Forever Now (Forever - Book 1)

Forever Now (Forever - Book 1) by Elise Sax Page B

Book: Forever Now (Forever - Book 1) by Elise Sax Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elise Sax
all, her giant top knot prevented the hat from sitting on her head. It just bobbed there, as if Dahlia had become a walking hat stand.
    She looked around my room, taking a moment over my stacks of notebooks. Then she sat on my bed, and patted the place next to her. “Come and open it, already,” she said.
    I sat down, and she gave me the envelope. I couldn’t imagine what it was. I opened it, careful not to rip the fancy linen paper.
    “You’re invited to my family’s Christmas party,” she announced before I could read the invitation. “It’s on the eighteenth. So not strictly Christmas, but you get the picture. There will be lots of green and red, and food. Food, Tess! Mushroom caps and lobster puffs, and oodles of good things. Please say you’ll come. Please! And you can sleep over. I’m so excited you’re coming. It will be so much more fun with you there. Normally it’s only family and their stuffy friends, but my father said I could invite you. We’re going to have the best time!”
    “What’s a lobster puff?” I asked.
    I had never been to a Christmas party, let alone one with lobster puffs. I had no idea what a lobster puff was, but I bet it was fancy. Christmas party dress fancy. What on earth would I wear? What would I say to everyone? They would talk about international affairs, the stock market, and opera. What could I contribute to that conversation? I could talk about surviving on peanut butter sandwiches and hoping the water wasn’t shut off in the house.
    Or I could talk about my mother abandoning me.
    No. Probably not a topic for a lobster puff party.
    “Well—“ I started. I didn’t want to let her down. She really did want me to go, but she didn’t know what she was asking. I would be out of place at her fancy party that required linen paper invitations. I wasn’t that kind of person. She would see that I was an outsider, and never want to be my friend again. I mean, I didn’t even know what a lobster puff was. Wasn’t that a red flag for her?
    “Good!” Dahlia hugged me, and I flinched. I had so seldom been hugged in my life, it felt weird. But good. “Don’t forget your surprise,” she whispered in my ear. “It’s coming soon.”
    I couldn’t imagine what my surprise would be. I thought finding out what lobster puffs were would be surprise enough.
    After ten that night, Dahlia decided to go home. Cruz offered to walk her out to her car, and I watched them from my bedroom window, making out their shadows in the moonlight. They were talking and laughing. Dahlia pulled keys from her purse and leaned back against the side of her car. She was very pretty, and she was self-confident without being a conceited egomaniac like other girls. Her face was just like a doll’s or a Disney princess. She could obviously have any boy she wanted, and I was struck with a pang of jealousy.
    I was about to step away from the window and get ready for bed when I saw Cruz step closer to her. She stopped smiling. I could imagine the tension between them, being so close to each other.
    And then his mouth touched the side of her face.
    I grew cold, as if an arctic wind had hit me. I squinted and looked again to make sure I hadn’t hallucinated. But by then it was too late. Cruz had hopped back on the curb, and Dahlia was sitting in her car, starting it up. I heard the front door slam when Cruz walked inside the house. Dahlia’s headlights turned on, and she raced down the street with the soft sound of her car’s Katy Perry music reaching me.
    I tried to swallow, but a large lump in my throat prevented me. Tears burned the back of my eyes, and my nose ran, dripping two drops on the carpet. I had seen Cruz kiss lots of pretty girls, lots of beautiful women, but seeing him with my only friend broke my heart into pieces like a cracker at the bottom of a box.
    Dust.
    It was a writing moment, a time to write my guts out in one of my notebooks. The urge to write out every detail of my pain and those

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