The Boyfriend Deal(4)

By: Charity West



“Dude, what was that?” my friend Luke asked in a hushed tone so the teacher wouldn’t hear. “Since when do you have a thing for geeks?”

I shrugged and smirked. “She may be a geek, but that was a pretty hot kiss. I think my lips melted a little.”

Luke snorted.

I was being an asshole and I knew it. I’d like to blame my behavior on some life-altering event, but the truth was my parents had always had a great relationship, no one had ever beaten me, and I’d never been in trouble—despite what my mother thought. I drank a little too much, partied a little too hard, and definitely chased after any girl that caught my eye, but it was all a front. None of that was who I really was.

My dad had been a geek in school, and I’d heard horror stories of him being shoved into lockers, laughed at during gym, and called names because of his braces and glasses. Mom had been the popular girl he’d always wanted and thought he’d never have. But then he’d had a transformation during high school. He’d gotten contacts and the braces had come off … he’d filled out a little and suddenly he had Mom’s attention.

I guess, I’d decided long ago I’d never be like Dad because I was determined not to go through the things he had endured. I had probably taken things a bit too far over the years, but even so, I wasn’t ready to give up my popularity, even for a girl like Hadley. I knew she was something special, a once in a lifetime kind of girl, but I wasn’t ready to make that leap yet. If I wasn’t the super popular captain of the football team, Tyler Robbins, I wasn’t anyone. And I refused to be a nobody my senior year.

As I slumped in my desk, not paying the least bit of attention to my History teacher, something landed on my desk. I glanced at Mr. Williams, then pulled the note under my desk to open it. The curling handwriting with little hearts above the I’s told me it was from a girl, but I had no idea which one.

Take me to the dance?

Who was brave enough to ask me to the dance next week? I looked around the room and caught Bethany Andrews giving me what I’m sure she thought was a seductive smile. It looked cold and calculating, and just like a hundred other smiles I’d seen since becoming captain of the football team. At one point in my life, I’d have jumped at the chance to hook up with a girl like her. Easy. They were all easy and falling at my feet, practically begging me to take advantage of them. The old me would have smiled back, given her a wink, and not only taken her to the dance, but put a blanket in the back of my truck for afterward.

I wasn’t going to be that guy anymore though. Not only would my mother not put up with it any longer, but I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be someone who deserved a girl like Hadley. This was senior year, and while it was supposed to be full of parties and getting laid, I was ready to set the foundation for my future. It was time to ditch the Alicias in my life, also known as my psycho ex, and start making better decisions. Preferably ones that wouldn’t land me in military school.

I shook my head, dashing Bethany’s hopes. Her eyes narrowed and her lips thinned, but I wasn’t too worried about her being pissed. I’d only dated her once, and that had been weeks ago, so there was no reason she should expect me to take her out again, much less to a dance. As I faced forward, my brow furrowed. I didn’t remember seeing Hadley at too many dances. Maybe one or two with Hunter, but … if she hadn’t gone with her real boyfriend, what were the chances she’d go with me?

“You know Alicia will have heard about the kiss,” Luke whispered.

I nearly groaned. “Let’s just hope she doesn’t go psycho on Hadley like she has every other girl I’ve shown an interest in.”

Hadley. That kiss was still replaying in my mind.

I’d have to convince her the dance was an important part of my plan. If she didn’t go to the dance with me, then Mom would never believe I was seriously dating Hadley. I wasn’t entirely sure Mom was going to believe it anyway. I’d mentioned Hadley off and on over the years—yes, I’d noticed her even though I’d never asked her out—but Mom knew her to be my unattainable girl. What were the chances she’d believe I’d caught the girl of my dreams on my first try? Especially a girl like Hadley.

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