Between the Pages: A Novel

Between the Pages: A Novel by Amanda Richardson Read Free Book Online

Book: Between the Pages: A Novel by Amanda Richardson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amanda Richardson
toiletries away. I set my laptop on top of the small white desk. When all is said and done, I place the picture of Chloe on my bedside table along with the five books I thought to bring along—two of which are Emerson’s.
    I quickly change out of my khakis and blouse, throwing on a pair of jean shorts and a tank top. It is the beach, after all. I pull my hair back into a high ponytail and open his very first book, which is my personal favorite.
    Underground Love is the kind of book that really makes you think about life. The premise is appealing—two people are trapped underground for weeks, relying on the kindness of their kidnapper for meals and showers. They start out as complete strangers. And yet, the man and woman begin to fall in love. The whole thing comes to a head when they’re finally rescued. They don’t want to leave their captivity, because those five weeks were the happiest of their lives.
    I flip through it, rereading his beautiful words. Now that I know this is the only book he’s written himself, it makes it that much more special. A few minutes later, I’m studying Emerson on the sleeve of the hardcover. He’s much younger in the picture—and his hair used to be longer. Emerson Whittaker grew up on Long Island but now resides in the East Village. He is currently a professor at New York University and teaches multiple creative writing classes.
    I snap the book shut. He taught at NYU? I went to NYU, and I majored in Creative Writing. I don’t remember his name on the course list, so he must’ve left before I had a chance to take one of his classes. This book was published in 2008, and I started in 2008. I make a mental note to ask him about it later. No wonder all of my other professors pushed his books so often—they worked with him.
    This guy is getting more and more mysterious as the day goes on. I want to know more. Without thinking, I walk to my door and slowly open it. I can hear Brady clanking around downstairs in the kitchen, but other than that, the coast seems clear. I tiptoe to the room next door. Using my super-sleuth skills, I turn the handle and feel relieved it’s not locked.
    Yesss.
    It’s a regular office. There are no dead hookers. I leave the door cracked so I can listen for any noises from Brady and walk slowly to the desk. Papers are scattered all over. A laptop sits haphazardly on top of some of them, and below that, a birch desk. A camel-colored leather desk chair sits tucked in neatly. A large bookcase houses multiple copies of his four books. I finger the spines of all of them. I’ve read them all—and they’re all mind-blowing.
    I saunter back over to the desk. There are no pictures—something I was hoping for. Something personal. But this room is just about as impersonal as you can get. I eye the papers on the desk. They’re all handwritten notes, scattered thoughts, phrases, random sentences . . . my eyes catch one of the sentences.
     
    Her eyes were always evil, like a snake: predatory and narrowed. They had the power to cause the most pain of all. That was the day I learned what it meant to hate, and I learned it from my mother.
     
    I’ve barely comprehended the words when I hear a loud creak. I look up, shocked. Emerson is standing in the door, watching me with a look of abhorrence. His fists are balled at his side, and his face is flushed. I feel my stomach drop as low as it can go, and the nauseating feeling of the blood draining from my face makes my knees weak. WHY do I have to be such a snoop?
    “Emerson, I—”
    “You shouldn’t be in here.” He doesn’t move. I want to run out of this room, out of this house, and never come back. If I could crawl underneath this house, I would. I might be terrified of bugs, but I’d do it just to get out of this situation. I’d even swim out to sea—my ultimate fear. Right now, I’d do just about anything to get away from his angry face. That’s right, Emerson is downright enraged. To see him furious is

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