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


14. Fourteen

I'm waiting outside, are you ready?? Alex texts me on Saturday

I take a deep breath and look in the mirror. I'm wearing a lilac strapless dress with a fitted bodice and then it flares out a bit at my waist down to above my knees. I'm wearing heels the same colour which I hope I can walk in okay and I've curled my hair a bit. I think I look okay. I hope I look okay.

I make my way downstairs and see that Alex has obviously knocked on the door getting impatient with me because he's standing in the hallway and talking with my dad. My dad looks like the typical passive aggressive, apprehensive dad and Alex looks nervous. He grins when he sees me, obviously relieved that it's time to leave.

"You ready?" he asks.

"Yep." I grab my bag from the peg by the door and turn to my dad, kissing him on the cheek. "See you later dad."

"Bye sweetheart." he says and then he looks at Alex. "Nice meeting you, Alexander."

"Very nice meeting you, sir." Alex gives a little nod. "She'll by back by midnight."

"Okay." Dad nods as we leave. "Have fun!" 

"We will!" I call and shut the front door behind me. 

We climb into Alex's car, he's driving the red one today. This is my second favourite, next to the black Lamborghini I think. 

"What did my dad say to you?" I ask.

"Just the usual stuff, what I like to do, he asked me about the car, about what football team I support."

I nod. "Where's the convertible?" I ask him.

"You are full of questions today." he smirks. "But anyway, I was going to drive it but I figured you'd have been pissed if it messed up your hair."

I go to object, but he's not wrong so I just stay quiet.

"You look really pretty." he says. "Purple looks nice on you."

"Thank you." I say, surprised at his compliment. "You don't look too bad yourself." 

He laughs. "Well thank you very much."

We stay quiet for a little while longer and then something occurs to me. 

"Am I going to meet your parents?" I ask. 

"Yeah." he says. "They're meeting us there, I told them I wanted to pick you up."

"Oh right." I say, suddenly nervous. I imagine that his parents are very... I don't know, I bet they're nice, but I also bet they're quite judgmental. I imagine they want Alex to be spending time with the cheerleaders in school who have rich, sophisticated parents and who have nice manners and know how to present themselves. I'm just a bit awkward and I forget to say polite things sometimes and now I'm nervous. It's not just the fact that they're Alex's parents, I just always feel like parents have to like me otherwise I feel bad.

"Hey, don't be nervous." he frowns. "They'll like you."

"I'm not nervous." I lie. 

They are just as posh and sophisticated as I thought they would be but they're nice at the same time and seem to like me. The ceremony for the wedding is beautiful. It's kind of nice to be sitting there watching these two people I don't know get married and when I glance at Alex, he's smiling and that's nice to see. I'm almost sure I can see him glancing at me from time to time out of the corner of my eye but maybe I'm just making that up. 

After the couple have had their first dance, another slow song comes on and other people pair up and start to dance. I start to make my way back to our table to get a drink but Alex grabs my hand, dragging me towards everybody. 

"No." I say. "No, I'm not good with dancing." 

"This is barely dancing, Kaya, come on."

I groan but I follow him anyway. He stops walking near the middle of the dance floor and turns to face me, putting his hands on my waist. I join my hands together behind his neck because I'm pretty sure that's what I'm supposed to do. After that, it just sort of comes naturally. We just kind of have to sway and move from one foot to the other. 

"Why do you even want to dance anyway?" I ask him. "You're not the dancing type."

"I guess I'm just feeling generous." the corners of his mouth quirk upwards. 

"Oh yeah, I am so honoured to be dancing with you." I joke. 

"So you should be." he chuckles, pulling me a little closer. "You know, I kind of love weddings."

"Weddings are lovely." I agree. 

He looks at me for a moment, speculating something. I start to feel uncomfortable and I let go of him, taking a step back. "Quit staring."

He chuckles, grabbing my waist again and I automatically put my arms back where they were and we go back to the swaying and moving from one foot to the other.

"I was just thinking, you look kind of sad." he says. "Not really, but it's kind of like something's bothering you."

I shrug. "Nothing's bothering me."

He smiles, looking past my shoulder and then back at me. "You know you're about as good at lying as you are at dancing."

"Oh whatever." I roll my eyes but I can't help finding it funny. 

"So what's really up with you?" he asks. 

"I wouldn't say anything's up with me." I smile. "I'm just not speaking to my friends right now, they're mad about..."

I trail off, not wanting to tell him. 

"Mad about what?" he asks. 

I sigh. "They think I'm spending too much time with you."

He laughs out loud. "Seriously? That's what they're mad about."

I laugh, relieved that he's not hurt or anything. I don't know why he would be but I'm glad anyway. 

"I know, it's kind of stupid." 

"It's really stupid. There's no such thing as too much time with me." he's probably only half joking. "Anyway, I'm not going to get mad with you any time soon so don't worry about it."

I just smile because I don't really know what else to say. I try to think back to before I started this whole music project with Alex and I can't even imagine the guy I thought he was. I have a wave of appreciation for him. He has this way of knowing how to act in certain situations and there's just something about him that you can't help but love even if you don't love him. I can't worry about my friends right now, not when he's being such a good friend to me. 

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