14 | It's A Deal
I woke up to my alarm the next morning at seven. My head hurt like hell, but I took some Tylenol and got in the shower.
When I got out, I pulled on some camo sweats, my black Marines sweatshirt, and my pair of adidas superstars. I put on makeup even though I didn’t feel like putting any effort at all into my appearance. I did it because I knew if I walked into school looking hungover again Nadia and Mckenna would never stop asking questions.
We were on the way to school when Damen glanced at me for the hundredth time since we’d gotten in the car.
“What?” I asked, annoyed. I knew he was worried about me, but he was looking at me more than the road and he hadn’t said a word.
“Just… If your head hurts, call me, and I’ll come pick you up.” He said, looking at me again.
I groaned. “I’ll be fine. And I can take the bus back.”
It was silent for a minute.
“You know you never told me anything about your boyfriend.” Damen said finally. “What’s his name?”
I froze. Was he calling my bluff? Or did he actually want to know? I guess I’d thought he would forget about it. I couldn’t even come up with a way to redirect the conversation.
“Oh, he’s so awesome.” I said, trying to stall. “We sat next to each other in class on Monday and he was super nice to me and then after class he asked if I wanted to hang out during free period. We talked the whole time and he told me all about his family.” I had no idea how a relationship was supposed to progress, so I just plastered a girly smile on my face and hoped it was believable.
“When did you become official?” Damen asked.
“Uh, Wednesday. But we haven’t actually told anyone.” I added.
Damen glanced at me. “So what, he just asked you to be his girlfriend?”
I thought of Cody and how he’d complimented me. “No, he told me he really liked me and that he really enjoyed spending time with me and then asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend.” I winced. There was no way Damen was believing this.
“Oh, you should invite him over for supper tonight.” Damen glanced at me. “What was his name again?”
I honestly couldn’t tell if he actually believed me or if he knew I was lying and was just trying to trap me in it. Either way would end up a disaster for me.
I’d said I was meeting my boyfriend last night. If Damen caught me lying about having a boyfriend, then he wouldn’t stop until he knew what I was actually doing, and if he found out about my fighting, I would never see the light of day again.
I swallowed. Why the heck had I picked this lie? The longer it went on, the worse it would be in the end.
“He can’t come over; he has a family thing tonight.” I closed my eyes, knowing that I was about to be in huge trouble.
Oh my gosh! An outrageous thought crossed my mind and my eyes shot open.
If I agreed to be Kai’s fake girlfriend, he’d have to pretend to be my boyfriend. And that solved my problem, right?
“His name is Kai!” I almost shouted. Crap.
Damen gave me a look and then grinned. “Okay!”
“Sorry.” I gave him a tentative smile. “I just forgot you asked what his name was.”
He laughed. “So when do I get to meet him?”
As soon as Damen left to go to the principal’s office, I groaned. Between the noise and the million things going through my mind, my head was hurting again. I put my air pods in and pulled up my hood, mentally kicking myself.
I was so stupid for telling Damen that Kai was my boyfriend, for so many reasons:
1) If I was going to have a fake boyfriend, why had I said Kai? Wesley probably would’ve done it and I actually kind of liked him. Kai, not so much.
2) I already told Kai no and he’d seemed annoyed. He might’ve already found someone else to do it, but even if he hadn’t, would he even agree to let me do it after I rejected him like that?
I reached my locker and opened it up.
3) I’ve seen movies and read books about girls who fake-date bad boys and the girl always ends up falling for him. Kai was the last guy on earth I ever wanted to fall for.
4) There were a million different things that could go wrong between us, especially with my secrets.
And 5) What if Damen, Mom (I’d barely even thought of her), Wesley, or anyone really, found out the relationship was fake? It would ruin my life even more than it was already.
I slammed my locker. Basically, I’d made the worst possible decision in a stressful moment and now I had to live with the consequences.
But in the end, fake-dating Kai couldn’t be worse than Damen finding out what I’d been up to, right?
I knew I had to talk to Kai at some point. Most of me wanted to push it as far out as possible, but a small part of me knew that the longer I waited the harder it would be and the more time he had to get someone else to do it.
Between my History and Spanish classes, I found him by the lockers, making out with a slutty freshman.
I was pretty sure that meant that he hadn’t asked another girl, because there was no way he’d asked the girl he was making out with to be his girlfriend. Dating a freshman would really drop his social standing.
Kai saw me coming but ignored me and kept making out with the girl.
“I need to talk to you.” I said, stopping a few feet away from them.
Kai withdrew his head and glanced at me. “You think that because I talked to you one time, you can talk to me whenever you want?” He went back to kissing the girl.
I rolled my eyes. What an asshole. “Actually, no.” I said. “I’m pretty sure you only talk to girls who suck your dick. This is about our conversation yesterday.”
Kai pulled back again and looked at the girl. “Sorry about her implication, but I kinda should talk to her.”
“Ugh.” The girl glared at me and then stalked away.
I was actually a little impressed. Kai hadn’t just told her to leave, he’d been somewhat polite.
“What?” Kai stared at me.
I glanced around the busy hallway. “You really want to talk here?” It felt a little weird suggesting we go somewhere private, but I didn’t think either of us wanted anyone hearing what I was about to say.
He glanced down the hallway and then pushed off from the locker. “Come on.”
I was definitely self-conscious as I followed him down the hall. I felt like everyone was watching me, judging me for even walking with him, but in reality, nobody even gave us a second glance. That was how much people were used to Kai being with new girls. It didn’t even phase them.
I followed Kai down a few halls and into an empty office. I wasn’t sure, but it appeared to belong to the football coach.
Kai shut the door and leaned against it. “So?”
“Why do you need a fake girlfriend?” I asked. I didn’t want to seem too eager to do it, and I needed to know anyway.
He narrowed his eyes a little. “Did you decide you wanted to do it after all?”
“Maybe.” Yes. Well, I didn’t want to do it, but I needed to do it to save my own ass.
“You told me no yesterday.” Kai’s dark blue eyes pierced my own. “Why do you think I’d still even let you?”
“You stopped your little makeout session to hear what I had to say, didn’t you?” I raised my chin a little. “And you asked me. I really don’t think you’ve been going around asking other girls to be your fake girlfriend. You picked me for some reason.” I wanted to know that, too, but first he had to answer my other question.
Something, not quite a smirk, more like a proud, impressed look, spread across Kai’s face. “Good job.” He said sarcastically. “You’ve analyzed the situation very well.”
I stared at him, unamused.
“Fine.” He clenched his jaw a little. “But you can’t ever repeat a word of it to anyone.”
I nodded. I may not like him very much, but I understood how important secrets could be.
“I got into a little trouble last year with the cops and my dad made me start seeing a psychologist. The guy told my Dad that I got into trouble because I don’t have enough stability in my life, so now my dad says that if I don’t start exhibiting “stability and consistency” he is going to enroll me in a military academy.” Kai’s eyes never left mine. “My psychologist gave a list to my dad of things that would help me improve. A stable relationship is on that list.”
Damn. I bit my lip. That sounded pretty serious and very complicated. Almost as complicated as my life right now. “What did you do?” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
Kai gave me a look but didn’t say anything.
“Okay, then why me?” I pursed my lips a little. “Why not one of your pretty fangirls?”
He looked away, towards the wall. “A few reasons, but mostly I need a girl that can stand up to Staci.” He looked back at me. “She will try to destroy anyone that gets in the way of what she wants, and she wants me. You’re the only girl I’ve ever seen stand up to her and get away with it.”
“Great. So basically, the only thing I get out of being your fake girlfriend is enemies.” I made a face. “Why not just have Staci do it? You seem to enjoy her company just fine.”
He gave me a look. “Look, I don’t want a girlfriend, I’m doing this to make my dad happy. Staci is not the kind of girl my dad would see as stable. You are.”
I swallowed. He had no idea. But if he only picked me because his dad would like me, that mean I was doing a good job of hiding my feelings, right?
“You’re not like other girls.” He went on. “You’re strong-willed and you don’t take shit from people, but you’re still polite. Mostly.” He added.
What the heck? I’d seen him watching me a few times, but that seemed more than just a casual observation.
“And you can get a lot out of being my girlfriend.” Kai shrugged. “Popularity, more friends.”
Someone was a little arrogant. I wanted neither of those things, but I didn’t say that. There was no use in telling him when I had to say yes anyway, and that would make me seem even less like other girls when I was trying to fit in.
“You have an aversion to guys.” He said. “If you’re my girlfriend, guys will stop checking you out.”
The bell rang and I winced and moaned, instinctively reaching to the back of my head.
A look of concern swept across Kai’s face, but it was gone so quickly you wouldn’t have known it was ever there.
“Okay,” I said, recovering. “It’s a deal. I’ll be your fake girlfriend. But for how long? I have my own life to live you know.”
“A month and a half.” Kai said. “Six weeks from Monday. That should give me enough time to convince my dad and Principal Wright that I’m fine.” He shrugged. “But if it goes well, we can end it sooner.”
Six weeks at the most. I could do that, right? I mean, it had to be long enough that people actually believed it was real. “It’s a deal. We need to get to class.” I headed toward the door, but Kai didn’t move.
“Wait a minute.” He put his hands up to stop me and they lightly touched my shoulders.
I took a step back. “What? The bell rang. We need to get to Spanish.”
“We still have a few minutes.” He shrugged. “You got to ask your questions, so I get to ask mine.”
I swallowed and stared at him. It was only fair, but I hated this idea.
“What made you change your mind?” He asked, tilting his head a little. “I didn’t even have to convince you, you wanted it.”
My eyes widened a little and I searched my brain for an answer.
“Don’t bother to lie.” Kai added. “I told you my reason, so now you owe me.”
I lifted my chin a little. “Fine. I got into a little trouble of my own and this is the consequence. To get out of trouble, I said I have a boyfriend, so now I have a boyfriend.”
Kai looked amused. “Fair enough. But why do you hate guys so much?”
I bit my lip. “I don’t hate guys, I hate relationships.”
Kai’s eyes darkened a little and he didn’t say anything.
“So, can we go to class now?” I asked. I had bad experiences with being late and I did not want to walk into class late with him.
“Yeah. Just a minute.” Kai grabbed a marker off the desk and grabbed my wrist. Pushing up my sleeve, he wrote his number on my arm. “Text me later.” Then he turned and was gone.
I took a deep breath and pushed my sleeve back down. I’d probably just made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
Leaving the office, I realized we hadn’t even talked about what we were going to do or how we were going to convince people we were dating. We hadn’t really talked about anything but the why’s.
This was already going the wrong way.
“Su tarea debe entregarse el lunes!” Senorita Garcia called. “Your homework is due Monday!”
I picked up my backpack and headed for the door.
“Hayden!” Senorita Garcia stopped me. “Your Spanish is perfect! Donde aprendiste?”
“The lady that babysat me when I was younger grew up in Cuba.” I replied. “She regularly spoke Spanish, so I learned more Spanish than I did English.
“Eso es maravilloso.” Senorita Garcia smiled. “I was wondering if you would be willing to tutor a few of the other kids. I would lighten your homework load.”
I closed my eyes. Great. I didn’t care about my homework load, I was already fluent and was only taking it as an elective, so the homework wasn’t a problem. I just didn’t want to tutor anyone. I had enough to deal with since I now had a psycho fake boyfriend.
“You do not have to give me your answer right now.” Senorita Garcia said. “Piénsalo. I wouldn’t need you for a few weeks yet, but there are always a few niños that fail if they have no tutor.”
“Yeah.” I grinned. “I’ll let you know.”
“Adios.” I left the room and headed to my locker, my mind already moving on. I put my backpack in my locker and went to the cafeteria for lunch.
When I got there, I didn’t see Kai. I didn’t even know when he expected this fake relationship to start. I kind of needed it to be tomorrow at the latest. Damen kept pressing to meet my “boyfriend”, so I’d told him I would invite Kai over tomorrow night.
I was sitting with Nadia and Mckenna again when Kai and his friends walked in. Kai had a girl on either side of him and he didn’t even look at me.
Apparently, he was serious when he said he didn’t want a girlfriend.