled one more betrayal.