Its Not Summer Without You Chapter 31 Free Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 31 of Its Not Summer Without You Book PDF by Jenny Han for free.

Its Not Summer Without You Chapter 31: “Welcome,” I said to a boy in a Led Zeppelin T-shirt. “Nice boots,” I said to a girl with cowboy boots on.

I made my way around the room, passing out drinks and throwing away empty cans. Conrad watched me with his arms crossed. “What are you doing?” he asked me. “I’m trying to make everyone feel at home,” I explained, adjusting Taylor’s top.

Susannah was an excellent hostess. She had a talent for making people feel welcome and wanted. Taylor’s words were still hanging around in the back of my head. I wasn’t selfish. I was a good friend, a good hostess. I’d show her.

When Travis from Video World put his feet up on the coffee table and almost knocked over a hurricane vase, I barked, “Careful. And take your feet off the furniture.” As an afterthought, I added, “Please.”

I was about to go back into the kitchen for more drinks when I saw her. The girl from last summer. Nicole, the one Conrad liked, was standing in the kitchen talking to Jeremiah. She didn’t have her Red Sox hat on, but I’d recognize her perfume anywhere. It smelled like vanilla extract and decomposing roses.

Conrad must have seen her at the same time I did because he sucked in his breath and muttered, “Shit.”

“Did you break her heart?” I asked him. I tried to sound teasing and carefree.

He grasped me by the hand, snatched the tequila bottle from me, and said, “Let’s get out of here.” I must have been successful.

I followed him like I was in a trance, sleepwalking. Because it was like a dream, his hand in mine. We were almost home free when Jeremiah saw us. My heart just sank. He motioned us over and called out, “Guys! Come say hi.”

Conrad let go of my hand but not the tequila. “Hey, Nicole,” he said, starting toward her. I grabbed a couple of beers and followed him over.

“Oh, hey, Conrad,” Nicole said, all surprised, like she hadn’t been watching the whole time we’d been in the kitchen. She got on her tip-toes and hugged him.

Jeremiah caught my eye and raised his eyebrows comically. He grinned at me.

“Bel y, you remember Nicole, right?”

I said, “Of course.” I smiled at her. Perfect hostess, I reminded myself.


Warily, she smiled back at me. I handed her one of the beers I was holding. “Cheers,” I said, opening mine.

“Cheers,” she echoed. We clinked cans and drank. I drank mine fast. When I was done, I got another and I drank that, too.

Suddenly the house felt too quiet, so I turned on the stereo. I turned the music up loud and kicked off my shoes. Susannah always said it wasn’t a party without dancing. I grabbed Jeremiah, threw one arm around his neck, and danced.

“Bel y—,” he protested. “Just dance, Jere!” I yelled.

So he did. He was a good dancer, that Jeremiah. Other people started dancing too, even Nicole. Not Conrad though, but I didn’t care. I barely even noticed.

I moved as though it were 1999. My heart was actually kind of breaking while I danced. In most cases, I just moved my hair about a lot.

I was pretty sweaty when I said, “Can we swim in the pool? One last time?” Jeremiah said, “Screw that. Let’s swim in the ocean.”

“Yeah!” It sounded like a great idea to me. A perfect idea.

“No,” Conrad said, coming out of nowhere. He was suddenly standing right beside me. “Bel y’s drunk. She shouldn’t swim.”

I looked at him and frowned. “But I want to,” I said. He laughed. “So what?”

“Look, I’m a really good swimmer. And I’m not even drunk.” I walked in a semi straight line to prove my point.

“Sorry,” he said. “But you really are.”

Dumb, boring Conrad. He got so serious at the worst moments.

“You’re no fun.” I looked over at Jeremiah, who was sitting on the floor now.

“He’s no fun. And he’s not the boss of us. Right, everybody?”

Before Jeremiah or anybody else could answer me, I made a run for the sliding doors, and then I stumbled down the steps and sprinted onto the beach. I felt like a flying comet, a streak in the sky, like I hadn’t used my muscles in so long and it felt great to stretch my legs and run.

The house, all lit up with people inside, felt a million miles away. I knew he’d come after me. I didn’t have to turn around to know it was him. But I did anyway.

“Come back to the house,” Conrad said. He had the bottle of tequila in his hand. I grabbed it out of his hand and took a swig like I’d done it a million times before, like I was the kind of girl who could drink right from the bottle.

For not spitting it back up, I felt pleased with myself. I moved a step towards the water as I grinned broadly at him. I was trying him out.

“Bel y,” he warned. “I’m telling you now, I’m not going to pull your dead body out of the ocean when you drown.”

I crossed my eyes at him and then I dipped my toe in. The water was colder than I’d thought it’d be. Suddenly swimming didn’t sound like such a great idea.

But I hated backing down to Conrad. I hated losing to him. “Are you gonna stop me?”

He sighed and looked back toward the house.

I continued, took another glug of tequila. Anything to make him pay attention. “I mean, ’cause I am a stronger swimmer than you. I’m way, way faster.

You probably couldn’t catch me if you wanted to.”

He was looking at me again. “I’m not coming after you.”

“Real y? You really aren’t?” I took a big step, then another. The water was up to my knees. It was low tide, and I was shivering. It was stupid, really. I didn’t even want to swim anymore. I didn’t know what I was doing. Far down on the other side of the beach, somebody shot off a firecracker. It sounded like a missile. It looked like a silver weeping willow. I watched it drop down into the ocean.

And just when I started to feel disappointed, just when I’d resigned myself to the fact that he didn’t care, he moved toward me. He heaved me up, over his shoulder. I dropped the bottle right into the ocean.

“Put me down!” I screamed, pounding on his back. “Bel y, you’re drunk.”

“Put me down right now!”

And for once, he actually listened. He dropped me, right in the sand, right on my butt. “Ow! That really hurt!”

It didn’t hurt that bad, but I was mad, and more than that, I was embarrassed.

I kicked sand at his back and the wind kicked it right back at me. “Jerk!” I yelled, 

sputtering and spitting out sand.

Conrad shook his head and turned away from me. His jeans were wet. He was leaving. He was really leaving. I’d ruined everything again.

When I stood up I felt so dizzy I almost fell right back down.

“Wait,” I said, and my knees wobbled. I pushed my sandy hair out of my face and took a deep breath. I had to say it, had to tell him. My last chance.

He turned back around. His face was a closed door.

“Just wait a second, please. I need to tell you something. I’m really sorry for the way I acted that day.” My voice was high and desperate, and I was crying, and I hated that I was crying, but I couldn’t help it. I had to keep talking because this was it. Last chance. “At … at the funeral, I was awful to you. I was horrible, and I’m so ashamed of how I acted. It wasn’t how I wanted things to go, not at all. I really, really wanted to be there for you.

That’s why I came to find you.”

Conrad blinked once and then again. “It’s fine.”

I wiped my cheeks and my runny nose. I said, “Do you mean it? You forgive me?”

“Yes,” he said. “I forgive you. Now stop crying, al right?”

I stepped toward him, closer and closer still, and he didn’t back away. We were close enough to kiss. I was holding my breath, wanting so badly for things to be like before.

I took one step closer, and that’s when he said, “Let’s go back, okay?”

Conrad didn’t wait for me to answer him. He just started walking away, and I followed. I felt like I was going to be sick.

Just like that, the moment was over. It was an almost moment, where almost anything could have happened. But he had made it be over.

Back at the house, people were swimming in the pool in their clothes. A few girls were waving sparklers around. Clay Bertolet, our neighbor, was floating along the edge of the pool in one of his undershirts. He grabbed my ankles. “Come on, Bel y, swim with me,” he said.

“Let go,” I said, kicking him off and splashing his face in the process.

I pushed my way through all the people on the deck and made my way back into the house. I accidentally stepped on some girl’s foot and she screamed.

“Sorry,” I said, and my voice came out sounding far away. I was so dizzy. I just wanted my bed.

As I did when I was younger, I used my hands to climb the steps like a crab. The room was spinning as I landed in bed, exactly like in the movies. I started to weep after realising all the dumb things I had uttered while the bed was spinning.

I made a real fool of myself out on that beach. It was devastating, all of it— Susannah gone, the thought of this house not being ours anymore, me giving Conrad the chance to reject me one more time. Taylor was right: I was a masochist.

I lay on my side hugged my knees to my chest and wept. Everything was wrong, and most of all me. Suddenly I just wanted my mother.

I reached across the bed for the phone on my night-stand. The numbers lit up in the darkness. My mother picked up on the fourth ring.

Her voice was drowsy and familiar in a way that made me cry harder. More than anything in the world, I wanted to reach inside the phone and bring her here.

“Mommy,” I said. My voice came out a croak. “Bel y? What’s wrong? Where are you?”

“I’m at Susannah’s. At the summer house.” “What? What are you doing at the summer house?”

“Mr. Fisher’s gonna sel it. He’s gonna sel it and Conrad is so sad and Mr.

Fisher doesn’t even care. He just wants to get rid of it. He wants to get rid of her.”

“Bel y, slow down. I can’t hear what you’re saying.” “Just come, okay? Just please come and fix it.”

And then I hung up, because suddenly the phone felt very heavy in my hand. I felt like I was on a merry-go-round, and not in a good way.

Somebody was setting off fireworks outside, and it felt like my head was pounding right along with them. Then I closed my eyes and it was worse. But my eyelids felt heavy too and soon I was asleep.

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