Read The Opposite of Me Online

Authors: Sarah Pekkanen

Tags: #Fiction, #General

The Opposite of Me

The Opposite of Me
by Sarah Pekkanen is
“fresh and funny and satisfying”
(Jennifer Weiner).


, for as long as she can remember, lived in the shadow of her ravishingly beautiful fraternal twin sister, Alex. Determined to get noticed, Lindsey is finally on the cusp of being named VP creative director of an elite New York advertising agency, after years of eighty-plus-hour weeks, migraines, and profound loneliness. But during the course of one devastating night, Lindsey’s carefully constructed life implodes.

Humiliated, she flees the glitter of Manhattan and retreats to the time warp of her parents’ Maryland home. As her sister plans her lavish wedding to her Prince Charming, Lindsey struggles to maintain her identity as the smart, responsible twin while she furtively tries to piece her career back together. But things get more complicated when a long-held family secret is unleashed that forces both sisters to reconsider who they are and who they are meant to be.



a novel




Washington Square Press
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Pekkanen


All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Washington Square Press Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.


First Washington Square Press trade paperback edition March 2010


WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


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Designed by Jill Putorti


Manufactured in the United States of America


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Pekkanen, Sarah.


The opposite of me: a novel / by Sarah Pekkanen.—1st Washington Square Press trade pbk. ed.


p. cm.


1. Sisters—Fiction. 2. Twins—Fiction. I. Title.


PS3616.E358O77 2010


813'.6—dc22                       2009018250


ISBN 978-1-4391-2198-6
ISBN 978-1-4391-3475-7 (ebook)




For Glenn and our boys—Jackson, Will, and Dylan

Part One

AS I PULLED OPEN the heavy glass door of Richards, Dunne & Krantz and walked down the long hallway toward the executive offices, I noticed a light was on up ahead.

Lights were never on this early. I quickened my step.

The light was on in
office, I realized as I drew closer. I’d gone home around 4:00
to snatch a catnap and a shower, but I’d locked my office door. I’d checked it twice. Now someone was in there.

I broke into a run, my mind spinning in panic: Had I left my storyboard out in plain view? Could someone be sabotaging the advertising campaign I’d spent weeks agonizing over, the campaign my entire future hinged on?

I burst into my office just as the intruder reached for something on my desk.

“Lindsey! You scared me half out of my wits!” my assistant, Donna, scolded as she paused in the act of putting a steaming container of coffee on my desk.

“God, I’m sorry,” I said, mentally smacking myself. If I ever ended up computer dating—which, truth be told, it was probably going to come down to one of these days—I’d have to
check the ever-popular “paranoid freak” box when I listed my personality traits. I’d better buy a barricade to hold back the bachelors of New York.

“I didn’t expect anyone else in this early,” I told Donna as my breathing slowed to normal. Note to self: Must remember to join a gym if a twenty-yard dash leaves me winded. Best not to think about how often I’ll actually
the gym if I’ve been reminding myself to join one for the past two years.

“It’s a big day,” Donna said, handing me the coffee.

“You’re amazing.” I closed my gritty eyes as I took a sip and felt the liquid miracle flood my veins. “I really needed this. I didn’t get much sleep.”

“You didn’t eat breakfast either, did you?” Donna asked, hands on her hips. She stood there, all of five feet tall, looking like a rosy-cheeked, doily-knitting grandma. One who wouldn’t hesitate to get up off her rocking chair and reach for her sawed-off shotgun if someone crossed her.

“I’ll have a big lunch,” I hedged, avoiding Donna’s eyes.

Even after five years, I still hadn’t gotten used to having an assistant, let alone one who was three decades older than me but earned a third of my salary. Donna and I both knew she wore the pants in our relationship, but the secret to our happiness was that we pretended otherwise. Kind of like my parents—Mom always deferred to Dad’s authority, after she mercilessly browbeat him into taking her point of view.

“I’m going to check in with the caterers now,” Donna said. “Should I hold your calls this morning?”

“Please,” I said. “Unless it’s an emergency. Or Walt from Creative—he’s freaking out about the font size on the dummy ad and I need to calm him down. Or Matt. I want to do another run-through with him this morning. And let’s see, who else, who else . . . Oh, anyone from Gloss Cosmetics, of course.

“Oh, God, they’re going to be here in”—I looked at my watch and the breath froze in my lungs—“two hours.”

“Hold on just a minute, missy,” Donna ordered in a voice that could only be described as trouser-wearing. She bustled to her desk and returned with a blueberry muffin in a little paper bag and two Advil.

“I knew you wouldn’t eat, so I got extra. And you’re getting a headache again, aren’t you?” she asked.

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