Hating Arlo #1 ✔️

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Chapter 8

Lily's POV

For the first time since I met Arlo, I felt something real form between us. A connection that was already there was solidified. Before, there was hope. But now, there was more than that.

And by god, I liked it. The idea of Arlo and me being something had my heart racing.

Just the fact that we shared something in common signified that we were more alike than we thought. It also strengthened everything—my thoughts, feelings, and opinion of him.

I shouldn't be that girl who loses her shit over something so simple. He's treated with nothing but disrespect and yet I act like he just gave me the moon.

Arlo is now fast asleep on his bed. He’s snoring lightly, tucked comfortably in his bed. For a moment, I sit down on the seat next to him and watch him sleep. If Arlo was to wake up now, he would definitely call me a stalker. However, I know that he’s too drunk to wake up anytime soon.

For once, there are no frown lines on his face. He is content, happy and relaxed. There is no trace of malice towards me. I like it. I like the fact he’s not angry or annoyed. This is probably the only time I’m going to see Arlo like this. As much as my heart hates the idea, my brain knows it's the truth. Arlo hates me—I can see it in his eyes every time he gazes on me.

Whilst I should hate him for hating me, I can’t. That connection I feel won’t allow me. I don’t think I can ever hate him.

I wonder if he feels the connection too.

Is it possible? Am I making it up—assuming its a connection when it’s merely me being attracted to him? If he did feel something, then why was he acting the way he does? Does it have something to do with Talia?

So many questions ruminate in my mind. I’d love to know what he is thinking, just for one second.

Sighing, I stand up from my seat and head towards the door. Just as my fingers brush against the doorknob, I hear Arlo whisper something in his sleep.

Glancing over my shoulder, I watch him for a second, seeing if he will repeat it. He doesn’t.

Tired, I make my way out of Arlo’s dorm, completely unaware that he whispered my name in his sleep.

The next morning, I woke up with a blistering headache. Despite the fact I didn’t drink much, I managed to have a hangover. Brilliant.

Trinity is sleeping soundly next to me, with a tiny bit of drool leaking out of her mouth. I stifle a laugh and make my way to our shared bathroom. Nipping into the shower, I let the water wash away everything, wishing it would also wash away my thoughts and feelings towards Arlo...

It’s a silly notion.

But a silly notion that I wish would happen so I wouldn’t pine over him.

At breakfast, Arlo is sat opposite me. With a brooding look on his face, he completely ignores my existence. It hurts, I won’t lie. It hurts every fiber inside of my body, knowing he doesn’t want anything to do with me. Even though I know nothing more will happen between us, I just wished he would see me as a friend.

Being friend-zoned is better than nothing.

Talia is talking to Arden about something, whilst Cabe keeps glancing between the two of us, sensing something is going on. If only he knew there was nothing.

“That party was awful,” Arthur, one of Arden’s friends, claims, sitting down on the table with us. He’s a nice guy—although, he’s a bit talkative. It’s nice when you want to escape an awkward silence but sometimes, it can be a bit overbearing. I honestly have no idea how he manages to talk about so much. “Saying that though, there was a lot of drama going on.”

He then begins to blabber onto us about all of the drama. Most of the time, I have no idea what he’s talking about. So I zone out.

Until he asks Arlo a question.

“Who was the lucky lady last night who you took home?”

Everyone turns their heads towards Arlo. He peeks at Arthur through his long lashes and glances at me for a moment and then to Talia and eventually, Arthur again.

I'm expecting Arlo to tell the truth, that he took no one home with him. But he doesn't.

“I took one of Trinity’s friends home. I think her name was Rachel or Riley. Not entirely sure.”

Ouch. There goes my poor heart.

Arlo lied. But why?

Was it because of embarrassment? Did he not want to tell people that he was too drunk to take anyone back with him? Or that he was with me, a...friend? Either way, I shoot him a confused and hurt look.

He notices it but does nothing about it, not looking remorseful or anything. The guys all nod their heads happily whilst Talia rolls her eyes, unaffected by what Arlo said.

I notice Arlo glance at her, hoping to gauge a reaction. His face falls when she appears nonchalant. I feel a small amount of satisfaction.

Throughout the rest of breakfast, I think about what Arlo said. He lied, possibly to hurt me. Did he want to show me that I meant nothing to him? That our time together meant nothing to him?

If he wanted to hurt me, he succeeded.

I hate the feelings I feel. I like Arlo, there’s no denying it. He’s handsome and he cares about people—well, most people. The people he does care about, he cares about them deeply. You can see the passion in his eyes when he stares at Talia, Arden, and Cabe. They’re his friends and family. To him, I will never be part of that.

Strolling down the corridors, I mull over what to do about the Arlo situation. I can’t let him affect me anymore. My heart is already broken—from Joe and my parent’s death.

I decide that I need advice from someone close to me. Someone who I used to rely on—who I depended on.

My sister.

“Hello?” Her tired voice says through the phone. It feels like the breath in my lungs has been knocked out of my chest. I haven’t heard my sister's voice in such a long time. The last time we talked was at the train station when I said goodbye to her. We haven’t had a proper conversation in a long time. It was before my parent’s death.

“Amber?” I ask, quietly.

I hear her suck in a breath, shocked to be hearing my voice.

“Yes, Lily?”

Hearing her voice is like a breath of fresh air. I miss my sister so much, even though I know she doesn’t miss me as much. That doesn’t matter to me though.

“I-I need your help with something. I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do.”

There is silence on the other side of the phone for a while. Just when I begin to think she didn’t hear me, she answers.

“With what?”

I’m glad she chose to help me instead of ignoring me. It’s times like this where I need my sister—my best friend. She’s the only one who truly knows me.

“There’s this guy...” I start. Soon, I delve into the full story, relaying everything I can remember in the past week and a half. When I finish the story, I can only hear her breathing on the other end of the line.

For several moments, Amber ponders over what to say. My sister is very smart and rational—she always comes up with the best solutions. I know I can trust her with her judgment.

“It sounds like you have a crush on this boy.” She states after a while, passively. “You’re harbouring a broken heart right now, Lily. I think it would be wise for you to stay away from this Arlo. He doesn’t sound good for you.”

He doesn’t. Not on pen and paper. But staring into his eyes, watching him sleep, I can’t help but feel like it’s right. From the bottom of my heart, I believe it is.

“So you think I should ignore my feelings?” I summarise what she said. My voice portrays my current feelings: loss, hurt, and most of all, sadness.

She sighs over the phone, “I know it sucks but honestly, you’ll thank me for it later.”

I hope I do, Amber.

“I miss you,” I tell her, my voice sincere. I miss my sister more than anything in the world. I miss us talking about boys together and hanging out with each other. I miss our late-night movie nights and our trips to coffee shops at one in the morning. I miss seeing her at breakfast.

I love my sister more than anything in the world. And I hate not seeing her.

I can tell Amber doesn’t know what to say. Since our parents passed away, she’s been so closed off. She doesn’t know what to say or feel. The truth is, she’s scared of feeling things. She doesn’t want to feel them because she doesn’t want to risk getting hurt again. It’s understandable but I hate it. It’s not natural.

“I-I,” She stammers into the phone.

Letting out an exasperated breath, I drag a hand through my hair.

“It’s okay, Amber. I understand.” I say, softly. “I should probably go now. It was nice talking to you.”

She repeats the same thing to me and wishes me goodnight.

After talking to my sister, I lie on my bed and stare up at the ceiling. Amber believes I should do what Arlo’s doing and forget his existence. It’s going to be hard but it’s worth a shot if it protects my heart.

Because I can’t lose it again.

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