It’s been a full week and I still haven’t had ‘that conversation’ with my mother yet. But, when I left for college this morning, I couldn’t exactly avoid her when I attempted to sneak out the front door.
“Are you ready to talk?” she asks, just as I’m about to leave. I swing the backpack over my shoulder and start wheeling my bike out of the porch, refusing to look at her. “Skye, please stop ignoring me. We’ll have to talk about this eventually.”
My stomach tightens. “Fine. Let’s talk then.” I spin to her. “Why did you keep the account a secret? And don’t say that you did it to protect me because that’s such a lame excuse.”
Her mouth falls open, like she doesn’t quite know how to approach the question. “I - I don’t have any other explanation. I genuinely thought you’d be better off not knowing.”
“Right…” I start wheeling the bike outside. “That’s what I thought.”
She rushes towards me, looking panicked. “How can I fix this Skye?”
My stomach tightens even more. I wish I wasn’t so stubborn. I definitely didn’t get that trait from my mother. As much as I’d like to forgive and forget, I’m not ready to move on.
So, I don’t say anything. I walk out of there and shut her out, giving her a taste of her own medicine.
Starbucks is busy when I get there. I don’t usually buy morning coffee, but I’m going to need it if I’m expected to sit in on lectures and survive the day.
I don’t expect to find Rory sitting in one of the booths. He’s not alone either. A girl is sitting opposite him. It’s the same one I saw him with at college. Maybe this is his famous ex-girlfriend.
I feel a strange wave of disappointment as I watch them together. It’s frustrating because I shouldn’t feel annoyed, but I do for some reason.
I walk up to the counter and pay for my non-fat cappuccino. Then I attempt to slip out the door without being seen. That’s when I hear Rory call my name and I almost drop my cup of coffee.
Damn it. He saw me.
I spin around and slap a fake smile on my face. “Hey! How’s it going?”
He waves me over and I slowly approach their table, noticing the girl’s expression turn sour. She clearly doesn’t want me around. I’m interrupting their date or whatever this is meant to be.
“Everything’s good here. How are you?” he asks, once I’m standing in front of him.
We stare at each other for a few seconds, and then he motions towards his friend... or maybe it’s his girlfriend, I don’t know.
“Bree, this is Skye. We go way back,” he says.
I can always tell whether or not someone is being false and this girl is the prime example. She’s got one of those bitchy vibes about her.
“Oh, hi,” she greets, firing me a false smile. It lasts for roughly two seconds. I counted.
“Hey,” I glance down at the floor. “I should probably get going. I don’t want to interrupt your date or anything.”
Rory waves his hands in the air. “We’re not on a date.”
I instantly catch Bree’s reaction. She wishes they were on a date right now. It’s obvious.
“Bree is just...” he clears his throat. “Uh, we’re just...”
“We’re sleeping together,” Bree finishes for him, with a smirk.
I can’t help but laugh under my breath. Have they literally just done the deed and thought that Starbucks would be a good place to unwind?
“Good for you,” I say to them. “I mean, well done both, you must be... well stimulated from all the sexual activity. Keep it going.”
Oh. My. God. Kill. Me. Now. Why did I just say that? Can I get anymore awkward? I know my cheeks are probably turning bright red.
“Do you want to join us?” Rory asks, making this so much worse. Why did I decide to come in here? I didn’t need my cappuccino that badly.
I shake my head repeatedly. “Oh no! This is your moment. I’ll let you have it.”
“Honestly, we don’t mind,” he says, speaking for himself and not for Bree, who definitely wants me gone.
“I’m cool. I’ve got stuff to do anyway... enjoy yourselves guys.”
I salute them both and turn towards the door.
I could die of shame but most importantly, I can’t believe that for a split second I thought Rory might actually like me. At least I know that’s far from the truth now. I can forget it ever crossed my mind.
Classes all seem to blur into one. I can’t focus on anything and my mind is elsewhere. I’ve been sitting with Grayson in the library for at least two hours now and my brain is fried. It takes me a moment to realize he’s in the middle of speaking.
“I’m inviting you to come to my friend Levi’s house party on Saturday.”
I can’t think of anything worse than spending time with Grayson and his Lakeside folk at a party.
“Do I have to come?” I moan.
“Yes. I’m not giving you a choice. Ricky stressed that we need to start working together, not against each other. That means, we’re going to have to suck it up and try to forge a friendship.”
I’m already hating this idea of his. “Last time I checked, friendships don’t work like that. Some friendships take years to form.”
“Well, I won’t be in Barnett that long, sorry to disappoint you.”
My face instantly brightens up. “That’s the best news I’ve received all day!”
Grayson frowns. “Look Skye, the only way we’re going to pass this module, is if we try to get on the same page. Think about it, you’re getting the best of both worlds really. Not only do you get to spend time with me. But you’re getting a free invite to a Lakeside party, which is way more interesting than the clubs you probably go to on a Saturday night. No offense.”
“We can set time aside to study while we’re there. It’s the perfect solution.”
I fold my arms. “I have never studied at a party before and I don’t plan on doing that now.”
“Well, we’ve only got a few weeks left before the deadline, so it’s up to you. But really, you’re putting both of us in a dangerous position if you don’t come.”
I can’t believe he’s trying to pin this on me if I don’t agree to make an appearance.
“What am I supposed to do all night, Grayson? Follow you around and ask questions – set it up like an interview? That doesn’t sound like my idea of fun.”
“No. I don’t want you following me around and acting like a lost puppy. Do your own thing, but we’ll just meet up now and again to get some questions answered. I’m trying to make the effort here – that way, when Ricky asks what it was like to work with me, you can’t say that I didn’t try.”
What a surprise. He’s thinking about himself, yet again. I should have known better than to assume his intentions were pure.
I’m faced with some pros and cons.
PRO - I get to experience a proper party, that doesn’t just involve one can of beer and music playing from somebody’s iPhone as background music.
CON - Grayson’s going to be there.
PRO - It’s a chance to get out of the house.
CON- Grayson’s going to be there.
PRO - It’s a chance to observe Grayson in his natural habitat. Who knows what he’ll get up to and what I’ll later be able to document.
CON - Grayson’s going to be there.
“Well, are you going to come or not? I haven’t got all day. And I need to know if you are, so I can tell Levi,” he says, impatiently.
“Fine. I’ll come!”
But only to see you fall flat on your face. Let the games begin.