Read Love Me Online

Authors: Jillian Dodd

Tags: #YA Romance, #General Fiction

Love Me (49 page)

BOOK: Love Me
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I stare at him for a minute before I cover my face with my hands and cry silently.

 

Riley drops me off outside my English class. 

I’m never early for class, but today I’m the first one in my seat.

The teacher walks in, looks at me funny, and then says, “We’re going to do something fun today. Would you mind putting one of these handouts on each desk?”

“Sure,” I reply, glad for something to keep me busy.

I’m just finishing when Dallas and Katie walk in and sit down. Katie’s face looks flushed and happy. 

“Bryce walk you to class?” I ask her.

She smiles a huge grin as Dallas says, “They were making out in the hallway.”

“I heard you were making out—well, more than that—with someone yesterday,” she teases him back.

“Revenge sex is sweet, especially when it’s with her best friend,” Dallas says, sitting up straighter. But then he looks at me. “Um, except you shouldn’t do that, Kiki. I mean, you know. I just . . .”

“I’m not having revenge sex, Dallas. I’m not having any sex. I may move to France to join a nunnery.”

He hits my shoulder. “I don’t think they’ll let girls with stripper names into the nunnery.”

His comment makes me smile and even laugh a little.

I love Dallas.

“Do you remember that first day?” I ask him. “When you were trying to think up a nickname for me? It was right before . . .”

The smile fades from my face and I drop my chin to my chest.

“It’ll be okay,” Dallas says. “Are you really going on break by yourself? You can come home with me.”

“You could come home with me too,” Katie says. “You’re more than welcome.”

“I appreciate that, guys. But the house that I’m staying at has really good memories for me. It’s a place that I hope will help . . .”

“Help what?”

“Heal me, maybe. I’m not sure. And it’s not like I’ll be completely alone. There’s a full staff. I’ll be waited on hand and foot. Mabel will make me her famous pecan pie. We’ll cook a turkey.”

“And you’ll eat it alone?”

“Probably, yes.”

They both look at me with pity.

“Don’t worry about me. My mom goes to the spa by herself all the time. That’s what it’s going to be like for me. A spa retreat. And I’m looking forward to getting my tan back.”

“You don’t have to be alone, Keatyn,” Dallas says. “What if I came with you? Maybe Riley could come too. We’d have fun.”

“I appreciate the offers more than you know, but I really need to go alone.”

 

Can’t deal.

Math

 

 
In math class, Logan tries to reason with me. 

“Will you just talk to him?”

“We already talked.”

“He’s miserable. You’re miserable.”

“He’ll get over it.”

“I’m not sure that he will.”

“I’m not sure that I will either.”

“See, that makes no sense. He’s the good prince, Keatyn.”

“I know he is.”

I close my eyes and shake my head, just as I get called to the office over the loud speaker.

I grab my bag and head to the office. 

But the closer I get, the weirder I feel. 

The hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end. My stomach feels tied up in knots.

No, I don’t feel weird. I feel worried. 

Make that scared.

Is Vincent here? Did Annie not listen?

I don’t go to the office. Instead, I text Cooper. 

 

Me:  Are you in class?

 

Cooper:  Yes. 

 

Me:  I just got called to the office. I’m afraid to go. What if someone contacted him?

 

Cooper:  Go somewhere (not your dorm) and hide. I’ll go find out.

 

I immediately turn around and run as fast as I can to the chapel. 

When I get there, I find Aiden sitting in a pew. Our pew. 

The door slams behind me, causing him to turn around. 

“What are you doing here?” I ask him.

“Just thinking.”

“You looked like you were praying. Is your mom okay?”

“She’s fine. Thanks for asking.”

I sit down next to him. I know the place is full of empty pews. I could choose any one of them, but I don’t. I’ll always be drawn to his side. 

“You haven’t answered any of my phone calls or texts. Have you read them?”

“No. Net yet.”

“So you might?”

“Maybe.”

“When?”

“On break. I just can’t deal with them right now.”

“I’m sorry you got hurt.”

I reach up and gently touch the bruise under his eye. “I’m sorry you got hurt too.”

He takes my hand in his and kisses it. 

But I can’t let it affect me. 

I swallow and tell myself to move.

Because I know that I can’t stay here. 

Because I don’t trust myself to do what’s best for me.

If I stay, I’ll beg him to come with me. 

I’ll tell him I need him. 

But I can’t. 

I can’t. 

Because what I need is to get over him.

My phone buzzes. 

 

Cooper:  Where are you?

 

Me:  Chapel.

 

Cooper:  Come to my office.

 

“I have to go,” I say, trying to keep the regret out of my voice.

He doesn’t say anything. Just nods.

I go the back way to the field house. Running through the tree line instead of down the sidewalk. I forgot to ask Cooper what he found out. Although I’m sure if Vincent were here, he would have told me. 

I’m being ridiculous.

But just in case, I walk behind the buildings. 

When I get to his office, he says, “Sit down.”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s not Vincent. Peyton had some lame excuse for why she had you called to the office. Something about French weekend. When I pressed her about it, she said that she needed to talk to you about Thanksgiving break and you keep ignoring her. I thought she was going with you?”

“Aiden and I are over. There was some drama this weekend.”

“Is that the real reason Riley punched him?”

“Yeah. A girl told me that she and Aiden hooked up. I was upset. Went to Riley and bawled. He got pissed and punched Aiden.”

“And almost got suspended.”

“Yeah. Needless to say, they aren’t going with me anymore.”

“You’re going by yourself?”

“Why is that such a big deal? I want to go by myself. I’m glad I’m going by myself! I can’t freaking wait!”

“I’ll go with you. I like the beach.”

“You’re going home to be with your family.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Nothing has changed, Cooper. Same mode of transportation. Same destination. Same people going to be on staff. Everything that you already got approved by Garrett. The only thing that’s changed is the guest list.”

“That’s true. Maybe it’s just because you seem like a bit of a wreck. I’m worried about you. Worried you’ll do something rash. Maybe I could arrange for you to see your . . .”

“Cooper, I haven’t had a second by myself since all this happened. I
need
to go by myself. Now, more than ever.”

“Alright. We still on for tonight?”

“Definitely. And I’d like to spar,” I say as I open his door. “Do you think I’m ready?”

Cooper grins at me. “I’ll bring the protection.”

“See you tonight.”

As I round the corner, I see Whitney, scurrying—almost running—around the next corner. Which is kinda odd because I don’t think I’ve ever seen her run.

 

I skip lunch, opting to go to the library. 

But this was the wrong place to go. 

I have so many memories of Aiden here. Him telling me that we’re sorta like fate. That he was going to ask me to marry him at the top of the Eiffel tower at sunset. When he saw the text from Dawson about how he’d die without a kiss. How we sat on the bench out front and watched our first sunset together. 

I find a remote corner with two chairs that are hidden behind a set of stacks. I sit down, pull out Avery’s purple glitter pen, and start writing. 

 

 

Fire = Passion.

French

 

Even though I want to skip French, I don’t. 

But sitting in this class sucks.

Because all I can think about is him. 

All the things he’s leaned up and whispered in my ear. The dirty words. The notes about true love and the dream girl. 

I tune out Miss Praline, hide my phone under my desk, and send a text. 

 

Me:  Grandma, my house got burned down.

 

Grandma:  You can always rebuild a house. Fire is a lot harder to find. (It’s just harder to control sometimes.) Hint: Fire = Passion. 

 

I also send one to Grandpa. 

 

Me:  Remember when Jose told me not to let boys give me shit?

 

Grandpa:  Yes.

 

Me:  He forgot to tell me what to do when a boy does.

 

Grandpa:  Well, you have two options. I can send you a nice little revolver, or you can give him shit back.

 

My God of all Hotties.

4pm

 

I manage to get through our dance routine at the pep rally without crying. 

But I want to cry.

Just seeing Aiden in his jersey makes me want to bawl.

It’s the jersey that I wore. 

That I was so proud to wear on the field. 

He kissed me with his tongue because of that jersey. 

I bury my face in my pompoms so I don’t have to look at him.

“Keatyn,” Maggie says. “You have to snap out of it. You’re acting like a zombie.”

“I am not. I was just out there dancing.”

“And now you’re practically in tears.” She wraps her arm around my shoulder and pulls me into a hug. “Boys suck.”

I nod, agreeing with her. But I don’t agree. Aiden doesn’t suck. He’s perfect. 

“You made me give Logan another chance.”

“No, I didn’t. You gave him another chance because he made the big gesture.”

“Do you need a big gesture?”

“No. It won’t matter, Maggie. We fight all the time,” I say, giving her the excuse I gave him.

“My mom says there’s a fine line between love and hate. That the more passionate you get, the more passion you have.”

“My grandma said something like that to me today. That fire equals passion.”

“You and Aiden have passion.”

“Aiden and I had more than passion. We had fire.”

“Fires smolder for a while after they’ve been put out, you know. You aren’t done with him. You can’t be. Keatyn, tell me now that you don’t love him and I’ll stop bugging you.”

I look at him. 

He’s standing across the basketball court, listening to the coaches try to get everyone fired up for the big game. His face is bruised, his hair isn’t gelled, his posture is off, his green eyes aren’t sparkling, and there’s no beaming smile on his face.

But he still looks like a god to me. My God of all Hotties. 

Little tears fall down my face. 

I wipe them away quickly. 

“You’re crying just looking at him. I know you love him.”

I close my eyes and nod.

“So why don’t you talk to him?”

“I did earlier. It’s over, Maggie. It has to be.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t hooked up with Dawson.”

“I wish I could. It would make this a whole lot easier.”

 

A friendly voice.

7pm

I skip dinner. The girls offered to stay and order in pizza, but I told them to go without me. I wouldn’t be very good company. No one really argued with me. Ace and Annie will be apart for Thanksgiving break, as will Katie and Bryce. They are trying to spend every last minute together. 

I scroll through my phone and hit Damian’s number. 

BOOK: Love Me
5.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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