Sunday, August 28th
I think you forgot love, silly.
Dallas, Riley, Carson, Katie, Tyrese, Dawson, Mallory, a girl from my soccer team, and some other people are hanging out at the soccer field. Dawson and I were tossing a football back and forth to each other. The others are kicking a soccer ball around and throwing a frisbee back and forth. It’s a gorgeous warm afternoon.
I was running with the ball, when Dawson jumped on me and tackled me to the ground. I guess after last night, he is my new best friend. He was sitting on top of me, tickling me, trying to get me to give up the football about the time Peyton and Aiden walk up. I’m screaming, laughing, having a lot of fun, but when I see Peyton scowl, cross her arms and march away, I’m thinking I’m in trouble. Or maybe she might be a little jealous. Although there is nothing to be jealous of. I mean, I don’t think there is. Riley hooked up with that Audrey chick last night, so he and I are done. Sort of. I mean from a hooking up standpoint. Not that I would have hooked up with him in reality. I just sort of thought about it. (I don’t even think Whitney is mentioned other than a dark-haired girl. Amazing how she grew into such a great antagonist and how she pushed Keatyn’s growth.)
And I wonder.
Dawson is still sitting on me, trying to grab the football. I let go of it.
“What? You just gave in?”
“Uh, I think you mean, gave up.”
“Oh, haha yeah.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
He gets off me, rolls onto the grass, laying down on his side next to me. He bends his arm to hold up his head and looks at me. “Shoot.”
“What’s better in a relationship? Friendship or hot sex?”
He reaches out and touches the tip of my nose. “I think you forgot love, silly.” (This line caused me to fall for Dawson. Where he went from simply being Riley’s brother and a way to get into the senior parties. And the fact that he used to date Whitney made it even more delicious. He was also a way to keep Keatyn and Aiden apart. I mean, Aiden had his chance and kinda blew it with his immaturity. Good thing he grows up in the series, too.)
“Oh, yeah.” I frown.
“Why is that cute little face frowning?”
“I’m not sure I know what love is. What it’s supposed to be.”
“Yeah, me either. I keep thinking if it was real love with me and Peyton that she would make it work. That it wouldn’t be so hard.”
“Right. That’s what I’m wondering. Is real love easy or hard?”
“You make me hard.” He grins and chuckles.
I smack him.
“What? I’m serious. You do. So, um, what exactly did you and my brother do? Like what happened between you?”
“Well he kissed me, we made out a little, he kissed like my shoulders and neck, and somehow managed to pull my robe sorta open for a minute, saw my bra like briefly, which really isn’t that much different than a swimsuit top. He laid on top of me and the kissing was like kinda intense for a few minutes, but that was it.”
“He got to see you in your underwear?”
“I was getting dressed for carnival thing and well, yeah, sorta. Like just my bra a bit.”
“That leopard bra you had on the other night was so sexy. I don’t remember much of the party, but I do remember that.”
“That bra is pretty, but it’s not that sexy really. It really covers up more than most of my bikinis.”
His eyes glisten at me. “I think pretty much anything on you would be sexy. But you’re right, it would probably look better off. And I probably shouldn’t do this, but I am.” (Seriously, I know many of you didn’t like Dawson just because he kept K and A apart. But take a moment to appreciate the sweetness that is Dawson. And understand he was the perfect easy/rebound/buffer guy to date between Brooklyn and Aiden. And there was the jealousy it caused Whitney—which, ultimately, led to both K and Peyton’s growth.)
And then he leaned down and kissed me. Right there in the grass in front of everyone. And it wasn’t awful at all.
He asked me if I wanted to go off campus with him for dinner. So we could plan his image revamp. But when I said sure, I’ll see if Dallas can go, he was like, uh, I was thinking just us.
I’m redoing my makeup getting ready to go, when I get a text from Riley.
Sex God: You were kissing my brother in front of me.
Me: It was one kiss and you hooked up with Audrey last night.
Sex God: Because you were with Aiden. Having a million dances. (Reminds me of a million sunsets.)
Me: It was 29.
Sex God: Why didn’t you meet me at the party?
Me: I was upset kinda. Didn’t feel like a party. Didn’t want to go back to Aiden’s room.
Sex God: Why?!! What happened? Did he try stuff you didn’t want him to? I’ll kick his ass, seriously. (Mad love for Riley here.)
Me: It’s a long story. And no, he was a total gentleman.
Sex God: So who upset you?
Me: Aiden. He confuses me. I have no idea what he thinks. One minute he’s so romantic, the next he acts like he hates me.
Sex God: What are you doing now? Wanna go to the cafe with me, Dallas and Parker?
Me: Um. I’m going off campus for dinner.
Sex God: With the dance team or something?
Me: Uh. no.
Sex God: My brother?!
Sex God: He asked you on a DATE!?
Me: No. It’s pizza. He hung with me and Dallas last night.
Sex God: So you can party with Dallas and my brother, but not me?
Me: We smoked, chilled, I didn’t know he was gonna be there. He was upset about Peyton. He loves her. We talked a lot about that. Ask Dallas if you don’t believe me.
Sex God: So if he loves Peyton, why did he kiss you?
Me: Yeah, I’m not sure about that exactly. We’re going to talk about love, true love, over pizza. And it was just a little kiss. Spur of the moment kind of thing.
Sex God: I wanted it to be you last night.
Me: Not enough to wait for me, apparently.
Sex God: I was drunk?
Me: Not what I heard. Too bad really, you did make me want you. But you’re not patient enough for me. And then you did it with someone else, so we won’t be doing it. Ever.
Sex God: I hate you.
Me: You should hate yourself. (Love their friendship. You can’t be that honest with very many people.)
Sex God: True 🙁
Me: I still love you though. I’m not mad.
Sex God: Good 🙂 My brother needs a nice girl. I don’t really want it to be you, but I’m tired of Peyton screwing him around. She needs to get over it already.
Me: He’s a nice guy, not the dick I first thought. And you two need to be closer.
Sex God: We are close.
Me: I mean like talk to each other close, not tease each other close.
Sex God: That’d be nice.
Me: I gotta go ttyl 🙂
Monday, August 29th
Why can’t it be both?
My classes seem to be okay. I’ve got History, English, Ceramics, and then Math.
Riley and I sat together in History, both of us barely awake. Dallas, Parker, Jordan and Katie are in English. That class is gonna be fun.
Morgan my ex-roommate, Bryce and Jake are in my ceramics class, which cracked me up. I was like, What are you guys doing in ceramics?
And there were like, Haven’t you ever seen the movie, Ghost? (I forgot how to use quote marks. Sorry.)
And I was like, Yeah, and they were like, We both needed a fine arts class, and we figured playing around in the clay with hot girls sounded like a good idea last year when we signed up, but the teacher seems a little too serious about it if you ask me. And there’s no hot girls in the class.
“Oh, gee, thanks.” I say.
“Well besides you of course, but I think Peyton would kill me if she heard me say that.”
“Do you like her? Everyone says you kissed at the dance and were making out at the party that night.”
“Yeah, we did and yeah, she’s like gorgeous.”
“So what about this college boyfriend she has?” I ask Jake, who is pretty much gorgeous himself. He’s tall, has brown hair with just a hint of red in it and cute freckles.
“She said they can date other people.” He shrugs.
“You know her and Dawson are still in love with each other, right?”
“I don’t know, and I don’t really care. They aren’t together, it’s been months, and she’s hot. So I figure I’ll step up my game for that.”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s a hot piece, if you know what I mean.” He pushes his elbow into my arm, grins at me.
Like I couldn’t possible know what he means and his grin somehow clarified it for me.
“So you want her for sex, or you actually like her?”
“Why can’t it be both?”
I contemplate that.
Can it be both?
I walk with Bryce and Jake to lunch and end up sitting with them. And Peyton. And Dawson, who wrapped his arm around my neck and whispered, “You look adorable today,” in my ear, and then sat down next to me.
Peyton glares at me, but then pretends to be interested in Jake, or maybe she is, who can tell.
Riley and Dallas come and sit with us as well. (I love it so much better in Stalk Me when she is invited to sit at this table and doesn’t want to because of how important the lunch table was to Vanessa and RiAnne. How she wanted to avoid it at all costs.)
The cafe food is pretty good, but I can already tell, it would be way easy to overeat here. I don’t think I have ever seen so many empty calories all together in one place. And although they told us they recently “revamped” the food selections to make them more healthy, all that means is they added a salad bar.
Today’s main menu selection is Fried Chicken strips, French Fries and Corn.
Let’s see, Fried, Fried, and No Nutritional Value.
Our zone diet following chef would be in hysterics! But this morning was crazy, and I barely had time to stand in line to get a Skinny Soy Chi Latte before rushing off to class. I’d really love an egg white omelet with some asparagus and baby new potatoes, but I don’t think that’s what I’m gonna be getting. Instead I settled for a banana and a whole wheat bagel. (Poor Keatyn. Going from having a chef to a school lunch line. It must have been so traumatic. This part was cut from the book but her assessing the food makes me laugh.)
Oh, the reason it was crazy this morning was because I stood there in my uniform and tried to decide if I looked amazing and edgy, or if I just looked dumb. The outfit was figured out by Kym, the stylist, and she took pictures of thirty different uniform and accessory combinations and put them in a album for me. So I would remember, but still, I wasn’t sure. Today I am wearing the little pleated plaid skort, a blue and white pinstriped fitted oxford and the navy blazer. Then I have on tall off white lace over-the-knee socks and platform mary janes. My accessories are a combination of long gold and pearl necklaces. I wasn’t sure about the lace socks. But Katie loved them and then was like, Why does your uniform look so cute on you and so stupid on me? And I knew really it was because her blazer hadn’t been nipped in at the waist and was a bit too long on her sleeves, her skirt was way too long, and her blouse probably a size too big. So I had her roll up the waist band of her skirt, put a tank under the blouse and wear it unbuttoned and then threw a chunky silver necklace on her. She thought it looked amazing, so I put on my confidence and rushed to class. (Let’s take a moment to revel in the fact that I created 21 different uniform looks that were all completely different and 14 boards that were her dance uniforms and school spirit. If you followed the clothing boards of Keatyn’s style, we did a total of 133 boards for the series. I spent hours putting together her outfits and creating a specific style for her.)
Also, I was taking pics of myself to send to Brooklyn, and it took me awhile to get one that had the right look. I wanted to look sexy, but still cute. Oh and I definitely had my shirt on. Mom says she would kill me herself if she found out I sent anyone naked pics. Because surely they would end up all over TMZ. And then they would start saying she needs to be home with me and not off making movies and what a horrible mother she is. If only those writers knew how many of their own daughters were doing the same thing. And she is not a horrible mother. She’s awesome, so I don’t want to cause her any trouble.
And speaking of trouble, I’m a little irritated I went to all the trouble to send him a decent pic and have yet to get a response, and I’m not sure what that means. But then I remember, durr, it’s only 9am at home, and that means he’s either out on his board or sleeping.
I still haven’t seen the hottie today, but as I’m heading out to go to my next class, French 2, I spy him. He’s dumping his trash into a trash barrel.
And looks way too sexy doing it. (How many guys look hot throwing their lunch in the trash? That should tell her something.)
But, still. I’ll be damned if I am going to speak to him. And I certainly don’t want to look like I’m creeping on him.
And that becomes an easy task when Dallas comes wandering over, puts his arm around my shoulder, says, “Let’s blow this popsicle stand,” and walks me to my next class. Dallas cracks me up.
He’s going on and on about how he was able to see up some junior girl’s skirt in his last class. And how her panties were bright neon blue, and how she just didn’t look like the kind of girl to wear neon blue.
Then he starts trying to guess the color of underwear every girl we pass. We get to my class and he says, “So what color are yours today?”
“I thought the whole point of your little game was to guess.”
“Hmm, do they match your socks, white and lacy?”
“Damn, you’re good.”
He grins big and walks off to class feeling all good about himself.
I’m wearing red lace, really, but, shh, don’t tell.
Mom always says red lace panties make you feel powerful sexy, even if no one ever sees them. (Words to live by.)
I hope the back of my hair looks okay.
I go sit down in french class. I was able to test into this higher class, so I don’t see anyone I know. I take a seat in the middle row, about halfway to the back. I don’t want sit right up front, but I also don’t wanna look like a slacker. I feel my phone buzz in my bag and bend down to take a peek at it. We aren’t supposed to use our phones during class, but I have a couple minutes. I pull it out and see a pic of Brooklyn. He’s in my favorite pair of Billabong board shorts and the only other thing he is wearing is a leather cord necklace with a charm stamped with the Japanese symbol for the word chaos, that I gave him. He tells me he’s getting it tattooed on the inside of his wrist soon.
Brooklyn<3 Thought you’d like a pic of me in my uniform 🙂 You look sexy in yours, but I still prefer you in a bikini. The waves miss you. (Love that he says this, but I loved it better when he said it before he went to France for their Summer of Waves. It’s also interesting rereading this how I used so much of this draft and pulled content out in completely different situations.)
Me: I miss you too.
Brooklyn<3 How’s it going so far? All the boys in love with you?
Brooklyn <3 Don’t believe you. Hey, I’m going to surf in my first pro tournament Labor Day weekend. It’s kinda by you, on Long Island or Long Beach or something like that in New York. Do you have plans? Your parents leave to shoot in Vancouver soon right?
Me: My plans are to come watch you win 🙂 I wish we wouldn’t have waited til my last night to have sex. I wish we would’ve done it all summer.
Brooklyn<3 I didn’t think you were ready.
Me: I’m ready now 😉
Brooklyn <3 Can’t wait to see you Keats, love you.
Me: <3 (This scene, the fact that we didn’t see them together in love, is also what spurred me to write Stalk Me. It’s kind of like when B said it doesn’t matter where you’ve been, only where you end up. But it does matter to the reader. You need to understand where the character has been, so you can understand why they make the choices they do.)
I look up. Aiden is standing over me reading my texts. He makes a hmphhh sound and sits down in the seat right behind me. (Poor Aiden.)
I hope the back of my hair looks okay.
And I know I went to Biology, Sociology and Soccer, but all I have been able to think about are four things.
1.) The back of my head is going to have to look sexy EVERY day.
2.) Why didn’t Aiden talk to me?
3.) Is he done playing me? And if so, why didn’t I get played with???!!!!
4.) I get to see Brooklyn and hopefully have sex again with him in like six days. (Or not.)
You gotta lotta rage in there, girl.
Dance team practice is over. We’re normally supposed to be done at 4:30, but today was super long. Peyton marches up to me, grabs my arm, pushes me into a little equipment room, stands in front of me, crosses her arms, flips her ponytail, and says, “You went out on a date with Dawson? After all I did for you?”
“All you did for me?”
“I got you to try out for dance, I put in a good word for you in soccer. And you date my ex?”
“One, from what I understand, a panel of judges decided who made dance, not you. And if you put in a good word for me about varsity soccer, then I appreciate it, but I am assuming a coach would not play me if I didn’t earn it, and I fully expect to earn a starting position.”
“Fine. What about Dawson?”
“What about him? We went out for pizza, talked. Big deal.”
“He kissed you on the soccer field. Everyone saw.”
“And why do you care? You made out with Jake Saturday at and after the dance. Lots of people saw you dancing together and kissing. Which I find interesting since you also have told us you have a college boyfriend.”
“I’m just trying to move on.”
“Well, maybe you should let him move on then too.”
“Oh, trust me, he’s moved on plenty.”
“No, he hasn’t. He’s hooked up, yes. But he has not moved on. He hasn’t dated anyone even close to seriously.”
“Oh and you think you he will be serious with you?”
“No, not really. We are mostly just friends.”
“And what about my brother?”
“What about your brother?”
“He likes you.”
“Well he doesn’t really act like it! And honestly, I am way in over my head with him. Like I feel like time stops, and I can’t breathe when I kiss him. I’ve never felt like that with anyone. And like the whole dance thing and the lights and all was great, romantic, amazing really. But it’s been two days, and I haven’t seen or heard from him. Well, he is in my French class, but he just sat behind me and didn’t say a word to me. He hasn’t texted me, talked to me, nothing! And it’s not my fault he fricken quoted Keats, and I froze. It caught me off guard! And I can’t fall for the God of all Hotties just to be dumped. It would probably kill me.”
“What did you call him?”
“Oh, the God of all Hotties. It’s what I called him when I first saw him, before I knew his name. He is beautiful, seriously. And he stares at me, and I swear he can kiss my soul. And he can be super romantic one minute and a stupid dick the next. I don’t even know what to do with him. My mom says if he likes me, he knows where to find me. And so far, he has not found me!” (Meltdown—Keatyn style.)
“Well it doesn’t help that you are making out with my ex.”
“I have not made out with your ex. I don’t know why you think that. We kissed. A few simple, cute kisses. I told you, mostly, we talk. And mostly, sadly, we talk about you and your stupid brother. So back off!!”
And then I turn, walk out the door, and slam it behind me.
I stuff my stupid pompoms in my locker and leave. I feel the need to kill something. Or hit something. So I go into the gym and take my frustration out on a big boxing bag. I’m doing all my kickboxing moves. I don’t even care that I am still in my stupid dance skirt. And I’m sure looking ridiculous. But I don’t care. Punching this bag feels really, really good. I’m punching the bag with my feet. Then I grab a pair of gloves that I see over in the corner and start punching it over and over with my fists.
I hate stupid boys and their stupid sisters.
Upper cut to the chin, like if the bag had a chin and in my mind it does. And I’m pretty sure it’s Aiden’s chin.
I hate school.
Boom! One, two, three fast jabs straight to his nose.
I hate my life.
Big swooping hook to the cheek bone, or better yet, the temple.
I hate getting chewed out for something I did not do.
Knockout punch, Bam, baby.
I love punching this bag.
I know now why Tommy started doing kickboxing. It’s a necessary stress relief when you live with six women, four of whom are under the age of five. Really, it’s a wonder he isn’t completely bonkers. I have my eyes shut, and I’m just punching away. The same spot over and over again.
I hear a voice near me go, “Damn, girl. Remind me never to get on your bad side.”
I open my eyes and see Tyrese and Ace.
“Who pissed you off? You gotta lot of rage in there, girl. And it’s only the first day.”
I back up, wipe the sweat off my forehead with the back of my hand and say, “It doesn’t really matter.”
“Where’d you learn to punch like that?”
“Oh. Um, I take kickboxing lessons with my step dad. Well, I used to.”
“So, who pissed you off? Let me guess. Peyton freak about Dawes? I heard her bitching about it in Geography today.”
I roll my eyes. “Yeah, pretty much. She’s so dumb. He’s so in love with her, and he is freaking gorgeous and so sweet.”
“He told us you had a fun time at dinner,” Ace smiles. He’s much cuter when he smiles.
“Yeah, we did. Y’all should come with us next time. We’re freaks. He moans about Peyton, and I complain about her stupid brother.” Then I give the bag one solid right hook. I laugh. “I’ve been pretending this bag is his head.” (I love this scene. It’s the sweetest thing ever later when he promises to not pretend punch her head.)
Ace coughs, and Tyrese rolls his eyes over his shoulder. Like someone is there. Like behind me.
They say, “Hey, have fun. Gotta go.”
Someone taps me on my shoulder. I turn around and see the stupid brother.
“You been standing there long?”
“Fan-tas-tic,” I say. Rip the gloves off my hands, throw them on the ground in front of me, and run out the door. And all of a sudden, I feel like running.
Running away. But I can’t do that, so I do the next best thing. Run across the driveway, down the hill, and sprint down to the track.
And I keep sprinting and sprinting.
Until I may die of cardiac arrest.
Then I run off the track, and fall exhaustedly down into the grass, shut my eyes and lay as still as I can. I’m trying to go into a meditative state. I can do yoga, all the stretches and breathing, but the meditation, the whole clear your mind thing, is very very difficult for me. Plus, it’s hard to do when your heart rate is about 3,000 beats per second. Instead I just focus on slowing my breathing down, laying very still. Say, OOOMMM, OOOMMM, in my mind.
Someone interrupts my almost clarity by shaking me, going, “Keatyn, are you okay? Wake up. Wake up.”
I open my eyes, stare straight into Aiden’s face, which with the sun setting behind him makes it look like he has just a head that is surrounded by streams of yellow and orange sun beams. (Very god-like, really.)
Give him a puzzled look. “Why the hell are you shaking me?”
He has a panicked look in his eye, and he too is breathing heavy.
“Because you were punching the bag hard, then sprinting like a maniac, and then you just collapsed into the grass. I thought you died or had a heart attack or passed out or something. God, you scared me to death!”
I sigh heavy and roll my eyes at him.
It may have been the biggest eye roll of my life.
“I’m perfectly fine. Thank you for checking on me, it was very sweet. I’d like to be alone now. I’m trying to meditate.” Then I close my eyes and try to forget he’s there.
“Why were you punching my head?”
“Because I hate you. No, that’s not right. Because you frustrate the hell out of me.”
“And you don’t think I wanna punch your head too? You frustrate the hell out of me. I don’t know what to do with you. Every time I try to do something nice or special for you, it blows up in my face.”
“Well at least I don’t act like I like you, be all romantic and then just kiss you on the cheek goodbye, say see ya later and then don’t see you later. Don’t text, don’t call, disappear off the face of the earth kinda stuff for days.”
“Well at least I didn’t go on a date with my sister’s ex!”
“That’d make you gay. But it doesn’t matter. Your sister has a boyfriend. She’s moved on. It’s about time she let Dawson move on too. Stop freaking torturing him.”
“And he’s gonna move on with you?”
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen. At least he talks to me.”
“I want to talk to you.”
“So why don’t you?”
“I felt like I screwed it all up with the Keats stuff, and then you told me you slept with him, and I don’t even know the guy, and I want to go hunt him down, tell him to leave you alone. That you’re mine. Especially after I saw his texts today in French.”
“But I’m not yours.”
“I don’t think you could be anyone else’s.” (Such wonderful truth in this statement, but I can see why it pissed her off here.)
What. The. Hell? Who does he think he is?
“Oh really? Watch me.”
I get up. Jog straight to the boy’s dorm and straight to Dawson’s room. (She certainly does go from one boy to the next when she gets mad. Trying to prove something to herself?)
I knock on his door, fling it open, then slam it shut. He’s sitting on his bed, laptop across one knee. He smiles when he sees me.
I move his computer off his lap, flop face down with my head in his lap, and growl. “Urggghhh.”
“And his sister.”
He rubs my back. “Just relax, then you can tell me all about it. And maybe you should take your face off my lap before I get all turned on.”
“I’m just kidding. Jeeze. What happened?”
So I roll over, lay with the back of my head on his lap. He starts massaging my temples.
“Oh,” I moan. “Oh my gosh. That’s just what I needed. Oh, that feels sooooo good.”
He grins down at me.
“Oh. Please. Don’t stop.” I whine.
“I’ll do it for as long as you want, baby,” he teases.
And finally, I relax.
Then I tell him everything. We decide that Aiden is a jerk, and Peyton is dumb. And we go to dinner in the cafeteria together.
I’m giggling as he feeds me bites of his dessert, a messy brownie sundae. Some hot fudge drips down over my lip and then, right there in front of everyone, he licks it off and kisses me.
And I like it.
For lots of reasons. (You see some residual bitchiness come out here. She is glad Aiden sees it because she wants to make him suffer. She’s glad Peyton sees it, because she’s staking her territory, and it makes her feel important. And, well, because Dawson is kinda dreamy.)
Tuesday, August 30th
Can I lick hot fudge off you too?
Aiden taps me on the shoulder. He’s standing behind me in the lunch line and says in a snotty voice, “Can I lick hot fudge off you too?” (He is so jealous!)
What a jerk. “Naw, I think I have that taken care of, but thanks.”
“You are such a liar.”
I turn around to face him, “I am NOT a liar!”
“Don’t give me that shit. You told me you just kissed him, and you aren’t just kissing him.”
“Yes. I swear.”
I heard you in his room yesterday after you ran away from me at the track.”
“What are you stalking me now?”
“That’s besides the point. Still, I heard you. All Oh, oh, that feels so good. Please don’t stop. And then him saying, I’ll do it for as long as you want, baby.”
He has a very condescending voice when he says this to me, like he’s mad and making fun of me at the same time.
“What are you even talking about?”
“You had sex with him, don’t lie to me.”
“I did not. And if I WAS going to have sex with him, which I certainly could do if I chose to, it wouldn’t be when I was all sweaty and gross. You have no common sense.”
“Then what was he doing that was just what you needed and that felt sooo good?” (I love that he calls her on what he heard. He’s wrong, but it’s cute. Although, we know what happens when K gets mad. She reacts. With a boy. And, boy, she definitely reacts with Dawson. Many times.)
I put my hand up to the side of my head and say, “I don’t remember saying that.”
“Oh wait! He was rubbing my temples. Because I was stressed. About you!!”
“He was rubbing your temples. Yeah, sure he was.”
I grab his arm and drag him over to where Dawson is sitting.
“When I was in your room yesterday, laying on your bed. I told you, Oh that feels sooo good and please don’t stop. I even say it the way I said it yesterday, closed eyes, lowered dreamy voice What were you doing to me?”
Tyrese interrupts and is like, “Damn girl, I don’t know what he was doing to you, but the way you just said it got me all hot and bothered.” I roll my eyes at him.
Ace is like, “Yeah, Dawes, what WERE you doing to her?”
Dawson moves his chin slightly to the left, winces one eye. I can tell he’s trying to decide if he should tell the truth or make up something good.
I plead with my eyes. “Tell him the truth. Please.”
Dawson rolls his eyes. “I was rubbing her head like this.” He puts his own hands up to his temples and rubs.
“SEE! God, you’re dumb!”
Then I grab Dawson’s shoulder, lean down and say in his ear, “Lets get outta here,” and drag him out of the cafe with me.
He’s laughing at me, while I’m marching and dragging him madly behind me.
“You’re pretty sexy when you’re pissed. Come sit down.”
We sit on a bench under a big maple tree. He casually lays his arm across the back of the bench. “What did he say that set you off? And was he actually listening outside my door?”
“He asked if he could lick hot fudge off my face too. And yes, he was.”
“That was fun. He’s jealous.”
Dawson leans in toward me, slowly pushes my hair back off my face, looks into my eyes, then glances down at my mouth. “Well, I’m not.”
And he slowly kisses me.
We sat on the bench, the sun filtering through the leaves and feeling warm on my legs, and kissed, and kissed, for the rest of lunch.
And I really liked it.
Could I be falling for Dawson? (I think so, Keatie. Maybe a little too fast, but that’s why they call it young love. It’s not always right.)
I held my breath til I almost passed out.
Aiden is sitting behind me, already burning holes into the back of my head with his mad eyes. But then as we are chatting in a group about what French film we’d like to watch this Friday, Annie, the girl who sits just to the left of me touches my arm and says, “I saw you kissing Dawson out on the bench under the tree today. I was out taking pictures for my photography class, and you two looked so cute. He is soooo hot.” She fans herself. She’s a cute girl. But you have to look close to notice. She has delicate bone structure, a perky nose, and a gorgeous creamy complexion. But her hair needs serious help. Someone needs to teach the girl how to use a straightener. Her hair right now is frizzy and totally overpowering her face. (I love Annie! I love how each girl she is friends with at Eastbrooke has such a different personality, different sexual experience, and comes from different a social group at school. Once I knew what K went through with trying to break away from Vanessa, this became a really great way to show her growth at Eastbrooke. She chose friends based on interaction and mutual interests as opposed to who was the prettiest or sat at a certain table.)
I giggle. “He is really hot.”
“Does he kiss good?” she giggles back.
And I swear, I feel a laser shot to the back of my skull.
He hates this, but I don’t care. He could stop it anytime he wanted. All he’d have to do is talk to me, or text me, kiss me. Whatever.
But in the mean time…..
I lean toward her, grab a strand of my hair and twirl it around my finger. “That was the first time we like really kissed, but yes, he is a good kisser.” I’m speaking in a very girly version of my voice, one I rarely use. It has that dreamy quality. I laugh, lower my voice and tell her conspiratorially, “He licked hot fudge off the edge of my lip last night.” I even point to the spot. “And then he kissed me. It was the most ADORABLE thing ever.” (Oh, Keatyn, you are bad . . . but boys do react to stuff like this.)
I gush. And I find that I don’t really have to pretend. I did like it, and it was adorable.
I liked kissing him today, a lot.
Considering a few days ago, I considered him the Worst Kisser Ever.
“You’re sooo lucky. He is THE cutest senior, for sure. Probably the best looking guy in the whole school. Um, I hope this doesn’t sound stalkerish, but you guys were so cute and it just seemed like this special moment, so when he pushed your hair back, I took a few pictures. And then when he started kissing you, um, I took a few more.”
“I’d like to see the pictures. Maybe I can put one in a frame and give it to him or something.” My voice sounds giddy at the prospect. (She’s so throwing Dawson in Aiden’s face.)
She gets all excited. “I’ll bring my laptop tomorrow and show you them.”
I hear Aiden mutter from behind me, “Can’t wait.”
“Hey,” I ask her, “you going to the freshman football game tonight?”
“Oh I don’t know, my friends never want to go.”
“Well you should come with me. You can meet my roommate Katie. And we’re meeting Dawson and Riley and some other people.”
Aiden growls, “You have a threesome date? You, Dawson, and Riley. I mean you’ve kissed them both. Isn’t that kind of weird for them?”
“Uh, Riley’s bringing Audrey. They hooked up Saturday night. And yeah, me and Riley kissed, but it didn’t mean anything.” I turn around and look straight at him. “Kinda like our kisses.” (Mouth hangs open. Did she really just say that?)
Annie’s eyes get big.
Aiden storms ahead of me after class, and Annie grabs my arm. “So wait, you’ve kissed Riley, Dawson, AND Aiden? We’ve only been at school for FIVE days!”
I nod my head. “Yeah, I had a crazy weekend. I also kissed Dallas.”
“Oh my gosh.” she giggles, “I want your life. Or at least a boyfriend.”
“Come with me tonight. We’ll find you someone cute to kiss.”
“What happened with you and Aiden? I swear he is so hot. When he first sat down behind us yesterday, I held my breath til I almost passed out.” (She’s funny. And it’s good to see that pretty much all the girls at school think Aiden is a hottie.)
“He is hot. Honestly, I’m like in love with him, but he’s either been wildly romantic and amazing or a total jerk, so I gave up. I don’t need my heart stomped on just yet. Not when there’s so many other cute boys around anyways”.
“That’s why I take french. I want to go to Paris, meet a sexy french guy, and live happily ever after.”
“You’re a hopeless romantic, aren’t you? The photos, French.”
She laughs nervously. “Kinda.”
I say, “L’amour est la poésie des sens.”
“Oh my gosh, that sounds so pretty when you say it. You speak french good. What does it mean?”
“You’re in French 2, don’t you know?”
“Well, I know the L’amour is love, but no, I don’t know the rest.”
“It means, Love is the poetry of the senses. Some French poet said it. I can’t remember his name. So meet me at that bench at seven, and we’ll walk down to the game together. Actually, on second thought, come to my dorm room. Pennington 16A. At like 6:30.”
“Cool she says, and then breezes off.”
Your evil inner zen is corrupting me.
Coach makes the actual announcements of who is on what team. I did make Varsity, but she also tells us that since the actual season won’t be til the spring, that obviously she will still be moving us around some.
We’re doing some running drills on the track that surrounds the football field, where the football team is also practicing. Dawson waves at me, but seems to be taking practice seriously. Which means he is taking his image revamp seriously.
Aiden runs along side of me for a few seconds, going out for a pass, and it reminds me of how he was so cute on Saturday with the points for dances thing. And I wonder if I am doing the right thing. (No, not really, Keatyn. You’re being kind of mean to him. But…it works.)
Should I be flaunting Dawson in his face? Should I be kinda mean to him? And can I talk to Brooklyn about this, or should I ask my mom?
And when I am sitting on the track, stretching my legs out after practice, I can’t help but stare at him. Unfortunately he catches me, holds my eyes to his with that power he has. My mind is screaming, Look away! Look away. But it’s too late, I can’t. I just stare into those eyes. Those deep green eyes that are too far away to see the color, but I can still recall every fleck of blue, the little golden line around the edges. (I love how she describes his eyes. Also, tractor beams.)
Luckily, Dallas steps in front of me and sits down, breaking the god’s spell on me.
“Hey, Dallas, good luck tonight! I’ll be cheering for you!” The Freshman team has their first game tonight. Dallas made JV, but I guess he’s playing tonight.
“Cool. Hey, you wanna sneak out to the cave tonight, just us? Look at the stars again? I’m feeling stressed.”
“Why are you feeling stressed?”
“You evil inner zen is corrupting me. And plus, I have had a very stressful day trying to perfect my ability to predict the color of a girl’s panties. Also, I may have gotten slapped a couple times when I tried to prove my theories. But that is the life of a visionary.” (LOVE DALLAS! He is so funny and laid-back and adds so much comic relief to the series.)
I laugh. “You’re so funny. And you don’t seem the least bit stressed.”
“I’m not really, I just want us to hang. I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever.”
“It’s been a day.”
He nods his head, “Like I said, it’s been too long. Don’t think just cause you have your little thing with Dawson you can ditch me.”
“Fine. Can we go like after the game is over?”
“No. Be there at the stroke of midnight. I want to suck your blood.” He does a vampire imitation.
“Vampires can be out before midnight, haven’t you seen Twilight?”
“Yeah, but you know, you catch me in the sun and my brilliance will be too dazzling for you to handle.”
“It’s sunny right now.”
“And you’re dazzled, right?”
Best Friend Love Sucks
Katelyn and I do an extreme makeover on Annie’s hair. Then I put her adorable petite, and way too covered up, body in one of Katelyn’s tight little school T-shirts instead of the big oversized one she was wearing. She is nervous that it is too tight. I tell her what my mom says. You can have all the brains in the world, but it takes a body to get a most men’s attention. (Love that she gives Annie a little makeover.)
I throw on a pair of khaki cargo shorts and a little red tank top with leopard letters trimmed in rhinestones that spell out Cougars. And off we head downstairs.
Dawson is waiting for me outside my dorm, sitting on the short brick wall that surrounds the grounds.
“Hey cutie, I just texted you,” he says and immediately gives me a sweet kiss. He holds my hand as we walk over to his dorm. (Love how he called her cutie. And how it became Keatie. Really, I can see why readers were torn. Dawson is so sweet.)
“Sorry, we were busy trying to get beautiful.”
He looks at the three of us and says, “Mission accomplished.”
I introduce him to Annie, but he says, “I know Annie, we had a photography class together last semester. You still taking your amazing photos? You were by far the most talented one in our class.”
Annie beams, and I giggle. “She was out taking pics today actually and took a few of you and I, um, sitting on the bench at lunch.”
“You mean kissing on the bench at lunch?”
He turns to Annie, “Oh, I wanna see those, kay?”
She nods her head. She looks really cute. And I’m thinking about who I could try and set her up with. I’m thinking maybe Bryce or Parker.
But when we get to the dorm and Riley, Bryce, Tyrese and Ace walk out, I notice Ace totally looking her over. And I decide to not play match maker and let nature take it’s course.
And nature is taking it’s course. Ace, who I thought was sorta a douche really, is acting like a well manner nice guy and talking to her about Greek Mythology.
Which I can’t help it.
I makes me think of the god I know personally. (I love how obsessed she becomes with mythology because of Aiden.)
I am definitely texting my mom tonight to see if she has some advice. I know she won’t sleep tonight. She can never sleep the night before she leaves to go on location. She always worries about forgetting something. Which how could she possibly do that, when she has two nannies, a chef, two assistants, and four full time security guards going with them?
Dawson is sitting on the bleacher behind me, and I’m comfortably leaning back between his legs. He leans down and kisses my collar bone, runs a finger down my arm and whispers in my ear. “You have leopard print on your shirt, that mean you have on the leopard bra I wanna see?”
“Grrrrr,” he purrs softly in my ear.
I’m shocked by how I immediately feel turned on by this.
“Can I see it tonight?”
“Hmmm. I don’t know. Leopards are pretty wild, you up for that?”
He kisses down the side of my neck and says, “Yeah, actually I am.”
“I think we need to talk first. About Peyton. What you’re thinking and stuff.”
“I’m really not thinking about her anymore. You sorta have me captivated.”
“We were going to find you a suitable girl to date. That girl was not supposed to be me.”
“Are we dating?”
“No, I just meant, you know what I mean. Don’t give me shit.”
“Maybe we should be.”
“Should be what?”
“Awe, come on, why not?”
“You told me three days ago you’re still in love with Peyton.”
“Oh yeah, that.” (Yes, that, Dawson.)
“Yeah, that. If I’m gonna date a guy, get serious, I want him to like me, and not be wishing I was someone else.”
“Still. You’re fun, and I really haven’t thought about her much the last couple days.”
“Then you’re making progress.”
“And hows your progress going?”
I sigh. “He used his special powers to stare at me today.”
“You have it bad for him, don’t you?”
I look back at Dawson, who is gorgeous, and think, no, I don’t. Why would I want a stupid player boy, when I have Gorgeous sitting here next to me?
Yeah, I don’t. I want this boy.
This boy who I am going to fix. I’m going to heal his broken heart, remake his image, and I’m not going to give him back to Peyton all shiny and new. I’m going to keep him for myself.
He should probably know that, so I let him know by standing up, turning around, grabbing the front of his shirt, and pulling him into a kiss. The first time I have ever initiated a kiss with him. (Which is quite cute.)
Then I say, “I think I’m making progress too.”
At half time, Riley plops down next to me.
“Oh. My. Gosh. She is driving me freaking nuts!”
“Audrey?” both Dawson and I ask.
“Yes. Fine. We hooked up. That doesn’t mean I want to be tied to her for the rest of my life.”
“It’s been three days.”
“It feels like a lifetime.”
“I sure hope you used a condom, bro, or it might be,” Dawson slaps him on the back.
“Well that’s one thing you taught me. Thank God!”
I laugh. “You should be flattered. You must have been goooood, and she wants more of you.”
“Honestly, it was not good. I repulse myself.” (Oh, Riley…)
“Dude, it’s about quality, not quantity.” Dawson says.
“Oh, you’re one to talk. What was it you called the beach this summer, your whoredom?”
“Shut up,” he tells his brother.
“Like your kingdom, only your whoredom? Oh, that’s cute.” I laugh at him. Tease him. (The whoredom so makes me laugh.)
“I was broken hearted, what can I say?”
“Well I don’t really care about that. Just tell me HOW TO GET RID OF HER! Seriously, she meets me after class, walks me to my next class. Showed up at my room and left me cookies. Dallas wouldn’t eat them, he was afraid she drugged them or something.”
“My little bro has a stalker, how cute is that?”
Dawson and I both laugh.
“You’re not helping, either one of you,” Riley complains.
Finally I tell him, “Well you have a couple options. Ignore her. Tell her. Find someone else, fast.”
“Shit, here she comes. Pretend we are talking about something important. And ignore her. Do NOT talk to her!”
She walks up, sits down next him, and, of course, the first thing out of my mouth is, “Hey Audrey, what’s up?”
Dawson pulls me back between his legs and snickers. Riley groans.
She says, “Hey. How come your guys weren’t at the party Saturday night? It was soooo much fun. I was a little drunk, but we had fun, didn’t we Riley? Although, oh my gosh, I was so hungover on Sunday. It was awful. I threw up at church.”
“We really didn’t need to know that,” Riley growls.
“Oh sorry. Yeah well anyways, how are the freshman doing? I got to talking to Katie. Keatyn, you’re so lucky to have a cool roommate, and oh my gosh, to have made the dance team, that’s like super cool……”
She drones on…..and on….and on.
Riley drops his head down into his hands, like he can’t go on any longer.
I look at Dawson, bug my eyes out at him and then at her, thinking this is the time he could actually help his brother. Make them closer.
He squints his eyes at me, trying to figure out what to do. Finally he says, “Hey Audrey, shut. the. fuck. up. We’re trying to watch the game.”
She gets a shocked look on her face, looks at Riley like he should stick up for her. Instead he says, “Look Audrey, we hooked up, but I really don’t want to hang out with you. We’re not dating. We’re not anything. So why don’t you go sit with your friends?”
Then it’s me who gets the big eyes. I can’t believe he just said that! (He’s standing up for his little bro. Harsh, but sweet at the same time.)
Tyrese says, “Damn dude, that was harsh,” as Audrey is stomping down the stairs.
Riley shakes his head, “I know. I’m not usually that mean. I just couldn’t take her babbling on ANYMORE!”
Dawson slaps him on the back and says, “That was legit, bro.” Riley beams at the compliment.
And I just felt a little bit of brother bonding. I smile at Dawson and snuggle up between his legs. It’s starting to get cold, and this little tank top is not doing it for me.
“You have goosebumps,” he says, running his hands down the sides of my arms.
“I know, I should have brought a jacket. It’s okay, the games almost over.”
“No, hang on. I’ve got a sweatshirt down in my football locker.” He gets up, jogs down the bleachers and disappears. A few minutes later, he comes back up with a big Cougar Athletic hoodie and hands it to me. (Oh, the things we will do with that hoodie later…go, team!)
I put it on. It’s huge and snuggly on me. He sits back behind me, and I snuggle back up between his legs.
When the game’s over, he walks me back to the student center. We get some coffees to warm up. I’m sitting here wearing his hoodie with his last name emblazoned across my back, when Aiden walks in with his friend, Nick.
And just when I thought I was pulling myself out of his forcefield, he takes one look at me. And it wasn’t a big look, it was more of a sneaky sideways glance, that if I wouldn’t have been watching very closely, I probably would have missed it. And with that simple glance, his powerful eyes pull me back in like a tractor beam. I just want to scream at him, RELEASE ME!! Release me! Let me go!
How can you feel so strongly about a person you have only known such a short amount of time? Especially when during that short amount of time, you have felt equal amounts of love, hate and ambivalence toward him. (Love, hate, ambivalence. Isn’t that how love is?)
He and Nick give Dawson a “What’s up?” Then head back out the door. He pretty much ignored me. Well except for the tractor beam incident.
“I better get back to my dorm,” I tell Dawson, “I have a little homework to do.”
He looks at me with a crooked grin, “Is it weird that I want to thank you?”
“Depends what you want to thank me for, I haven’t done anything.”
“Yeah, you have. Last semester was miserable for me, this summer, well you heard how that was, and I was dreading coming back to school to have to be around her and see her and have her hate me. But then she didn’t hate me anymore, and that was almost worse. And you, I don’t know. It’s like you’re healing me, a little bit every time I’m with you.” (Poor, broken Dawson. Don’t you just want to fix him up, too? Kiss him and make it all better? There’s something so endearing about his vulnerability.)
“Trust me, you’re not the only one that needs healing. I still don’t know what I’m going to do about Brooklyn. Did I tell you he is coming to surf in a tournament this weekend? It’s somewhere in New York, and he wants me to come see him. Spend the weekend with him.”
“Hmm, Riley and I were gonna see if you wanted to come with us and some other friends to our house in the Hamptons. Our parents aren’t going to be there. It should be lots of fun.”
“The surf thing is at Long Beach. Is that anywhere close?”
“About an hour or so further south, I think. Do you want to see him?”
“Yeah. I was thinking if I see him it might sorta help me here.”
“You know, knowing what’s right, how I feel, that sorta stuff.”
“I feel jealous, that’s how I feel. Maybe you don’t have to see him all weekend, or you could go see him, and if it’s not the way you want, you can still come up and party with us?”
“Yeah, that’d be good. If I could leave it like open. I don’t know how I’m gonna feel. How he feels. We really didn’t talk about it. Well, we did, but it all seemed so abstract then.”
We’re standing in front of my dorm now. He grabs the strings on his hoodie and pulls me toward him. Straight into his lips. Kisses me and says good night.
I go up to my room. Katelyn isn’t back yet, so I call Brooklyn. Maybe talking to him will help me.
He answers, “Keats! How are you?”
“I’m good! What are you doing?”
“Just sitting out on the deck, drinking a beer, watching the waves. I took a header this morning, smashed up my side a bit, so I’m not surfing tonight.”
“You okay though? You still gonna do that tournament thing this weekend?”
“Hell yeah. You coming to watch me? Stay with me? And um, hopefully, sleep with me?” (So subtle, B.)
“Could you like email me a little more info? Like when I should be there and like will you have time to actually hang out with me and stuff?” (Can you imagine the email? A sexual itinerary?)
“Yeah, but I thought you would just come like the whole weekend though. We could spend the whole time together. Why do you need a schedule?”
“Uh, some friends from school invited me to a party, well it’s like the whole weekend kinda thing, and I was just wondering if I could do both.”
“You can do anything you want, Keats, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Why are you okay with me doing anything I want? Shouldn’t you be jealous or SOMETHING? Do you not care?” (Yes, he should be.)
“Keats, of course I care. You know I love you, but I think we both know it’s more of a best friend kind of love.”
“But in your text you said you wanted to have sex with me again.”
“No. You said you wished we would have done it all summer. I agreed.”
“So do even wanna do it with me again?”
“Well sure, but that’s up to you.”
“OH MY GOSH! That’s NOT what I asked.”
“Well, it’s my answer. There can’t be another answer right now. Long distance relationships don’t work, and you still have some growing up to do before you’re going to be ready anyways.”
“Brooklyn, you are 17 years old. The guy I’m seeing here right now is 18, he thinks I’m grown up just fine!” Shit. I didn’t really mean for that to slip out and also, seeing him? I’m not really seeing him. Am I?
“So that’s whats this about. You’re feeling guilty.”
“Why would I feel guilty? We mean nothing to each other, apparently.”
“Keats, don’t do that. You know I love you.”
“Well if you ask me, best friend love sucks.” (In this case, it most definitely does. But, still, there is something that keeps drawing them back to each other. Through it all. And why he was Aiden’s only real contender for her heart.)
I hang up. He texts me.
Brooklyn <3: I still hope I get to see you this weekend. Bring your new guy, come alone. Sleep with me, don’t. It’s up to you.
Not only does best friend love suck, so does all his zen bullshit. (It’s funny that when she wants to feel all chill with him, she loves his zen, but when she wants a straight answer, and he won’t give it to her, it’s bullshit.)
I do my homework, which consists of reading all the syllabuses signing them and filling out forms and stuff. Then I send Grandma and Grandpa Monroe a quick email telling them all about school, how I like it so far and will keep them updated. I turn the lights off and cover up my head in bed and pretend to be asleep when Katie comes in. (Oh, gosh. I forgot about this. In my first version, her real name was Keatyn Monroe as opposed to Keatyn Douglas.)
Oh my. I’ve turned into my old roommate.
Speaking of friends who kiss.
At 1:07, I’m awakened by my phone vibrating in my hand. It’s Dallas calling me. I ignore the call and text him, so I don’t wake up Katie.
Me: Shit, I fell asleep, you at the cave?
Dallas: Yes, ma’am, hurry!
Me: Anyone else there, besides you vampires?
Dallas: nope 🙂
Me: I’m bringing garlic.
Dallas: I brought herb 🙂
Me: You’re my hero, seriously.
Dallas: Oh boy, am I gonna hear the life and times of Kiki again? (You have no idea, Dallas.)
Me: Shut up, I’m here.
“Can we not smoke tonight?”
“Sure, but why?”
“I need you level headed.”
“Aye aye, el capitan.”
“Plus, I’ve had about enough of highass boys who don’t give a shit one way or another.”
“Are you referring to muah?”
So I do.
And then I say, “So why can’t he just say, I love you, I don’t want you to date anyone else? Or say, I don’t really love you. Why does love screw everything up?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever really been in love.”
“Well I know this. Best friend love, sucks ass.”
“You’re my best friend. I love you. It doesn’t suck. I mean, unless it wants to.”
“You used that joke the other night. It’s still not funny.”
“You need to chill.”
“I’M TIRED OF CHILLING!” (She’s a little touchy here. But I feel her frustration. I dated a guy who drove me nuts like this. I wanted to know where we stood. He didn’t want to “label our relationship.” Seriously, my high school diary is hilarious. And sort of sad at the same time. It’s amazing the little teeny pieces of your own life that somehow end up in your books.)
“Okay, well how about a change of subject?”
“What do you think of boarding school so far? Yea or Nay?”
“I like it, I think, so far. How about you?”
“Same. I’m not really homesick. There’s always plenty of stuff to do, and it’s cool that your friends are like always around, but I could see it might get old, like sometimes when you just feel like not being around anyone, that you couldn’t get away. That’s why I like when we come out here on week nights. Just us. Getting away.”
“How’s the psychic panty network coming?”
“It’s doing quite well, actually. You’d be shocked, hell I was shocked, at how many girls will show me their underwear just to prove me wrong.”
“You played good tonight.”
“Thanks. Saw you all snuggled up with Dawes, whats up with that?”
“I have no idea. Same as before. We’re friends, basically. Who kiss.”
“Speaking of friends who kiss,” he replies and pulls me toward his lips.
I’m a boy, I ought to be an expert.
2:30 am, bathroom
“Hey-woah.” I hear the unmistakable voice my two year old sister, Gracelyn. (Gracie is so stinking cute. I guess if you have made it this far into this story, you deserve to know a little secret. I don’t know when they will be done or when they will release, but I have plotted out a three-book series with an eighteen-year-old Gracie going (well, being sent) to Eastbrooke.)
Why is a two year old up at 11:30pm, you might ask? They have a weird schedule, so they can see Tommy and Mom when they aren’t at work.
“Gracie, it’s Kiki, give Mommy her phone.”
“KI KI KI KI KI KI!!!” she screams into the phone.
“Can I talk to Mommy?”
“NO! No, no, no, no, NO!” I hear clanking, and then it sounds like she’s beating Mom’s new iphone against a wall or the floor.
Pretty soon, I hear a commotion, then one of the triplets, probably, Avery, the oldest by a few minutes and most bossy, say, “Gwey-sie, give me Momma’s phone!”
And then Gracie says, “NO!”
I can picture her holding it to her chest, that stubborn little look on her face, “Mine!” (I’m sure if you know a toddler, you can relate. This would have been my daughter at this age.)
Then Avery tattling, “MOMMMAAAA!!!”
About five minutes later, Tommy calls me from his phone.
“Kiki, are you okay, baby?” (Did you notice that both Riley and Tommy call her baby? Coincidence? No. I purposely did that for two reasons. One, because it fits Riley’s cocky personality. Two, because it makes Keatyn feel safe. Which is important in the published version.)
“Yeah, can I talk to mom?”
“She’s trying to get the girls settled down. I can talk to you.”
“You can talk to me about boys?”
“Well, I’m a boy, I ought to be an expert.”
I give that some thought. “Wow, I never thought of that. Okay, so what does it mean when a boy stares deep into your eyes, like touches your soul kind of deep. He does something really romantic one minute, but then doesn’t call or text, and then he acts like he hates you the next?”
“I’d say he liked you a lot, but then you did something that upset him.”
“Let me add that he has the reputation of being a player, but with me he is not very smooth.”
“Hmmmm, maybe he’s a good actor, maybe I should meet him.”
“Oh my gosh, Tommy. This guy is waayyyy better looking than an actor. He’s practically a god.”
“The God of all Hotties?”
“How do you know that? Are you like his god mentor? Cuz now that I think about it, you have some powers similar to his.” (LOL) (Also, Tommy is her dream man. Another clue that she’d choose Aiden at the end.)
“Your mother told me you called him that. I swear, I am going to use that line somewhere in my next movie. I laughed so hard!”
“Tommy! This is my personal life here!!! Do not laugh at it.”
“Kiki, calm down. Breathe. If he is a player and was just playing, he will lose interest and move on. If it was love, true love, he will not give up, even if it takes a little while. Be patient. Sometimes true love takes a bit.”
“Mom said she knew the minute she shook your hand.”
“And I contend I knew it before, the second she walked in the room. I just felt this magnetic pull to her. Like gravity.” (This makes me swoon. Someday, I think it would be fun to write the story of when they met.)
“That’s not what she says. She says it took you a while to figure it out.”
“No, I knew. I just didn’t want her to think she had me whipped. And I sorta couldn’t believe it was happening to me. After all the women I’d been with. And then, just boom! I tried to pretend it wasn’t real at first. And don’t forget, I’m a good actor. She couldn’t figure me out. Hey, it’s late there. You should be asleep.”
“Get your beauty sleep, baby. Mommy and I love you.”
“I love you too, Tommy, thanks, really.”