Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Title: What Happens Now
Megan Delaney is not a people person. Being stuck on a road trip with a stranger to attend her cousin Lily’s wedding is possibly her worst nightmare. Even if she can’t wait to blog about all the exciting places she’ll see. And surely, even when said stranger is terribly cute.
What she soon discovers is that Zac Mitchell isn’t some average guy. In fact, he couldn’t be more out of Megan’s league. Add in how they’re polar opposites, certainly the road is going to be long and winding. But as the two strangers get to know each other along the way, they start to open up about past wounds and break free of the things that hold them down.
One hot summer, a great escapade and a grand wedding bring them together- much closer than they could’ve ever imagined. When Megan finally can’t deny her connection with Zac, heading back home brings her to reality. Is being with Zac worth stepping out of her comfort zone?
Can a person be two different things at the same time? I’m not talking about having a split personality. Dissociative personality disorder, my psychologist Mom would correct me. Whatever. That’s not the point.
Sometimes, I feel like I have two personas: there's me, then my blogger self. As I type a post and write my thoughts without hesitance, I’m the latter. I talk on the page, to my readers, as if they were close friends.
Truth be told, even though people say internet friends aren't real friends, I can’t help think otherwise. It may be because I have so few in actual existence that I fool myself into believing that. I just prefer to avoid people. A recluse, my English major roommate would call me.
But when I blog, I feel less like one.
Ready To Leave, Ready To Live
A wide open road sounds both exciting and terrifying. I’m braving it today and heading back to my home state, Tennessee, for my cousin’s wedding. Lily, who I love like a sister, and her fiancé, Dave, are getting married this week and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
It’s a long way from California but at least I’m not alone. I’m driving with Dave’s brother, a boy I’ve never met. It’s far from an ideal setup and yet I still can’t help feel pumped to go on this excursion. Driving through several states and seeing America is bound to make for an epic road trip.
Before I take off, I want to share my must-haves:
Megan’s Road Trip Essentials
1. Good music - Fact: great tunes equals a great road trip. I’m not a windows down, blown away hair, loud music kind of girl but there’s something about driving down the freeway that begs for a soundtrack, preferably Springsteen.
Stay tuned on the blog for my road trip posts! Write soon!
I quickly scan what I wrote and hit publish with some conviction.
Alas, the confidence I have when I write a blog post fades in an instant. I bite my nails as I review the final post to look for any blunders and find none.
I roll my neck and shoulders to try and relax. Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the knots forming in my stomach.
“Are you all set?” I close my laptop and lean back in my desk chair to look at Brooke Hamilton. My college roomie and best friend.
With my status as someone who was anything but a people person, I’m surprised I managed to find someone in college who I easily clicked with. Then again, I’m surprised to find someone who loves cookies as much as I do. Brooke loves to bake them and I love to eat them.
“Yup.” My voice falters. Now that I’ve posted about the trip on my website, the fact that I’ll be leaving town and setting off with a mysterious stranger today is really sinking in. When was the last time I even spoke to someone I was unfamiliar with that wasn’t forced by group projects or Brooke trying to get me to meet new people?
Brooke sits on my bed, facing me. “You’re not having any second thoughts about this, are you?”
“It’s uncanny how you know exactly what’s on my mind.” I tell her with a bemused smile.
“Maybe I should tell Lily I’ll take a Greyhound bus instead.” Thinking aloud is something I only ever do around Brooke.
“Remember what I told you about that time I rode one?” She raises an eyebrow. I can’t help but shudder. Not only did she have to be terrorized by a large cockroach under her seat, she also had to witness an overeager couple going at it and moaning like there was no one else on the bus.
That was enough to make me accept Dave’s offer to ride with his brother. I’m an idiot to even reconsider riding a Greyhound but at least I could have solitude, provided I put on my earphones to drown out any unwanted noises. I wouldn’t be subjected to several days driving with some guy making awkward small talk.
“Look,” she says with a worried expression. “I was surprised when you agreed to the offer but I think a trip will be good for you. You need an adventure.” I understand what she means. Spring semester of my freshman year didn’t go like I thought it would. It sucks when you fail at the only thing you thought you were good at.
“If it makes you feel better, I made you cookies. They’re in your bag.”
“White chocolate macadamia?”
“And cashew caramel.”
It’s crazy how we’ve only known each other for months but I already adore Brooke as much as Lily, who I grew up with.
“You’re the best- you know that right?”
“I could hear it more often.” We grin at each other. Just like that my worries about being on the road fades away. Almost.
I check my phone. It’s past ten in the morning and I’ve got no messages. Zac, Dave’s brother, is late. I sigh, disappointed that my ride was neither prompt nor concerned enough to text me about his delay. I should’ve asked Lily for his number, instead of just telling her to give him mine.
That said, a part of me is glad I won’t have to deal with meeting him yet.
“Now, make sure to update me when you’ve left, okay?” Brooke picks up her bag, ready to head to work at the local cafe. I nod in response and follow behind then hug her before she sets off.
I clear my throat. “See you in a week.”
She squeezes my arm and gives me one last encouraging smile. “Have fun.”
My hands start to feel clammy as I close the door. I’m just about to sit down to keep my knees from shaking when I hear two knocks.
“Did you forget-” I start to ask as I throw the door open.
It’s not Brooke.
“Hi,” greets a boy with sky blue eyes. Given his striking resemblance to Dave, I have no doubt that this is Zac.
In a split second, I decide it will be a long excruciating drive to Tennessee.