Hell's Hotel

Hell's Hotel by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Hell's Hotel by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lesley Choyce
what the very first step in her plan had to be. She didn’t want to put it off. There’d be no arguing, no insults, not even any hard feelings. She just wanted to get Josh on the phone and tell him that it was over. She just wanted to be her own person for a while. She wanted her independence.

Losing Jenn
    Tara arrived home to a large, empty house at six o’clock. There were two messages on the voice mail. The first was from Josh.
    â€œHey, I’m sorry I haven’t called you sooner. Man, it’s been a hectic week. I can’t believe I’m going to actually win this student-council thing. But look, that’s not what I’m calling about. I know I shouldn’t do this on a stupid voice mail but, like I say, my life is pretty complicated. I think I better just say this and get it over with. I feel kind of bad about doing it this way ...”
    There was a pause. Then he was cut off. She figured the second message must be Josh, part two. She wasn’t sure she was ready to hear it. This wasn’t the way things were supposed to work out. She knew what was coming next. How could the jerk do this to her?
    She hung up and walked around her room. She looked at the plaques she’d been awarded for academic achievement, her old skating trophies, all the little treasures she’d accumulated. And the photographs. When she came to the photo of Josh tucked into the corner of her mirror, she shredded it and threw the pieces around the room. Then she went back to the phone to hear the other message.
    â€œLook,” the big jerk said, “it’s me again. I almost didn’t call back, but I figure you deserve to hear this. I only want to be honest and fair. Isn’t that the way it’s always been with us?”
    Tara had an impulse to throw the phone onto the floor and stomp on it. She resisted.
    â€œI just think we’ve outgrown each other,” Josh said. “I think we should see other people. I want us to stay good friends though.”
    And that was it. Tara lay down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling. Right then she hated Josh. How could he do this? She couldn’t believe her bad timing. She had missed out on dumping him first. She knew that her reaction wasn’t logical. It should have been comical. They both wanted the same thing.
    But she got dumped first. Josh had said the words. This was hard to take. It really hurt. She wanted so badly to talk to someone. Why wasn’t her mother home, or even her father? They were off doing their own thing.
    On a long shot, she phoned Jenn’s parents’ house.
    â€œSorry, she’s not here, Tara. I don’t know where she is. You know what she’s like.”
    Tara did know what Jenn was like. Screwed up, running from one problem to the next, changing like the wind. Free. Independent. Probably on the street, or with her new loser boyfriend, Rob. Why couldn’t she ever listen to Tara’s advice? And why couldn’t Jenn ever be someplace that Tara could find her when she wanted to talk?
    Realizing that she didn’t want to spend the evening alone, she phoned up Carla and then Lauren, but they were both out. “What’s the use?” she said out loud.
    Tara walked downstairs to the kitchen, picked up the credit card left by her father, and phoned Tony’s Pizzeria.
    â€œWhat’s your most expensive one?” she asked. “Good. I’ll have two of them. Delivered.”
    Tara admitted to herself that she wasn’t that hungry. It wasn’t the pizza that was important here. She just wanted to try racking up a big bill on her father’s credit card. She wanted to piss him off. Maybe he’d actually scream at her for this one. Maybe he’d stop being such a nice guy.
    Tara survived an evening alone with too much pizza and too many hours watching MuchMusic. It all seemed to blend together into one hip hop/ metal/rock/pop wave of music and commercials, except

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