How to Build a Better Princess

Like The Stories I Hear About Hangover, But Worse.

Riley's POV


"I'm sorry…" I said sadly, as I watched as his face dropped.


"No?" he asked, his voice now almost pleading, and I could feel each warm tear slide down my cheek.


"Yeah, I'm sorry... But someone else already asked me..." I said, guilt rising up from the bottom of what felt like my bottomless, cold heart. Sadly, he nodded his head, and climbed out the window, before looking at me.


"Can I know who the guy is?" He said, gripping the window sill, and I looked down at my hands which sat in my lap.


"Its... Its Ethan." I said quietly, and he stood there, half in the window, before he nodded curtly, and ran back home, stumbling over bricks. I gripped the pillow near me, and hugged it tightly, the image of his disappointed face burned in my mind. The tears began to fall even more now, my heart throbbing, as I felt like a part of my heart left with Lucas.


"Hey Riles- Woah!" Maya said as she climbed into her normal seat at the window seat. "What happened?"


"Long story..." I sniffled, clutching my pillow tighter, but she grinned.


"About that. I'm staying over for the night. Yay!" She said happily, tossing her bag she had brought into the corner, before staring intently at me. "Now talk."


*flashback to yesterday*


"What's the day today Farkle?" I asked, spinning around from my seat.


"It's Tuesday." Farkle said, hunched over his work, and I turned around, tapping my pencil impatiently. Finally, I turned to him again.


"What's the month?"


"It's February." he said monotonically, and I glanced at the clock. Really?


"Oh man… I swear, that clock will run away from me. Cause I'm losing time. Eh? Get it? Time is running away at me?" I grinned, but Farkle just sighed. "No? Okay…."


"No, it's not that…" Farkle trailed off, and I stared at him confused. Farkle was never like this…


"Farkle? What's wrong?" I asked, placing my hand on her arm. "I'm listening."


"It's… well… It's the Valentine’s Dance." Farkle finally admitted, and I felt a laugh bubbling up in my chest.


"Farkle! Why are you so worried about it?" I said, trying not to laugh, but his face simply stayed put, as he traced a heart onto the table.


"Well… No girl has ever asked me out. To the dance I mean," he said sadly, and as I thought back to past dances, I realized just how true that was.


"Look, we're in eighth grade now. That doesn't mean there's no more hope. Who knows? Maybe someone unexpected will ask you out of the blue." I grinned, when a tap on my shoulder caused me to jump.


"Gahhhaaa hai." I yelped, looking at the boy who stood before me.


"Hi," He laughed, and both Farkle and I gaped as he sat down casually on the edge of another desk. "So, I was wondering if you wanted to come to the dance with me?" he asked, looking directly at me. Suddenly, I felt like the whole class was looking at me. Well, in fact, they were. My hands began to get clammy, so I quickly wiped them on my skirt.


"Mmm..me?" I stammered, feeling heat rise up to my face, and he grinned.


"Yes you. Will you, Riley Matthews, come to the Valentine's dance with me, Ethan Grayson?" he asked, mockingly bending on one knee, and Farkle beside me stared in shock.


"Uhh.. Uh- Yes! Yes I would." I said babbled nervously, and he smiled.


"Great. I'll pick you up at 6 okay?" he asked, winking at me, and I cleared my throat.


"Ye-yeah!" I managed to say, when Farkle beside me suddenly shouted out.


"How do you know where to pick her up?" he said accusingly, and Ethan shrugged.


"I've asked your dad, and he told me, so we're good to go." he said happily, and we both watched dumbstruck as he walked away, whistling.


"Did… did that actually happen?" Farkle said, amazement in his voice.


"Yeah….apparently it did." I said, my mind reeling. “The most popular boy in John Quincy Adams just asked me to the dance.”


*flashback ends*


"Ethan asked you out to the dance?" Maya said excitedly, and I nodded, wiping the tears from her cheeks.


"But you obviously said no to him. Cause Lucas is taking you, duh. So why do you look so sad? Wait… didn't Lucas ask you to the dance already?"


"He just did that right before you." I said, my throat hoarse, and Maya grinned.


"Aww! Here, he even said a few things about you," she said, pulling out her phone and scrolling to her conversation with Lucas.


Maya: What do you really like about Riles?

Lucas: Lots of things.

Maya: Like what?

Lucas: :P

Maya: PLLLEASE

Lucas: Idk… it's something about her. I just can't figure it out.

Lucas: Everything she does is beautiful. Everything she does is… right.


"Did he really mean that?" I asked, my heart aching even more as she turned off her phone.


"Yeah, he told me later that day." she said, my worst fears coming true. He really did love me. And I just rejected him.


"So what did you say to Lucas? Wait, why do I even need to ask? You obviously said yes!" she asked excitedly, but faltered as I squeezed my eyes shut. Maya's face slowly went from excitement to horror as the gears slowly turned in her head.


"You said yes didn't you? Please tell me you said yes right?…" Maya pleaded, but I just shook my head, wishing I could go back in time.


"... I said no. THERE. I said no. Happy?" I said, fresh tears sliding down my face as I threw my pillow across the room and collapsed face first onto the bed, criticizing myself for acting so stupid. Why are you crying over some stupid dance and some stupid boy? Because this isn't any normal dance… and this isn't any normal boy…. I thought glumly, and the bed sunk a little lower beside me, as Maya laid on top of me, wrapping me in a comforting hug.


"Don't worry pumpkin, it'll be alright…." She murmured soothingly, and I closed my eyes, my mind brimming with only one boy on my mind.



The next day, I moaned as I struggled to get up.


"Come on sleepyhead, time to get up! Up and at'em sunshine!" Maya chirped happily, running a hairbrush through her own tangled hair, as I groaned painfully. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, trying to get up, before falling backwards wth the exertion.


"Maya… I don't feel good…" I moaned, and her face whipped towards me, concern written all over her face.


"What? What do you mean?" she asked, placing a hand on my forehead before jerking it back.


"Oh gosh that's hot." she snapped her hand back, casting a worried look towards me. "TOPANGA!"


"Hey kids, I'm right here." she said, bustling, and Maya pointed towards me.


"I don't think she's feeling okay."


"Oh no…" Topanga said, placing her cool hand on my forehead. "Riley, I don't think you should go to school today. Can you handle being here alone today?"


"I volunteer to stay here and watch her!" Maya grinned, but Cory popped his head in.


"Uh, no you're not!" He added, and Maya groaned, trudging out. Topanga, ran out, yelling behind her.


"I'll make you some chicken soup really fast!" She yelled from in the kitchen, and I let out a tired sigh.


"OKAY MOM!" I tried to yell back, and sank back into my bed, bringing the covers up over my head. I give up...


"Is Riley okay?" I heard Auggie ask nervously, and mom only gave a strained laugh.


"Yes, Riley will be alright." she tried to say comforting, and soon padding footsteps walked into her room, peering at the body in the bed.


"Riley?" Auggie asked, pulling the covers back, and I smiled painfully.


"Hey bubba." I said weakily, and he crossed his arms, giving me a stern look.


"Only daddy can call me that." He said poutily, and I laughed, a small weight lifted off my chest.


"Okay okay." I said, sinking back into my bed, and he placed his small hand on my forehead.


"Whee mama!" he said, yanking his hand back, and I smiled, shaking my head. “You're really sick!”


"Well duh, yeah I'm sick Auggie, so stay away so you don't catch it." I said, starting to cough.


"I didn't mean that sick. I meant love sick!" He grinned, wiggling my eyebrows, and I stared, mouth gaping. Right at that moment, mom walked in, and looked at Auggie with a scolding look.


"Auggie! Leave your sister alone! She needs her rest!" she said as she set down a tray of chicken bowl soup, and Auggie shrugged.


"Okay. Get better Riley!" He said, running out, and I sat in bed, shocked. How?... Auggie was kidding right? Rain began to patter on my window seat, and I tossed the sheets aside, curling up on the seat. I leaned my head on the window sill and scowled as I tried to get my hair out of my face, the rest of my hair plastered all over my head and the window. My gaze drifted, and I watched as Maya went alone to her school, a worried look on her face. The rain was really coming down now, and in a matter of seconds, the light patter became a quiet drilling on my window, as people scrambled for cover.

Finally my eyes finally settled on a couple, who took shelter under a bus stop cover. The rain was getting everywhere, but the two seemed oblivious as they smiled at each other, both in their own little world together. Their grip on each other tightened, and just as they leaned in towards each other, a car passed by, and I groaned, missing their kiss. The window was cool to the touch as I rested my cheek on it, and sighed, the thought of school bringing up Lucas. The way he would stare at the rain in amazement, always appreciative of everything.


"Bet he wishes he never asked me to the dance…" I said bitterly, choking up on my words, when suddenly my phone rang, and I jumped, falling onto the floor.


"Ugh" I muttered, answering the phone without even looking at the caller, and grunted.


"Who is it?" I huffed, and the voice on the other end chuckled.


"Always the grump in the morning I see." Lucas laughed, and my face felt like it was burning off, as my cheeks blushed furiously without my permission.


"Oh, Lucas!" I said in surprise, and the voices in the background confirmed what I thought.

"Maya told you?"


“Yeah. You okay?" he asked, genuine concern in his voice, and I wanted to simultaneously cry and squeal at the same time.


"Yeah, just feel a little warm, that's all." I said, and my heart pounded again for what seemed like the billionth time this week. "Uh, Lucas?... " I asked.


"Yeah?"


"I… uh…about last night…” I stammered, trying to form the words in my head. Lucas, I don't really want to go with Ethan! I never asked to go with him! I wanna go with you!


"Yeah, keep going."


"I… Well, I-"


"Spit it out!" Maya said from the other end, and I could hear a small scuffle, before Maya spoke again, breathing heavily. "Kay, I got the phone. We’re at the subway, and it's about to come, just warning you. Now tell me already so I can tell him!"


"I can't!"


"Why not?"


"I don't know!" I confessed, realizing I had started unconsciously pacing around my room. "All of the things that I want to say just aren't coming out right." I said, trying to come up with an explanation. "I'm tripping on words, and my head spinning. I just.. I- I don't know where to go from here!" I finally, said, collapsing on my bed again, sinking into the soft mattress.


"Well, what you ca- Oh! The subway’s here. Sorry Riles!" Maya said hurriedly, and before I could argue, the call died, and I put down the phone sadly. Dang it!" I thought, punching a pillow with what little arm strength I had. Lucas… I didn't get to tell you… I wanted you.
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