Authors: Jessica Sorensen
Seth & Greyson (The Coincidence, #7)
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2015 by Jessica Sorensen
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing from author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.
Cover Design and Photo by Mae I Design
Seth & Greyson
By Jessica Sorensen
I’ve never been a fan of school, yet here I am, arriving early to my freshman year at the University of Wyoming. It was either begin summer semester or stay home until fall. Living under my mother’s roof and her rules, like no dating in the public eye, made the choice really easy. My mother believes the opinions of the residents of Mapleville actually matter, and I’ve never completely understood why. Mapleville is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere with a population of maybe a thousand tops. It’s a blip on a map that most people don’t know exists, and a place I hope to forget, mainly because it’s where I got the cast on my arm.
Another reason my mother didn’t want me dating, and why she was relieved I chose to start college at the beginning of summer.
But the cast wasn’t the only reason I chose to bail out of a boring summer in Mapleville. I never felt like I belonged in a place where dressing in clothes stylish enough to be in high fashion magazines caused people to gawk at you like you were strolling about in your underwear.
Despite being more than ready to escape my past and take this leap, standing in front of the historical main entrance to the campus, watching students hurrying in and out as if they know exactly where they’re going… I’m completely overwhelmed and I feel so... lost.
Reminding myself that this is my fresh start and to take it one step at a time, I sling my backpack over my shoulder and start up the stairs toward the glass doors. The sun shining in the clear blue sky and the temperature probably pushing one hundred
make me question dressing in designer jeans, boots, and a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, but I look so fantastic I can’t completely regret it.
I wind through the hallway, searching the room numbers until I find the door to my Pre-Calculus class. I smile to myself as I walk in, trying to be the sparkling person I was before the
, hoping maybe a cheerful appearance will equal fast friendships.
Right away, I can tell the summer classes have a lower attendance because I’m already pushing being late and there are a total of ten people seated. Skimming my options, I pick a spot in the back next to a mousy looking girl with short brown hair and the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen.
After what I went through back at my old school, I’m careful about the people I surround myself with. If I’m not, I could end up in the same situation that put this damn cast on my arm. I only have one good arm left and don’t think I can take any more breaks.
As the professor comes strolling into the classroom, I use my good hand to unzip my bag and dig out the textbook. I relax back in the seat and stare out the window as the professor begins rambling through the introduction, then passes out the syllabus.
Eventually, I notice the girl glance in my direction, and I offer her a smile. Her eyes widen and her attention whips back to the paper she’s doodling on. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I feel an urge to befriend her. There’s something about her that reminds me of myself, like she’s trying to hide herself behind baggy clothes and a God-awful haircut. Granted, I would never,
wear anything that hideous, but I get the whole trying-to-hide-who-you-really-are part. I did it for years before saying to hell with it. A few months later, I was beat up, but I wouldn’t go back and change my decision. Living a lie wasn’t any easier.
I lean to the side and whisper to the girl, “It’s okay. I’m not going to bite.” I extend my hand to her. “My name’s Seth.”
“I-I’m Callie,” she stammers, reaching to take my hand.
But she tenses at the very last second and quickly withdraws, putting her hands on her lap.
“It’s nice to meet you, Callie.” I study her with curiosity, trying to figure out if it’s just me she’s afraid of or people in general. When I walked into the classroom, she was seated as far away from everyone as possible and I wonder if maybe that move was on purpose. “Can I borrow a pencil?”
Nodding, she digs one out of her bag and kind of tosses it at me before wiping her palms on her jeans and fixing her attention on taking notes.
I learn a total of nada for the day, and when I read through the syllabus, I question whether I’ll survive torturous Pre-Cal. The numbers and formulas already have my head spinning and my attention drifting to what outfit I’ll wear tomorrow instead of the assignment.
I’m in a daze packing up and making my way out of the classroom, but snap out of it when I spot the girl scrambling to get the hell out of Dodge. At the doorway, she nearly crashes into some guy, and just about comes unglued. Shaking with fear, she stutters an apology and hurries down the hallway, surprisingly fast for being so tiny.
. I definitely want to find out what her deal is.
I have one more class for the day, which doesn’t seem like a huge workload, but I’m exhausted by the time I return to my dorm. My roommate’s not there, which isn’t a big shocker. I think I made him uncomfortable the day we met when I complimented him on his hair. He’s pretty much been MIA ever since.
I lamely start a few assignments then fall asleep around nine o’clock. For the next seven days, I’m stuck in the droning pattern, going to school, doing homework, looking for a job, then dozing off early. Eighteen years old, and I feel as ancient as my grandparents, who believe the day ends when the sun goes down. Seriously, with the way they act, you’d think they believed in vampires.
On day eight, I grow restless and bored. If I’m going to have any fun while at college—and I made a promise to myself that I would—then I’m going to have to make some friends. Ones I can have a good time with. Ones who will accept me for who I am. Ones I can trust. Ones who maybe need me just as much as I need them so I don’t come off all needy.
The problem is, outside of the quiet girl who sits next to me in Pre-Cal, I haven’t talked to anyone since I moved to Laramie, and most of our conversations consist of me yammering and her nodding.
During class today, I thrum my fingers against the desk while plotting how to make the skittish girl open up to me. I don’t know why I’m so dead set on making friends with her—she’s probably the most difficult person to carry on a conversation with. Maybe that’s the reason. Perhaps I’m so bored that I’m dying for a challenge.
“So, do you get anything the professor’s talking about?” I ask toward the end of class.
She stares down at the book with a pencil gripped in her hand. “Not really.”
“Me, neither. Isn’t math so boring?”
She nods, but remains quiet. I rack my mind for something to say to her.
“So, you’re a freshman right?” I ask after class is dismissed.
She stuffs her book into her bag, nods, and then scurries for the door.
“Wait,” I call out, rushing after her. “Do you have another class to go to today?”
She pauses in the doorway and shakes her head without looking at me. “No, I-I’m going back to my dorm.”
I stop beside her. “And doing what?”
She peeks up at me, and I can tell by her widened eyes that she’s terrified. “Studying.”
I rake my fingers through my honey blond hair. “That sounds… Well, extremely boring. Don’t you want to do something, I don’t know, more adventurous?”
“Not really. And homework is fitting since I’m a pretty boring person.” For a faltering moment, amusement flashes in her eyes.
Hmmm… under her oversized jeans and t-shirt, I think she actually might have a sense of humor.
“Well, I’m not a boring person. Trust me.” I press my hand to my chest. “I’m actually pretty fabulous and fun, but I’ve been kind of a dud the last week. I think it might be the combo of school and summer. The two are like socks and sandals—they’re never supposed to go together.”
Her gaze flicks across my black jeans and grey t-shirt topped by a plaid button-up before she wraps her arms around herself, like she’s suddenly embarrassed of her clothes. “Well, it was nice talking to you, but I have to go.” She starts out the doorway.
“Hey, you want to go get some coffee?” I stroll down the hallway beside her. “I’ve been dying to try out this little café on the corner.”
She swiftly shakes her head. “I can’t.”
“Because I’m busy.”
“With your homework?” I ask with a hint of amusement.
“Yes, with my homework.” She doesn’t sound angry, just nervous.
When we reach the end of the hall, she pushes open the exit doors and we step outside into the sunlight and the fairly mellow campus yard. She immediately veers left and makes a beeline for the tree area to the side of the main entrance.
“Come on. Just one cup of coffee.” I follow after her. “I’m super bored and I really don’t want to go back to my dorm yet. My roommate likes to leave half-eaten bags of chips and soda cans everywhere, along with his dirty underwear. Plus, the room reeks of cheese.”
She scrunches up her nose. “Why cheese?”
I shrug. “I have no idea where the smell is coming from, and that’s part of the problem.”
Her face twists in disgust, but a spark of a smile touches her lips.
“So, what do you say?” I smile. “Will you help me escape the mysteriously smelling room for an hour?”
She halts on the sidewalk and looks at me for the first time since we started talking. “Just for coffee, right?”
I shrug. “Maybe. Although, I have to warn you that when I get bored, I can get really spastic. And I’ve been bored for about a week now.”
She shifts her weight. “Okay…” She bites her lip nervously. “But it’s not like a… date, right?”
I snort a laugh and quickly cover my mouth with my hand. When her expression plummets and her cheeks turn pink, I realize how bad that must have came off.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” I quickly say. “Under all those God-awful clothes, I can tell you’re a beautiful girl.” I wonder how far I should go with this. I haven’t really opened up to anyone since the
, but it’ll come out sooner or later if we’re going to be friends. “But you’re not really my type, seeing as how you’re not a guy.”
It takes her a moment to catch up with me. “Oh.” Her stiff posture suddenly relaxes. “That’s good. I mean, that you like guys.” She stumbles over her words then rolls her eyes at herself. “Sorry, I’m just really glad you weren’t hitting on me.” She smiles at me. “We can go get coffee.”
“Fantastic.” I smile, hoping to figure out more of what the hell is behind her squirrely behavior. “Can I ask, though, why you were so wigged out when you thought I was hitting on you?”
She lifts her shoulder and gives a half-shrug, her lips remaining fastened.
Okaaaay. This friendship might be more difficult than I thought. Good thing I love a good challenge.
“So Callie, other than running away from potential dates, what do you like to do for fun?” I ask as we hike down the sidewalk toward the café on the corner.
“Nothing, really.” She slides the strap of the bag higher on her shoulder. “Other than write. What about you?”
“Well, I love a lot of things, like dancing, partying, going to the movies. But my real passion is clothes, which is pretty obvious.”
She casts a self-conscious glance at her outfit. “It sounds like we’re pretty much opposites.”
“Which can make for a fabulous friendship,” I say. When she gives me a wary glance, I add, “Ever heard the saying that opposites attract?” I stop at the corner of the street and hammer my thumb against the crosswalk button. “But because I’m, well
, I have to ask. What’s up with the baggy clothes?”
She stares at the quaint café just across the street. “I just don’t like standing out.”
“Okay…I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but while your look would have totally rocked the nineties, we’re way past the grunge and baggy pants fad, so it kind of makes you stand out like a disco ball in a Goth club.”
She tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear and glances at me. “I’ve been wearing this same look since forever… for my own reasons.” She hugs her arms around herself. “It’s all I’m comfortable in, and I’m too afraid if I start wearing other stuff, I’ll feel unsafe.”