BY GODDY FRANCIS
“Are you dating Gray Carter ?” I’m stucked with my lie as I stare at Alexa.
“Alexa no. It’s..”
“Hey guys.” Brandon walks in at once stopping my terrible unplanned lie.
He drops five boxes of pizza on the counter and sit close to Alexa. Piper follow behind and sit next to me.
“What happened to her ?” Alexa asks referring to Piper who looks miserable.
“Clearly suffering from a hangover. How much did you drink from last night’s party ?” I ask running my fingers through the dog’s furs.
“A lot. All thanks to emotional troubles. Shit who’s this cute little thing ?” Piper brightens up as she reach to carry the dog.
“Her name’s Blue.” Alexa reply giving me a look that obviously says we’re not done with this conversation.
“Aww. She’s so cute..” Piper coo as she play with Blue including Brandon.
“Can I keep her ?” I ask Alexa. She roll her eyes and cross her elbow on the counter. ” I mean babysit her till you wish to take her back. I know she’s your emotional support dog.”
Alexa chuckles.” She’s just my pet. And you can keep her if you want.”
I mentally squeal and drop the pizzas on the counter as I open the first box.
“Pizza. Wow! Are we celebrating something ?”
“We look around the frat house and we couldn’t find you. Alex said you went home after your horny fu.ck face bestie showed up.” Piper says picking up a slice of pizza and stuff it inside her mouth.
“Yeah. We decide to stop by at pizzeria and bought this…” Brandon motions to the pizza boxes.
Alexa chuckles and get up to the fridge to collect orange juice.
“Feast away your hangover.” Brandon chuckle taking out a slice.
“We’re planning a sleepover tonight at ours. There will be Pizzas , junk food and countless movies on Netflix. So what’s up ?” Brandon ask , stuffing a whole slice in his mouth. Yeah , he’s Piper’s new roommate.
“I’m in. Bobby is not in the city and I’d love to come. What about you Ariel ?”
“Of course I’m coming. I really don’t have anything to do tonight.” I shrug and smile eating from the pizza box.
“And also , I’m planning a trip to Malibu on Sunday. We’re visiting Eva Glow to shop countless clothes for summer vacation. You all should come.”
Brandon and Piper squeal and I just laugh. A trip to Malibu , of course I’m not staying back.
We’re visiting the beach if we could shop for clothes earlier. My six million followers need to see me glow again.” Alexa chuckle and gulp a large amount of the orange juice down her throat.
“I dare not stay back.”
“Me neither.” Brandon wiggle his brows and smirk.
“I’m not staying back either.” I say.
“Hey Leslie are you coming ? I’m paying for everything and that includes the clothes.” Alexa shouts.
“No thanks. I’ll be hanging out with Hazel.” She replies from the living room.
“She is super moody this morning. Did you fought with her ?” Brandon asks.
Hell no. I really can’t fight with people. I think she woke up from the bad side of her bed.” I shrug placing the empty pizza boxes on each other.
“Buddy got laid.” Alexa wink and chuckle before getting off the counter stool to wash her hands.
“Your sister got laid ? That’s epic. Heard she broke up with Hayden.”
“How the hell did you know about her relationship with Hayden ?”
“Hayden is sort of popular in school. Hayden , Ryan , Maynard, Jim and a lot of them are popular guys in school. So breaking up with Hayden was a terrible news to behold. She’s an idiot.” Piper mutters and scoff.
“Hayden is sort of a player. So it’s natural she broke up first cause this badass buddy was definitely gonna break her heart either way.” Brandon adds .
“She needs a fu.ckin rich guy because she needs to be stuntin’. Hazel got Jim. Dude’s father is loaded and owns an underground basement club in college. Leslie can’t be left behind either.” Alexa mutters loudly as if trying to provoke Leslie.
I sigh and shake my head. None of this makes any sense as long as I’m concerned.
That evening, after taking my bath I got prepared for Piper’s sleepover. I obviously deserve one or I might die thinking about Gray again.
“You’re going out ?” Leslie asks standing beside my door with her arms crossed.
“Yeah. What ?”
“And where are you going ?”
“Leslie , the last time I checked you’re not mom. Since you choose to know , I’m going out with the girls for a sleepover. Are you okay now ?”
“You heard me correctly.” I scoff and brush my hair before tying it with a band at the back of my head.
Mom called that she’s coming over tomorrow for a visit. I know you know what that means. Your Malibu visit is cancelled.”
I scowl and cross my arm to look at Leslie. She’s not normal. How can she phone our mother and ask her to come over ? Because she doesn’t want me to visit Malibu for Alexa’s shopping. She’s crazy. I scoff irritatingly and pick up my bag to leave.
” You should leave. I need to lock my room door.”
She smirks and leave. I shut my door and hail a cab to Piper’s and Brandon’s apartment. My phone rings in my pocket and I quickly shove it out.
“Oh my God. Really , Ariel. It’s been three weeks since I last heard from you. What happened ?”
I get inside the cab and shut the door , afterwards tell the driver the address.
“I’m really sorry. College is stressing the little life out of me. How’s Sandy ? How’s the restaurant ?” I ask on the phone.
“Pretty fine. It’s annoying I missed you. The restaurant is normal as usual but stupidly boring. You stopped working and Gray Carter barely drops bye as usual.” Yeah, he’s been stalking me around college.
“I’m really sorry Vickie. I hope you’re okay ?”
“I’m fine. How are you ? Saw a look alike of you with Gray Carter in a picture that’s already going viral on the internet. Rumors says the blonde haired lookalike of you is from England.”
I groan and look at the passing objects through the window. How could they make that stupid photo go viral. Thank God nobody recognize it to be me except Alexa. I’m still freaking out thinking I owe Alexa an explanation. I don’t wanna look like a liar and maybe a hypocrite. It’s not really important to me and not worth telling. We’re not even dating or in a relationship.
“Ariel. Did you hear what I said ?” Vickie ask on the phone. God , I zoned out again.
“I’m sorry. What did you say ?” The cab halts and I get out. I paid the driver and head straight to Piper and Brandon’s apartment.
“Where are you ?” She ask on the phone.
“I’m on my way to a friend’s house. Sleepover.”
“Aww. I should hang up then. Becareful and have fun. Don’t forget to date a lot of boys , it’s worth it.” She giggles on the phone.
“Vickie , thanks. I don’t want a boy now okay.” I roll my eyes and step out of the elevator.
“Whatever you say mother. I’m hoping to see you soon.”
After hanging up , I press the doorbell as it opens revealing Brandon. He smiles broadly and drag me in before shutting the door. I heard chatters or maybe argument from Piper and Alexa.
“Yeah. Alexa wants to watch *His bride* but Piper thought *My brother’s best friend is better.” Brandon explains as we walk to the living room.
“Guys..” They stop arguing and turn to look at Brandon and I.
“Why don’t we watch something different ? Aside your choices.” I point at them and take the remote control.
“House of cards ?” Brandon asks.
“That’s an old movie.”
“Fifty shades of Gray.”
“Yeah Gray Carter.” Alexa and Piper chuckle at once.
They stop laughing and sigh in unison.”Hell no.”
“What about a horror movie ? Like jigsaw or maybe the conjuring ?” Brandon ask again.
“No and no. I can’t withstand a horror movie. We could watch Riverdale. That’s better.” I sigh and plump down on the couch opposite the TV.
Brandon sits close to me including the others as they watch me tune nonstop.
“When are we leaving for Malibu ?” I ask Alexa and remove my shoes.
“12 pm isn’t bad right ?”
“Yeah.” I stop tuning and wait for the movie to start.
“Are we planning to drive to California ? That’s far.” Piper ask.
“I know. We’re using my father’s jet since it’s gonna be quicker. We could drive to Malibu from there.”
Alexa’s father works with a car industry. They make cars and obviously he’s rich. Her parent’s are unlike mine. Different and maybe carefree. They believe Alexa is old enough to make her own decisions.
We ate pizza and pay attention to the movie. Riverdale wasn’t my favorite series. I sort of liked friends more. A scene in the movie made me remember Gray. He sent me a text few minutes ago and as usual I ignored it. I need to breathe normal air. I could barely take the memory out of my head. This was all too new for me. A part of me want him to cuddle me and kiss me just the way I want it.
Him holding tight to my waist and pressing my body against his. And then I remembered the night i was with a towel. How he kissed my neck and me straddling him makes me wet in the core. This isn’t good. Ariel breathe.
“Did you know Archie is my favorite character in this series ?” Brandon asks snapping me out of my thoughts.
Yeah , because you have a crush on him.” Piper replies. I chuckle and stare blankly at the TV. The scene on the TV is constantly reminding me of Gray.
Veronica sneaking into the bathroom where Archie was bathing as they bathe together and even share several breath taking kisses. I shouldn’t be watching this if I wanna be far from him. I shut my eyes and all I could see is that crazy party where he told me he bought the diamond bracelet specially for me to wear.
Damn , I don’t even know what to wear. I can’t remember visiting California since I was five…” Piper mutters as I open my eyes. God , it’s morning already.
“Ariel , you need to shower. It’s 10 am.” Alexa says from the kitchen.
I hop out of the chair and clean my eyes. How can I fall asleep just like that ? Piper hand me a toothbrush and direct me to the bathroom. I quickly shower and put on the blue mid thigh dress i brought along. It’s a turtle neck long sleeve dress. I blow dry my hair with Piper’s dryer and brush it.
“Ariel , you already look hot. Let’s go.” Brandon drag me out , stopping me from looking at my reflection on the full length mirror.
Sitting on the private jet of Alexa’s father, i fasten my seatbelt and breathe out. Alexa and Piper were on Snapchat recording non-stop videos. I occupy my time playing a multi player video game with Brandon. My phone starts ringing and it’s Gray. I turn to look at Brandon and excused him to take the call.
“Have you started avoiding me again ?” I sigh and glance around the bathroom where I had to take the call.
“Are you in a jet ?” He asks. How did he know ?
“What.. I mean no.”
“I didn’t peg you to be a liar. You’re in a jet ? Where are you flying to and who are you with ?”
I slide my hand down my face and groan.
“I’m with no one. Just a weekend shopping with my cousin Alexa. We’re in her father’s jet.”
Really ? Is that why you are avoiding me ? You’re too pretty for that.” I shut my eyes at just the sound of his voice. What’s he doing to me ?
“I gotta go Gray.”
“Fine.” He sighs on the phone before hanging up. This isn’t right. You can’t avoid him.
“Ariel. We are landing. Come on.” I heard a knock on the door along with Piper’s voice.
“I’m coming.” I stare at my reflection in the mirror and take in several breaths before stepping out of the bathroom.
The warm breeze of Malibu hit my skin as the breeze sent my hair to different direction. Alexa is a terrible driver just like Gray. She halts the car at Eva’s Glow as we step out. I think she once model with Eva and I can’t remember the next story.
I stare at every single wears and it’s absolutely expensive.
“Pick whatever thing you like. We’re going live.” Alexa squeal.
I walk around the boutique and stop right at the shoes rack.
“Wow…” Piper says behind me as she snake through the shoes.
I pick out several heels and sneakers.
“Guys..” Brandon snap at us. We turn around at once and a sight made us halt.
“Jhene Stewart.” Alexa says beside me.
We stare at this familiar brunette as she glance around the boutique. I remembered her. The brunette who usually eats with Gray at Sandy’s. Meghan stand close to her including a well built man. That must be her personal bodyguard.
“Bitch is from Asia. Her father is from UK while her mother is from Japan. She owns her own fashion line in Los Angeles.” Alexa continues.
“Rumors says she’s partially dating Gray Carter. And also she’s a baby mama of Damon Carter, Gray’s older brother who went MIA. The fu.ck I hate this bitch.” Piper says as we watch this Jhene girl.
“What the fu.ck Is she doing here ?” Brandon mutters.
“Dude , she owns Los Angeles.” Piper replies.
She raise her head and meet eyes with me. Oh mother. I really haven’t observed her all this while. Her lashes are so long. Her blue contact lens is expensive even without being told. She’s smartly dressed in rip high waist jeans that reveals her perfectly tanned stomach. Her white crop top has her name on it across her breasts with a black colored pea coat. Meghan whisper something to her as she walks to us.
” I think i know you.” She begins, eyeing my outfit.
“Of course i do. The cheap slutty waitress who works at Sandy’s in Buffalo. What do you want with Gray ?” She asks.
I sigh and refuse to speak. Her expensive perfume fans my nose and I couldn’t help but admire her. You could tell the difference between us. She’s classy , rich, popular and a super model.
“You’re just one of this broke golddiggers who wants what they don’t deserve. Just a friendly advise. Take your shit face and stay away from Gray if you know what’s best for you.”
“Jhene enough of your nuisance. If you think you’re perfectly gorgeous , why would Gray abandoned your expensive ass and go after her ?” Alexa speak up beside me.
“And who the hell are you ?”
“We’re the ones who’s gonna rip out your hair extensions if you don’t move your shit face out of here, Jhene.” Piper says and cross her arms.
Jhene chuckles and turn to look at me. She takes a step forward and stand face to face with me. “Stay away from my boyfriend , pig breath…” She push past me with her shoulders as she walk away with Meghan.
I sigh defeatedly and rub the back of my neck. Without being told I’ve ruined this vacation with my stupid games with Gray.
What the hell was that ?
UNTIL I MET YOU