Ryan blames himself for what happened to Michael. As far as he's concerned, he doesn't deserve to have love or ever be happy again. Then he learns Michael left a secret behind. Ryan feels compelled to take on his friend's unfinished business, and in the process, changes his life forever and becomes a man.
It's almost four o'clock by now. The hallway's empty, except for Emily, who has followed us and sits waiting for me on the long bench across from the Admin Office door. She wears one of those short, tight skirts that all the girls have and is sitting the way all the girls do, with her knees pressed close together. Her hair's pushed off her face, which is pale and serious.
Even in my state of total misery, I think she's beautiful. I'm afraid she thinks I'm an ass, but then she pats the place next to her on the bench. Like a dog, I scramble over to sit beside her.
She puts her hand on my arm. "That was …. eventful."
"Yeah." I touch my temple, where Chase hit me and wince. "I don't usually go around jumping people."
"Just people who deserve it, right?" She leans toward me a little, and I catch the scent of lavender. Her eyes sweep my face, taking in my injuries. "You might have a black eye tomorrow."
"I feel like an idiot."
"Don't. You were amazing!"
Her lips are the perfect shape and color. I can't stop looking at them.
My head begins to pound, and suddenly, all I can think of is Michael, taking off on his cosmic rocket ride into death. Inside me, I feel a tearing, as if something huge and made of steel—a battleship or a skyscraper—is being pulled apart.
And Emily sees the expression on my face and doesn't ask a bunch of dumb questions about how I feel, but just looks at me, and I say "It's Michael," as the pain rips into me.
She puts her arm around me and squeezes—hard. Her hand, which grips my right shoulder, is surprisingly strong. I can almost feel strength flowing out of her fingers and into my shoulder, straightening my back. I feel myself relax.
"I miss him," I say.
The sympathy in her eyes is like a warm bath.
If girls were flames, most girls would be a single match, a mere Bic lighter. Emily, on the other hand, would be an inferno—a raging, thousand-acre forest fire.
I really enjoyed reading Any Other Night! I was completely taken by surprise by this book. The writing is wonderful and it takes you on an emotional roller-coaster. I loved Ryan as the protagonist of the story! He has to deal with the grief of his best friend. His character is so strong and easily relatable. I also enjoyed the romance aspect of the book. If you are looking for a quick emotional contemporary read, I recommend Any Other Night!