"No. No way," I protested, my voice increasing with every word I said, "How could you do this to me?"
"Oh, come on, Holly," Cassie pleaded, "It's not such a bad thing."
"Yes, it is!" I retorted, "I don't even know the guy! He could be a creep for all I know!"
"That's the whole point of a blind date, honey. You meet someone you don't know and see if you like him or not," she told me slowly as though I was a little kid who was struggling to learn something new, "And I can promise you he isn't a creep. Am I right, baby?"
She averted her gaze from mine momentarily to look at Ethan, her boyfriend, who was sprawled on the floor beside her, looking utterly bored as he tossed his car keys from one hand to another.
He looked up at her and then turned to me, nodding his head slightly, "He isn't a creep. Cas wouldn't set you up with just anyone, Hols."
Cassie turned back to me and smiled proudly, "See? You've got nothing to worry about. And besides, Ethan knows him well. They've been friends since forever."
I knew better than to argue with them both. They were like the undefeatable duo.
"I can't believe you set me up on a blind date with his best friend," I groaned as I buried my face in my hands.
"It doesn't hurt to meet new people," Cassie attempted to rationalise with me as she scooted over to sit by my side, "And you don't have to keep seeing him if you don't like him. It's just one date."
I looked up abruptly, my eyes narrowing on Ethan, "Wait. Did he actually agree to this?"
He shrugged and averted his gaze from mine.
Well, that was convincing.
Cassie glared at him before turning to look at me, "Of course he did. Just meet him, alright? He'll be waiting for you at the mall by the fountain on Saturday at 12pm."
She sighed when I continued to eye her skeptically.
"Come on, Holly," she urged, "It'll be fun. Get out and live a little. I've met him a few times and he seems pretty decent. And even if he isn't, I made sure that you met him in the afternoon so that he can't try anything."
Ethan coughed as he looked up at Cassie, "Now you're making him sound like a pervert."
She shot him a look before turning back to me. In what I recognize to be the most persuasive voice she could manage, she said to me as she smiled, "Just meet him, okay?"
I am not going. I'm not.
I was sitting on my bed as I attempted to read a book to distract myself. It wasn't working though.
I glanced over at the clock unconsciously for the tenth time in the past three minutes and noted that I was going to be late even if I left right at that moment. Guilt slowly crept in but I managed to catch myself before I could make a stupid decision. I snapped my gaze away from the clock and back to the book in my lap as I took a deep breath.
What am I feeling guilty for? Even if he had agreed to go on a date with me - which I doubt he did - I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't want to be there as much as I did. I was doing him a favour by not turning up, aren't I? That is, if he even turned up in the first place. He could've told Ethan that he'd show up but do the complete opposite. I definitely do not want to be the one who gets stood up.
I willed myself to read the book in my lap but the words didn't seem to make sense together. I read the same paragraph for almost five times when that annoying voice crept back into my mind.
… But he wouldn't want to be stood up either. How awful would it be if he showed up just to be a good friend to Ethan and here you are - in your bed, still wearing your pyjamas while attempting to read a book that didn't even make any sense.
No, Holly. It doesn't matter. It's not my fault that my best friend betrayed me and tried to set me up with a stranger. I have the rights to not show up for something I was forced into… Don't I?
God damn it. I hate my conscience.
Before I could convince myself otherwise, I jumped out of bed and headed for the washroom, tripping over my own feet in the process. I took the fastest shower that I've ever had and stumbled out of the washroom.
I yanked my closet door open as I wobbled over to my dresser and plugged in the hairdryer. I dried my hair frantically before hopping over to stand before my closet.
Fifteen minutes later, I was fully dressed. I stood in front of the mirror and inspected the light makeup I had managed to apply hastily and tugged at the hem of the blue dress I had yanked on.
When I was certain that I looked okay, I grabbed my purse and shoved whatever important thing I could find into it before bounding down the stairs.
I managed to catch a glimpse of the clock as I yanked the front door open.
I stepped through the doors of the mall and sucked in a deep breath. I froze at the overwhelming number of people and groaned inwardly. I wasn't a fan of crowds. This was why I'd always spend my weekends in the comfort of my home - much to the displeasure of Cassie.
A guy bumping into me brought me back to reality. I fumbled to regain my balance and once I did, I scanned the throng of people gathered by the fountain in search of Ethan's friend. It was practically impossible from where I stood not only because I was too far away but also because people kept walking in front of me and blocked my view.
Go, Holly. Go find him. You're already here so you might as well find the guy.
Goodness, the annoying voice in my head was back.
Come on, Holly. This is an opportunity. You could still turn back around and leave. You could tell Cassie that the place was so crowded hence you couldn't find him.
You can't lie to Cassie.And besides, it'd be awful to ditch the guy.
After a few seconds of battling with my conscience, I willed myself to walk closer to the fountain. I hesitated for another minute before I began to circle the fountain. Uncertain of who I was actually looking for, I tiptoed around the fountain slowly - registering every single person seated along the fountain and evaluating if it could be the guy I was supposed to meet.
I felt incredibly stupid as people looked up at me and shot me looks. I couldn't blame them though. I probably looked mentally unstable as I scrutinized every face in the crowd and walked hunched as I grabbed onto the strap of my bag so tightly till my knuckles were white.
What are you doing, Holly? You look like a weirdo. If you had seen someone who was acting the way you are, even you would've avoided her. Just forget it already. At least you've made it this far. That itself is surprising.
I straightened myself up and whirled around.
Wait a minute… That guy looks like….
I shook my head in an attempt to clear my head.
No. No, Holly. You're seeing things. It's not him. It can't be him.
Cussing my conscience for what felt like the hundredth time today, I turned back around to take a better look at the guy whom had caught my attention.
Ethan had told me as they were leaving how I could easily identify his friend.
"He'd be the one in black. He's always in black," Ethan had said as he stopped walking abruptly in the middle of the pathway leading to my house and turned around to face me.
The guy that had caught my attention was definitely in black. He was wearing a black T-shirt along with faded black jeans and black sneakers. He even had black hair. He was seated next to a boy on a bench and had earbuds on. I couldn't see his face from where I stood since he was hunched forward, his arms resting on his thighs.
Oh my god. Is that him? He showed up? Or could it just be a coincidence?
I froze like an idiot again as I struggled to take in the fact that he had actually showed up.
Is that really him?
I could still make a ru-
Just go, god damn it.
Hesitantly, I walked over to him. I stopped right next to him but he didn't notice. The boy next to him did notice my presence, however, and eyed me weirdly. My hand that had been reaching for him stopped midair.
I am so going to regret this.
I extended my hand fully and tapped him lightly on the shoulder, my cheeks burning instantly.
He jerked at my sudden touch and looked up at me, surprised. He pulled his earbuds out of his ears and stared at me with a look I couldn't understand. I felt my cheeks burn even more.
The first thing about him that caught my attention were his greenish-grey eyes which looked even more beautiful because of his love for black. His hair was messy - as though he had just woken up - but it somehow fitted him. Although he had a sharp nose and jaw, he looked boyishly cute.
He continued to stare at me and instinctively, I reached up to touch a strand of my brown hair, feeling very self-conscious all of a sudden. I had left my wavy hair loose and it ended just below my shoulders. Now that he was staring at me, I wished that I had done something to my hair. I was conscious of my brown eyes too which were nowhere near pretty as his. I couldn't help but to fidget slightly and his gaze continued to burn though me.
It's you, idiot. You're supposed to say something to him. All you did was tap him on the shoulder. He has no idea who you are and he's waiting for you to say something.
I cleared my throat as I shifted my weight from one foot to another, "Uhm, Benny, right?"
He blinked at me a couple of times as though he was surprised I could talk before groaning and burying his face in his hands for a moment. He shot up suddenly and I stumbled a few steps backward.
"I'm going to kill him," he muttered so softly that I almost missed it.
He looked up to meet my eyes and shook his head slightly as he reached up to scratch the back of his head, "I just can't believe Ethan introduced me as Benny. I wanted to make a good first impression but he ruined it for me now."
I blinked at him, confused.
He gave me a small smile, "Nobody except for Ethan has called me Benny for five years now. I've told him many times to stop calling me that but he refuses to. "
I was about to nod when someone bumped into me again. I staggered forward and was about to crash but Benny caught me before I could.
Really. Couldn't people see me or something?
"Hey, you could at least apologize!" he yelled after the guy. He was still holding on to me, his hands gripping my upper arm firmly to keep me from falling. My cheeks flushed when I realized that the side of my face was pressed against his chest.
He helped to straighten me up and looked me over before letting go of me.
"Are you okay?" he asked, sounding genuinely concerned.
I nodded, unable to meet his eyes from my embarrassment.
He chuckled, "Do you want to start over?"
I snapped my gaze back to him to find him grinning at me.
"Would you like to pretend that didn't happen?" he asked, "Shall we pretend that you never heard that my name is Benny and that you didn't just crash into me?"
Well, I wasn't expecting that. But I'll take it anyway.
"Yes, please," I murmured.
Still grinning, he offered his hand, "Hi. It's nice to meet you. I'm Ben."
I reached out and shook his hand, "Hello. I'm Holly. It's nice to meet you too."
"That's better," he smiled as he pulled his hand away, "To be honest, I didn't think you'd show up."
My mouth hung open slightly at his honesty, uncertain of what to say to that. I managed to recover quickly though.
I decided to be truthful, "I wasn't going to but I figured you might and it'd be awful of me not to. I didn't think you'd show up."
"I don't like to be set up with someone but I didn't like the idea of having you waiting without me showing up even more," he shrugged.
I nodded in response.
He glanced around quickly before meeting my eyes again, "I know that neither of us signed up for this but do you want to get lunch with me anyway? We might as well since we're already here."
I was surprised at his suggestion but nodded nevertheless, "That'd be nice."
He slid his hands into the pockets of his jeans and leaned back slightly, "Do you want to get out of here? It's a little too crowded for me. I know this diner nearby. It's pretty good."
I smiled at him and nodded.
"So, what'd they say about me?" he asked suddenly as he glanced at me, "Ethan and Cassie. What did they say to make you even consider showing up?"
We were walking down the pavement lined in between countless number shops and the road. I wasn't familiar with the area and he had to lead me - throwing out directions from time to time as to when I had to turn or continue walking.
"Uh, they didn't say much," I told him as I gripped onto the strap of my bag, "But they did make me suspicious as to whether you were a creep or not though."
He laughed and shook his head, "Wow. Ethan really can't introduce a person decently."
"How about you? What did Ethan say about me?"
"He just called me one day and said I had to go on a date with you," he grinned at me, "He just told me the details, told me that I had to show up or else his girlfriend would kill him and then hung up."
"Had to go on a date with me?" I asked, horrified, "Ethan definitely can't introduce a person. He made me sound so… pathetic."
He grinned again and shook his head, "Nah. But hey, at least he didn't tell me you were a creep."
I couldn't help but to smile at that.
He ran forward slightly and stopped in front of me, smirking when I almost crashed into him again, "I promise you I'm not a creep. I'll try my best to prove it to you," he jerked his head to the right, "We're here."
I looked over and realized he was right. We were standing outside of a quaint diner. Checkered red and white tablecloths covered the tables and waitress and waiters dressed in white uniforms with red aprons tied to the lower half of their bodies filled the diner. I stared at the shop in awe. It was beautiful.
"Shall we?" Ben asked, snapping me back to reality.
I looked back at him and nodded, still smiling. Before I could even take a step, he grabbed my wrist and started pulling me with him into the diner. I was too shocked to react and instead allowed him to drag me along with him.
We slid into a booth by the window and a waitress came around, smiling brightly as she asked us for our orders. Once the waitress left, Ben focused his attention on me again.
"Skiing or hiking?" he asked, taking me by surprise.
He grinned at the confusion etched clearly on my face, "I'm just making conversation. So, which one would you rather do?"
Boy, is he different.
"Skiing," I laughed in despite of the oddness of the situation, "You couldn't think of a more normal question to ask?"
"A normal question?"
"You know, the sort of question you'd ask someone you just met," I shrugged "Like what's my favorite color or how many siblings I have."
"Okay then," he leaned back against the booth, "What's your favorite color?"
I shot him a look and he raised his hands up, palms facing me, "You suggested it."
I rolled my eyes, "Blue."
"See, that is why I didn't ask you what your favorite color was or how many siblings you have. I have nothing to say to that," he leaned forward and rested one of his elbow on the table, "No follow-up question. Skiing or hiking, on the other hand, comes with a follow-up question," he grinned as though proud of himself, "So why skiing?"
"I like snow," I told him and leaned forward too, resting my elbows on the table, "How about you? Skiing or hiking?"
"Skiing, definitely. It's like a family tradition for me," he told me.
The waitress came over then and placed his coke and my iced tea on the table. She asked if we needed anything else before moving on to another table.
"Little Mermaid or Pocahontas?" he continued as he took a sip of his coke.
I laughed as I stared at him, wondering if he was serious.
"What?" he asked, "My sister's six. She just made me watch The Little Mermaid this morning. I still have the song stuck in my head."
"Is that why you came out to meet me?" I asked, feigning hurt, "Because you wanted to get away from your sister?"
"I've been caught, haven't I?" he frowned and buried his face in his hands.
I laughed, shaking my head slightly, "Little Mermaid. I've never seen Pocahontas."
He snapped his gaze back to mine, looking shocked, "How could you not have seen Pocahontas?"
"I just haven't," I took a sip of my iced tea.
"I should make you come over sometimes. My sister could watch it four times a day and still not get sick of it," he rolled his eyes.
"Is that an invitation?" I asked jokingly as I quirked an eyebrow.
Before he could answer, the waitress came over with our food. After making sure again that we didn't want anything else, she left.
We continued talking throughout the meal. He insisted on covering all the 'normal' questions - saying that we should get that out of the way.
I found out that he had two sisters, the 6 year-old Disney obsessed younger sister and the 19 year-older sister who was off to college and that he had met Ethan by chance at the swimming pool when they were both five during summer vacation. He was born on 22nd July, played basketball in his school, watched movies to pass the time and, to be fair, he told me that his favorite color was green.
He found out that I was an only child, had met Cassie on the first day of middle school, was born on 9th October and read when I'm bored.
We moved on to his sort of questions soon after and I found out he preferred action movies as compared to horror ones, Italian food over Chinese, checkers over stripes, apples over oranges and Christmas over Thanksgivings. My answers were all the same except for the checkers one.
We had finished our food a long time ago but stayed in the booth nevertheless - both caught up in our battle of questions. The endless questioning didn't feel so weird after a while and it made me feel comfortable with him. We were finding out things - albeit it being different - about each other simultaneously and it didn't feel like I just met him.
He was definitely different from any guy I've met which probably made him more interesting. Suddenly, I didn't seem to mind the thought that Cassie and Ethan had set up this meeting between him and I.
While I was thinking of a new question to ask, he glanced at his watch before looking back up at me, grinning, "It's almost three. We've been here for almost two hours."
"What?" I asked in disbelief and glanced down at my own watch.
"Oh my god," I shook my head as I looked back up at him.
"How about we get out of here and get dessert?" he suggested, quirking an eyebrow, "The waitress has been shooting us glares for the past forty minutes."
"That sounds good," I agreed.
Before I could even grab my bag, he had slid out of the booth and headed for the counter to pay. By the time I reached him, the cashier was already giving him back his change.
I opened my mouth to protest but he cut me off before I could, "It's the least I could do for the girl who helped me escape the misery of having to watch The Little Mermaid over and over again," he grinned and grabbed my wrist, "Come on."
He let go of my hand once we were out of the shop and we walked down the pavement we had came from before.
"So, what's up with the love for black?"I asked after a few minutes of silence and gestured to what he was wearing when his eyes flickered over to me.
"Let's just say having two sisters when I was still growing up isn't easy," he said, sliding his hands into his pockets as we both walked through the entrance of mall. He gestured to the left and I followed, "Ice cream's fine with you, right?"
I glanced over at him and nodded as I stepped on the escalator next to him. The shop was to the right of the top of the escalator and he ushered me in. He insisted on paying again after we had picked out a flavor each. The shop was empty expect for a couple huddled together in a corner. Moving to the other corner, I slid into the booth across from him.
We resumed to our questions as we ate our ice cream. We moved on to finding about what either of us liked or disliked. I was just about to ask him the fourteenth question when someone called out his name. He looked up and so did I just as a girl came to a stop by our table. She had dark purple streaks in her blond hair and wore boots along with a black dress.
"Hey," she smiled at Ben, glancing over at me for a split second before focusing her attention on him again, "Aren't you going to Clara's party?"
Ben's eyes flickered to me before he looked back at her, "Maybe later."
The girl turned to look at me again and I ducked my head to stare at my ice cream. I suddenly wished that I could just disappear.
Was he saying no because of me? Was it because he wanted to go but felt bad for ditching me?
"Alright," the girl continued, "I'll see you there."
"So where were we?" he asked me once she was gone.
I looked back up and he was quirking an eyebrow at me, looking somewhat amused.
I pointed in the direction where the girl had just left, "It's fine if you want to go."
He shook his head and smiled as he pointed to his cup of ice cream with the spoon he was holding, "I still got this to finish."
I nodded and went back to stare at my cup. I picked up the spoon, scooped some ice cream, and slowly brought it to my mouth.
This is stupid. Why am I even feeling guilty for keeping him here? It's not like I told him to stay. In fact, I just told him to go. And he could just go if he wanted to since our best friends only forced us into going to lunch with each other and nothing more.
He must've sensed my discomfort because he asked me, "Do you want to come with me? To the party?"
I looked up at him and shook my head frantically, "Oh, no. I can't-"
"Come on," he smiled, "It'd be fun."
I stared at him, unsure of what to say or do.
He tilted his head and raised an eyebrow, "Come on, Holly. Come with me."
"But I don't know anybody," I pointed out helplessly.
"You know me," he grinned as he slid out of the booth and took my hand, "Come on. My car's just outside."
"Isn't it a little early for a party?" I asked him as I slammed the door of his car shut.
"According to Clara, it's never too early to party," he chuckled, "Besides, it's a little past five. It's not that early."
I could hear the sound of the music two blocks away from what I assumed had to be her house. By the time we stepped through the door to her house, the music was so loud that I had the overwhelming urge to cover my ears. The place was packed and he slipped his hand into mine again, intertwining our fingers to make sure he didn't lose track of me.
I expected him to leave me alone at some point considering it was a room full of people he knew. He was definitely popular judging from the endless stream of people who came up to talk to him. But he surprised me by keeping my hand in his, refusing to let me go. He glanced at me from time to time and shot me apologetic looks as people continued to come over and strike up a conversation with him.
I kept looking around the room since I had nothing else to do. After a while, I realized that there was a girl across the room who kept staring at me. She was pretty. She was a redhead, her hair seeming to glow around her. She wore tight jeans and a tank top. Her eyes never left me even when she sipped her drink.
When the seventh guy that had come up to talk to Ben left, I turned around to ask him about her.
"Do you know that girl? The girl to my right. She's wearing a black tank top," I yelled at him over the music, "She's been staring at me for a while now."
He looked over as his eyes scanned the crowd. I knew he had found her his head stopped moving. He cleared his throat and ducked his head to talk closer to my ear so that I could hear him without him having to scream, "Yeah. Uh, she's my ex-girlfriend."
I looked up at him and saw the discomfort on his face, "Oh. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked."
He smiled, "No. it's fine. We broke up almost two months ago but she still expects me to wait around for her even though she's obviously moved on," he gestured back to her with a jerk of his head.
I turned around just in time to see a guy leaning down to kiss her on the cheek.
"Come on. Let's get out of here," he told me, his breath hot against my cheek as he pulled me with him as he maneuvered his way through the crowd and up to the second floor. He found an empty bedroom and ushered me in before closing the door behind him.
I knew that I should've been worried or at least uncomfortable over the fact that I was in a bedroom, completely alone with a guy whom I had just met hours ago. But for some reason that I couldn't fathom, I felt completely at ease. I trusted him.
I sat on the bed and looked around. He, on the other hand, walked around and inspected the things in the room.
"I'm guessing this is Clara's room?" I asked him.
He looked back at me, "Judging from the number of pictures of her in this room, I'm guessing it's a yes."
"Are you sure it's okay for us to be in her room?"
He nodded and sat next to me, "She didn't lock it. And even if we get caught, she likes me. I'm sure we'll survive."
I shot him a look and he grinned in response.
"So, what do you think of the party?" he asked and I shot him another look, "What? I'm just making conversation."
I sighed, "I'm not even surprised anymore. I don't go to many parties so it's a little overwhelming for me."
Before he could answer me though, the room door swung open and a couple staggered through the doors, too busy making out with each other to notice that we were in the room. When they finally did register our presence, they broke apart abruptly but the guy kept his arm around the girl's waist.
"Hey," the guy breathed, "Ben. You're here."
Ben gave a nod in response and I could see him trying to hide his amusement.
The guy gestured to me, "New girlfriend?"
Ben looked over at me and I coughed. He smirked as he took my hand and pulled me up, "I see you managed to find another girl who agreed to sleep with you."
The guy blinked before breaking out into a grin.
"You're wasted, Mac. Do you have someone to take you home?" Ben asked as we passed by him.
"You always take me home," the guy drawled.
"Not anymore. I told you I was done after you threw up in my car for the third time," Ben said before pulling me down the stairs and back into the crowd of people.
"I'm sorry about that," he rubbed the back of his neck and I shook my head. He glanced around the room and a smile tugged at the corner of his lips, "Do you want to dance?"
I looked around too and finally noticed that the people around us were dancing. The people were dancing provocatively to the music - their bodies gyrating against each other as they enjoyed the song. I felt my cheeks flush and I could hear him laugh at my reaction.
He let go of my hand and slid both of his arms around my waist instead, pulling me closer. He started to sway slightly and I followed him.
I looked up at him, a mix of confusion and amusement etched on my face, "Why are we slow dancing to a techno song?"
"There isn't a rule that says we can't," he smiled as he reached down and made me put my arms around his neck. His warmth surrounded me and I could smell the faint smell of cologne on him as we continued to sway among the crowd of gyrating bodies.
He leaned down and whispered in my ear, "Do you regret coming out to meet me?"
"Nope. But only because you're not a creep like Ethan and Cassie told me," I smiled as I felt him chuckle.
The song switched to a slower one and he moved closer to me. I wasn't sure if it was because of the crowd pushing him to me or because he wanted to. I had my cheek pressed against his chest and I felt my face heat up again.
Shouldn't there be a limit as to how many times you could blush per day? This was starting to get irritating.
He was a head taller than me and I could feel his chin on top of my head and I could feel his breath blowing against my hair.
Shouldn't I be feeling a tad bit uncomfortable? I had just met the guy anyway. Why was I was still feeling comfortable with him? This is crazy.
Wanting to distract myself from my own confusing thoughts, I asked him, "Do you regret coming out to meet me?"
"No," he murmured.
I waited for him to give me a reason but when he didn't after a few seconds, I pulled back slightly to look up at him.
"Aren't you going to explain that one?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
I watched in confusion as he hesitated. I opened my mouth to ask him what was wrong but he cut my off before I could.
He ducked down and pressed his mouth against mine so quickly that I didn't even see it coming. I froze in shock as my mind raced to catch up with the situation. My mind seemed to be taking a break though.
My eyes fluttered close instinctively and I kissed him back carefully. I could feel him relax against me now that I was responding to him. His arms around my waist tightened as he deepened the kiss.
When we finally broke apart for air, I blinked up at him, shocked at what I had just done. He stared at me, his mouth hanging open slightly and I could almost see him struggling to come up with something to say.
My mind finally caught up with me and I staggered back, away from his touch. He frowned and started to say something but I cut him off.
"I- I should go," I managed to stutter before I whirled around and made a run for it. My plan wasn't so smart though since the room was packed with people. I squeezed my way through as fast as I could and just when I was about to reach the door, I felt his fingers wrap around my wrist.
Oh, god damn it.
"Hey, wait a minute," he said, his voice slightly strained and I turned to look at him, "About what just…. At least let me give you a ride home."
I shook my head and pulled my hand out of his grip, "It's fine. Uhm, thank you. For today, I mean."
I whirled around and staggered out the door before he could say anything else.
I had no idea how to get home but I was glad when he didn't follow me. It took me over an hour to get home but I didn't care. When I finally reached my doorstep though, I realized that I had left my bag in his car.
"Hey, Holly," Cassie appeared by my locker suddenly, making me jump, "I've been calling you all day. Why didn't you pick up?"
It was Monday and school was over. I spent all weekend freaking out over the kiss that I had almost missed school today.
I shrugged as I slammed my locker door closed, "I forgot to bring my phone to school."
I glanced past her at Ethan and offered him a smile, "Hey."
He nodded in response while Cassie stared at me as though I was being weird.
"You never forget your phone," she told me.
I shrugged. I didn't. It's in my bag which was still with Ben but I wasn't going to tell her that just yet. I had to figure out how to ask Ethan to get it for me without raising any sort of suspicion over what had happened on Saturday.
I started to make my way out of school and they both followed me. Cassie linked her arm with mine and leaned against me, "How was the date?"
I froze slightly but managed to recover quickly, "It was fine."
"Really?" she smiled at me, "What happened?"
"Can we not talk about it?" I asked, "It was okay. That's all there is to it."
"Was it that bad?" she frowned as we walked though the doors, "It looked fine to me."
I focused my gaze on the pathway, wanting nothing more than to get home as soon as possible and away from Cassie and her questions.
"Yeah, well…." I snapped my gaze to her, "Wait. What? You spied on me?"
I looked away from her to Ethan for a moment and then back to her, my eyes narrowing.
"I'm sorry. I tried to stop her," Ethan murmured.
"Well, I'm not," Cassie shrugged as we walked through the parking lot, "I was curious. You're my best friend. I was worried about you."
"Benny?" Ethan's voice caught my attention and I froze, "What are you doing here?"
I turned around swiftly, hoping more than anything that I had misheard him but I hadn't. Ben was leaning against his car. He was wearing blue jeans and a different black T-shirt today. He looked good.
"Hey," Ben smiled at Ethan.
Cassie let go of my arm and walked over to them, "Why, hello you. Did you like Holly so much that you came to see her again?"
Cassie turned back to wink at me before turning back to him. My cheeks burned and I wished I could smack Cassie across the head with a pillow then.
Ben's gaze flickered to mine and I looked away. I started to take small step backwards as he reached back into his car and took something. He held out my bag to me.
"You forgot this," he told me and I stopped, "I'm sorry I didn't give it back earlier."
I didn't move. I couldn't.
"Hols, what are you doing?" Cassie asked me, frowning.
I snapped my gaze back to him and saw that he was still holding my bag out to me. Hesitantly, I walked over to him and took my bag from him.
"Thank you," I mumbled.
He pushed himself off his car and slid his hands into his pockets, "Can we talk?"
"I- I need to go," I stuttered, "I have something to do."
"No, you don't," Cassie injected, "What's wrong with you today?"
Oh my god. I'm so going to kill her when this is over.
"I'm sorry about what happened that night," he said before I could come up with another lame excuse, "I shouldn't have… surprised you like that."
"I was just answering your question," he added.
I looked up at him, "Huh?"
He swallowed, "You asked me why I didn't regret meeting you," he took a deep breath, "It's because I like you."
"You what?!" Cassie squealed from somewhere behind me.
"Leave them alone, Cas," Ethan muttered.
"It was a reckless thing to do but I don't regret it," he took a step closer to me and lowered his voice so that Cassie couldn't hear us, "So, I came over to ask you if you'd like to go out with me again."
My jaw dropped and he grinned.
"I'd like you to go on a date with me because you want to and not because our best friends decided to set us up together. We could start over."
I smiled at that, "Again?"
"Well, maybe not all over again," he leaned back slightly, "But I definitely wished you hadn't met my ex-girlfriend on the first date."
"It wasn't so bad," I muttered.
"So is that a yes?" he asked me hopefully.
I nodded slowly.
His grinned widened and my breath caught in my throat.
"Could we redo something though?" he asked me.
I raised my eyebrow and he took a step closer to me.
"I'd really appreciate it if you didn't run away from me this time," he murmured before kissing me again.
This time, I stayed right where I was.
Hello! I've been gone for quite a while, haven't i? I'm really sorry. I lost my passion for writing for a while and that's why i was gone for so long. This may not be my best story so far but i'm really glad i got it out. Thank you for reading!
Tell me what you think (: