The Ever After of Ella and Micha

By: Jessica Sorensen

To my readers, this one’s for you.





Acknowledgments


A huge thanks to my agent, Erica Silverman, and my editor, Amy Pierpont. I’m forever grateful for all your help and input.

To my family, thank you supporting me and my dream. You guys have been wonderful.

And to everyone who reads this book, an endless amount of thank-yous.





Chapter 1



Micha


I’m trying not to think of all the messed-up reasons why Ella wouldn’t show up to our wedding, but it’s fucking hard. After everything we’ve been through, she didn’t even call or leave me a note. My thoughts keep drifting back to the day after we kissed on the bridge and afterward how she told me that she loved me. I’d gone over to her house the next morning, ready to talk about it—talk about us—hoping she hadn’t changed her mind overnight, after she’d sobered up.

When I climbed up that tree and ducked into her room, all I found was an empty bed. She was gone and that was worse than just dealing with an Ella in denial over her feelings for me. I knew she loved me even if she wouldn’t admit it, and I could handle that if it meant she was still in my life. But having her gone, missing from my life, having no idea where she was, was like losing my arm—or my heart. And right now, I feel like I’m verging on that that place again.

The cab driver is moving at a snail’s pace down the road that leads to the secluded neighborhood Ella and I have been living in and it’s driving me crazy. He actually looked at Lila, Ethan, and me like we were the ones who were insane when we’d hopped into the cab and I told him to drive as fast as possible, not worrying about the speed limit.

“Can’t you drive any faster at all?” I ask, thrumming my fingers on top of my legs. “We’re barely moving.”

He shoots me a dirty look through the rearview mirror. “I’m driving the speed limit.”

“You say that like it’s okay,” I say, leaning forward toward the plastic window dividing the front of the cab from the back.

“Micha, relax.” Lila touches my arm, trying to calm me down. Her blond hair and red dress are damp from her jump with Ethan off a cliff into the ocean. They were having fun while we waited for Ella to show up. We all should be having fun. But now I’m being stood up.

Stood up. Shit.

I slam my palm against the plastic, losing my cool, something I rarely do, but all I keeping thinking about is that she ran. Again. “I swear to God, you need to press down on that gas pedal or else—”

“Micha,” Lila hisses, her blue eyes firm on me as she grabs my arm and jerks it away from the plastic window while the cab driver narrows his eyes. “That’s not helping.”

I rake my fingers through my hair and then undo the top button of my shirt because it’s suffocating me. Lila hits redial on her phone, trying to call Ella for the hundredth time, but it goes straight to her voicemail. Ethan’s hardly said anything, but I know what he’s thinking—that I should have expected this. Except that’s the thing he doesn’t get. Yes, Ella does this kind of stuff a lot but it’s because she’s either scared or confused or hating herself. It’s what she’s done since we were kids. I know this, just like I know that no matter what, we’ll end up together.

Finally, the cabbie pulls up in front of the small single-story house I’ve shared with Ella since earlier this year. I don’t even bother waiting for the car to come to a complete stop before I shove open the door. I toss a few bills through the slot in the window and stumble over my boots as I step out onto the curb. Ethan shouts at me to settle the hell down, but I shrug him off and jog across the lawn, stomping over the flowers tracing the path to the front door.

I remember when we first came to look at the house. My mom knew a Realtor in San Diego and she said she could hook us up with a cute house we could rent for dirt cheap, due to the fact that the owner was an old woman who bought it back when houses were affordable. Ella and I had taken our time wandering around looking at the small bedrooms, the narrow but decent kitchen, and the wide backyard. I could tell Ella was pretending that she was uninterested, but I could see it in her eyes that she loved the house.

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