„Hey, where’s Lia?” I ask Will, as I look around and don’t see her.
“Uh… she left. I saw her talking to the coach and leaving.” He tells me reluctantly.
“Are you really surprised?! You’re so stupid sometimes.” He shakes his head at me. Tyler joins us, curious about what just happened. He winks at me and slaps me on the back.
“Daamn man, that was something else. I did not expect that!” He says, still laughing, while Will stares at me, seeming quite disappointed.
I approach the coach and tell him we’re leaving class. He can’t really say anything about it, so he just nods at me and lets us leave.
Once we’re outside we head to the parking lot, since there are no students there at this hour.
“What is it, Will?” I ask him, leaning against my car.
“You really don’t get it, do you? I told you she’s a loner, that she keeps to herself, and what do you do? You put her on the spot by staking a claim over her in front of everyone. Did you even think about what was she feeling? Why do you think she left?! She was sickly pale when she was talking to the coach. She was so uncomfortable that she ended up getting sick! And if that wasn’t enough, what do you think Victoria is going to do now? She’s not going to give up and you fucking know that!” He rants angrily at me, and as his words register in my head, I start feeling worse and worse the more I think about it.
“Jesus Christ, I fucked up.” I run my hand down my face roughly. “What do I do, now? I have to get her to agree!”
“I don’t know, Blake. I don’t know her well enough to tell you what to do. But if it helps, I got her address. You could go talk to her in private, without audience. I don’t think she would come to the diner, anyways.” Will says. He’s always so level-headed and calm, thinking everything through, and as much as I hate to admit my wrongs, I’m thankful for his advice.
“Thanks, man. Let’s just hope it works.”
“You could get her chocolate. Women LOVE chocolate. Or ice cream. OR CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!!!” Ty exclaims, trying to help as much as he can.
“Okay, I gotta go now. Will, send me her address.” I say as I get into my car. As I reverse from the parking lot, my phone rings with a new message from Will. I check the address. Okay, I know where it is. I head towards my favorite pizza place to get their fantastic pepperoni pizza. Then I head next door to the ice cream parlor and get a huge tub of chocolate ice cream, following Ty’s advice.
Going through the town towards Lia’s house I think about what to tell her. How do I explain the whole ‘fake dating’ thing to her and not offend her? What if she doesn’t agree? I already claimed her. Fuck, so that’s what Will was talking about when he said I’m stupid. I already staked my claim, but if she doesn’t agree I won’t be able to take it back without her facing repercussions. Victoria will not let that go. If she agrees to help me, I can at least protect her from Victoria’s fury, but if she doesn’t, my claim over her will only get her in trouble. Damn it! I hit my steering wheel with my hands. I royally fucked up!
I finally arrive at my destination, Lia’s house. I’m surprised to say the least, I did not expect her house to look like that. It’s a cute one story country-styled house, with a small porch in the front and on the side, a well groomed garden and stone alley. I park my car in the driveway in front of the garage and get out with the pizza and ice cream, heading towards the front door.
My nerves spike as I ring the doorbell. I’ve never been this nervous coming to a girl’s house. It’s weird. Shit, what if her parents open the door? What will I say? That I’m a friend? I’ve just talked to her today for the first time. And how will I explain the food? I try to calm myself down, but then I hear the door open.
Nothing could prepare me for the view in front of me.
There she stands, dressed in a flimsy black fluffy bathrobe, with her long wet hair dripping on it, and her long legs bare for me to watch.
I quickly snap out of my stupor and smile gently at her. It always seems to work on girls.
She doesn’t react in any way to my words, seemingly speechless. That thought makes me smirk a little, knowing I have that effect on her.
The expression on her face doesn’t change as she finally speaks.
“How do you know where I live?” Despite her calm expression, I can hear something akin to annoyance in her voice. Or is it irritation? Maybe anger. I’m not sure, but I can tell she’s not happy I’m here.
“Can I come in? I brought food” I offer. She looks first at the pizza, then at the ice cream.
“No.” She says and shuts the door behind her as she takes the pizza from my hand and heads around the house to the side porch, where there’s a small set of garden furniture, with a grill, a set of cabinets with a built-in fridge, and a table with four chairs. She sets the pizza on the table, then goes to the cabinet and picks out plates and glasses, sets them on the table and then bends towards the lower shelf of the fridge to get something to drink, all the while not minding that she’s still wearing only a robe.
“Sit down. I don’t bite” she says calmly, gesturing to the table.
She sits down across from me with her legs crossed, and takes a piece of the pizza, smothering it in the sauce she got from the fridge and starts to eat. Following her actions, I begin eating in the surprisingly comfortable silence.
Usually when I go out with girls to eat, I can’t even concentrate on my meal, having them chatter my ears off.
With Lia, there is that comfortable silence around that I don’t feel the need to fill.
But I have to.
“The ice cream is going to melt.” I notice the slight surprise on her face as she looks up, looking fucking adorable with a smudge of the sauce on the corner of her lips that I’m itching to lick off. What the hell? Where did that come from? She wipes her face with a napkin as if she knew what I was looking at and reaches her hand out.
“Give it to me, I’ll put it in the freezer for dessert.” She tells me, surprising me again with the light tone of her voice.
I hand her the tub, watching her as she puts it away and goes back to eating the pizza. As I take my third piece I’m surprised to see that she’s also on her third piece. No girl has ever eaten more than one piece of pizza and some salad in front of me! It’s my first time eating with a girl that’s not whining about calories and is eating a greasy pizza with such gusto.
She’s so fucking cute!
“You should stop staring at me, or you won’t get dessert. I won’t hesitate to eat the whole tub myself.” She says, pulling me from my trance. I continue eating and as I’m about to take the last piece she left me, I speak.
“What if I want something else for dessert?” I say as I wiggle my eyebrows suggestively.
“Then you will have to visit one of your whores.” She says calmly, but I detect a warning undertone in her voice, making me flinch slightly.
“Sorry, it’s a habit, I guess. I can tell you’re not like the girls at school, that’s why I decided to ask you for help.” I apologize. Fuck, what is she doing to me, I never apologize. But I don’t want her to misunderstand my intentions and hate me.
As I’m done with the pizza, I finish my drink, while Lia takes the box and throws it away. Then she takes out the ice cream, the one I brought and some other. I lean my elbow on the table with my chin on the palm of my hand and watch intrigued as she takes out some fruits and cuts them up, then takes two crystal bowls from the cabinet. She puts two big scoops of each ice cream, then covers them in the fruits, with strawberries on top, and then finishes up with a swirl of whipped cream and trickles some chocolate syrup on each.
She hands me one bowl and a spoon and sets the other for herself. She cleans up quickly, putting everything away, then sits down and with a quick questioning glance gestures for me to eat.
“You’re not allergic to any of it, are you?”
I laugh at her. “No, I’m not. I’m just surprised.”
I notice her eyebrows scrunch cutely in confusion, so I decide to elaborate.
“Well, here’s the thing. I thoughtlessly brought you pizza, guessing that you wouldn’t come to the diner like we planned, because of what happened at the gym. And I know it’s my fault. Then Tyler told me to bring some ice cream or chocolate, since, I quote, ‘women love chocolate’. So I did.” I chuckle as I think about it. “And you surprised me to no end, to be honest.”
“Why is that? I just ate dinner with you.” She sounds confused.
“That’s exactly why. I have gone to many dinners with girls, and none of them acted the same way you did today.”
“Can you get to the point? I don’t get what you’re saying.” She looks like an adorable angry kitten when she’s annoyed. Which makes me want to annoy her even more.
“Well, you didn’t chatter my ears off, you ate half of the pizza instead of cussing me out for even bringing it in the first place, then you made those awesome desserts for us.” I tell her, not voicing my thoughts about how incredible she is, though.
“Why should I ‘cuss you out’ for bringing pizza?” She asks confused, making quote marks with her fingers while she speaks of cussing me out.
I chuckle, amused. She’s fucking cute.
“Well, you’ve seen most of the girls at school, yeah? – she nods – they would NEVER eat half of the pizza. Never. And to add ice cream to that? No way.”
“Well, I guess I just don’t care what you think of me. Why would I restrain myself for your sake? It’s stupid.” She tells me, shaking her head, her voice expressing how ridiculous she thinks the idea is.
“And that’s what I like about you. You’re different – I continue, getting serious now – that’s why I wanted to ask you for a… favor of sorts. I need your help, Lia.”
“I need you to go out with me, as my girlfriend.” I can see her light demeanor disappear as she goes over my words.
“You should leave.” She says. No, no, no. I can’t leave now.
“Wait, you misunderstood. It’s not for me, it’s for my parents.”
I can tell she doesn’t understand. I wouldn’t, either. But the hardness in her eyes makes me want to explain myself. I don’t want her to look at me this way.
“Just let me explain. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about when I asked you to meet at the diner. I didn’t want to go over it at school, because it’s too personal. Please, you’re the only one who can help me.” I’m almost begging at this point, but I’m not ashamed of it. If that’s what gets her to listen, I will fucking beg.
“Okay, fine. Talk.” She’s pissed now. Uh-oh.
Okay, here goes nothing.
“Well, I’m sure you’re aware of my reputation at school, – I see her eye twitching, she does not like it – um, my way with girls at school got me in trouble with my parents.” I look up to watch her reaction. She leans back in her chair and crosses her arms, drawing my attention to her chest with the simple action, as she waits for me to continue.
“They want to send me to juvie for all the trouble I cause, so I need a way to pacify them.” Her imploring look as she watches me, makes me hot and bothered as I almost struggle to keep talking.
“And together with Will and Ty – I know I’m throwing my friends under the bus now, but I have to be honest – we came to a conclusion that the reason for my parents’ decision is not my behavior or my grades, but… - I pause for a second. How do you ask a girl to be your girlfriend after openly admitting to being a player? Fuck, it’s hard – but my player ways and they simply want to see me in a stable relationship. They never talked to me about it because they probably knew I would just find some bitch they wouldn’t like just to get them to give up. But then, as I talked it over with the guys, the solution to my problem might just be the opposite. A girl that my parents WOULD approve of.”
“What are you saying?”
“I want to ask you to pretend to be my girlfriend.”
“No.” Damn she's straightforward.
“Please, Lia, try to understand the situation I’m in. If I don’t do something to show my parents that I changed the way they wanted me to, they will send me away. But they won’t believe me if I tell them that. It has to be someone they don’t know.”
She stands up and starts pacing on the porch.
“This ‘situation’ you’re in is your own fault. I don’t see how me being with you will show your parents that you’re different, that’s for starters. Besides, why would I lie to your parents to get you out of the trouble you created YOURSELF? I can’t Blake. You have to find someone else.”
“But that’s the thing! I can’t find anyone else! I’ve gone through every girl at school and-” I stop talking when I see the disgusted expression on her face.
“Not that way! Together with the guys we made a list… of girls who could be my potential girlfriends that my parents would accept. But none of them even held a candle to you. You’re smart, funny, beautiful, caring, kind, and so much more. I can already see it and I’ve only known you for a DAY.”
“Besides my parents like you.” I whirl around when I hear William’s voice behind me. “They are similar to Blake’s parents, so I told him that if mine like you then his would, too. Give it a chance, Lia. You’re not losing anything.” William calmly tries to persuade her. And for a split second I want to punch him in the face.
She’s still in the fucking robe and he’s shamelessly checking her out!!!
“Hey guys, you done here?” Tyler asks as he heads our way. This has just turned into a fucking circus!
“WOAH, GIRL!!! You look hot!” Ty exclaims as he stares at her like a piece of candy.
Lia sighs and sits down at the table, massaging her forehead, looking exhausted and deflated.
“Look, I know it sounds weird – I start as I sit down across from her, like earlier – but I REALLY need your help.”
“But why me?! I’m basically invisible at school, I don’t have any friends, I keep to myself. Why would you ask a recluse like me something like that?” Her look is almost desperate as if she wants me to back down and let this go. But I can’t. I’ve been watching her for the whole day and I know she’s the one. Then those few hours I’ve spent with her only reinforced my decision.
“Because you’re perfect, Lia. I can’t see anyone better for this. Please, Lia, at least think about it.”
“Come on girl, you’re not losing anything. Just do us this favor. Blake’s our friend and we don’t want to see him sent away.” Tyler speaks up, and I’m surprised to see that he’s almost crying. Will is also surprised to see our friend like that. He’s the goofy one out of the three of us, always happy, smiling, but the thought of me being sent away brought him to tears. I never realized that our friendship meant so much to him.
“Fine.” Lia says so quietly I almost didn’t hear her.
I turn towards her so fast I almost get a whiplash. “W-What? You’re agreeing?” I ask her, watching her for any sign that she’s messing with me, but all I see is honesty. She doesn’t seem to like the idea, but she’s still agreeing to this!!!
“Yeah. I guess. BUT!!! I have conditions. You don’t know me, as I don’t know you, so I have to set rules for this – she gestures between me and her – whatever it is now, so you don’t cross lines I don’t want crossed.”
“Yeah, sure, whatever you want, sweetheart. Jesus! Thanks, Lia. You’re the best. You have no idea how much it means to me.” I’m close to fucking tears just like Tyler. I honestly thought she’s not going to agree. She’s even more incredible than I thought.
I sit there gaping in amazement at her, but Ty does something that even I couldn’t predict. He lunges at her, picking her up from her chair and spins her around.
As soon as he picks her up she cries out, surprising us all.
“PUT ME DOWN! FUCK!!! PUT ME DOWN!!!” She screams at Tyler, hitting his shoulders continuously until he complies.
When he finally puts her on the ground she gasps for air, clutching her chest as if she couldn’t breathe. We stand there shocked as she starts coughing up blood and I rush to her as she collapses, catching her right before her body hits the floor.