The bucket flew through the air, nailing her in the face. Her eyebrow spouted blood instantly, and she dropped to the ground crying.
The memory is so clear, it's like it just happened yesterday. I can't believe I forgot about that. I can't believe I forgot her.
“Oh my God, I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you. The last time I saw you, you were—”
“Wow, look at you now. You're not a little kid anymore.”
“Nope. And unlike you, I don't forget things. I also don't run away in silence to avoid hurting people.”
“What the hell does that mean?” I ask, my head pulling in as I'm taken back by what she's saying. “What did I do to you that was so bad you won't rent me a room?”
I did nothing to this girl. We barely even hung out when we were kids because she's five years younger than me. She's Ryder's little sister, of course she was around all the time. But it's not like I ever did anything to hurt her.
She leans over the desk, resting her elbows on the top. “You know my brother told me someone was coming today to try and buy our farm, but I never thought it was you. There's no way in hell I'm going to rent a room to someone who wants to suck our town dry. And I'm certainly not going to rent a room to the girl who broke my brother's heart.”
Broke his heart?
I have no clue what she's talking about. Her brother was my best friend when we were kids. It's not like leaving was easy on me either. At the time I wasn't ready for a new life, but I embraced it, and now it's who I am.
I didn’t want to be the poor girl, I didn’t want to be the girl with nothing. I didn’t want to be the girl working dead end jobs just to make ends meet.
I'm Jenna Snyder, a fashion student at New York School of Design, and senior adviser for my step-father's company, Blackstone Reality. The old Jenna is gone, and I'm happy with who I am today.
But breaking Ryder's heart? That doesn't make any sense. We weren't dating. We weren't young and in love. We were just friends.
“What are you talking about?” I ask, staring at her blankly.
“Look, when you left without saying goodbye it killed him. I watched him walk around for months in a fog. He wasn't the same. You did that. And now I'm doing this. Leave the motel before I have you removed.”
“Get out, go find another place to stay because you ain't staying here,” she barks as she cuts me off.
“Where am I going to go? Do you want me sleeping in my damn car?” Holding out my arm, I point out toward the parking lot. “I mean come on, there's nowhere else to stay for miles.”
Melody cocks a brow, her mouth agape as she taps a pen against her palm. “I don't really care where you go. All I know is you're not staying here.” Her eyes drop down to the crossword puzzle she's working on and she leans back in her seat.
She's really serious about this.
Snatching my small bag off the floor with force, I throw open the door and go back to my car. This is ridiculous. Who the hell does she think she is?
Sitting in the driver's seat, I'm so pissed. None of this is going the way I planned. I was going to come in, get the papers signed, and be back home by tomorrow.
Ryder's being stubborn, his sister is just being straight nasty, and now it looks like I'm stuck sleeping in my damn car.
Pulling out my phone, I search to see where the nearest hotel or bed and breakfast is. Turns out the closest one is an hour and half away. That isn't going to work for me.
Laying my head back, I close my eyes and try to think if there's anyone else I can call. An old friend, a long lost family member, anyone who might be willing to take me in for a night.
There's no one. Not a soul. All my family is moved away. Moving to New York erased everything. I have no long lost friends to call. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks. There is one person I can try.
I know what to do. . .
There's only one solution that my mind keeps harping on. It's hard to say no to a girl in distress, especially when she's looking you straight in the eyes. Saying no over the phone is so much easier. But if I'm right there, if they can see the stress on my face, I know I won't be turned away.
Being stubborn is one thing. Having a spine is another.
And I've got both.