You can't decide whether money changes things or not; it does. You can decide, however, whether it changes things for better or worse.


18. Eighteen

We don't really talk about what happened afterwards, we just listen to music on the way home and feel pretty happy about it all. We say goodbye and I go inside through the living room window again and fall straight to sleep. It all hits me when I wake up later that day and suddenly I'm wide awake. I wasn't admitting it to myself that I liked him like that but of course I have for a while, I guess.

I don't know what's going to become of all this but I can't help thinking about us being together. I wonder if my friends would be angry but I think they'd just rather I was happy. I wonder what his friends would think as well. 

He texts me at around 1 in the afternoon:

Are you coming over to work on the duet? :)

I reply:

Yeah sure :) 

He replies:

Good because I'm outside your house 

I just laugh and meet him in his car. On the entire way to his house, we just talk normally and I don't know whether I should feel disappointed or not. It's kind of if nothing ever happened when I'm pretty sure that kiss was a big deal. It seemed like it to me anyway. We work for an hour before he brings it up. 

"So about that kiss last night." he says out of nowhere. 

I look up at him with wide eyes. "Yeah."

"I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page."

My heart is thudding a little. "What page?" 

"It was just... kind of a random one off thing." he says, so carefree. "You know what I mean? Like an in the moment thing, for fun."

"Yeah." I nod, trying and managing to hide my disappointment. "Definitely. We're just friends."

"Yeah." he grins. "I'm glad we're good."

"I don't see why we wouldn't be." I say and he laughs. 

"Yeah, I guess you're right, I was just a bit worried."

And we carry on like normal. At home that evening and that night, I'm sad. I'm disappointed and sad and down. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I was stupid. But then the next morning when I look out of my window and I can see him sitting there in his car, messing around with his hair in the mirror, I feel angry. I wasn't stupid, that wasn't stupid of me. When you kiss somebody, it means you like them in more than a friendly way. If he had no intention of continuing this then he should have just not done it. He's the one at fault here. 

I have options here. I could have a long, calm talk with him about it. That seems like the least appealing option. I could yell at him about how pissed off I am or I could completely ignore him. But I choose to really bug him. I'm going to spend time with him like usual but be kind of off so he knows that something's wrong but I'll just keep being all "Oh I'm fine, nothing's wrong". I know him well enough to know that that will really annoy him. I just want him to at least know that he's done something wrong even if I never fully admit it. 

"Hey." he says cheerily as I get in the car, just like normal.

"Hello." I say simply and don't look at him. 

He starts driving and I can see him frowning at me out of the corner of my eye. "Bad mood?"

"No." I say, distantly like I have way more important things to be thinking about.

"Okay." he says but he sounds unsure. 

I feel a little bit vindicated. He comes up to mine and my friends' table at lunch as well and smiles at me. 

"So are you still good for the movies this weekend?" he asks, crouching down by my seat. 

"Oh sorry, I forgot about that, I have plans to go out for dinner with my friends instead now." I say, not looking at him. 

"Oh don't worry about that, we can do that on Friday instead." Carrie suggests. My heart pangs at this. They're all being so nice since the fight we had, trying to encourage me to spend more time with him. Little do they know that's the last thing I want to do right now. 

"No, we can do it on Saturday like we planned, we don't have to change the plans." I say. Alex still doesn't leave. I look at him. "Maybe some other time."

He looks surprised as he stands up and shrugs. "Okay." he says and then he walks away.

When I look back at my friends, they're all staring at me. 

"What?" I ask innocently. 

"You could have gone." Johanna said. 

"I didn't want to." I say and the bell goes and we drop it. I'm thankful that I don't have to explain the whole thing to them. It just seems a bit too complicated.

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