A Holiday Set-Up
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A Holiday Set-Up by Noelle Adams

Most people don’t have a nemesis, but I do. His name is Rafe Archibald. On the first day of kindergarten, he stole my chocolate cupcake. In sixth grade, he won the big essay contest, while I ended as runner-up. All through high school, he was my academic rival, and in college he dated all my friends. After graduation, I hoped to be rid of him at last, but he moved into the apartment across the hall. He’s always around. Inescapable. Constantly infuriating me with his too-long hair, his laid-back attitude, and his smug smile. Just when I think it can’t get worse, it does. Our grandmothers start meddling. They decide we must be secretly in love and concoct a matchmaking scheme. When my grandmother announces she’s inviting all her friends and family to her huge country estate for an old-fashioned holiday house party, I’m excited about a one-week break from running into Rafe in the hallway, at the coffee shop, and at our favorite bar. Then there he is. At my grandmother’s house for Christmas. In the room across the hall. Their set-up won’t work. I’ve developed a lifetime’s worth of resistance against Rafe’s dubious charms. Sure, I might slip and fall into bed with him, but that’s an accident and won’t happen again. And, even if it does, it still won’t touch my heart. After all, the last thing a smart woman should do is fall in love with her nemesis.
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