The summer I turned pretty Chapter 22 Free Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 22 of The Summer I Turned Pretty Book by Jenny Han for free.

The Summer I Turned Pretty Chapter 22: That night I slept in Cam’s hoodie. It was stupid and kind of sappy, but I didn’t care. And the next day I wore it outside, even though it was blazing hot out. I loved how the sleeves were frayed, the way it felt lived in. It felt like a boy’s.

Cam was the first boy to pay attention to me like that, to be upfront about the fact that he actually wanted to hang out with me. And not be, like, embarrassed about it.

When I opened my eyes, I understood what I had done after giving him the house number. Why was a mystery to me. I could have easily given him my cell number.

The phone didn’t ring, so I kept waiting. The phone never rang at the summer house. The only people who called the house phone were Susannah, trying to figure out what kind of fish we wanted for dinner, or my mother, calling to tell Steven to put the towels in the dryer, or to get the grill going.

I stayed on the deck, sunning and reading magazines with Cam’s hoodie balled up in my lap like a stuffed animal. Since we kept the windows open, I knew I’d hear if the phone rang.

I used two applications of tanning oil after applying sunscreen to my skin. Better safe than sorry was how I reasoned even if I wasn’t sure whether it was an oxymoron. I set myself up with a little station of cherry Kool-Aid in a recycled water bottle, a radio, as well as periodicals and sunglasses. The sunglasses were a pair that Susannah had bought me years ago.

Susannah loved to buy presents. When she went off for errands, she’d come home with presents.

Little things, like this pair of red heart sunglasses she said I just had to have.

She knew just what I’d love, things I hadn’t even thought of, had certainly never thought of buying. Things like lavender foot lotion, or a silk quilted pouch for tissues.

My mother and Susannah had left early that morning for one of their art gallery trips to Dyerstown, and Conrad, thank God, had left for work already.

Jeremiah was still asleep. The house was mine.

The idea of tanning sounds so fun in theory. Laying out, soaking up sun and sipping on soda, falling asleep like a fat cat. But then the actual act of it is kind of tedious and boring. And hot. I would always rather be floating in an ocean, catching sun that way, than lying down sweating in the sun. They say you get tanner faster when you’re wet, anyhow.

But that morning I had no choice. In case Cam called, I mean. So I lay there, sweating and sizzling like a piece of chicken on a grill. It was boring, but it was a necessity.

Just after ten, the phone rang. I sprang up and ran into the kitchen. “Hello?” I said breathlessly.

“Hi, Belly. It’s Mr. Fisher.”

“Oh, hi, Mr. Fisher,” I said. I tried not to sound too disappointed. He cleared his throat. “So, how’s it going down there?”

“Pretty good. Susannah’s not home, though. She and my mom went to Dyerstown to visit some galleries.” “I see. How are the boys?”

“Good …” I never knew what to say to Mr. Fisher. “Conrad’s at work and Jeremiah’s still asleep. Do you want me to wake him up?”

“No, no, that’s all right.”

There was this long pause, and I scrambled to think of something to say. “Are you, um, coming down this weekend?” I asked.

“No, not this weekend,” he said. His voice sounded really far away. “I’ll just call back later. You have fun, Belly.”

I hung up the phone. Mr. Fisher hadn’t been down to Cousins once yet. He used to come the weekend after the Fourth, because it was easier getting away from work after the holiday. When he came, he’d fire up the barbecue all weekend long, and he’d wear his apron that said chef knows best . I wondered if Susannah would be sad he wasn’t coming, if the boys would care.

I laboriously made my way back to the sun and my lounge chair. On my couch, I slept off, and when I awoke, Jeremiah was dousing my stomach in Kool-Aid. “Quit it,” I said grouchily, sitting up. I was thirsty from my extra sweet Kool-Aid (I always made it with double sugar), and I felt dehydrated and sweaty.

He laughed and sat down on my lounge chair. “Is this what you’re doing all day?”

“Yes,” I said, wiping off my stomach and then wiping my hand on his shorts.

“Don’t be boring. Come do something with me,” he ordered. “I don’t have to work until tonight.”

“I’m working on my tan,” I told him. “You’re tan enough.”

“Will you let me drive?”

He hesitated. “Fine,” he said. “But you have to rinse off first. I don’t want you getting my seat all oily.”

I stood up, throwing my limp greasy hair into a high ponytail. “I’ll go right now. Just wait,” I said.

Jeremiah waited for me in the car, with the AC on full blast. He sat in the passenger seat. “Where are we going?” I asked, getting into the driver’s seat. I felt like an old pro. “Tennessee? New Mexico? We have to go far so I can get good practice.”

He closed his eyes and laid his head back. “Just take a left out of the driveway,” he told me.

“Yessir,” I said, turning off the AC and opening all four windows. It was so much better driving with the windows down. It felt like you were actually going somewhere.

He continued giving me directions, and then we pulled up to Go Kart City. “Are you serious?”

“We’re gonna get you some driving practice,” he said, grinning like crazy.

We waited in line for the cars, and when it was our turn, the guy told me to get in the blue one. I said, “Can I drive the red one instead?”

He winked at me and said, “You’re so pretty, I’d let you drive my car.”

I could feel myself blush, but I liked it. The guy was older than me, and he was actually paying me attention. It was kind of amazing. I’d seen him there the summer before, and he hadn’t looked at me once.

Getting into the car next to me, Jeremiah muttered, “What a freaking cheeseball. He needs to get a real job.”

“Like lifeguarding is a real job?” I countered. Jeremiah scowled. “Just drive.”

Every time my car came back around the track, the guy waved at me. The third time he did it, I waved back.

We rode around the track a bunch of times, until it was time for Jeremiah to go to work.

“I think you’ve had enough driving for today,” Jeremiah said, rubbing his neck. “I’ll drive us home.”

I didn’t argue with him. He drove home fast, and dropped me off at the curb and headed to work. I stepped back into the house feeling very tired and tan. And also satisfied.

“Someone named Cam called for you,” my mother said. She was sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper with her horn-rimmed reading glasses on.

She didn’t look up.

“He did?” I asked, covering my smile with the back of my hand. “Well, did he leave a number?”

“No,” she said. “He said he’d call back.”

“Why didn’t you ask for it?” I said, and I hated the whininess in my voice, but when it came to my mother, it was like I couldn’t help it.

That’s when she looked at me, perplexed. “I don’t know. He wasn’t offering it. Who is he anyway?”

“Forget it,” I told her, walking over to the refrigerator for some lemonade. “Suit yourself,” my mother said, going back to her paper.

She didn’t push the matter. But she never did. The least she could have done was get his phone number. If Susannah had been down here instead of her, she would have been singsongy and she would have teased and snooped until I told her everything.

Which I would have, gladly.

“Mr. Fisher called this morning,” I said.

My mother looked up again. “What did he say?” “Nothing much. Just that he can’t come this weekend.” She pursed her lips, but she didn’t say anything. “Where’s Susannah?” I asked. “Is she in her room?”

“Yes, but she doesn’t feel well. She’s taking a nap,” my mother said. In other words, Don’t go up and bother her.

“What’s wrong with her?”

“She has a summer cold,” my mother said automatically.

My mother was a terrible liar. Susannah had been spending a lot of time in her room, and there was a sadness to her that hadn’t been there before. I knew something was up. I just wasn’t completely sure what.

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