Being best friends with a boy that you’re in love with isn’t something that I’d recommend. In fact it’s just like torture; every day I wake up knowing that when I get to school I’ll see him there with another girl, calling her babe and every day it makes me realise that I’m never going to be the one he likes that way.
So when the boy in question texts me asking me to pick him up on the way to school I am more than a little surprised.
Blake Ashworth is the kind of person that everyone likes, from the girls and the boys to even the teachers. In the world’s eyes Blake can’t do a single thing wrong and in my eyes that fact is true.
He is the most caring and attentive person that I’ve ever come across. Of course he never used to be as confident as he is now. When we were in primary Blake had been rather timid and his braces hadn’t helped him make a load of friends. Yet, even then, there had been something that had drawn me to him. I had made Blake my best friend and in turn I was his. His confidante but I’d never been more than that, I had never been his girlfriend. That particular status had always eluded me.
I pulled up in front of his house and beeped the horn. He was always running late but I had an assignment in today and couldn’t afford to be late. A minute passed and I beeped him again. He emerged a moment later.
To say that Blake was like a fallen angel was an understatement. He played a lot of sports and was well filled out for his almost six foot frame. His face was carved from marble, his eyes blue stones that sparkled in the sunlight and his dusty golden hair just lay across his face in a way that made you sigh.
I sighed and I cursed myself. Blake had a girlfriend and I couldn’t let myself get more infatuated than I already was.
He hopped in the car and grinned at me. ‘Thank you Sugar, I don’t know what I’d do without you.’
Blake was younger and so, unlike me, had only just started to take his driving lessons. I had already passed and as a birthday present my mother had brought me a car. Sugar, was his nickname for me, as I liked everything sweet.
‘You’d probably have to get the bus,’ I said, as I worked my way through the traffic towards school hoping that there was still some big spaces left. I still needed to work on my parking. ‘And wouldn’t that be a catastrophe.’
‘It certainly would. Being cramped with all of those people, well, I wouldn’t come off the bus looking like I do now, would I?’
I had to resist the urge to turn and look at him. Resist Sienna, resist.
‘So why did you need me to pick you up?’ I asked. ‘I thought Lauren had a car.’
Lauren was his current girlfriend. A girl who had dated almost every guy in the school and was friends with one of the only girls I could put up with, Hayley. I got on a lot better with boys than I did girls.
‘Er, Lauren and I broke up,’ he said. ‘Last night over dinner she said that I wasn’t what she expected.’
Wasn’t what she expected? I wondered what she did expect, seeing as how all of the rumours in the girl’s toilets were of Blake being the hottest guy in school and having had slept with half the girls in our year. I tried not to think about that.
‘Right, so you called me up.’
‘Exactly sugar,’ he said. ‘You’re my best friend; you’re always here for me.’
I was. Whenever Blake called, I came running. Sometimes I felt like his personal lapdog. ‘Go and fetch this bone Sienna and bring it back to me in an hour when I need it’. It did infuriate me but whenever Blake bestowed me a smile I could no longer be angry with him. He neutralised the anger.
‘So are you going to stay single for a while this time?’ I asked. For the past two years Blake had never been single for more than four days. I often joked that he was on a constant rebound but he always informed me otherwise, saying that the reason he dated so many girls was because he had never found the right one.
Yet, if you believed the rumours then you’d summarise that Blake was a player. His relationship with Lauren had lasted all of two weeks.
‘Yes. You’re right you know, Sienna. I really should stay single for a while, maybe it’ll help me see people in a different way.’ He looked out into the crowds that were moving slowly towards the school as we drove past.
‘See people in a different way’. Those were the words I’d used when I told Blake how stupid he was being by dating so many people. Yet the words really applied to me. I hoped that he would see me a different way. Not that it would ever happen.
I was the stupid one. Stupid for still thinking that Blake would notice that I exist. ‘So,’ Blade drawled in his fake South American accent that I loved. ‘Got a date yet to the Winter formal?’
Date? I never had a date. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Not got anyone to go with?’
He shrugged. ‘Just don’t want you going by yourself sugar. You should liven up a bit, ask someone to go.’
Like anyone would agree. ‘Maybe I will,’ I said as I parked the car and we hopped out speed walking to the school. ‘I’ll catch you later?’
‘Sure thing sugar.’ he said before taking a corridor in the opposite direction.
I waited there watching him go as I always did. He didn’t look back, he never did.
I didn’t see Blake for the entire day. He had classes when I had free lessons and we both had one after school. By the time I came out to the car park it was raining and the place was empty and there was no Blake in sight. I rang him on speed-dial.
‘Blake, where are you?’ I asked through the static when he picked up. In the background I could hear the radio, and it sounded like . . . . ‘Are you in a car?’
‘Sure am sugar. I’m with Isabelle on my way to the bowling alley. Why?’
‘It doesn’t matter. Let me guess - Isabelle’s your new girlfriend?’
‘Yes she is.’ I heard a giggle in the background. ‘I know what you said Sugar, but the thing is, Isabelle is special.’
He’d called every girl special. ‘Okay, I’ll talk to you later.’
‘Come down to the bowling alley Sugar, there’ll be a bunch of us there!’
‘Go on, you know you want to.’
I found myself agreeing before he hung up the phone. God dammit. Why? Why did I continue to torture myself everyday? And Isabelle? She was the exact opposite of what he needed.
I trudged to my car and made my way to the bowling alley. It was insane really as I knew I shouldn’t go. That I had tonnes of work to do. But Blake did ask for me to go. . . .
By the time I’d got there everyone was congregated and Blake only nodded at me before focusing back on the game and Isabelle.
Great, so I came here at his bequest to be ignored?
‘Looks like your having a bad day,’ came a voice from behind.
‘And you’re meant to be at home studying.’ said my mother. She managed the bowling alley. I’d forgotten she’d told me this morning that she was being called into work today. I glanced between her and Blake involuntarily and she rolled her eyes. ‘Come with me to the office, honey.’
I followed my mum in, and we sat down as she made some tea. I hoped I wasn’t in too much trouble.
‘You need to stop trailing after Blake. It isn’t good for you,’ she started.
We’d had this conversation a million times, and every time I’d agreed with what she’d said until Blake rang and shot my resolve to pieces. ‘I know Mum but it’s just…’
‘I know what it’s like, Sienna. It was the exact same with your father and I.’
‘What? You mean Dad dated everyone except you?’
‘He sure did,’ she said with a twinkle in her eye. ‘I knew he was the one and just couldn’t let him go.’
That was kind of how I felt. I loved Blake.
‘You need to make a choice Sienna. A big choice. Either you stop pining for Blake or you try to make him notice you. Neither action will be easy. Which do you want?’
I wanted to be with Blake more than anything in the world. ‘How do I do it?’ I asked.
‘First,’ she said with a grin. ‘You need a new wardrobe.’
My mother had told me the beginning of the plan. The first had been new clothes. I was in desperate need of some anyway but the clothes my Mum brought me after she’d finished work were what I’d call grown up clothes. I mainly wore jeans and t-shirts, covered up as much as I could, but the clothes my Mum got me were revealing without being too much so and, though I hated to say it, I looked good in them.
As I parked the car and got out I tried not to cringe at all the stares I was receiving from my fellow classmates. This was the first part of the plan: to get people’s attention.
The second part was to get myself a boyfriend or at least a date to the Winter Formal.
That part was easy as I had been asked the day before and said to the guy that I’d think about it. The person in question was a reserve on the football team and popular enough to get me noticed.
So I went to the common room where Blake sat with Isabelle, and went up to Henry, tapping him on the shoulder.
When he turned to look at me his mouth dropped open.
Then I said the words that I’d practised to perfection. ‘I thought about what you asked me and I’d love to go to the Winter Formal with you, Henry.’
Wolf whistles went up about the room and Henry continued to stand there, gobsmacked. ‘I er-,’
The Winter Formal was this Friday. Three days away and I still didn’t have a dress. ‘You can pick me up at eight.’ I stated before turning on my tiny heel and waltzing back out as the bell rang.
Part two accomplished.
My mother said that it would be likely, if Blake did indeed have a brain in his head, that he would seek me out sometime before the end of school. She was right, although I was getting worried by the time he did find me. I was just about to give up hope as I walked to my car.
‘Can you give me a lift home, Sienna?’ he asked. I waved my key on my finger as I thought about it.
‘Well, I’m not going home,’ I stated.
‘Where are you going?’ he asked.
‘Shopping. Dress shopping.’
‘Don’t suppose you want a fashion advisor?’ he asked, like he was desperate to spend time with me.
‘I suppose I could do with one,’ I said and we got into the car.
The drive was a silent one. Blake didn’t speak a single word, which was worrying since my mother said that he would remark something upon my behaviour. When we reached the shops I went straight to the one that I was most likely to find something in, picked several dresses off the rails and handed them to Blake to carry.
I couldn’t stand the silence any longer. ‘Are you going to the Winter Formal with Isabelle?’ I asked.
‘Yes.’ he stated looking guilty, he reversed the situation. ‘Why are you going with Henry? I know you don’t like him. You told me so.’
Damn. He remembered that conversation?
‘Opinions can change,’ I stated as I went into the changing rooms, taking the dresses from Blake.
‘People can change.’ he corrected. ‘Speaking of which, Sienna, what was up with you today? You’re totally different.’
‘Different how?’ I asked.
‘More confident. You’re wearing different clothes.’
‘I felt like a change.’ I stated. ‘Don’t you like it?’ I asked, as I peeked through the curtains.
He looked agitated and ran a hand through his hair before answering. ‘It’s not like you, Sienna. Are you doing this for Henry’s sake? You shouldn’t have to change for a man.’
‘You didn’t answer my question,’ I commented as I discarded the dress I’d tried on. My mother had said that I should make out that I liked the guy I’d picked. ‘And I haven’t decided whether I like him yet, we’re just going to the Winter Formal together. There’s no rush to decide if I want to date him or not.’
That made Blake frown, although of course he didn’t know I’d seen it. ‘I never imagined you with someone like Henry,’ he said.
‘Then who did you imagine me with?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know,’ Blake admitted. ‘I never saw you with anyone really, you’ve never wanted to date before.’
‘Well,’ I said. ‘I am seventeen so it’s probably about time that I dated somebody.’ I wondered whether I should insinuate that there was someone unavailable that I wanted to date, but that was sure to give the game away.
‘Don’t let him hurt you though Sienna, guys are arseholes. I should know.’
‘Yes, I suppose how you date one person one minute, and discard them the next, is the definition of arsehole.’ I couldn’t stop myself from saying it; this plan, this creating a new me had given me a confidence that I hadn’t had before. To say the things that I had always wanted to say but hadn’t.
‘See that,’ said Blake. ‘That doesn’t sound like you, Sienna. You’ve never said anything like that to me before. You never say anything hurtful.’
I opened the curtain so he could view the first dress that fitted and I knew without trying on the others that it would be the dress I would wear with a few alterations. Blake’s face was comical to see. ‘Well perhaps it is time I spoke up. You really shouldn’t treat people that way Blake, it isn’t fair.’
‘Isn’t fair?’ he asked rising from his seat. ‘Why didn’t you say any of this before, Sugar?’ Using my nickname, I could tell he was getting angry. ‘Why are you doing all of this? I know it isn’t for Henry. I know it isn’t for yourself.’
‘It’s for you!’ I shouted at him. ‘It’s for you, you jerk! Do you know how many years I’ve been your best friend? Do you know how many girlfriends I’ve had to watch you sail through? Do you know how hard it is having to do that when-’ I suddenly realised I’d ruined the game.
‘When?’ he asked.
‘When, I love you.’ I said, finishing it off. I closed my eyes. This couldn’t get any worse. Blake would hate me now.
‘I’m sorry, Sugar,’ he said. Three words I hadn’t betted on hearing. ‘I didn’t know. I didn’t realise until I saw you with another guy that I love you too.’
I opened my eyes then, saw the truth in his own. He loved me?
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ he asked.
‘How could I?’ I whispered. ‘I could never have competed with all the Lauren’s, all the Isabelle’s. I pale in comparison.’
‘You don’t,’ he said cupping my cheek. ‘You shine in comparison. I guess it’s true what they say, that you never know what you had till it’s gone.’
‘Almost gone,’ I corrected. ‘I’m still here.’
‘Almost gone,’ he agreed, before kissing me.
I pulled back. ‘You’re with Isabelle.’ I protested.
‘Broke up with her,’ he said. ‘Told her that there was someone that I couldn’t live without. That I loved you.’
He actually said that? Everyone would know by now.
‘So you’re not taking her to the dance?’ I could hardly believe it.
‘No. So you better not be taking Henry,’ he said running a hand through my hair. ‘So how about it, Sugar?’ he asked. ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’
I answered with a kiss.
© Copyright 2016 Hannah Jane. All rights reserved.