We’re ONE WEEK away from the release of Wrong for You.
While we wait, enjoy this snippet to get you in the mood!
I give myself two more seconds to mourn what could’ve been. The ache in my chest doesn’t cease, but I don’t reveal the cracks splintering through me. My heart pumps and air continues to flow into my lungs. On the grand scale of shitty situations, this bump in the road doesn’t deserve mention.
My sandals grind into the ground as I spin to face him. I ignore the burn spreading from behind my breastbone. The grin I force to appear might as well be made from plastic. But I’m the picture of acceptance.
I swipe at my wet cheeks to erase the leftover evidence. “You’re right. It’s for the best.”
Jake rocks backward. His lips part and press together to a disjointed tempo. For the first time, he seems to flounder for a response. “Yeah?”
My head bobs in agreement. “I’m leaving for college at the end of August. There’s a dorm room on campus with my name on it.”
And I couldn’t get there fast enough after this relationship demolition.
“Thought you were commuting?”
“Plans change,” I clip.
Something painful flickers over his features before he smothers it. Then he’s the mask of indifference. “Right.”
“So, I guess this is goodbye.” My voice cracks, but I ignore the stumble.
Jake squints at me. “You’re good with this?”
“Absolutely.” I laugh, but the tone is humorless. “And congratulations. You’re gonna be a dad.”
His eyes blow wide, and he drags a hand through his dark hair. “Shit, that’s weird to hear.”
“You’ll get used to it.”
“Not much of an alternative, huh?”
“Good luck.” My smile wobbles with the farewell.
He pauses to study me again. “Why are you acting so chill?”
“My pity party came to an abrupt end. You told me to knock it off, remember?”
A breeze stirs at that moment. He glances at the swaying branches above. I allow my gaze to follow his lead. What little brightness still exists on this day shines through the leaves. It offers us much-needed peace.
His stare is unfocused when he looks at me next, but determination squares his shoulders. “I’m sorry, Harper.”
“You’re starting a family. There’s nothing sorry about that.” Or that’s what I’ll trick myself to believe.
Jake’s sigh sounds heavier than the elephant crushing my chest. My throat clogs as conflict pinches his somber appearance. He fidgets, curling his fingers into white-knuckle fists. Muscles bunch and twitch beneath his shirt. It almost looks like he wants to reach out to me. But then, just as before, his features return to their stoic state.
The sight is almost too much for me to balance on this teetering farce. I gulp to trap the hiccupped sob ready to betray me.
After a single nod, Jake turns away. His retreating footsteps threaten to weaken my willpower. I want to chase him. Beg him to choose me. But that would be selfish. His path is heading in a different direction. One I can’t follow.
I can only watch him leave our love behind.
I used to believe Jacob Evans could be mine.
That was before he delivered unforgivable news rather than sweeping me off my feet.
Not that I can fault his choice.
He got the sweetest little girl out of the deal.
I took the heartbreak as a learning experience and moved on for the better.
Jake did the opposite—allowing bitterness to fill the void.
Only his daughter can pull him from the broody gloom.
Those moments are my favorite.
Not that it matters.
Jake isn’t anything to me other than a reminder of what almost was.
Besides, we couldn’t be more wrong for each other.
I’ve come to accept that.
But as it turns out, Jake hasn’t.