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Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Young adult or teen  ➡  Romance  ➡  Chick Lit

Boyfriend Dilemma (Dilemma series, Book 2)

 

 

Boyfriend Dilemma

 

 

Book 2

 

 

 

Published by Violet Star Publishing.

United Kingdom

Category: Teenage, Fiction

First published in e-book format 2017

Copyright Michelle Leyland © 2017

Cover design by Robin Ludwig Design Inc

www.gobookcoverdesign.com

 

Vanessa model © Agencyby on Dreamstime.com

Gina model © Martin Applegate on Dreamstime.com

Chloe model © Paffy1969 on Dreamstime.com

Kate model © Martin Applegate on Dreamstime.com

 

ISBN : 978-0-9926320-7-6

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

Contents:

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Cool guide for relationships

Quiz: Which character are you?

Cool dictionary

About the Author

Books by Michelle Leyland

Chapter 1

 

“Is he still looking over at me?” I ask my best friends.

“Yep,” answers Chloe.

I look up and see my ex-boyfriend Lee watching me from across the cafeteria. His blond hair is perfectly styled and his brown eyes are moody. Things have been awkward between us since the argument at Bliss nightclub last week. I look away and try to ignore his gaze, following Chloe, Kate and Vanessa over to an empty table.

“I wish he’d leave me alone,” I say as I try to eat my lunch. I’m so nervous the cheese and ham pizza I’m chewing seems to get stuck in my throat.

“You can’t blame him,” says Vanessa, sounding almost sympathetic for him. “He’ll obviously be upset seeing you with Chad.”

Vanessa is petite with green eyes and brunette hair that reaches her shoulders. She’s the animal lover of the squad. She’s obsessed with horses and riding lessons, and also her boyfriend Matthew.

“She was bound to move on eventually,” Chloe sticks up for me.

Chloe has blue eyes and long blonde hair, always perfectly straightened. She’s so pretty and skinny she could pass for a teenage model. She even makes her uniform look cool. Her green blazer sleeves are rolled up to her elbows and she bought her white shirt from New Look so it’s clingy. Her tight, black pants are from Debenhams and she’s wearing black leather boots.

Sometimes I feel bad that I got stuck wearing the usual school shirt and pants that mum bought from Tesco. I wish I’d been smart and creative like Chloe and bought my uniform elsewhere. Mine looks so boring and unflattering. I hate that the dark green of the blazer seems to clash with my dark skin tone. Still, at least my hair looks great today. It’s dark chocolate brown and naturally wavy, so on good days it looks like I’ve styled it perfectly with curling irons. On bad days it frizzes out and looks like a long curly afro, so I have to attack it with straighteners before stepping out in public.

“Besides, he’s the one who dumped her, so it’s his fault this whole thing happened,” continues Chloe. “He didn’t care when he moved on to that slut days after the break-up, then he got ditched.”

As you can tell, Chloe loves gossip. She was the first to tell us when Lee’s new girlfriend dumped him after a few days and started going out with a trouble maker in year eleven.

“I’m not taking his side or anything,” Vanessa reassures me. “I hate how much he upset you. I’m just saying that he’s going to feel jealous because you used to be his girlfriend. Maybe he’s having regrets?”

I have a weird feeling in my stomach just hearing that, “do you really think he wants to be my boyfriend again?”

“Probably, but who cares?” replies Kate. “He was stupid enough to dump you so it’s his loss.”

Kate has green eyes and brunette hair that’s always tied back in pony tail. She’s the sporty one and plays in the school’s mixed football team. She doesn’t bother much with her appearance and never wears make-up…apart from that one time Chloe gave her a makeover and she hated it.

“I suppose,” I reply.

“You’re with Chad now, remember?” Kate reminds me. “Forget about Lee, he’s a jerk.”

I can’t help but smile at thinking of Chad. It’s weird remembering that I’m no longer heartbroken and single and have a boyfriend now. We’ve been officially going out for five days, ever since the opening night at Bliss. He’s tall with spiked up ginger hair and chocolate brown eyes. I think he looks cute, even if he isn’t the hottest boy in school.

 

When I first became single, he was always trying to flirt with me and begging me to go on a date with him. I wasn’t ready for that because I was still upset over Lee and missing him. Eventually Chad won me over with sweet texts and cute gifts and I finally accepted a date.

I started to fancy him once we hung out and got to know each other more, but I still wasn’t over Lee. I told him I just wanted to stay friends until I felt ready for a new relationship. Luckily he was nice about it and promised he’d wait for me.

On the night we went to Bliss, Lee had seen me and him together and got all jealous and angry, thinking that Chad and I were already a couple. He totally ruined my night, dragging me away from the girls as we danced and started a huge argument.

I ended up running outside to cry and Chad came to find me. He sat down next to me on the wall and put his arm around me, letting me cry on his shoulder.

“He’s not worth it,” he told me. “I don’t know who the hell he thinks he is, having a go at you when you’re not his girlfriend anymore. It’s not as if we’re even together, we’re just mates.”

“I know. He’s a complete idiot,” I agreed. “I hate him so much right now. I wanted to have fun with you and the girls and now he’s totally ruined everything.”

“He’ll only ruin tonight if you let him,” he said, looking into my eyes.

The next thing I knew, we were kissing. I was nervous at first because I wasn’t ready for this; but it felt so good that I relaxed and started kissing him back. I had really missed having affection from a boy and wanted to hold onto him and never let go. Since Lee dumped me, I had spent every day feeling lonely, crying myself to sleep and missing him like crazy. Right then things felt different and for once I was happy and blissful again.

We parted from each other and he looked annoyed with himself, realising that he had broken his promise.

“I’m sorry. I know you said you don’t want to take things further yet,” he apologised, remembering that we had agreed to stay friends.

“It’s okay,” I replied and longed for him to kiss me again. “I really like you, Chad. I know I’m still upset over the past, but I don’t want to keep stopping myself anymore.”

He smiled, “well, I guess you could move on and finally be my girlfriend?”

I nodded and smiled, “I’d like that.”

We kissed again for longer this time and I still don’t regret my decision at all.

 

Chad arrives at the cafeteria and grins when he sees me sitting with the girls, “Hey Gina.”

“Hi,” I reply, feeling really lucky to be his girlfriend. He’s always happy to see me, it’s so sweet.

“You can sit here,” Kate offers and gets up from her seat. “I’m waiting for Jamie.”

Kate moves to the empty table next to us and Chad sits down next to me. We share a quick kiss and I finish eating the rest of my lunch, feeling my anxiety slip away now Chad is here. I try to forget about the burning gaze from Lee. I’m sure he’s still looking over but I don’t want to check.

I distract myself by chatting with Chloe instead.

“Haven’t you been pulled over by the teachers?” I tease about her make-up.

“Not yet,” she answers with a smirk.

Chloe never leaves the house without make-up, and today she’s wearing foundation, lip gloss and mascara; even though we’re not allowed to wear make-up at school.

“I bet they’ll tell you to wash it off before home time,” Vanessa tells her. “You know how strict some of the teachers are.”

She shrugs, “I brought my make-up bag in case they do.”

Vanessa rolls her eyes, “if you did it casually like the rest of us you’d get away with it.”

We’ve been pretty successful at wearing make-up and not getting into trouble. The secret is to wear clear mascara and non-glittery lip barm. They do the job and are hard for teachers to notice.

“So how are things with Dave?” I ask Chloe.

Dave is Chloe’s new boyfriend who works at McDonalds. He’s eighteen and at college, so Chloe’s always showing off about him to all the other girls in class.

“It’s okay. I haven’t really seen him much,” she answers, looking a little sad. “He took on more shifts so he’s working some evenings and weekends.”

“Aww, that sucks,” I sympathise.

“Are you and Matthew still crazy about each other?” Chloe asks Vanessa.

She blushes just hearing his name, “we’re good. I just miss him sooo much when we’re apart.”

Vanessa scans the cafeteria for him just in case she missed his arrival. He’s in year eleven so she only gets to see him at break and lunch.

“I’m glad we’re in the same year,” Chad says to me. “It’s cool having some classes with you.”

I smile, feeling lucky we are too.

“Yeah, you can do a bit of frenching in French class,” Chloe teases us.

“Shut up!” I giggle and blush. “We’d never get away with that.”

“Ven will have to keep an eye on you both just in case,” replies Chloe.

Vanessa smiles at the joke, only half listening as she looks out for Matthew.

 

[] Chapter 2

 

 

I’m anxious when the subject of Bliss nightclub comes up the next day, remembering my argument with Lee the last time I was there.

“So, you all up for Bliss tonight?” Chloe checks with us.

“Definitely,” answers Vanessa, excited.

“I’m in,” says Kate. “Jamie and the lads said they’d be there too.”

They look at me, waiting for an answer.

“I don’t know…it’s a bit awkward with the Lee thing. Maybe I should give it a miss?”

“Are you kidding?” Kate replies. “You can’t just avoid it because of Lee. You’ve got as much right to be there as he has.”

“Yeah, don’t let him ruin our plans,” protests Chloe. “You’re going to have fun with your mates. Just ignore him and hopefully he’ll stay away this time.”

“We’ll stick with you in case there’s any trouble,” Vanessa reassures me. “We won’t let him drag you off again, I promise.”

I waver a little, “Okay…I guess I’ll come,” I agree, but still feel nervous.

“Dave’s coming with me this time,” Chloe announces happily.

“But he’s too old! College guys aren’t allowed,” I remind her, knowing it’s a sixteen and under night.

“He’s only just turned eighteen so he can try and get in,” she answers. “I’m sure he can pass for sixteen. Besides, I can’t keep going without a boyfriend.”

“Yeah, you definitely need a boyfriend to get in,” jokes Kate. “I hear they chuck you out if you’re single ‘cause it’s bad for business.”

Vanessa and I giggle.

“Shut up, you know what I mean,” says Chloe. “I don’t want to be on my own while you lot are off snogging.”

“She has a point,” I say, feeling a little sorry for Chloe. She’s been feeling left out enough at school without her boyfriend around.

“So we’re meeting outside at seven thirty?” Vanessa asks and we all nod in agreement.

“Now all I need is the perfect outfit,” says Chloe. “Pity we can’t have another shopping trip.”

I roll my eyes.

“I’m sure you’ll find something in your huge wardrobe,” says Kate. “You have enough clothes for the whole school.”

 

That night I decide to wear my purple mini dress with black tights and silver high-heels. I promise myself not to think of anything bad and just concentrate on having a good time with Chad and the girls.

I’ve just finished applying make-up when I hear a knock at the front door. I smile and rush downstairs to answer it before my mum gets there. Chad is stood outside gawping at me.

“You look really hot,” he grins.

I blush, “thanks.”

I run upstairs to grab my hand bag and tell mum I’m leaving. She goes through the same boring speech of ‘be back by nine o’clock’ and ‘don’t go off with strangers’ etc and then I finally leave the house.

I slip my hand into Chad’s as we walk to Bliss night club together. There’s already a long queue outside the entrance when we get there and it looks pretty busy. I spot Kate, Jamie, Vanessa and Matthew at the back of the line and we go over to join them. Luckily there’s no sighting of Lee yet. Maybe he’s not coming tonight and I can finally relax.

“Do you think Dave is really going to get in?” Vanessa asks me unsurely, as we watch the bouncer studying people before letting them in.

“Maybe,” I answer. “Let’s hope so or Chloe will throw a strop.”

Chloe and Dave arrive just in time. Chloe is looking fabulous in a mini-skirt, high heels and a tight top. A few guys in the queue admire her, so Dave puts his arm around her to make it clear she’s taken.

“Hey girls!” she greets us. “Ready to party?”

“You bet,” I grin.

Luckily Dave manages to get in. The bouncer probably mistook him for being the same age as us since we came in a group. We walk into the trendy club, surrounded by loud music and heaps of people from school. Chloe runs straight for the dance floor and I have fun dancing with the girls for a few songs. Chad puts his arms around me as we dance to an Ed Sheeran song and I feel so loved and happy.

I notice Chloe is doing some sexy dancing with Dave, catching attention from some guys nearby. Vanessa and Matthew are dancing close and kissing, oblivious to anything else around them. Kate is laughing with Jamie, jumping up and down to the music.

“I’m going to the bar,” I yell to Chad over the music and indicate over to it, feeling thirsty after our dancing session.

“I’ll buy you a drink,” he yells back and follows me over.

Chloe decides to come too and drags Dave along with her. We leave Vanessa and Matthew to carry on snogging. Kate and Jamie head off now that some of the boys on the football team have arrived.

“Pity they don’t serve any real drinks,” complains Dave as we order, annoyed at the alcohol ban for tonight. He turns to Chloe. “I’ve gotta go to loo. Can you order the drinks?” he gives her some money and leaves.

Chad gets our bottles of Pepsi and I find an empty booth for us. He slides into the leather seat beside me, carrying our bottles.

I take a sip from mine and look over at Chloe, who’s still waiting for her drinks. She’s been approached by an eager looking sixteen year old and I can’t help but watch nervously. I think he offers to buy her a drink because she smiles up at him, twirling her hair. The guy smiles back and pays for her order when it arrives. I hope she’ll come over and sit with us until Dave gets back, but she stays at the bar instead, busy flirting with the new guy.

“Dave’s not gonna be happy about that,” Chad comments, noticing too.

I nod in agreement and drink, trying not to worry about potential drama.

Dave soon appears and his eyes darken when he sees Chloe with the guy. He angrily strides over to the bar. I squeeze Chad’s hand nervously.

“Back off! She’s my girlfriend!” he snarls and the guy looks up in surprise.

“Sorry, mate,” the guy says apologetically and walks away.

Dave turns to Chloe, “What were you doing with him?” he asks accusingly.

“Nothing, we were just talking,” she replies carelessly and rolls her eyes. “You don’t have to get jealous. Here, I got you your drink.”

Dave decides to let it go as he accepts the drink, but still looks annoyed as they join us at the booth.

We’ve nearly finished our drinks when I feel Chloe nudge me.

“Lee’s here and he’s staring at you again,” she tells me, loud enough for me to hear her over the music but not enough for Chad to overhear too.

I immediately feel knots of anxiety in my stomach. I look up and see my ex-boyfriend a distance away at the other side of the club. His eyes are on me and I feel weird seeing him. I quickly look away, hoping he’ll get bored of staring soon because it’s making me uncomfortable. Chad’s busy talking to Dave about the latest Walking Dead episode and hasn’t noticed.

I try not to let him bother me and have a good time, despite the awkward feeling in my stomach knowing he’s there. I can still feel his eyes on me and it’s hard to ignore. It feels like I’m back at the school cafeteria all over again. I can’t even enjoy being with Chad right now.

“I’m going to the toilets,” I tell Chad and get up.

“I’ll come with you,” Chloe offers, since it’s our girl rule to go together.

We make our way to the female toilets and I use one of the free cubicles, then join Chloe at the mirrors as she tops up her lip gloss.

“I can’t believe he’s here again after what happened last time,” I say to her.

“I know, it’s so awkward being around him,” Chloe agrees, “but he’s bound to turn up, most of the school are here.”

“Yeah, but I just wish he’d stay away from me,” I reply, feeling annoyed.

I want to have fun with Chad, not feel uncomfortable because my ex-boyfriend is lurking around.

“He’s just jealous,” Chloe tells me dismissively. “Hopefully he’ll get over it soon.”

“Why? He’s the one who broke up with me,” I remind her, feeling upset. “He doesn’t care that we finished.”

“Gina, you were his girlfriend for over a year, of course he’s going to care. He’s obviously not going to be happy that you’ve got a new boyfriend.”

“So? I’m allowed to move on. He can’t expect me to be all miz over him forever. He was allowed to move on and I already spent weeks crying over him after we split.”

“Don’t let him get to you,” she advises. “You’re happy with Chad now so just ignore him and don’t let him cause trouble.”

Chloe goes rushing back to Dave as soon as we leave the toilets. I see Chad is sat waiting for me as he watches everyone else dancing. I smile and decide so what if my ex-boyfriend is here? I’ll pretend he doesn’t exist and have fun with my boyfriend like I’m supposed to.

I walk back towards Chad, determined to block Lee from my mind. However, I can’t block him when all of a sudden he’s stood right in front of me. The idea of ignoring him burns away before I can try. We’ve already made eye contact so he knows I’ve seen him.

“Hi Gina.”

I don’t want to talk to him. I want to walk away and pretend I haven’t seen him, but I know I can’t because it would be rude.

“Hi,” I reply awkwardly, feeling my stomach tighten. “I really don’t want another argument.”

“Me neither. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to dance or hang out?” he asks, smiling at me.

“No thanks, I’m here with Chad,” I remind him.

He goes to say something, so I quickly blurt out, “gotta go,” and cut off our conversation to scoot around him. I continue my way over to Chad, feeling Lee’s eyes burn into my back as I leave.

“Hey,” Chad grins. “Wanna get back on the dance floor?” He puts his arms around me and I feel safe and relaxed again.

“Yeah, sure,” I smile and walk there with him, not looking back.

[] Chapter 3

 

 

We’re all still talking about our night out at Bliss the next day at lunch.

“It was so fun!” Chloe exclaims. “I can’t wait ‘til next week.”

“Yeah and the music was great,” Vanessa agrees. “I’m downloading a few of the songs tonight.”

“They’ve even got a football table in the games room,” Kate tells us excitedly.

So that’s where she and Jamie had disappeared to for most of the night.

“It’s a great place for snogging too,” says Chloe, giving Vanessa a teasing look.

Vanessa blushes bright red, remembering how much her and Matthew were kissing last night.

“Anyway, what was with you at the bar?” I ask Chloe, deciding to get her back with some teasing. “You were trying to pick up some random guy.”

Kate and Vanessa stare.

“No I wasn’t!” she smirks. “He was trying to chat me up.”

“And you let him buy you a drink,” I remind her.

“Whoa! I bet Dave was annoyed,” says Kate.

“He got all jealous and kicked off,” says Chloe. “It wasn’t as if I was snogging him or anything.”

“But he’s supposed to get jealous. He’s your boyfriend,” I remind her. “He’ll be anxious you’re going off with someone else.”

“He’s just way too possessive,” she insists. “It’s so annoying. He moaned about me wearing that mini-skirt in front of other guys and gets all cheesed off if I even look at anyone else.”

“The skirt wasn’t that bad,” agrees Vanessa. “There were girls wearing a lot shorter.”

“Plus it’s not my fault I like to look hot,” Chloe continues her rant. “I mean, what am I supposed to do? Wear an ankle length skirt and a knitted jumper?”

We giggle at the thought of her wearing that.

“Maybe you should talk to him?” I suggest. “I know he doesn’t want other guys eyeing you up, but he can’t say what you can and can’t wear. That’s up to you.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t let Jamie boss me around like that,” agrees Kate.

“Maybe you should wear something less revealing if it bugs him so much?” suggests Vanessa.

“No. I wear what I want,” says Chloe dismissively. “I don’t care what he thinks, he doesn’t own me.”

“Getting bored of him already?” Kate teases her.

“Maybe,” Chloe considers, “but he’s hot so I don’t want to break up yet.”

Vanessa shakes her head a little. Kate and I smirk at each other. Sometimes Chloe can act really shallow.

“Looks aren’t everything, Chloe,” I remind her. “If he’s not a good boyfriend, you should dump him and find a better one.”

My mobile buzzes as I receive a text message. I get excited, thinking it’s a cute text from Chad. Unfortunately it’s not and I sigh in annoyance when Lee’s name appears on the screen:

Gina, we need to talk. When can I see you?

I delete the message without replying. There’s no way I’m going to text an ex-boyfriend when I’m with Chad, it just wouldn’t be right.

“Lee just texted me,” I say quietly to them.

They all look shocked.

“OMG! What did it say?” asks Chloe.

“He wants to talk and asked when he can see me.”

“Are you replying to it?” asks Kate.

“No. I deleted it.”

“I wonder what he wants,” says Vanessa.

“I wouldn’t trust him,” says Chloe. “He’ll just want another row over you and Chad.”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Just let me know if he really starts bugging you, I’ll sort him out,” promises Kate.

“Thanks,” I smile.

 

It’s the next day in maths class when I finally see Lee again. I was dreading this moment because he’d sent me another text message this morning which I also ignored. I hate maths even more since we broke up because it means seeing him every class and having to sit a few desks away. I used to love it when we were a couple. I’d stare dreamily over at him and lose concentration in class, but now it’s a total nightmare.

He’s already at his desk when I arrive and looks up as soon as I come into the classroom. He smiles at me, but looks kind of sad.

“Hi Gina.”

“Hi,” I reply and quickly walk past him to avoid conversation.

I sink into my chair and try to ignore him, but I can’t concentrate on the lesson. The algebra starts to look like Chinese and I don’t get it at all, even though I understood it last lesson. I can feel him keep glancing over at me, and when I risk peeking over, it looks as if he’s having difficulty concentrating too. He’s playing with his pen with a frown as he reads the questions in the text book.

I’m relieved when the bell sounds and I can finally pack up my things and leave class. I sling my handbag onto my shoulder and walk towards the door.

“Gina!” I look up as Lee runs over to me. “Why aren’t you answering my texts?”

I look down at the floor, feeling uncomfortable, “I don’t really want to talk to you right now.”

“Is it because of Chad?” he asks, sounding angry and jealous.

“Yeah.”

“I don’t care what he thinks. I just want to talk to you.”

“It’s really not a good idea…” I try to say.

“I just want to talk, that’s all,” he reassures me. “I’m not going to argue with you again, promise.”

“What do you want to talk about?” I ask suspiciously.

He looks a little shy, “It’s better if we do it in private. Will you meet me at Butterflies after school and we can talk there?”

Butterflies is my favourite café on the beach. The girls and I love to go for ice creams and slushies in the summer or a hot chocolate in winter.

I know it’s a bad idea to see Lee, but I can’t help feeling a little curious to know what he wants.

“I guess so,” I answer unsurely.

He looks relieved that I haven’t said no.

“Great. I’ll meet you there at four,” he says.

 

I tell the girls all about it at lunch, feeling anxious. Luckily Chad hasn’t arrived to overhear our conversation, but I’m keeping an eye out for him.

“Gina, are you crazy?” says Kate. “You should stay away from him.”

“Yeah. What’s Chad going to think when he finds out?” Vanessa asks, looking worried.

“I’m not going to tell him,” I decide.

“Oh no! Don’t tell me you and Lee are planning on making out later?” Chloe asks in shock.

“No way! It’s nothing like that,” I insist. “He just wants to talk so we’re meeting up as sort of mates.”

“But he’s an ex,” Kate reminds me. “That’s not the same as hanging out with a mate.”

“I know it seems bad, but everything’s fine,” I reassure them. “Just don’t tell Chad, okay? I don’t want him to get all jealous or worried. It’s not like anything’s going on.”

Kate and Vanessa don’t look happy about it, but they nod in agreement, since they’re my best friends and will do anything for me.

“Okay, but promise me there will be no snogging,” says Chloe.

“I promise,” I swear. “I don’t do cheating.”

“Chad’s coming over,” Kate warns me and we quickly start talking about something else.

“Hey girls, what’s up?”

I smile and feel happy to see him, even though I have a sting of guilt knowing I’m hiding something.

“We’re just talking about shopping,” Chloe answers and smiles all innocently.

“Cool,” he replies and then turns to me. “I said I’d have lunch with my mates today, is that okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” I answer, although I’m a little disappointed.

“We can hang out after school? I could wait for you at the gates?”

“Oh…errr…I can’t really make it later,” I answer nervously. “I’m kind of busy.”

“Aww, that sucks. So what are you up to?”

I struggle to come up with an excuse.

“She’s coming over to my house,” Chloe blurts out.

I feel so relieved that she’s just saved me.

“Yeah, she’s having a bit of a clothes emergency,” I tell him. “We’re going to look at some stuff together online.”

“Oh, okay,” he replies. “Well I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

We share a quick kiss and I watch him leave to join his friends at another table and feel sad. I should be seeing him after school, not my stupid ex-boyfriend.

[] Chapter 4

 

 

I feel so anxious when school ends. Chloe walks down to the beach with me for support and I see Butterflies café in the distance. My stomach feels tight with nerves and dread.

“Good luck,” Chloe says, giving me a hug. “Come ‘round to mine afterwards, okay? I need to know all the goss.”

“I will.”

We say goodbye and I walk into the café alone. Lee has already saved us a table near the window and smiles over at me.

“I was starting to think you wouldn’t show up,” he says.

I sit across the table from him, wondering if I should have just cancelled and stayed away, “well I’m here now.”

“I got you a Cherry Pepsi. It’s still your favourite drink, right?” he asks.

“Yeah, it is. Thanks,” I say gratefully.

I can’t help feeling touched that he remembered. It’s rare to find Pepsi Wild Cherry and they only serve it at certain places. Luckily Butterflies café decided to have it in stock, probably because I order it a lot.

I can’t resist picking up the glass and relishing the sweet flavour of the drink, “So what did you want to talk about?” I ask.

“I want us to get back together,” he tells me.

I’m surprised he’s just come straight out with it and I feel speechless.

“So what do you think?” he asks nervously.

I look down at the table anxiously, “Lee, I’m already with someone.”

He looks annoyed, “I know. It’s Chad.”

“Yeah,” I answer, knowing he’s probably seen my relationship status on Facebook.

He sits back and folds his arms. “I thought you said you and him weren’t together?”

“We weren’t when you asked me,” I answer truthfully, “but after our argument that night it just sort of happened.”

“So you’re with him to get back at me?”

“No,” I answer annoyed. “This isn’t about you.”

“It seems that way. Are you just with him to make me jealous? ‘Cause you’ve got what you wanted.”

“I wasn’t trying to make you jealous at all. I’ve just been trying to move on.”

“It’s only been a few weeks since we split up,” he says, looking sad.

I immediately feel angry, “I know that! You were the one who ended it with me and I’ve been so upset and hurt over it. You can’t blame me for starting to be happy again, I thought you didn’t care.”

“Of course I do, I never stopped caring.”

“That’s funny because you seemed to move on really fast from me. You were snogging that girl Chelsea days after we broke up.”

“You knew about that?” he looks ashamed.

“Yeah, I saw you both at the shopping centre and it tore me apart. I was still in floods of tears over you, but it looks like you hadn’t given me a second thought.”

“I’m really sorry,” he says sympathetically. “I didn’t know you were there. It didn’t mean anything, I swear.”

“It doesn’t matter, you were single then,” I reply sadly. “It’s not as if you were still my boyfriend.”

“Chelsea and I weren’t together. We just had a bit of fun after me and you broke up.”

“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?” I feel disgusted.

“It wasn’t what you think,” he says, looking shy and embarrassed. “I was missing you too, okay? I felt upset and confused, wondering if I’d done the right thing. She started flirting with me and I thought I’d try and move on, so I could forget about you. That’s why things happened with her. We were just messing around, I wasn’t ready for a relationship.”

I try to take it all in but it’s hard to process. It hurts, despite him not being my boyfriend anymore, and I can feel my eyes water. It’s like all the pain I suffered from our break-up has come rushing back and I can hardly breathe.

“I never meant to hurt you. It was supposed to be a secret,” he says. “I’m so sorry, Gina. If I could go back and change it, I would. It was all a stupid mistake. She didn’t mean anything to me, and no matter what I did, I never stopped thinking about you.”

“Then why did you never get in touch?” I ask, remembering how hurt I was back then.

I had been so desperate to hear from him, even if it was just as a friend. Suddenly there were no more texts from Lee and he was totally silent with me on social media, no longer sending messages or liking my posts and photos. Some days I would wish he would call and say breaking up was a huge mistake, but he never did. That was probably the worst part of the break-up, being shut out and left like I’d meant nothing at all.

“You obviously still have my number if you texted me,” I say.

I feel a little relieved that he didn’t delete it right after our break up. That would have stung.

He looks sympathetic and takes hold of my hand, “I wanted to but I thought you hated me…”

I move my hand away, feeling uncomfortable, “I did. You really hurt me.”

“I know,” he says sadly. “I regret it. I don’t want you to be upset.”

“Why do you suddenly want me back?” I ask confused.

It’s what I’d been wishing for, what I’d wanted most in the world. If only I could go back in time and tell the past heartbroken Gina that it’s okay, there’s no need to be in floods of tears, because soon Lee will say he wants me back and we’ll get back together and everything will be perfect again.

However, now things are different, even if it was only a few weeks ago. I’d finally stopped crying over him, dismissed all the silly wishes of wanting him back and I was slowly moving on to another relationship. Now I’m not sure if I want him back. My wish finally came true but at the wrong time. I’d started to be happy again and this isn’t what I want anymore…or is it?

“I’ve wanted you back ever since we broke up,” he tells me. “I’ve just been trying to figure stuff out and make sure it was what I really wanted until I told you. I didn’t want to mess you around and end up hurting you again, but I’ve realised I do want to stay with you. I don’t want to have any other girls, I just want you.”

“Are you sure it isn’t because you saw me and Chad and got jealous?” I ask. “It’s just funny that this issue only started when you saw us together at Bliss.”

“No, it was before that,” he insists, “although that night it made things worse. I hated to think I’d lost you forever.”

“So what did you expect me to do? Hang around being single for the rest of my life in case you changed your mind?”

“No, of course not,” he answers, “but I was hoping you’d still be single so I could fix things between us.”

“But I’m not so I guess all this is pointless.”

“Maybe not,” he replies. “Do you still have feelings for me?”

I feel knocked back by his question.

“I suppose so…” I answer, feeling nervous and vulnerable. “I can’t just turn off my feelings ‘cause we broke up or I got a new boyfriend.”

“So you would want to get back together if you were single?”

“I guess so,” I answer, thinking about it.

“I know you’ve moved on, but you and Chad haven’t even been together that long,” he says. “If we want to get back together then we shouldn’t let him get in the way of that.”

“You want me to dump him?” I ask, feeling upset at the thought of it.

“I hope you will and then we can start over. We can go back to the way things were before I screwed up.”

I can’t help thinking about it even though my brain is screaming ‘No! Don’t do it, you silly girl’. Yet my heart is longing to return to the times when Lee and I were a couple.

Memories of us seem to flash through my mind, tempting me to say yes. The day his mate came over to say Lee fancied me and wanted to ask me out. I’d had a crush on Lee for a few weeks and was thrilled. I told his mate my answer and after school me and Lee met up and kissed at the gates.

I remember my birthday when Lee came to the zoo with me, Kate, Chloe and Vanessa. We’d all been excited to see the animals and taken loads of photos for Facebook. One of my favourite photos was the one of me and Lee cuddled up wearing the silly, cardboard cut-out monkey headbands that staff had been giving out to children.

I remember when it was the day of our one year anniversary and Lee had saved up for weeks so he could take me to Frankie & Benny’s to share a pizza and chocolate sundae ice cream. There were so many happy memories over the time we were together.

“So what do you think?” he asks, looking anxious.

“I don’t know…I can’t just leave Chad,” I say unsurely.

“Think about it,” he reassures me. “If you decide to break up with him, I’ll be here waiting for you. I’ll stay single until you let me know.”

“Okay,” I answer shakily, feeling anxious and not knowing what to do.

I thank him for the drink again, say goodbye and leave the café wondering what I’m going to do.

Chapter 5

 

It’s been sixteen hours since Lee dropped the getting-back-together bomb shell on me and I’m still trying to get over the shock. I went for a long walk for over an hour after I left the café, trying to think everything over. I hoped I’d come to some kind of decision on what to do, but I came to nothing.

I didn’t answer my mobile at all and texted Chloe to say I wasn’t feeling up to coming around and just wanted to go home. She kept texting, trying to find out what went on, but I didn’t reply. I didn’t want to tell the girls about it yet because I still had to get my head around it myself. Besides, it was a huge thing to tell them, so I’d rather do it in person when we were all together so we could have a good talk over it.

I hardly slept last night thinking about it and now my mind is all fuzzy. I ignore all my thoughts and concentrate on thinking about school and seeing Chad again.

It feels weird when I see Chad waiting for me at the school gates. I’m happy to see him, despite everything that happened yesterday, but I have an even bigger knot of guilt in my stomach now than the last time we saw each other.

“Hi Chad,” I greet him with a kiss as usual.

“Hi,” he smiles at me but it’s not his usual, happy smile.

“What’s up?” I ask.

“Do you have something to tell me?”

I’m confused, wondering if he knows, “What do you mean?”

He looks down at the ground, his smile long gone, “I saw you at café yesterday after school. You were with Lee, not Chloe.”

I feel sick, knowing I should never have lied to him. I decide I need to be completely honest now, “yeah, I was. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”

“What’s going on, Gina? I thought we were together?”

“We are.”

“Then why are you meeting up with him behind my back?” he asks, looking so hurt I feel like crying. “Are you cheating on me?”

“No! We’re not doing anything like that,” I insist.

“Then why keep it a secret?”

“He just wanted to talk. I’ve tried ignoring him but he begged me to see him yesterday and I just agreed to it. We met up after school this one time.”

“If you’ve got nothing to hide then why didn’t you tell me instead of lying?”

“I didn’t want you to get worried or jealous,” I answer. “It was nothing worth upsetting you about.”

“So what did he say?” he asks.

I avoid his eyes guiltily, feeling awful having to tell him, “he said he made a big mistake splitting up with me and he wants us to get back together.”

He looks sad and annoyed at hearing this, “and what did you say?”

“I told him I’m with you now, obviously.”

“Good,” he looks relieved that I hadn’t thrown myself at Lee the second he wants me back. “So nothing at all happened yesterday?”

“No, of course not,” I reassure him. “I wouldn’t cheat on you.”

“He didn’t try to make a move on you or anything?”

“No. I wouldn’t have let him,” I insist.

He gives me a hug, holding me close. “No more secrets, okay? I want us to be honest.”

I try my best to block out the thoughts of maybe getting back with Lee, “yeah… okay.”

I look up at him and his smile is back.

“I’ve been so upset and jealous,” he admits sheepishly. “I’m such an idiot. I should have known you wouldn’t do that to me.”

“You’re not an idiot, I am. This is my fault. I should have told you instead of being silly about it. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine. You can make it up to me,” he says and pulls me close for another kiss.

 

I hang out with Chad for two hours after school, but the whole Lee thing is still on my mind. We cuddle on the sofa, laughing at episodes of Family Guy until I have to go home. I try to get some of my science coursework written but I can’t concentrate at all. Finally giving up, I save it and shut down my laptop. I go for a walk on the beach instead, hoping I can think stuff over and clear my mind.

I still don’t feel any better after the walk, so I send a text to Chloe and Kate, hoping we can meet up and talk things over. I know Vanessa will be at horse riding class right now, so there’s no point texting her.

I really need to talk with my best friends right now. They always help me figure stuff out and talking it all over will help unload my mind. I still haven’t told them about what happened with Lee last night. Obviously they asked about it at lunch, when Chad wasn’t there. I just vaguely told them that we talked over our break-up, what happened with Chelsea and had some disagreements. I told them that Chad knew about it and he had been pretty annoyed and jealous this morning, but he was okay with it now.

Chloe answers my text right away saying she’ll be here soon. She only lives ten minutes’ walk from the beach so I won’t have to wait long for her. Kate doesn’t answer her text so she must be busy.

I feel relieved when I see Chloe arrive.

“Hi, what’s the matter?” she asks concerned, knowing that I’ve asked her over for a reason.

“I haven’t told you guys everything about me and Lee yesterday,” I admit.

“Don’t tell me you’ve broke our promise,” she looks at me wide eyed.

“No! Nothing happened,” I defend myself, “but he did say he wants us to get back together.”

She sits down on the sand beside me, “I thought this was going to happen but I didn’t want to say anything.”

I tell her everything what Lee said yesterday while she listens.

“What am I supposed to do?” I ask when I’ve finished.

“Do you want to get back with him?”

“I don’t know, I’m all confuzzled,” I tell her. “I still have feelings for him and if I was single we’d be back together…”

“So Chad’s holding you back?”

I nod.

“If being with Lee is what you really want, then you should end it with Chad and go for it,” advises Chloe. “Just don’t start seeing Lee behind his back. Chad’s really nice and he doesn’t deserve that.”

“I’d never cheat on him,” I say. “I just feel so bad. How can I finish with him when he’s been so sweet to me? He’s made me so happy and now Lee has come along and ruined it all.”

“You can stay with Chad if that’s what you want. I mean he is your boyfriend right now, so really you should be staying with him. You’re not supposed to be thinking about getting back with an ex, but I know you still have feelings for Lee from before,” she thinks for a while. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw all this away just because Lee has suddenly changed his mind…but it depends what you really want.”

“I know,” I sigh. “I just don’t know what to do. I do want to get back with Lee, but maybe that’s just me still missing him. I don’t want to leave Chad either because he’s been a great boyfriend.”

“Yeah, must be so awful having two guys wanting you,” she says sarcastically.

“This is serious, I’m having a mega dilemma,” I remind her. “What would you do?”

She considers it, “Lee is hotter in my opinion.”

“Chloe!” She’s so shallow at times.

“What? He is,” she says. “Okay, I’ll be sensible. Which one do you like the most as your boyfriend?”

“It’s hard to decide. I was with Lee for over a year and Chad and I have only just started going out.”

“Yeah, that makes it unfair,” she agrees. “We’ll have to do a guy list to decide it.”

“I guess so,” I’m willing to try anything as long as it helps me to decide.

“Okay, so let’s start with hotness,” she begins and opens a blank text on her mobile to keep track. “Score them both from one to five.”

“Lee’s a five,” I answer, feeling guilty, “and Chad, I guess he’s a three.”

Chloe types the scores onto her mobile, “next one, scores for their personality.”

“Hmm…I’d give Lee a four and Chad a five.”

“Scores for making you laugh.”

“Three and four.”

“Scores for snogging.”

I blush, “Five and four.”

“Score for buying the best gifts?”

“Five for Lee, four for Chad.”

Chloe looks at her list and adds it all up, “Lee scored seventeen and Chad got sixteen,” she concludes. “So it’s saying that Lee would be best for you.”

I still feel weird about it, wondering if it’s the right decision.

“Chloe…I’m really scared he’ll end up hurting me all over again,” I admit, remembering all the pain I went through.

She gives me a hug, “Of course you’ll feel like that after what happened.”

“But what if we get back together and he gets all freaked out by a long term relationship and leaves me again? I can’t risk it happening a second time.”

“It sounds as if he won’t from what you told me. Didn’t you say he just wanted you as his girlfriend from now on?”

“Yeah, but he might change his mind.”

“Gina, whatever boyfriend you have you’ll end up getting hurt or dumped, that’s just life,” she tells me. “You can’t let that stop you from ever being with someone again. I mean, what about Chad? Aren’t you scared that you two might split up one day?”

“I haven’t really thought about it,” I reply. “We haven’t been together long so I haven’t got too attached. With Lee it was different; we were together for a long time.”

“I know Chad is a nice guy, but he will hurt you eventually too if you stay with him. Unless you get married and live happily ever after which is very unlikely. Not many people meet the one in high school.”

“I know,” I sigh. “I’m just so annoyed. I was finally moving on and feeling happy again. I don’t want to go back after I’ve come all this way.”

“Won’t it be worth it?” she asks. “I know you’ve moved on, but you haven’t fully got over Lee, have you?”

“No. I still feel sad when I think of our break-up and I miss him sometimes.”

“Maybe you should give Lee another chance? He means more to you than Chad and it’s not fair to stay with him when you’ll always regret not taking this chance.”

“But how am I going to finish with Chad? He’ll be really upset. Plus he’ll hate me for messing him around and getting back with an ex.”

“Things like that happen,” she shrugs. “He doesn’t expect you to spend the rest of your lives together, does he?”

“I guess not.”

“So don’t worry about it. I know it sucks ending things like this, but maybe you and Lee are just meant to be together.”

“I still feel awful. He’ll have to see me and Lee together every day at school…How can I do that to him after how I felt with Lee and Chelsea?”

“He’ll get over it eventually,” Chloe reassures me. “You can’t protect him from everything. Let’s face it; you two will most likely split up one day, so I guess this is just the time for it.”

[] Chapter 6

 

 

I tell Chad the next day that I want time alone with the girls at lunch, so he goes off to hang out with his mates instead. After we’ve eaten, we go and hide behind the empty badminton courts, so we can talk in private without anyone else overhearing. I tell them the whole story about what happened with Lee and what Chloe and I discussed on the beach last night.

“I can’t believe you’re going to break up with Chad,” says Vanessa, looking upset. “He’s so nice. How can you do that to him?”

“You don’t understand,” I sigh. “I still have feelings for Lee and we have a chance to get back together. Why would I not take it?”

“It still sucks,” says Kate. “Chad will be gutted. I think you should stay with him, I don’t trust Lee.”

“I feel really guilty about it,” I say, feeling bad. “I don’t want to hurt him and I don’t want to end things with him either; but I can’t stay with him when I want someone else.”

“When are you going to tell him?” asks Vanessa.

“I don’t know, maybe tonight.”

“I think it’s best if you just get it over and done with,” advises Chloe. “I know it’ll be hard but you have to go for who you really belong with.”

“Are you really sure about this, Gina?” asks Kate. “I don’t want to watch Lee hurt you all over again.”

“He won’t. He said he wants me as his long term girlfriend again,” I answer.

“I just hope you’re not making a big mistake,” Kate replies and Vanessa nods in agreement.

“Me too,” I say.

 

I wait at the gates for Chad after school and he grins happily when he sees me.

“Hey,” he greets me with a kiss. “Wanna go watch a movie?”

I really want to but I know we have to talk, “do you mind if we go down to the beach instead?” I ask.

“Okay.”

I hold his hand as we walk there, feeling anxious and sad. I really don’t want to do this and I’m still not a hundred per cent sure about my decision.

“What’s wrong?” he asks when we arrive at the beach. “You’re really quiet today, Gina.”

“I’m sorry. I just have a lot on my mind.”

“Like what?” he asks. “Come on, you can tell me.”

I stop walking and look up at him, feeling my eyes water, “I’m scared of saying it because I don’t want to upset you.”

“What is it?” he asks, looking worried.

I try to think of the words to say and look down at the sand.

“It’s about Lee, isn’t it?” he guesses.

I nod.

“About the stuff you told me?”

“Sort of,” I answer.

“You were honest with me, weren’t you?”

“Yeah, I told you everything what happened,” I reply, “but the truth is, I can’t stop thinking it all over…”

He looks down at the sand too, his eyes sad, “you’re thinking about getting back with him?”

My eyes water and I start to hate myself, “I have thought about it.”

He looks so hurt at my answer, “So where does that leave us? Do you want to break-up with me?”

I feel tears roll down my cheeks, “I don’t want us to split up. You’ve made me so happy and you’re a great boyfriend.”

“But you want Lee as your boyfriend?”

“I don’t know, I’m so confused,” I say tearfully, “but I do still have feelings for him.”

Chad is silent for a while as he takes this in.

“I was hoping you’d forget about him now you’re with me,” he finally says.

“I did too,” I admit. “I’m sorry about all this but I can’t help it. He once meant the world to me and I was so hurt and upset when we finished. I can’t just get over him this quickly when we were together for a long time.”

“I know. I pushed you into being with me too soon. This is my fault.”

“No, it’s not,” I reassure him. “I know you kept begging me to go on a date with you, but you never pressured me into this relationship. When I decided I wasn’t ready, you said you’d wait and we stayed friends until then.”

“But then I broke that promise and kissed you at Bliss.”

“You didn’t make me kiss you back or agree to go out with you. That just happened and in a way I’m glad it did. You were the best thing to happen to me since Lee.”

“But now all of a sudden he wants you again and you’re running right back to him,” he says, a hint of bitterness in his voice.

“It’s not like that. We had a long talk and he said he made a huge mistake. He’s been missing me all this time and never got over me either. He’s ready for a long term relationship this time.”

“What if he’s lying to you?”

“He isn’t,” I reply, hurt and a little angry. “I’m not that stupid.”

“So you want to give him a second chance, even though he screwed things up with you and you’ve already got a boyfriend?”

“I don’t really know what I want,” I blurt out.

We stand in silence for about a minute, not knowing what to say.

“I think we should go on a break until you decide,” he tells me. “I don’t want to be hanging on, getting hurt and messed around.”

“Okay,” I feel shaky and upset. “I suppose that’s fair to you.”

Even though we’re not officially ending our relationship, it sort of feels like we are and a tear runs down my cheek.

“Just don’t take too long to decide,” he tells me, looking hurt and upset. “It’s probably best if you don’t text or see me until you know what you want. I don’t think I can handle this and I need some space.”

I wipe my eyes as more tears spill out. How can I not text him or hang out with him anymore? He’s my boyfriend and one of my closest friends. Now it’s feeling even more like a break-up.

“If that’s what you want,” I agree tearfully. “Chad, I’m really sorry. I never wanted this to happen.”

He just gives me a sad smile in response and walks away without saying goodbye.

[] Chapter 7

 

 

I feel tired with sadness when I wake up the next morning, but feel a little relief when I remember its Saturday. At least I don’t have to go to school feeling this upset. I cried for an hour last night and then couldn’t sleep with so much on my mind. I eventually drifted off around half two in the morning and now it’s nine o’clock.

I need to decide what to do by the end of today. I can’t bear to make Chad wait around anxiously for my answer and put him through all this. I know I’d hate it if I was in his shoes.

I call the girls over and we discuss everything again. When they leave, I have some time alone sitting around in my bedroom to finally make my decision.

I send a text to Lee first: Hi, can we meet at Butterflies at 8?

He texts back within two minutes: Hi Gina. Sure. Can’t wait to see you xx

Then I send another text message to Chad: Hi Chad, I need to talk to you. Can I come over to yours at 6? xxxxx

I wait for ten minutes hoping he’ll answer. I sigh with relief when my mobile buzzes, saying he’s sent me a reply: Hey. Yeah ok seeya later xxxxx

 

I’m so anxious I can’t eat dinner, even though mum has made a special meal of lamb steaks, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and veg. I get ready, making sure I look okay, then walk over to Chad’s house.

I’m so deep in thought the whole way there that I’m surprised when I realise I’ve arrived at his house. I come out of my dazed state and walk up the driveway to knock at the front door and wait nervously.

“Hi,” he greets me, but his usual smile is missing and I can tell he’s nervous too.

“Hi,” I smile and follow him inside.

We go up to his bedroom to talk in private away from his family. I sit down on his bed, feeling my heart start to race. Chad sits down next to me, but he’s looking down at the carpet sadly and not saying anything.

“Chad, I want us to stay together,” I tell him straight out, knowing he’ll just want my answer.

He looks up at me in surprise, “really?”

I nod, feeling my eyes water, “I’m sorry I put you through all this. I’ve been such an idiot and I really don’t deserve you.”

I see the news sink in and his cute grin returns.

“You’ve no idea how relieved I am,” he puts his arms around me and gives me a tight hug. “I thought you were coming over to dump me.”

I just smile and don’t say anything. The truth was I had been preparing to do that. I’d talked with the girls and told them I was going to dump Chad and get back with Lee. I even decided to stick with the decision after I’d had a long think about it. I was so nervous at dinner because I hated the thought of breaking up with someone.

On the walk over, instead of all those happy memories of Lee from the past, I started having memories of Chad. I guess I was thinking of what I would miss once we broke up. I had smiled as I remembered the first time he spoke to me in French class, offering to be my partner when Kate and Vanessa paired up. I remember the sweet things he said to me like: Lee was an idiot for letting me go, that I was the hottest girl in French class and he could hardly concentrate on verbs with me sitting nearby.

I like how when I’ve had a crappy day at school, Chad will show me a funny meme on Twitter just to make me smile again. I love how on Valentine’s day he surprised me with a big card and a pretend rose, even though I wasn’t his girlfriend yet. I’m grateful that he was so patient with me, letting me be heartbroken and sad for a while and waiting around until I was ready for a new relationship. Not many guys would do that. They’d probably just get bored and impatient and find someone else instead.

So then I thought, why on earth was I giving all that happiness up just for a second chance with an ex. Suddenly, without all the confusing feelings getting involved, my decision didn’t make sense. My brain was telling me it was Chad I belonged with, and part of my heart agreed with that too, even if it did still have old feelings for Lee. I knew then what my final decision was.

“I’d be an idiot to let you go,” I tell him honestly.

We share a long kiss and I feel so happy. It’s a relief to get this huge weight off my shoulders.

“Have you told Lee to sod off yet?” he asks.

“I said I’d talk with him after I came to see you. I’m really dreading it.”

“You’ll be fine,” he reassures me. “Hopefully you don’t change your mind.”

“You don’t need to worry,” I say. “It’s you I want.”

“I know all this sucked, but I’m glad we did this,” he says, letting me sit on his lap and snuggle up to him. “I guess I’ve always been nervous about you wanting to get back with him. Now this has happened and you still want me, I feel a lot better. I don’t have to be worried or jealous of him anymore.”

“I suppose not,” I agree, feeling happy that at least something good came out of it, “but he’s going to really hate us.”

“He already hates me so nothing’s changed,” he grins.

“You don’t mind me going, do you?”

“No, it’s fine. I know I can trust you,” he answers. “He needs to know where he stands so he doesn’t keep bugging you.”

“Do you want me to delete his number after I see him?” I offer, knowing I wouldn’t be happy with Chad being in contact with an ex who wants him back. “I’ll even unfriend him on Facebook and unfollow him on Twitter and Instagram if it’s what you want.”

“Hmm…maybe,” he considers. “I know it’s silly but I’ll still be jealous if he’s messaging you.”

“Then I won’t message him, ever,” I agree. “He’ll probably not want to talk to me after today anyway.”

We cuddle and watch two episodes of Family Guy, and then I reluctantly have to leave.

“I’ll text you later,” I promise.

We kiss and he waves as I walk down the street, making my way over to the beach.

I feel really nervous when I arrive at Butterflies café and spot Lee waiting for me.

He smiles when he sees me, “Hi Gina.”

“Hi,” I reply and sit across from him.

“So, you broke up with him then?” he asks.

I’m shocked and annoyed that he automatically assumed that I’ll throw away what I have just to be with him again. I can’t believe he’s so arrogant. How could I have ever considered getting back with him?

“No,” I reply. “I’m sorry but I’m staying with Chad.”

“You’re choosing that ginger minger over me?” he asks annoyed.

“Don’t call him that,” I say angrily, “and yeah, I am. He’s my boyfriend after all.”

“Whatever, it’s your loss,” he replies moodily. “Just don’t expect me to wait for you anymore, I’ve got other offers.”

I stare at him in disgust, wondering when he turned into such a jerk. Kate has been saying it for a while but I guess I never believed it. I thought she was just saying it because of the break-up to make me feel better, but it turns out she was right.

“That’s fine with me,” I reply calmly, knowing there’s no point arguing with him. “I’m not your girlfriend anymore so you can be with as many girls as you want.”

He looks surprised by my reaction. He was hoping I’d get upset and jealous, but I didn’t fall for it. He doesn’t know what to reply with, so he gets up and storms out of the café in a tantrum. I can’t help but smirk a little at how pathetic he’s being.

I take out my mobile to unfriend and unfollow him on all my social media accounts. He just made my decision a whole lot easier. Once I get home all those old photos and gifts, which I’ve been keeping hidden away in a box at the back of my wardrobe, are getting thrown out too. I don’t need to hold onto memories of our past relationship anymore, and maybe I’m finally over him.

[] Chapter 8

 

 

I hate Monday mornings. It’s back to school after the weekend and I feel so lazy and can’t be bothered. It’s even more awkward seeing Lee today. He must have realised that I’d shut him out on social media by now. All morning he’s been giving evil looks our way whenever he sees Chad and I together in the corridor. We just ignore him, not caring. So far he hasn’t tried to talk to me in class so that’s a relief. He just pretends I don’t exist. I’m glad about that because I was hoping he’d stay away.

It feels great to finally escape all the tension at home time. Chloe suggests planning a girl’s day out to cheer me up, but unfortunately Vanessa has other ideas. She’s eager to go and meet Matthew and leaves us, saying a quick goodbye before heading in another direction.

“What’s with her these days?” I ask, feeling disappointed that she isn’t interested in spending time with us.

“I know she’s excited about Matthew being her first boyfriend, but they’re spending way too much time together,” Chloe says in agreement.

“They’re always like that,” groans Kate.

“But we really do need to make plans, just us girls,” Chloe insists. “We could go shopping this weekend?”

“Sounds good,” I agree.

“Can’t we just go to the cinema or do something fun?” moans Kate, looking fed up.

“If we do that the guys will tag along too,” says Chloe. “We want it to be just us four, no boyfriends.”

“Okay, but I’m going into game stores,” says Kate. “There’s no way I’m being stuck at those stupid make-up counters and clothes shops for hours.”

 

We tell Vanessa about our Saturday shopping plans the next day at break, but she doesn’t look as excited as I thought she’d be.

“I’m sorry, I can’t make it,” she answers.

“Why not?” I ask.

“I said I’d go over to Matty’s place.”

“So? You can do that any time,” complains Chloe. “Come with us on Saturday.”

“Yeah, it’ll be fun,” I agree.

“Ven, even I’m going so don’t think of bailing out,” says Kate.

“I’ll talk to Matty and let you know,” she says, but I don’t think she’ll even consider coming.

It’s clear that all she wants to do is see her boyfriend and it hurts that we’re now forgotten, even though we’re supposed to be her best friends.

We all go to McDonald’s for our usual Tuesday night hang out after school ends. It used to be just us four girls, but now the boyfriends have started coming along too. Vanessa and Matthew are attached to the hip as usual and Chloe’s giving me looks across the table.

“What?” I ask.

“Can we ditch these two? I’m trying to eat,” she says, glancing over at them snogging again.

“We can’t just leave her, she’s our best mate,” I say, even though if we did leave she probably wouldn’t even notice. She’s too busy with Matthew and it’s like we don’t even exist.

“She was our best friend until Matthew came along,” Chloe replies and I know she’s thinking the same as me. “Now she hardly ever wants to hang out with us.”

I wish it was just the four of us again. A few months ago we had been so close, having fun and talking about boys and going out whenever we wanted. Kate and Vanessa had always been single, so boys weren’t an issue with them. I was with Lee back then, but I always made sure to spent time with my friends. Chloe had gone through a few boyfriends too, but never anything serious or long term.

Now things are different and we all have boyfriends. At first I was really happy and thought things would be great; but suddenly it’s as if boys are getting in the way, especially with Vanessa and Matthew. I don’t like it and I want things to be like they used to be.

I feel Chad’s arms around me and immediately stop feeling sad.

Chloe sighs, obviously annoyed that I’m now busy with my boyfriend too.

Chad notices her moody face, “you okay?”

“I would be if I wasn’t stuck in the middle of Snog Central,” she replies.

“She’s just feeling left out ‘cause Dave’s working,” I tell him.

I feel sorry for Chloe, it must be hard with us having our boyfriends here while hers is busy working behind the counter.

Chad shrugs, “You’ll get to see him after his shift.”

I smile and wonder why I ever started to regret having boyfriends around. Chad means the world to me, but it doesn’t have to ruin my friendship with Chloe, Vanessa and Kate. We’ve been best friends for four years now; surely we can stop letting boys get in the way and make it work?

 

[] Chapter 9

 

 

I notice Kate is sat alone on a bench at break the next day, waiting for us to arrive. I’m the only one here yet so I sit next to her.

“You okay?” I ask.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she answers automatically, but I can tell that something’s up.

“Why aren’t you with Jamie?” I ask.

It’s weird for Kate to be sat alone. If she’s not with us, she’s usually with Jamie or her friends on the football team.

“He’s with his mates so I guess I’ll see him at lunch.”

“Is everything okay with you two?”

“Nothing’s wrong,” she sighs, “he’s just been acting kinda weird lately.”

“What do you mean?”

“I dunno, he’s just pretty quiet and whenever we’re hanging out alone, it’s like he’s got other stuff on his mind,” she looks down sadly. “Do you think he wants to break up with me or something?”

“I don’t think so,” I answer, feeling puzzled.

They seemed fine last night when we were all hanging out together at McDonalds. They were joking around as usual and looked like a happy couple.

“Do you still kiss the same as before?” I ask carefully.

If they’re not kissing as much or not at all then that’s definitely a sign that things aren’t going well.

“Yeah,” she answers. “It’s not like he doesn’t want to snog me.”

“Maybe the guys are teasing him again?” I suggest.

When Kate and Jamie first got together, their team mates were always messing around and making jokes about them. This made Kate embarrassed to be affectionate with him in front of anyone. She’s a tomboy so the whole slushy, romantic stuff really isn’t her thing.

“It can’t be that,” she answers. “I sorted the lads out a while ago. Plus he told me he didn’t care what they thought and we should just be together.”

“I don’t know then,” I say, still confused about Jamie’s weird behaviour. “When did it start?”

“A few days ago. Things are fine with us and nothing’s really changed, but it just feels different. I don’t get it.”

“Maybe you should talk to him about it,” I suggest.

“Y’know we don’t do heart-to-heart talks,” she cringes.

“But you need to,” I insist. “Otherwise this won’t get fixed.”

Chloe and Vanessa arrive, so Kate stops talking about Jamie. We sit together eating crisps and talk about the shopping trip on Saturday.

“Have you got permission from your boyfriend yet?” Chloe asks Vanessa.

Vanessa blushes, “I’d better give it a miss. I already said I’d see Matty and I don’t want to let him down.”

“You two are spending way too much time together as it is,” Chloe moans, but Vanessa just looks at her mobile, texting Matthew again.

“Maybe we can all just hang out some other time?” suggests Kate.

“Okay,” I agree. After all, it shouldn’t be the end of the world just because Vanessa can’t make it on Saturday. “You could all come over to mine some night this week. We can binge watch Netflix and eat snacks?”

“Yeah, okay,” answers Vanessa.

“I’m free any day apart from Friday night,” says Chloe. “Dave’s not working so he’s taking me out.”

“I’ve got footie practice with the lads tonight,” Kate tells us.

“What about tomorrow?” I ask.

“I have horse riding, remember?” Vanessa tells me. “Well, I suppose I could try and come around afterwards. I can make it for eight-ish.”

“Yeah that’s fine.”

“So tomorrow night’s okay for you two?” I ask Kate and Chloe who nod in answer.

“Great,” I smile.

 

[] Chapter 10

 

 

The girls come over to my place as planned the next evening. Vanessa arrives late but I know it’s not her fault. She had to go home after horse riding to get showered and changed first. We’re soon eating salt and vinegar Pringles and watching Gossip Girl episodes. We discovered it when Chloe was looking through for a teen series to watch and now we’re up to season three. At first Kate moaned saying it would be too girly, then realised the storylines were about the boy characters too and slowly got into it.

It feels just like old times sat in my bedroom right now with Chloe, Kate and Vanessa. I feel a warm feeling of happiness at spending quality time with my three best friends.

“So how are things with you and Jamie?” I ask Kate. “Have you talked with him yet?”

“Why? What’s going on?” asks Vanessa, looking away from the TV screen.

“Jamie’s been acting kinda weird,” answers Kate.

“Does he want to break up?” Chloe asks shocked.

I give her a nudge, “Of course he doesn’t!” I insist but still feel a bit worried. “So what did he say?”

Kate looks sad, “he said things are complicated right now and he didn’t want to talk about it; but he told me things are good with me and him.”

“What does that even mean?” Vanessa asks confused.

“I guess that’s sort of good news,” I say, “but I wonder what’s up with him?”

“He’s a guy, they never want to talk about being upset,” says Kate. “I just hoped maybe he’d tell me since I’m his girlfriend.”

“He’ll tell you when he’s ready,” insists Chloe. “It sounds like something personal.”

“I know. I just can’t help worrying about him,” says Kate. “He’s not the same and something’s definitely getting to him. I wish I could help.”

“Give him space for now,” I advise. “He knows you’re there for him when he’s ready to talk.”

“So have you and Jamie french-kissed yet?” Chloe suddenly asks.

“Ewww! No way!” Kate answers, looking disgusted.

“What about you, Ven?” Chloe asks. “I bet you and Matthew have, you’re always all over each other.”

Vanessa blushes, “he’s asked me but I don’t know if I want to.”

“Seriously! What is with you two?” Chloe asks and then looks at me. “You have with Chad, right?”

“Yeah,” I answer shyly while Vanessa and Kate gawp in surprise.

“At least she’s getting some action,” Chloe tells them. “If you two are getting freaked by that; what are you going to be like when it comes around to you-know-what.”

“I’m not planning on getting that far yet!” exclaims Kate.

“So what is it like? Y’know, french kissing?” asks Vanessa, her face going red. “Is it as yucky as it seems.”

“No,” I answer.

“Well, sometimes,” Chloe considers. “It does when it’s with some idiot who slobbers all over you or nearly puts his tongue down your throat.”

Vanessa looks horrified.

I giggle as I remember what Chloe once told me, “Or when they have a really scratchy tongue or hoover your mouth out,” I remind her. She shudders at the awful memory of her exes.

“That’s sick,” says Kate in disgust and hits Chloe with a pillow. “I can’t believe you even kissed those guys.”

“Yeah, it was totally gross,” she agrees, “but I couldn’t help it if they looked hot. I didn’t know they’d be that awful at kissing.”

“Is that what Dave kisses like?” I tease her.

“No!” Chloe protests. “He’s good at it, very experienced,” she says with a wink.

“Maybe I’ll try it,” Vanessa considers. “but what am I supposed to do? I’d feel weird just going at Matty with my tongue out.”

“You just do open mouth kissing first then brush your tongue against his,” I tell her. “It’s not as complicated as it seems.”

“But you should always go to your right, that’s the rule so you don’t bump tongues,” advises Chloe, “and try not to clash teeth either. Some girls have actually done that.”

Vanessa nods, taking it all in. Kate pulls a face and covers her ears with the pillow, not wanting to listen.

“You’re better off not doing it too long either. If you do it gets really slobbery,” I say, just in case she makes that mistake.

“Me and Dave do it for a few seconds and have normal kissing breaks,” says Chloe. “It’s much better that way.”

“I’m sure Matthew will make the first move, so you can just follow his lead anyway,” I say, since Vanessa looks pretty nervous by now.

“Will you guys shut up!” Kate tells us. “I want to watch this ep, not listen to this.”

We all smirk and quieten down, giving the TV our full attention.

 

[] Chapter 11

 

 

“Maybe we should do something else on Saturday?” Kate says as the episode finishes. “I can’t be bothered with shopping.”

“So what should we do if shopping is out?” Chloe says, not happy that those plans are being cancelled. “Oh! I know! I really wanna see that new movie with Zac Efron.”

Chloe and I both do a dreamy expression thinking of him and Kate screws up her face in disapproval.

“Who’s Zac Efron anyway?” she asks.

“Are you kidding me?” Chloe says in disbelief. “He’s mega famous! He did all the high school musicals.”

“That’s why I don’t know him,” Kate concludes. “I don’t watch cheesy crap like that.”

“They’re okay as long as you skip a few of the songs,” Vanessa tells her.

“I’d probably just save time and skip each movie,” replies Kate.

“Anyway, let’s not get into a HSM argument or we won’t have time to make plans,” Chloe interrupts them. “The point is he’s in it and he’s hot, so we’re seeing his new movie.”

“Sounds good,” I say excited.

“We can go Sunday instead so Ven can come with us,” says Kate, remembering that Vanessa mentioned being busy on Saturday.

“Okay,” I agree. “Is Sunday fine with you, Ven?”

We all look at her. So far she’s been quiet and I know what’s coming.

“I can’t. You know I spend weekends with Matty,” she says apologetically.

“So? You’re already seeing him all day Saturday,” Chloe moans. “You should spend some of it with your mates too.”

“Yeah, we won’t be there long,” adds Kate. “I’m sure you can live without seeing Matty for two hours.”

“Come on, Ven,” I beg. “We hardly get to see you these days.”

“That’s not true. We went to Maccies on Tuesday night, remember?”

“But Matthew came with you,” says Chloe.

“What’s wrong with that?” she asks, looking upset.

“Nothing, we just want some time hanging out with you alone, just us girls,” I say.

“We’ll get sweet popcorn and Tango Ice Blasts if you come,” Kate tries to bribe her.

“Okay, I’ll go,” she agrees half-heartedly.

I don’t think Kate and Chloe really notice anything, but I suddenly feel as if Vanessa is bored with us, like she can only have fun when she’s with Matthew. Her whole world is beginning to revolve around him and I don’t like it. I try to smile and push the feelings away. We’ll have fun this weekend and then maybe Vanessa will snap out of her obsession of being with Matthew all the time and be our cool friend again.

 

I try to feel excited about Sunday, but I’m still worried about what’s going on with Vanessa. I’m scared we’re going to lose her as a best mate and then it’ll just be me, Chloe and Kate in our squad. I know I’d miss her if that happened and I don’t want her to choose Matthew over us.

When we’re on the bus going into town, I can’t help feeling annoyed that Vanessa is glued to her mobile, texting Matthew constantly and not joining in our conversations. It’s like we’re not even here and she’s supposed to be spending time with us.

Even when we get to the cinema and have a laugh, it’s as if her brain is only programmed into thinking about him and she just looks dreamy and hardly listens. I know she really likes him, but things are getting way too deep between them. Even though she’s standing right next to me, it feels like she’s drifting away from us, lost in her own little world with just her and Matthew. I start to wonder if she even realises how much she’s letting herself slip away or if she’s just so hooked up on him that she doesn’t even notice.

“Why don’t you turn your mob off?” I suggest trying not to sound annoyed with her. “You can’t really watch a movie while texting.”

“No, it’s fine. I have it on silent so I won’t get in trouble,” she says, checking it every few seconds.

I want to throw her mobile across the screening room because it’s so irritated, but instead I distract myself by munching on popcorn instead.

“Looks like Ven’s forgetting to eat,” Chloe says.

I notice that she hasn’t taken any popcorn from our shared bucket yet, even though it’s her favourite and we ordered the sweet kind especially for her. Kate just shrugs and grabs some more popcorn for herself.

On the way back, we all discuss the movie, but Vanessa barely contributes to anything we say.

“What did you think, Ven?” Kate asks, hoping to get an opinion from her.

“It was okay I guess,” she replies vaguely.

“She was too busy sending slushy texts,” says Chloe.

Vanessa blushes and goes back to her mobile, busy texting.

Kate gets off the bus first, heading to Jamie’s house, and then we say goodbye to Vanessa, who is eager to go home and wait for Matthew.

“Looks like we can’t have time alone with Ven even when Matthew’s not around,” I tell Chloe, knowing that she understands.

“Yeah, she’s totally love sick,” replies Chloe. “Please don’t ever get that way with Chad or I’ll have to disown you.”

“I won’t,” I promise.

I really like Chad, but there’s no way I want him to take over my life and keep me from my mates.

 

[] Chapter 12

 

 

On Monday morning, I’m standing outside the school gates waiting for Chad when I notice Kate leaning against the fence looking fed up. I go over to greet her instead.

“Hey. What’s up?”

No one else is around yet so I know we’ll have a chance to talk in private.

“Hi,” she half smiles in greeting. “Jamie was pretty down last night. I kept asking him what’s wrong and at first he still didn’t want to talk about it. Eventually I got it out of him…his parents are getting divorced.”

“That’s awful,” I say, feeling sympathetic. “No wonder he’s been acting all strange and distance.”

“I just wish he’d told me,” she says, looking down at the ground. “I could have been there for him but instead he’s kept it all bottled up. What do I expect, he’s a guy.”

“Yeah, you know what guys are like talking about feelings,” I say. “I guess he was hurt and anxious. He probably wanted to try and pretend that everything was fine and hope it went away. No one wants to face up to the fact that their parents are splitting up.”

“I feel bad,” she says. “His parents have been arguing for weeks and I’ve not been there for him. They told him about the divorce while we were at the cinemas and he was so gutted. I guess he’s been hoping it would blow over and his mum and dad would just make up again; but I guess now it’s official.”

“Who knows? Maybe they could work it out,” I suggest. “People split up and get back together all the time. In a few weeks they might decide it’s not worth throwing their marriage away and try and fix it. Plus mum told me a divorce is a lot of trouble and money, especially once solicitors get involved.”

“It sounds pretty serious. I don’t think they’ll change their mind,” she tells me. “His dad left to stay with his brother for a while and he’s moving away once he gets his own place. It’s going to be so hard for Jamie. Him and his dad are so close, like best mates. He’ll miss him like crazy if he moves away.”

“That sucks,” I agree.

“It’s not the worse part,” she tells me upset. “Jamie said he doesn’t want to stay with his mum because it’s her fault they’re splitting up. If his dad leaves then he wants to go too.”

“Don’t worry. His dad hasn’t even moved out properly yet. Buying a new place takes ages. Even when he does finally get somewhere, you’ll just go there to see him instead.”

“I guess so,” she considers.

“We’ll just have to help Jamie get through it.”

“I hope we can. He feels like he’s losing his parents and there’s nothing I can do.”

We stop talking as we notice Chloe arrive.

“OMG! I was so embarrassed last night,” she announces and leans back on the fence beside me.

I exchange glances with Kate who smirks at Chloe being dramatic, her sad mood forgotten.

“What happened? Did you have a bad hair day?” she jokes and I grin too.

“Very funny,” Chloe says. “No, I broke up with Dave.”

I’m shocked, “What?! Why did you break up?”

“He was being totally annoying yesterday, saying I couldn’t wear my mini dress while we were out. He was so moody about it I had to change before we could leave my house.”

“Aww, I bet the next outfit didn’t match your shoes,” jokes Kate.

Chloe gives her a playful shove, “As a matter of fact I did have to change my shoes. They were violet to match the dress so I had to dig out my cream UGG boots instead.”

“So what happened?” I ask.

“We were at the restaurant having a good time and this really fit waiter starting chatting me up.”

Kate and I roll our eyes.

“Dave totally freaked out, acting as if I was cheating on him or something. He kicked off with the waiter and everyone in the restaurant was staring. They nearly had a fight and we got chucked out.”

“That must have been awkward,” I agree sympathetically.

“It was,” she continues, “and as soon as we were outside, he starts kicking off as if it’s my fault. It’s not like I asked that guy to start flirting with me, was it?”

“No, they just can’t help it with you,” says Kate, since we all know Chloe’s a boy magnet.

“We argued for ages about stupid things, like my clothes and that I can’t even look at other guys when I’m in a relationship with him, blah blah blah…So eventually I got sick of it and told him it was over.”

“Good for you,” says Kate.

“Yeah, maybe he’s not the right guy for you if he’s going to get mega jealous all the time,” I agree.

“At least I can wear what I want now we’re not together,” she says happily, “and there are heaps more hot guys out there.”

“Yeah, you’ll have another one by next week,” jokes Kate. “You’re okay though, aren’t you?”

“Of course!” Chloe insists. “I’m not going to cry over that loser.”

“Seems like a lot of people are breaking up right now,” says Kate, looking sad again.

“What? Don’t tell me you and Jamie split too?” asks Chloe.

“No, but his parents have,” she tells her. “They’re getting a divorce so Jamie’s dad has moved out. He’s really down about it.”

“Aww, poor Jamie,” Chloe sympathises.

“That’s why he’s been acting weird lately,” I tell Chloe.

“His dad still needs to find a new place yet, so at least Jamie’s staying at home for now,” says Kate. “He says he wants to move with him.”

“Well, there are loads of houses up for sale around here,” Chloe says dismissively. “He’ll probably buy one of those.”

[] Chapter 13

 

 

Once school is over, I can’t wait to go out and see Chad. We’re spending the evening together, just the two of us, and I feel excited when he arrives at my house to pick me up. We walk over to the beach holding hands and everything is so perfect that I can forget all about the unfinished coursework waiting for me in my bedroom. We sit down on the sand together watching the tide. The beach is pretty empty since it’s late and there’s only one guy walking his dog nearby. We kiss for a while and I snuggle up to him to keep warm. The sun is still out but it won’t be long until it sets over the sea.

“So, what’s going on with you? Anything interesting?” he asks, still holding me.

I smile. I love that Chad is so interested in me and we can talk for hours about anything.

“For me not much,” I answer. “Ven’s still permanently attached to Matthew, so I haven’t seen her much. Chloe’s broke up with Dave.”

“Really? That sucks.”

“He’s been annoying her for a while now, saying what she can’t wear and getting really jealous if guys look at her.”

“Yeah, he nearly got in a fight with that guy at Bliss,” Chad remembers.

“Well it happened again while they were out and they argued. Chloe got sick of it and decided not to be with him anymore.”

“I promise not to order you around and tell you what to wear,” he tells me, stroking my hair and I smile, feeling special. “I’m so lucky to have you as my girlfriend.”

“I’m lucky to have you too,” I reply, and we start another kissing session.

After we break apart, we start talking again.

“Has Jamie told you the bad news?” I ask and he shakes his head. “His parents are getting a divorce and he’s finding it hard. Plus he’s talking about moving out with his dad.”

“I thought something was off with him,” he replies thoughtfully. “I remember how bad it was when mine split. Guess it’ll take time to get used to.”

“Yeah,” I agree. “So what about you? What have you been up to?”

“Me and the guys have tickets to watch this car racing show next month,” he tells me. “I would have invited you but I know you’re probably not into that.”

“Yeah, I’d rather be lazing around at home catching up on Emmerdale and Corrie.”

“You’re obsessed with all those TV soaps,” he shakes his head in amusement. “Oh, I’m also in big trouble at school ‘cause I didn’t finish my coursework on time.”

“Why not?”

He shrugs, “I guess I forgot. I’m not really organised and school work isn’t really my thing.”

“You should get it done, this year is important. So why are you out with me when you’re supposed to be finishing it?”

“I wouldn’t miss out on seeing you for some boring school work.”

“Chad,” I say disapprovingly.

“Okay, I’ll finish it tonight when I get back, promise.”

“I hope so, it would suck if you got detention.”

“I guess you’re up to date with your coursework?”

“Mostly, but I’ve still got some stuff to get done.”

“You’re such a swot,” he teases and tickles me.

I giggle, “You know I want to get good grades so I can study drama at Rosefields. I need at least four B’s to get in.”

“You’ll easily get that. I bet you’ll pass GCSEs with flying colours next year.”

“I hope so.”

I shiver as the beach gets chilly and notice that the sun has gone and the sky is darkening.

“I’ll walk you home,” he suggests.

He gets up, holds my hand and pulls me to my feet. I smile and don’t let go, continuing to hold his hand as we walk back along the beach, feeling happy.

“And remember, you’re going home early to finish the coursework,” I remind him.

He half smiles, “yeah, pity we can’t hang out longer.”

He walks me to my house and when we arrive at my front door he gives me a long kiss goodbye. I really don’t want him to leave even though I know he has to.

I see the blinds twitch at the living room window and giggle, “I think mum is watching us again.”

He looks over at the window and waves. We see my mum’s figure hide from view behind the curtain and laugh.

“Let’s have one more while she’s not looking,” he pulls me close and gives me another delicious kiss.

I snuggle into him one last time, starting to miss him already, and then reluctantly go inside.

“I’ll see ya tomorrow,” he says. “Bye Gina.”

“Bye Chad, enjoy the coursework.”

 

[] Chapter 14

 

 

The only good thing about school, besides seeing my mates and Chad, is my favourite class. I love drama. It was the first subject I chose for GCSE’s because I really want to be an actress. That probably explains my obsession with TV soaps.

I sit down in the theatre, excited for the lesson to begin and Mrs Hannigan tells us to pair up for an acting exercise. I automatically look for Danielle, who’s usually my partner, then realise she’s not in class today. She must be off sick or something, but I don’t remember seeing a post about it on Twitter or Facebook.

“Georgina?”

I look around and see a girl called Pamela smile at me eagerly. She’s not in any of my other classes so I’ve never talked to her before. She has shoulder length black hair that’s a little messy and not straightened. Her blue-grey eyes are hidden behind a fringe and purple framed glasses. She’s a little overweight but I don’t really judge people on their body size like Chloe does.

“Would you like to pair up?” she asks me nervously.

“Sure,” I answer.

At least I don’t have to worry about finding someone to work with. We go and choose an area to sit away from the other classmates so we can think up ideas.

“It’s really nice of you to partner with me,” she says, looking thrilled. “I always struggle to find someone.”

“No problem,” I assure her. “Anytime you’re stuck for a partner, you can ask me.”

She smiles happily at my offer.

We start to brainstorm ideas before picking one that Pamela thought up. We act it out, get our lines sorted and rehearse until Mrs Hannigan calls that time is up. She asks for three volunteers to perform. Usually half the class shy away from performing on stage, too embarrassed for negative feedback. The other half are desperate to get up and shine to get compliments. Pamela doesn’t seem keen to parade our work in front of the class, so I don’t put my hand up. Mrs Hannigan chooses other classmates and we watch theirs instead.

At break time, my mobile buzzes with a notification and I see I’ve got a friend request from Pamela on Facebook. I smile and accept it. Looks like I’ve made a new friend. She must like me if she’s gone through the trouble of finding me on Facebook, especially since we have no mutual friends online.

At lunch, I’m surprised to see Pamela when she walks over to our table carrying her lunch tray. I think she’s just coming over to say a quick hi and I smile at her. Chloe notices her arrival and gives her a look to say ‘what are you doing here?’

Pamela gives me an eager smile back, “do you mind if I sit with you?”

I feel pretty shocked. This was not what I expected to happen. Chloe frowns and Kate just stares at me, waiting for my reply. Usually lunch time is for us four to hang out together, sometimes with boyfriends included; so having another friend over is unexpected. There usually isn’t enough room for all of us, since there are only four seats to a table. Usually we try to grab two empty tables next to each other so it fits all seven of us together.

I can’t say no to Pamela because then I’d feel rude and mean for turning her away, “Yeah, okay.”

She happily sits down next to me, taking the last empty seat. I hope Vanessa won’t mind. She usually sits on Matthew’s table anyway so she’ll probably be fine with it.

“This is Pamela, she’s in my drama class,” I introduce her, “and this is Chloe and Kate.”

“Hey,” Kate greets her.

Chloe looks unimpressed.

“Nice to meet you all,” Pamela says politely. “You can call me Pam.”

Chloe raises an eyebrow at the nickname, “Personally I think Pamela sounds nicer but if you insist.”

Pam just smiles back nervously.

I see Vanessa arrive with Matthew and quickly give her a look to say sorry for the taken seat. She smiles back forgiving me and follows Matthew to his table with Chad and Jamie. Unfortunately they have to go on one that’s a few tables away from ours, since there aren’t many empty ones left. It sucks when we have to be split up like this.

We eat lunch and chat, mostly it’s just me, Chloe and Kate doing the talking while Pam listens and nods along. Once the bell rings to signal the end of lunch time, Pam says goodbye and heads off to her next class.

“Why did you invite her to sit with us?” Chloe demands as we walk to our next class.

“I didn’t, she just came over,” I answer.

“Weird,” says Chloe. “I hope she doesn’t think she can sit with us all the time now.”

“Don’t be mean,” I tease. “Pam’s okay.”

“She’s a bit of a loser.”

“So are you,” Kate jokes and starts doing a silly impression of Chloe. “Oh no, the rain made my mascara run! My life is over!”

I giggle, remembering that incident.

“I looked awful, it was humiliating,” Chloe says in defence and pouts at the memory of it. “Anyway, I’m just saying that we have our own squad. There’s not enough room for everyone to start sitting with us.”

“I’m sure she has other mates to be with at lunch,” I say dismissively.

“Why are you two mates all of a sudden?” Chloe asks puzzled.

“She just asked to be my partner in drama while Danielle wasn’t in.”

Chloe seems to accept this and moves on to telling us about a guy she fancies as we walk into science class.

 

[] Chapter 15

 

 

I feel so excited on Thursday when our drama teacher announces that we’ll be performing a Shakespeare play. All the girls look hopeful wanting it to be Romeo and Juliet, so they can all fight over who gets the part for Juliet. I can’t help feeling a little hopeful about that play being chosen too. It’s a beautiful but tragic love story.

“I have chosen Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Mrs Hannigan reveals.

Most of us don’t know this play, since we’ve only studied Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet in English class. It sounds familiar but I don’t know what it’s about or who the characters are. I decide to stay up late tonight reading the play so I can get to know the story and decide which female character I like best.

“It’s a comedy written about four lovers who are controlled by fairies.”

“I’m so excited!” Pam says next to me. “I love that we’re doing something with mythical creatures!”

Danielle is back in class now, sitting at the other side of me, and looks bored and uninterested at the thought of Shakespeare. She twirls her caramel coloured hair only half listening.

Mrs Hannigan goes through who the characters are and the basic story plot. She gives out paper scripts and tells us to read through it and practice some of the scenes. Danielle, Pam and I relax in our seats, reading quietly through the script. I decide my favourite is Hermia and daydream about playing her.

“I want to be Titania, Queen of the fairies,” Pam tells us eagerly, hardly able to sit still.

“I can’t decide between Hermia and Helena,” says Danielle, deciding to take interest now we are discussing potential parts. “What about you, Gina?”

“I’m not sure yet,” I say, keeping my choice a secret.

I don’t want to tell them because I know there are eleven girls in our class and most of them could be desperate to get the part of Hermia too. I know my chances of getting a main role are slim and I don’t want to look like a loser if I don’t get the part I want. Plus if Danielle also wants the part of Hermia then we’ll be in competition for it and that will make things awkward.

“You’d better decide quickly,” Pam tells me. “The auditions are next week.”

“It’s not as if we’re actually auditioning for a certain part,” Danielle reasons. “Mrs Hannigan wants us to do a basic audition and she’ll choose which part fits us best. We’ll just have to hope she doesn’t give us a part we don’t want.”

“I’ll probably read through the play tonight,” I tell them.

“Boring!” replies Danielle. “I won’t be cancelling plans just to stay in and read.”

“We could run through lines together if you want to?” Pam suggests to me.

“I suppose so,” I say hesitantly.

“Great! You can come over to my house after dinner.”

I’m surprised she’s suddenly offering to hang out when we don’t know each other that well, but I suppose it’s good to hang out with new friends.

“Okay. You’ll have to message me your address on Facebook.”

 

I notice Pam has sent me the message as I eat dinner with mum. I copy the address and open up the Google Maps app to paste it in the search bar and get directions.

“So, what are your plans for this evening?” mum asks as we finish eating pasta. “Will that young man be coming over?”

“No, Chad’s got coursework to do,” I answer.

Mum looks impressed that my boyfriend seems to be taking school work seriously and being responsible. I let her think that and don’t mention he’s literally being forced to do it, after getting in trouble for missing the hand in date.

“I going to audition for the play at school next week,” I tell her.

“That sounds exciting,” she smiles. “Which play will you be doing?”

Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I answer. “Pam from drama class wants me to run lines. Is it okay if I go over to her house?”

“That’s fine.”

I load the dishwasher and run upstairs to get changed out of my school uniform and find the script in my school handbag.

“Remember to be back for nine, it’s a school night,” mum calls after me as I go out the front door.

“I will. Bye.”

I follow the directions on my mobile until I arrive at a Tudor style semi-detached house. I see Pam waving from the living room window and she rushes to open the front door for me. I’m still getting used to how eager she always seems to be. I say hello to her parents as Pam introduces me and then I follow her upstairs to her bedroom.

I stare around in surprise as I enter. Her walls are painted blood red with black curtains and a dark red carpet. There are several anime posters covering the walls. A computer desk sits in the corner, a wardrobe faces her bed and three Pokémon plushies are sat on her pillow. I only recognise them because I used to play that Pokémon Go mobile game when it became a huge craze at school, and then I lost interest after a week and forgot about it.

Her bedroom is very different from my cute purple room; with my vanity table littered with make-up and my Dell laptop, the rose cushions on my bed and the wardrobe I struggle to close because my leather boots always fall out whenever I open it.

We sit on her bed and read through the play. She wants to practise all the scenes for Titania, hoping she’ll get that part, so she learns the lines while I read for the other characters.

“We should take a break,” I suggest after an hour has gone by.

“Okay,” she agrees. “I can put on Black Butler?”

“Erm…okay,” I reply. I don’t know what it is but I’m guessing it’s a movie, maybe a horror?

I was so wrong. When she finds it on her computer I realise she was talking about an anime series and I’m not a fan of anime. I decide not to say anything to be polite and watch it with her.

“Isn’t it so cool?” she says.

“Mmm,” I say, not wanting to agree and lie, but not wanting to admit I’m not into this stuff either.

“What do you think of Sebastian?”

“I haven’t watched this before so I don’t really know.”

“Wow, you’ve never seen it? We need to watch the whole series!”

I try hard not to sigh. I’d give anything to be watching Family Guy with Chad right now.

“Ooh, you should come and cosplay with me next weekend,” she tells me excitedly.

“What’s cosplay?” I ask confused.

“It’s a fun event where everyone dresses up as characters,” she answers.

“Like a fancy dress party?” I say. “I love dressing up for Halloween with the girls, it’s such a laugh. Only problem with parties is there are always some drunk idiots.”

“No, this isn’t a party. It’s an event and we spend weeks sewing our costumes for it. There’s definitely no alcohol, we just mostly talk about anime series we like.”

“Sounds…interesting,” I say carefully.

“You’ll come, won’t you?”

“I’m not really good at sewing costumes,” I say as an excuse. “I’m totally clueless when it comes to that.”

“Don’t worry I’ll make one for you. I finished mine last week so I have time.”

“What’s your costume like?”

She shows me a photo and I try to keep the horror from my face. There is no way I am ever going out in public wearing a strange anime costume like that. People will laugh at me and call me a weirdo.

“You’ll have to let me know which character you want me to make,” she says.

“No it’s okay, I don’t want to bother you,” I reply. “Besides, I have plans for next weekend and I don’t want to let you down if you’ve gone through all that trouble.”

“Oh okay,” she seems disappointed but smiles.

[] Chapter 16

 

 

We have auditions the next week during drama class. We get time to rehearse in a classroom while Mrs Hannigan calls us into the theatre one by one. It’s hard to concentrate with seventeen other students packed into the room muttering their lines.

I didn’t want to use a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream because that’s an obvious choice and Mrs Hannigan will probably get sick of seeing the Hermia and Helena wannabes. I’ve overheard a few girls practicing Juliet scenes, which I also predicted would be overused.

I decided to stick with the Shakespeare theme and audition as Lady Macbeth. It’s a big part to take on but I’m confident I can do it. I’ve been practicing in front of my vanity table mirror all week, getting the expressions and tone of my lines perfect.

I feel anxious waiting as Mrs Hannigan goes through us in alphabetical order. Unfortunately my audition is second to last because my surname is Woods. When my name is finally called, I follow her into the theatre and walk up the steps onto the stage. I take a deep breath and get my head into the scene. I’m now a queen inside a magnificent stone castle and look beautiful in my royal gown and crown. I love my husband, but I’ve been pushing him to do horrible things for my own selfish gain. I’m now beginning to feel guilt and anguish as the killings haunt me.

I begin and the words I memorised tumble out as I act the scene. When I finish, my pretend world fades away and I see Mrs Hannigan sat on the front row, watching me intently.

“Thank you, Georgina,” she says, keeping her tone and expression neutral.

I return to the classroom, my mind racing at wondering what she thought of me and my performance.

“How was it?” Danielle asks me as soon as I get in.

“It was okay.”

“Did she give you any feedback?”

“No. She didn’t say anything to me.”

Danielle looks a little worried, “She gave me a few suggestions afterwards. Maybe I wasn’t good enough.”

“I’m sure you did fine,” I reassure her.

 

I feel anxious on Monday morning and I haven’t even got to school yet. Mrs Hannigan will reveal which part we got in class. Luckily drama is second period, so I won’t have to wait all day to find out. I manage to get through form room and my first class, trying to keep my mind off it. At break I’m so nervous I struggle to eat my crisps and greedy chops Kate ends up stealing them.

Once I arrive at drama class, I join everyone else who is sat in the theatre nervously waiting. Mrs Hannigan finishes taking the register and gets out the list, starting to announce characters with the name of students who will play them. I hold my breath as she reads out Hermia, wishing hard that it’s my name that follows. It will work out perfectly like in the movies when you don’t think you’ll get the part but then you do and all your dreams come true.

“Fiona Turnock,” she reads out.

My heart drops with disappointment. I didn’t get the part. I wasn’t good enough. My dreams are shattered within seconds and I feel upset, despite trying to be strong about it.

“Helena will be played by Georgina Woods.”

I look up in surprise. Did she just read out my name? I try to backtrack what I heard her say. Wait…I’m playing Helena? I exchange glances with Danielle and Pam to see if I heard right.

Pam gives me a grin and whispers, “congratulations!”

Danielle looks a little jealous that I got a lead role, especially one of the characters she wanted to play, but then hides it by giving me a pleased smile.

I’m in so much shock that I don’t register who Mrs Hannigan reveals for the parts of Lysander and Demetrius. It doesn’t matter, I guess I’ll find out at the rehearsals.

“Queen Titania will be played by Pamela Roberts.”

Pam squeals with delight and surprises me with a tight hug, “This is so exciting! I can’t believe it! We’re both in the play!”

Danielle looks miffed, feeling left out since she hasn’t got a part yet. Luckily Mrs Hannigan reads out a small part for her at the end.

“Well done,” I smile at her.

“It’s not much,” she shrugs unimpressed, “but at least I’m actually in the play and not backstage crew.”

 

Chloe pretty much jumps on me at lunch time, eager to hear if I have good news about the play.

“Soooo, which part did you get?”

Kate and Vanessa wait excitedly for my answer too.

“I’m playing Helena,” I tell them. “It’s one of the leads.”

“That’s ace,” Kate approves.

“Wow, it must have been tough competition to get a main part,” Vanessa grins. “Well done!”

“You’re so lucky,” Chloe gushes. “Our superstar actress!”

“I guess,” I say and smile, but I still feel the bitter disappointment burning in my chest.

“What’s up? Why aren’t you mega happy right now?” Chloe demands, noticing that something is bothering me.

“I am happy, it’s a great opportunity to play a lead…but I sort of had my heart set on playing Hermia and now I’m a little gutted I didn’t get it.”

“Well I guess we can’t have everything,” Vanessa says reasonably. “There will always be someone better than us. I feel bad when I’m not the best in riding class at jumping, so I try to get better at it.”

“At least you got a part,” Kate tells me. “Think how much it would suck if you weren’t in the play at all.”

“Well, if that happened I’d be helping out backstage, so technically I’d still be part of it even if I don’t act on stage.”

“You must have been amazing at the audition,” Vanessa says encouragingly.

“I suppose so,” I say, deciding to be grateful and ignore my disappointment. “I can’t wait to tell mum, she’ll be proud of me.”

“I’d rather be playing Helena. It’s a pretty name,” Chloe tells me. “Hermia just sounds weird, like someone might mistake it and say you’re playing a hernia.”

We all laugh and I shake my head in amusement. Shakespeare will be turning in his grave hearing Chloe diss his choice of character name.

“I need to go tell Chad,” I say, remembering I promised to let him know once I found out.

They follow me to the cafeteria where we find Chad and Jamie already sat at a table.

“Gina!” Chad grins when he sees me. “Well…is it good news?”

“I got a lead. I’m playing Helena,” I tell him, more excited about it now.

“Congrats! I knew you’d smash it,” he hugs me tight and I feel so happy.

“Well done, Gina,” Jamie smiles at me. “We’ll have to come and see you perform.”

“I’m bagging front row seats,” Chad promises. “I don’t care who I have to fight to get them, I want the perfect view of my girlfriend.”

“Awww,” Vanessa and Chloe say.

“Isn’t this play a romance?” Kate teases. “What if she has to snog someone?”

Chad looks a little put out at the thought of me having to kiss another student, even if it’s acting, “do you have any kissing scenes?”

“I don’t think so…” I say unsurely. “My character is supposed to be in love with this guy Demetrius, but I haven’t read about a kissing part.”

“Oooh, getting jealous, Chad?” Chloe teases. “You should have auditioned so you got that part.”

“I’d never have got it, I’m crap at acting. Besides, I didn’t take drama so they wouldn’t have let me audition.”

“When do the tickets go on sale?” asks Vanessa. “We’ll all have to get some before they’re sold out.”

“I’m not sure yet but I’ll let you know,” I answer.

 

It’s at dinner time that evening when my mum finally asks about the play. I had been bursting to tell her, but decided to keep my cool and wait to surprise her with it.

“Did you find out your part today?” she asks.

I nod, chewing on my spaghetti and meatballs, “I got the part of Helena. It’s a lead role.”

“Oh! I’m so proud of you!” she actually gets up to hug me. “Just think, my little girl up on stage with a big part.”

“Yeah, I can’t wait.”

“I’ll have to get on the phone after dinner and let everyone know.”

After we’ve finished eating, my mum is off spreading the news to all our family members on the landline phone. I smile and go up to my bedroom to read through the script. I’m trying to get into character ready for the rehearsals which start tomorrow after school.

I lie on my bed with the rose pillows propping my head up and I hold the script so it rests on my tummy as I read. So, I am Helena and I’m in love with Demetrius, who is betrothed to my friend Hermia. That already sounds bad and breaks the girl code. Yet, Hermia doesn’t want Demetrius because she loves Lysander, so I guess it is okay for me (Helena) to like him.

Hermia runs away with Lysander so they can be together, which I must be pretty miffed about. I wouldn’t be happy if Chloe, Kate or Vanessa suddenly buggered off with their boyfriend and I never saw them again.

So I (as Helena) end up grassing them up to Demetrius hoping that by telling him, he’ll be annoyed with Hermia and like me more. That doesn’t work out and instead Demetrius goes looking for them so he can kill Lysander. I end up following him there like some lovesick puppy. I try desperately to get with Demetrius but I’m rejected because he loves Hermia and not me.

A fairy character called Puck accidentally uses a charm on Lysander instead of Demetrius, so he will fall in love with the first person he sees. I find Lysander asleep in the woods and worry that he’s dead. I go over to check on him and when Lysander wakes up, he falls in love with me because of the charm.

A character named Oberon uses the same charm on Demetrius, so when he sees me, he falls in love with me too and now I have both guys fighting over me. I should be mega happy that I suddenly have two guys professing love for me, especially since I love one of them. However, instead I feel annoyed thinking they are taking mick, since neither of them fancied me before.

Hermia is hurt to find out Lysander has left and then accuses me of stealing him away. We all argue until Lysander and Demetrius have a fight over who gets me.

Puck removes the charm from Lysander so he can be in love Hermia again; and Demetrius stays in love with me.

We all fall asleep and believe the whole thing was a dream. When we wake up, Demetrius no longer loves Hermia so their future wedding is cancelled. Hermia can finally be with Lysander, and Demetrius is finally mine!

I go through the script first, highlighting all of my lines in pink, then start going over the play, reading my parts out loud. I’m half way through when my mum comes upstairs and peeks in.

“Everyone is so proud of you and can’t wait to see the play,” she tells me excitedly. “Sasha is getting a train over and staying here for two days.”

“That’s great,” I smile.

Sasha is my older sister who is away at university. She only usually comes home during the holidays or if there’s a special occasion.

“I’d better give you some money for tickets,” she says and goes to her bedroom to find her purse.

She returns with two twenty pound notes, “That should be enough. You’ll need four tickets; your Grandma and Grandad are coming too.”

I feel touched that everyone is coming to see me perform, “I’ll get them as soon as they’re on sale,” I promise and put the money in the secret pocket of my school handbag for safe keeping.

 

[] Chapter 17

 

 

“How’s Pam, your new bestie?” Chloe asks me teasingly at break the next day.

“She’s excited about the play. She got Queen Titania and that’s the part she really wanted.”

I end up telling them about the evening I went over to her house to practice lines for the play, and unfortunately ended up being forced to watch anime. I also mention the cosplay thing.

“That’s so sad,” Chloe says, wrinkling her nose at how uncool she thinks it is, “and the cosplay thing is just weird.”

“Well, I suppose not everyone likes the same things,” says Vanessa reasonably. “There are people who don’t like horses or think riding is cruel, but I love it.”

“Yeah but horse riding is a normal hobby,” Chloe points out. “It’s not embarrassing like hers. Wait, do you have her on Facebook?”

“Yeah,” I answer and already dread admitting it.

As expected, Chloe whips out her mobile and searches on Facebook until she brings up Pam’s profile, “OMG! She has photos of it. I’d die with shame if anyone from school saw me like this.”

Vanessa and Kate both peer over at her screen to see what all the fuss is about.

“It is a bit weird,” Kate admits.

“But it must have taken a lot of time to make those costumes,” Vanessa adds, trying to be nice and positive.

“If it’s what makes her happy then why can’t she do it?” I say, sticking up for Pam. “I have to pretend to be fictional characters when I act.”

“Acting is a normal hobby too,” says Chloe. “You’re not going to dress up all weird with Pam, are you?”

“No. I already told her I couldn’t go.”

“Aww, it would have been a right laugh seeing you in that get up,” says Kate.

“It might have looked cute,” says Vanessa.

“No! It would have been social suicide,” Chloe exclaims. “I would have had to disown her to save my street cred.”

“Shut up,” I nudge Chloe playfully. “Don’t be mean to Pam. You know she really likes this stuff and it’ll hurt her feelings if you put it down in front of her.”

“I promise to be a good girl if she’s around, okay?” agrees Chloe. “I won’t even say it’s weird, even though it is.”

We notice Pam walking by and she waves eagerly when she spots me there.

“Great,” Chloe sighs.

“Hi!” Pam comes over and sits on the bench beside me. “What are you all up to?”

“Oh, just looking through Facebook,” Chloe answers innocently and I’m glad she doesn’t give any cosplay digs.

“So you two will be practicing for the play a lot now,” Kate says to Pam.

“Yep. We’ll be super busy getting word perfect for the day. Rehearsals are starting today.”

“It must be so fun being in a play,” Vanessa says dreamily.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” I agree.

“I wonder what your costumes will look like,” Chloe says, looking excited. She loves outfits and fashion.

“I think I’ll be wearing a dress,” I answer. “Pam will be wearing fairy wings and a crown.”

“Aww, that’s cute,” Chloe smiles. “I wonder if Lee will turn up to see you?”

“I doubt it,” I reply. “He pretty much hates me right now.”

“Why have you fallen out?” Pam asks, looking upset at the thought of confrontation.

“He’s her ex and now he’s annoyed because she’s going out with Chad and won’t take him back,” Chloe fills her in on the gossip.

“Oh. How unfortunate,” Pam replies, looking sympathetic for me. “I hope it resolves itself in time.”

“I don’t care, he’s been a jerk lately,” I say. “All that matters is I’m over him and I’m happy now with Chad.”

 

Chloe brings up the Pam issue later on as we eat lunch together.

“I hope she’s not going to come over and join us,” Chloe says. “It’s not like we’re actually mates with her.”

“Well, she thinks of me as a friend,” I reason, “and I can’t just not talk to her. We’re in the play together.”

“It must be hard for her,” Vanessa sympathises. “She doesn’t seem to have many friends. She must be lonely.”

“And she wants Gina to be her bestie,” Chloe agrees.

“I feel sorry for her too and she is okay,” says Kate, “but it is kinda awkward having her tag around. She doesn’t really fit in with our squad, we have different interests.”

“You love football and we hate it, but we still hang out a lot,” I remind her.

“That’s ‘cause we share other interests, like we watch the same TV shows and go to see movies together. None of us want to watch anime with Pam.”

“She doesn’t do the normal hang out stuff we like,” Chloe says. “She’s probably not into shopping or playing ten-pin bowling or having boyfriends. I noticed on Facebook that she’s single.”

“Last time I checked so are you,” Kate pulls her tongue out at Chloe.

“I won’t be for long,” Chloe says confidently.

“It’s not as if Pam is coming to Maccies with us tonight or asking to come out with us at the weekend,” I tell Chloe. “If I do hang out with her after school, it will probably be to practice lines just us two.”

“But what do we say if she does want to hang out with us all?” Kate asks. “Like if we’re discussing plans in front of her one day and she wants to be included.”

“I don’t know,” I say.

Why is it so much hard work to keep all your friends happy? It was much simpler in primary school where everyone in class had to be invited to birthday parties and we all just played together, no one getting left out.

“She’ll keep bugging you until she becomes a regular member to our squad,” Chloe insists. “She needs to find some of her own mates, someone who likes the stuff she does.”

“Great idea!” says Vanessa. “We could find her some friends who like anime so she has someone to watch it with. Then that gets Gina off the hook.”

“That would make her happy,” I smile.

“I could ask some geeky guys in science class?” Chloe adds. “Maybe they’re into anime or cosplay.”

“I don’t know anyone who is into all that stuff, but I guess I could ask around,” Kate offers.

“Okay, so our mission is on,” Chloe decides.

 

Chloe wants to start our ‘get Pam new friends’ mission right at the end of science class.

“I’m not sure,” I say nervously. “Wouldn’t it seem a bit weird and random if we just go over and chat with them? We’ve never spoken to them before today.”

“Relax. I’ll do it,” Chloe says confidently.

The bell rings and she does her sashay walk over to the desk where two guys are sitting.

“Hi,” she gives them her charming smile.

They stare at her dumbfounded, wondering why she’s talking to them. She flicks her hair back, loving how stunned they are that a hot girl is in front of them.

“So…I have this mate who’s in that anime stuff and wants mates who talk about it,” Chloe tells them. “You guys are into that, right?”

“Oh…sure,” one of them called Nathan beams a smile. “We love Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z…”

Chloe cuts them off dismissively, not caring about the anime show list they seem to be reeling off, “that’s great. So will you add her on Facebook?”

“I guess we could,” the other called Oliver replies.

“Her name is Pamela Roberts.”

They both get out their mobiles right then to open Facebook and search for her. Chloe sure is persuasive.

“Thanks so much,” Chloe gives them a beaming smile.

She leaves them staring after her adoringly and returns to our desk.

“Told you it would be easy,” she grins at me triumphantly.

“Thanks, Chloe,” I smile. “I’ll tell Pam when I see her.”

“Don’t forget to give me cred,” she says, putting her books away.

“I will.”

 

We see Pam the next day at lunch time on our way to the cafeteria. Chloe pushes me towards her excitedly.

“Go spill the news,” she tells me. “I’ll bag us a table.”

“Okay,” I reply and walk over to Pam.

She’s sitting on a bench, distracted by a game she’s playing on her Nintendo 3DS.

“Hi Pam.”

She looks up in surprise and smiles at me eagerly, “Hi Georgina!” she snaps her Nintendo 3DS shut so it goes on standby and puts it in her bag. “Are you going for lunch?”

“Yeah,” I answer, hoping Chloe won’t mind if she joins us. We start to walk to the cafeteria together. “I’ve got some good news. There’s these guys in our science class who are big fans of anime, so Chloe told them to add you on Facebook,” I tell her, remembering to give Chloe the credit for it.

“Oh,” she doesn’t look convinced this is good yet.

“Now you’ll have someone to talk about that anime show with, since I have no idea about it,” I say reassuringly.

“That would be nice I suppose,” she says with a smile, warming up to the idea.

“And if you get on well, maybe you can hang out and watch it together,” I suggest.

“Yeah…” she looks upset all of a sudden. “Georgina, do you not want to be friends with me?”

“Of course I do,” I reply. “We’ll be practicing lines together a lot.”

“I know, but it seems like you want to find new friends for me to spend time with.”

“I’m just helping you find other mates who share your interests,” I say. “You’ll probably get bored of Chloe talking about shopping and boys, Kate going on about footie, Ven obsessing over Matthew and horse riding and me blabbering about TV soaps.”

“But we can still see each other sometimes?” she says nervously. “I don’t mind what we talk about.”

“Sure we can,” I reassure her. “We’ll see each other loads with all the rehearsals going on.”

“And we’ll still talk after the play is finished?”

“Of course. We sit next to each other in drama, remember?”

“Okay,” she looks relieved. “I thought you didn’t want to be friends anymore…”

“Silly,” I tease. “You’d have to really annoy me for that.”

“The boys you mentioned, do they cosplay too?”

“I’m not sure. You’d better ask them once they add you.”

By now we’re at the cafeteria and line up to choose our lunch. Chloe waves over to us from the table she got and we carry our trays over.

“So, aren’t I brilliant?” Chloe beams. “Now you have two anime friends.”

“Yes, thank you for the help, Chloe,” Pam says gratefully.

“No problem,” Chloe smiles and eats the rest of her pasta salad.

Chapter 18

 

I feel happy and excited having rehearsals every day after school. Being a lead part in the play means I have to stay two hours every day until the performance. It sounds bad having so much extra time in school, but I don’t mind. I love acting so it’s worth it.

I pretend in my head that I’m a real actress who will be performing at a London theatre in front of thousands of people; instead of a high school play in front of our family members and friends.

I found out at the first rehearsal yesterday that Harry is playing Demetrius (the guy I’m in love with) and Andrew has the part of Lysander (who temporarily thinks he loves me because of the fairies’ spell). They’re both nice guys so I’m not embarrassed about doing romantic acting with them. Luckily Chad won’t get jealous of Harry since he’s got a boyfriend and obviously there won’t be any unwanted chemistry to worry about. I feel a little sorry for Harry when Mrs Hannigan suggests a quick kissing scene for us at the end. She sees our reaction and reassures us that we only have to do a one second peck on the lips, not properly snog each other.

“Are you feeling uncomfortable about having to kiss me?” I ask him.

Even if it’s hardly anything, it must still feel weird for him having to kiss a girl.

“I’ll be fine,” he assures me. “It’s a part of acting having to kiss someone you’re not attracted to…no offense.”

I smile understandably. It’s not like he means me personally, like I’m too ugly, just girls in general.

“I suppose I can always shut my eyes and pretend you’re Neil Patrick Harris,” he jokes.

“Ah, the guy from How I Met Your Mother,” I remember. “I loved that show.”

“Me too. I’ve been binge watching it on Netflix.”

As I leave rehearsal, feeling all hyped up at how good it feels; I notice the new poster displayed near reception. Mrs Hannigan has put up a colourful poster on the school notice board advertising the play. I feel even more excited, it feels more real seeing the posters. I snap a photo of it on my mobile and post it up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. By the time I get home, I have notifications to say Chad, Kate, Vanessa, Chloe and Danielle have all shared and retweeted it, showing their support. I’ve also got likes from Jamie, Matthew and a few of my classmates.

 

Rehearsals continue all week. Pam is even more eager than usual being able to play a fairy. She doesn’t have to attend every rehearsal like me, since she only has a few scenes; but when she is here I notice she fidgets in her seat, excitedly waiting for her turn on stage. Although it’s fun rehearsing, it does get a bit boring when we have to keep doing the same section over and over until its good enough.

After the weekend, we begin our second week of rehearsals and Mrs Hannigan confiscates all our scripts so we don’t rely on them too much. Everyone gets stressed and frustrated at some point. We struggle to remember a line we’ve forgotten or get annoyed if another student messes up and we have to start the scene all over again.

By now I’m starting to feel bad at noticing just how much it’s hacking into my free time. At first I thought I’d be able to hang out with Chad or my mates after rehearsals and dinner; but then I remembered all the coursework and homework I still had to do. Plus all the teachers are starting to nag us about revising for our practice exams in June.

I feel sad whenever I decline offers of Chad coming around or going out with the girls, but luckily they understand. It seems I don’t have a social life until the performance is over. At least I get to see Chad and my friends over the weekends. It seems like that’s the only time I can relax and have fun. I’ve even got into a routine now of memorising all my lines every night before bed, instead of scrolling through social media.

On Wednesday, a lady from the fancy dress shop in town comes in so we can try on costumes and get them altered. My costume is a little long, so she pins the hem of the dress up by two inches. Mine looks so beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it for the night of the play. It’s a long, white Greek style dress that reaches my ankles and has a gold waist belt. I wear a gold framed headband in my hair with a leaf design. I agree to bring in my own gold sandals that I usually wear for summer.

Pam is absolutely thrilled with her costume; a purple dress, fairy wings and a pink flower crown. She pretend flies across the stage giddily while I shake my head in amusement.

While I’m writing coursework that evening, I hear my mobile buzz and see that Chloe has texted me:

Who will be doing the cast make-up? Has Mrs Hannigan hired a professional make-up artist?

I reply back: Unfortunately not. She said we can do our own when we’re getting changed. They probably don’t want to spend more money. It must be pretty expensive just for borrowing all the costumes.

Chloe replies back: That’s a shame. Well I suppose I could offer to be the make-up artist.

The next day, Chloe comes with me to rehearsals to beg Mrs Hannigan for the position. She blabbers on about how brilliant she is with make-up as if she’s at an interview. Once she’s onto bronzer and highlighters, Mrs Hannigan seems to get bored.

“I suppose you can volunteer for the play,” she agrees. “It will be nice to get extra help.”

Chloe squeals in excitement and hugs me.

“However, the make-up must be appropriate for the play,” Mrs Hannigan warns her. “The last thing I need is for all the female cast to look like they’re going out clubbing.”

“I’ll keep it light and relevant to the Greek theme,” promises Chloe.

 

The third week seems to fly by and soon we’re doing a dress rehearsal the day before the play. We go into the girl’s toilets to get changed, since no other room has mirrors, and Chloe works her magic on us.

I brought in my own foundation that’s specifically for my dark skin tone and she uses that. She applies black mascara, glittery gold eyeshadow and sparkly lip gloss. I stare at myself in the mirror in awe. I look beautiful, like a Greek goddess. My wavy dark hair hangs down with the hair band in place and my white dress flows down to my ankles. Chloe lends me her gold bangle to wear since it matches my costume.

Pam is hyper to be back in her Titania costume again and beams like an excited child at Christmas. Chloe gets a little impatient when Pam can’t sit still during the make-over, but she eventually finishes.

We all start snapping photos on our mobiles once we’re out in the corridor together, admiring each other’s look. I take a selfie of me, Pam, Danielle and Chloe squished in together. Chloe is obviously not in costume or in the play but she wanted in on the photo.

Chloe takes a full length photo of my Helena costume on my mobile, and I take one for Pam and Danielle on theirs. Harry calls me over for a main roles selfie with Andrew and Fiona. I quickly upload my photos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag people. I get a notification that Harry has tagged me to his photo on Facebook and like it.

My mobile starts going crazy with notifications as my Helena photo reaches thirty likes on Facebook. I smile and blush as I read a comment from Chad: Absolutely stunning! Can’t wait to see you in it tomorrow.

Mrs Hannigan comes out to see what’s taking us so long and rolls her eyes when she finds us all busy on our mobiles.

“Come along,” she says loudly and beckons us inside the theatre.

We work extra hard at this rehearsal, trying to get everything perfect for Mrs Hannigan’s approval. Apart from a few little slip ups during lines, we perform the play brilliantly.

Mrs Hannigan smiles proudly, “Well done! I’m sure you’ll all do well tomorrow night.”

I feel butterflies in my stomach, realising that tomorrow I’ll have a hundred eyes on me watching my every move on stage. It’s a scary thought, but I suppose I’ll get over the stage fright once I’m on and get lost in the play.

 

[] Chapter 19

 

 

I wake up the next morning and realise what day it is, feeling really excited and nervous. I can’t believe I’ll finally be performing the play tonight! I still feel tired from staying up late last night. I was obsessed with going over the whole script before bed, trying to burn my lines into my brain so I don’t screw any of them up later.

I feel sick with nerves by lunch time and don’t have much appetite as I try to force my chips down. I don’t want to starve myself then end up fainting on stage half way through the play. That would be embarrassing.

“Why don’t we have a Just Dance sesh tomorrow?” Chloe asks us.

She loves playing the latest Just Dance games on her Wii console and even pays to download new songs. We always seem to end up on that if we’re around at her house.

“Okay,” Kate agrees. She loves video games so even Just Dance is fine with her.

“Definitely,” I say. “It’ll be good to finally hang out together now rehearsals will be over.”

We all look at Vanessa waiting for her answer.

“I can’t,” she says guiltily. “I always see Matty over the weekend.”

Chloe sighs, “Kate and Gina both have boyfriends too but you don’t see them bailing on me.”

“Yeah, you should come. We don’t see you much these days,” Kate says.

“I know, but I already promised him,” Vanessa replies.

“We’ll only be playing it for an hour,” I reason. “You can go see him right after you leave Chloe’s.”

“Yeah, you’re with him twenty four seven as it is,” Chloe says. “Why can’t we hang out with you for once? You’re supposed to be our bestie.”

“I just love seeing him,” Vanessa says, shy and daydreaming over him. “I really miss him when we’re apart. It’s been two hours and twenty five minutes since I last saw him.”

Kate rolls her eyes and I can tell she finds the whole clingy relationship of Vanessa and Matthew pathetic. Chloe is ready for a rant too, not happy putting up with being forgotten about just because Vanessa’s in a relationship.

I decide to quickly change the subject before either Chloe or Kate will kick off.

“So, how’s your horse riding going?” I ask Vanessa. “You haven’t told us about it for a while.”

We used to have to put up with her going on and on about horses and riding lessons, even though we didn’t understand half of what she was on about. That was until Matthew came into the picture.

“I stopped going last week,” she admits.

“Why?” I ask in shock.

She loves those classes and used to be excited all week for Thursday evenings so she could go.

“Well, I’ve already learned how to do everything. Even my jumping has improved,” she tells us, “so I thought it was a waste of money…plus it means I get to see Matty instead.”

“Hell no!” Kate objects. “You can’t let a guy stop you from doing your hobby. That’s just wrong! If Jamie told me to quit footie I’d tell him where to go.”

“It was my decision,” Vanessa says. “He’s not forcing me to give it up.”

“Things are getting way out of hand,” Chloe vents. “You never see your mates anymore and now you’re quitting horse riding. It’s not healthy to just be all about your boyfriend. You have your own life.”

“Yeah, it’s best to have some time apart,” I agree. “I love seeing Chad, but I like having time with just mates or on my own too.”

“We do have time apart,” she argues. “I don’t see him in class.”

“That’s called school and it doesn’t count,” Chloe replies. “You spend break and lunch with him and every night and all weekend. It’s crazy.”

“I’m happy doing that,” Vanessa shrugs.

“It would be nice if you spare a few hours for your forgotten mates,” Chloe says angry. “On the rare occasions you do hang out with us you spend the entire time texting him.”

Vanessa looks shocked and upset, “I do see you all. I’m going to Gina’s play tonight…”

“Yeah but you’re coming with him,” Kate tells her. “We need time to hang out with just you, not with Matthew always tagging along.”

I feel bad when I see Vanessa’s eyes tear up, “I don’t know why you’re all being so mean. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

She walks off leaving her food, probably to go find Matthew and cry on his shoulder.

I sigh, “Maybe you should have toned it down a bit?” I say to them both.

“She needed to be told,” Chloe says.

“Yeah, we all know she’s being stupid,” Kate agrees.

I send Vanessa a text: [_ Hope you’re ok. Let me know if you need to talk *hugs* _]

“Can you believe how she’s acting?” Chloe continues to rant.

“I’m concerned just as much as you two,” I tell them, “but if we’re going to help her see what’s happened, then we need to handle it better. It’s no use just having a go and upsetting her.”

 

I feel on edge all afternoon waiting for school to end, knowing that the play begins at six. I can’t be bothered with lessons and struggle to concentrate at all with the performance on my mind. Once the bell rings for home time, I check my mobile and see I’ve got a reply from Vanessa:

I’ll be fine. You’ve got enough to worry about with the play. Good luck for tonight!

I nervously walk over to the theatre to get into costume and rehearse one last time.

“I’ve been messaging Nathan and Oliver,” Pam tells me as Chloe does my make-up. “They’re really nice.”

“That’s good,” I smile, happy that she’s got new friends.

“See? I knew they’d be perfect,” says Chloe, looking proud.

“I’ve been showing them photos of my cosplays and they’re so impressed,” Pam tells us.

Chloe pulls a face to me in the mirror.

“Well they must take a lot of time and patience to make so you deserve the credit,” I reply, ignoring Chloe’s reaction.

“They’ve invited me to go Comic-Con with them next month.”

“What’s that?” Chloe frowns.

“It’s an event where you celebrate comic books and superheroes,” she tells her. “I love Marvel and DC comics.”

“Oh…okay,” Chloe loses interest.

“That should be fun,” I say.

I think everyone is anxious as we have our last rehearsal, but I try to calm down and concentrate on my acting. Soon we’ve reached the end and I feel my heart racing as I see the time and know the real play will begin soon.

[][] Chapter 20

 

 

We have a break to eat our dinner brought from home. My mum has given me chicken salad sandwiches but I can barely swallow it down and leave half of it. I nibble on a few salt and vinegar Seabrooks crisps and drink my summer berries Capri-sun.

When it’s six o’clock we nervously wait backstage while the audience arrives and take their seats. Some of the cast risk peeking out to see who’s here and get told off by Mrs Hannigan. I don’t risk looking because I’m nervous enough without seeing the audience. I promise myself not to look at them when I enter on stage and ignore them for the entire play. That way I can pretend this is just another rehearsal and not the real thing.

“Are you okay, Georgina?” Pam asks me concerned. “You look pale.”

“I feel a bit sick,” I reply, my stomach in knots.

“Turn the other way if you’re going to throw up,” Chloe whines and keeps her distance from me.

Pam rubs my back comfortingly. “You’ll be fine. Take a few deep breathes, that should help.”

I do as she says but feel a little silly, like I’m acting out a woman about to give birth instead of calming down.

“Fiona, Andrew, Georgina, Harry,” Mrs Hannigan calls us. “We’re ready for you on stage.”

My heart races and Pam squeezes my hand reassuringly.

“Break a leg,” Chloe tells me, which means ‘Good Luck’ in theatre term.

She decides against giving me a hug, since I’m still looking sick, and runs off to take her seat in the audience next to Kate and Vanessa.

“You’ll do great,” Danielle tells me.

“Hurry up,” Fiona snaps at me impatiently.

“Come on, it’ll be fine,” Harry reassures me.

He holds my hand as we walk out onto the stage and I feel embarrassed knowing my palms are sweaty with nerves. We get into our places on stage, since we have the first scene, and then the curtains swish open and the lights beam down on us. I take deep breaths and try to ignore the feel of eyes on me. I don’t dare look back at the audience and keep my eyes locked on Harry ready for my line.

Once we’ve started, it’s as if the whole theatre melts away. I’m not Gina anymore, I’m Helena and I live in beautiful Greece with the man I love and my friend Hermia.

The play goes smoothly. I remember Mrs Hannigan’s advice and use my own memories to help channel emotions into my acting. I remember how I used to feel with Lee before we started going out and release that into Helena’s love for Demetrius.

I go back to the heartbreak and devastation I felt at seeing Lee kiss Chelsea right after we broke up, and use that whenever Demetrius is longing after Hermia.

When we reach the part of Demetrius and Lysander both declaring their love and fighting over me; I think back to when I had to choose between Chad and Lee and let out my frustration and confusion.

Once we’re at the end of the play, I’m so lost in being Helena that I don’t even realise I’m sharing a quick kiss with Harry. I only think of how relieved and blissful Helena is to finally be with Demetrius and how much she loves him.

The sudden thunderous applause makes me jump and I feel dazed, coming out of my acting fantasy. Everything comes crashing back to reality and I’m Gina again, standing on the theatre stage in costume. I risk a glance into the audience and notice Chad is clapping wildly and grinning at me. My mum is wiping away proud tears and smiling. My sister and grandparents are clapping, looking proud of me too. Kate, Vanessa and Chloe are cheering my name. Matthew and Jamie clap and smile. I feel tears of happiness and take my bow with the rest of the cast before walking off stage.

 

I’m still in shock the next day, feeling as if the play was just an awesome dream. All my family have been congratulating me and telling me how proud they are with my performance. I’ve had tons of comments and messages on Facebook and Twitter. Even classmates are randomly coming over to say how good I acted as Helena yesterday.

“It’s like you’re famous already,” Kate jokes.

“Just wait until she hits Hollywood,” Chloe says excitedly.

“Yeah, maybe we’ll see you in films one day,” Vanessa says encouragingly.

“I hope so,” I reply.

Acting is my dream and I really hope things do work out. My mum sat me down yesterday and asked if it was what I really wanted to do. She’s happy for me to study drama at college once I leave school and promised to support me with whatever comes next, as long as I get a regular job for a steady income. I’ll probably need to sign up with agency before I get excited about auditions for theatre plays or movies.

I’m still feeling extremely happy at lunch time as Chad sits beside me and I eat my jacket potato with grated cheese.

“Where’s Jamie and Kate?” he asks, realising they still haven’t arrived.

I feel concerned as I check the time and see that lunch is already half way over. Surely they can’t be this late?

Chloe shrugs, “maybe they wanted some alone time.”

“Probably,” agrees Chad.

We leave the cafeteria with Vanessa and Matthew after we’re done eating. As we’re walking, we spot Kate and Jamie sitting on a bench.

“Hey,” Chad goes over to greet them. “Where have you guys been? I was worried.”

Kate and Jamie both look up and we can tell right away that something is wrong. Jamie looks down sadly and scruffs his shoes on the gravel, “we just needed to talk.”

I have an awful feeling and look at Kate worriedly. She’s avoiding our eyes and looks gutted.

“What’s wrong?” Chloe asks concerned.

Vanessa shares an anxious glance with me, so I’m not the only one nervous that they’ve just broken up.

“I’ve got something to tell you all,” Jamie says. “My dad’s moving to London and he’s already found this place to rent. I’m going with him.”

All our jaws fall to the ground. He’s moving all the way to London?!

“But that’s like four hours away!” Chad says in dismay. “We’ll never get to hang out anymore.”

“Obviously it means transferring to a new school,” Chloe says in horror. “That’s pretty disastrous! We’re almost on our last year and ready to take exams.”

“I know…it sucks,” Jamie says sadly. “I’ll miss you guys, but I chose to live with my dad. I guess I’ll have to move so I can stay with him.”

I look at Kate, wanting to go over and comfort her. Hearing your boyfriend is moving over two hundred miles away must be harsh. She gets up from the bench and quickly turns to walk away, but not before I see the tears welling up in her eyes.

 

Coming soon!

 

Break-up Dilemma

(Book 3)

 

This story is told by Kate.

 

 

 

Ven (Vanessa)

 

 

 

Age: 15

 

Relationship status: In a relationship with Matthew.

 

Facebook status: I love Matthew, he’s such an amazing boyfriend!

 

Hobbies: Horse riding and reading teen romance books.

 

Gina (Georgina)

 

 

 

Age: 15

 

Relationship status: In a relationship with Chad.

 

Facebook status: The play was amazing! I still can’t believe I got to play Helena!

 

Hobbies: Acting and watching TV soaps.

 

Chloe

 

 

Age: 15

 

Relationship status: Single.

 

Facebook status: Where are all the hot guys at? I’ve been single for a million years.

 

Hobbies: Fashion and following hot celebs on Instagram.

 

Kate (Katie)

 

 

 

Age: 15

 

Relationship status: In a relationship with Jamie.

 

Facebook status: So gutted! I can’t believe Jamie is moving to London!

 

Hobbies: Playing football and watching comedy movies.

 

Cool guide to relationships

 

By Chloe, Gina, Ven and Kate

 

 

Having a relationship

 

 

What to do:

 

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. If you’re upset about something they’ve said or done, talk to them about it. Don’t throw a tantrum or give them the silent treatment, that won’t solve anything.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Have some time alone with them, not always with your friends there too.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Text and interact with them on social media, even if it’s just to ask what they’re up to.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Support them with hobbies. They’ll love having someone to encourage them.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Help them with problems. Be someone they can talk to about anything and who will be there for them.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. If they’re upset, talk to them. If they don’t feel ready to talk about it, help cheer them up or distract them with fun activities.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Be their friend. The best relationships are when you think of them as a friend as well as your partner.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Be affection. If you hardly ever kiss or hug or refuse to hold hands in public, it will make them feel like you don’t want to be with them.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Always listen to your friend’s advice. If they think he’s not good enough for you because of a genuine problem, don’t get annoyed with them. They are just looking out for you, so consider what they say and decide for yourself.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. If a boyfriend has cheated, break-up with them straight away. If you take them back you’ll always be scared of them doing it again and may never be able to trust them. It will also make them think it’s okay to do it if they get away with no consequences.

What not to do:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t be too clingy. They need their own space sometimes to do hobbies, school work or see their mates.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t be too over affectionate. They won’t want to kiss or hug 24/7 and may be embarrassed if you overdo it in public or in front of their mates/family.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t always go along with what they want to do, you have a say too and you both need to be happy.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t be afraid to dump them. If they act badly then they don’t deserve you.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t try to stop them from seeing their friends or doing stuff instead of being with you. They have a life apart from being your partner.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t let a partner get too possessive.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Try not to get jealous too easily. If you get over possessive and paranoid, it might cause problems. If you are concerned about anything, talk with them about it.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t see them too much. You need to have time for yourself, your hobbies and your friends.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t stay with them if you’re unhappy or thinking of being with someone else. It’s not fair to lead them on and waste their time.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t cheat – you wouldn’t like it if someone did it to you.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t try to make them jealous for attention. It will most likely annoy and hurt them and cause problems for the relationship.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t get too obsessed with them. They’ll get freaked out if you make a shrine or act like a stalker.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t put them first over your mates or family, unless there’s an important reason. Friends can be there for you for years, but a boyfriend is usually temporary.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Try to avoid lying to a boyfriend. They’ll feel like they can’t trust you if they find out the truth.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Never let guys pressure you into things. If you’re not ready or underage, tell them no. Don’t let the threat of dumping you influence your decision.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Make sure your boyfriend feels genuine about you. The last thing you need is a guy who is using you. A good boyfriend will be as supportive as your friends.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t drop everything for a boyfriend unless it’s an emergency or special occasion.

 

Relationship Trouble

 

All relationships have problems, even if you’re really close and happy; so here’s some advice:

 

 

Having an argument or a fall out:

 

What to do:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Apologise for something you did to cause the argument or upset them.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. If you get too angry or upset, it’s better to leave and calm down.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Talk things through. If you have issues, be honest and tell them. Talking can help solve problems and make your partner understand.

What not to do:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t argue too much. You will often say things you regret when you’re angry.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t argue back just because they are shouting at you. If they have a problem, talk with them and help solve it. Arguing back will just make things worse.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t ignore them and give the silent treatment. That will just annoy them and won’t solve anything. Tell them what the problem is and talk it through. If you need space to calm down and think things over, tell them and hopefully they’ll respect that.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t say spiteful things just to upset them. It will only add to the problems you already had at the start of the argument.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t threaten to break-up with them unless you have good reasons. An argument can be easily solved, so there’s no point in throwing away a relationship over it.

 

When a fall out hasn’t been worked out yet

 

 

What to do:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Try not to be too upset, you can both sort things out later on.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Give them space and don’t try to see or talk to them before they’re ready. They need time to calm down and think things over. If you keep bugging them with texts or social media messages, it will just annoy them even more.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Keep yourself busy. Try not to think about it too much.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Talk to someone about the argument. You’ll feel much better having a friend to support you.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Watch a film or TV show, see friends or do something fun. Life doesn’t have to stop just because you and your boyfriend have problems.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Make sure to check your mobile and social media occasionally in case they get in contact and they’re ready to sort things out.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Be strong, you can work things out if you try.

 

What not to do:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t get too anxious about breaking up. It might not happen and even if it does, you can still get back together or move on from it.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t constantly check your mobile or social media. It will drive you crazy and upset you more if they haven’t contacted you. Try leaving your mobile/laptop/tablet behind while you do something.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. It’s best not to ignore their calls or messages. If you really don’t want to talk to them, send them a quick message saying you need some space. Hopefully they respect that.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t flirt or try to get with another guy before you’ve officially broken up. It will put an end to your relationship a lot faster and cheating isn’t right.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Don’t be afraid of being single again. It’s not as bad as you think, even if it feels like the end of the world at the time. You still have your friends and hobbies and future boyfriends.

 

How to know whether your relationship isn’t working:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Everyone else’s seems better than yours.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You spend more time feeling sad about them and your relationship than happy.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You always seem to be arguing and have more bad times than good times.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Your partner hardly ever spends time with you or doesn’t seem interested.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. They put pressure on you with something you don’t want to do.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’re trying to change them instead of accepting who they are. It’s good to try and help them stop bad habits, but you can’t change everything you don’t like.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’re only staying with them because you want a boyfriend. This isn’t fair and you’re just using them. They will be a lot happier being with someone who likes them and you’ll be happier with someone new.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’re only staying with them because you don’t want to upset them. If you feel forced into it, you will end up feeling miserable. Do what is best for you too.

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. Never feel as if you can’t get out of a relationship. It’s your choice and you can leave any time. Ask friends for help and support.

 

 

 

Feelings Scale

 

These are the different types of feelings from the less to most powerful.

 

 

Attracted to someone:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You are physically attracted to their looks.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You like to admire them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You like their personality.

*
p<{color:#000;}. If they weren’t interested or broke up with you, you’d be upset and disappointed but will get over it easily.

 

 

Fancy or have feelings for someone:

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You feel the above statements.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You want them to be your partner.

*
p<{color:#000;}. They make you blush or make you feel shy.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You experience feelings of lust.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You enjoy kissing, hugging, talking or being with them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You think, fantasize or dream about them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’re happy being their girlfriend.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’d cry a lot if you broke up, but you’d probably get over it in a few weeks’ time and move onto someone else.

 

 

Have strong feelings and really care about someone

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. You can feel both of the above statements.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You badly want to be in a relationship with them or really need to stay with them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’re really happy to be with them and it feels special.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’d be very upset if they said they weren’t interested or broke up with you.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You miss them when they’re not around.

*
p<{color:#000;}. They make you feel really happy.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You always want to be with them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You put their needs before yours.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You’ll be there to help and suppose them at any time.

*
p<{color:#000;}. It would take you maybe a few months to get over them.

 

 

True love

 

*
p<{color:#000;}. All of the above but a lot stronger.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You would do anything for them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You would risk your life for them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You hate spending time away from them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. They are the most important person to you.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You definitely want a future with them and think your relationship will last.

*
p<{color:#000;}. Seeing them hurt would hurt you ten times worse.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You feel strange feelings like walking on air, feeling light, being extremely happy for no reason, getting forgetful, unable to concentrate and you can’t stop thinking of them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. Your heart fills with love when you see them.

*
p<{color:#000;}. If they ever hurt or upset you, your heart feels as if it’s been pieced with a knife.

*
p<{color:#000;}. If they ever left you, you would be devastated, heartbroken and your spirit would feel as if it had died.

*
p<{color:#000;}. You feel as if you will never get over losing them and it can take years to finally move on again.

 

Which character are you?

Ven, Gina, Kate or Chloe?

 

Find out with this quiz!

 

Keep a record of how many As, Bs, Cs and Ds you choose.

 

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. What’s your fashion style?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Skinny jeans with a t-shirt.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Vests and denim shorts.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Sporty t-shirt and tracksuit.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Dresses and skirts.

 

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Do you wear make-up?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Sometimes, not every day.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Basics, mascara and lip gloss.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Can’t be bothered with make-up.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Every day and lots of it.

#
p<{color:#000;}. What is/was your favourite lesson at school?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. English

#
p<{color:#000;}. Drama

#
p<{color:#000;}. Physical Education

#
p<{color:#000;}. Art

 

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Which of these would you most like to work as?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Vet

#
p<{color:#000;}. Actress

#
p<{color:#000;}. Sports player

#
p<{color:#000;}. Fashion Designer

 

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. What hairstyle do you like to have?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Natural and shoulder length

#
p<{color:#000;}. Curled/Wavy

#
p<{color:#000;}. Pony tail

#
p<{color:#000;}. Long and straightened

#
p<{color:#000;}. Do you diet for your body image?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. I don’t diet but don’t eat too much.

#
p<{color:#000;}. I eat what I want, no diet for me.

#
p<{color:#000;}. I exercise regularly, no need to diet.

#
p<{color:#000;}. I sometimes diet if I want to be slimmer.

 

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. What do you like doing for fun?

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Watching movies and reading books.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Watching TV soaps and acting.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Playing football and video games.

#
p<{color:#000;}. Shopping and following hot celebrities on Instagram.

 

Mostly A’s

 

You’re like Ven!

 

 

Appearance isn’t mega important to you but you want to look nice. If you’re going out with the girls or a boyfriend, you’ll spend more time to look good.

 

Mostly B’s

 

You’re like Gina!

 

 

You like to look good but don’t waste hours on your appearance. You look fab on the days that are important. You stick to what you like and want to wear rather than copy fashion.

 

Mostly C’s

 

You’re like Kate!

 

 

You have more important things to concentrate on than fashion or make-up. You don’t really have time for it. You look fine as you are and natural is more your style.

 

Mostly D’s

 

You’re like Chloe!

 

 

You spend a lot of time on appearance and you always want to look perfect. You like attention and looking beautiful. You have a girly personality and love make-up and fashion.

 

Cool Dictionary

 

 

Goss – Short for gossip.

 

Snog Central – Where lots of kissing is happening.

 

Kinda – Short for kind of.

 

Dunno – Short for don’t know.

 

Footie – Short for football.

 

French kissing – kissing that includes tongues.

 

Frenching(slang) To do French kissing.

 

Mega(slang) Can mean either ‘big’ or ‘very’ depending which word you use after it.

 

Meme – A photo used for a joke and posted online with comedy writing printed over it.

 

Miz – Short for miserable.

 

Cheesed off(slang) Annoyed.

 

Gutted(slang) Disappointed, sad or hurt.

 

Boy magnet(slang) A girl who attracts a lot of boys.

 

Swot(slang) Someone who studies a lot and gets good grades.

 

Confuzzled(slang) Confused and puzzled.

 

Sod off(slang) A rude way to tell someone to leave.

 

Fit(slang) Good looking.

 

Plushies – A cute stuffed animal sometimes used for TV or game characters.

 

Diss – Short for disrespect.

 

Grassing(slang) Telling tales on someone.

 

Cred – Short for credit. Acknowledging someone for doing something.

 

Bag(slang) To go reserve something so someone else doesn’t get it first.

 

Throw a strop – (slang) Feeling annoyed and having an angry rant over it, could result in a tantrum.

 

 

Have you read the series so far?

 

VEN really wants a boyfriend and secretly takes part in a Valentine’s Lucky dip at school. Will she finally meet the guy of her dreams?

 

KATE fancies her male friend Jamie, but does he just want to stay friends or is he just too embarrassed about what the other lads will think?

 

CHLOE always has admirers and has been asked out on a date by Danny, but she’s not sure whether she wants him to be her next boyfriend.

 

GINA is dumped by her boyfriend Lee and feels hurt that he’s moving on from her so quickly after their break-up. Should she do the same?

 

INCLUDES FREE FLIRTING AND DATING GUIDE!

 

Available to download now!

 

 

About the Author and Illustrator

 

Michelle Leyland was born in 1990 and spent all of her life living in Lancashire. She has always loved writing and drawing and since the age of 13 has dreamed of becoming a published author and illustrator one day. She has written several fiction stories for children, teenagers and adults.

Michelle also loves to drum, dance, sing, daydream, go to concerts and read.

 

Visit her website: www.michelleleyland.com

 

Twitter and Instagram: @MLeylandAuthor

 

Facebook page: Michelle Leyland (Author and Illustrator)

 

Books by Michelle Leyland:

 

Farm Frenzy (children’s)

Lunar Eclipse (children’s)

Freedom Fighters: Twilight City – Book 1

Freedom Fighters: Dragon City – Book 2

Freedom Fighters: Lost City – Book 3

Dating Dilemma – Book 1 (Teen’s)

Boyfriend Dilemma – Book 2 (Teen’s)

Sexy Love – Book 1 (Teen’s)

Bounty Hunter (Teen’s)

Secret Love (adult’s)

 

Coming soon:

Break-up Dilemma (Book 3)

201

 


Boyfriend Dilemma (Dilemma series, Book 2)

GINA is happy being with Chad, but when her ex-boyfriend Lee begs her for a second chance, she’s not sure what to do. CHLOE is annoyed with her boyfriend Dave. He’s always jealous and telling her what not to wear. KATE is worried that something is going on with Jamie, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. VANESSA loves Matthew, but her mates say they’re spending way too much time together. Should she choose seeing her boyfriend over her friends? INCLUDES FREE RELATIONSHIP GUIDE!

  • ISBN: 9780992632076
  • Author: Michelle Leyland
  • Published: 2017-04-27 18:05:32
  • Words: 28613
Boyfriend Dilemma (Dilemma series, Book 2) Boyfriend Dilemma (Dilemma series, Book 2)