The Unhoneymooners

Page 39

“This isn’t fair. You were in an impossible situation.”

I shrug. “I mean, it’s actually totally fair. I got a free vacation. I didn’t have to lie about it. It’s just my luck he showed up, and I got caught.”

Natalia rounds the counter to hug me, and I’m swallowing every few seconds just to keep from crying, because the last thing I want is for Mom to worry about me, when—although she doesn’t know it—she’s going to need to save all her maternal sympathy for Ami.

“Call your father,” Mom says. “Have him give you some money.”

“Mami, I’m not going to ask Dad for money.”

But Mom is already looking at Natalia, who picks up her phone to text my father on my behalf.

“Let me talk to David,” Tía Maria says, referring to Tío Omar and Tía Sylvia’s oldest son, the owner of a pair of popular restaurants in the Cities. “I bet he has a position for you.”

There are some benefits to having an enormous family: you’re never on your own to solve a problem. I don’t even care if David would have me washing dishes—the prospect of a job is such a huge relief I feel like I’m melting. “Thank you, Tía.”

Mom gives her sister a look. “Olive has a PhD in biology. You want her to be a waitress?”

Tía Maria throws her hands up. “You’re going to look down your nose at a job? Where’s her rent going to come from?”

“No one in this family is too good for any job that helps us pay our bills.” I step between them, kissing Tía Maria’s cheek and then Mom’s. “I appreciate any help I can get.” After Butake, I applied for all the local jobs I’m qualified for anyway, and only Hamilton offered me a position. Right now I’m so exhausted I’m not feeling picky. “Tell David I’ll call him tomorrow, okay?”

At this point in the day, I’m running on fumes. With at least one stress settled—the prospect of a job—my body deflates and all at once I feel like I could fall asleep standing. Although the food they’re making smells amazing, I know I’ll have a fridge full of it tomorrow and am not at all hungry right now. I throw a mumbled “Good night” to them and no one argues when I shuffle down the hall to my bedroom.

Flopping on my bed, I look at my phone. I have a couple of texts from Ethan I’ll read tomorrow, but I open my messages with Ami. She texted me about an hour ago.

Holy shit, Ollie! Dane told me about your job!

I just tried to call you!

I’ll call you tomorrow.

Okay, sweetie. Love you

Love you too

Dreading the conversation that I’m going to have with my sister tomorrow, I drop my phone onto my bedside table and pull the comforter over my head without bothering to get undressed. I close my eyes and fall into a restless sleep to the sounds of my family in the next room.

      chapter seventeen

Because the early bird gets the worm or whatever, Ami is at my door before the sun is even fully up. She’s clearly already gone to the gym, all swinging ponytail and dewy complexion. She sets a bag with a set of clean scrubs on the back of the couch, which means she’s heading to the hospital from here. If the bounce in her step is anything to go by, Dane hasn’t said a word about last night.

In comparison—and we are nothing if not consistently on-brand—I’m tired, not yet caffeinated, and I’m sure it shows. I barely slept last night, stressing over paying rent, what I need to say to Ami this morning, and what will happen with Ethan when we finally talk about all of this. I have no plans for today or tomorrow, which is a good thing considering I need to call David and beg for a job.

Once I opened Ethan’s texts from last night, I saw there were only two, and they said, simply, Call me and Headed to bed but let’s talk tomorrow. Part of me is glad he didn’t bother trying to apologize in texts because I’m not a huge texter, and another part is mad he didn’t even try. I know I need some distance until I talk to Ami, but I’ve also grown so used to having near constant contact with Ethan and I miss him. I want him to chase me a little, since I’m not the one who messed up here.

Ami comes inside, embraces me tightly, and then bounds into the kitchen for a glass of water. “Are you, like, totally freaking out?”

I’m sure she means the job situation, so when I say, “Um, yes,” she really has no idea the scope of my anxiety right now. I watch her take down half the glass in a long gulp.

Coming up for air, she says, “Mom says David is going to hire you at one of his restaurants? That’s awesome! Oh my God, Ollie, I can come in on the slow nights and it’ll be just like when we were kids. I can help with the job search, or your résumé, whatever.”

Shrugging, I tell her, “That’d be great. I haven’t had time to call him yet. But I will.”

Ami gives me a look that is half-amused, half-bewildered that I seem to have forgotten how our family operates. “Tía Maria called Tío Omar, and Tío Omar got in touch with David, and you’re all set.”

I laugh. “Oh my God.”

She swallows, nodding. “Apparently he has a waitress position at Camelia for you.”

Huh. His nicest restaurant. I love my family. “Cool.”

This makes Ami laugh in her disbelieving Oh, Olive way. “ ‘Cool’?”

“Sorry,” I say. “I swear, I am so emotionally wrecked I can’t even get it up to be excited right now. I promise to do better when I talk to David later.”

She sets her glass down. “My poor Ollie. Is your stomach feeling better?”

“My stomach?”

“Dane said you weren’t feeling well.”

Oh, I bet he did. And funny thing: as soon as she mentions Dane, my stomach does roll over. “Right. Yeah, I’m okay.”

Ami tilts her head for me to follow her as she carries her water into the living room and sits on the couch, legs crossed in front of her. “Ethan ended up leaving early, too.” She must note the look of surprise on my face because she raises a brow. “You didn’t know?”

“I haven’t talked to him since I left.” I lower myself down beside her.

“Like at all?”

I take a breath. “I wanted to talk to you first.”

She frowns, confused. “To me? Is this about how weird he was being?”

“No, I—What do you mean?”

“He was just really quiet, and about twenty minutes after I got there, he said he was going to head out. Dane said he probably had the same bug you had.”

I clench my hands into fists, and then imagine what it would be like to slam one of them into Dane’s smug face. “Actually, I wanted to talk to you about Dane.”


“Yeah. He . . .” I pause, trying to figure out where to begin. I have gone through this conversation a thousand times, but I still don’t have the right words. “Do you remember when Ethan and I first met?”

Ami purses her lips together as she thinks back. “At some picnic or something?”

“The State Fair. Pretty soon after you and Dane started dating. Apparently Ethan thought I was cute, and when he mentioned to Dane that he wanted to ask me out, Dane told him not to bother.”

“Wait, Ethan wanted to ask you out? How did he go from that to hating your guts, all in one day?”

“It’s sort of a long story.” I tell her about seeing Ethan, thinking he was hot, how he was sort of flirty . . . and then his reaction when he saw me eating. I explain that it was a misunderstanding, but I can tell she gets it—we’ve both always struggled with our curvy genes, and objectively the world treats thin women differently. “But I guess Ethan had asked Dane if it was cool if he asked me out, and Dane basically said I wasn’t very nice, and not to bother. Since I thought Ethan was being a jerk about the food, I was distant to him, and then he just assumed Dane was right, and that set our entire dynamic into motion.”

Ami laughs like this is a silly joke. “Dane wouldn’t say that, honey. He’s always hated that you two couldn’t get along. He was genuinely so happy when he saw you two at the airport.”

“Really?” I ask. “Or is he just saying that because it’s what we all want to hear?” I stand from the couch and move to sit on the coffee table in front of her. I take her hand in mine. Our hands are similar in so many ways, but Ami has a glittering diamond on her ring finger.

“I think . . .” I say, still focused on our entwined fingers. This is so hard to say—even to the person I know best in the whole world. “I think Dane wanted to keep me and Ethan apart because he didn’t want Ethan to let it slip that Dane was seeing other women when you were first together.”

Ami jerks her hand away like she’s been shocked. “Olive, that’s not funny. Why would you say that?”

“Listen to me. I don’t know the exact dates, but Ethan said something in Maui about you and Dane not being exclusive until right before the engagement.”

“Ethan said that? Why would he—”

“He assumed you knew. But you and Dane were exclusive the whole time, right?”

“Of course we were!”

I already knew this, but I’m hit with a spike of vindication nonetheless. I know my sister.

She stands and walks to the other side of the room. Ami is no longer bouncy and postworkout-giddy. She’s quiet, brow furrowed. My sister fidgets when she’s anxious, and right now she’s tugging on her ring, absently spinning it around her finger.

Being a twin means oftentimes feeling responsible for the other’s emotional well-being, and right now all I want is take it all back, pretend I’m joking and travel back to a time when I knew none of this. But I can’t. I may never know what my ideal relationship looks like, but I do know that Ami deserves to be enough for someone, to be loved completely. I have to keep going.

Tip: You can use left and right keyboard keys to browse between pages.