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Simply Crazy (Jaded #1)
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Forget apps, websites and singles events – clearly the best way to meet a guy is to move in next door, accidentally assault him and then demand a job at his company.
If that kind of charm doesn’t totally knock him off his feet, the next step is to build an army. If possible, try to recruit those closest to the target, such as his mom, sisters and closest friends. Sure, it sounds extreme and maybe a little bit crazy, but I’ve always subscribed to the old adage “No one worth having comes willingly.” Okay, I switched out some words there, but you get the point.
Caution: Even the most foolproof plans can have hiccups along the way. I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of things you should watch out for: Crazy ex-boyfriends who pop up out of nowhere like an evil jack-in-the box; Women who think a strategic nip slip is effective at landing a boyfriend; Co-workers who think it’s hilarious to prank you at work and then upload the videos to social media.
Still have doubts? No worries. I’ll show you how it’s done.
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“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
– Alice in Wonderland
“Blake, I don’t know about this. I mean, I love you and all, but you don’t even have a job here yet. That means you’re going to spend all your time helicopter sistering me.”
Pfffft. My sister. She gave me no credit.
“Listen, Chelle.” Short for Michelle, ‘coz I tended not to call people by their full names. One of my many quirks. “I get boundaries. I’m the queen of boundaries. I could write a book on them. Me and boundaries, we go way back. If boundaries were here right now, we’d fist bump each other.”
I set the bags dangling from my arms down on the kitchen counter. My apartment in New York might have been smaller than the one I’d been living in back home, but it cost twice as much in rent. And yeah, I didn’t have a job. But luckily, I’d always lived pretty modestly, so all the money I’d earned from the job I left behind had built up into a nice little nest egg. Though if I didn’t find something here soon, I could kiss that money buh-bye. I hadn’t expected crap to be so expensive in New York.
“I’m serious, Blake. My classes keep me busy constantly, and when I’m not in class, I’m studying. I don’t even have time for a social life. If you’re always hovering over me, trying to babysit me – which is entirely unnecessary, by the way – it will only make things harder.”
Pfffft. Chelle and her excuses.
“We both know why you have no social life anymore, Chelley. And I love you like a sister-“
“I am your sister.”
“But it’s time for you to try getting out there again.”
Michelle rolled her eyes and started pulling the groceries from the bags, avoiding the topic per the norm. Eventually I’d find a way to get her to face life and stop hiding. That’s why I moved from Tennessee to New York in the first place.
“Well, for tonight, sister of mine, you decide what we do. You wanna stay in and order pizza?”
Michelle paused in the middle of pulling a jar of spaghetti sauce out of the canvas shopping bag.
Yeah, you heard me. I had canvas grocery bags. Just doing my part to save the earth and keep the ozone from blowing up or whatever it is the kids said these days. Except no one was fooling me. I knew the real reason people didn’t use the plastic bags anymore was because they always break and all your shit falls out. But since saving the planet sounds better, I’m going with it.
“We just got back from spending a ton of money on food and you want to order a pizza?” Michelle asked incredulously.
“Chelley, Chelley, Chelley,” I tsked in my most patronizing tone. She pushed me away when I tried to put my arm around her shoulders, but I kept on undeterred. “It is common knowledge that food purchased at the grocery is not to be eaten right away. The rules are as follows: Go to the store hungry and buy way more than you need; Carry all your bags in one trip in an attempt to dislocate your shoulder; Order a pizza to treat yourself for nailing domestic life like a freaking pro.”
Michelle glared but pulled her phone out of her pocket without argument. When she ignored the fist I held out, I shrugged and fist bumped myself.
After a few hours of gorging on pizza and binging on Netflix, Michelle had to go back to her place and study. Ignoring her insistence that she didn’t need walked out, I grabbed my purse and locked the door behind me with every intention of jumping to the cab and riding with her to make sure she got home safely. No, that was not the helicopter sistering Michelle had accused me of. That was simply me being an awesome sister who also happened to be a teensy bit paranoid and overprotective – both undervalued qualities, if you ask me.
The plan was to wait until she climbed into the cab, then push her over violently and slam the door closed before banging on the back of the cabby’s seat and demand he go go go! Michelle knew me too well, though. She predicted my moves before I could execute them, and with one foot inside the back of the cab she turned and shoved me. Jerk. She laughed and gave me a taunting wave as they drove away.
As soon as I stepped back onto the landing of my floor, my phone dinged with an incoming text. I couldn’t help but groan when I saw the name of the sender.
Dan: I miss you
Oh, Dan. We’d dated casually for about six months before I decided to switch states. Breaking it off hadn’t been a difficult decision. He wanted to try the whole long-distance thing, but he and I were apparently living on totally different planets when it came to our level of commitment. Dan was nice and all, but I’d never seen a future for us. Seeing as how he’d never mentioned getting more serious, I thought he felt the same way. Obviously I was wrong. Even if I’d wanted to try with him, I’d never been good at splitting my focus. As in, I could only do one thing at a time, and since the whole point of my moving was to be there for Michelle, a boyfriend just didn’t fit the bill. Not to mention I had the hassle of finding a job and getting settled in to a completely foreign new environment. New York was literally the opposite of the small town Michelle and I had grown up in.