Its Not Summer Without You Chapter 14 Free Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 14 of Its Not Summer Without You Book PDF by Jenny Han for free.

Its Not Summer Without You Chapter 14: When we drove up to campus, there were people milling around outside on the lawn. Girls were laying out in shorts and bikini tops, and a group of boys were playing Ultimate Frisbee. We found parking right in front of Conrad’s dorm and then we slipped inside the building when a girl stepped out with a laundry basket full of clothes. I felt so incredibly young, and also lost—I’d never been there before. It was different than I’d pictured it.

Louder. Busier.

Jeremiah knew the way and I had to hurry to keep up. He took the stairs two at a time and on the third floor, we stopped. I followed him down a brightly lit hallway. On the wall by the elevator there was a bulletin board with a poster that read, LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX, BABY. There were STD pamphlets and a breast exam how-to, and neon condoms were stapled around artfully. “Take one,” someone had written in highlighter. “Or three.”

Conrad’s door had his name on it, and underneath it, the name “Eric Trusky.”

His roommate was a stocky, muscular guy with reddish brown hair, and he opened the door wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt. “What’s up?” he asked us, his eyes falling on me. He reminded me of a wolf.

Instead of feeling flattered by a college guy checking me out, I just felt grossed out. I wanted to hide behind Jeremiah the way I used to hide behind my mother’s skirt when I was five and really shy. I had to remind myself I was sixteen, almost seventeen. Too old to be nervous around a guy named Eric Trusky. Even if Conrad did tell me that Eric was always forwarding him freaky porno videos and stayed on his computer pretty much all day. Except for when he watched his soaps from two to four.

Jeremiah cleared his throat. “I’m Conrad’s brother, and this is—our friend,” he said. “Do you know where he is?”

Eric opened the door and let us in. “Dude, I have no idea. He just took off. Did Ari call you?”

“Who’s Ari?” I asked Jeremiah. “The RA,” he said.

“Ari the RA,” I repeated, and the corners of Jeremiah’s mouth turned up. “Who are you?” Eric asked me.

“Bel y.” I watched him, waiting for a glimmer of recognition, something that let me know that Conrad talked about me, had at least mentioned me. But of course, there was nothing.

“Bel y, huh? That’s cute. I’m Eric,” he said, leaning against the wall. “Um, hi,” I said.

“So—Conrad didn’t say anything to you before he left?” Jeremiah interjected.

“He barely talks, period. He’s like an android.” Then he grinned at me. “Well , he talks to pretty girls.”

I felt sick inside. What pretty girls? Jeremiah exhaled loudly and clasped his hands behind his head. Then he took out his phone and looked at it as if there might be some answer there.

I sat down on Conrad’s bed—navy sheets and navy comforter. It was unmade.

Conrad always made his bed at the summer house. Hotel corners and everything.

So this was where he’d been living. This was his life now.

He didn’t have a lot of things in his dorm room. No TV, no stereo, no pictures hanging up. Certainly none of me, but none even of Susannah or his dad. Just his computer, his clothes, some shoes, books.

“I was actually about to take off, dudes. Going to my parents’ country house.

Will you guys just make sure the door is closed when you leave? And when you find C, tell him he owes me twenty bucks for the pizza.”

“No worries, man. I’ll tell him.” I could tell Jeremiah didn’t like Eric, the way his lips almost but didn’t quite form a smile when he said it. He sat down at Conrad’s desk, surveying the room.

Someone knocked on the door and Eric ambled over to open it. It was a girl, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and leggings and sunglasses on the top of her head.

“Have you seen my sweater?” she asked him. She peered around him like she was looking for something. Someone.

Did they date, I wondered? That was my first thought. My second thought was, that I’m prettier than her. I was ashamed of myself for thinking it, but I couldn’t help it. The truth was, it didn’t matter who was prettier, her or me. He didn’t want me anyway.

Jeremiah jumped up. “Are you a friend of Con’s? Do you know where he went?”

She eyed us curiously. I could tell she thought Jeremiah was cute, the way she tucked her hair behind her ears and took her sunglasses off. “Um, yeah.

Hi. I’m Sophie. Who are you?”

“His brother.” Jeremiah walked over and shook her hand. Even though he was stressed out, he took the time to check her out and give her one of his trademark smiles, which she lapped right up.

“Oh, wow. You guys don’t even look alike?” Sophie was one of those people who ended her sentences with a question mark. I could already tell that if I knew her, I would hate her.

“Yeah, we get that a lot,” Jeremiah said. “Did Con say anything to you, Sophie?”

She liked the way he called her by her name. She said, “I think he said he was going to the beach, to surf or something. He’s so crazy.”

Jeremiah looked at me. The beach. He was at the summer house.

When Jeremiah called his dad, I sat on the edge of Conrad’s bed and pretended not to listen.Without mentioning that I was with him, he assured Mr. Fisher that everything was well and that Conrad was secure at Cousins.

He said, “Dad, I’ll go get him, it’s no big deal.”

Mr. Fisher said something on his end, and Jeremiah said, “But Dad—” Then he looked over at me, and mouthed, Be right back.

He headed into the hall way and shut the door behind him.

After he was gone, I lay back on Conrad’s bed and stared up at the ceiling. So this was where he slept every night. I’d known him all my life, but in some ways, he was still a mystery to me. A puzzle.

I got out of bed and went over to his desk. Gingerly, I opened the drawer and found a box of pens, some books, and paper. Conrad was always careful with his things. I convinced myself I wasn’t snooping. In support, I was looking. Bel Conklin, Girl Detective, was who I was.

I found it in the second drawer. A robin’s egg blue Tiffany box stuffed way in the back. Even as I was opening it I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t help myself.

It was a little jewelry box, and there was a necklace inside, a pendant. I puled it out and let it dangle. At first, I thought it was a figure eight, and that maybe he was dating some girl who ice skated—and I decided I hated her, too. And then I took a closer look and laid it horizontal in the palm of my hand. It wasn’t an eight.

It was infinity.

Which was when I knew. It wasn’t for some girl who ice skated or for Sophie down the hall. It was for me. He’d bought it for me. Here is my proof. Proof that he really did care.

Conrad was good at math. Well, he was good at everything, but he was good at math.

A few weeks after we started talking on the phone, when it had become more routine but no less thrilling, I told him all about how much I hated trig and how badly I was doing in it already. Right away I felt guilty for bringing it up—there I was complaining about math when Susannah had cancer. My problems were so petty and juvenile, so high school compared to what Conrad was going through.

“Sorry,” I’d said. “For what?”

“For talking about my crappy trig grade when …” My voice trailed off. “When your mom’s sick.”

“Don’t apologize. You can say whatever you want to me.” He paused. “And Bel y, my mom is getting better. She put on five pounds this month.”

The hopefulness in his voice, made me feel so tender toward him I could have cried. I said, “Yeah, I heard that from my mom yesterday. That’s really good news.”

“So, okay then. So has your teacher taught you SOH-CAH-TOA yet?”

From then on, Conrad started helping me, all over the phone. At first, I didn’t pay attention, I just liked listening to his voice, listening to him explain things. But then he’d quiz me, and I hated to disappoint him. So began our tutoring sessions. The way my mother smirked at me when the phone rang at night, I knew she thought we were having some kind of romance, and I didn’t correct her. It was easier that way. And it made me feel good, that people thinking we were a couple. I’ll admit it. They were left to consider it, I guess. They should, I hoped. Although I was aware that it wasn’t yet true, it seemed possible. One day. In the meantime, I had my private math tutor, and I really was starting to get the hang of trig.

Conrad had a way of making impossible things make sense, and I never loved him more than during those school nights he spent with me on the phone, going over the same problems over and over, until finally, I understood too.

Jeremiah came back into the room, and I closed my fist around the necklace before he could see it.

“So what’s up?” I asked him. “Is your dad mad? What did he say?”

“He wanted to go to Cousins himself, but I told him I’d do it. There’s no way Conrad would listen to my dad right now. If my dad came, it would only piss him off more.” Jeremiah sat down on the bed. “So I guess we’re going to Cousins this summer after all.”

As soon as he said it, it became real. In my head, I mean. Seeing Conrad wasn’t some faraway pretend thing; it was happening. Just like that, I forgot all about my plans to save Conrad and I blurted out, “Maybe you should just drop me off on the way.”

Jeremiah stared at me. “Are you serious? I can’t deal with this by myself. You don’t know how bad it’s been. Ever since my mom got sick again, Conrad’s been in freaking self-destruct mode. He doesn’t give a shit about anything.” Jeremiah stopped talking and then said, “But I know he still cares what you think about him.”

I licked my lips; they felt very dry all of a sudden. “I’m not so sure about that.”

“Well, I am. I know my brother. Will you please just come with me?”

When I thought about the last thing I’d said to Conrad, shame took over and it burned me up inside. You don’t say those kinds of things to a person whose mother just died. You just don’t. How could I face him? I just couldn’t.

Then Jeremiah said, “I’ll get you back in time for your boat party if that’s what you’re so worried about.”

It was such an un-Jeremiah-like thing to say that it took me right out of my shame spiral and I glared at him. “You think I care about a stupid Fourth of July boat party?”

He gave me a look. “You do love fireworks.”

“Shut up,” I said, and he grinned. “Alright,” I said. “You win. I’ll come.”

“Alright, then.” He stood up. “I’m gonna go take a leak before we go. Oh, and Bel y?”


Jeremiah smirked at me. “I knew you were gonna give in. You never had a chance.”

I threw a pillow at him and he dodged it and did a little victory lap to the door.

“Hurry up and pee, you jerk.”

When he was gone, I put the necklace on, underneath my tank top. It had left a little infinity indentation in my hand, I’d been holding on to it so hard.

How come I did it? Is that why I wore it? I should have just placed it in my pocket or left it in the box, why didn’t I? I can’t even explain it. All I knew was, I just really, really wanted to wear it. It felt like it belonged to me.

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