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


33. Thirty three

Dad and I are at the table eating dinner a little while after I get home from Alex's house. Dad's telling me about some disaster in the office at work when we hear a massive thud from upstairs. I wince and close my eyes, hoping he didn't hear it but of course he did.

"What on earth was that?" he says, still looking up at the ceiling. 

"I don't know." I say innocently. 

"Was it your TV in your room?" he asks, sounding concerned. 

"Probably not."

"Kaya, you'd better go and check." he says and I sigh, getting up. "Hey, don't you sigh, if that TV is broken either you're paying the money for a new one or no more TV in your room."

"I get ya." I call as I go upstairs, into my room. Just as I suspected, there's Alex, crouching down in front of the mirror on my windowsill, sorting his hair out. I sigh, shutting the door behind me. 

"What are you doing here?" I whisper. 

He looks around, eyes wide. "I thought we agreed to this."

"Well yeah but I didn't realise you were coming so soon." I explain, sitting down next to where he's crouched in front of the mirror. 

He chuckles, standing up and pulling me up with me. His arms go straight around my waist and somehow my head goes straight against his chest without me even making an effort to do that. I don't mind, I just find it so strange that this is where we are now. I remember when he was so out of my reach, even when I didn't know I wanted him to be in my reach and now he's right here with me when he could be with any of his friends. I wonder if he thinks of me the same way. He pulls back a little and kisses me. I kiss him back and then pull away. 

"Hey." he mumbles, smiling, his eyes still closed. "What do you think you're doing?" 

I laugh, letting him kiss me again. "I have to go."

"No you don't." he says, opening his eyes and looking at me. 

"I hate to break it to you but I am in the middle of dinner with my father." I say and he rolls his eyes and pushes me away but he's smiling. 

"Whatever. Go have dinner with your dad, see if I care." 

"What are you going to do?" I ask.

"I don't know." he flops onto the bed, grinning at me. "Chill here. Wait patiently for your return."

"If you think we're having sex tonight, you can think again." 

"God dammit, Kaya." he jokes. 

When I sit back at the table, I tell my dad it was my clock that fell off the door and wait for a little while after dinner before I tell him I'm tired and that I'm just going to have a shower and go to bed. I have a shower and get into my pyjamas (not the usual onesie I would have liked, I do still care about what Alex thinks about me so I force myself into shorts and a vest top even though I'm freezing) and then walk back into my room. He's lounging around on my bed, reading my favourite book. 

"This book is sure something." he says, narrowing his eyes at the pages. 

"What do you mean?" I ask. 

"It's not the best piece of literature I've ever experienced." he says. 

"The best piece of literature you've ever experienced is the Gruffalo." I say moodily, snatching the book off of him. He looks up me and grins, letting out a low whistle. 

"I shouldn't have spent so long looking at that book." he says, looking me up and down. 

I frown, crossing my arms. "Don't be creepy."

He laughs. "I'm only kidding."

I raise my eyebrows. "So I look like crap in these pyjamas?" 

He frowns, his eyes wide at the same time. "What?" 

I laugh. "I'm just teasing you."

"Bitch." he jokes and I flop onto the bed beside him. He rests his cheek on the top of my head. "Have you told your friends yet?" 

"Told my friends what?" I ask. 

"That we're together."

"We're together?" 

He pauses. "I mean, I thought so."

"Oh no, I thought so too, I just didn't know if it was, like, confirmed."

He chuckles. "Dork. Have you told your friends?" 

"No." I shake my head. "I'm not really sure they'd understand. I love them but they wouldn't really get it. They'd be angry with me and think I was giving in."

"Why are your friends always the problem?" 

"Hey!" I protest even though I'm laughing. "It's not like you've told your friends."

"That is true." he kisses my cheek. "Alright, it's officially a secret."

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