Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…
I’ve hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she’s the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.)
She snitched on me when I broke curfew.
I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend.
We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college.
But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we’d never cross became harder and harder to ignore…
**This is a standalone friends (to enemies) to lovers romance**Books in Series:Forget You Ethan Series by Whitney G.Books by Author:Whitney G. Books
THE FIRST LETTER I ever wrote was addressed to a boy in my first-grade class. His name was Nate Cloud, and even at six years old, my crush on him (and his light blue overalls) was overwhelming. My words were written in bright green crayon as a simple, "Do you like me" Circle yes or no."
That asshole circled no.
The second letter I wrote was to a girl in my library class. Her name was Ashley Donovan, and I desperately wanted to be her best friend. I wrote a full three lines telling her all the things we had in common"all the things that would make us the perfect set of friends. (Pink jelly sandals, a Barbie Dream House, and a collection of bright Beanie Babies.) My words were written on notebook paper, with a final question that read, "Will you please be my best friend" Circle yes or yes."
She didn"t circle either one.
She created her own option: NO.
I made it through first and second grade with a broken heart and zero friends, so I kept the rest of my letters to myself.
Until I met the boy who lived on my brand-new street, the boy who became my first best friend.
For all of three seconds.
He was the worst person I"d ever met in my life, and the very moment he quoted some bullshit about "keeping [his] friends close and [his] enemies closer," all while throwing me off my bike and kicking me to the ground, I was convinced that the word "friend" would never be a part of my vocabulary. I thought I"d never find someone who loved letters as much as me.
That is, until he became the first person in my life to ever write me back.
Not just once.
Not just twice.
Even though we hated each other down to our marrow, and we could never get along for more than twenty minutes at a time, we always wrote back…
Back Then: 7" Years Old
I COULD"VE SWORN THAT my new neighbor was supposed to be a boy…
That"s what my parents told me when the house down the street from us finally sold. They said, "Oh, they seem like such a nice family! They even have a son for you to meet. How nice will that be""
It would"ve been very nice because every family on our street was full of stupid girls. Not a single one of those girls liked me, and I didn"t like any of them either.
So, when my dad came into my room today and told me to get dressed to meet the neighbors, I was shocked when he took my action figures and returned them to my nightstand.
"I don"t think so," he said. "Rachel probably won"t want to see those."
"Rachel" Who is Rachel"" I asked.
"Your new neighbor down the street." He smiled so easily, as if those five words didn"t ruin any hopes I had of finally having a friend in this neighborhood. It was bad enough that we lived in the suburbs and it took half an hour to get to anywhere decent like the movies or the skate park. But now, the last house on our block housed the worst thing on the planet. A girl. Again.
Groaning, I slipped headphones and a CD player into my backpack"ready to tune out everything as soon as my parents talked about the boring stuff. I made my way downstairs and grabbed my mom"s usual "Meet the New Neighbors" cake off the counter. I followed her and my dad out the front door and down the sidewalk"rolling my eyes at the Cramer twins who were playing in their front yard.
"Hello, Mr. & Mrs. Wyatt!" They waved. "Hello, Ethan!"
"Don"t wave at me," I said.
"Ethan …" My mom narrowed her eyes at me. "Be nice."
"Hello, Clara. Hello, Joan." I forced myself to smile. The second my mom turned her back, they flipped their middle fingers up at me. I happily returned the favor.
When we made it to the new neighbors" house, a red-headed woman and her husband stepped out and smiled at us.
"Wow! I wasn"t expecting you to really bake us a cake!" The woman looked surprised. "It"s been a long time since I"ve had something home-made."
She bought it at the store. It"s not home-made.
As they ushered us inside, I hoped that their usual new neighbor conversation wouldn"t last as long as it usually did. They always talked about the same exact thing with every new family. Are the schools here as good as they say" What do kids do around here for fun" How cute would it be if our kids became friends"
"Well, look at you!" The woman bent down to my level. "I waved at you the other day when you were playing in your yard, but I don"t think you saw me. I"m Mrs. Dawson. What"s your name""
"Ethan Wyatt," I said.
"Well, Ethan Wyatt, I have a daughter named Rachel Dawson who looks like she"s about your age. Let me guess. You"re seven, right""