Maine Squeeze

Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark

Book: Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark Read Free Book Online
Authors: Catherine Clark
laughed nervously. “I really have to stop saying that so much. Right . I’m constantly saying that, aren’t I? It must be annoying.”
    â€œColleen? I only have a couple of minutes, so …”
    â€œOkay. Last summer.” A strong breeze blew the strap from my knapsack against the ferry railing. For a minute, I just sat there and listened to the sound of it snapping. “I probably mentioned I went out with this guy named Evan. Right?” Darn. I said it again.
    â€œNo, I don’t remember anything about a guy named Evan,” Ben said.
    â€œSure, I told you. Evan. From Philadelphia?” I finally got the nerve to look at his face, and tried to gauge his reaction to this news. “Anyway, it wasn’t like it was anything serious. We dated for a couple of months—you know, typical summer … fling. Thing.”
    â€œA couple of months isn’t exactly a fling.”
    Darn Ben and his definitions.
    He looked at me, then down at the deck, then back up at me. “One or two dates is a fling. Not two months.”
    â€œBut see, sometimes the way you feel about a person is that they’re like a fling, like that’s how un important they are to you.”
    â€œAnd you spent two months with a guy you didn’t care about. Wow. That really makes me feel good about us.”
    â€œNo! I didn’t mean … Sorry. Okay, so it wasn’t just a fling. That was a poor choice of words. We … we went out last summer.”
    â€œSo why are you telling me about this now?”
    Because I have to? And because Sam won’t be my friend if I don’t? “Well, it’s just … this guy, Evan? He came back this summer. I didn’t know he was coming. I hadn’t even heard from him in months. I mean, I’d barely heard from him since the day he left.”
    Annoyingly, the image of our painful good-bye scene actually had the nerve to flit through my brain the split second I said that. The early-morning fog, the long romantic hug, the never wanting to let go....
    â€œWe didn’t keep in touch,” I said to Ben. Or at least I did, but he didn’t. “So I had no idea he’d be here again. Which is maybe why I never mentioned him. Anyway, he’s here.”
    â€œReally. Where did you see him?” Ben’s voice was flat, almost like a monotone.
    â€œHe came in for dinner or something?” Ben asked.
    â€œWell, uh, yeah. In a manner of speaking.” This was going to be so, so awkward. “He works at Bobb’s.”
    â€œWhen did he start? Last night?” Ben asked.
    â€œActually … maybe a few days ago.”
    â€œAnd you’re just telling me this now,” Ben said, not as a question.
    Oh, no. I knew I shouldn’t have waited so long. He was really angry. I’d never seen him like this. “We hardly have any of the same shifts, so I haven’t seen him much, and I didn’t think it was a big deal,” I babbled. Now, on top of everything, I was lying.
    â€œJust … don’t. Look, I have stuff to do.” Ben stood up and walked over to the steps that led down to the main deck.
    That could have gone a lot better, I thought as I watched him glide down the steps. I mean, it could hardly have gone worse .
    After a few minutes, I tried moving down to the lower deck to see if I could talk to him. First he walked past me without making eye contact. Then when he was standing beside Cap Green, I went to try to join the conversation. But Ben moved away, leaving me alone with Cap, the chatterbox of the ferry industry.
    I was stuck on Moby with Ben, who hated me now. I looked longingly at the inflatable life rafts hanging on the wall and the preservers stacked beside the door. Making a run for it sounded tempting. Ben would probably help by giving me a push in the direction of the island.
    I had a new rule. It didn’t have anything to do with the

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