Escaping the life people want you to live shouldn’t stop you from living the life you deserve.
Working in a pretzel shop required a far different skill set than smiling for the camera and tossing my long red curly hair around. In fact, my mass of hair had to be contained rather than flaunted. And my pretty face and contagious smile brought in single dollar tips instead of thousand-dollar contracts.
But I was free from the expectations, the control, and the constant barrage of people touching my hair. Well, I wasn’t really free from the last one, but at least I could tell them not to.
It was my version of a gap year. I was starting over, proving that I could get by without relying on my looks.
Then a year and a half later, Scott walked back into my life. It had been no secret that he’d adored me, and the look on his face told me not much had changed. Except his body had filled out nicely, the perfect addition of muscle and confidence.
But I wasn’t ready to date, or do anything that tied me to someone else’s agenda.
I needed Scott to take no for an answer as easily as he had the first time he asked me out two years before. But that wasn’t happening, and I was finding him harder to resist.
Returning from working in Alaska, my bank account was overflowing, I had a five-year plan to travel the world, and I was completely unprepared to bump into Meri again. Even harder to swallow was that she was dressed up as her most despised, curly, red-headed movie princess at a Halloween party.
When she’d proclaimed she was escaping the stress of her modeling career and starting a new life, I hadn’t expected her to end up back home making pretzels for minimum wage. But I was thanking my lucky stars because I had one month to show her how happy I could make her before I left for Argentina.
That was also the problem. If I succeeded, how could I leave her and go to work?