Slammed, p.21
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       Slammed, p.21

         Part #1 of Slammed series by Colleen Hoover
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  “Dammit, Gavin. I knew it was you! I knew it,” Will says.

  Gavin laughs. “Will was known for his daily naps in his car. Particularly during Mr. Hanushek’s History class. So, we followed him to the parking lot one day and waited until he was off in la la land. We got about twenty five rolls of duct tape and wrapped him inside the car. There had to be six layers of duct tape around his car already before he finally woke up. We could hear him screaming and kicking at the door all the way back to the school.”

  “Oh my god. How long were you in there?” I ask Will. I don’t even hesitate when I speak to him. I like that we're interacting again, even if it is just as friends. This is good.

  He cocks an eyebrow at me as he responds. “Now that’s the kicker. Mr. Hanushek’s history class was second period. I wasn’t cut out of the car until my dad called the school trying to find me. I don’t remember what time it was, but it was dark.”

  “You were in there almost twelve hours?”

  He nods.

  “How’d you use the bathroom?” Eddie asks.

  “I’ll never tell,” he laughs.

  We can do this. I watch Will as he interacts with Eddie and Gavin; they’re all laughing. I didn’t think it would be possible before-a friendship between us. But here, right now, I do.

  Nick walks back up to the table with a sour look on his face. “I don’t feel so hot. Can we go?”

  “How much did you eat Nick?” Gavin says as he stands up.

  Eddie looks at me and tilts her head to the front door, insinuating it’s time to go. “See you tomorrow, Mr. Cooper,” she says.

  “Are you sure about that Eddie?" Will asks her. "You and your friend here aren’t taking another courtyard nap tomorrow?”

  Eddie looks back at me and clasps her hand to her mouth as she exaggerates a gasp and laughs. Will and I stand up as they all file out.

  “Just leave Kel at my house tonight,” he says after everyone is out of earshot. “I’ll get him to school tomorrow. They’re probably asleep by now anyway.”

  “You sure?”

  “Yeah, it's fine.”

  “Okay, thanks.”

  We both stand there, not certain how to part. He steps out of my way. “See ya tomorrow,” he says. I smile and shuffle my way past him as I catch up to Eddie.


  “Please, Mom? Please?” Kel says.

  “Kel, y’all spent the night with each other last night. I’m sure his brother wants some time with him.”

  “No he doesn’t,” Caulder says.

  “See? We’ll stay in our room. I swear,” Kel says.

  “Fine. But Caulder, I’ll need you to be at your house tomorrow night. I’m taking Lake and Kel to dinner.”

  “Yes ma’am. I’ll go tell my brother and get my clothes.”

  Kel and Caulder run out the front door. I squirm in my seat on the couch as I unzip my boots. This dinner she’s referring to must be it; the big introduction. I decide to press her a little further.

  “Where are we going to dinner?” I ask.

  She comes to the couch and sits, grabbing the remote to flip on the TV.

  “Wherever. Maybe we’ll just eat here. I don’t know. I just want some alone time, just the three of us.”

  I pull my boots off and snatch them up. “The three of us,” I mumble as I walk to my room. I think about that as I throw my boots in my closet and lay on the bed. It used to be "the four of us." Then it became "the three of us." Now, in less than seven months, she’s making it "the four of us" again.

  Whoever he is, he will never be included in a count with Kel and I. She doesn’t know I know about him. She doesn’t even know I’ve already labeled him and her as "the two of them," and Kel and I as "the two of us." Divide and conquer. That’s my new family motto.

  We’ve been living in Ypsilanti for a month now and I’ve spent every single Friday night in my room. I grab my phone and text Eddie, hoping her and Gavin won’t mind a third wheel tonight on their movie date. She texts me back in a matter of seconds, giving me thirty minutes to get ready. It isn’t enough time to thoroughly enjoy a shower, so I go to the bathroom and touch up my makeup. The mail is in a pile on the bathroom counter next to the sink, so I pick it up and look at it. All three envelopes have a big red post office stamp across them. Forward to new address is stamped over our old Texas address.

  Eight more months. Eight more months and I’m moving back home. I contemplate hanging a calendar on my wall so I can start marking down the days. I toss the envelopes back on the counter, when the contents of one of them falls to the floor. When I pick it up, I notice the numbers printed in the top right-hand corner.


  It’s a bank statement. It’s an account balance. I snatch up the rest of the mail as I run to my room and shut the door.

  I look at the dates on the bank statement and then sort through the other envelopes. One of them is from a mortgage company so I tear it open. It’s an insurance invoice. An invoice for our house back in Texas that I was told we sold. Oh my god, I want to kill her. We aren’t broke! We didn’t even sell our house! She tore my brother and I from the only home we’ve ever known for some guy? I hate her. I have to get out of this house before I explode. I grab my phone and throw the envelopes in my purse.

  “I’m going out,” I say as I walk through the living room toward the front door.

  “With who?” she asks.

  “Eddie. Going to a movie.” I keep my replies short and sweet so she won’t see the fury behind my voice. My whole body is shaking I’m so angry. I just want to get out of the house and process things before I confront her.

  She walks over to me and grabs my cell phone out of my hand and starts pressing buttons.

  “What the hell are you doing?” I yell as I grab it back out of her grasp.

  “I know what you’re up to, Lake! Don’t pretend with me.”

  “What am I up to? I’d really like to know!”

  “Last night you and Will were both gone. He conveniently had a babysitter. Tonight, his brother says he’s spending the night and half an hour later you’re going out? You aren’t going anywhere!”

  I throw my phone in my purse and wrap my purse across my shoulder as I head to the front door.

  “As a matter of fact I am going out. With Eddie. You can watch me leave with Eddie. You can watch me return with Eddie.” I walk out the front door and she follows me. Luckily, Eddie is pulling up in the driveway.

  “Lake? Get back here! We need to talk,” she yells from the doorway.

  I open the door to Eddie’s car and I turn to face her. “You’re right mom, but I think you’re the one that needs to do the talking. I know why we’re having dinner tomorrow! I know why we moved to Michigan! I know about everything! So don’t you dare talk to me about hiding stuff!”

  I don’t wait for her to respond as I get in the backseat and slam the door.

  “Get me out of here. Hurry,” I say to Eddie.

  I start crying as we drive away. I never want to go back.


  “Here, drink this.” Eddie shoves another soda across the table as she and Gavin watch me drink-and cry. We stopped at Getty’s because Eddie said their pizza was the only thing that could help me right now. I couldn’t eat.

  “I’m sorry I ruined your date,” I say to both of them.

  “You didn’t ruin it. Did she babe?” Eddie says as she turns to Gavin.

  “Not at all. It’s a nice change of routine,” he says as he shoves his pizza into a takeout box.

  My phone is vibrating again. It’s the sixth time my mother has called, so I hold down the power button and throw it back in my purse.

  “Can we still make it to the movie?” I ask.

  Gavin looks at his watch and nods. “Sure, if you really feel like going.”

  “I do. I need to stop thinking about this for a little while.”

  We pay our bill and head to the theater. It’s not Johnny Depp, but any actor w
ill do right now.


  “She puts her hands against

  the life she had.

  Living with ignorance,

  Blissful and sad.

  But nobody knows what lies behind

  The days before the day we die.”

  -The Avett Brothers, Die Die Die

  Chapter Ten

  We pull up to my house a few hours later. I don’t immediately get out of the car as I take a few deep breaths, preparing for the fight that’s about to go down.

  “Layken, call me later. I wanna know everything. Good luck,” Eddie says.

  “Thanks, I will.” I get out of the car and walk up to the door as they drive away. When I walk inside, my mom is lying on the couch. She hears the door close and jumps up. I expect her to continue yelling but she runs to me and throws her arms around my neck. I stand stiff.

  “Lake, I’m so sorry, I should have told you. I’m so sorry.” She’s crying.

  I back apart from her and go sit on the couch. There’s tissue paper all over both end tables. She’s been crying a lot. Good, she should feel bad. Awful, even.

  “Dad and I were going to tell you before he-”

  “Dad? You were seeing him before dad even died?” I stand up and pace the floor. “Mom! How long has this been going on?” I’m yelling now. And crying again.

  I look at her, waiting for her to defend her repulsive behavior but she is staring at the table in front of her.

  She leans forward and cocks her head at me. “Seeing who? What do you think’s going on?”

  “I don’t know who! Whoever wrote you that poem in your nightstand! Whoever you’ve been going to see every time you run errands. Whoever you’ve been saying I love you to on the phone. I don’t know who and I really don’t care who.”

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