I ran upstairs to my room with that lame of an excuse but I wanted to be alone. I put away my things and then I lied down on my bed listening to some music trying to calm my thoughts that were all over the place.
Next morning at school, after I parked and got off my car , Carter called my name and when I turned to his way I saw him sprinting to me.
"Hey Hannah!" He said with his signature smile.
"How are you? Did you have a nice weekend?"
"I am fine. Weekend was okay I guess..." I said a bit indifferently.
"I wanted to know if you thought about what I told you on Friday." He asked looking a bit shy.
"Well, I am still thinking about it..."
Just then I saw Liam park his car. I turned to Carter again, "Look Carter, I need to go now... maybe we can talk later?"
"Sure." He said smiling at me again.
I went to my locker to grab my books. When I turned to leave and make my way to the classroom I came face to face with Liam.
"I saw you talking with Carter... What did he want? If he is bothering you..."
"No he isn't! He just stopped to say hi, nothing else."
I know I was lying through my teeth but I didn't have to tell Liam that Carter was waiting for my answer. I was feeling bad enough already for lying but I had to though...
"Uhm… What?" I asked a bit distracted from my own thoughts.
"Is everything okay?" He was looking at me a bit worried.
"Yes. Why wouldn't it be? Anyway, I need to go to the restroom... See you in class."
And once again I bolted. I have to stop doing that because at some point Liam will figure out that something is wrong, he will start to question me and nothing good will come out of that.
During the class I sensed his eyes on me but I didn't look his way... I stayed focused at our teacher. Why is he looking at me? Maybe he already has his doubts about... What am I going to do?
At lunchtime I decided to stay away from the cafeteria because I needed to be alone. I was heading to the library to find a book for my English project when I heard Carter calling my name.
"Hannah... wait!" He jogged to my way gracing me with a small smile.
"Hey Carter! What is it?" I asked him a bit curious.
"Well, I know you owe me an answer but I was wondering... what if we could just hangout as friends? You know... take it slow and see how it goes, no pressure really!" He said while rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
I studied him, he seemed truthful... "If I say yes don't take it as I am giving you a second chance because I haven't decided yet."
"Okay. So, what do you say?" He was looking at me intently waiting for my response.
"Sure, we can try to hangout as friends."
That brought a smile on his face. "Awesome! Thanks Hannah for doing this. It means a lot to me. How about tonight? What are you doing after school?"
"I don't have any plans to be honest." I said in a cool tone.
"Wanna meet at the Avenue Mall around 6pm?"
"Great! See you later then..."
Lunch break was almost over when I saw a message from Liam.
L: Where are you?
Me: At the library... I needed to get a book for my English project.
After school I called Jenn. I miss her so much! When she moved away, Liam helped me fill the gap that Jenn's absence left and then I got to know him and without even realizing it, I've found myself in this situation. I should stay away from Liam and maybe hanging out with Carter will help me forget these feelings.
I decided to keep the clothes I wore at school, I didn't want Carter to think that I was making an effort. This wasn't a date, it was just an outing with a friend. I got into my car and drove off. A few minutes later I was outside the mall. Carter was already there waiting for me.
"Hi Carter! So, what's the plan?"
"I want to show you my favorite place here." He said with a smile on his face. I followed him till we stopped outside what looked like a store. When we entered I came across with an open area. The far back wall was filled with shelves and tables with chairs.
"What is this place?" I asked puzzled.
"This is a board game club. It's called The Game Rules..."
I would never in a million years have guessed that Carter was into this kind of thing. I was so surprised and it was written all over my face. Carter looked at me and said "Sometimes things aren't what they seem. That goes for people too you know... You need to spend time with someone to get to know him."
He was right about that. "Yeah..." I said.
"I bet you didn't take me for a guy that is into board games...huh?" He smiled at me, took my hand and led me further in. "Let's sit here... going to say hello to some people I know over there and I will come back." He said showing me a corner table at the other side of where we stood.
After a while, Carter came back holding a box. "This is my all time favorite board game. It's easy to learn actually. Let me explain how it works."
"Sure...go ahead!" I said excitedly.
The rules indeed were easy and the story was interesting too. It was a co-op game against the board. You were an investigator and according to the story , evil forces have taken over the city and you had to help the locals. I didn't even know how time passed so quickly. Next time I looked at my phone, it was 8:30 pm.
"Oh my god! Look at the time... Shit I am late for dinner. I'm sorry but I have to go." I said.
"No problem! You are right... let's go."
When I got home I came face to face with my mom... She wasn't happy at all! Apologizing quickly was my strategy to calm her down. "I am sorry mom for missing dinner, I lost track of time." I said in one breath.
She looked at me, "Hannah if you are going to miss dinner at least let me know... and being out on a school day isn't something you do. Would you care to tell me where were you?"
"I was hanging out with a friend."
"What friend? As far as I know the only people you hangout are Kira, Mark and your brother Liam." She asked raising her eyebrow.
"So? Am I not allowed to have more friends? He is from my old school."
"He? So you were out with a guy... On a date?"
"No not a date. Just hanging out as friends." I said coolly.
"Who is he?"
Just then I heard the message notification tone from my phone. When I checked, I saw two new messages. One was from Carter telling me that he had a great time tonight and the other from Liam asking where I was. When I didn't answer to his message, my phone started to ring. Liam was calling. Mom studied me, "Won't you pick it up?"
"It's Liam. He also texted me to see where I am."
"Your brother is worried and you don't even bother to pick up the phone?" She said clearly irritated.
"Mom will you stop it?! He isn't my brother for God's sake! And I can't be only around Liam and Mark... I am allowed to have more friends. I am sorry for missing dinner and not calling. It won't happen again!"
After my outburst I sprinted to my room upstairs. What's wrong with me? Mom calling Liam my brother rub me the wrong way and my big mouth now is the reason that my mom will start to ask questions. Questions that I don't want to answer. Questions that would be best to be left unanswered. When I entered my room and closed the door behind me I turned around only to find Liam looking outside my window. Shit....Shit...shit! Liam turned around and looked at me, before I manage to say a word...
"Hannah? Open the door I need to speak with you!" My mom said from the other side of the door. Fuck! There is no fucking way! How am I going to survive this? Liam is here and mom outside my door... everything is going to hell!
(A/N: What do you think is going to happen next? Leave your comments. Stay tuned for the next chapter.)