Click here to Download How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book by Jacqueline Firkins Language English having PDF Size 8.3 MB and No of Pages 234.
Buried inside Fluffy is a very slim, very non-fluffy bride-to-be. Her name is Karen, but she prefers to go by Kay-Kay. Her long brown hair is poker straight. Her narrow features are pinched into an expression of mild but palpable dissatisfaction. She pats down the organza ruffles that spill out from her waist. They bounce back into place as if determined to display their full glory. “It’s huge.”
How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book by Jacqueline Firkins
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A reedy girl in double topknots shakes her head in wonder. I think her name’s Hallie. She’s the bride’s younger sister. She’s wearing a navy spandex mini-dress and a skintight bolero. Every piece of clothing probably seems huge to her. The bride’s mother steps back, tapping a finger to her lips. “Is it supposed to be so . . . white?” she asks. The bride shoots her a glare.
“What should it be? Scarlet? Puce? Puke green?” A trio of the bride’s friends chimes in, all offering cheerful but bland support on how Kay-Kay would look beautiful in anything. The bride pouts, her mother scolds her, her sister offers a biting retort, a bridesmaid snaps back, and soon everyone is squabbling. I wait until the noise dims.
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Then I ask the bride to make a quarter turn to her left so I can continue pinning her hem. It’s a glamorous task. No doubt I’m the envy of all my peers. My mom enters from the back room, carrying a tray of fruit and cheese. Her sleek dark hair rises in a tidy twist, the perfect match for her equally sleek black suit.
We all wear black at Beneath the Veil, not because it’s timeless and chic, but because we’re not supposed to be seen. All eyes should be on the bride. My mom smiles as she sets the tray down next to several flutes of sparkling cider. Her smile looks warm and genuine, honed from years of practice. I’ve tried to mimic it, but I don’t have it in me.
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I can push out a bland compliment here and there, but the wedding industry irritates the crap out of me. It advertises a beautiful, blissful fairy tale. What happens in this shop is anything but. She’s taken on more custom work than usual this season, and it eats up time. She loves sewing, but she’s not great at setting limits on her workday, or on mine.
Tonight I head home on my own, trudging up our driveway shortly after 8:00 p.m. Since we live within a mile of downtown, the shop, and my school, I walk almost everywhere. I haven’t bothered to get a driver’s license, though I’ll have to reconsider that before college. Thankfully driving lessons can wait. I don’t know where I’d find the time this summer.
A week in and I’m already tired. Brides two and three weren’t much better than bride one. They’re probably really nice people most of the time, but weddings bring out the worst in people. I grab a single-serving lasagna from our well-stocked freezer. While my dinner heats up in the microwave, I fill the silence with a podcast about America’s excessive plastic consumption. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book
It’s guilt inducing, which doesn’t help my mood, but I can safely assume no one will mention holding hands, longing looks, and coffee dates someone did not try to ask me out on. I told Pippa about my run-in with Felix. Now she has a theory, one that made her determined to overturn my anti-dating stance. Phrases like “time to get back in the saddle” permeated our afternoon conversation.
I ignored them. If there’s one thing I’m certain about regarding my future, it’s that saddles won’t be involved. Through my kitchen window and out past a waist-high fence, I see Theo head out his back door into his yard. Now that we’re a week into summer vacation, I should check in with him about our plan.
As New Hope’s resident walking dictionary and all-around word nerd, he promised to help build my vocabulary in exchange for a few sewing favors. I’m retaking the SAT in August since my latest scores didn’t meet the bar for a number of key scholarships. Without hefty financial assistance, my college options will be limited. I can get an economics degree from a lot of schools, but I have my heart set on Bryn Mawr. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book
“Face it, Harper,” she says as our giggles die down. “You live next door to a total hottie. All that gorgeous hair, those perfectly arched eyebrows, that upturned mouth, and those dark eyes a girl can get lost in for days. If I woke up to that reflection in the morning, I’d forget to put on shoes, too.”
I inch backwards onto a scattered pile of papers as I try to picture Theo the way Pippa describes him, all dreamy and swoon inducing, but he just looks like Theo. “Please don’t tell me you’re trying to get me to date my neighbor now.” “Not you. Me.” Pippa sits up a little straighter, smoothing the front of her skirt. “You said he just went through a breakup, so he’s single, right?”
“Yeeeeaaah.” I eye her sideways. “You’d date a high school guy?” “I’m only a year out of high school myself, and a two-year age difference is hardly approaching cougar territory. So, yeah, I’d date a high school guy.” A teasing smile dents her cheeks. “As long as he daydreamed, sang in public, knew how to use a sword, and played the accordion.” How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book
Her smile widens as she waggles her brows at me. I start to laugh again, but the sound quickly dies. Pippa and Theo do kind of suit each other. They might even really like each other. Then again, they’re basically my only friends right now. One inappropriate grand gesture from Theo or one inadvertently insensitive comment from Pippa, and I’d be navigating the fallout, asked to take sides.
And also . . . “You can’t date him,” I say. “Not now, anyway. He’s on a love detox plan. He thinks he lives in a fairy tale. Then he crashes when he doesn’t get his Happily Ever After. It’s not healthy, so I’ve offered to teach him a few things about modern dating.” “You what?!” Pippa’s eyes go wide as a breathy chuckle slips out of her.
“What do you know about dating? You won’t even go for coffee with Flex.” I turn toward the gym. “Actually, I’m working on that.” She gasps and grabs my wrist. “You’re going to ask him out?” “I’m going to try.” I attempt to look happy about this idea, but a knot tightens in my gut. Asking Felix out sounded so easy when I was shaking hands with Theo on Saturday night, full of resolve. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book Download
Since then, every scenario I’ve played out in my head ends badly, whether Felix says yes, no, or breaks into a fit of convulsive laughter. Despite my worries, Pippa bounces on her knees, bursting with an open enthusiasm I’ve always kind of admired but never managed to emulate. Maybe I am a closed book, but thus far opening up hasn’t done me any favors. It hasn’t done anyone I know any favors, either.
“Fine. Bad example. My point is that you can’t keep pouring your time and energy into every girl you meet, assuming they’re all as primed to fall in love as you are. You’ll only end up crushed again. And I can’t fix your broken heart as easily as I can mend your tattered jeans. My sewing skills only go so far.” Theo flutters a sad smile as he wilts against me.
I trim his response to a few friendly sentences and a question that might engage Ginny in a conversation. We send the message and follow suit with two more girls, hoping at least one of them will respond and by the weekend I can coach Theo through the dos and don’ts of a first date. No flowers. No poetry. No open declarations of excitement and anticipation. No grand gestures. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book Download
Keep the conversation light and your expectations low. Accept that a first date might also be a last date. Learn to walk away without caring so much. Our more immediate task completed, Theo departs and I head upstairs to get ready for bed. Before turning out my light, I check the messages on my phone. I chime in on a group thread I’ve been neglecting with my friends.
I reply to a message from Pippa, letting her know that yes, it’s okay if she’s late for work tomorrow. I take one last look at Theo’s profile, confirming that his personality shines through, despite my curating. His intelligence is clear. His thoughtfulness and big heart, too. And that photo . . . His hair tips over his eyebrows, dense and unruly.
His jawline slopes gently toward the upturned lips I never noticed before tonight, quirking at the edges with a hint of irony. Even from the screen, his dark eyes light up my entire room, twinkling with pride and joy. His skin is flawless. His nose could’ve been carved by a master sculptor. His dimple peeks out from his left cheek, adding a compelling asymmetry to his face. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book Download
Theo finally texts shortly after 10:00 p.m., six hours after his date arrived at the coffee shop. I’ve been going nuts, ready to assemble a search party, certain Ginny wasn’t a teenage girl and Theo was being held at knifepoint until he venmoed the contents of his bank account to some thug with an eye patch and a set of brass knuckles.
The instant I get his text, I throw on a pair of sneakers and run to the windmill. Theo’s lying flat on his back, staring at the twinkly lantern with his ankles crossed and his hands laced behind his head. He doesn’t look my way as I sit beside him, tucking my legs in tight. A breeze drifts through the open windows, making his black waves dance across his forehead.
For the first time, I notice that the Funko Pop! knight on the windowsill also has shaggy black hair and distinctly angular eyebrows. Theo told me the character was from a book he read, but now I wonder if it’s a little more personal. While I look back and forth between Theo and the toy, he sighs toward the ceiling, making his belly rise and fall where his T-shirt doesn’t quite meet the top of his jeans. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book Free
“Whatever. He’s here. He’s gorgeous. I told him I’d come get you.” She tugs on my sleeve, drawing me away from the cutting table and into the main room. Felix is standing by the front desk. He’s in slim gray trousers and a plumcolored shirt that fits his body almost as snugly as his navy V-neck did last weekend.
I don’t know how he learned to dress so well—especially for a guy who spends most of his time in athletic gear—but I’m happy to reap the benefits. He waves when he spots me. I wave back. My mom’s still talking to her client on the other side of the room, but she catches my eye long enough to raise a curious brow. I’m not sure how I feel about her knowing that I’m dating someone.
Not great, I guess. Meeting the parents seems like a big step. It’s too soon, like Pippa tossing around the word boyfriend, or Theo doing the same with love. Anxiety creeps up my spine. I’m trying so hard to take this whole dating idea one day at a time, to keep the stakes low, but everyone around me keeps raising them. How Not to Fall in Love PDF Book Free
“Relationships. Dating. The non-technical stuff.” I blow on my coffee, filtering memories. “I haven’t had much reason to talk about any of that. My crushes all came and went so quickly, there was no point. Except for Liam, of course. You know how that went. I didn’t even think to tell her while it was all happening. Liam and I were off in our little bubble, away from the speculation of everyone we knew.
By the time I got home, what was I supposed to say? Hey, Mom, while I was away at math camp, I got super horny, lost my virginity to a guy who said he loved me but didn’t mean it, and now I feel like a total idiot but also really confused because I think I might’ve slept with him anyway, even if he’d admitted up front that he only wanted a fling? My mom doesn’t have relationships. She’s an unlikely resource for advice.”