As usual, I’m dreading school. I stop for coffee like I do every morning, but I have Adam order mine and meet me outside. I can’t risk running into Kaleb, not yet at least. I’m trying to come up with options on how to deal with our current situation.
Option 1: I could ignore him, but then again it was hard to ignore Kaleb Nixon. I’d tried that before, and he always found a way to weasel his way back in.
Option 2: I could forget it ever happened, but I don’t see that happening. The second I looked into his dark eyes, I’d remember what his lips felt like on mine.
Option 3: Move to a new state and change my name. Again.
The last option sounded the best right now.
Adam walks me to our first-period class, asking me what I had planned this weekend. Like usual, whatever he had planned was probably my plans as well. I haven’t got around to tell Adam what happened between Kaleb and me, because I know Adam will freak out, so I’ll probably tell him this weekend.
I see Olivia Connors down the hall as I’m about to turn. She sees me, too. She gives me an icy glare and I quickly pull Adam along to get away from her. I haven’t spoken or seen Olivia since her party that I ran out of. I wasn’t looking forward to having a conversation with her.
Mr. Hammons is already at the board when Adam and I walk into the classroom. Kaleb isn’t here yet, which is good. I’m really hoping that he doesn’t show up at all today. That would make things so much easier.
English class passes in a boring blur. Mr. Hammons lectures the whole time. When the bell finally rings, I’m about the first one out of my seat. Adam walks me to the next class, talking a mile a minute as usual.
When lunch comes along, Adam and I sit at our usual table near the back. Cameron doesn’t join us today; she’s sitting across the cafeteria with a few of her friends. Adam is pushing his ‘noodle surprise’ around his plate.
“So, this weekend. What were you saying earlier?” I ask, placing my chin on my palm.
Adam perks up with a wide smile, “I got us invited to the coolest party!”
"You did?” I ask, surprised.
“Hey, watch it. I’m cool.” He defends.
“Of course, you are.” I laugh. “Whose party?”
“It’s a college party!”
"College?” I ask with a gulp. The last college party I’d been to hadn’t exactly been fun.
“Yep. At this frat on campus. I was told that it would be the party of the year.” He explains. “We have to go.”
“But we’re high school kids. Why would college students want us at their party?” I ask.
“Well, we’re not the only people from Arden that got invited actually.” He says, pointing across the cafeteria to Olivia’s table.
I groan, “Of course.”
“Come anyway, Greer. It’s going to be a good time, promise.” He tries to persuade me.
“No drinking?” I ask.
“Nope, no drinking for us.”
“Okay. I’m in.”
“Awesome!” He throws his hands in the air with cheer. I laugh.
“It’s Friday. I’ll pick you up if you want?”
The rest of the week passes quickly. Kaleb barely comes to school or he does a good job of avoiding me. He told me he wanted to be a surgeon, but I don’t see how he’ll do that with his attendance and grades. Mr. Hammons said that the school went easy on him, because of what happened with his mom and his dad is in prison, but I think that only went so far.
Before I know it, school is letting out for the weekend. Adam meets me outside and is standing by my car. He pushes up from my driver’s door with a big smile. “Tonight’s the night!” He beams. “Pick you up at eight-thirty?”
“Sounds good,” I answer, unlocking my doors.
“Wear something that makes you look older.” He smiles, patting my shoulder.
“What do you mean?” I laugh.
“You have a baby face.” He pats my cheek. “Just wear something skimpy.”
I cross my arms over my chest, “Like Olivia? No thanks.”
He laughs, “Just a suggestion, Greer.”
“I’ll pass and wear my regular clothes.”
He shrugs, “Okay, your choice.”
“Besides, I’m not going to impress anyone. I don’t care if I look like a kid in high school. Boys in college are mostly sleaze balls anyway.”
“You have a point there.” He laughs again. “I’ll see you at eight-thirty.”
I can’t believe I’m actually considering Adam’s advice. I’m staring at my short skirt and can’t decide if I should actually wear it. I groan, curse low under my breath, and throw it on my bed. I straighten my hair down my back and do my makeup dark. I pull on the black skater skirt, white cut off, and my favorite pair of white converse.
It’s almost eight-thirty and Adam texted me that’s almost to my house. I grab my jean jacket on the way out of my room and look around for Leo. His bedroom door is closed so he must be sleeping. I write a note and tape it on my bedroom door for him to find.
A few minutes later, Adam calls to tell me he’s outside. I grab my keys, lock the door behind me, and jog to his truck. Adam eyes me carefully as I stop near him.
“What?” I ask, walking back towards my own car.
“You look nice.” He shrugs.
“Thanks. Does it make me look older?” I tease.
“In fact, it does.”
It takes us almost thirty minutes to make it to the college party, I follow behind him as we go. This time, it’s in a different frat house from the last one. That gives me some relief. Adam finds a place a block away to park and I park close behind him. We have to walk, but it gives me time to prep myself.
The frat house is packed by the time we reach it. Red plastic cups litter the front walk. The door is wide open, letting the shouts from inside flow outside. Adam pulls me out of the way of a college boy running out the front door. I laugh, looking over my shoulder at the kid who almost plowed me over.
Adam leads me to the kitchen and finds us both a can of soda. I pop the tab off mine and gulp some of it down. Adam leans on the counter beside me, eyes skimming the party. “Want to dance?” Adam has to yell over the loud music and drunken college kids. I nod and follow him to the makeshift dance floor. Adam puts his free hand on my waist and we dance to the pumping bass. A smile spreads across my face.
Once we get tired of dancing, we decide to go find somewhere to sit and talk to rest. We find a fairly empty den and take a seat on the couch. Adam sips at his soda and watches the living room.
“I kissed Kaleb Nixon,” I say quickly and loudly.
Adam’s head snaps around and he stares at me with wide eyes, “Come again? It sounded like you said you kissed Kaleb Nixon?”
I groan, “Well, he kissed me actually.”
“You’re kidding me?” He yells.
I shake my head, “I went over to his place for dinner the other day. We were sitting on the couch and we got into a fight about Bash. He kissed me.”
“He kissed you?” He clarifies.
“Yes, Adam, I’ve said that several times now. But don’t worry, he said he regretted it and that it was fake.”
“He said that?”
I nod, “Yep. He said he did it to get me to shut up.”
“Wow. I can’t believe it.” He sighs. “I’ve been telling you since you met him that he was a jerk, Greer. You deserve better.”
“I know. I just thought he was different, you know? I thought I knew a different side to Kaleb Nixon then everyone else does.” I explained.
“There’s only one side to him, Greer,” Adam tells me. “He’s conniving and he’s selfish. He uses anyone he pleases to get what he wants. I’m sorry you had to find that out the hard way.”
I listened to his words, really I did, but I couldn’t get myself to believe them. My mind did, my mind knew that Kaleb was nothing but a jerk, but my heart was feeling something different. It couldn’t deny all the good things Kaleb’s done or the sweet things he’s said.
Who did I listen to my mind or my heart?