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Authors: Kate Stewart

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Romance, #Contemporary

Room 212

BOOK: Room 212
7.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Room 212

COPYRIGHT©2014 Kate Stewart

Editing by Edee M. Fallon,
Mad Spark Editing

Cover Design by
Jersey Girl Graphics

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products, bands, and/or restaurants referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.



For both my mothers, who did the best they could with the mess that was me.

For the one that looks down on me from heaven and the one who still has to listen to my crazy banter.

My life has been so richly blessed by you both.




I took a seat at the small table next to the window unit. I lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply, letting my eyes drift to the bed. It had been years since I’d felt smoke cloud my lungs and the rush of nicotine. The sheets were still a tangled mess. The room was untouched. I knew today was the day I should clean Room 212 and leave the memory of him behind. Still, there I sat at that small table, staring at the bed, trying to recapture the devastating effect it had on me the day before. I was a glutton for this punishment. I was trying to force myself to come back to my senses quickly. It was the smart thing to do. I hadn’t done one smart thing since he had shown his face. Out of weakness and a reluctance to face the literal bed I had made for myself to lie in, I refused to move from my chair. I heard the window unit come on and tiny goose bumps spread across my skin. The whirring sound of the air flowing into the room took me back to the last time I had heard it. I was lying on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. I felt a rush of tears and let them fall. I was alone after all. No one could see me. No one ever really saw me, until he saw me. I pulled on the last of my cigarette and tapped it out in the ashtray. A wave of nausea took hold and I ran to the bathroom and emptied my stomach.

Gathering all my strength, I walked over to the bed and let myself fall into it. I grabbed the closest pillow and inhaled deeply. It smelled like a mixture of beer, sweat and soap. Indulgence was mine. I was entitled. After the last six months of my life, I was entitled to love him just a few minutes longer, before I resumed my life as it was before he came and ruined it again.

There was no erasing Seth Whitaker. There was no erasing yesterday. And tomorrow, I was sure I would be clinging to this pillow for dear life if I didn’t do something about it now. I picked up the closest thing to me—an ice bucket—and smashed it into the wall, shattering the handle. Nothing. It did nothing for me. I glanced at the stupid fool staring back at me in the mirror. Her green eyes were swollen and glaring at me. Her menacing stare was full of hate. Her jaw was tight and her lips were barely visible due to her pressing them together firmly in a thin line. She was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. But beneath the surface of that pale skin was something far worse…a heart that was still beating for him.

I quickly turned away from her and rid the bed off all the sheets, ripping them from the corners and emptying the pillowcases. I pulled my cart in from outside and began to scrub every inch of the bathroom. I threw the sheets in the laundry bin and put fresh linens down. I scrubbed every surface of the bathroom and sink. Grabbing the trash, I took one last look around. I had done it. In just twenty minutes I had rid the room of all traces of him. Still, he was there. My eyes burned again with fresh tears and I quickly dismissed them with my shirtsleeve. Enough.

Declaring my indulgence over, I pulled the door open and was met by a burst of sunlight. I covered my eyes to ease the tension of it beating on my brow and turned to steer my cart into the shadows under the awnings of the adjoining rooms. I crept past the rooms pushing my cart, knowing full well the squeaking sound would irritate the sleeping guests. I quickly threw the sheets laced with his scent into the dumpster and looked around as though I were guilty and hiding evidence.

I suppose I could’ve just laundered them, but the temptation to take in the scent of him was too strong. I quickly grabbed a bottle of bleach and poured it over them, ruining my chance of any more indulgence. It was a stupid thing to do, but I am a stupid woman. I made my way back to Room 212 and shut the door. I took a scalding hot shower to wash off all traces of his mouth. I slipped under the covers and begged sleep to take me.

I had never expected to feel anything like this again, especially pleasure, love, and pain. I hated the fact that I still could. I hated the fact that the very reason I had avoided feeling anything for so long, was the very reason I was in the mess again.

My name is Laura Sedgwick and I hate love. It had ruined every single day of my life for as long as I could remember and today I declared war on it, for the second time.




I sat in the middle of the park on my plush pink blanket staring at my toes. There were people everywhere, but I had never been much of a people watcher. I had always been an introvert, unless I saw something I wanted. Then I would carefully study whatever or whoever it was and find a way to make it mine. I had my black bikini top on and cut-off jean shorts and I had just brought all of my long, thick, brown hair on top of my head, securing it into a tight knot without a hair tie. It was one of the perks of having hair like mine. There were a couple of guys out who pretended to casually glance my way, but none who seemed brave enough to pass the façade of my back off bitch body language.

I was notorious for attracting unwanted attention. And while most days it got me far, today this girl was so far from that girl that no one would recognize me. I was not in the mood and desperately needed sleep. I had been up all night racing around trying to find my brother, Dave. He was my only lifeline and I had failed at every attempt to find him. Dave had never made it home last night, so I drove around aimlessly checking my pager, searching our local hot spots. Forced to give up over four hours ago at sunrise, I thought myself pretty clever to get sleep in the public park as though I were trying to soak up some sun. The truth was I had no place to sleep. I had lost everything, trusting the idiot I had claimed as a boyfriend for the past two years. As of last night, the key to unlock the door to escape to my most favorite place and comfort in the world— my bed— was useless. He could keep it all.

Why? Because I had no intention of ever laying eyes on him again. He had taken up too much of my time, my trust and now my bed. Bastard! As soon as I found my brother, he was as good as dead anyway. He had always hated Chris, and now he had a reason to do the very thing he had wanted to do since we began our two year relationship: kick his ass. There really wasn’t a point, though. The minute I saw the line of coke he’d left on the plate and the naked girl with blue puke dribbling from her lips on the couch, I was done. Chris was passed out, face down in the bathroom, and I wondered what I had ever seen in such a prick. I grabbed my clothes and the things most important to me and I left him, without so much as a screw you or a good bye.

I sighed heavily, laying my head down, eye level with the grass, and stared at the bright green blades. I pulled the blanket up beneath my feet so I could sink them into the slightly damp ground. I loved the grass and the way it sandwiched between my toes. I heard The Cranberries, Ode to My Family drifting out of someone’s radio. It was my first smile in almost twelve hours and I let it go. I was warming up already from the cold wait in my car. Spring had already given into summer, but for some reason waiting in the park parking lot without the heat on to preserve what little gas I had left from disappearing, was agony. It was unusually cold this morning, and just my luck. He would be waking up soon. He would realize why I wasn’t in bed with him. Would he even give a shit? Or would he just scrape up the naked skank on our couch and have another go at her? How could he be so stupid to cheat before I got home and leave her lying there? Unless…he had wanted me to see?

I’d been looking for a reason to get rid of Chris for months, maybe he felt the same. What we had was not love. It felt more like an obligation after I’d slept with him for a few months, but I guess it felt like an obligation to him too. The only thing we had in common was our recreational use of drugs and good sex. It was far from love. The only reason I knew that was because I was almost relieved right now. Homeless yes, but relieved.

Should I just go back? Tell him I could take a hint? That I was ready, too? Pack the rest of my shit? Screw it. The apartment was his and so was the furniture. I had given mine up to move in with him and he had better stuff, so I just kind of left mine where it was. Note to self-dumbass: don’t ditch your shit for anyone. Now I had to start from the ground up. I looked at my pager, four hours until my shift and my brother Dave had finally paged me. Screw it. I had to get what sleep I could. DJ Dave would have to worry about me for a while. My parents sure as hell weren’t. I hadn’t seen them since Christmas and even then they would barely let me in the house. I deserved it. I was the exact opposite of all they had hoped I would turn out to be. It was okay with me. It meant I could stop pretending I wanted the Barbie life with the Barbie house and the Barbie car, the life they had so purposely made for themselves.

It all looked so fucking depressing to me. All my parents did was work, day in and day out from sun up to sundown, and when they returned to the house there was actually a subject called ‘dinner’. Really? If that was what I had to look forward to, then fuck that with a capitol F! In no way was I going that route. No way in hell. My brother Dave felt the same. He had found a ton of success being one of the hottest DJ’s in Dallas. He had actually found permanent gigs around Dallas and tonight, he would be in Deep Ellum, a stomping ground for club kids in the downtown area, at the Blind Lemon, spinning his records and bringing the house down. I was so happy for him. He had practiced for years and it finally paid off. The only talent I had was taking orders and delivering drinks at the same bar. I would see him tonight, tell him what happened, and ask to crash at his place for a week until I could get my own. He would piss and moan, but at least I wouldn’t be sleeping on the damn grass.

BOOK: Room 212
7.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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