He pulled me by the hand towards his friends, turning back to send me one of his delicious smiles. I squeezed his hand as we made our way through the throng of people to find a group of guys surrounded by pretty girls watching us intimidatingly.
‘I thought she was here with Sam White for a second there Fenton.’ Smirked Chase, his arm slung around a beautiful Chinese girl with waist length black hair who smiled at me kindly. She introduced herself as Kelly and I smiled back at her gratefully as the other girls just stared at me, as if challenging me to be in their space. I was wondering what she was doing with Chase when Axel spoke, his voice deep and gravelly.
‘Good of you to come Annabelle. Didn’t think I would see the day that Bailey would actually settle down.’
‘Please. Its been five minutes, he will get bored soon enough.’ Trilled the redhead by his side, her hand on his arm possessively. I didn’t recognise most of these girls, they must go to another school, or be drop outs, I thought wryly.
’Bailey, you can do so much better. Is she even a cheerleader? What does she do?′ spat another.
‘Girls, be nice. She’s not used to being around people like us. Not everything is about looks, right Bailey?’ Commented a blonde guy I recognised as Gareth Jun from school. Suddenly I felt a fire in my belly, who the hell were they to speak about me that way?
‘I am standing right here, can you at least address me if you are going to insult me?’ I snapped, much to everyones surprise. ‘Excuse me.’ I said to Bailey as he threw an angry glare in the girls direction, whilst they just smiled smugly. I pushed my way outside and felt Bailey grab my hand, turning me towards him. I felt tears sting my eyes as I spoke, my voice threatening to break.
‘I can’t do this, this isn’t me. I’m sorry. I can’t do this.’ I mumbled as he stared at me with confusion on his face.
‘Annabelle, please, give them a chance, they aren’t used to me being like this.’
I pulled my hand away as he flinched, his hand hanging limply at his side.
‘I am not going to ask you to choose your friends differently. They are who they are. But I sure as hell don’t have to be part of any of it. That’s what comes with being with you Bailey, those judgemental rich kids who haven’t got a clue what it is like to live in the real world!’
I stopped, realising the tears had spilled down my face and I wiped at them with my arm, seeing mascara streaking on my pale skin. Make up was so damn inconvenient when I wanted to cry, how dare it claim to be waterproof then let me down? Bailey watched me silently, his eyes full of hurt.
‘I’m so sorry Annabelle. Is there anything I can do? Please, I don’t want to lose you.’ His voice was low as he pleaded with me, his hands reaching for me once more. I felt my heart breaking as I realised I was going to have to be the one to end this, and I wasn’t sure what hurt me more. Seeing his face when I said it, or saying the words myself.
‘It’s over Bailey. Just let us go back to our lives, how it was before the bet. Please.’
I took a deep breath as his eyes darkened, as he spoke through gritted teeth.
’Why? Because we are different? Or because the way I make you feel scares the crap out of you?′
I studied him, taking in every feature I had come to love so much, from his dark lashes, the dimples in his cheeks, the way his eyes changed colour when he became angry. His hair flopped into his eyes and he pushed it back angrily.
‘Because being with you makes me someone I’m not.’
’Being with me makes you happy.′
He spat angrily, his voice beginning to shake. I could see the vein bulging in his neck and I realised I had to leave before it got anymore heated.
‘I’m sorry.’ I backed away as I hurried down the street, my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t see where I was going, my vision obstructed by the anguish I felt in my soul. I began to sob as I reached for my phone, intent on calling a cab.
How the fuck did I get in this situation? I should have told him to do one when he first spoke to me in the hall.
I became aware of footsteps behind me and I quickened my pace, not wanting to turn to see who it was.
The voice made me slow down, commanding me to wait.
‘Let me take you home.’
I didn’t want to see him, for I knew if I had to look at him again I would be back in his arms once more. I felt his arms around me as he murmured into my ear.
‘I’m so fucking sorry for putting you through any of this. Just let me take you home, I couldn’t live with myself if anything happened to you.’
His voice was gruff, his arms strong and warm as he held me, as I tried to control the sobs. I allowed him to guide me to his car as I slumped in the passenger seat, my head in my hands as I stared out of the window. I heard him get in beside me and sigh, and I prayed he would just drive. After what seemed like forever he started the engine and he pulled away, the journey back to mine excruciating and silent. When we reached my house I went to open the door when he put his hand on mine.
‘Please, just think about it. We could work. I swear, it could.’
I looked at him with sadness in my eyes as I gave him a small smile.
‘I think we both know that only works for the cliches in books and films. In real life it just doesn’t work out. Thanks for everything.’
I left the car before the second set of sobs racked my body, the pain almost unbearable. The thing was, this would be better than staying with him any longer. We had barely been together a week, imagine if this had gone on any longer. I opened my door to see my mother asleep on the sitting room chair, a romance novel on her chest as she dozed. I stood as the tears fell silently as I watched her sleep, peaceful and free of heartbreak. I envied that, because I realised that despite everything, Bailey was right.
I had fallen for him.