Chapter Thirteen - ”What If I Don’t Care?"
I rub my eyes, walking into the school building. If you haven’t noticed already, I didn’t get any sleep last night. When Dad had told me about that case, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And then, just to make it worse, I started to think about that time when Tyler took me to that icecream shop and told me that he needed me to pretend to be his girlfriend for one night.
With everything that Dad had told me -- how the son went down the wrong track and got into a gang -- I can’t help but feel nervous now. I should’ve been feeling like this when Tyler had first told me that he wanted me to be the person he could talk to, but I didn’t. I was calm. But now, I’m all over the place.
And it’s all because of Tyler Adams.
“Hey,” I hear a voice say, making me look in front of me to see Denise leaning against my locker. Last time I had saw Denise, she was wearing sweatpants and it was clear that she didn’t get any sleep the night before. But as I look at my best friend now, it’s like she’s changed back to her normal self.
“Hey, Denise.” I say, a little confused. “How are you feeling? You look a lot better.” I mumble, bringing Denise into a small hug. After a few seconds, Denise pulls away from me.
“Yeah, I’m feeling okay. Uh, do you think we can go to Wellah’s this afternoon? You know, to talk and catch up?” Denise asks, her words making me nod instantly.
“Of course. I owe it to you from last time anyway.” I say, sending Denise a small smile. “So, where’s Tara?” I ask and Denise pulls her phone out of her pocket.
“I had sent her a message a few minutes ago, asking if she was coming to school, but she hasn’t replied -- oh, wait, she just sent me a message.” Denise says and I walk beside her to see what Tara had wrote.
Tara: Yeah, I don’t think I’ll make it to school. Just woke up.
“That’s strange. Tara never wakes up late.” Denise mutters as she types a reply. I nod in agreement, realising what Denise had just said is true. Tara is always an early bird. Never has she ever slept in, not even on the weekends.
“Guess it’s just us today.” Denise says with a small smile as she puts her phone back into her pocket. Suddenly, the bell rings throughout the hallway, making me sigh.
“Shall we?” I ask, holding out my arm as I force a smile on my face. Denise smiles, linking her arm with mine.
“There you go,” I say to Christopher who is finally getting the hang of Trigonometry. I mean, it wasn’t that hard to begin with but people struggle. “Now you’re getting the hang of it.” I add, watching as Christopher continues to scribble down the numbers on the sheet.
But before I can even react, the classroom door flies open, and I look up to stare into the eyes that belong to Tyler.
“Get out, nerd.” Tyler spits harshly, glaring at Christopher who has now looked over at Tyler in confusion. But he doesn’t argue with him. Christopher quickly packs up his things before running out the door, not wanting to mess with Tyler.
I shake my head when Tyler closes the door, not liking how he has just interrupted my tutoring lesson. “It’s not your day for tutoring.” I say, crossing my arms as Tyler walks over to me. He nods, grabbing the chair that Christopher was once sitting on before spinning it, sitting on it with his legs on either side of the chair.
“I know, but we need to talk.” Tyler says and I sigh.
“Couldn’t it wait after I finished--”
“No, Tipsy. We’ve got to talk now.” Tyler says, making me nod sadly. When I raise my eyebrow at him, waiting for him to say what he needs to say, Tyler runs a hand through his brown hair. “Friday night.”
I hold back a laugh. “Are you asking me out, Humpty?”
I watch as Tyler’s face begins to scrunch into distaste, obviously at the name that I have just called him. Or is it because of the fact that I had just practically said that Tyler has an interest in me? Wow, why did that hurt?
“One: never say that nickname again. If you’re going to call me a name, you have to make sure it’s a good one. Two: no, I’m not asking you out...” Tyler says, his eyes staring into mine before he grins. “Yet.”
I nearly choke on my saliva. “W-What?” I gasp, hearing Tyler laugh.
“I was joking...” Tyler says with a small smile. When I compose myself, breathing normally, Tyler adds, “Or was I?”
This makes me choke again.
“Oh Lord,” Tyler chuckles, shaking his head. “You’re face was priceless.” Tyler says and I bite down on my tongue, feeling my cheeks begin to heat up. When Tyler stops laughing, I cross my arms over my chest.
“Anyway, what about Friday night?” I ask and Tyler sighs.
“Remember that thing that I need you to do?” Tyler asks and I nod. “Well, since my Uncle knows about you, he bought you a dress that he wants you to wear on the night.” Tyler says and nose scrunches.
“A dress? I don’t wear dresses.”
“Oh, c’mon. You’re a goody-two-shoes; you obviously wear dresses.” Tyler says with a small chuckle and I shake my head, my face dead serious.
“Stereotypical, but I’m being serious.” I say, watching as Tyler stares at me with a small grin. “And how does your Uncle even know my size?”
“I did some investigating.” Tyler grins, his response making my face fall.
“What? How?” I ask and Tyler taps his nose, the grin still on his face.
“My secret. Anyway, so you’re going to have to try it on with the heels because I can already see that you don’t wear heels.”
“You got that right, but I don’t see why I ‘have to try it on’ seeing as you already know--”
Tyler groans. “Just shut up and meet me at the parking lot ten minutes after school ends today.” Tyler says and I furrow my eyebrows.
“What if I have plans?”
“What if I don’t care?”
“Well, at the end of the day, I already have plans after school so the dress and heels will have to wait until tomorrow. Or whenever I’m free.” I explain and Tyler shakes his head.
“No, Tipsy, you’re doing as I say.” Tyler says, his eyes narrowing and I shake my head, crossing my arms over my chest.
“Like you have the power to control me and what I do.” I say, standing up from my chair. As I begin to collect my things into one pile before pushing them into my folder, I throw him a small smile.
Tyler licks his teeth, annoyed. “Tipsy, you’re coming with me this afternoon.”
“No, Tyler, I’m not.” I say, throwing my bag over my shoulder. “And you can’t make me.”
As I was towards the door, pulling it open, I hear Tyler mutter two words.
Tyler’s words keep running in my head, and I can’t help but feel anxious as I turn each corner. My mind hasn’t stopped and my heart hasn’t stopped racing, and it’s all because of Tyler.
Who does he think he is anyway? Trying to make me go with him after school... he wishes. I already have plans with Denise, and if he thinks that I’m just going to drop my friend, after I had already ditched her the first time because of the detentions--
Wait... Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.
I can’t even meet up with Denise or Tyler becsuse of my stupid detention, which means that I won’t be able to see Denise again. And I am not missing another meet-up with Denise because she needs me and I’m her friend. She’s always here for me, always pushing away her problems just to see if I’m okay, and I can’t do the same for her.
“Miss Parker.” The teacher says, waving a hand in front of my face. I jolt up, glancing at the teacher in front of me. My eyes find the clock behind her on the wall and my eyes widen in shock. “You’ve got to be--”
I don’t bother finishing my sentence. I grab my books, shove them in my back, and run out of the classroom. How long was I thinking for, I ask myself as I rush down the hallway. As I exit the school doors, my mind goes back to my detention.
No. Forget the detention. I’ve got to see Denise, I think to myself but as I look at the parking lot, my heart drops down to my feet and I begin to feel uneasy once again.
There he stands, with his keys swinging from his hand and that smirk on his face.
Okay, just think. Run like your life depends on it until you get to Wellah’s... or flip the finger at him, I think to myself as I glance between the sports car and the school gates. I mean, I don’t have to run that far. It’s just a five minute walk, and if I run, it would be three minutes, or even two... I continue to think, beginning to bite on my bottom lip.
“Tipsy,” I hear Tyler call. “You coming?”
Flip the finger, or run. Flip the finger, or run. Flip the finger--
I throw him a smile and raise my hand, making sure he sees exactly what I’m about to do. As my middle finger begins to raise, I see the smirk on Tyler’s face drops and his eyes narrow.
Wait, no. Bad decision. He is definitely going to kill me now, I think to myself as my eyes begin to go wide. Tyler drops the keys in his pocket, and before I know it, he begins to walk over to me.
Little does he know, I’m prepared for a challenge.
So, I start running.