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Chapter One: Charlotte

As Charlotte stirred her non-fat, skim latte and stared off into the horizon from the water’s edge, she knew she had to come clean. She couldn’t keep her secret any longer, and people were starting to whisper all over town. Summer was here, the season she waited for all year, and she certainly didn’t want it spoiled by a nasty rumor. Well, or so she had said it was…until now.

“It’s true,” Charlotte said, picking at the fringe on the side of her Espadrille wedge. She and Sadie sat on Adirondack chairs at the back of Landfall, a favorite spot for Woods Hole locals to congregate on a sunny day with fresh-squeezed grapefruit cocktails and views clear to Martha’s Vineyard.

images  “I knew it!” Sadie exclaimed. “You are such a good liar! But I totally knew. I could see it all over your face.” Charlotte actually wasn’t a good liar at all. In fact, she was the worst liar in the book. She was like “The Anti-Pinocchio,” or so Sadie labeled her. Sadie and Charlotte had been friends since childhood in Woods Hole. They met at summer camp at The Children’s School of Science in Seashore Life at the age of seven, collecting snails and painting their shells with pink nail polish as part of a study on snail congregation patterns. But instead of painting the snails, Charlotte and Sadie chose to sneak off behind the jetty on Stoney Beach, onto the private side, and paint their toenails pink instead. They’d been best friends ever since.
  “I hate myself,” Charlotte said. “John will never forgive me.”
“You’re right about that,” Sadie replied. She didn’t mince words, something Charlotte, at other times, appreciated. She was a straight-shooter, no BS, unlike some others in their friend group.
“Just say it. I need to hear you say it out loud,” Sadie cajoled, swilling the fruit juice around her mouth.
“I did it. I slept with Ben. The night of the art center gala.”
The words sliding out of her mouth, like a pent-up dam bursting, landed right in the pit of Charlotte’s stomach. It may not be a good summer after all, she thought.
But maybe she was wrong.

 

 

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