Billionaire's Childhood Love

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III. Joshua and Hailey...Hailey and Joshua...Together Forever

Hailey’s POV:

We walked into a store called Fate and began trying out clothes. I hummed along with the tune in the background, swiping through the racks. Josh grabs a pink bunny shirt with glasses. “Look, Hailey! I think I’m going to buy this!”

I lift a brow. “Really?”

“Yeah! I think the writing is cool. It says LA ME. I think it’s Latin or something.”

I push up my glasses. “Josh. That says lame.”

I sat there, blowing out air as I stared at the stall. “Are you really going to try it on?”

The lock clicks, and he swings the door open, revealing him in a pink shirt. I don’t know whether I should cry or laugh, so I did both. “Oh, my lord!” I shout, clutching onto my stomach, falling down the seat.

He flips his invisible dark long hair. “I know. I’m fa-boo.” He pouts his lips, crossing his arms over his chest.

The sad part is that he looks great in it.

We stand in front of the cashier. “Are you really going to buy that?” I ask.

He pulls out his card, the blank face staring at me. “Yes.” He slams the card down. “Got a problem?” His voice is fierce, serious about purchasing the shirt.

I place two hands in the air and step back. “No. Proceed.”

The whole day, we spent it outside, hopping from one random place together. Near the end, we were at the park sitting on top of the monkey bars, eating delicious yogurts.

I kick my feet back and forth, eyes watching the group of children playing frisbee. Licking the strawberry off my lips, I glance at Josh, who keeps peeking at me, then scoop his yogurt and eat it. “Okay. Ever since we came to the park, you kept staring at me. What’s up?”

He licks his sweet lips, then turns his body towards me. He dares to touch my yogurt, hop down, and place both of them on the ground. With a quick grunt, he jumps back up. “There is something I want to ask you.”

I look at my melting yogurt. “What?”

He scratches the nape of his neck, turning its tan into a slight shade of red. “Do you remember how you always say you love New York whenever you come to visit me?”

I nod my head, remembering how amazed I was when I went to New York. Unlike the quietness of MistVille, New York is much louder and more alive. Josh and I would transition who visits during our school breaks. Sometimes, he would come to California, and I would fly to New York.

Joshua grabs my sticky palms with his own. “I was wondering...if you want...do you want to go to high school with me in the East?” he said, almost a bit too quickly.

I sat there, wide eyes staring at him. There’s a hot breeze blowing past us as he chews his lower lips. I take a few blinks, trying to comprehend what had just lurk out of his lips. “W-What?”

He inhales a deep breath. “Let’s go to the same school together,” he declares in a louder and firmer voice.

My hand slips slightly away from him, but he holds onto it tighter, enlarged eyes staring at me. “J-Josh. My parents won’t let me-”

“I asked my parents to talk to your parents about it. They said they are willing, only if you want to go,” he cut me off, his hands clenching tighter onto mine. He scoots closer, pressing his forehead against mine, and I look up, inhaling his sweet chocolate breath. “Please? I want us to go to school together. It will be fun, I promise,” he whispers.

I chew on my lower lips. “I won’t be in high school for another year.”

He smiles, revealing his single deep dimple. “I’ll wait for you.”

The thumping in my chest is louder than ever, mentally debating whether or not I should go halfway across the country. Josh wraps his arms around my waist, pulling me a bit closer. “Take your time. You have a year, HayBug. Don’t overthink it,” he said gently.

I hold onto his shirt tightly, feeling his roaring heartbeat against my cheek. “I’ll think about it.”

When the day starts getting dark, we walk back to my house. I unlock the front door and poke my head inside. “Clear,” I whisper, dragging Josh into the house. We speedily tiptoe towards my bedroom. I notice the bathroom door opening and kick Josh’s stomach into the other room.

I smile, “Hi, mom.”

Mom is in her striped pink pajamas. “How was your day, sweetheart?” she asks.

My toes played with one another. “Good.”

“Joshua went back to his hotel?” she questioned, eyes scanning the hallway.

“Of course,” I lied, chuckling anxiously as I tried my best not to look at the place where Josh hid.

She sighs, “Tell him to stop turning on the AC at night,” she said, then pinch my cheeks. “I’m a detective, sweetheart. You can lie to your dad, but don’t ever try pulling a quick one on me.”

My hands slip behind me, fingers playing with one another. “Sorry, mom,” I mumble while Josh steps out of the other room, rubbing his aching stomach.

Mom points a finger at him. “Appropriate age,” she said sternly and kissed me before going back into her bedroom.

I turn my head towards Josh, tilting it lightly. “What does she mean by appropriate age?”

He puckers his lips, swaying back and forth. “I have no idea,” he said, pulling me towards my room.

Josh went towards the minimum amount of clothes he sneaked into my bedroom and stripped. My face heats up, seeing his bare chest, and I turn around. I puff my cheeks; head hung low as I walk towards my closet, and grab the purple skeleton pajamas.

I walk out of the room without a single word, feeling my body heating up. I wave my hands on my face, pacing back and forth in the bathroom. “Calm down, Hailey. You saw Josh almost naked plenty of time.” I bang my head on the wall, trying to stabilize my newly formed hormones.

After I take a quick refreshing shower, I open my door to see a half-naked Josh comfortably lying on the bed. He had a single arm tucked behind his head, leveling himself up while the other tapped against the screen of his phone. He inhales a deep breath, extending the lean muscles on his chest and exhaling. My eyes slowly dropped low, towards a very inappropriate part of his body, and I swallowed.

God, please have mercy on me, for I have sinned with filthy thoughts about my childhood friend.

I close my eyes, throwing the clothes into the dirty bin. I sigh, staring at the four containers Josh got me. Usually, I would lay my clothes everywhere, but he told me that it’s a no-no. So, he went to the store and brought me these bins, saying how each one is for a specific clothing type.

“You’re not going to bed?” he asks.

I turned around, eyes still staring at the floor, and went to turn off the light before jumping into bed. I don’t think I can handle staring at him any longer.

I sneak under the sheets, release a deep breath, and then proceed with my stares at the wall. I shuffle around to make myself comfortable and close my eyes. Releasing a yawn, I rub my eyes, feeling a bit sleepy. Josh laid there, and I noticed him staring at the ceiling, even in the darkness. “Can’t sleep?” I ask.

“I was wondering...what happens when we die?”

That is not the most random thing I’ve ever heard from him.

I yawn, digging myself deeper in the covers. “I don’t know, become ghosts, probably,” I grumble.

He turns towards me, brows pinching together. “Ghosts?”

I shuffle to my side and close my eyes, nodding absentmindedly. “Yeah...it will be fun.”

He chuckles, scooting closer to me. “How will it be fun?”

I smile, feeling his arm wrap around my waist. “We can steal people’s underwear together, knock over things, making ooooohhh sounds.”

Joshua snorted, lightly laughter echoing in the silent room. “Oooohhh sounds?”

I nod, feeling his hot breath pressed against my skin. “Yeah, ooooohhhh. You know, like those ghosts.”

“Ghosts don’t make that sound.”

“How would you know?”

“Touche.”

“Exact-co-moon-do.” Good one, Hailey. I placed both hands in the air and moved them up and down, pretending to be a ghost. “Ooooohhh,” I laugh.

Soon, he follows my laughter as I press my face against his bare chest. “We would have so much fun being ghosts together,” I mumble, feeling sleepier.

Josh stroked my hair, and the edge of my lips curled upward. “Let’s make people pissed their pants.”

I nod, wrapping my arm around his waist. “And steal their underwear.”

“What’s with you and stealing people’s underwear?”

I shrug. “It sounds fun.”

He smirks, “You can steal my underwear anytime.”

The heat rose towards my cheeks, and I shoveled him back, turning my back towards him. “No one wants your icky underwear.”

He wraps his arm around me, nuzzling his face into my neck. “You’re so weird, but I like-” he pauses for what seems to be a very long time. “it.”

I close my eyes, feeling our fingers tangling with each other. “Weird people are cool. They make life fun.”

Standing in the airport, I pout hearing Josh’s number being called. He messes up my hair and grabs his luggage while I tighten my hands on the strap of my bag. He stood in front of me and laid out his arms. Instantly, I slam my body at him. “I’ll wait for you, HayBug,” he whispers before letting me go.

He rolls his luggage towards the extended doors, ready to fly back home. A man appears and grabs his bag, whispering something into his ear. He nods, then turns towards me, giving me one last wave before disappearing.

I sat in the car, resting my elbow on the armrest as I stared out the glass window seeing the sunset. My eyes move over, seeing a familiar girl staring back at me. She had acne spreading all over her chubby cheeks, enlarged glasses, and frizzy hair covering most of her horrific features.

She is me.

Mom ran her fingers through my hair. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” she said sweetly as the music lingers in the air, filling up the silence.

“Mom...Am I fat?” I ask.

She smiles, placing a hand on my cheek. “Hailey, you’re beautiful.”

I look down at my layers of fat. “I don’t feel beautiful, though,” I mutter. I look at mom, who’s blonde hair brushes past her pale skin, matching eyes gazing at the road. “What do you do when you don’t feel beautiful, mom?”

She chuckles slowly, “If I’m not happy with the way I am. I changed baby.”

I bit my lower lip, fingers playing with the hem of my black shirt, and looked at the rearview mirror. She’s staring back at me, blinking whenever I do. She moves the same way as me. No matter what I do, she does it. “I want to change.”

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