Dear Sexy Ex-Boyfriend - Lauren Blakely by Lauren Blakely

Prologue





Summer



Dear Past Me,



In about twenty-four hours, you’re going to have a spectacularly brilliant idea.





One that will make all the sense in the world at the time because it’ll solve a big, hairy problem. And you love ideas that solve big, hairy problems. Like in sixth grade when you decided to sell origami door-to-door to raise money for the soccer team’s travel. (Who knew there was such a big demand for folded frogs in suburban New York when you were in middle school? You did!)





Or in eighth grade when you ran for Chief Fun Officer on a platform of two junior proms, the second one including a carnival, because who doesn’t love a carnival?





But this idea? This outstanding, fantastic idea that’ll make your dreams come true?

Watch out, Summer.





You’re going to end up with a soaking wet bridesmaid’s dress, a swan boat incident you’ll never live down, the disappointment of your entire family, plus the crushing heartbreak you’ve sought to avoid for decades, and also . . . a pole.





Yes, that kind of pole. The kind of pole everybody whispers about when they see it in someone’s basement. A “Do they really do that with that?” pole.





I wish I could tell you it’ll all work out.





But, as I stand here now, clutching the wet remains of the dress while figuring out what to do with this pole, I don’t have an earthly clue how any of this will resolve.





Because of all the harebrained schemes you’ve whipped up, this one doesn’t just take the cake. It bakes it, frosts it, and serves it up in all its three-tiered, royal-icing glory.





You’ll look back on other cringeworthy moments in your life—like that time you boldly updated your Twitter feed after four martinis, or your shame over the wrong placement of the apostrophe in ladies’ night—and they will pale in comparison.





It’s worse, even, than when Mom found you practicing volleyball indoors when you were fourteen.





In the living room.





And you had to give up all your allowance to pay for the chandelier.





And the vase.





And the picture frames too.





Of all the things that seemed like good ideas at the time, this letter, this contest, this ruse wins the prize.





So it’s up to you, Past Me, to avoid this jam we’re in now. Because I don’t have a clue what to do from here.





Sincerely,





Future You





1





Summer





Ten days ago



I am about to be busted.

Embarrassingly so. And—I hang my head in shame—deservedly so.

But, for the record, I don’t regularly check out guys’ packages.

That’s not my thing. I don’t really think that’s any woman’s thing. I’m pretty sure gawking at the goods doesn’t rank alongside knitting and candle-making in my female friends’ hobbies. Or, at least, not that they’d admit in public.

Except . . . I am doing it, and I can’t stop.

It’s just that . . . seriously? Tiny little bathing suits?

They’re impossible to look away from.

I literally have no idea how anyone is not supposed to notice a guy’s, ahem, outline when he gets out of a pool wearing only a Speedo.

How do Olympic diving judges focus on their job, or women across the beaches of Europe focus on anything else? Clearly, that’s why truly sophisticated European women always wear huge designer sunglasses.

Since you’re supposed to avert your gaze.

That’s what I’ve tried to do for the last minute.

I 100 percent averted my gaze as Oliver reached his sinewy arms for the metal ladder. As he rose out of the water. As he stepped away from the pool.

Because that’s the proper social protocol.

But it’s really hard to keep your gaze averted the entire time when you’re having a conversation with a guy while he’s wearing nothing but a Speedo.

And when he’s dripping wet.

I mean, all those droplets of water are taking their sweet time sliding down his tanned skin. Along his pecs, over the grooves of his abs, and just a little farther.