Friday, February 21, 2014

London Falling: Chapter Three

London Falling by T.A. Foster, Chapter Blitz




BOOK SUMMARY:
It’s London’s senior year and she only needs one class to graduate. She just didn’t expect her final assignment: fall in love.
Communication 224 has a reputation for giving out the most unique projects of the semester. When London James and Beau Anderson signed up for the class they had no idea they would be paired up together, much less spend an entire semester working on their final grade.
Professor Garcia tasks them to produce a study on the hit reality show, Love Match, a show about strangers falling in love on over the top dates. London and Beau decide to debunk the popular show’s fantasy portrayal of romance. Determined they can date the entire semester and not fall for each other, the classmates share blogs about their dates and start a website where everyone can follow their dating experiment. Resisting their growing attraction for one another is harder than they thought.  
London is in for the toughest class of her college career. The headstrong and success-driven student discovers there might be more important things in life than an A. 


Chapter 3

CHAPTER THREE

“London, you’re the most graceful person I know. You took professional ballet lessons. I’ve never seen you fall. Like, ever.” Nina was busy preparing a homemade icepack for me with a plastic bag and some ice tray cubes.

I managed to hobble into our one-story brick house and plant myself on the couch. I needed more than ice after the performance I gave today.

“I used to be the most graceful person you knew. I can’t remember the last time I fell. Probably when I learned to ride my bike.” I winced as she held the icepack on my leg.

“At least it’s not bikini season. That’s going to look terrible.”

“Thanks.” She was right. I could already feel a goose-egg size knot forming under my jeans.

“Tell me. What’s the project? I’ve got some time before I have to catch the bus for lab.” She had collected a few throw pillows from around the living room and handed them to me on the couch.

Just the mention of Communication 224 sent a wave of nausea through my system.

“It’s terrible. I don’t know what I’m going to do. The nutty professor used an experimental computer program to pair us off in class. Then each group was assigned a reality show for the semester. We have to prove whether the show is real or just part of Hollywood commercialism by living out the show. She told us to be it. Whatever that means.”

“Really? That’s it? What show did you get?” Nina’s eyes lit up. She would have been perfect for the assignment. She was America’s resident reality TV fan. The only reason I had even heard of half of the shows was because of her.

Love Match.”

I should have covered my ears. The squeal from my roommate was the high pitch equivalent of a howling banshee. “Love Match? I love that show! The dates are so romantic and the guys are so cute. Everyone falls in love and they travel all over the world. There are private jets and champagne. Oh, you’re so lucky you got that one.” Nina was getting more excited with each detail she shared.

“Calm down. It’s not that great. I didn’t tell you about my partner.”

“Oh, who did you get? Tell me he is super hot.”

“Beau Anderson.” I moved the pack of ice farther down my thigh.

“Wait. You mean the guy who wrote the bucket list blog?”

“Yeah, but that’s not all. He’s not only Bucket List Guy, he’s also Bike Guy.”

“What? The guy from last week who plowed you down is Beau Anderson and he’s your Communication 224 partner?” Nina was laughing.

“What’s so funny? Are you laughing at me? I’m in pain over here and panicking about this class.”

“Stop worrying, London. But really, what are the chances you would get paired up with him?”

“It’s not going to be that bad, right? I really need this grade.” And I needed a dousing of Nina’s reassurance.

“You’re going to be fine. Love Match is my favorite. I’ll walk you through it, one candlelit step at a time. No worries.” Everyone loved this show.

I was relieved. At least I could count on Nina’s love for bad TV to pull me through.

“Tell me. What’s Beau like? I’ve never seen him.”

I thought about my new partner. With all of the confusion and theatrics in class, I hadn’t really noticed much about him. Well, not much other than he must be a human heater. T-shirts in icy January kind of stood out. Then there were those perfectly sculpted arms. I could feel my cheeks warming again.

“He’s a guy.”

“That’s it?” Nina carried her backpack to the front door. She sounded disappointed.

“Yeah, I mean he looks like any guy on campus. Brown hair, brown eyes. Not that interested in class—you know—a guy.”

“Huh. That’s too bad. I thought that maybe someone who came up with all of that cool stuff on the list would be hot. You know, for your sake.” She giggled and clutched her bus pass.

I wasn’t sure why I held back on the arm details or the dark eyes—they were definitely worth mentioning, but Beau Anderson was just like every other guy I had met in my other classes. They were in school for things unrelated to expanding their academic horizons. I couldn’t see how he was any different.

“No, not hot. Sorry to ruin your little blogger crush. You better go. You’ll miss the bus.”

“You sure you’re ok by yourself? I can skip lab if I need to stay and help you.”

“I’m good. I think a nap is in order.” I shimmied into the assortment of pillows on the couch. The sun still wasn’t shining and it was freezing outside. With both roommates out of the house, a nap was a perfect end to this Bronte-esque afternoon.

“I’m jealous. Ok, I’ll see you after class.” Nina closed the door behind her.

I nestled into the couch and pulled the quilt nicknamed, “ugly quilt,” around my shoulders. Candace’s grandmother had given it to her when we moved into the house last year. The three of us spent the entire summer before our junior year planning our house décor. We wanted it to look retro chic, which is challenging on a college student budget. Candace did her best to fake a smile when she opened the package from her grandmother that arrived during the first week of classes. We laughed so hard that the three of us were in tears making fun of the orange and brown patches sewn together with pink thread. It was never supposed to be visible in the living room, but after a late night movie fest, I discovered it was comfy and warm. I became the champion defender of Ugly Quilt, and it had a spot on the back of the couch ever since.

My eyes closed, and somewhere in my mind’s replay of the awkward meeting with Beau, I fell asleep.

***

Through the fog of my afternoon nap, I thought I heard the distant sound of my phone ringing. I shoved Ugly Quilt away and fished for my cell on the floor next to the couch.

I swiped at the screen. “Hello?”

“London? Did I wake you up or something?” I didn’t recognize the male voice on the other end of the call.

“Um. Who is this?”

“Beau. Your Comm partner.”

I blinked hard. It was dark outside and I had no idea how long I had been sleeping. My leg was aching, and the icepack Nina had made was a bag of room temperature water.

“Oh yeah. Hey, Beau. What’s up?” I realized that I didn’t add his number to my contacts after he called me in Manning.

“I was just talking to my roommate, and his girlfriend is over here. Anyway, I told them about Love Match and she’s a huge fan.” I was starting to feel like maybe I was the only girl on campus who didn’t watch the dating show. “She said there’s a marathon on tonight on the Timeless Channel. Maybe I could come over and we could watch it. Get caught up before the new season starts.”

I shook the sleepy fog from my head. “Ok. Sounds good. When does it start?”

“In an hour, I think. Where do you live?”

“I’m off campus, just a few blocks back from Franklin Street off Mallette.”
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