The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland(88)By: Rebekah Crane
We stand on the deck overlooking Lake Kimball. The water glistens in the fading sunlight. A slight breeze blows my hair away from my face.
“I’m sorry you never got green,” I say to Cassie.
She squints as she looks out at the water. “I got something else instead.”
“Amen.” Grover smiles.
A voice bellows up behind us, and we all turn to see Bek running across the deck with a short blond man trailing behind him.
“I wanted you guys to meet my dad,” he says, out of breath.
“This is your dad?” Cassie says to the man.
“Mr. Trebek,” he replies and holds out his round hand.
We all laugh. Even Cassie.
And as the sun fades into the night, Grover leans over and kisses me.
“Only one in fifty long-distance relationships last.”
“I’ve always hated odds,” I say.
“Oddly enough, me, too,” he says.
“I’m glad you finally have the courage to acknowledge that.” I smile at Grover. “So will you write me?”
“Where should I send my letters?”
I take Grover’s notebook from his back pocket and turn to the page I wrote on weeks ago. There, in my handwriting, is my address. I point to it.
“You’ve had me all along.”
He clutches the notebook to his chest. “I love reality.”
“We have one last thing to do.” Cassie pulls the fork she stole that first day from her back pocket. We all eye her as she walks over to the wooden railing that lines the deck of the mess hall. Using the fork, she etches a word into the wood. Then she hands it down the line and we all add our initials, until our names are permanently left at Camp Padua.
The four of us turn from Lake Kimball and start the long walk to our cars.
“So next year? Same time? Same place?” Grover asks.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Bek says.
“Me neither.” I smile up at Grover as he reaches his arm around my waist.
“What about you, Sticks? See you next year?”
She glances over her shoulder and takes one last look at the word she’s carved into the wood—hope.
“Absolutely.” Then she grabs Bek’s hand. “This doesn’t mean I like you.”
“Of course not.” Bek smiles a true grin. “You love me.”
I reach my arm around Cassie and pull her in close. “Let’s go home.”
As we walk away, I steal a glance back over my shoulder and see Grover lift his arm high in the air and fist pump the sky.
First—a huge, love-filled thank-you to Jessica Park. You always manage to help me find my way when I’m lost. You took a chance on a phone call with a random stranger a few years ago, and look at us now—soul mates. This book is what it is because of you. Thank you.
To my agent and friend, Renee Nyen—you loved this book from the beginning. We have seen some crazy days, but we made it through together. I am so grateful for everything you do. Thank you.
To my editor, Jason Kirk—I could not have asked for a better person to take this book and make it soar. Your enthusiasm is infectious. (And a special shout-out to Coco Williams!)
To all the beta readers, friends and family, and fans who have championed my writing and my books, who have invited me into their homes for book clubs, who have asked me to speak at their schools, who have sat in my living room and brainstormed idea after idea—thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
And to Anna, who said, “Why don’t you name him Grover Cleveland?”
The rest is . . . history.