Sorry's Not Enough
Contemporary New Adult
If emotional wall-building were an art form, Charlotte would be a grand master. In order to hide emotional scars from the past, she builds an impenetrable fortress of attitude. At least she thinks it's impenetrable, until a summer writing workshop brings Steven into her life.
With his obnoxious ego and stupid good looks, he's somehow immune to her Stay the Hell Away from Me pheromones. What's even more bizarre is for the first time, Charlotte can't quite bring herself to mind. But the unexpected romance screeches to a halt when Charlotte and Steven walk into the same classroom at the start of the school year and find themselves on opposite sides of the desk. Steven's quick with the apologies, but sorry doesn't seem to cut it when you've just found yourself cast as a modern day Lolita, you know?
Trying to avoid the pull of forbidden love isn't how Charlotte had hoped their relationship would start. Being just emotionally distant enough, for long enough, that the guy she doesn't want to admit she loves gets tired of waiting isn't how she thought it would end, either. But she seems to be wired for self-sabotage and can't stop herself. When no amount of time or distance and no number of men can make her forget the comfort of Steven's arms, Charlotte must dig into her painful past and face the man whose betrayal destroyed her capacity for trust to begin with. And by the time she finds the courage to so, will “sorry” be enough to get Steven back?
Sanguinolent sunset. There's a word you don't see every day. Charlotte circled it with her red pen and drew a smiley at the end of the line, below where she'd called out a different phrase for being trite. She continued making notes in the margin as the others took turns giving feedback. By the time she was done marking up the poem, the paper was also sanguinolent.
She looked up when the group grew quiet. Her turn. She looked down at the poem again and hoped its author wouldn't be offended. What was his name? Steven.
“It's a little confused,” she said. There was a pause and a shuffle of papers.
“What don't you understand?”
She snapped her chin up and was taken aback by the force of his gaze. No adjective could adequately describe the shade of green staring back at her.
“I'm not confused. Your poem is.”