Under The Stars

Pretending is Best/May 25, 2009





I woke up the next morning around nine to the smell of French toast. It's the most heavenly smell ever.

I walk downstairs, not bothering to even change my clothes or even look presentable. My long blond hair is a knot mess and all over the place. I am wearing super short shorts with a tang top.

As I get near the kitchen, I hear voices but don't think anything of it until I heard snickers.

Yes, they belonged to Kevin.

Oh my, it's not even noon and I have to deal with him.

I didn't even freak out when I saw him. I mean, he's not even someone I want to impress so who cares if he sees me like this. Of course he could torture me about it for years, decades really, but he couldn't torture because I will ran away like a little girl.

And that's the story I am sticking to.

I wondered for a brief moment why he's here till I see Annie (my favorite maid) placing a plate of French toast on the table. I didn't even hesitate to sit even if Annie set the plate next to Kevin.

My mother looked horrified about that the fact that I looked like this. She didn't even try to hide it either. I went on like I didn't see her.

I grabbed the butter that was on the table along with the syrup and began slopping some of it on my plate.

"I must say Lauren," Kevin whispers in my ear. "This is the prettiest I have ever seen you."

His voice was filled with sarcasm. There was no question about that.

"Oh shut up, you cow." I say, taking a bite of my French toast. It tasted heavenly, just as expected.

This got nothing about a chuckle from the boy beside me and a scorn from my mother.

"Lauren!" I don't think I need to say who that was.

"What?" I ask, taking another bite of my French toast.

"We have company," She states

"It's Kevin," I say like he's the scum under my shoe.

My mom gives up and the next voice I hear is Kevin's.

"To answer your question, Sarah, I don't really know Keith personally."

This caused me to choke, well just cough, on my French toast.

I grab for my glass of milk to find that's it not there.

"Annie," I yell. "Can I get some milk?"

I pause for a second.

"Oh, you're busy? I'll get it then."

I smile and begin to leave the table till my mom tells me to sit.

I do what she says only because she's giving me the look.

You know the one that only your mother can give you.

The one that tricks you into doing what she says.

Yeah, this is the one look I am now getting from her.

"Lauren, there's no need to run off. Kevin cleared everything up."

Oh great.

I throw him a look, not a nice one either.

"Did he, now?" I ask.

"He did. Now Lauren, Kevin said he's a really nice guy, a charmer really."

"I bet he did." I mumble under my breath.

"You could have just told me he was gay." She blurts out.

I look at her for a moment to see if she's serious. I cringe for a split second just thinking about my beloved Keith being gay.

Now, that would get in the way of the marriage.

"I didn't know?" I say, unsure what to say. Shock had overcome me. I could not believe that Kevin didn't rat me out. Of course, that would be telling my mom that he is the owner of the jacket.

"Just make sure you give the coat back to him. Now, I have to go the office to catch up on the things I neglected planning this party." She says standing up and leaving the table.

That left Kevin and I alone.

Oh, joy.

Looking down at my place, I realize I spit all my food all over my plate and it looked disgusting. I was pretty sure Annie would have made me some more, but I lost my appetite eating my favorite breakfast food.

Damn him.

At this moment, Annie comes out with my glass of milk.

"Sorry, it took so long, Lauren."

"It's okay." I say, taking a sip of the ice cold milk.

She frowns at seeing my plate. "I thought I made the French toast how you like it. Would you like for me to make you some more?"

"No, Annie, they were delicious. My stomach isn't feeling too well, that's all."

There is no need to tell her why. She already knows it's because of the scum sitting next to me.

"Let me take the plate then." Annie says, taking the plate and Kevin's as well. I hear him say a quiet thank you and that only cause me to roll my eyes. Why is he nice to her?

I finish my glass of milk, well gulp it down.

There's still silence between us.

"Why did you do that, Kevin?" I say, not looking at him.

This question seems to startle him and he doesn't know what to say.

"I thought that's what you would want me to do and Keith, seriously Lauren? You could have picked out a better name than that."

"Keith is a nice name, thank you very much," I begin, now looking at him. "And how would you know what I want? You know nothing about me."

"That's true, but I know how your mother is."

"Do you really?"

He stared at me blankly.

"Whatever," I scoff, putting down my glass as I leave the table.

I hear footsteps behind me and I know he is following so I turn around and he almost bumps into me.

"Why are you here anyhow?" I ask.

"I came here to talk to your Dad, but he's not here and your mother asked me to come in for breakfast."

"Like you don't have food at your own house next door?"

He laughs at this. "It's called being courteous. Do you know anything about that?"

The urge to smack him was growing.

"I think the question fits you better. You're the one that's never courteous."

"Not this again," He says, turning away from me.

"If you don't want to hear it then leave my house."

He did exactly that and I decided that I would ignore the fact that I was hurt by that.




An hour later, I am out of my pajamas and my hair is put together. I am in my room listening to some music and my sister comes in.

"Hey, where are Mom and Dad?"

"Mom is at the office and Dad's been gone since I got up. Where were you? You weren't at breakfast." I say, turning off the music and go over to sit on my bed where my sister is.

"I was out running."

"Who were you with?" I ask, fishing for details. Abigail isn't that type of person to just go out and run for nothing.

She blushes. "Why must there be someone?"

"Because Abby and running don't belong in the same sentence."

"Okay, so what I say you can't laugh or judge."

"Just get on with it."

"First, what is going on between you and Daniel?"

"Nothing, we are just friends. What does that have to do with who you were running with?" I ask, confused for a second for it all clicks.

"Awe, you like Daniel huh?"

She blushes again. "I do. I don't understand where it all came from. It's just the other day, he smiled and my heart stopped. Have you ever had something like that happen to you?"

This makes me very uncomfortable. "Yes. Mine was different though. I fell in love with his smile without knowing his name. This is so cute though. You should tell him."

"I can't do that, not yet anyhow. Are you sure nothing is going on between you and Daniel? I mean because Lily is always making comments about it."

"She doesn't know what she is talking about. I really think you should take this summer to explore that."

"I definitely will." She says with a smile. "So, how has been your morning so far?"

"Kevin was over for breakfast."

"You invited him?"

"Hell no, He says he was here to see Dad, but since he wasn't here Mom asked him to stay for breakfast. That boy is true pain in my ass."

Abby doesn't say anything except smile and that frustrates me.

"Why are you smiling?"

"No reason at all."

My instincts told me not to find out why. It's just better off that way.




Around noon, I was outside near the pool when I hear my Dad yelling to see who is home. I get up and walk in the house.

"Hey Lauren, where is everyone?"

"Mom is at the office and I think Abigail is next door at the Emerson's."

I followed Gerald into his office as he put his briefcase down on his desk. He took off his jacket and put it on the back of his chair before sitting in it. I sat in the one that was across from him.

"Why aren't you over there too?

"I had my share of the Emerson's today."

"What happened?"

"Kevin came over looking for you. He had something to ask you but since you were not here Mom asked him to stay for breakfast to my dismay."

"I never will understand why you two never get along. Everyone else gets along."

I shake my head. "Dad, that boy doesn't like me for some reason. And he doesn't get along with anybody either. I think Daniel has a problem with him too."

Gerald smiled. "He doesn't have a problem with me. We actually have nice talks."

That stunned me. They talk? With curiosity I ask, "what do you guys talk about?"

"We talk about this and that; sometimes we even talk about you."

I scoff. "Really Daddy, I know that you're proud of me and everything, but you don't have to talk about me all the time."

Gerald loosens his tie with a smirk. "Who says I am the one that brings you up?"

I laugh because that's the funniest thing ever. Why would he bring me up? He hates me. "Daddy, don't make stuff up. Now, why did he need to see you?"

Gerald takes his tie off and rolls up his sleeves to his elbows. "You'll be seeing him a lot lately. He'll be around doing things."

"Do I even wanna know?" I ask, feeling sick in my stomach again.

Gerald laughs and shakes his head.

"Can we order lunch? I'm starving."

"Sure, just order me my usual from whatever place you decide."




Later that night, I was in the living room watching Sweet Home Alabama with Lily and Abigail. I swear that movie never gets old. I love Reese Witherspoon. She's so pretty and one of the best actresses ever. I'd be lying if I said I never got teary eyed at the end when Melanie tells Jake that she wants to marry him just so she could kiss him every time she wants. It's so romantic.

At least, I think it is.

It's about 9:30 when the movie ends and at that moment is when I hear a knock at the door. Before I even had the chance to get up, Abigail was already at the door.

"C'mon in," I hear Abby say.

When I turn around to see who was at the door, I stare in disbelief.

Just when I don't think things could get worse, they do. The Emerson boys were standing there.

Kevin sits next to me. I am about to move my seat when I hear him say, "There's nowhere else to sit." He unfornately was telling the truth. Lilly was sitting in the chair and Abby and Daniel were sitting next to me on the couch. Why don't we have more sitting places in this room?!

"I invited them over when I was over at their house." Abigail says to me. I could tell she was hoping I wouldn't be mad at her.

"So what movie are we gonna watch now?" I say, not acknowledging what Abby said.

"I brought over this movie, Eagle Eye. I haven't watched it but I heard people like it." Daniel says.

"Oh that's fine. I've wanted to see it." Abby says. This causes a glance from Lily to me and a chuckle from Kevin.

I guess everyone was thinking the same thing; since when does she like action movies?

Oh, man, I must talk to her about acting like this. She won't have to tell him she likes him. He'll figure it out on his own. Then again, boys are usually very oblivious to things like that so maybe he wouldn't notice. Daniel says he pays attention to everything, but judging the way he just walked a passed Abby without a second thought to put the DVD in, really make me think otherwise.

I excuse myself to go into the kitchen to make some more popcorn. Believe it or not, I do know how to make popcorn and not just the microwave kind, the homemade kind.

I walk into the kitchen and see Annie cleaning. I feel bad about coming in and making more mess, but before I could exit, she sees me.

"Hello Lauren. What do you need?"

"I was going to make some popcorn."

"I'll help," the new voice says.

I turn around to find Kevin standing there. "There's no need to. I can make it myself."

Annie hands me a pan from where she is standing and I put it on the stove. I go over to freezer to grab a stick of butter. Taking the wrapper paper off the butter, I can sense Kevin staring at me.

I look up at him and say, "What do you want?"

"I didn't know you knew how to cook."

"There are a lot of things you don't know about me."

"I have no doubt about that."

I turn the stove on and put the butter in the pan allowing the butter to melt.

"Can you grab the kernels from the cabinet behind you?"

"Sure," He says, opening the cabinet to look for it.

After he hands the kernels to me, I put some in the pan and put a lid to cover it. Looking around, I notice that Annie left.

Why must I be cursed with such bad luck?

"So, I'm betting you know why I was here earlier this morning?"

"Yes, I do."


"And, what, Kevin, What do you want?" I say, turning to look at him.

"You're not going to yell at me and say I'm trying to ruin your life?"

"I've never said you have."

"You sure act like it though."

And for the second time in one day, he leaves me there. And for the second time, I'm going to ignore the fact that I'm kind of hurt by that.

The popcorn begins to pop so I turn my attention back to the pan.







A/n—this chapter is much longer than my other chapters. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed and added this story to their alerts and favorites.

On my page, I have updates on the story, so you'll guys know how far the story is along and when the next update will be.

I also edited chapters 1-3 so if you have time reread them. I didn't change big things, just changed a few small things.

Thanks for reading. Please review.

Constructive criticism is welcome just as long as you tell me what to fix.