The Summer I Turned Pretty Chapter 36 Free Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 36 of The Summer I Turned Pretty novel PDF by Jenny Han for free.

The Summer I Turned Pretty Chapter 36: My birthday always marked the beginning of the end of summer. It was my final thing to look forward to. And this summer I was turning sixteen. Sweet sixteen was supposed to be special, a really big deal—Taylor was renting out a reception hall for hers, and her cousin was DJ-ing and she was inviting the whole school. She’d had it planned for ages. My birthdays here were always the same: cake; gag gifts from the boys; and looking through all the old photo albums, with me sandwiched between Susannah and my mom on the couch.

Every birthday I’ve ever had has been here, in this house. There are pictures of my mother sitting on the porch pregnant, with a glass of iced tea and a wide brimmed hat, and there’s me, inside her belly. There are pictures of the four of us, Conrad, Steven, Jeremiah, and me, running around on the beach—I was naked except for my birthday hat, chasing after them. My mother didn’t put me in a bathing suit until I was four years old. She just let me run around wild.

I didn’t expect this birthday to be any different. Which, was comforting and also kind of depressing. Except, Steven wouldn’t be there—my first birthday without him trying to elbow in and blow out my candles before I could.

I already knew what my parents were giving me: Steven’s old car; they were getting it detailed with a new paint job and everything. When I got back to school, I would take driver’s ed, and soon I wouldn’t have to ask for a ride ever again.

I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone back home remembered it was my birthday. Besides Taylor. She remembered; she always did. She called me at exactly 9:02 in the morning to sing happy birthday, every year. That was nice and all, but the trouble with having a summer birthday and being away was you couldn’t have a party with all your school friends. You didn’t get the balloons taped to your locker or any of it. I’d never really minded, but just then I did, a little.

My mother told me I could invite Cam over. But I didn’t. I didn’t even tell him it was my birthday. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to do something. But it was more than that. I figured that if this birthday was going to be like every other one, I might as well really have it be like every other one. It should just be us, my summer family.

When I woke up that morning, the house smelled like butter and sugar.

Susannah had baked a birthday cake. It was three layers and it was pink with

a white border. She wrote in loopy white frosting HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BELLS. She’d lit a few sparkler candles on top, and they sizzled and sparked like mad fireflies. She and my mother started to sing, and Susannah gestured for Conrad and Jeremiah to join in. They both did, off-key and obnoxious.

“Make a wish, Belly,” my mother said.

I was still in my pajamas, and I couldn’t stop smiling. The past four birthdays I had wished for the same thing. Not this year. This year I would wish for something else. I watched the sparklers die down, and then I closed my eyes and blew.

“Open my present first,” Susannah urged. She thrust a small box wrapped in pink paper into my hands.

My mother looked at her questioningly. “What did you do, Beck?”

She smiled a mysterious smile and squeezed my wrist. “Open it, honey.”

I ripped the paper off and opened the box. A necklace made entirely of small, creamy white pearls with a dazzling gold clasp caught my eye. It appeared antiquated, unlike anything you might purchase nowadays. Everything about it, even the clasp, was exquisitely made, much like my father’s grandfather’s Swiss watch. What I had never seen was so beautiful.

“Oh my gosh,” I breathed, lifting it up.

I looked at Susannah, who was beaming, and then at my mother, who I thought would say it was much too extravagant, but she didn’t. She smiled and said, “Are those—”

“Yes.” Susannah turned to me and said, “My father gave me those for my sixteenth birthday. I want you to have them.”

“Really?” I looked back at my mother, to make sure it was okay. She nodded. “Wow, thank you, Susannah. They’re beautiful.”

She took them from me and fastened them around my neck. I’d never worn pearls before. I couldn’t stop touching them.

Susannah clapped her hands. She didn’t like to linger too much after she’d given a gift; she just enjoyed the giving of it. “Okay, what’s next? Jeremiah? Con?”

Conrad shifted uncomfortably. “I forgot. Sorry, Belly.”

I blinked. He’d never forgotten my birthday before. “That’s okay,” I said. I couldn’t even look at him.

“Open mine next,” Jeremiah said. “Although, after that, mine kind of sucks

in comparison. Thanks a lot, Mom.” He handed me a small box and leaned back in his chair.

I shook the box. “Okay, what could it be? Plastic poop? A license plate key chain?”

He smiled. “You’ll see. Yolie helped me pick it out.” “Who’s Yolie?” Susannah asked.

“A girl who’s in love with Jeremiah,” I said, opening the box.

Inside, nestled on a bed of cotton, was a small charm, a tiny silver key.

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