She stops me just before my lips reach hers and sits up quickly. "
Sorry," I mutter after a few seconds. She looks away, picking
absently at the grass, and then abruptly looks back at me. " I
don't want to do this." she says softly, almost apologetic. " Do
what?" I ask, sitting up too. " I don't want to be that girl that
falls for her enemy and it ends up happy ever after. It's cliche.
It shouldn't happen. We're not dating, we're actually not even
friends. Sorry, but we're not. I know you helped me and stood up
for me, and I'm grateful for that, but we should go back to our
relationship before. I don't want this." she tells me and I stare
at her. Ouch. " Why can't we be friends? I'm sorry I tried to kiss
you, but that doesn't mean we still have to hate each other. Just
give it a shot." I say. " No, Alex. You don't understand how all of
the things you've done to me have affected me. In a way, you've
helped me. Now, I have all these walls built up so no one can hurt
me. And I'm not good with trusting people anyways. But all of the
things you've done to me in the past eight years made me hate you.
And I don't mean to sound rude, but I still do. I can't get over
it. The pranks were mean and immature and i just can't risk
becoming friends with you and then you turning around and pranking
me again, even worse than before, just to get a good laugh." she
explains. " Liyah, I wouldn't do that to you. I'm done with the
pranks. I swear," I assure her. She waits a few minutes, looking
across the water thoughtfully. Finally she turns to me, her
beautiful blue eyes pooled with tears. " How am I supposed to
believe you?" she breathes, swiping at her eyes and looking away. I
watch her, practically feeling the hurt spread across my face.
"Aeliya-" " Alex! Honey, it's time to go home!" my mom cuts me off.
I watch her for another moment and drag myself to my feet. Then i
take my jacket and wrap it around her bare shoulders. My fingers
lightly brush her collerbone and she tenses up just as I feel
almost an electrical shock run through my fingers all the way up my
arm. Her head wheels around to look at me, her eyes wide. She must
have felt it too. I pull back and slowly head back to the house,
with my hands in my pockets. I don't talk the whole way home and
just as I head up to my room, my mom stops me. " Alex? Is there
something wrong?" she asks. " No, why would you think that?" I ask,
faking a smile, and she frowns. " Goodnight, sweetie," she says
softly, drifting down the hallway to her room. I step inside mine
and shut the door, resisting the urge to break something or punch
something. Of course she wouldn't forgive me! I wouldn't forgive
myself either. I've been an ass to her for eight years. How could I
ever think that she would even consider becoming friends with me?
God I'm so stupid. I guess I'll just have to prove it to her that I
can change. Aeliyah's POV That was almost a disaster. I almost let
him kiss me. That would have ruined everything. We're not friends.
We're not dating. We're not meant to have a relationship at all.
We're enemies, for lack of a better word. But when his fingers
touched my neck, I felt this weird attraction to him that I
couldn't explain. A sense of longing. A feeling of wanting to throw
my arms around him and apologize for everything I said and kiss
him. But that would be crazy. And weird. I've never thought of him
like that. I can still smell his axe cologne on his jacket, wrapped
around me to protect me from the chilly night air. I force myself
to stand, suddenly feeling weak and tired. I slowly make my way
back into the house where my parents stare questioningly at me but
don't make a sound. I just continue up the stairs to my room and
change as fast as I can. I brush my teeth and crawl into my bed,
enveloping myself in the warm comforter. Just as I close my eyes,
my alarm goes off. My eyes snap open again, widening as I look at
the clock. How is it already seven o'clock? I just fell asleep! I
push the off button and head to my bathroom, hoping a shower will
help wake me up. I blowdry my hair and leave it down, making it
look somewhat decent. I decide against makeup besides a little
mascara and change into dark jeans, a white north face hoodie and a
pair of ugg boots. I put my headphones in my ears and listen to my
song, blasting as loud as it will go. I don't say anything to my
mom as I go downstairs, just automatically go out the door and down
the sidewalk. I stuff my hands in my pockets and suddenly think
about those flyers from yesterday. What will people think about me?
Pushing the thought out of my mind, I march to school and head
straight for my locker. I feel eyes boring into my back as I walk
and once I take my headphones out and put them away, the odd sound
of silence. Not completely silent, a few whispers here and there,
people filling in the ones who were absent on what happened. And
then starts the laughter, and suddenly the hallway is filled with
talk about me. "...she's really a pornstar? Dude..." "...I believe
it. She's a slut..." "...you didn't hear? Look at this flyer..." I
hear a voice defending me, trying desperately to stop the rumors.
Stop trying, it's not going to work, Alex, I think bitterly. Gossip
will be gossip, and it spreads like fire. If someone didn't know
about it, you'd better guess they'll know in the next five minutes.
Quickly grabbing my textbook from my locker, I speed walk to
science and sit all the way in the back. The teacher looks at me
sympathetically, obviously knowing what happened. I look down,
almost unaware of someone sitting beside me and pulling their chair
close to mine. Without looking up, I know who it is. " Dont listen
to them, Aeliyah. They're immature," Alex whispers in my ear and I
feel oddly comforted. I know I told him to stay away, but in the
back of my mind I want him to defend me and comfort me and tell me
that everythings going to be fine. Soon class starts and I feel
myself drifting off to sleep. Alex nudges me the first few times to
keep me awake, but eventually let's me fall into a peaceful sleep
with my head on his shoulder. When I wake, he's pushing the hair
out of my eyes and telling me that we have to get to class. I nod
and stand up, gathering my stuff in my arms. " There's a test
tomorrow. Homework is to study." he tells me and I nod. All
throughout the day, he walks me to my classes and glares at anyone
who says something bad about me. At lunch, he abandons his popular
table to sit with me and Carrie and later at home, she accuses us
of dating. " What?" I practically scream when she asks if we're
together. " Well, I was just wondering. I mean, we haven't had girl
talk in a while and he's been spending a lot of time with you. And
he sat at our table instead of the popular table. If that's not
love I don't know what love is," she laughs and I punch her arm. "
We're not dating. We agreed to stay the way we are. Not even
friends." I tell her and she looks at me with a 'oh really?' face.
" He walked you to every class, broke a guys nose for you, glared
at anyone who looked at you funny, hasn't played a prank on you in
two days, and sat with you every chance he got, and you're gonna
tell me that you guys are still enemies?C'mon. You're just lying to
yourself now." she explains and I sigh. " Okay. So we're kind of
friends. But that's it. It would be too weird to be anything else."
I tell her and she sighs. She opens her mouth to say something but
she's cut off by my phone ringing. I pick it up and hold it to my
ear, not even bothering to check who it is. " Hello?" I ask. " Hey,
it's Alex," he says and I look up at Carrie. She makes a swooning
gesture and laughs silently as I smack her knee. " Hi," I answer
into the phone, hugging my knees to my chest. " Actually, I don't
really know why I called," he breathes, adding on a nervous laugh.
This makes me smile, looking dazedly at the carpet of my room. "
Are you okay? Th kids at school were really rude today." he says
finally. " Yeah. Thanks, By the way. For everything." I tell him. "
No problem. This will all blow over before you know it. Soon
they'll be talking about how John Etire broke his leg in a skiing
accident and who's going to homecoming with who." he assures me. "
Yeah." I answer faintly. " Listen, Liyah, I know you said you don't
want to be anything different than what we were a week ago, but I'm
tired of doing that. I don't want to prank you anymore. I just want
to be friends. So would you go out to the movies with me? Just as
friends? Tomorrow night?" he asks hopefully. " Um..." I trail off,
my heart suddenly beating unnaturally fast as I think about it. He
has been so nice to me lately. And I honestly think he's done with
the pranking. What could it hurt? " Okay, sure." I agree. " Really?
Great. I'll pick you up at seven." he says. " Sounds good," I
reply. " Well, okay then. I'll see you tomorrow at school." he
says. " See you," I answer and we hang up the phone. Carrie let's
out a squeak as she looks at me. " You like him," she says. A
statement, not a question. And I don't deny it.
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