East Coast Girls by Kerry Kletter
English | 2020 | Romance, Contemporary Fiction | ePUB | 3.4 MB
They share countless perfect memories—and one they wish they could forget.
Childhood friends Hannah, Maya, Blue and Renee share a bond that feels more like family. Growing up, they had difficult home lives, and the summers they spent together in Montauk were the happiest memories they ever made. Then, the summer after graduation, one terrible night changed everything.
Twelve years have passed since that fateful incident, and their sisterhood has drifted apart, each woman haunted by her own lost innocence. But just as they reunite in Montauk for one last summer, hoping to find happiness once more, tragedy strikes again. This time it’ll test them like never before, forcing them to confront decisions they’ve each had to live with and old secrets that refuse to stay buried.
It was mid-July, when the sun shined the memory of every good summer before it, and the days wandered like beach walkers, hot and indolent, catching chance breezes off the ocean. They’d stopped at the fair on a whim on their way back from Montauk, were supposed to be home hours before, but the vibrancy of live music and crowds and the feeling of a party not yet over beckoned them, so they lingered, wanting to stay inside this future memory a little longer.
The photo booth was Hannah’s idea, and now they erupted out of it into the flash and shimmer of daylight, giddy with the theater of posing. The image spat out like a lottery ticket and Hannah reached for it. But Maya, ever impatient, yanked it out of her hand. Maya squinted at it, covered the other three girls’ faces with her thumbs. “With a little cropping I think we might just have a masterpiece!”
“Oh, give me that,” Blue said, rolling her eyes.
They passed the photo around, each looking down at their leaping white smiles, their faces full with youth and colored by the sun. There was a looseness in their eyes from the peach wine coolers purchased at a local deli with the worst fake ID ten bucks could buy and a heavy dose of Maya’s winning charm.
As usual Maya was in the center of the picture, hugging the others like dolls to her chest, her three best friends who had never asked her to be anything but who she was, who never hinted that she should contain her big spilling personality in order to be loved. Beside her, Blue was wearing the sweatshirt of a boy she met earlier that weekend, the sleeves carefully rolled to the elbows, the memory of his kiss, her first, alive in her stomach as if it had been caught there, netted like a butterfly. Renee was squeezed in practically on Blue’s lap, half cut out of the photo, her head on Blue’s shoulder as it so often was, as natural as sunlight on trees. And finally, Hannah was on the other side of Maya, her arms outstretched in raucous exuberance, her red hair a wild burst, salted and wind dried after a day in the ocean, her face blurred with laughter at something Maya had said just before the camera clicked.
They’d been captured in perfect summation—four best friends celebrating their recent graduation from high school.
“I love us,” Hannah said. “Best vacation ever!”
Maya placed the photo in her purse. “Promise we’ll come back every year, no matter where we are, for the rest of our lives.”
“Yes!” everyone agreed.
“Should we make that pact in blood?” Hannah asked.
“I think we’re good with just…ya know…saying it,” Maya said.
“So…” Blue said, nodding toward the parking lot where they’d hidden the booze in the car trunk. “I feel like I’m starting to regain my balance. Round twelve, anyone?”