[39] Us

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B A D
B O Y ' S
G A M E

For a solid six months, I thought that I would never dare fall in love again. Of course, those months occurred after finding out that the guy I had been dating for over two years had cheated on me.

I let myself go somewhere in that mess of time, I put on some weight and thought less of my appearance. Ice cream became a very close friend of mine.

Heartbreak is kind of a big deal to a seventeen-year-old.

Especially when it's your first real relationship and all the signs are unclear. Especially when you hopelessly fall for someone who couldn't find satisfaction with you.

But then again, heartbreak is also easy to get over at the age of seventeen.

Why?

Because when you're seventeen you just may find yourself an Archer West.


* * *


"Happy birthday!"

A series of confetti poppers and streamers fill my vision the moment I open the front door of my house.

I look behind me at Archer just to see that he's got a big grin on his face, he obviously was in on this surprise.

"Surprise, babe," he says to me, giving me a quick kiss.

After our short kiss, I take one of his hands and make my way into the house. Friends and family give me quick greetings as I make my way through the house.

I walk until I reach the hallway that leads to my room, stopping once I lose sight of the crowd that has taken over my house. Archer stands with his smile, it's a smile that turns into a smirk quickly.

"You can kiss me now," he tells me.

And I do, I kiss him hard. He doesn't even hesitate to kiss back. He kisses me as if there's no tomorrow, as if he will never get to kiss me again.

The sound of a flush interrupts our kiss and I back away from Archer. But, that's not good enough because the one who occupied the bathroom comes out aware of what had been happening.

"You two are gross, there are children here," Zac says, drying his hands on his jeans.

He walks away and I blush a light pink in embarrassment, at least it was only Zac who found us.

Archer and I walk back to the living room and I immediately get called over by Arden. Arden holds a silver bag with black tissue paper.

"For my best friend," she states before plopping the bag in my hands.

I take the closest seat and remove the tissue paper, taking out the contents of the bag out shortly after.

Immediately I recognize the metal object and the charms surrounding it.

"Arden, you didn't have to," I say to her, looking down at the charm bracelet.

"Of course I did. You always told me how much you loved the bracelet so I had to get you one of your own. We're never too old to have matching bracelets. It's something that you can look at in order to remember me," she tells me, a wide smile on her face.

I put the bracelet around my left wrist and give my best friend a hug. Arden Michaelson is the best friend a girl could ever ask for. Leaving her would be just as hard as leaving Archer.

After Arden and I hug I get called over to the kitchen. On the kitchen's island, there is a stunning two-tiered birthday cake.

"You guys spoil me," I say to everyone around me with a smile.

One of my high school friends lights the eighteen candles and I stand with a huge smile. I can't believe that I'm eighteen. I can't believe that I'm about to take a plane to New York, attend college, and start the rest of my life.

Everyone in attendance begins to sing and Archer places an arm around my shoulders. I blow out the eighteen candles once they all finish their off-tune rendition.

"Did you make a wish?" a number of people ask me.

"Of course," I reply.

"What?"

I keep my lips sealed and simply gaze at Archer.

There's a thing about birthday wishes and it's that you can't tell people your wish because then it won't come true.

And I want this wish to come true.


* * *


Everyone left, except for Archer, by six. The surprise party was wonderful and it was a nice way to say goodbye to a lot of people before I depart for New York.

"You're eighteen now, how does it feel?" Archer asks me as he's cleaning up the kitchen.

As much as I love my family and friends, I can't help but admit that they're extremely messy. I'm beginning to think that I love them less because of their messiness.

"I feel old," I groan, sweeping up confetti and wrapping paper from the floor.

"You are," he quickly replies, putting up a cheeky smile.

I roll my eyes and shake my head. Sometimes I wonder if Archer really does like me...

"Then what are you? You're almost nineteen, Archer."

"Don't remind me," he groans.

I throw away a few handfuls of trash before crashing on the couch; I could use a break from the cleaning. Archer takes a seat next to me a minute later.

He has a wrapped box in his left hand in which he gives to me.

I unwrap the present and find a DVD, The Notebook.

"You like stuff like this right?" he asks me.

I nod happily.

"I do," I reply.

He takes the DVD from my hands and walks over to the TV area, plopping the disk into its appropriate player.

"What about cleaning?" I question.

He shrugs and takes a seat back on the couch, placing an arm around my shoulders.

We begin the movie and I rest my head against him, breaking the silence and uninterrupted movie watching after about five minutes.

"Why do you like me?" I ask him.

This was something that I've been wondering for a while now. I have always wanted to know why he liked me.

"What do you mean?" he asks back, looking over at me.

"You could have any girl and you chose me," I reply, he moves his arm from around me.

He doesn't say anything for a moment, reaching over for the remote controller and pressing pause.

"Well, you're not any girl. You're ambitious, witty, funny... I like you because you're a challenge and I know that life will never be boring with you. The fact that you're beautiful is just a bonus," he explains, staring at me with a dimpled smile.

"Why do you like me?" he asks me.

I put on a smug smile.

"Because you're an asshole, a really good looking one that is sweet when it comes to me," I reply, wanting to get straight to the point.

"So, I'm sweet... That must mean that I'm a sweet talker."

"Oh really?" I question.

"Yeah."

"Sweet talk me then," I say, challenging him.

"Cake, cupcake, doughnut, waffle, cookie, chocolate-" he begins to reply, a smirk playing on his handsome face.

"You're lame, West," I say, cutting him off.

I snuggle up to the throw blanket on the couch while Archer gives me a slightly crooked smile.

"And you're weird, Grey."

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