s i x t e e n

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"I can't believe you're actually going," Mia complained as she leaned back against the head of my bed. I pulled on another dress and gave her a blank expression. It was a peach coloured dress this time. It was simple, and loose, which I guessed was good for a beach party.

"It's not like you're going. I'm only asking you to help me pick a dress," I pointed out.

"Yeah, but after what she said to you, I would be avoiding her like the plague," Mia said.

I was legitimately considering it, but what could I do, Beth apologised and said she didn't mean it. I wanted to believe her.

"I'm trying not to cling onto things people say only once," I replied.

I didn't want to jump to conclusions. I thought I was beyond that, but wow, it was hard not to. I wanted to hate her, yet a side of me wanted to forgive her. I felt so conflicted but each time I saw her, I felt angry or annoyed.

"Yeah but what Beth said isn't acceptable, even if she didn't mean it. It was wrong and an apology isn't going to cut it."

I couldn't bring myself to say anything. Deep down, I agreed with her. Even if Beth apologised and that she took all her anger out on me, she still said it.

"Whatever. You do you," Mia sighed. "I'm only here to help you pick out a dress for your date with Kyle."

I furrowed my brows. "I'm not going on a date with Kyle. We're just going together as friends," I corrected awkwardly.

"Good." Mia didn't seem like she believed me. But that was the truth. Although I would be lying if I said I hadn't wondered about it. Was this a date with Kyle? And if it was, was I okay with it? Kyle was nice. He was sweet, and it didn't seem like he believed what other people thought of me. He didn't treat me like I was rude or horrible like Daniel did, and he didn't think I was lame like Mia did. I should be excited if this was a date. I should be excited that I'm hanging out with him in general.

But it felt wrong. I promised Daniel that I wouldn't even speak to Kyle outside of school. Daniel made it abundantly clear yesterday that the deal was still on so that meant the terms all continued to apply. I interpreted that as he still didn't approve of Kyle and me. Strangely though, it didn't upset me the way I thought it would. Instead, I felt bummed out that he still didn't approve of me with his friend.

"What is up with you and Kyle anyways? I know that you don't like him, but you act like you want to murder him," I asked.

"I don't want to murder him," Mia rolled her eyes. "But I do wish I never have to see his face," she added casually, looking at her hands as though it was the most interesting thing in the world.

"Kyle isn't a bad guy, Mia. You should give him a shot. He's nice and sweet," I advised.

Mia's eyes flicked over towards me. Her expression was almost cold. "He's only nice to you because he's into you," she stated. "To everyone else, he's a snob."

"He is nothing like that."

"Seriously, Ellie. What makes you think you know everything about him from one term in one class. You've spent majority of your high school life ignoring people and to be frank, you're not that socially smart. You don't really see the hints."

"What hints?"

"He's obnoxious and selfish. A lot of people see his confidence as being charming, but he's so entitled. He's the type of guy who expects things in return when he's nice when nobody asked him to," Mia explained softly. She looked serious and genuinely concerned.

"I can handle myself."

"I know," Mia smiled sadly. "But this is meant to be the best year of your life. I don't want you to get hurt during it."

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