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


41. Forty one

"Hey." I say to Alex when we're practicing our music thing one day. "Johanna's cousin is coming today."

"Oh yeah?" he says, writing something down in the notebook.

"Yeah. Johanna says that he's staying for a couple of weeks." 


"Maybe we could go over. Johanna-"

"Will you quit saying Johanna?" he snaps. "You talk about Johanna a lot."

"Sorry." I mumble, grabbing my bag. "I'm gonna head over to hers now."

"Hey." he shakes his head, grabbing my hand and tugging on it until I sit down. "I wasn't being mean, I was just saying."

"You were kind of being mean." 

The corners of his mouth quirk upwards. "Are you gonna tell on me or what?" 

I try not to smile but I can't help it and I shove him. "You're a little bitch, Alex."

"Yeah yeah." he gets up. "Come on, let's go meet Johanna's cousin."

When we get to Johanna's, they're all already in the living room. Carrie and Johanna are watching Youtube videos and Jem is sat across from Alice and it looks like he's telling her some sort of funny story because he's laughing as he speaks and Alice's cheeks are flushed as she forces herself to make eye contact. I can see what she sees in him because we always had exactly the same taste. He's tall and kind of skinny and he has blonde hair and nice cheekbones. If I'd have met him a year ago, I'm sure Alice and I would be obsessing over him together.

"Hey." I say smiling at them all as Alex and I walk in hand and hand. 

"Oh, hey guys!" Johanna exclaims and turns to Jem. "Jem, this is Kaya and Alex."

"Hey you guys." he gives a little wave and then looks at our joined hands. "So you two are an item?"

"Yes, they are." Johanna says. 

"And you're Alex with the cars?" Jem asks.

"Yes." Alex smiles, unsure. 

"Jem, shut up, stop being nosy." Johanna glares at him.

"I'm not being nosy, I'm just trying to get to know your friends!" Jem protests.

"So do you guys argue as much as Johanna and Alex argue because I'm not sure I can handle that." Carrie says and everybody laughs.

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