At least I still had my phone. But how was I going to get the money now? I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere and even if I could go, I’d probably lose because I wouldn’t have enough practice like every other contestant. I let out a loud sigh just as my phone let off another notification. I didn’t bother reaching for it on my nightstand. I already knew it was Noah, sending me another message about missing me, and how he wants to see me again.
I ignored all of it. After what had happened, I never wanted to see him again. Who knew where things could’ve led if Mom hadn’t shown up when she did.
My phone pinged again. I reached for it to check the latest message:
Why are you ignoring me?
I groaned inwardly, then outwardly. I sent him a response, but only to shut him up for good.
Why do you think?
Did I do something wrong?
Did he do something wrong? I slapped my hand over my face. I considered ignoring it, but figured I’d answer anyway. Maybe he genuinely didn’t know what he did wrong. And this way, he could file the information away for future reference, and not repeat his actions with the next unfortunate girl.
Yeah, you forced yourself on me
What do you mean, forced? Don’t tell me you didn’t like it ;)
I didn’t like it. All I wanted to do was play video games.
Whatever. You suck anyway. I would kick your ass at Gamefest.
A sinking feeling hit my stomach at his words for a moment, then I brushed them off. I ignored that message, and he finally stopped blowing up my phone.
Less than an hour later, my phone pinged. Why couldn’t he just let it go? I checked it and to my relief, it was from Tiffany.
Where were you at lunch, and after school? I want to talk some more.
The reminder that my best friend had befriended my worst enemy just twisted the knife in my gut.
What’s there to talk about? You like Lexy more than me, I get it.
Can we stop arguing about that? I’m going to keep being friends with both of you.
I rolled my eyes but gave in. Her being best friends with Lexy was insignificant compared to the rest of my problems.
What about this Noah guy? How’s everything going with him?
I didn’t even know where to begin, but decided to come clean. She was my best friend, after all. And we told each other everything. I reflected on the Lexy problem. Almost everything.
I saw Noah today. He picked me up from school to come to my house so I can practice for Gamefest.
You had him over at your house?
Yeah, big mistake there.
Why? What happened?
And so I explained what happened as best as I could over text. And she responded back.
What an ass. You’re better off without him.
Indeed I was. Yawning, I used my phone to log onto Nemesis to post a status saying I wouldn’t be able to do any live streaming this week and possibly next week and maybe even the week after that. Mom didn’t specify when my punishment would be over with, so who knew when I could go back to pleasing my 32 followers. Many of whom I had Noah to thank for.
Make that 89 followers! The first thing I noticed was the increase. The second thing I noticed was the 42 unread messages. Possibly from Noah trying to contact me. I opened the page with the intention of deleting every one of his messages. Except they weren’t from Noah. Well, a few of them were, but most of them were from users I didn’t know. All of it hate mail detailing how much I sucked. How mean I was to Noah. How I should kill myself. How EmmaLlama was a dumb username.
Except for the one from a bot telling me to click on a special link to meet hot singles in my area. I had had enough of hot singles, and deleted it along with the nasty messages.
I also noticed the amount of comments on my videos had exploded, all saying similar things. I deleted those too. None of this explained why so many people gave me a follow, but maybe it was for the drama. Frustrated, I went to unfollow Noah, but checked his page one last time.
He had posted a status an hour ago.
EmmaLlama is a horrible, ungrateful bitch who acts like she cares about other people, but only uses them. She messed with my heart. She pretended to love me, but really, she only wanted me to buy her meals and give her rides. I helped her out whenever I could, but it wasn’t enough for her. Once I had nothing else to give, she broke up with me. I loved and cherished her. If only she loved and cherished me.
That explained all the hate. I couldn’t help but notice he had hit over 11,000 followers. Many of whom commented on his status agreeing and sympathizing with him.
I ground my teeth. Two could play that game. After unfollowing, I went back to my page and posted an embellished status of my own:
ArkBurn sexually harassed me!
Did a forced kiss count as sexual harassment? I wasn’t sure, but I shrugged and tapped “post” anyway. My follower count had jumped to 92, and I hoped it would keep climbing and more people would see my message. How dare he. After everything he’d already done, he adds this to it. At least my follower count was going up, even if for the wrong reasons. But the fact it was stupid Noah causing it to rise, and he would’ve tried to make me feel grateful to him for it. It made me sick.
Someone responded to my status.
He did what?
Just then, my mom’s voice called for dinner. I tapped my phone’s power button and put it aside.
“What’s this about you ditching school to bring some boy over?” my father asked as soon as I sat down to eat.
Alice jerked her head up from her plate of spaghetti in rapt attention. No doubt she heard an abridged version of what happened from when Mom picked her up. And now wanted to hear more details.
I focused on taking a bite of my pasta, though I wasn’t all that hungry. I was eager to know if I got any more replies on my status. Hopefully enough to wreck Noah like he wrecked me. I should’ve seen this coming the second he ordered a well-done steak.
“Who’s the guy?” Alice asked.
“No one you know,” I said.
“Does he go to our school?”
“Apparently he graduated from high school,” my mother butted in, giving me a frown.
Alice’s mouth dropped. “You’re dating an adult?”
“You’re in love with an adult!” I snapped. “At least mine is obtainable, instead of some actor no one’s even heard of!”
“You leave Cameron Brook out of this!”
“Who’s only been in, what, three movies with five lines of dialogue between them?”
“He’s been in more than that!”
“Girls!” my mother shouted. “Stop fighting and eat your dinner.”
I didn’t feel like eating my dinner. But the sooner I finished it, the sooner I could get back to my phone and see how many new messages I got. So I shoveled it down while Alice glared at me. I glared right back, then looked at my mom. “When am I un-grounded?”
“Two weeks,” she answered. “And no, you are not allowed to see that boy ever again.”
“Okay,” I mumbled. Though Gamefest was this Saturday, meaning that I wouldn’t be able to go. Both my parents were home on the weekend, so there was no way to sneak out without them noticing. And since I just ticked Alice off, she’d sooner snitch than help. Maybe Lexy, Lars, or Tiffany could take my place, but I doubted they’d win.
An idea struck me. One that was very stupid, and would further extend my punishment, but it was the only thing I could think of.
If I had Saturday detention, I would have to leave the house on Saturday to go there. And leaving the house meant I could sneak my way to Gamefest long enough to win the contest. After Mom or Dad drop me off at school, Tiffany or Lexy could pick me up and drive me to Gamefest.
Unless I came up with something better by Friday, or found $2,000 on the ground, I would have to roll with it.