The Lying Hours Page 3

I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders, not one in the clouds.

The shadow of a figure appears in front of the bathroom window, her outline a silhouette behind the curtain. My fingers pause over the textbook page I’ve been reading and, with a guilty stare, I study the shape of her body. I can tell she’s removing a shirt, dragging it up over her head slowly as if she knows I’m sitting here watching. She dips, probably removing her bottoms and Christ, I feel like such a fucking creeper.

I swear I’m not doing it on purpose. The bathroom window is right fucking there in front of me, front and center, and this is the first time I’ve ever really noticed anyone in that room taking their clothes off. Honest to God, I barely pay attention.

Ashamed, my eyes cast downward, trained on my textbook, mind spinning. Sex on the brain.

Do not touch your dick while you’re watching, Abe. Do not touch your fucking dick.

I don’t touch my dick.

I’ll wait and do it later when I’m in bed, when the cloudy image of a nameless, faceless girl with giant boobs removing her clothes is erased from my brain by the biology literature in front of me.

Line after line, word after word filters through my mind, not one bit of it being retained.

I cannot concentrate.

Zero focus.

My broad chest heaves, frustrated, and I run a hand through my thick, dark hair.

My eyes stray to the cell phone I have flipped upside down so it doesn’t distract me from studying, and I snatch it up, thumb gliding over the smooth surface.

I hesitate a few moments before deciding which app to open. Check my Snapchat and add to my story, send a short video to my younger brother, another to my younger sister.

My thumb lingers on that damn dating app, and as much as I protest and pretend to hate the freaking thing, parts of me resent the fact that Jack has the balls to use it. Well, not himself, but at least he’s putting himself out there by going on dates.

I’m hiding behind his persona, pretending to be him for fuck’s sake, too damn busy and scared to date someone myself.

No loss there. So few of the girls on LoveU have caught my interest. Most of them come off as way too fake, and don’t get me started on all the cutesy animal filters most of them use. How the hell is a dude supposed to know what a girl looks like when she has a CGI dog tongue hanging out of her mouth?

So fucking weird.

Let’s not forget to mention the fake eyelashes. Spray tans. Fake tits and push-up bras. Drawn-on eyebrows.

Jesus, I’d be afraid to run my fingers through my date’s long hair—what if I accidentally pulled a clump of it out?

I’m looking for someone real.

Just haven’t found her yet.

Not even after scrolling through hundreds of profiles.

I tap on the app, pretending to be bored by the entire process. The truth is that I am interested in finding a girlfriend myself.

But I sure as shit am not going to find her on some stupid app.



“Honestly. Where have all the nice guys gone?” I grab a few fries from my tray, dip them in mayonnaise—then ketchup—popping all four of them into my mouth at the same time, gesturing around my table of friends. “Where. Where’d they go?”

My friends stare back, all of them either in a relationship or happily single.

I’m neither.

I like to complain about my single status because I’ve been actively searching for love—in all the wrong places, apparently.

Bethany smirks. “You know what they say—all the good ones are either gay or taken.”

“Or in the library, so forget that—those guys are never going to hit on you, and you’re never going to meet a future doctor because you never go to the library.” Thanks Hannah.

“You know where the building with books is, don’t you? At the end of campus next to the science department…?” Bethany teases with a nudge.

I chuckle. “Ha ha, very funny.”

It’s funny because it’s true, but I’m not about to admit that out loud. I haven’t been in the university’s library since my sophomore year—and that was because I had to sign in for a special project. I don’t even know where the study rooms are on campus, which might explain my less than stellar grade point average…


“Right.” My best friend Hannah dangles a carrot from her fingertips and points it in my direction. “And if they’re studying to become doctors and engineers, they’re not going to the bars on the weekend. Girl, they’re busy gettin’ that degree! Which…” Her brows go up, the unfinished sentence dangling in the air like her uneaten carrot.

…which is what you should be doing.

She doesn’t say the words, but I’ve heard them from Hannah a dozen times. It’s almost like she’s in cahoots with my mother, being the mother-hen type herself. She loves doling out advice, Hannah with near perfect grades.

Perfect hair. Perfect boobs.

And she’s almost always right.

I ignore her implication. “I love you, Hannah, but now isn’t the time to bring up my shitty grades. Midterms haven’t been released, so let me enjoy my ignorant bliss. Right this second I want to talk about my love life—or lack thereof.”

Her shoulders shrug. “I’m just sayin’.”

She’s always just sayin’.

Hannah rolls her pretty brown eyes and bites down on the end of her carrot, chewing thoughtfully. “You’re constantly complaining like you have no options.”

“Oh. And what are those?”

“You can let one of us set you up on a blind date.”

“We tried that once, remember? Cliff’s fraternity brother? Didn’t talk the entire time then called me for a second date incessantly? That guy?”

“I asked you to forget about that.”

“Can’t. He ordered chicken tenders for dinner.” What guy does that?

“I said I was sorry.”

I harumph and catch Bethany’s eye roll.

“What about the university’s new dating app?”

“Uhhh,” I groan. “How about not.”

Nope. I’m not doing a dating app. The only guys online are desperate or want an easy hook-up, and I’m not looking for either of those things.

I want a long-term relationship. Something real. I’m not going to find that swiping my finger on stupid profiles.

“Why are you so quick to shoot it down? Jessica met her boyfriend on LoveU.”

Our friend Jessica nods. “You love Aaron.”

We all do.

I really like her boyfriend. Aaron is awesome, even though he’s not remotely my type. And therein lies the problem; I’m beginning to think my type doesn’t exist in the real world. He only lives on paper and in my imagination, neither of which are convenient.

So what is my type? Believe me, I’ve given this matter hour upon hour of consideration, mostly after my friends tell me I’m being too picky. Or too judgy.

My type is tall. Not crazy, Big Foot tall, but at least six feet—minimum—would be amazing. An Adonis. Someone who will make me feel petite and small, and feminine. Dark hair—God I love dark hair—and I wouldn’t mind if some of it was on his chest, either. No facial hair—that’s gross, and makes me think of my father, who has a beard and always has food stuck in it.

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