AltogetherBy: Brill Harper
About This Book
The day I find the words, “Die Bitch” carved into my dorm mattress, I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for the whole college experience and think I should just pack up and go home. It’s not like I’m having the time of my life anyway—I’m your basic late bloomer. A socially awkward freshman who’s never even been kissed.
My best friend from back home has other ideas, though, and somehow convinces her older brother and his friend to take me on as a third roommate in their house near campus. Her very hot brother and his equally gorgeous best friend. It’s basically chiseled bodies, piercing eyes, strong hands, and testosterone twenty-four-seven at my house. They’re the kind of guys a nerdy girl like me could never even dream about. Though, that doesn’t stop me from my lurid fantasies.
But the day Shane finds my secret notebook, the one where I outline my plan to lose my virginity using the scientific method, he offers me another proposition: He and Fletch will tutor me until I’m ready to take what I learn from our lessons out of the house and into the wild.
Now I’ve got two virile men giving me a very adult education, and the one thing I’ve always been good at is being a star pupil. The best part is I don’t have to choose—I get them both and can literally do anything I want to them.
Except keep them.
When your day starts out with the words DIE BITCH carved into your mattress, it’s probably not going to be a stellar one.
I tilt my head at my bed, maybe hoping it says something else from a different angle. It doesn’t.
It’s not like I was even hoping today would be stellar. I was expecting to do some laundry. Study for my chem test. Revel in the solitude of my dorm room while my roommate was out of town.
I stare at the sharp words and realize her creepy presence looms large whether she is in the room or not.
I slump into the nearby desk chair clutching the stripped-off bottom sheet to my chest. I’m overreacting. It might not even be Sami that wrote...er...slashed...the warning. Maybe the words were carved there a long time ago, and I just haven’t seen it before. Sami is odd, but is she that far gone around the bend?
It has to be random vandalizing of school property that I somehow just missed.
Except I know it’s probably not. I don’t just not notice things. Part of my “charm” is my over-attention to detail. My mind is tumbling over as many scenarios as it can to find a plausible explanation for why anyone, least of all my roommate, would hate me enough to want me to die. Or at least scare me into thinking they do. I’m not generally memorable enough to cause strong feelings one way or another. I keep to myself. I’m quiet. I don’t leave a mess.
I’m boring as fuck.
My phone vibrates loudly on the cheap particle board desk next to me, and I jump off the chair and squeak at the unexpected noise. My heart is fighting its way up my throat, and I take a few deep breaths before looking at the screen.
I push the green button. “I miss you so much,” I expel more than say to my very best friend. Really my only friend.
A pause. “Are you okay, Penelope?”
My mouth is a little parched, actually, so I swig from my water bottle before answering. “Sorry. Yeah. I just...you know.” Not sure I can do this I want to say, but don’t. She doesn’t need to hear me say that out loud even though I’m sure she suspects it already.
The deal had always been that Jenna and I would attend Cascadia State University together, that we would be roommates, but Jenna got a last-minute offer from an art school in California, and no way was I going to get in the way of her pursuing her dreams.
Unfortunately, Jenna Fletcher is my only real friend. Also my opposite in just about every way. From her boho wardrobe to her extroverted passion for hanging out where, cue internal shudder, people congregate. Luckily, opposites attracted us to each other in elementary school. I think it started when she pity-invited me to sit with her at lunch one day. And then every day after until she moved away this summer, leaving me to figure all this social stuff out on my own.
Over the years, she dragged me to a few parties and sporting events in high school, but for the most part, we had our outside lives that we lived separately from our friendship. Which was fine. And it worked. She had her friends, and I had my books, and we had each other. But without her now, I have zero idea what I’m doing. Nobody drags me to parties anymore. Nobody explains social interaction to me when I get confused. And I get confused a lot.