Authors: Andi Van
5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886 USA
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Starting with the Unexpected
© 2015 Andi Van.
© 2015 L.C. Chase.
Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.
All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. Any eBook format cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA, or http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/.
Digital ISBN: 978-1-63216-927-3
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015930657
First Edition May 2015
Printed in the United States of America
This paper meets the requirements of
ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).
For the real J, who’s made of dangerously high levels of pure awesome (and sushi). Someday we’ll get the tank we’ve always hoped for, along with the pizza delivery strippers. Unless I’m in the cell next to you, I will always post your bail.
Also for Mom, who has not only been my biggest fan since the day I was born, but also has no problem nagging me until I’ve written more for her to read. (Oh, and thanks for not letting Dad murder me over the freezer incident. I swear I’m a better driver now.)
The shit you had here is in boxes next to the dumpster.
If you don’t fucking get it, the garbage men will.
Hope my skanky whore of a sister was worth it, jackass.
Fuck off and die.
I sat there staring at my phone as the text messages flashed up in rapid-fire style, and it’s safe to say I was feeling somewhat perplexed. I wasn’t dating anyone, let alone anyone at the number I didn’t recognize, and I certainly wouldn’t have been sleeping with someone’s sister. Ew.
When the shock wore off, I thought about it for a moment, shrugged, and started a reply. If nothing else, the poor girl needed to know her ex had no idea his things had been left by the dumpster. She was far more polite than I would have been in the same circumstances—I would have left his things
the dumpster and made him crawl in after them.
Pretty sure you’ve got a wrong number, hon. The last thing I want to do is sleep with someone’s sister.
Wanted to let you know, so your ex doesn’t give you grief about his shit.
Either that or I’m being dumped by someone I had no idea I was in a relationship with.
I can’t decide whether that would make me awesome or pathetic, to be honest.
I hope the cheating bastard and your skanky whore sister give each other crabs.
“I suppose this means I’ve done my good deed for the day,” I mumbled to myself as I tucked my phone back in my pocket. It was kind of a weird good deed, but a good deed nonetheless.
“What’s that?” my housemate and best friend Jordan Walker asked as he joined me in the living room.
“I just got dumped,” I told him. “By a girl. Apparently I cheated on her with her sister.”
Jordan gave me that indescribable look he always gave me when I said something that completely confused him. It was hilarious, really. It was also part of his charm, much like his ability to belch the entire alphabet in one go. “What the fuck?”
I tossed my phone to him so he could read the messages for himself. “Wrong number texts,” I told him. “I feel kind of bad for her, to be completely honest.”
Jordan scanned through the messages, shaking his head as he did. “She handled it better than I would have. I would have torched his shit in a massive bonfire. I mean, think about it, it’s perfect timing. A bonfire to start off the new year would be awesome.”
“That’s just because you had so much fun doing it when Tyler dumped me,” I told him with a grin. Tyler had dumped me nearly six years before, in a painfully public way that I’d prefer to forget but had never really been able to. That night, while I was sobbing on Jordan’s shoulder, Tyler was fucking someone Jordan and I had been good friends with. Obviously we weren’t friends with him anymore. When Jordan and I got home from that ill-fated weekend, we’d bundled up the few things that Tyler had left in the apartment Jordan and I shared at the time and had taken them to the beach as bonfire fodder. Granted, it hadn’t been the middle of winter when we did it, but it was still quite satisfying.
“Well, her number’s local,” Jeff said as he tapped my phone against his chin. “If she really does live nearby, we could offer to burn the shit for her.”
“You’re just hoping she’s cute and looking for a rebound,” I shot back and got a grin in response. I sighed and grabbed my phone from him. “Fine, I’ll at least tell her you said she ought to burn the stuff. Maybe it’ll make her smile.” Like I said, I felt bad for her. I’d been in that sort of situation, and the only thing that had kept me sane was Jordan’s weird sense of humor. “Don’t think this means that I’m going to try and get her to hook up with you, though. The poor girl’s obviously devastated.”
My roommate says you should just torch your ex’s shit in a massive bonfire, by the way.
He offered to do it for you, but I think he’s just hoping you’re cute and on the rebound.
Or possibly he just wants an excuse to roast marshmallows. I can never tell with him.
“Happy now?” I called after Jordan, who’d headed into the kitchen.
“I’d be happier if I didn’t have to go to work,” he answered. “You still feel like helping tomorrow night?”
“Sure. You still buying breakfast afterward?”
“Yeah. Looks like I’m also buying pizza right now,” Jordan said as he came back out of the kitchen, frowning. “Nothing in the fridge. Want to split an order?”
“No olives on my half,” I reminded him, like I did every time we ordered pizza. Maybe I thought he’d forget between orders or something, despite the fact that we’d basically grown up together. “I’ll pay for the pizza. I’ll even go grocery shopping tonight if you want.”
Jordan came back into the living room, dropped onto the couch next to me, and rested his head on my shoulder. When I glanced down at him, he fluttered his eyelashes at me. “Best housemate ever. Doesn’t steal my girlfriends, keeps me company at work, and does the grocery shopping. If I were at all interested in men, I’d marry you.”
“Uh, no,” I said, smothering a grin. “Because that would mean I’d have to have sex with you. Just…. No. Ew.” I already teased him about how he was my mom’s favorite son. It would’ve been like having sex with a sibling or something.
“Yeah, okay, that’d be a bit too much like incest,” Jordan agreed.
“Right. So order us some pizza like a good boy and quit grossing me out.”
Before he could say something smart back to me, my phone started to chime. Jordan practically pounced me to get at it, and I ended up with a lap full of roommate. “Is it her?”
“Good lord,” I sighed, pushing him off me. “Seriously, she just got dumped. Don’t be such a dog.” I held my phone out of his reach and glared at him. “Pizza. Go. Now.”
“You’re no fun anymore,” Jordan grumbled, heading back to the kitchen where he would likely dig through the latest specials from our favorite pizza place. When I was sure he was occupied, I read the messages.
I’d say awesome and not pathetic.
You guys have made me smile for the first time in over 24 hours. Thank you.
So sorry you got blindsided by my rage texts. Thanks for letting me know and for having a sense of humor.
Tell your roomie I’m flattered but not looking. Roasted marshmallows sound good though.
We’d made someone with a broken heart smile. Mission accomplished.
By the time Jordan and I had polished off our pizza, written down a shopping list, watched an extremely bad and unintentionally hilarious movie involving sharks, and said good night when Jordan left for work, the heartbroken girl was forgotten.
Little did I know that she wouldn’t stay forgotten for long. Those wrong number texts were about to make some big ripples in my life.
popular trend to automate radio stations, the tiny one I worked for couldn’t manage that. Some days I was amazed we were on the air at all. Because we were so small and underequipped, the morning show had to be recorded live during drive time, which meant my workday started around three in the morning. This also meant that, during one broadcast when my cohost was feeling particularly evil, there had been no way for me to stop our entire audience from hearing her play a recording of me singing “Material Girl” at the top of my lungs after a night that involved far too much alcohol. Obviously there was a downside to recording live.