"You did not just go and tell our science teacher that I think he looks cute. And that too in front of the whole class!"
"Well too bad, cuz I did." Aiden says, smirking. "And he is cute, you can't disagree with me on that."
"Aiden!" I yell in exasperation.
"What?" He mocks, still grinning.
I did not sign up for this. Nor did my science teacher. Poor guy was so confused, and I had to endure his - and my other classmates' -weird stares in science class the entire time.
That was really embarrasing.
Aiden is- and I cannot stress this enough- the most annoying, stuck up, and egoistic person I've ever met. And trust me, I've met a lot of people to decide that.
"How'd you even know that I find him cute?"
"A magician never reveals his secrets." He smirks. The same smirk that always gets me into some kind of mess or trouble.
It never leaves his face, as if he is always planning something malicious against me.
To everyone else, Aiden Palmer is a goody-two-shoe.
But for me, he is the definition of vile.
I slam my locker shut, after removing the books I needed from it. This locker has seen too much. Again, Aiden's fault. He even glued it shut once, 'on accident'. We had to call the literal emergency services.
So, this is a day in the life of Ashley Jones.
Which is me, if you didn't know.
"Oh stop it, you two." Katelyn, my best friend, says, as I was about to punch the hell out of Aiden.
That happens a lot. I've never actually punched him, but a girl can dream.
"We're going to be late for class." She adds, even though the school is about to end and there are no classes to attend.
"You're just saying that to make us stop fighting." I mutter, but shut up nonetheless.
Aiden also gets the message, because he suddenly seems interested in toying with the lace of his black hoodie. God. Him and his hoodies.
I just don't get it, how could someone have nothing but hoodies in their wardrobe? Hell, he even wears them in the summer.
"Hey guys." A voice trails from in front of me.
A familier person with wavy brown hair and emerald green eyes, walks towards us.
"Oh hey Cole!" Katelyn exclaims, her expression changing from mildly annoyed to lovestruck in a second, as if someone flipped a switch.
She laces her hands through his, and they exchange a dreamy smile.
I roll my eyes.
"Ew, you cheesy lovebirds. Get a room already." I groan.
Katelyn and Cole - Aiden's close friend- started dating recently. Ever since, Aiden is hanging out with us more often.
Lucky me. Add and 'un' before the lucky though.
Aiden fake coughs, pointedly looking at Cole. "Hello, we exist too, y'know."
"Wow, I did not know that, genius." I say before Cole can reply.
"Hey, I wasn't even talking to you!" Aiden frowns.
"Well, I was." I counter. And yes, we argue like this practically everyday.
But Katelyn and Cole are not even listening. They're talking to each other with the same dreamy expression, and Cole tucks a loose strand of her long black hair behind her ear.
When I thought it wasn't going to get any cheesier, she kisses him on the cheeks. On tiptoe.
All the while, Cole's hand is interlocked in hers.
Lyn giggles. Like- actually giggles.
Who knew a girl like Katelyn- who never even looked at a guy that way- is now giggling over one.
Funny how one person can change your entire life.
Aiden pretends to throw up. "So much for staying single. I feel like a third wheel."
I nod. "Finally, something we can agree on." I say.
"Corecction. The only thing we can agree on."
"Yea, yea. Whatever."
Before I can get Lyn's attention though, someone taps my shoulder from behind. I jump, startled.
I turn around to find a guy, who looks older than most of us. I've only seen him around a couple times.
He has black shoulder length hair and dark green eyes which look empty and lifeless. He has bags under his eyes, and he looks like he's about to commit homicide.
Not a good sign, in most cases. He smells like smoke, the kind that comes from the excessive use of cigars.
Not a good sign either.
His whole being screams, "Fear me or you will regret it."
"Hey. I'm Brandon." He says in a gruff, hoarse voice. Then he smiles, and his teeth look worse than his face, which is saying something.
"Um. Hi." I say, unable to form words properly. I don't know who the hell this guy is, but he gives me the creeps.
I mean, don't judge a book by its cover and all that shit, but I've seen him hanging around with the people who probably sell- or do- drugs. Or both. Aiden tenses behind me, like he knows that somethings up too.
"Can we talk?" The guy—Brandon—asks.
"Go ahead." I reply. He looks at Aiden questioningly, like he wants him to go, but I don't budge. Neither does Aiden. I do not want to be alone with this 'Brandon' guy.
I can sense Katelyn and Cole's presence behind me.
"So, um- will you go out with me? I've liked you since like- forever." He smiles again.
Damn, this guy does not beat around the bush. The hallway goes silent, as if waiting for my answer. But I do not even know this guy! I bet he doesn't know me either. My answer is fixed.
"No, I don't like you. Sorry." I say, looking him in the eye. his grin falters for a second.
"Oh. I get it. You're just playing hard to get. I'll ask you again." He says. His smile is forced now. "And I won't take no for an answer. Do. You. Like. Me." Every muscle in my body is yelling at me, begging me to run. I can even feel the adreneline rush in my legs, giving me the strength I need to actually run.
See, even my body thinks that Brandon is a fucking red flag.
"I. Said. No." I reply, trying to match his tone— fierce and threatening.
"Oh come on, Ashley. I know you like me. I caught you looking at me the other day. Staring, even."
Forget the false accusations of me staring at him, he knows my name! Brandon senses my emotions and a smug look settles on his face. He steps closer, causing me to step back involuntarily.
"Stop. I do not like you. End of discussion." I say with what was left of my courage.
But this guy wasn't the type who backed away easily.
"Besides, I already have a boyfriend." I curse myself for saying that, and even more for what I'm about to do next.
With what dignity was left in me, I feel in the air for Aiden's hand— not taking my eyes off of Brandon— and take Aiden's hand in mine.
Everyone around me gasps, incuding Aiden himself. As much as I hate coming in contact with him, I don't let go.
Neither does he.
Aiden takes a step towards me, so that our shoulders are almost touching.
"Yes. We're dating." I declare, the foul taste of those words burning in my mouth.
When a random, creepy guy asks Ashley out and is not leaving her alone, she has no choice but to lie that she's already dating someone.
So she grabs the hand of the nearest guy and claims that she's dating him- but he turns out to be... the most annoying person she knows! A.k.a. her enemy.
God, anyone but him.
Now they have to play pretend.
But will this relationship stay a fake one? Or will it blossom into something more?
Follow to find out!