The Opposite of Me

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Book: Read The Opposite of Me for Free Online
Authors: Sarah Pekkanen
Tags: Fiction, General
gobbled down enough Cherry Garcia to hit the food pyramid’s recommended fruit allowance for the day. I needed to pick up some vitamins. Maalox, too; my stomach felt like someone was twisting it in knots and setting it on fire. It was probably the ulcers my doctor had warned me were in my future. By now it felt like I had a family of ulcers living in my stomach, who were all biting
their
nails.
    What the hell could be going on in the hallway, anyway? Had Fenstermaker made a decision yet? I twisted around and peered out Matt’s door just as he walked back in.
    “No verdict,” Matt reported. “But I heard Fenstermaker tell Mason he’d call soon.”
    “Soon?” I demanded. “In an hour? Next week? Next month? What the hell does
soon
mean?”
    “Lindsey, knock it off,” Matt said. “I told you, no matter what happens today, it’s in the bag.”
    “You’re just saying that because you’re my shrink,” I said, but I couldn’t help smiling.
    I stood up from my chair slowly, every bone in my body suddenly aching. It had to be postpresentation letdown; I couldn’t be getting sick. At 6:00 A.M. tomorrow I was flying to Seattle to lead focus groups for a brand of sneakers whose sales were inexplicably lagging in the West. I needed to identify the problem and restructure the campaign quickly, before we blew any more money on our old ads. From there I was flying directly to Tokyo for thirty-six hours to oversee the shooting of a cologne commercial featuring a B-list celebrity. It was going tobe a nightmare; like most washed-up former sitcom actors, he gobbled Ativan like popcorn, so I’d have to babysit him during the entire shoot. In between all this, assuming I won the Gloss account, I’d need to finalize details for our TV and magazine shoots and buy ad space and oversee the production.
    “I’ve got a ton of work,” I told Matt. “I’d better get back to my office.”
    “Hey, Linds?” Matt said.
    I turned around.
    “You never answered my question.”
    “Can we talk about it later?” I said, massaging my neck again.
    By now I couldn’t even remember what Matt’s question was. There was so much to do before tonight, which was good. I needed the distraction so I didn’t go crazy worrying about the announcement. Dozens of emails were waiting for me to sift through on my computer, plus I needed to review the point-of-sale displays and store promotion samples my team had put together for a new line of wine coolers and make sure we were on the same page as the client, who made Donald Trump look calm and humble.
    I’d already proposed five different campaigns, all of which the wine cooler mogul had impatiently shaken his head at while he shouted into the cell phone that was permanently affixed to the side of his face, “I don’t give a shit how expensive it is to harvest grapes! Tell him if he raises the price again I’ll harvest his fucking nuts!”
    I needed to light a fire under my team so we’d come up with something spectacular to appease him. I also had to ask Donna to book my flights. I made a mental note to remind her not to put me on a red-eye; the flight attendants always turned off the lights, and it was impossible to get anything done. Didn’t they realize the cocoon of an airplane was thebest place for uninterrupted work? Oh, plus I had to shake some sense into Oprah, stat.
    I’d wanted so much to seal up the Gloss account before tonight’s announcement, but I had to be patient. No matter what Matt and everyone else said, I wouldn’t feel confident I’d won the promotion until I heard Mason announce my name. Not knowing whether I’d won was a loose end.
    Loose ends made me nervous.

Three
 
     
     
    BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I used to be the pretty sister.
    I’ve even got proof: an old sepia-colored photograph of Alex and me as babies, being wheeled down the street by Mom as we sat side by side in our double stroller. My thick brown hair was tied up in crowd-pleasing pigtails with pink bows,

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