Morning light shines on my closed eyelids. I groan in irritation and snuggle deeper into my pillow. But I pause when I realize my pillow is a lot firmer than usual.
All of a sudden it vibrates with a chuckle and my eyes shoot open, only to be met with a waist covered in a shirt. I look up to see Emory smiling down at me, her hand on my hair.
I blink, taking note of my surroundings. I'm once again in her room, which isn't much of a shocker, but my face is pressed against her waist, my arms around her hips, and my legs clamped on hers.
I grin happily, and nuzzle my face into her shirt. She pets my hair as I take a deep breath, her sweet floral scent taking over my senses. "You smell good," I mumble.
"Thank you. But you have to get up now. I don't want you being late to school," she says.
I sigh heavily. "I don't wanna go to school. I wanna skip and stay here with you all day," I whine.
She gently cups my chin and turns it up to face her. "You have to go to school, Honey."
I pout at her. "I used to skip all the time before lately. One day won't hurt," I try to reason.
She gives me a sympathetic look, frowning. "I don't think that's a good idea. Plus, I know you, you won't want everyone to think you're skipping to avoid Layla," she reminds me softly.
I avert my gaze, still not liking the idea of school and being away from Emory, but deep down I know she's right. I don't want anyone to assume I'm weak or that I'm too depressed and butt hurt to see Layla in public. I mean I'm definitely not looking forward to it, but we're bound to see each other some time, so there's no reason to put it off.
I grunt, annoyed that my wish to chill with Emory is no longer an option, because I have to keep my fucking reputation and not let this shit with Layla drown it.
I sit up, rubbing the crust out of my eyes. "I'm gonna need a shower before I leave. Do you think you can spare some more clothes? I have a feeling I'll end up at my house one way or another today, so hopefully I can grab mine then," I ask Emory.
She sits up as well, hands in her lap. "Yeah, you can pick some from the closet when you're done. I'll make breakfast while you're in there."
I stand up, walking to the bathroom. "No thanks. I usually pick up Dunkin Donuts on the way to school."
She nods, "Well then at least let me drive you. I want some too."
I roll my eyes, chuckling, "Fine," I say before closing the door behind me.
I take a quick shower, then dry off and wrap a towel around my torso. I decide to let my red hair air dry, since it has the best waves that way.
I go back into Emory's room, turning to her closet beside the bathroom. The doors are already open, and clothes are littered all over the floor, some even spilling out into the room. I dig through the pile, finding a pair of black Adidas joggers and a grey sleeveless hoodie, then I pull them on along with the white Woxers, black bra and socks Emory set on the bed for me. So thoughtful, my heart flutters at the simple action.
I'm not gonna lie, I'm kinda digging this whole active look.
I grab my phone and wallet which I left on Emory's nightstand, and make my way downstairs.
I find Emory sitting on the couch, all ready and dressed, fiddling with her car keys.
I tug on my shoes by the front door, catching her attention. "You ready?" She asks, getting up and coming over to me.
I give her a thumbs up, opening the door for her, to which she giggles at and steps through, me following behind.
As she leads me to her Camaro, after I stop by my Jeep to grab my Airpods and a pack of cigarettes, I notice Annie's car isn't in the driveway, and then I realize I haven't seen her since the party.
Once we get into the car and start driving, I ask Emory about it. "Hey Em?"
"Where has Anne been yesterday and this morning?"
"Oh, right. After her party, one of her friends offered for her to go on a week long vacation to the Bahamas and as soon as our parents gave her permission, she packed and left," she explains.
I hum in acknowledgement, nodding my head. "Damn, that sounds so awesome right now. I'm jealous."
"Maybe you can come with us on our annual vacation over Christmas break. I think we're going to Cali this year," she offers.
I smile brightly at her, honoured that she'd even think to invite me on a family trip. "That would be great. We'll have to see about it."
We ride in a comfortable silence until we reach Dunkin Donuts. She pulls into the Drive Thru, turning to me. "What do you want?"
"A large caramel macchiato and a coconut donut, please," I say.
She nods and repeats my order and her own to the machine, then goes up to the window. I take out the necessary amount of money from my wallet, leaning over her to pay the attendant before she can refuse.
After they hand us our food and we get back on the road, she glares at me for a moment before returning her attention ahead of her. "You know you didn't have to do that, right? I could have paid for it."
I just smirk lazily at her, propping my elbow on the console, my chin on my fist. "Well how gentlemanly would I be if I made you pay for something that I asked to get in the first place?" I retort.
She rolls her eyes with a huff, but I catch her smiling. "Whatever."
Not too long after that, we reach my school, where she parks and turns off her car. "Do you want me to pick you up and bring you to the gym or drop you off at my house, because I have to work today," she says.
I think for a second, then decide I don't want to be away from her any longer than I need to. Plus, a workout would really help me clear my mind after what I'm sure will be a somewhat dramatic day. "I'll go to the gym with you."
"Alright. Well I guess have a good day at school. If it gets to be too much to handle, just call me and I'll pick you up, okay?" She tells me, concern evident in her voice.
I lean over to caress her cheek to reassure her. "I'll be fine. But if not, I'll call you. I promise."
She puts her hand over mine, wearing a satisfied smile. "Good."
I continue to rub her cheek, my gaze traveling to her lips. "Can I kiss you?" I ask hesitantly.
She laughs softly. "You don't have to ask. Of course you can."
I smile, kissing her gently, but my inability to control my impulses surfaces and I end up deepening the kiss.
We pull away a little while later, breathing heavily, both of us grinning like the infatuated fools that we are.
With one last peck to her cheek, I open my door and slide out. "I'll see you later," I say with a wave, then I turn to enter the school, my smile never leaving my face.
As soon as I walk into the building, all eyes turn to me and whispers build up. People are obviously put off by my rather cheerful mood. But I don't really care. I just put in my earbuds, tuning out their reactions with 679 by Fetty Wapp at full volume.
I casually walk to my locker, hands in my pockets, taking out my binder, then I close it and head to first period.
Most of the class is already there, including my entire group of friends. I completely ignore them, not even sparing them a glance, and take a random seat at a table up front, leaning back with my arms crossed over my chest.
I hear even more people mumbling, even through my loud music, and I see them staring out of my peripheral vision. I smirk, knowing they're all so confused. Oh how I love proving my cold heartedness, even if the opposite is true.
I feel someone sit beside me, but I don't pay attention. Until they tap on my shoulder. I lazily turn my head to look at them, my eyes widening when I realize it's Alena.
"Hey," she says, frowning sadly.
"Hi." I deadpan.
"I know you probably don't feel like talking to me, but I just wanna say something."
I sigh, pausing my song, turning to face her full, leaning my arm on the table. "Sweetie, I don't have a problem talking to you. Why would I? I'm fine, see? So, what did you want to say?"
She relaxes, visibly relieved. "Remember when we were talking Saturday night?" I nod, and she continues. "Well, what I was trying to say was that I thought Layla was two-timing you. I found it odd that she didn't tell you she was at the party. Of course, by now the whole school knows that she's in a new relationship already, but I'm guessing she has been for a while now, right?"
I scowl. Really? She's gonna boast about her affair with that shit this soon? God, I wanna fucking hit her so bad. I take a deep breath to calm down.
"Yeah, for two months now. And thanks, by the way, for trying to tell me about your thoughts that night."
"No problem. I wish Mikayla didn't steal you away so I actually could have told you though," she frowns. "On that note, are you guys like a thing again? I saw you kiss, but your reaction had me iffy."
I laugh, "Hell no. That's not happening, ever. I'm not dating anyone right now. At least not yet," I add, smiling when I think of Emory.
"Yet?" She asks. "What do you mean, yet?"
I wave her off, facing the front again. "Oh nothing. Now pay attention."
She continues to pester me about a possible mystery lover, but I don't reply, focusing on the day's lesson. She eventually quiets down after remembering she has to complete an essay she didn't finish last week.
When the bell rings at the end of class, I'm one of the first people out, not wanting to run into Layla. Alena catches up to me, placing a hand on my shoulder. "Besides all that, are you okay? If you need me, I'm always here."
I smirk at her, pressing play on my music. "I'm pretty good, to be honest. I have my own little emotional support system, which is great," I say.
"Huh?" She questions, pausing in the hallway with her head tilted to the side.
I just keep walking to my next class, and she doesn't follow after me, probably going to her own.
I sit at my usual spot in second period, students almost immediately swarming my desk, rapid firing questions at me.
"Did you know Layla already moved on?"
"Is it true Layla cheated?"
"Who was that person who picked you up when you were crying?"
"Are you going to get a rebound?"
"Will you go out with me?"
"You seem fine now, but weren't you like a wreck on Saturday?"
I raise my eyebrow, wearing an unimpressed look, my arms crossed. "What makes any of you think that I'd actually engage in a conversation with you?"
They don't get a chance to respond, the teacher telling everyone to sit down. They groan and grumble at their lack of information, taking their seats. I'm left alone for the rest of class.
My next class goes similar, and then it's time for lunch. One advantage of being popular is there's never a shortage of places to sit during lunchtime.
I scan the room, debating on who I should sit with, but I don't wait long because Alena appears out of nowhere, dragging me to the jocks table where all her cheerleader friends are.
I scowl in distaste as I'm pulled down to a seat in the middle of them and the lacrosse team. The lacrosse boys are my bros, but I have a certain resentment towards the cheer girls. Mostly because my stepmom was one in her high school days and she's still very proud of that fact, bragging about her spot as captain at every social event. Even if that weren't the case, they're still preppy snobs.
And just as icing on the cake, Mikayla sits here too.
Alena offers to get my lunch, zooming off before I can refuse, leaving the spot beside me empty. The girls slide over to surround me, one of them even latching onto my arm.
"So~, since you're single now, how about we have a little fun," the girl on my arm says, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively. She walks her fingers up my bicep.
God damn, this is why I hate being single. Why does everyone think just because I'm not with someone- at least not that they know of *wink wink* -that I suddenly give two shits about them?
"I'm sorry, who are you again?" I ask half-heartedly.
She recoils from me and pouts, going to pick at her food. I have to restrain my laugh, glancing around the table. People's eyes dart to me every once in a while, but most are caught up in their own conversations. Though one person is staring me down. Mikayla stabs her fork into her salad, not once looking away from me, even when I catch her eye.
Tutoring today is gonna be fun.
Fuck, now my nerves are all hyped up. I get up, bending over to wrap my arms around James's shoulders, a boy on the lacrosse team I'm fairly close with. "Can I steal your Cheetos?" I ask, taking the bag in my hand.
He shrugs. "Sure bro, I don't care. I don't really like those anyway."
I pick up the Party Size Flamin' Hot Cheetos, standing back. "First of all, thanks bro. Second, you must have some kind of disorder if you don't like these," I joke as I walk to the bathrooms.
I hear him laughing behind me, the sound quieting once I pass through the cafeteria doors, and silencing altogether when I enter the girls bathroom on the right.
I slip my cigarettes out of my pocket, taking one out and lighting it before putting them away again.
I take a puff, holding it in for a few seconds, then blowing it out through my nose. Sticking the cig in my mouth, I pinch both sides of the bag, pulling them apart until it tears open.
For the rest of lunch, I go between smoking and snacking, both actions calming me, while I sit against the wall, music playing through my Airpods.
I hear a ringing interrupt the song I'm listening to, and I frown, not remembering that part. Ahh, yes. It's the bell. Lunch must be over now.
With a sigh, I get up, stubbing out my cigarette and tossing it in the trash on my way out into the hall. I continue to casually eat my hot cheetos until I arrive at fourth period, where I roll up the bag, setting it on the desk I chose.
The class seems to drag on forever, feeling like triple what it normally is, as well as my last two periods.
I tiredly stuff my binder in my locker, slamming it shut after. I begin to make my way outside, but a voice makes me stop.
"Planning on ditching tutoring, huh?" They say in an annoyed tone.
I slowly turn around to face Mikayla, drawing a hand down my face. "Ah shit. I forgot about that," I mumble. Then, louder, "No. I'm coming, just give me a sec."
I pull out my phone, sending a quick text to Emory, saying not to come because I'll be here for another hour and her shift will start before then, so I'll take a cab instead.
She replys that she understands and to be careful, which I then agree to.
When I'm finished, I follow Mikayla to the library. For a while, it's decently peaceful, me catching up on things my classes went over weeks ago that I hadn't paid attention to, her sitting silently next to me, glancing at my progress every few minutes.
Until we have fifteen minutes left and I'm all caught up, when she finally decides to speak up. "So... you're single now. I heard you and Layla yelling Saturday, I went to the window to look. Saw her walking away, you on the ground," she recounts, but her voice is oddly... I don't know, somber? Just not her usual bitchyness.
I sit back and nod my head. "Yeah, but that doesn't mean you should get any ideas," I warn.
She sighs, crossing her arms and slouching in her seat, her expression gloomy. "I know, I know. I just brought it up because I thought I should say something."
I narrow my eyes. "What did you wanna say?" I query, suspicious.
"Look, after witnessing what happened and your reaction to it, it finally got the message into my head that you truly do love her, or at least you did. No matter how hard I tried, I never could've broken what you had. I see that now. I'm sorry for acting like that, I really am, and from now on I won't bother you anymore," she tells me, looking down.
I smile, relieved that she's let it go, but I also feel a little bad. "I accept your apology. I'm sorry as well for being so harsh on you. I shouldn't have just left like that, and the way I treated you after was wrong. You're such a beautiful girl with an awesome personality, you deserve better than me anyway," I admit.
She looks up with wide eyes, surprised, but she eventually blushes, turning back down with a grin. "Thank you. But that's not totally true. While we were together, you really were the best girlfriend. Layla's a fool for not holding on to you and never letting go. I hope you find someone to cherish you."
"And you too, Mikayla. But hey, why did you look so mad at me during lunch?" I ask.
She laughs, breaking out of her temporarily sullen attitude. "I was flustered that I'd have to put my pride aside and apologize. But it was the right thing to do. I know our relationship has been pretty rocky, but I was wondering if we could turn a new leaf. You know, be actual friends for once." She holds her hand out to me. "Whaddya say? Friends?"
I smirk, taking her hand and shaking it. "Why the hell not. Friends."
We walked to the front entrance, bidding our goodbyes as she went to leave in her car, and I dialed the number for a cab.
Bringing the phone to my ear while it rings, I hear a car pull up to the curb in front of me, and I look up when I hear a door open and shut. Cursing under my breath, I hang up, putting away my phone.
My family's driver Garth, stands in front of a black SUV. The old man, skinny with a head full of white hair stands straight, hands clasped behind his back, smiling sympathetically at me. He tips his head, "Blake," he greets.
I mimic his action. "Garth. I suppose my parents sent you to pick me up?"
"And I'm assuming I don't have a choice on the matter?"
The sweet old man shakes his head. Poor guy doesn't have a choice either when it comes to disobeying my parents. "Afraid not, ma'am."
I sigh, knowing I could just run in the opposite direction, but that'd cause even more hell. So, when Garth opens the door to the backseat, I climb in.
He shuts the door, then gets in as well and starts driving, presumably to my house.
I look out the window, at peace with my decision. I will take whatever punishment they give without complaints. I will be absolutely obedient as to prevent further angering anyone. I just want all this drama to be over with.
When we pull up to our family mansion, I think to myself, although I'm prepared for this, God do I want to run and hide in a hole right now.