(Alex's POV) I sit through class, gritting my teeth to keep from
busting every guy's lip that talks about Aeliyah. " Dude she is so
hot. I'd definitely watch her porn videos. All day." one guy says
and I stand up in the middle of last hour, tipping my chair over in
the process. " What did you just say?" I growl at him, my hand
closing into a fist. " Mr. Gray, is there something wrong?" the
teacher asks as the fucker smirks. " I said I'd fuck-" I cut him
off, slamming my fist into his nose and hear a loud crack. " Mr.
Gray!" Mrs. Chancellor shrieks as idiot holds his bloody, broken
nose in pain. I Grab my bag and walk past her. " You better be
headed to the principal's office!" she shouts after me. I march
outside to my truck and throw my bag in, backing out and driving
straight to Aeliyah's house. I park the truck and knock on the door
loudly. She doesn't answer and I lean my head against it and get my
phone out. I call Carrie, her best friend, and she picks up on the
third ring. " What? You'd better be headed to Aeliyah's house to
apologize after that stunt you pulled." she growls into the phone.
" Look, Carrie, I just need Aeliyah's phone number. Please. I'm
trying to apologize to her. I'm at her front door but she won't
open the door. Please," I explain quickly and finally she gives it
to me. I dial the number and push call and hold it to my ear. "
C'mon... Pick up, pick up, pick up," I mumble. " ...Hello?" her
soft voice asks on the other end and I hear her sniffle. " Aeliyah,
don't hang up! Please!" I yell before she ends the call. " I don't
want to talk to you," She says loudly. " Please open the door.
Please. I can explain. Just open the door." I tell her and hear her
getting up. " Alex this is honestly the worst thing you've ever
done to me. Why would I still want to talk to you? She asks. "
Because I didn't do it. I'll prove it to you. Just open the door."
I answer and she hangs up. I stare at the door for a few minutes
and finally it opens a crack. I stick my foot in the door so she
can't slam it shut on me if she changes her mind and I look down at
her. " Can I come in?" I ask and she opens the door fully and let's
me in. I step inside and she shuts the door behind me. " Explain."
she says, wiping her eyes and crossing her arms. " It was Danielle.
The one that handed you the flyer? She's my ex. She was always that
girl who never let's her ex boyfriend go and threatens to fight any
girl who talks to him. Anyways, I have proof that it was her." I
tell her and pull out my phone. I show her the text from Danielle
asking me if I wanted in on the prank and me telling her no. " See?
I guess she wrote my name on it to make it seem believable because
I always play pranks on you." I explain and a tear slides down her
cheek. More follow it and soon she's turned away from me, wiping
desperately at her eyes. I turn her around and wrap my arms around
her and she hesitates but then starts to cry harder. I hold her
tight to me and she cries into my jacket. Once she calms down I
loosen my grip on her and wipe her cheeks with my hoodie sleeve. I
lead her to the stairs and sit down with her and she takes deep
breaths to calm down. She looks over at me, eyes red. " Do you
think I'm a slut? Tell me the truth." she says quietly. "
Absolutely not, Aeliyah. You are not a slut in any way. Do you hear
me? Don't even think about that," I scold, staring at her. She
pulls her knees to her chest and and plays with a loose thread on
the carpeted stairs. " When do your parents get home?" I ask. "
Five," she replies softly. A few minutes later her phone rings,
breaking the silence, and she jumps at the sudden noise. She
fumbles for her phone and holds it to her ear. " Hello?" she asks.
" Hi Carrie. ...Yeah. He's here. ...Yes, he apologized. ...Yep.
...I guess. ...He did? Okay. Bye," she tells Carrie and then looks
at me with an amused expression. " You punched a guy?" she asks and
I shrug and flex my hand which, now that I think about it, kind of
hurts. " Why?" she asks. " He was talking about you. And I had been
hearing it all day so I was tired of it. And I'm pretty sure I
broke his nose." I tell her and she rolls her eyes. " Do you happen
to be in a fightclub?" she asks. " Hey, rule number one of fight
club: don't talk about fight club." I answer and she laughs. "
There you go, feel better now?" I ask, nudging her shoulder and she
smiles and nods. I pull her up and she goes to the tv and pulls a
movie case out from the entertainment center. I laugh as I read the
title. Fight Club. I nod and she puts it in and sits beside me. We
spend the next few hours watching fight club and her parents walk
in just as it's over. " Hey honey, we're home, oh, who's your
friend?" my mom asks and we stand up. "Um, mom, dad, this is
my-...Alex. This is Alex Gray. Alex this is my mom Lacey and my dad
Nick." she introduces, unable to bring herself to say friend. If I
were her I wouldn't say friend either. " So you're Alex! Where are
your parents? You're a little early, but that's alright," her mom
says but I shake my head. " Actually, Mrs. Blue, I was just keeping
Liyah company while you guys were gone. I'll be back in a little
bit with my parents. Sorry," I tell them and Lacey shakes her head.
" Well, alright. But call me Lacey. Please," she answers and I nod.
" And call me Mr. Blue," her dad says, looking at me skeptically. "
Dad," liyah whines. " Nice meeting you Lacey. Mr. Blue," he nods in
acknowledgement and I turn back to look at Liyah so her parents
can't see my eyes and wink at her. She smiles and I head out and
take my truck back to my place. I just kind of hang out for a while
at my house and end up changing into a dark gray button up shirt. I
fix the collar and spray some cologne and wait for my parents to
get ready. Finally my mom comes down the stairs and my dad nudges
me. " Women. They take forever." he chuckles and takes my moms hand
as we walk to Aeliyah's house. I knock on the door and Lacey greets
us and let's us inside. " Its so great to see you again. Phil, it's
nice to meet you," I hear Lacey say and look around. Mr. Blue seems
to notice what I'm searching for and nods at the stairs. " Still
getting ready." he says and I nod. " Aeliyah! Come down here! The
Gray's are here!" Lacey calls up the stairs and then busies herself
in small talk with my parents. Mr. Blue goes to check on the
burgers on the grill and Liyah comes down the stairs. Her hair is
down and curly and she's wearing a vintage-looking, strapless dress
with flowers on it. She sees me and blushes and makes it to the
bottom of the stairs. She smiles at her mom and it fades as soon as
she looks away. " I hate wearing dresses." she mumbles, crossing
her arms. " If it means anything, I think you look cute," I say in
her ear and her blush reddens. Its almost more fun making her blush
than it is pranking her. Mr. Blue announces the burgers are done
and sets them on the table. We say grace and begin the small talk,
but Aeliyah doesn't say much. Just kind of picks at her food. I eat
my burger into the shape of a crescent and hold it up to my mouth
and show her. She smiles faintly, but it's not like before. I can
tell she's thinking about what happened at school and I sigh. " So,
how is school Alex?" Lacey asks me. " Its fine. I mean my grades
are still up but it's as good as highschool can ever be." I explain
and she nods. " How about you Aeliyah?" my mom asks. She sets her
fork down and looks at her mom. " Can I be excused?" she asks.
Seeing the frown on her face, her mom agrees and Liyah stands up
from the table and leaves, heading outside. " May I be excused?" I
ask my mom and she nods too. I push my chair back and follow
Aeliyah and find her sitting on a bench by the pond they have in
their backyard. I sit beside her and she swings her feet back and
forth. " Are you okay?" I ask and she shrugs. A cool breeze picks
up and I pit my arm around her shoulders to keep her warm. " Im
sorry about cutting your hair the other day." I tell her. " Its
okay. I feel better now that I got you back. I kind of like it
short." she says. " Really?" I ask. " No, I miss my long hair," she
laughs. " Me too. I liked your long hair better. Sorry." I say. She
watches the sky, looking at the stars, and I point to orion's belt.
" There's the big dipper," she points out. I nod and find the
little dipper and we just look for shapes in the stars. We shift to
the ground so we can see better and I feel Aeliyah turn to look at
me. I turn too, and we're so close our noses are almost touching.
She starts to blush again and I smile. " If there was a career in
blushing, you'd make millions." I tell her and, involuntarily, her
blush deepens to a crimson red. My hand subconciously goes up to
cup her face and she stares at me. " But I have to admit, it's
cute." I whisper and lean forward to press my lips to hers.
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