Rich

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

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34. Thirty four

I go downstairs after having a shower a couple of nights later and my Dad has my phone in his hand. I frown and then sigh, standing at the door with my arms crossed. I kind of feel like I'm the parent right now and he sure looks like the guilty kid. 

"Sorry." he says apologetically. "It kept going off."

"And you had to read the messages?" I nod at the phone.

He shrugs and I sigh again, sitting next to him and taking my phone back. There are a couple of messages from Johanna but they're mainly from Alex:

Hey
Heyyy
HEY
HELLO
KAYA HELLO
Well you keep being rude, whatever, see if I care

I reply:

What do you wantttt

"So it would seem like you and Alex are on speaking terms again." Dad says. 

"Mhm."

"Are you going to invite him to dinner?" 

I frown. "Do I have to?"

"Yep." Dad ruffles my hair, standing up. "Thursday."

I call Alex later on and he picks up straight away. I don't know why I find that so strange. I just always expect him to be the kind of person to take ages answering the phone because he has more important things to do. It's so weird that he was just there with his phone, waiting for me to call. 

"You took your time." he says. 

"Sorry." I say smiling, lying down on my bed and staring at the ceiling. There are some moments where you're completely content and this is one of them. I feel like I could lie on my bed in the glow of my lamp and just listen to Alex over the phone forever. 

"I just fancied a chat." he says, sounding just as content. 

"Me too actually." I say back. "How's your day been?" 

"Pretty bad." 

I frown. "Why?"

"Just bored of everything. I just feel like I need some time away from it all, you know?" he says. 

"I know what you mean. You are pretty much a millionaire, remember? You can just jet off whenever you feel like it." I remind him.

He chuckles. "Nah. I'm not bored of you."

"Yet." I add.

"Yet." he agrees and then laughs again. It's a soft laugh. It's nice. "You could totally come with me anyway. We could both jet off."

"Yeah." I agree. "Where would we go?"

"New York." he says definitely. "Have you ever been to New York?" 

"Yeah, on a school trip in seventh grade. We didn't get to do very much though, I don't really remember it."

"Well we'll go one day." he says. 

"Yeah?" 

"Yeah."

I pause, smiling to myself. "Are we still just pretending?"

"I don't know." he chuckles. 

"My dad wants you to come over for dinner on Thursday." I tell him. 

"Oh yeah?" Alex says, sounding surprised. "Does he know we're together?"

"I don't know what he thinks to be honest." I laugh a little. "If you come up with an excuse, you don't have to come."

"I want to come." he says which shocks me a little. 

"Alex-"

"Kaya, I want to come for dinner." he says finally. "Don't stress about it."

"I'm not stressing about it." I say defensively. 

"You're always stressing about everything." he says and I laugh. 

"Okay." I say, smiling to myself again. "Night Alex."

"Since when were you going to sleep? I'm not done with our little chat." he says but I can hear the smile in his voice. 

"Alex."

"Okay, fine. As long as we can continue this."

"This time tomorrow." I promise. 

He hesitates and I imagine that he's smiling. "Night, Kay."

"Night." 

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