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


13. Thirteen

Alex calls me the next night just as I'm about to fall asleep. I consider ignoring it but I kind of don't want to miss out on speaking to him. 

"Hey." I mumble, rubbing my eyes. 

"Hi." he says. "Will you do a favour for me?"

"Uh, I guess."

"Great. My dad's colleague is getting married and I've been invited as well as my parents. Will you be my plus one? There's going to be zero young people there and it might be a bit more fun if you're there."

I pause, still sleepy and confused. "I'll ask my dad in the morning."

He pauses as well. "Okay. Well, let me know."

"I will." I say and hang up, falling asleep.

At lunch the next day, I catch Alex's eye across the room. He grins, holding up a finger as if telling me to wait. He takes out a piece of paper from his pocket, scribbles something on it and holds it up to me. He's drawn a bush winking, like fuckin' in the bushes, and he winks as well. I laugh and mouth "no" at him and he grins, shaking his head. 

"Kaya." Johanna says, waving her hand in front of my eyes. 

"What?" I snap back into the conversation.

"Sleepover. Saturday. Can you come?" Carrie asks, sounding a little irritated.

"No, sorry. I'm going to this wedding with Alex." I explain. They all sigh and I frown. "What?" 

"Nothing." Alice says, shaking her head. 

I narrow my eyes. "You all clearly think there's something wrong."

"You're just spending a lot of time with Alex, you're kind of ignoring us." Johanna says. 

"I'm not ignoring you guys!" I protest.  

"You kind of are." Alice admits.

"It's just really not fair on us." Carrie says. "So don't hang out with us just because Alexander is busy. That's so unfair on us." 

"You're being ridiculous." I laugh, shaking my head. 

"Fine, then don't bother sitting with us." Johanna says. 

I can't really believe that they're so angry but I get up and walk out of the cafeteria anyway. I do take a minute to think about it just in case I have been ignoring them but I don't think I have. Sure I've been seeing a lot of Alex but it's just in time where me and my friends wouldn't be doing anything anyway as far as I'm concerned.

I'm really pissed off with them and way too angry to do anything that night but sit down that night and watch movies with my dad. He keeps sideways glancing at me, an anxious look on his face.

"What?" I demand eventually.

His eyes widen. "I was just wondering what's up with you."

I sigh. "Just friends." 


"No, everybody but Alex actually." I say and he leaves it at that for a while until he says something else. 

"You've been spending a lot of time with Alex."

In my head, I'm screaming at him telling him that I haven't but I just nod because maybe I have. 

"Maybe you should bring him over for dinner sometime." he says trying to sound casual and failing. "I'd like to meet him if you're spending a lot of time with him."

"I'll ask him." I say to please my dad when really I won't ask him and I'll just keep telling my dad that I forgot until he drops it.

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