I closed my locker and faced the girl next to me, my hand keeping my bag warm. “Yes?”
Kayleigh smiled. “It’s been rumored that Ezra is going to ask a special someone to prom. He’s never actually done this. He’s never asked any girl to prom. Do you think it’ll be you?”
The students walked by, whispering. Ah, rumors were always the best part of high school. It was bad enough we were just teenagers going through puberty and finding ourselves in life. We also had to make each other miserable.
“I think it’ll be whichever girl says yes. I sure as hell won’t.” I turned and walked to my class.
Kayleigh followed me. “Why not? Breanna already told me that you’re falling in love with him.”
I stopped in my tracks and covered her mouth, looking around the halls. “Don’t say it so loud!”
She gasped. “It’s true. My best friend is in love.” She smiled big. “This is so romantic. What are we going to do? We should have you ready for when he asks you.”
I backed away from her before she could smear makeup on me. “No, we aren’t doing anything about it. He won’t ask me. I’m not the type of girl that guys ask to prom.” I walked away from her.
“Amelia, get back here.” She groaned and came after me. “You can’t shoo away the idea. You never know. He can’t get enough of you, clearly. If he can’t get enough of you, you know you’re very well an option.”
“He likes to bug me because I get irritated by him. It’s not because he can’t stop being around me.” I rolled my eyes.
She ran around the front of me to block me. “You told me you’re soulmates. You very well know he wants to be around you because he feels the same pull you do.”
“Whatever you say.” I walked into my classroom, leaving her behind.
My eyes were fixed on the man who stood across the cafeteria. His smile was hard to miss. He turned his head and his brown eyes met mine. Oh boy, he was walking this way.
“Mel, what’s up?” He smiled at me. To think his perfect smile was aimed at me. This was the day to be alive.
“Nothing, just...waiting for my food.” I used my thumb to point at the line I was in. “You happened to be in the way of my sight.”
He looked at the line. “Come on, you can’t eat this.”
“Why not? I’ve been eating it for over four years now. At least at this school. I’ve only got about a month left of it until I get to go to college and buy all my own food.” Ah, college would be better than this dump.
Ezra shrugged and looked back at his friends. “Fine, suit yourself. I’ll eat good food.”
There was no possible way in history this boy would ask me to prom. How could Kayleigh believe such a stupid thing?
“Can I talk to you, in private?” he asked. I almost choked. Was this happening? He was going to ask me, wasn’t he?
“I just told you I’m in line. I can’t leave now. I am hungry.” I laughed a bit. It was just a coverup for how scared I really was inside. He couldn’t be serious.
“Alright, after you get your food, meet me in math class.” He walked away.
Everyone knew math classrooms were empty during lunch. Only nerds would go to math before it even started. I was one of those nerds. It wasn’t because I liked math but because some days I had nobody to eat with and eating in my next class always worked out for me.
I got to the front of the line and got my food and went back to my math class. I sat down and felt the presence behind me. “What did you want to talk about?” I looked up at Ezra. He was going to ask me. He was going to ask me.
“I actually have a confession to make.” He sat down. Was he confessing his love? Was he confessing I was the girl he would ask?
I rested my cheek on my hand, watching him. “Go on.”
“It’s hard for me to say this. I don’t want the rest of our friendship to be based on lies. I made a bet with my friends a while back that I could make you fall in love with me.” He let out the deep breath he’d been holding in.
I straightened my posture. I could be mad at him but I knew that was hypocrisy.
Pushing a strand of hair behind my ear, I said, “I made one with my sister that I could make you fall for me.”
He lifted both of his eyebrows as an amused expressed blanketed his face. “So we both made bets on each other? Now that begs the question. Have you fallen in love with me?”
The back of the seat called my name, which I gave into by resting against it. “Have you fallen for me?”
It was settled. Neither of us would admit our feelings and let the other win the bet. There was no way I would tell him I loved him. I’m sure he felt the same way. “Cool, so we both are terrible people who bet on each other. In my defense, this was right after you slapped me,” he said.
I laughed. “I made mine after you made that period joke. Breanna said it would be funny to make you fall for me. I suppose it worked?” A smirk plastered my lips.
“That’s for me to know and you to never know.” Ezra leaned back in his seat.
I grabbed my pizza and took a bite of it. What was there to do now, knowing we both had bet on each other? Were the bets off? Were they still on? Was I going to win a hundred dollars? I sure hoped so. I needed that money.
“What happens now?” I looked at Ezra with my arms folded across my chest.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never been apart of a two-way bet. Do you still want to bet on it?”
I smiled. “Oh, yes, please. I really could use the money. It’s only long before you admit you love me and I am a winner. Breanna has the money to give me. I don’t. I won’t give up.”
I finished my lunch and Ezra left as soon as the bell rang. The rest of the school day went on as usual. As I returned home, I grabbed some snacks before telling Breanna the news. “Turns out we both are betting on each other.”
She looked up at me from the couch. “I saw that coming from a mile away. I’m surprised you didn’t. Although, Ezra is still very cute. At least he’s not betting on your virginity.”
My eyebrows shot up. “You think I’m a virgin?”
“You’re not? Who was this guy?” She twisted her body to face me as one of her arms was resting atop the couch cushions.
I shook my head, rubbing my temples. “That’s not important right now.”
Breanna lowered her eyes. “Let’s just get this over with. You found out he was betting on you, too. Now what?”
“We’re still betting on each other. It’s like a fun game at this point. I can’t owe you a hundred dollars. That’s money I don’t have. I need it for myself. I can’t be giving it away. He was cool with it.” I shrugged and turned on my heel, going up to my room.
I looked at my room, realizing Ezra was right. I mean, I realized that a while back but now I would put his words to good use. I was going to decorate my room. I just needed to figure out what I wanted to put up on my walls. I didn’t have money to go out and buy things. However, I did have a friend who was always up for a challenge.
I called Kayleigh over and she arrived within ten minutes. She was already ready for this job and I didn’t want to ruin her happiness.
“I want to decorate my room but I don’t have anything to put on my walls. You’re always good at this stuff.” My gaze was glued to the girl who was spinning around my room and getting inspiration. If only it were that easy.
“What is it that Amelia likes?” She stopped turning to face me.
I furrowed my brows, unsure of how to answer. Did I really not know? I was so boring.
“I mean, I enjoy... Damn, what do I like? Movies?” I wiggled my finger at her.
Kayleigh grabbed a piece of paper. “Well, you like vampires. You like smart stuff. You like...”
“Smart stuff? I’m not going to put math problems around my room. That’s just really weird. I do like vampires but Twilight is not our thing. It’s our thing to make fun of.” I nodded my head.
I could almost see the thought bubbles appearing over her head. Her mind was in the workings. “We could put some jokes around the room? You guys own this house, right? You have permission to do what you like on the walls. We can do two jokes. Maybe some funny drawings? It will at least give your room some personality.”
My heart felt that sting. “Just insult me why don’t you.”
She gave me a look and started writing some jokes on the walls. I wasn’t sure how good of an idea this was. I mean, drawings? That looked so tacky. At least if they weren’t properly framed or displayed. Just a plain paper with a whacky drawing wouldn’t suffice. I needed more than that.
“Maybe I could put up some clocks? Mom has some leftover clocks in the garage. She got them for cheap at a store on clearance. The battery compartments were broken.” I went down to the garage and grabbed the clocks. They hadn’t even been removed from their packaging. Mom must not have had a place for them.
I took them back upstairs and used some scissors to remove them from their boxes. I used some nails and a hammer to hang them on my walls. They weren’t basic clocks, either.
One was a red clock with roman numerals. This one was about two feet all around. It was pretty big. The other one was about twenty inches with a silver border and an embossed pattern surrounding the numbers.
“This is a little better, right?” I asked Kayleigh.
She smiled in return. “Much better. I’m proud of you for expressing yourself.” She tilted her head. “In a way.”
I sat on my bed. “It’s better than nothing. I don’t want to be seen as boring.”
“You’re not boring. I’m your best friend for a reason. Ezra wants to be around you all the time. Plenty of people don’t see you as boring. Your room just happens to be very boring.” She gestured to it. “Until now.”
It was a start. I couldn’t believe if Ezra really was going to ask me but if he wanted to win that bet, he wouldn’t make the mistake of asking anyone else. He had to be smarter than that.
“Thank you for helping me. That is why you’re my best friend,” I told her.
She laughed. “I’m your best friend for many more reasons.”
I smiled. “I forget. You’re the weirdo I need in my life. I’m a boring human who needs you to balance me out. Do you think that this is really my personality or it’s just your personality rubbing off on me?”
“What gave you that idea?” She frowned and came closer. “You’re really awesome. You’re not boring. You were this cool before I met you. I just helped you express it more openly. You are very fun to be around. Ezra is going to have a hard time not falling for you in return. Trust me on this. Kayleigh knows best.”
I hugged her. “Of course, you do know best. Thank you for being there. And I’ll definitely make you the weirdo maid of honor that every bride needs.” I chuckled into her shoulder.
She squealed. “Yay! And this is why we’re best friends.”
“As a wise woman once told me, I’m your best friend for many more reasons.”