Authors: Charlotte Byrd
© 2016 by Charlotte Byrd
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HE BESTSELLING ROMANCE EVERYONE'S
Tristan was someone who once belonged in my wildest fantasies. He is cocky and self-assured, a future Master of the Universe. You know the type...
We were going to go to the same Ivy League school. We had everything planned out. And then, suddenly, he dumped me and broke my heart.
But I wasn't going to let that stop me from moving to New York. It's a city of millions, what were the chances that I'd ever see him again?
And then I discovered that Tristan was going to be my ROOMMATE!
He wants me back. I want him, too, but I also hate him.
I'm not supposed to fall for him again...
ove lost and found
"A delightful book about finding your true love"
erfect for fans
of Colleen Hoover, Penelope Ward and Nicholas Sparks
**For mature audiences only**
***Previously published as a two-book series: One Semester and One Weekend***
everybody is going to hurt you:
you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”
into my dorm room for the first time and take a deep breath. This is the beginning of something new. Something special. All through high school, I felt like college was going to be some sort of epilogue in the chapters of my life. It was everything I worked for, everything I tried so hard to achieve. While everyone else was hanging out and drinking and going to parties, I kept my nose in my books. But when this day finally arrived, it no longer felt like an epilogue. No, this is a prologue. The beginning of something special.
“What a large room!” my mom exclaims, looking around my new home. The room is quite spacious. However, it’s not quite like the walls college students have on television and in movies. The ceiling is pretty high, but the walls are made of painted cinderblocks. White. Barren. So unlike the cozy, light pink room that I have back home.
I walk over to the window. It’s a beautiful late August day. I’m on the 16
floor, and from here I can see into other people’s apartments across the street.
“I just can’t believe that I’m here.” I turn around with a puddle of tears stacking up on the bottom of my eyelids. “In New York.”
“Oh, sweetie.” My mom puts her arms around me. She knows this has been my dream since I was in middle school. Mom gives me a quick hug and looks out of the window with me.
“I just don’t know how people live here. It’s so crammed!”
I smile. My mom is not a fan of New York. I grew up in Calabasas, a town just north of Los Angeles, where the sky is almost always cloudless and blue and the temperature never gets cooler than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. My family’s upper middle class, but not what’s considered rich. At least not by LA standards. Still, our family of five lived comfortably in a 3,000 square foot house with a 6,000 square foot yard and a pool.
“I hope you have nice roommates,” Mom says.
“Of course she will,” Dad pipes in. He’s standing in the doorway, clearly not impressed. “I just can’t believe that this room costs $17,000 a year! And you have three other roommates.”
Mom and I laugh it off. Even though my dad isn’t cheap, he always likes to complain about how much things cost.
“Suite mates,” I correct him. “I have one roommate and three suite mates.” Our rooms are separated by a living room with a little kitchen and there’s only one bathroom for everyone to share.
“The room would be just as big if I’d gone to USC and the school would’ve cost just as much,” I add. University of Southern California is both of my parents’ alma mater. That’s where they met, thirty years ago.
“Yeah, at least you would’ve been closer to home and wouldn’t need a plane ticket to come see us.” He shrugs. I roll my eyes. We’ve been over this thousands of times before. Now, they joke about it more than anything else. They both know that Columbia has been my dream school for as long as I could remember. And when I got my acceptance packet, I think pretty much everyone knew that that’s where I was headed.
“I’d just like to see you when it gets into the 20s and 30s here and you have class at 8 am,” Mom says. “It’s not always this nice out, from what I hear.”
“I was fine in Colorado,” I say. Except that I’m terrified of the cold. I can’t wait for the changing leaves and the beautiful crisp fall, but the long hard winter? I don’t know.
Both of my parents laugh. “A few week-long skiing trips hardly qualify as experience. Besides, Winter Park is a small, sunny town. A six-month winter in New York where everything gets slushy and the snow is black from the cars and the pollution is something else entirely,” Mom says.
“I think I’ll manage,” I say, putting on a brave face. I turn away from the window to change the topic.
“So which bed do you think I should choose?” The room has two of everything. Two beds. Two standing wardrobes. Two desks. Two chairs. Two windows. One looking out on 116
Street. One looking out onto Broadway.
“If you take this one onto 116
Street, it should be a little quieter,” Mom says just as an ambulance turns on its siren and rushes down the street. “Or maybe not.”
I decide on that one anyway.
“If you two are done staring at the blank room, I think it’s about time to go back downstairs and get more of your stuff, young lady,” Dad says, glued to his cell phone.
My mom and dad are both doctors, but they recently started a clinical trials consulting firm, which has made them busier than they’ve ever been when they were in practice.
“I’ll be right down,” I say. “I’m just going to put some of these things away.”
Right after Mom and Dad leave, the door swings open and a tall, voluptuous brunette walks in.
“Alice?” she asks. Her whole face lights up, putting me at ease.
“Doreen?” I ask.
“Oh, no, no, no.” She shakes her head. I extend my hand, but she pulls me into a warm hug instead. “Call me Juliet,
. I hate Doreen.”
“Okay.” I nod. Coming from LA, I’m well familiar with name changes. Three girls at my school changed their names officially before they got their boob jobs before graduation.
“Oh my God, you’re so cute!” she laughs. “And little. You’re from LA, right? You have to tell me your secret. Agh, why am I still holding this?”
She drops her bags onto her bed and leans the long mirror she’s carrying against the wall. “I thought we’d hang this on the door.”
Aha! I finally realize it. That’s what’s weird about this room: there are no mirrors.
“Great idea. I completely forgot to bring a lengthwise mirror,” I say. “Actually, I thought there would be one here.”
At home, I have three in my room. I help Juliet hang the mirror on the back of our door and try to see if it still closes. It swings along with the door, but we’re just going to be careful.
“So?” Juliet turns to me. “What’s your secret?”
“In staying so small. I know you LA girls have your ways.”
I smile. I look at myself in the mirror. Skinny jeans, size 1, flip flops, white t-shirt. No bra. 32A breasts. Long scraggly blonde hair. Hardly any makeup. Next to Juliet, I look like a child. She tosses her dark curls over her head to give them more volume and reapplies her bright red lipstick. She’s wearing fake lashes and every part of her face is contoured, giving her beautiful highlights across the forehead and bringing out her cheekbones.
“No secret, really.” I shrug. I’ve had plenty of my own issues with weight.
“Agh, if you say eat healthy and exercise, I’m going to throw up.”
“You definitely don’t hold back, do you?” I smile.
“No, babe. I call it like I see it. Hope that’s okay.”
I nod. “More than okay.” I welcome her honesty. It’s a breath of fresh air after LA where everyone is nice. But too nice. No one says a bad thing to your face. Not even when you really need to hear it.
“Mainly, I try not to eat carbs at night. Avoid processed foods. My mom buys only organic and farmer’s market food. Not too much dairy. Lean proteins and fish. Stuff like that.”
“That explains it.” She tosses her hair again. “So no burgers with chili cheese fries?”
I shake my head. “No, not really.”
I shudder at the thought, actually. I may be thin here, but back home, girls from my class were much smaller. I’m what they called big-boned.
“That’s more like guy food, isn’t it?” I ask.
“Not when it’s 20 degrees out and you’re coming back from the bar at 4 am. Those spicy fries will really warm you up from the inside out.”
Again with the cold. Before it scares me even more, I decided that it’s time for me to go help my parents with the rest of my bags.
My phone beeps.
here are you
’ve gotta go
,” I say. “Need to get the rest of my stuff from downstairs. Are you going to stick around? But my parents are here. I’d love for you to meet.”
“Yes, definitely!” Juliet smiles and tosses her hair again. Apparently, hair can never have enough volume.