LXXIII. My (Fake) Girlfriend
“Why do you look like you’re about to start a murdering spree?” Madison’s voice appears.
“Because I might go into a murdering spree.” There is no way Ricardo is getting anywhere near Crystal. I grew up with Crystal, and even if she is a spoilt brat, she is like my younger sister.
“That’s not your phone.”
Madison’s eyes are still as keen as ever. “It’s Crystal.” It’s not odd for us to have each other’s phones. If one of us can’t be reached, our families always call the other.
“Nice party,” Madison commented.
“And congratulations on finally catching Hailey.”
I smile, “Thanks.” I’m not in the mood to make small talk. Finally, I looked at her. I noticed how Mason wasn’t present.
Madison swirls the drink in her hand. “I hope you know what you’re doing. I mean, bringing your childhood friend to school is one thing. Declaring her as your girlfriend is another. You know there’s a lot of ladies who’ve been eyeing you.”
I snicker, “You’ve been going to too much of those intolerable parties over the holidays.”
“I may have, but what I’m saying isn’t a lie. Many little birds inform me that a lot of families had been talking to your parents, something on the line of an arranged marriage?”
Yes, even in this day and age. There are still arranged marriages. My grandparents had one. Madison’s parents had one. Many families around us are formed from arranged marriages. “No need to worry about me.”
“Ah, yes. The perfect family. Little Joshua’s parents wouldn’t force him into anything he doesn’t desire.” It’s not a secret that my family isn’t like others. I don’t dislike it, but it is a double-edged sword. My parents allow me the freedom to do whatever I please. To love whomever, I wish. Unfortunately, because of my parents - particularly mom - kindness, a lot of families have their sight on me and any of my younger brothers.
For the parents, it’s a privilege to marry into Greyson’s household.
For the daughter, it’s fortunate to be married into a family where the mother-in-law isn’t unbearable.
For example, the Everharts.
Madison’s parents are lovely, but it’s only because I’m from the Greyson household. The Everhart’s and Greyson’s family status is head to head. The only difference is the Everhart rule in the fashion industry, while Greyson rules the shipping industry.
Everyone knows marrying into her house isn’t easy. Her family is known to be protective of the boys of the household. Not because they favor the boys. Trust me, out of all three children, Madison is most likely the most favored child. It seems that the Everhart family has a difficult time bearing females. I guess that’s something our household has in common.
Not everyone knows that Everhart’s boys are different. The woman of the Everhart’s isn’t easy to deal with because of that reason. To marry either boy, the person has to get their parents, both grandparents, uncles, aunts, and Madison’s approval. The last one is the most challenging course.
To gain Madison’s approval, the girl must be superior then her in every aspect. And for her, no one is better than her.
“Thank you for reminding me of my privilege,” I said.
Madison shows off every pearl. “Of course. Anything for a friend.” She grabs a glass from the waiter that came by and handed it to me.
I accept it. “To friendship,” I said. We chime the glasses together.
I’m not fond of Madison, but I wouldn’t want her as my enemy either. For a while, the Everhart had declared their heirs to be Madison and Mason. I heard from mom that Trey flipped the house and screamed that he doesn’t want to inherit the family business.
There it is - the guilt.
Maybe, I’ll send some more games to Trey. I heard he’s into it these days—rare collectible games.
Most likely, Madison will take over Everhart’s business in the future. After all, Trey buried himself in his room, doing who knows what. Mason always merely follows Madison. Most likely, in the future, he will continue to support her.
Madison smacks her lips. “Your family is nice, but I can’t say the same about everyone else.” She glances at me, “Is that the reason why you brought Hailey here.” It wasn’t a question, rather a deduction.
“Still as keen as ever.” That wasn’t a compliment, instead a warning to stay out of my business.
“Be careful,” she chuckles. Madison never takes warning into consideration, no matter how much I give her. “We may be at a fairytale party, but our lives are anything but a fairytale.”
“I got enough lectures from my father, but thank you.”
Madison glanced at me and smirked, “I saw little Hailey on the balcony.”
Balcony? Isn’t she going to the restroom?
“Coincidentally, Jasmine is also there.”
Ah, fuck! “Thanks for the tip.” I made my way towards the balcony. I’ll deal with whatever it is between Crystal and Ricardo later.
I didn’t want them to be alone, particularly after what Jasmine did at the field trip before the holidays. That, and she hit Hailey on our first day back.
I admit, Hailey was being a bit rash and started the fight because she believes Jasmine spread the photo of her past. But, realistically, Jasmine wouldn’t do that. I know her. She wouldn’t stoop that low. It’s not in her blood to fight unfairly. She had always been the type of person to work hard for her achievements.
But, still, she hit my (fake) girlfriend.
I look to my left, “Why are you following me?”
Madison smiles, “I wanted to get some fresh air.”
We speed through the hallway, her annoying heels continuously echoing. They must have hurt. I should know. My aunts used to force me to break in their heels. I’m not proud of my past. “You know something, what is it?”
Her smiles widen, “Do I?”
I hate it—her games.
Without warning, I slammed into someone, and she fell to the ground. “I’m sorry.” I offer a hand. I’m in a rush, but I wouldn’t want to be rude. I was the one who didn’t look where I was going.
Steadily, her head lifted.
My eyes narrow at the girl. She looks familiar, but I can’t pin who she is.
She lowers her head and grabs my hand. “Thank you,” she responds and speeds down the hall.
I shook off the weird feeling and resumed my pace. With a hand on the handle, I threw the balcony door open to witness an unexpected scene, an image that got my blood boiling.
Jasmine stood there on her feet and clenched her teeth. “She started it,” she spat out.
I looked at Hailey, who sat there with a hand on her cheek. Her face was cast downward so that I couldn’t see it. Despite my inability to see her response, I know she is in shock. I made my way towards her and went on my knees. I held the hand above her cheek, but she didn’t move. “If she started it, why is she the one hurt?”
Jasmine laughs, “Why don’t you ask her?”
I look at Hailey, who’s still looking at the ground. “Hay Bug?”