Roommates (Roommates #1) - Erin Leigh Page 0,1

in my life she approves of. “It’s only one more year and then he’s done law school, and you can be together full time. Plus, he’s planning something for this fall, some sort of getaway one weekend.”

“He always is.” I say it as nicely as I can. I hate it when she reads into my words. Sometimes I just mean what I say. “It just feels like this last year is going to take the longest.”

“He’s two and a half hours away. I’m sure if you have to see one another you can figure it out. Hartford isn’t so far from Princeton.” She lifts a permanently arched eyebrow. “Though I will say, I don't understand why you have to take this job in Hartford in the first place. You could live here and work somewhere close by. There have to be computer jobs that are commutable.”

I take a breath and fire every bit of ammo I have, “Mom, we’ve talked about this. It’s best for me to pay my own way for the year and not cost you and Dad any more than I already have. Valuable life experience comes from paying your own way. Dad agrees. And I need the time to get to know myself.” I glance about the room that has started to seem more like a prison than a haven in the last four years. “It’s time I lived on my own, even if it’s just for a year, so I can get a feel for being independent. This isn’t about William and me.”

“Yes. I know.” She licks her lips as her eyes do a tour of the room with mine. “I did read somewhere that couples who spend some time living on their own do better than couples who move right in with one another from their parents’ houses.” Of course she goes to the marrying of William with this.

She has a plan.

“See!” I let her have that one and ignore my want to point out that I’m also twenty-two, far too old to live at home. But I refrain from bringing up age. She feels that twenty-two, about to turn twenty-three, is still a very small kid. Being their only child, I’ve never had that sibling to run interference for me. I’m their sole focus. And while it’s been lovely, it’s also annoying as hell.

I close the box and do one last look at the room that I have spent my version of a lifetime in. “I guess that’s it.”

When I look back, her bright-blue eyes are watering, making them look like sapphires. She blinks and wipes, shaking her head, blocking out the sadness. She’s a master of it. “Luckily, I wore waterproof mascara.” She sniffles and forces that winning Banks family smile across her face. “Your father will grab this last box. Do a quick turn about the room and ensure you have everything.” She turns and vacates the premises before she has to endure the feelings any longer.

I don't do a turn about the room. I’m only moving an hour and a half from home. I suspect if I’m missing anything, I can come back and get it.

The hour and a half makes me laugh. According to her, I might as well be moving to Seattle or China. Hartford is the other side of her world.

It’s lucky she’s never asked me how I feel because then I’d have to admit I think it’s not quite far enough. But I know it’s the only way I’m ever leaving this house unless I get married.

New York is expensive for a single girl. My parents forbid me to live with Sami. And my job offer is in Hartford.

This is my best chance at some growing up.

It started out that she made me stay at home to keep costs down when I went to college but when a cost-free alternative came about, I saw the writing on the wall. She never wanted me to leave. She’s controlling and needy.

When she forbade me to live in Manhattan with Sami, I knew I was never getting out of here. Not without causing shit I didn't want to cause.

I love my mom, but I need some space. I fear the dark places I might go to get it. Middle children go to the dark places for attention. Only children go there for some peace.

But she always has an argument for everything. When Sami offered me free living in Manhattan, she used her ability to sway my dad and told