I Thought of You Read Online Jewel E. Ann

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Angst, Contemporary Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 91
Estimated words: 89978 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 450(@200wpm)___ 360(@250wpm)___ 300(@300wpm)

wanted to conquer the world.

She wanted to gaze at the stars.

It’s been twelve years since I last saw Scottie Rucker. A grim prognosis has upended my life, and no amount of my hard-earned money can fix it. So, after leaving a note on the nightstand, I search for my first love—I search for life.

When I find her in Austin, working at a quaint general store and living in an RV behind it, those twelve years vanish. She’s exactly how I remember her.

Scottie thinks our reunion is a small-world coincidence, and I’m not ready to tell her the truth. After we rekindle our friendship, she convinces me to work part-time at the store while she pursues her budding relationship with Koen, a welder and the grandson of a customer.

Scottie’s ability to live in the moment is exactly what I need. But how do I convince her new boyfriend that I’m not his competition? And what happens if my heart changes its mind?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

—Albert Einstein




Two months ago, I slid a handwritten note onto the nightstand next to a white tissue box and a gold-framed photo of a blue-eyed Himalayan cat.

I can’t do it. Please forgive me.

Can’t or won’t?

“Can’t” made me weak. “Won’t” made me selfish.

Either way, it was with an insufferable and unavoidable pain that I’d come to that conclusion.

Conclusion or decision?

Hell, I didn’t know. It didn’t matter.

Nothing could prepare a person for that kind of moment. But they’d left me with no choice. Well, that wasn’t true. There was always a choice. Was mine an unforgivable one? That was hard to say. After all, they were my people. I would have died for them, but not like that.

My new place doesn’t have a picture of a Himalayan cat on the nightstand, my favorite black weathered recliner from college, or a warm body waiting for me in bed.

It’s a fully furnished two-bedroom home in Austin, Texas. It’s all very Pottery Barn. There’s a tufted crushed velvet sofa in twilight blue, mid-century wood tables with fake flowers in vases, and marble bookends flanking a collection of everything from Stephen King to Margaret Atwood.

Wood floors.

Modern rugs.

And a few contemporary pieces of framed art—red poppies and birch trees on cobalt canvas.

In the primary bedroom, above the bed, there’s a photo of a young boy on a bicycle with a yellow lab chasing him down a sidewalk. The boy looks like a younger version of myself.

Maybe it’s that I had a yellow lab.

Maybe it’s because my parents made me ride my bike everywhere while my friends were in their rooms gaming.

Maybe it’s his twiggy arms and legs and wavy brown hair in a mess. Since then, I’ve added muscle and discovered that a little hair gel goes a long way to taming thick, wavy hair.

Whatever it is about that boy in the photo, it’s comforting.

Before five in the evening, I add a blue Honda CRX to the driveway. It has a dent in the rear bumper, which complements my new life and motto: Perfection is overrated. My whole life has been overrated. For a decade, I’ve been the happiest, miserable overachiever. It’s a complicated oxymoron that makes sense if one takes a step back to see the whole picture.

However, I’m six weeks into remedying that situation—well on my way to underachieving the hell out of my life.

Now, there’s only one thing left to do. Find her.

Scottie Rucker looks exactly as I remember—wayward, cinnamon-brown hair just past her shoulders. Bangs brush her eyes, always a quarter inch too long. When she laughs, her head shakes, and her chin lifts to flip those unruly bangs away from her gleaming eyes of gold and brown.

Always hopeful.

Always pleasant.

I don’t have a single memory of her that’s less than perfect. Even our breakup felt like fate because she said all the right words. The world makes sense with Scottie in it. And right now, I need things to make sense.

A whoosh of cool January air whistles when a customer exits Drummond’s General Store, leaving me and a handful of other customers milling around the aisles of industrial shelving surrounded by white shiplap exterior walls with sliding ladders. This place bleeds nostalgia.

There’s a vintage soda fountain with a draft arm, an ice cream cabinet, and rows of syrups. Bulk goodies—everything from fireballs and taffy to Tootsie Rolls and Bit-O-Honeys—line the far end of the bar with sparkly red swivel stools. A stand with fresh floral bouquets anchors one end of the register, while a display for local artisan-made goods anchors the other.

“Let me know if you need help finding anything.” Scottie’s melodic voice floats through the air.

Twelve years ago, I met her by accident at a modern-day apothecary a few blocks from Independence Hall in Philadelphia the summer between my junior and senior years of college. My dad conned me into working at his law firm for the summer in hopes I’d consider changing my major. But I’ve always been a numbers guy: mathematics and economics.

And Scottie’s always been the girl who wears healing stones instead of diamonds and thrives on thirty minutes of meditation in the morning instead of eight ounces of coffee.

A torrential downpour around two in the afternoon on a Thursday in June sent me dashing into the corner apothecary. To avoid being an asshole using her place of business for cover, I emptied my wallet on miscellaneous shit I’d never heard of, including a Tiger’s eye bracelet that was supposed to help me achieve wealth and vitality while protecting me against negative energy.

Perhaps it did, at least for that summer. I still have that bracelet.