Sometimes revenge is your only choice. . .
Julia worked for weeks planning the perfect surprise birthday party for her boyfriend, Liam, but that night, she was the one who got the biggest shock. He broke up with her in front of all their friends, humiliating her in the process. Clearly revenge was in order. The plan is simple. Make him jealous, win him back, and then crush his heart. Fair is fair. However, there is one little hiccup and he has curly brown hair and dimples. Jesse is everything she wants. With him, she could almost forget her bruised heart. Almost. Julia has one choice: let Liam walk away after everything he did, or lose a chance at love in pursuit of payback.
“I didn’t even like him.”
I threw down the shirt I had just pulled from my suitcase and sank onto the edge of my bed. “I didn’t like him that way. I thought he was jerk. I didn’t want to go out with him. Remember? I said that. I had a crush on Mason Thomas. I wanted him to ask me out. Not Liam-freaking-Bailey.”
Across the room, sitting at her desk, Ava lay down her pen. She was surrounded by piles of glossy textbooks we had just picked up from the campus bookstore, and her laptop was open to the syllabus for abnormal psych. Classes didn’t start until Monday morning, but we always came back to campus a few days early to get settled.
As she turned in her chair, I had the sense that Ava was smothering a sigh.
“Yes. You told me that. You didn’t like him. You told me then, you told me right after the birthday party, you told me during finals. You told me the night you got so drunk, I was afraid I wouldn’t get you home. You told me the days you couldn’t get out of bed because you’d been crying all night.”
“I’m driving you nuts, aren’t I?”
She gave into the deep sigh and regarded me with that ever-patient Ava stare I’d come to know and love in the three years we’d been roommates.
“Of course not. I kind of hoped that maybe over winter break, you’d have time to process this a little, maybe start to move past it. But here we are, and you’re telling me the same things you did a month ago.”
I groaned and dropped back onto the bed. “I’m a loser. I’m a loser who can’t keep a boyfriend, even one I didn’t want in the first place.”
“Sweetie.” Ava sat next to me on the bed and took my hand. “Seriously. I know you have to go through all the stages of grieving this relationship, and you have the added issues of humiliation. But it’s been six weeks. Maybe it’s time to move on.”
Having a roommate who was a psych major had its own particular charm. Not that I didn’t appreciate her support, but getting analyzed all the time could be irritating. I bit my tongue and just barely kept from rolling my eyes.
“If I knew how to move on, don’t you think I would? I’m telling you, Ave, my heart isn’t broken.” She smiled a little and shook her head at my use of her nickname. She always said I was the only person who could further shorten a three-letter name.
“I’m not really grieving.” I went on, ignoring the interruption. “I mean, I miss having a date on weekends and someone to meet me between classes for coffee and I definitely miss-” I patted the bed. “You know, this. But I don’t think I miss him.”
“Then why are you still talking about him? Not to be mean, but if you don’t care about Liam, why can’t you let it go?”
“I think it’s what you said before. Humiliation. I thought people would stop talking about it by now, but I still hear whispers. ‘There’s the girl who was dating Liam Bailey and didn’t know he had broken up with her.’” I mimed a look of shocked glee.
Ava nodded. “He hurt your pride. I get that.”
“And why did he dump me? What did I do? What did I not do? I wasn’t clingy. I gave him space. But I was supportive, too. I showed up at his track meets. I tried to be the perfect girlfriend. I went to dinner with his parents when they came to visit. My God, Ave, I slept with him. I didn’t plan to, but I let him talk me into it.” I rolled over and burrowed my face into the blankets.
“Jules.” Ava lay down next to me and put her arm over my back. “Don’t. You didn’t do anything wrong. He’s a prick. Maybe he hid it for a little while, but prick will always come out.”
About the Author.
Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since pens were invented. Her first published story appeared in Child Life magazine when she was 13 years old. She took a brief hiatus of about thirty years to hone her craft, get married and have four children before publishing the young adult quartet The King Series. She has since published books in both the adult and new adult romantic genre. Tawdra lives in Florida with her husband and children, both skin and fur-types. Oh, and yes--she has purple hair.