My alarm rings and I slam it with my fist, turning it off. I’m surprised the thing hasn’t broken down yet.
Before I can even get out of my bed, my mom enters my room, without knocking, as usual. I’ve asked her to knock before entering countless times before, but she just doesn’t listen.
“Sweetie, get up. You’ll be late to pick up Lia to school.” She softly chastises then leaves the room. I told her yesterday I’m picking up Lia, and she already assumes I’m doing it today, too. I mean, I plan to, but knowing how stubborn Lia is, I’m pretty sure she will just leave before I can even reach her house. But I don’t tell my mom that, seeing as she seems to like the idea of me taking my girlfriend to school.
After I’m done with my morning routine, I head downstairs, where my breakfast is already waiting for me on the table. What I’m surprised to see, though, is my dad sitting at the table. He usually goes to his office early then heads off to work before I'm up.
“Good morning, son. You should hurry or you and Lia will be late to school.” He tells me, and my mouth drops.
“Mom!” I whine. Why did she tell him that?
“What? I’m just happy to see you become such a responsible young man. I wanted to share the good news.” I groan in annoyance at that. Of course she told him.
“I can see Lia has a great influence on you. I’m impressed.” My dad says, taking a sip of his coffee.
I sit down at the table and my mom puts a glass of juice in front of me before leaving a kiss on the top of my head and sitting at the table with us. I honestly didn’t think that this whole dating thing would cause such a change in my family’s life. My cold and angry father suddenly became my dad. A shared meal with my parents stopped being a form of punishment and an excuse to chew me out. And it’s all thanks to the girl I haven’t even noticed until recently. It's been barely weeks since this whole charade started and so much has changed already.
I enjoy the breakfast with my parents, talking about anything and everything. I’ve never imagined I would enjoy having small talk with my dad, but now? We just can’t seem to lose topics to talk about. We, surprisingly, have a lot in common. Who would’ve thought that my dad shared my interests?
Our little comfortable moment is interrupted by my mom.
“Blake, sweetie, it’s getting late. Lia is probably waiting for you.” I nod at her, even though I know she’s not. That girl is too stubborn for her own good.
“I’ll get going then. Can’t keep her waiting.” I laugh as I get up.
“Leave it. I’ll take care of that.” My mom says once I grab my empty plate, but I ignore her and take the dishes to put them in the sink.
“Bye mom, bye dad.” I wave at them as I leave, getting a quick “Bye honey” in response. I haven’t done that since I was a kid.
The drive to school was faster than usual, but Lia still beat me. I see her Challenger in the parking lot, meaning she’s already here. It’s still fucking early, why is she already at school?
I see her rummaging through her locker, obviously angry, if the frown on her face is anything to go by. Did something happen?
I walk up to her and wrap my arms around her waist from behind, careful of her ribs, getting only an eye-roll from her. I guess she’s gotten used to me touching her by now. The first time I hugged her from behind, I got a bruise on my ribs from her elbow. Then she just glared at me, but now all I get is an eye-roll. Progress!
“What’s wrong?” I ask, putting my chin on her shoulder as I look into her locker to see what could possibly make her angry. I don’t see anything out of place. But I have to admit, her locker looks way cleaner than mine. It's so damn neat and well-organized.
“Why do you think something’s wrong?” She asks, her tone irritated. Uh oh. Did I do something?
“You look angry.” She snorts at that.
“Angry? I’m not angry, I’m fucking furious!” She shoves a piece of paper into my hand. I don’t let her go as I unfold it and go over its content, getting angrier with every sentence I read.
“It was in here?” I ask, barely hiding my anger. I don’t want her to think I’m angry at her.
“Yep. I’m going to talk to the damn principal about changing those fucking locks. What’s the use of those if anyone can open them so fucking easily?!” I can tell she’s about to explode and I’m not sure I want to be at the receiving end of her fury.
“You can keep your stuff in my locker from now on, so whoever put it here doesn’t go through your things again.” I offer. Almost half of my locker is empty anyway, and with how organized she is, I’m sure we would manage to store all our stuff there. If I cleaned it properly, I could get even more free space inside.
“You sure? I might just take you up on that.” She warns me, but I just squeeze her tighter, putting my chin back on her shoulder again. For once I’m grateful no one’s here yet because I can just cuddle her all I want without hearing whispers around us. I nuzzle my nose into her hoodie, not missing the fact that it’s actually the one she ‘stole’ from me. Whatever fabric softener she used, it smells so fucking good. And mixed with the perfume she’s wearing – it’s addicting. I wish I could keep her in my arms and smell it forever.
“Are you smelling me?” She asks slowly, the edge in her voice turning to confusion.
“Whatever you used on this, smells fucking amazing.” She chooses to ignore my answer by changing the topic.
“Will you help me move my stuff?” I nod against her shoulder, but I don’t take my arms off her yet, getting mentally ready for the scolding.
“But we might have to clean my locker first.” I wince slightly, waiting for the inevitable.
“Blake.” The way she says my name right now means I’m in trouble. Uh-oh.
“I didn’t have time to clean it lately.” – I admit a bit shamefully. – But still, half of it is empty.” I try to lighten up her mood.
“I will strangle you with your notebook.” She says as she unwraps herself from my arms before heading towards my locker with me following right behind. We still have about 40 minutes before classes start, so I’m not worried about being late.
I cautiously open my locker, but when I don’t hear a shocked gasp behind me, I sigh in relief and turn around. Lia looks unimpressed, to say the least.
“It’s not the worst I’ve seen. But you need some organization. Take everything out.” She orders. I pull all of my stuff out as she goes back to her locker and picks up her backpack before coming back. She places it next to my books on the window sill then takes out a small pack of rosy wet wipes. I watch amused as she wipes the shelves with those, causing my locker to smell lightly of roses.
“Okay, now that that’s done, I need you to bring my stuff from my locker as I organize yours. Or you’d rather do it yourself? It’s your locker, after all.” She tells me, her tone turning unsure at the end. She’s so adorable.
“You can arrange it however you want, sweetheart. I don’t mind.” I reassure her then walk towards her locker.
Once we’re done arranging everything, I go to the vending machine at the end of the hallway to get something to drink. I don’t trust the water fountain here!
I hand Lia her soda, knowing she likes it. I’ve seen a lot of those in the fridge at her house. We sit on the window sill with about 20 minutes to spare before we have to head to class.
“I got to say, you did a great fucking job with our locker.” I don’t miss the slight widening of her eyes at the word ‘our’. “What, we’re using it together now, it’s ours.” I shrug.
“That’s not what surprised me.” She shakes her head. “I’m just amazed how the hell are you the second best student here with that head of yours.” She laughs at me, her eyes gleaming with mischief.
“Did you have to add the ‘second’ part? Seriously?” I pretend to be offended, turning my head away from her with a huff.
“Oh, did I hurt Cakey’s feelings? Is Cute Blakey mad?” She coos and I can’t stop myself from laughing at that.
“You’re impossible.” I turn back to her still laughing.
“You’re one to talk, Mr Pot.” She jokes. That’s how you wanna play?
“Are you trying to offend me, Ms Kettle?” I joke back.
We keep talking and joking for a while, but once I see people starting to pile in, I ask Lia if she wants to head to the classroom, since I know she doesn’t like crowds.
“Yeah, we have Math first. Take my books out while you’re at it.”
“Of course Your Majesty.” I dramatically bow, causing her to chuckle.
“You’re so weird.”
Just like yesterday, I keep holding Lia’s hand during the whole time. She doesn’t seem to mind, since she doesn’t try to pull her hand away.
After spending time with her, I realized that if I want to know what she’s thinking, I have to ask her directly, otherwise she’s unreadable, making it impossible to know what’s going through her head.
“Why don’t you pull away your hand from mine during classes?” I ask her once we leave the classroom, the curiosity getting the better of me. I half hope to hear that she likes holding my hand, just as I like holding hers.
“I abandoned it. If you want it, you can keep it, I have my left hand to use.” I burst out laughing at her serious tone.
“You make it sound as if I’m going to cut your hand off and keep it with me. And you call me weird.” I chuckle all the way to my locker.
“Stop it Mr Pot. Would you give me my hand back if I wanted?” I stop for a moment. As I think it over, a revelation strikes me, like a damn lightning.
I smile gently at Lia as I answer her question.
“No I wouldn’t.”
I would not and will not let her hand go.