Even If.

"You'd love me? Even if it's not you who I choose?" I whispered to him.
"Even if," he swore.

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5. Four.

Song of the Chapter: Love Drunk by Little Mix. Literally play it on repeat the whole chapter.

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"What did I get myself into?" I groaned into the telephone and fell back on my bed.

"Chill out, drama queen! You've got two gorgeous and hilarious guys falling for you that are willing to date you at the same time. If I were you, I wouldn't be complaining!" Zoe laughed on the other line.

"But I don't know what to wear! What if we run out of things to talk about? What if he tries to kiss me?!" I freaked out, thinking about the date I would be spending with Jack that weekend.

"Whoa whoa whoa, have you ever been on a date before?" Zoe asked in disbelief.

"Well, that would be a no," I muttered embarrassedly as I finished painting my nails.

"Have you ever kissed someone?" She asked with more force.

"Um... Well... No," I said.

"Oh my gosh this is not okay. I'll be at your place in 45 minutes, we are going shopping. No questions. Byeeee!" Zoe said cheerily and hung up the phone. I yawned and got up from the bed, knowing that I needed to get ready anyway. Zeus barked as I walked over to the bathroom.

"Don't worry boy, I'll take you out soon," I patted him on the head and went to take a shower.

The warm water felt phenomenal on my skin as I rinsed my hair out. It took all the willpower in me to get out of the warm brilliancy and get ready for the day. With my luxurious pink robe on, I leafed through my clothes to figure out what to wear. The weather outside unusually suggested shorts and a tee shirt, due to the warm weather, so I grabbed my light denim high waisted shorts and my white Chanel No. 5 shirt with rolled sleeves to give it an edgier look, however, I knew it was October, so I also grabbed a dark sweater to throw over it.

With my outfit picked out, I hurried and dried my hair, curled it, did my makeup, and threw the clothes on. I finished the outfit with the same booties I wore the day before, a ton of chunky leather bracelets and vintage rings, a pair of sleek black aviators, and a black studded leash for Zeus.

Right on cue, Zoe rang my doorbell and I grabbed my large black leather bag on my way to open the door to an excited Zoe.

"Hey! You look fantastic, as usual! Ready to go?" She smiled at Zeus and me.

"Yep," I smiled and walked out the door with her, locking it from behind me.

"Hey, I didn't know you had a car!" I said, staring at a small car that I didn't know the name of.

"It's Joe's. This important occasion calls for a different mode of transportation than walking," she laughed as we sat down.

"So where to first?" I asked as Zeus settled on my lap.

"Central London. That's where the best stores are," Zoe said while we pulled away from my home.

"Can you turn on the radio?" Zoe asked. I willingly turned on the radio to hear Selena Gomez's song, Come and Get It. Zoe looked at me, smiled, turned up the radio, and both of us sang along to the familiar song. When the song ended, I gasped.

"What?" Zoe asked and turned the radio down.

"I just had the best idea for a video!" I said happily.

"Ooh, do tell!" She smiled.

"Have you seen the music video for that song?" I asked her.

"Yes, she looked absolutely gorgeous the whole time," she gushed.

"What if I made a video kind of making fun of it?" I asked skeptically.

"Keep talking..." She said, unaware of where I was going with my idea.

"Well, you know that all music videos always have a cool setting? We could do it somewhere boring or funny like at a grocery store or the toilet. And, every music video always has cool clothes, so I could be wearing a bunny suit or something. We could also make fun of all the water parts by filming it in the water and I'll be wearing floaters an goggles and I could be splashing around," I laughed at my idea. Zoe started laughing too.

"Oh my gosh, that's golden! You have to do that!" She giggled.

"I'm going to need lots of help. We can do it sometime next week with everyone else," I said.

"We simply must," she said.

"What do you think I should wear on Friday?" I asked, changing the subject.

"Well, I called Jack up and he said that you should dress casual. No dresses, is what he said. He wouldn't tell me anything else," she smiled.

"I wonder what we'll be doing..." I inquired.

"Knowing Jack, it'll be hilarious and a great time, trust me."

"What should I expect from Finn?" I wondered aloud.

"Knowing Finn, it'll probably be insanely sweet and well thought out," she decided after thinking about it.

"Do you think they'll try to kiss me on the first date?" I asked.

"Do you want to kiss them on the first date?" She asked.

"No way, I have some self respect," I said.

"Then they won't kiss you. They're real gentlemen. But I'll make sure to give you the pointers, just in case," she nodded.

"How are you going to do that?" I inquired, suspicious.

"Seventeen magazine, of course," she gestured to the back seat, which held a tower of teen magazines.

"Nice," I nodded and smiled as we parked in front of the tube.

"We have to take the tube there, but it's not a long ride," she informed me as we got out of the car.

"It's fine," I said as I walked with Zeus and her to get on the train.

Moments later, the tube rolled up and we stepped inside. There weren't too many people, but there were some, including a fat, hairy guy with a ponytail and plenty of tattoos who sat next to me and a lanky- most likely homeless- man eating a bowl of chili who sat next to Zoe.

I eyed Zoe, who sat across from me as the man tried to offer her some of his chili. She awkwardly refused, and it was hard not to laugh, but I repressed it.

Zeus sat, panting by my leg, and I was waiting to get off this dang train.

"May I pet your dog?" The tattooed man said, snapping myself out of my thoughts.

"S-Sure," I stuttered weirdly. He let Zeus sniff his hand and then he petted the fat dog. Zeus loved it, and was very friendly, which surprise me, since Zeus is a really good judge of character.

Maybe he was a really nice guy.

He seemed so warmed by Zeus, and he had a big smile on his face, and my heart melted at sight of it.

"What's his name?" He asked.

"Zeus," I answered kindly.

"That's a clever name. How'd you think of it?" He asked.

"My mom gave him to me, and she used to read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks to me all the time, and in the book, Logan's dog is named Zeus. I guess I kind of adopted it," I shrugged.

"That's what I thought of when I heard his name! Nicholas Sparks is really a timeless author, I love his books. My name is Jason," he said and offered his hand to me. I shook it.

"I'm Beth. I love Nicholas Sparks too. Have any other favorites?" I asked him.

"Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities is my favorite," he smiled with pride.

"I adore Dickens. My favorite book would have to be The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald or Les Miserables by Victor Hugo," I smiled, quite appalled by the education of the man I misjudged.

"You can't beat them classics," he smiled.

"You really can't. Where are you headed to?" I asked him, quite intrigued by his story.

"I work at a bookstore, and that's where I'm going. Got to keep a roof over our heads," he said.

"Our?"

"I have a wife and two beautiful children," he beamed.

"That's amazing," I smiled, really meaning it. The train pulled to a stop. We both got up.

"Thanks for talking to me Beth. Usually people just pass me by because of how I look, but you didn't, and you really brightened my day. I thank you for that," he said politely.

"You're a nice guy. I hope to see you around," I smile before walking away with Zoe.

"That man got chili in my hair!" Zoe pouted and glared at the weird guy who was walking close to us. We both burst out laughing.

"That guy who sat next to you was cool," she said, scraping a glob of chili out of her hair with disgust. I began to tell her about how educated and awesome he was, and she was shocked.

"That's so cool! You're so nice to everyone," she smiled as we walked toward some shops.

"Where to first?" I asked her.

"How about Boots?" She asked.

"Great," I smiled as we walked toward Boots.  

 

We headed straight to the makeup and I began to browse the nail polishes. I can't deny, I'm a sucker for nail polish.

"Whoa! I love your nail polish!" Zoe says, eying my fingers as I browse the varnishes.

"Thanks, I did them this morning," I gesture toward my chrome nails which you can see your reflection in.

"I am definitely buying that. What's it called?"

"No Place Like Chrome from Essie. I'm obsessed," I laughed as she grabbed it from the shelf.

"I usually don't like painting my nails, but I think this will change my mind," she laughed as we browsed.

We went on like that for half an hour in boots, giving each other suggestions based off of skin tones and favorite products for all the things we needed. I ended up leaving with a large bag full of products that I really did need, but probably could've waited on.

"Ooh, can we go into Topshop?" I squealed.

"Let's go!" She linked arms with me and we skipped inside, laughing and joking around. It was as if I'd known her my whole life.

We made our way to the clothing section and started browsing through the clothes. Zoe started telling me a funny story including her, Joe, and Alfie at a restaurant. She finished and we had a laugh before I couldn't resist asking.

"Zoe, is there something going on with you and Alfie?" I raised an eyebrow. Her cheeks reddened as she went through the clothes on the wall with a faster speed.

"No, nothing is going on. Nothing at all," she stammered, trying to regain composure.

"Do you want something to be going on?" I wiggled my eyebrows. She hit me lightly on the wall with a neon dress she found. I laughed.

"I saw the way you were cuddling last night..." I teased.

"We weren't cuddling!" She defended. I furrowed my brow.

"You totally were, unless you practically sitting on his lap with his arm around you, isn't cuddling," I laughed sarcastically.

"He is really cute..." She admits.

"Aha!" I laugh and point at her.

"So what?" She chuckled.

"I knew you liked him! I totally ship it. OTP," I laughed.

"SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!" She laughed. I decided to let it go and continued looking through the clothes with more purpose.

I found a couple items and Zoe did as well, so we got in line for the fitting rooms and waited with the clothes slung over our arms.

At that moment, I just couldn't take my eyes off of Zoe's hair. It looked so gorgeous that day, straightened and newly dyed.

"Zoe, can I tell you how much I envy your hair?" I gushed.

"Thanks," she beamed, "you know, your hair would look amazing with ombré."

I immidietly pulled my hand to my hair and twirled a stroke.

"You think so?" I bit my lip.

"I know so. You know, I have an amazing stylist who loves when I bring friends..." She smiled.

"You're saying that we could do it today?" I asked.

"Yeah. Do you want to?" she jumped up and down eagerly.

I thought about it for a moment. I really did love my hair, but I had never changed it my entire life. I was a little bored with it.

"You know what? Why not!" I laughed. She squealed and pulled out her iPhone, pressing a single button and speed dialing who I guessed was her stylist.

"Nannette!" She squealed.

"I'm great! You see, I have a friend with me who wants to go ombré. Could we come around at about 2?" Zoe said into the phone. She paused for a second.

"Ahh I knew you would! See you then! You're the best, darling!" She said into the phone and hung up.

I checked my watch to see that it was 11:45 and we had time to finish up there and grab lunch on the way.

"You're all set!" She squealed as we stepped into our changing rooms.

______\_______\_______\___\

"That was amazing," I rubbed my tummy as we walked toward the hair salon.

"I told you, it's literally the best restaurant to go to when you're shopping. The food is so good," she laughed. We were walking closer and closer to the Chateau salon.

Once we got in, the first thought in my head was this: "This is going to be expensive."

But I deserved it, so I kept walking toward the register with Zoe.

While Zoe talked to the person at the register, I admired the interior of the place. There was a large fountain to the right side me and on the left was a wall waterfall. You know, the ones where the water falls straight down from the top bar to the bottom bowl and is recycled to the top. There was a little kid sticking his finger into the water fall and he was mesmerized at how it kept going around his finger.

"You must be Beth! And you must be Zeus!," she smiled and patted Zeus on his head, "I'm Nannette, and oh my gosh, your hair will look fabulous with blonde tips!"

"Thanks," I grinned and sat down in the chair she gestured to. We chatted about my hair briefly before she got started. She seemed like someone who liked to work in silence.

"Any special reason you're getting your hair done?" The stylist asked out of the blue.

"I might have a date," I blushed.

"Might?"

"It's complicated. But it's not technically a date, more like a game," I said awkwardly.

"Have you thought about what you're going to wear on this 'it's complicated trip'? Not that you've been planning or anything..." She laughed.

"Maroon pants, grey Vans baggy tank top, black Doc Martins and a black beanie with silver studs on the front," I said excitedly, "not that I've been planning, or anything..."

\_____\______\_____\_____\

"Thanks for watching. See you later fegits," I said my usual ending into the camera and made a gangster sign with my hands, causing Zoe to laugh. I reached over and turned my camera off, and I was relieved that we weren't filming anymore.

"Can I just say again how amazing your hair looks?" Zoe gushed and stoked a strip of my hair.

"Thanks," I beamed, "I've never done a haul on my channel before. That was fun!"

I got a ton of new makeup, beauty, and body products, referred by Zoe. I never had ever had a lot of makeup of my own, based on the fact that I had a lack of talent putting it on, but Zoe was very adamant about the products and she even showed me how to apply them, so I didn't have a reason not to buy them.

Accessory wise, I got so many bracelets and rings, it was insane. I'm a really big accessory person. You rarely see me not layering necklaces, wearing tons of chunky rings at a time, with a tower of bracelets up my arms, so I couldn't resist buying tons more. I probably spent about just a hundred pounds on jewelry alone. I even got my hands on a new pair of black studded sandals and 4 new pairs of pumps- one plain black suede, one a nude pink, one an electric red, and one was floral and sparkly. I also found a black, medium sized handbag with a sparkly flap that comes over the top that totally screamed my name.

In the clothes department, I was very lucky. I found 3 more vintage concert tees, a new army green colored blazer, a gold sparkly jacket, 3 new slouchy sweaters to wear over things, 2 new short sleeved tops, 3 skirts, 2 big fall sweatshirts, 1 new pair of dark green jeans, and 5 dresses.

The dresses were my favorite to shop for. One is a structured raspberry colored dress that is perfectly tailored. It was be perfect for a night out. Another was a darker shade of a teal green that was shirt material and really floaty. It was perfect for layering jackets and blazers over and belting. So many possibilities. The third dress was your epitome LBD, perfect for just about anything. The next dress was a white dress with large red flowers on it that would look adorable with my red blazer and pumps, so I went out of my comfort zone to buy it. And lastly, I bought a maroon asymmetrical dress that would look good with a black belt and a jacket over.

I knew I spent a fortune on that trip, but I didn't care. Fashion excited me. There were so many different possibilities and combinations and it gave me a way to express my personality to strangers without having to say words. I didn't care about how much I spent. It would just mean I would have to perform an hour longer on the streets. No big deal.

"I need a break," I groaned.

"Perfect," Zoe purred and slammed a stack of magazines by my head, which caused me to scream, jump about 6 feet off my bed, and fall onto the floor.

When I popped my head over the bed, Zoe was laughing so hard that no sound was coming from her mouth and she was clutching her stomach. I had to join in with her. We both burst out into a fit of laughter that turned into tears.

"Don't worry... Learning... How... To kiss... Isn't that... Scary!" She said in between laughs.

"Learning how to kiss?" I questioned, wiping my tears.

"Seventeen is the expertise on kissing advice," she said and handed me an issue.

"'17 Sweet Kisses to Try,'" I read quizzically.

"Just try it. They're geniuses," she insisted. I succumbed and flipped to the suggested page 110.

"'The perfect first kiss! Step one: Start smooth, focus on one thing only: keeping your lips soft, melty, and slightly open. Step two: Use your hands. Bring your arms up to his shoulders, and slowly reach one hand to the back of his head. The scalp has tons of nerve endings, so he'll feel really good! This move will take you from a good kisser to a fan-freaking-tastic one.' Well if I'd be fan-freaking-tastic, then I'd better keep reading," I joked. Zoe laughed and urged me to keep reading. I re-found my place.

"'Step three: Add a little tongue. You don't want to go crazy here, but f you don't use any tongue at all, it's like kissing your grandma hello. Ease your tongue into his mouth, lightly pressing it against his tongue. The key is not to be forceful- no one wants to feel like they're being choked mid-makeout!" I read curiously and studied it for a moment.

"So..." Zoe said.

"That's genius," I mutter.

"I know right! Study this issue and you'll be a pro!" Zoe laughed and together we read about all the different kisses I could try with them and even the best lip balms, which 'coincidentally' Zoe 'happened' to 'suggest' to me earlier today, so I had all of the mentioned brands.

"That's why you made me buy those lip balms!" I laughed after reading it.

"What can I say?" She laughed and threw her hands up dramatically.

"We should start editing," I sighed and threw the magazine on the pile. I grabbed my laptop and she grabbed hers and we sat against the wall and edited while listening to upbeat music.

After we were done, we watched the hilarious videos to see if they were ready, uploaded them, and watched the hilarious tweets and comments flood in.

I am going to rock this date with Jack on Friday.

-----------------------------------

Author's note: WOW! This was a long one! Sorry, I needed another filler. I don't want this to be another "I met you yesterday and now we're in love" kind of story.

Please comment and vote! Thanks for reading! I just got back from girls camp and youth camp, so that's why this took me so long! I'll be updating more often, I swear!

Kisses,

Hannalizzy

Xoxo.

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