Read Love Me Online

Authors: Jillian Dodd

Tags: #YA Romance, #General Fiction

Love Me (51 page)

BOOK: Love Me
13.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

As do most of the phones in the café. 

I scroll through even more screenshots of her offering herself up to different guys.

All of whom happen to be the boyfriends of her fellow cheerleaders.

Audible gasps rise from the cheerleaders’ table. 

And then the table erupts in havoc. 

Girls start crying. Yelling at Chelsea. Calling her names. Flashing her topless and naked pictures around. Then yelling at their boyfriends. Stomping out. One even grabs her hair and is pulling it, until the lunchroom attendant blows a whistle.

“All of you. All you people at THIS table. To the office, immediately!”

From the other table, Dallas catches my eye and winks at me. 

I text him. 

 

Me:  Did you have something to do with this?

 

Dallas:  Who me?

 

Me:  Did you?

 

Dallas:  They say guns don’t kill people, people do. 

 

Me:  What does that have to do with anything?

 

Dallas:  I didn’t shoot the gun, Kiki. Just provided the ammo.

 

Me:  You teamed up with Whitney?

 

Dallas:  From what I can tell, you just did too. I’m proud of you, by the way. This isn’t how either of us expected it to go down. 

 

“Whitney, how did you expect this to go down?” 

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about. But
if
I had planned something with a friend, neither one of us would’ve predicted for you to come sit here with me. You’re a way bigger person than either of us thought. And that’s saying a lot, because Dallas thinks pretty highly of you.”

I look back at Dallas and smile.

“Oh, oh,” Whitney says, glancing toward Chelsea, who has started marching in our direction.

“I know you did this!” she yells, waving her phone at me.

“Chelsea, I didn’t . . .”

Whitney interrupts and says in a lazy tone, “I’m so sorry this happened to you. You should definitely take those photos to the dean. I’m sure
if
you could prove Keatyn sent them, she’d probably get, like, what? A detention or something.” 

“Yeah, right. And I’d get expelled.” Chelsea narrows her gaze at me then runs out of the café.

“I can't believe you did that.”

“Did what?” Whitney replies with a smile.

 

Our luck.

1pm

 

After all the drama at lunch, I’m ready to get on the bus for the three-hour ride to upstate New York for the second playoff game. I sit next to Maggie on the bus, listening to her gossip and gush about Logan. When he starts texting her, I put my headphones in and close my eyes. 

And, yes, I’m a glutton for punishment. I listen to the 29-song playlist. 

If I were my friend, I would tell myself to stop listening to it. That I’m just prolonging my own agony. But, at the same time, I’m kind of proud of myself. I’ve never done the wallowing after a break up thing before. Where you go though all the notes, movie stubs, and photos from your time together. Cry over them. And then burn them. 

RiAnne would do that when she had a bad break up and I never understood why. 

Now, I do. 

It’s part of the grieving process.

It’s therapeutic. 

Healing. 

I feel Maggie shift in the seat and then a finger pokes me.

I open my eyes to find Peyton sitting next to me, her eyes shimmering with tears. 

I pull my earbuds out as she says, “You’re right. I have become the biggest bitch of all. And I don’t want to be a bitch.”

I wrap my arm around her and pull her into a hug. “I know you don’t. It’s not who you are.”

She cries and shakes her head. “It’s not me. I was just . . . I was just trying to get back at her. I wanted to hurt her, but I didn’t. I just made her my enemy.”

“You need to talk to her. Tell her how you felt and why you did it. Do you know why you did it?”

“I was afraid I was going to turn into a bitch. I was going along with her when I should’ve stood up to her.”

“But . . .”

“But I should have realized I was mad at myself for not having the courage to do what was right.”

“You’ve got to learn to love yourself.”

She nods in agreement. “I really wish me and Aiden could . . .”

“Please, don’t say it.”

“He’s really upset, Keatyn.”

“Me too,” I reply, putting my earbuds back in and halting our conversation.

 

The playoff game is close. 

Back and forth scoring. 

As the end nears, you know that whoever ends up with the ball last will probably win. 

And whoever is our team. Riley, who has started every game since Dawson got banged up, runs time off the clock until there are only a few ticks left. 

Aiden goes out to kick the winning field goal. 

He lines up, takes two steps over, makes the four-leaf clover symbol with his hands, and kicks the ball. 

I pray that it goes through the uprights. 

Pray that even though we’re not together fate will still allow our luck to work for him. 

But it doesn’t. 

The ball hits the upright and bounces out. 

 

Stupid glow.

12:30am

 

It’s late when we get back from the long bus ride home. I’m packing when Maggie barrels into my room. 

“I really need you and Katie’s help,” she says.

“With what?”

“I ordered a bunch of new dresses but I can’t decide which ones I should take. We’re doing dinner at my house and then going to his house the next day. I want to look perfect.”

“Come on,” Katie says, pulling me out of the room. Then she whispers, “Let’s stop and get some cookies. I think this is gonna take a while.”

We stop at the kitchen and then go to Maggie’s room. 

I watch as Maggie tries on five different dresses and parades across the room in them.

“What do you think?”

“I like the second one and fifth one. But I didn’t like shoes you had on with the fifth one. It needs tights and boots.”

“Oh, that would be cute,” Katie agrees. “Try it back on.”

She puts it back on, gets two thumbs up, gives each of us a hug, and lets us go back to our room. 

 

As usual, Katie passes out quickly. 

I’m jealous of her ability to fall asleep so fast. 

I finish my packing, double check that I have my passport, and then lie in my bed. 

I close my eyes and try to sleep but I can’t because the 29-song playlist is playing in my head.

Maybe I shouldn’t have listened to it for three hours straight.

I open my eyes and stare up at the ceiling, forgetting about the stars.

But then I see a moon glowing directly above my head. 

Are you kidding me? 

That must be why Maggie had a fake fashion crisis tonight. She wanted me out of my room. She thinks this is like the big gesture.

But, it’s not.

I close my eyes tightly to shut out the sight of the moon, but even with my eyes closed I can feel the moon mocking me. 

“I officially hate you!” I say to the moon. “I never should have made a stupid wish on you!”

I stand up on my bed, rip the moon off the ceiling, and then toss it on my bedside table so I won’t have to look at it.

I lie back down. 

Toss and turn. 

Try to get comfortable.

But I can't. 

Because the damn moon is glowing from my table. 

I slam my phone down on top of it. 

Still glowing. 

Fucking moon.

I grab it, shove it into my purse, zip the purse up tightly, and then throw it across the room.

Killing the moon and hiding its stupid glow. 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 23rd

Write my name in the sand.

10am

 

I’m not sure why it’s necessary to have a partial school day today because everyone, including the teachers, has mentally checked out already.

I’ve checked out because something amazing has happened. I’m pretty sure that when I yelled at the moon last night, it reversed my wish. 

Because for the first time since I came here, I’m able to write down a script for my perfect life.

 

 

FADE IN: MALIBU BEACH  

A YOUNG COUPLE IS STANDING IN THE MOONLIGHT ON THE UPSCALE PRIVATE BEACH OF THE MALIBU COLONY. PANNING SHOT OF THE OCEAN WAVES SHIMMERING IN THE MOONLIGHT.  

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

(Taking Keatyn’s hand in his)

Happy Birthday.

 

KEATYN

(Leans in to kiss him)

It’s been a long year.

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

But we’re here. Together on the beach. That’s all that matters.

 

KEATYN

That and the stalker is in jail. 

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

I was worried when he kidnapped you. 

 

KEATYN

I’m just glad it’s over, and so happy we’re together.

 

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

(Grins adorably)

There were times when I didn’t know if we’d make it. We’ve both grown up a lot. It’s like everything and nothing has changed.

 

KEATYN

We’ve changed. Our love hasn’t. 

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

I told you fate would bring us together. 

 

KEATYN

I didn’t believe you.

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

It’s not where you’ve been that matters; it’s where you end up that does. 

Wanna know a secret?

 

KEATYN

Of course.

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

I wished for this.

 

KEATYN

What do you mean?

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

I made a wish on the moon. For you.

 

KEATYN

(Happy tears stream down her face)

I wished on the moon too. For my perfect boy. 

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

(Brushes away her tears)

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

 

KEATYN 

You told me that before. I thought it meant I was pretty.

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

What do you think it means now?

 

KEATYN

I think it means love is a thing of beauty. 

 

MALE LEAD: YET TO BE CAST

We’re a thing of beauty. I love you. 

 

KEATYN

I love you too.

 

(They share true love’s kiss)

 

THE END

ROLL CREDITS

 

 

I stop and tap my pen on my notebook.

At my birthday party, I wanted to bring my two worlds together. Surfer friends and school friends. 

Could I combine my East coast friends with my West coast friends?

I shake my head and wad up the paper. 

None of it matters now.

Because last night I made a decision.

Logan pokes his finger into my shoulder.

“I need to tell you something.” He hangs his head and looks guilty.

“What’s wrong?”

“Remember when Aiden scored the points for you? You danced 29 dances under the twinkle lights that I helped him put up.”

“I remember. I didn’t know you helped, though. That was nice of you.”

“Do you remember how you freaked out when he told you the Keats quote?”

“Yes, Logan, I remember the entire night.”

“And do you remember that he didn’t call you after?”

I can’t talk about Aiden, his dances, or the twinkle lights. I blow my bangs up off my face and try not to cry. “Yes. I remember.”

“It upset you, right?”

“Yes, it upset me.”

“I told him not to call you.”

I fully turn around. “Why did you do that?”

“Because I was down on love. Maggie wouldn’t talk to me. She started hanging out with Parker again. And Aiden was all giddy about you. It pissed me off. And once he told me about your reaction to the quote and your sort of boyfriend, I told him it wasn’t worth it. That love wasn’t worth it. That true love was bullshit and so was love at first sight.”

I blow out the breath of air I’ve been holding. “Did he want to call me?”

“Yes.”

I shake my head. “It wouldn’t have mattered.”

“Are you mad at me?”

“No, Logan. I completely understand. And the end result would’ve been the same.”

“You made me forgive Maggie and she slept with someone else. Aiden didn’t do anything wrong.”

Thankfully, the bell rings, ending our school day and officially starting my vacation. 

“Have a good break, Logan,” I say as I walk out of class.

 

I throw a few things in my tote bag, give my friends the kind of hugs you give someone when you know you’re not going to see them again, say a few goodbyes, and, at a little after noon, I hop in my prearranged car for the quick trip to the airport. 

When I get to the airport, my jet is waiting for me on the tarmac. 

It’s such a welcome sight. 

My mom says when she goes to the spa in Palm Springs by herself that it’s good for her soul. And I know for sure that going on this trip by myself is going to be just that. 

Good for my soul. 

And I’m really looking forward to being completely by myself. No one to worry about but me. 

BOOK: Love Me
13.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Stalina by Emily Rubin
Ascension by Hannah Youngwirth
Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
Fighting Ever After (Ever After #3) by Stephanie Hoffman McManus
The Raising by Laura Kasischke
The Metaphysical Ukulele by Sean Carswell
The Town House by Norah Lofts