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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 13)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(13) by Samantha Young
  • It was awkward and stilted… and painful… and I was thankful when Claudia got home because I had an excuse to get off the phone.

    “I’ve got a date with the TA!” Claudia yelled as she stepped into the apartment.

    I heard Jake groan on the other end of the line.

    “Claudia’s home,” I said dryly.

    “What she said… is that the kind of thing I have to tell Beck?”

    “I don’t know. I’m not privy to the bro code.”

    “Shit,” Jake muttered and I took that to mean under the bro code, he was obligated to tell Beck what he’d heard.

    Claudia appeared in the doorway grinning, her eyes widening at the sight of me. “Oops, sorry, you’re on the phone.”

    I smiled at her and said to Jake, “That’s my cue to go, I guess.”

    “Wait. I’m, uh… I was actually calling to invite you to Lowe’s birthday party. It’s at the end of this month. We’re in off-campus housing together but Beck has friends at Bobb. One of the halls on campus. They’re letting us throw the party there. It would really mean a lot if you and Claudia would come.”

    See him again? So soon? “Uh… I don’t know…”

    “You should come. It’ll be—wait. Lowe wants to talk to you.”

    I sat up, not knowing what to make of the invite and if I was perhaps reading too much into it to think that this was some kind of plan of Jake’s to get me back.

    “Charley,” Lowe’s warm voice sounded in my ear. “You’ve got to come to my party.”

    More than a little taken aback he was inviting me after his weirdness in the bar two weekends ago, I said, “Are you sure?”

    “Of course. This summer wasn’t the same without you and Claud. Don’t make my birthday suck without you.”

    “Let me just ask Claudia.” I covered my phone with my hand and turned to my expectant friend.

    “What’s going on?”

    “Lowe and Jake are inviting us to Lowe’s birthday party at Northwestern at the end of the month. You in?”

    She bit her lip. “Are you?”

    I shrugged.

    And then, Claudia nodded. “Tell them we’ll be there.”

    Feeling nervous at the mere thought of seeing Jake I said, “You sure?”

    “Positive.”

    I put the phone back to my ear. “We’ll be there.”

    “Great. I’ll text you the details. See you then.”

    “Bye.”

    “Here’s Jake. Bye, Charley.” After some rustling, Jake was back on the phone. “Charley.”

    “Hey. I better go, but I guess we’ll see you in a few weeks.”

    “Great.” And he did sound like he thought it was great. It felt like a fist was squeezing my heart. “We’ll talk later.”

    Yeah, because that’s what friends do and I’m an idiot. “Later.”

    Once I’d hung up, I made a face at Claudia. “You think that was wise?”

    “You could’ve said no.”

    “Well, you could stop making soup,” I growled.

    Claudia snorted. “Way to focus your anger elsewhere.” She wrinkled her nose. “It does kind of smell in here, though, huh.” She threw her bag down and collapsed on the couch. “So, Jake’s calling you?”

    “Well, I am the idiot who said we could be friends.” I shoved my papers aside. “I just didn’t think he’d actually enforce said friendship.”

    “He seems to be dealing with your break up quite well…”

    I glared at her. “Yeah? So?”

    “How do you feel about that?”

    “Right now? I’m thinking I want to throw your soup on you.”

    She laughed. “I’m just saying… you seem kind of pissed that he’s doing okay.”

    “Not pissed,” I huffed. “Confused. I’m a little hurt it’s not killing him like it’s killing me, okay. I think he’s as upset as I am, but then he acts like he’s not.”

    “A bit like what you’re doing?”

    My mouth fell open.

    Claudia smirked.

    I threw a cushion at her. “If I want a rational conversation, I’ll call Alex.”

    Chuckling, Claudia got up off the couch and started for the kitchen. “Let’s have soup.”

    “Let’s talk about the TA,” I called after her.

    She smiled at me over her shoulder. “I found him. He’s a grad student now. So hot. He said yes within an instant of me asking him out. Apparently he wanted to ask me out sophomore year, but he didn’t think I was interested. I have got to get less subtle, Charley.”

    “Oh yeah, because you’re a real shrinking violet.”

    Two seconds later, an oven glove smacked my head.

    “Subtle.” I threw it back in her general direction as I opened up my textbook.

    Bobb was part of Bobb-McCulloch Halls on the north campus of Northwestern. It was a plain brick building that wouldn’t have been very inviting if not for the stream of students flowing in and out and the far-off beat of music coming from somewhere inside.

    “This might not be such a good idea.” I stared nervously at the building.

    “We could just go back to the hotel,” Claudia suggested as she stood by my side.

    It was amazing how quickly the last few weeks had flown by. I spent my days studying, answering random texts from Jake, talking on the phone to Mom and having one-worded conversations with Dad, and holing myself up in the apartment. Alex would stop by sometimes and ask me to come out for drinks, but I was steadfast on my path to reclusiveness. While I did all this, Claudia studied, ignored phone calls from her parents and Beck, and went on a few dates with Will the TA. Unusually for Claudia, she didn’t talk about the dates and I didn’t ask.

    I’d spent the interim weeks between the invitation and the actual party worrying about seeing Jake again and I had no doubt by how quiet Claudia was on the subject that she was anxious about facing Beck. She had major reservations, but I knew she put them aside for me because it was my first time back in Chicago since… well, since everything.

    I felt guilty being there for this party when I should’ve been there long ago for a different reason altogether.

    I looked at my friend, grateful for her support. “The hotel?”

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