Waited For You ✔️

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(12) Conflicted

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Celeste's POV

Georgia must have said something to Jamie because the next day, Jamie was waiting for me at my locker, a handful of roses resting in his hands. He had a nervous look planted on his handsome face, his eyes scanning the hallway.

When he spotted me, he straightened his back and sent me an award-winning smile. Uneasily, I approached him.

I pondered over Georgia’s words last night, coming to the conclusion she was right. I barely knew Lazarus—I had managed to make myself believe Lazarus was mine. He was free to be with Raegan again, which I thought he wanted. He had explicitly said anything about it, but I had seen them together on multiple occasions.

Before Lazarus came onto the scene, I was sure I was attracted to Jamie. I still might be, my feelings my just be muddled. I owed it to Jamie to give him a chance. If this date didn’t go well then, I would tell Jamie the truth. He didn’t deserve to be led on.

With a shaky smile, I stopped in front of him, ignoring everyone else in the hallway.

“Hi Celeste,” He greeted, sweetly.

I unlocked my locker and brought my eyes back to his. There was a light in those brown orbs today.

“Hey, how are you?”

His expression softened, “I’m good not that you’re here.”

Jamie wasn’t the type of person who would say things like that. Sure, he had flirted with me on several occasions, but he never said any pickup lines. I didn’t know whether I found it endearing or not.

Deep down, my heart wanted Lazarus to be the one to say things like that.

Blushing slightly, I lowered my gaze to the ground.

Jamie coughed awkwardly and scratched the back of his neck. He looked just as nervous which was shocking to me because I had never seen him so nervous before. He was never nervous about a football game or a test. Jamie wasn’t the type of person who got nervous.

“I—I wanted to ask you something, Celeste,” He murmured quietly. I could barely hear him over the noise. I bit my lip, peering up at him through my long lashes. “Would you like to go on a date tonight? I know you’re busy Friday and I have extra football practise the rest of the week.”

“Yes,” I replied, “That would be nice.”

His lips stretched into a big, enchanting smile. Any other girl would have swooned and felt weak at the knees at the sight of the smile. I might have done a month ago.

“Great, I’ll pick you up at seven tonight?”

I nodded my head, giving him a small smile.

He stepped back but didn’t walk away as if he wanted to say something else.

“I wanted to—” Before Jamie could finish, Georgia came over to us, a mischievous smirk on her face.

“Sorry, am I interrupting something?” She questioned, bouncing her eyes between the two of us. I averted my eyes whilst Jamie sent her an icy glare.

“You know, innocence doesn’t suit you, cousin,” Jamie told her, shaking his head.

Georgia rolled her eyes and flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder sassily. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, cousin.”

Thankfully, the bell rang, preventing them from getting into an argument. We all made our way to our homeroom class, where Matt was already sat with his head down. Georgia pursed her lips in disgust at the sight of him and sat far away from him. At our arrival, Matt peeked up at us, his eyes turning hopeful. He looked miserable.

“Are you ever going to talk to him?” I asked her, lowering myself into the seat next to her. Jamie headed over to his best friend, slapping his back in a friendly manner.

She sent me an outrageous look, frantically shaking her head no. “I am so mad at him. I can’t even look at him without picturing him kissing that platinum blonde slag.”

She then shot me a look, ordering me to drop it. Slumping my shoulders, I faced the front and waited for our homeroom teacher to enter.

The morning flew by.

When lunch came around, the cheerleaders all crowded around me whilst the football team sat away and gushed about how excited they were for me. News had spread about my date with Jamie and apparently the whole school was talking about it. I found it bizarre and alarming that people cared so much about our dating life. According to Dalia, everyone had been shipping us for years.

I felt eyes on the back of my head. It made the little hairs on my skin stand up and my heart rate accelerate.

I knew who’s eyes it was. I couldn’t look back though.

There was no doubt in my mind that Lazarus knew about the date. I wanted to know what he thought of it. Was he jealous?

Stop, I reprimanded myself. I wasn’t going on this to make him jealous. I was doing this for myself and Jamie. Lazarus had no business in this.

“You have to tell us everything,” Sammy, another cheerleader demanded, earning a chorus of yeses from the rest of them. Georgia sat on the sidelines, watching us interact whilst I silently begged Ellie to change the subject.

“I wonder where he’s going to take you,” Zoe, the only freshman cheerleader on the squad, wondered aloud.

“Somewhere fancy, surely,” Dalia snorted.

“I bet it will be somewhere magical,” Elizabeth, the hopeless romantic, inputted. She earned an eye roll from Dalia. Those two never really got along.

“Either way, you better wear something pretty and fancy,” Dalia said, locking eyes with me.

I didn’t have a lot of fancy stuff. I never really went anywhere where I’d need it. If I did, I would borrow an article of clothing from Georgia.

His eyes were still on me. Hesitantly, I spun around on my seat and stared in his general direction.

Lazarus was sat with Marianne and Dexter, who were both chatting animatedly. Lazarus, however, had his eyes dead set on me, a dark look flashing in his forest-green eyes.

I swallowed at the intense longing in his eyes, speculating whether it was for me or Raegan.

It was at that moment Raegan made her appearance. She waltzed into the room gracefully, her head held high and a grin plastered on her flawless face. Her blue eyes were transfixed on Lazarus—like a predator going in for the prey.

She brushed her dainty fingers along his arm first, passing him. Begrudgingly, he turned away from me and glanced at her. I couldn’t read his expression from where I was sat. Raegan slid into the chair next to him and curled her fingers around his bicep.

Sensing my stare, Raegan flickered her gaze to me momentarily and smirked wickedly. Then she snapped her head back to him and leaned into his ear, close enough for her lips to flutter across his ear. I had to look away after that, all of it being too much. My heart pounded in pain; I found myself gasping for air.

Georgia was watching my reaction. Everyone else was busy chatting away, oblivious to my inner turmoil.

I left when I glanced back to find Raegan practically on Lazarus’ lap.

Nobody followed me, believing my petty excuse of having period cramps.

In the bathroom, I stared at my reflection. My light blue eyes weren’t as bright as they were before. They longed for something. My usually pale face had a slight shine to it and my long wavy brown hair cascaded down my back. It was longer than it had been before, and I didn’t know if I liked it this long or not.

Images of Lazarus running his hands through my hair suddenly crossed my mind. I wanted him to twirl my hair around his finger whilst staring deep into my eyes.

Fluttering my eyes closed, I tried to block his face from my mind. I was going on a date with Jamie tonight, I couldn’t think of another man.

I splashed some freezing cold water onto my face, hoping it would distract me.

As I exited the bathroom, I spotted a tall, broad-shouldered man with his back to me. He swirled around at the sound of my footsteps, his forest green eyes connecting with mine.

There was a glint in his eyes that suggested he was troubled—almost as if he was tormented by something.

I hadn’t spoken to him since yesterday when he had demanded I have a piano lesson with him, only to abandon me during said lesson.

Pinching my lips together, I focused on the ground and used my long hair as a curtain around my face. My feet attempted to carry me away from him.

He had already noticed me though, so It was quite pointless. Didn’t stop me from hoping though.

I was a coward. I was hiding from him because I had a small crush. I was hurt that he left me yesterday even though he could do whatever he wanted.

The truth hit me full force. I didn’t want to get close to him because I was afraid, I would grow feelings for him, only for them not to be reciprocated.

“Celeste,” His voice sent pleasurable shivers down my spine. Nobody had ever created such a reaction from me. Butterflies formed in my stomach. “Celeste, wait—”

I whirled around on the balls of my feet and faced him.

He didn’t even blink. His eyes settled on me, staring me up and down. “I wanted to apologize for lunchtime yesterday. My brother had something urgent to tell me.”

“You don’t need to apologize,” I blurted out. “It’s honestly okay.”

“Do you want to reschedule that lesson to this evening? I have a piano at home we could use,” He offered, looking so eager.

Guilt gnawed at me. I couldn’t go. I had a date.

“I—I can’t,” I muttered, avoiding his eyes. “I, um, I’m going out tonight.”

His eyes hardened and he tensed.

“Oh,” He blinked, clearing his throat loudly. His eyes flashed with an emotion I couldn’t decipher. He must have heard the gossip about Jamie. If he did, then why did he ask me? He must have known I would be busy tonight. “How about tomorrow then?”

I nodded my head absentmindedly. “Sure.”

Raegan sauntered around the corner of the hallway then, her five-inch stiletto’s clinking on the marble floor. The corners of her lips quirked upwards as she approached us. Lazarus stiffened and fisted his fingers together.

Before I could watch them act like a couple, I rushed away, sending Lazarus a sad smile as I went.

I didn’t see Lazarus after that. I couldn’t get his hurtful eyes out of my head for the rest of the day.

He had no reason to look hurt though. He had Raegan. And I…

Who did I have?

So...sorry to leave this chapter on such a sad note. Poor Celeste. Anyways, how are you? I hope you had a good weekend! My next update will hopefully be Thursday. Fingers crossed. Have a great week!

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