"Head in the clouds, got no weight on my shoulders"
When I was little, I thought life was perfect. But now, everything is a lie. I face things every single day ever since my mom died. About 80 percent of them involve my dad. He wants me to be something that I'm not, and it's stupid. I can't change myself, but in order to appease to him, I made this compromise with him. This compromise was worse than what he wants me to actually be. I've got 99 problems. But you, Ashton, won't be one.


28. Elephants

It's now Sunday morning, and the only thing I can remember from last night was basically faking that I feel sick to my dad, and running out of the club with my friends.

It just took one shot of that vodka to make it seem real enough. I regret taking it though.

We were all able to crash at Marlee's house, in which her parents were very kind of letting us stay the night for the only other adults who know my situation besides Julie were her parents. I'm thankful enough to have people like them around in my life.

I woke up to my phone buzzing. As I checked the message, it was definitely dad.

From: dad "morning I'm heading off to the airport to head to NYC. Take care."

Take care. All he could say was take care. No I love you. No don't burn down the house. No don't bring any boys home. No use a condom.

I sigh and sit up throwing on the spare t shirt I had in my bag over my uniform. I undo my uniform top and take it off from under the shirt. I pull out my spare gym shorts and put them on, after taking off the skirt of course. I throw my hair up into a very messy ponytail and sit up in the sleeping bag.

Why were people from school there? More importantly, why was Ashton there?

I yawn loudly as my phone buzzes signifying a text message. Who could be messaging me? All of my friends are in the same room and my dad will most likely not text me throughout the week.

So either Hannah or Audrey asking where I am.

I was wrong.

From: Ashton Irwin "morning Connor Watson. :)"

Just seeing that text from him made me smile a bit.

To: Ashton Irwin "morning Ashton Irwin :-)"

From: Ashton Irwin "oh you used the nose damn it. Anywho how was the rest of your evening such?"

Oh god.

That's when I hear a groan. "Morning Con." I hear Marlee say sleepily. I look over at her.

"Mar, Ashton asked how the rest of my evening was since he dropped me off at my house." I say worried.

"Just tell him it was alright and say you watched a shit ton of Netflix." She mumbled and falls back onto her bed.

I roll my eyes and type.

To: Ashton Irwin "It was fine. Just watched a shit ton of Netflix. Finished up a season of Gossip Girl going to start the next one soon. You?"

In reality I've only watched about four episodes of season one of Gossip Girl and I need to pick up on that. Chuck is an asshole and Blair is a bitch.

From: Ashton Irwin "It was eventful. Some of Amy's cheerleader friends' boyfriends forced me to come with them to this burlesque club outside of Auburn and I didn't want to go but I got an ultimatum from them. -_-"

"Oh my holy shit." I say to myself.

"What?" I hear Luke sit up from Marlee's other side.

"Ashton was forced to go to the club last night."


After returning to my house from Marlee's house, Ashton asked if he can come over. I said sure but no things I wouldn't want to be doing that come with things after the bet.

He of course said fuck you Watson.

I laughed.

"Welcome back Connor." Hannah said as I entered the house through the garage.

"Hey Hannah. So I got the whole house to myself?" I ask smiling widely. She nods and I run upstairs.

I run into my dad's room and into his office. I run to the back and pull down a dusty box. I wipe it clean and open it up, being greeted with a musky scent of the box not being opened for six years.

These were my mom's old books.

As I searched through her books, one book stood out.

Alan Turing: The Enigma.

The movie that's based on this book came out last Friday. I saw it and thought it was amazing. But while looking at this book, I don't want Ashton to suffer through a thousand pages of small print until the end of the semester. For two reasons.

One, it looks so long.

Two...I kind of want him to kiss me.

I put the book away and keep looking.

Let's see...he read Thirteen Reasons Why and also A Tale of Two Cities.

That was when one book came into view.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

I remember mom reading this and asking if I can read it after her and she told me when I'm older.

That was two years before her death.

The doorbell rings. I get up off the floor and run out of my dad's office, out of his room, down the stairs, over to the front door, and opened it.

It was Ashton.

"Hey." I say with a smile.

"Hey." He replies. "So before you start judging, I didn't want to go to this club thing beforehand."

I just keep up this façade of nodding but I stop smiling. "That's terrible that you were forced to this thing." I say.

I feel like Audrey and Hannah are overhearing this.

"Yeah." He looks down.

"Want to go watch Netflix?" I ask.

"Sure. I promise no Netflix and chill." He chuckles and I chuckle along.

We head upstairs and enter my room. "By the way, is that the final book for the bet?"

Wait, what?

I look down at my arms and I forgot that I was still carrying Water for Elephants.

I think I saw another copy in that box so what the hell.

"Yeah." I say and hand the copy to him.

This is his final stretch.

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