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


32. Thirty two

I'm in Costa Coffee with my friends that weekend when Alex calls me. I immediately reject the call before any of my friends see and Alex texts me straight away:

Hey you totally just rejected me bitch

I reply:

Hahahaha I can't talk right now

He replies:

Are you cheating on me?

I cringe a little at the fact that he's acknowledging that we like each other. I don't know why we're cringing, it's okay to admit we like each other but it's just really weird talking about it. I reply:

We aren't together so stop making things uncomfortable Alexander gosh

He replies:

What's making you feel uncomfortable? The fact that I like you, Kaya? Is it because I LIKE you? Does me LIKING YOU make you feel uncomfortable? God, I'd hate for you to feel uncomfortable Kaya because I REALLY LIKE YOU and I don't like people I LIKE feeling uncomfortable

I reply:


"What are you laughing at?" Johanna asks.

I look up from my phone. "My dad is texting me."

"Your dad must be hilarious." Carrie says. 

"Kaya's dad is hilarious." Alice adds. 

Alex calls me again and I reject the call again. And then he tries again and I reject it yet again. This goes on for another twenty minutes before I finally tell my friends I have to go to the bathroom and I stand outside the building to answer the call. 

"You're killing me." I say. 

"Who are you with?" he asks, sounding light hearted. 

"My friends." I tell him. "What do you want? I don't have long."

"Oh I just wanted a chat." he says and I can practically see the smug little smile on his face. "So how's your day going?"

"I hate you." I say, deadpan. 

"Oh you do?" he says in that same, smug tone of voice. "Because I really like you Kaya, really like you."

"Shut up." I say, laughing. "I have to go."

"Come to my house when you're done with your friends." he says straight away. 

I hesitate. "I don't know."

"Great, I'll see you at five."

"I have to be back for-"

"Yeah, I can't wait to see you either." he says and then hangs up.

I'm awkwardly walking around his house for a while later, trying to find which lounge Alex is in. I eventually find him in the one I found when I got lost. The one where we kissed. I wonder if he did this on purpose. He doesn't have any kind of knowing smile on his face or anything when I walk in so I'm guessing he didn't even realise. I just flop down on the couch beside him, tired. I walked the entire way here so none of my friends would find out I was coming here. 

"I broke up with Sarah." he says out of nowhere. 

I raise an eyebrow at him. "Really?" 

"Yeah." he says, looking back at me. 

"How did she react?" 

He shrugs. "She just went kind of quiet and said it was okay."

I nod, feeling awful. I've been where she's been. When she said it was okay, she didn't mean that, she just wanted the conversation to be over. I know that right now, she's at home sad about it and it's because of me. No it's not my fault if Alex likes me back, but it's my fault to choose to be seen around with him and rub it in her face and I'm not going to do that. 

"Hey." he says gently. "Don't look so sad."

"It's kind of sad." I say. 

He chuckles. "You get sad about In the Night Garden."

"I don't get sad about it." I protest. "I just don't like that Makka Pakka lives all by himself. It seems like the others go around together all day and Makka Pakka just washes everybody's faces and then goes home to an empty house."

"You're such a freak." he laughs as my phone goes off. It's a text from my dad telling me I've got to come home for dinner. 

"I've gotta go." 

"Okay." he says, reaching over and squeezing my hand. "Will you come over later?"

"I don't know." I glance at the clock. "I don't think I have time, my Dad won't let me out too late."

"Your dad won't know." he grins. 

"No." I refuse. "No way. Never again."

"I'll sneak into your house then." he suggests. 

"The last time that happened, we slept together."

"You say it like it's a bad thing." he says and we both laugh. 


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