Billionaire's Childhood Love

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LXX. Soon-to-be (Fake) Boyfriend

Hailey’s POV:

Two days later, we resumed school. After school, Josh guides me to the library. The sweats drill down my body. “Is this necessary?”

“Hailey. You only turn fifteen once. Now, which color design would you like?”

I groan and turn back towards the computer screen. “Purple.”

After we finish designing my invitations, Josh sends them away. In the next two weeks, he helped me set up for my birthday bash. Everyone was dying for an invitation. I’ve never been so hassled for an invite so much in my life.

I crouch behind a bush.

“Where did she go?”

“I think she went that way.”

I exhaled softly when I heard their footsteps fade. I blame Ahmend. He screamed when I gave him an invitation during lunch.

“Mind finding your own bushes?”

I look to my right to see Ricardo. “Sorry. I didn’t know this was your bush. Mind if I borrow it?”

“You’re not the confrontational type, are you?”

My eyes narrow, “I got into a fight not too long ago.”

Ricardo chuckles, “I heard you lost.”

“I did not! I gave her a good black eye!”

He reverts his eyes towards the book. “Good for you.”

“Oh.” I unzip my backpack and grab an invitation. “Here.”

He stares at it, “What?”

“An invitation to my birthday party.” I smile, “Will you come?” I know if I left it on Ricardo’s desk, he will throw it away and pretend he never saw it. Then when I confront him. He will say he never received the invitation.

I know because I invited him out for a meal before, and he said he never received the text message. He deleted it and pretended he never saw it. Then, when I show him the message from my phone, he would say he never received it on his end.

“No.” I didn’t expect him to flat out reject me. Well, I kind of did.

I lower the invitation. “Oh, I see. I mean, I turn only fifteen once. But it’s fine.” I thought Ricardo and I had gotten closer, maybe even became friends, but I guess not.

Ricardo exhales, “Mamma is calling me that night.”

I can hear the sound of students talking. The sound of the bell ringing. The sound of leaves swarming against the wind. “Excuse me?” Did I hear, right? His mamma?

“Mamma calls me every Saturday. I need to wait for her call.”

“That’s your excuse?”

“She gets sad when I don’t answer it.”

I have a feeling Ricardo has some sort of complex towards his mamma. “Oh,” I responded. “That’s a good reason.” No. It is not.

Then again, a family is important. And he does love his mamma. With how Ricardo looks and sounds when he talks about his mamma, she doesn’t sound like she’s too well-off. He seems like he’s afraid he may never hear her voice again.

Ricardo exhales and grabs the invite. “If she calls early and I have some time. I’ll drop by.” He put the envelope inside his book and closed them. “You can have this bush.” He stood up and walked away.

I cannot believe it.

He said: Maybe.

I think I’m breaking him.

Throughout the week, I somehow manage to avoid the hoard of students and invite people I know. Either from track and field or class.

“Madison!” I rush towards the entrance. Mason was behind her, per usual. Crystal and Leslie were behind me. I laid out an invitation. “My birthday is coming up. Please come.”

Madison smiles her usual perfect one and opens the envelope. “Of course, I’ll be there.” She pinches my cheeks. “And here I thought I wasn’t going to get an invite.”

Madison had been busy with the student council since Family Week is coming. It’s a week where our families visit the campus to make sure everything is good. Some people call it Donation Week.

“Here you go. You’re invited too.” I hand Mason one.

He didn’t open it but smiled at me. “I’ll be there.”

“What are you all talking about?” I knew she would be here. Jasmine usually hangs around Madison.

I turn towards her and smile. “I’m handing out invites.”

She gave me an equally fake smile. “Oh, for your birthday, right?”

“Yup.” I hand her one. “Please come to my sweet fifteenth.”

There was a moment of confusion, but she quickly erased it. She’s probably surprised that I invited her. The person who revealed herself as my love rival. The person who kissed the guy I like. “I would love to be there.”

I would love for her to be there too.

“Well-” Madison intervened our stare-off. “I can tell this will be a fun birthday.” Madison places the invite in the air. “I love Disney theme stuff.”

Then, the hunt begins.

“Tani!” Crystal screams, and I turn around. Instantly, we ran down the hallway. Taniyah had even arrived at class late and left early, so I didn’t have a chance to give her my invite.

When she saw us, she dashed down the hall. But I was faster. I blocked her from making a turn. My breath was sharp and fast. “My...birthday...Please...Come.” I present her with the wrinkled envelope.

Crystal fell against the row of lockers. “I think I broke a hip with all that running. Wow. You two can run.”

Taniyah’s face twists.

“Please?” I bit my lower lip and stared at her.

She groaned and snatched the invites from my hands. “If I have time.”

I smile while she walks away. She didn’t say no. I’m breaking both Ricardo and Taniyah. Yes! I gave Crystal a high five.

Then, it was time.

My fifteenth birthday.

I straighten out the purple dress my parents bought for me. Everything is perfect from head to toe.

When I woke up this morning, Josh surprised me with breakfast in bed. I received all types of messages and face calls from my family. Then, Crystal and everyone else took me shopping. It was nice and short, just the way I like it. Afterward, Josh and I spent some time having a picnic together - inside the room. It was too cold outside.

And now, here we are.

The peace outside does not reflect my inside. There was a shrill of delight from the little girl inside of me.

Josh knocks against the door. “Are you ready?”

I applied the light pink lipsticks. “Perfect,” I whisper. Inhaling a sharp breath, I screamed: “Ready.”

I open the door to see my soon-to-be (fake) boyfriend.

My eyes hurt.

He looks too good.

Josh smiles, “You look beautiful.”

My cheeks puffed, and I looked away. “I know.” I rush past him. I cannot allow him to see my face. It’s red. I know it is.

Josh drove us towards the hotel. His parents’ gift for my birthday is renting out a ballroom for my party. My parents are used to his parents’ over-the-top gifts. Dad says it’s a rich person thing. Then again, he’s the most spoiled person in the family.

I believe the most expensive gift would be a man cave dad received from Mr.Greyson. I never stepped foot in there, but I saw two flat-screen TVs. Then, there was a gold watch, a fancy-looking car, and everything else. I concluded that they’re best friends. If not, Mr.Greyson may be dad’s sugar daddy.

Josh made a turn in the street. “What are you thinking about?”

“Our dads.”

He laughs, “What?”

“Don’t you think it’s unusual that your dad gave my dad a lot of expensive stuff?”

Josh shrugs, “They’ve known each other for a long time.”

“But, friends who have known each other for a long time don’t give each other costly gifts.”

“It’s a rich person thing.” He casually brushes it off.

“But, sometimes-” I swallow, “It may be my imagination, but I feel like your dad looks kind of guilty whenever he looks at my dad.”

Josh stops at a red light and looks at me. “Really?”

I nod.

“So you think my dad did something to your dad, which is why he looks guilty?”

I nod, “Sometimes.”

He flicks my forehead. “Why would your dad be friends with my dad if he did something bad to him?”

I rub my forehead. “I don’t know. But, I really swore-”

“Hailey, be real. No one would be friends with someone who did them wrong unless they’re too good of a person. Plus, think about it. Your dad grounded you for two weeks for being ten minutes late for your curfew.”

I fold my arms, “And who’s fault is that?”

“I wasn’t the one who fell asleep at the park.”

I puff my cheeks before a breath is expelled. “Yeah. But it’s still weird. Like-” I circulate my hand, “Don’t you ever feel weird that my dad and your mom used to date, and now our parents are close friends?”

“No. Not really. From what mom told me, your dad and my mom were good friends in high school before they got together. All because their relationship doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean they can’t be friends.”

My heart skipped a beat. “You really think so?”

He nods, “Yeah.”

Josh park in front of the hotel. “Now, stop thinking about our parents’ weird history and enjoy your day.” He got out of the car and popped my door for me. Josh laid out a hand, “My lady.”

I held his hand, attempting to de-escalate the butterflies.

“Ready to announce our relationship?”

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