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


12. Twelve

I'm stood at Carrie's locker with her when I see Alex and all of his friends walking down the corridor. He meets my eye and suddenly storms over. He seems angry and I have no idea why. Maybe he's just in a bad mood. He leans against the lockers, his arms crossed. 

"Hey." I say, unsure. 

"Hey?" he raises an eyebrow. "Seriously?" 

I frown and then realise. He came to pick me up this morning but I'd already gone with Johanna. I'd completely forgotten that we'd agreed on that. I groan.

"I'm sorry, I woke up late and just completely forgot." I say. 

"Kaya, I waited for you for like half an hour in case you'd just overslept and still wanted a ride!" he says, sounding really irritated. 

"I'm sorry." I say again. 

"Yeah." he says bitterly. 

I frown. "Look, I apologised, you don't have to be so mean about it."

"Well I'm sorry that I'm not into being messed around like that."

"I didn't mess you around!" I laugh, shocked that he's seriously this angry that I forgot to wait for him to pick me up. 

"I'm just letting you know now, Kaya, that I'm not really the kind of person who you can make wait around for you all day until it suits you-"

"Jesus christ, I forgot that we'd agreed that you'd pick me up for school, I made one mistake, stop being so obnoxious!" 

He just pushes himself off the lockers and walks away coolly as if he isn't even angry but I know he is and I am too. Carrie stares at me with wide eyes, looking kind of impressed. 

"When did you get yourself in the kind of position that allows you to argue with Alexander Logans?" she asks. 

I just shake my head, shrugging and we walk to class. I feel crappy about it all day and I'm guessing that the whole deal to work on the song after school is off but I get Johanna to drop me off at his house after school anyway and I make my way up to the music studio. I hover in the doorway for a moment and he doesn't notice me. He's working on the song by himself, making changes and scribbling them down in a notebook. 

"Hey." I say gently. "I like the changes. The song sounds good."

He looks up at me blankly and just nods, carrying on writing things down in his notebook. 

"Look I'm honestly sorry I forgot." I say, still in the doorway. "I-"

"I'm not mad because you forgot." he says, sounding like he's regretting what he's about to say. "I'm not even mad at you, I suppose. I'm mad at myself, I was just taking it out on you."

I go and sit beside him. "Why are you mad at yourself?" 

"Because I'm the kind of person who sits outside somebody's house for half an hour even when they're not even giving me the time of day to return my calls." he says, frustrated with himself. "I'm that kind of push over."

"You're not a pushover." I say. "You're just nice."

He laughs like he doesn't agree but just shakes his head, not wanting to get into it, I guess. 

"Do you really think I'm obnoxious?" he asks quietly. 

I shake my head. "Not really."

"I just feel like all the money has made me this really false person." he sits back in his seat. Any anger between us has completely gone now. "You know, all my friends assume that I'll pay for drinks if we go out or that I'll throw every party and don't get me wrong, I love throwing parties and everything, it just kind of sucks that sometimes it feels like people are only being friends with me because I do that stuff." 

"I don't think that's why they're friends with you. That's not why I'm friends with you." 

He smiles and then clears his throat. "So any serious character flaws that you would like to discuss today?" 

I laugh. "Not any serious character flaws, no."

"Any ordinary character flaws?" he presses. 

I shrug, thinking. "I guess I'm just a pretty crappy person sometimes. Not all the time, just sometimes. I feel like I'm selfish sometimes and that I say mean things and hurt people's feelings without realising it. I don't know."

"Are you kidding me?" he raises an eyebrow. "Kaya, you're literally the nicest person I've ever met."

I feel my cheeks heat up and before I can get too embarrassed, he swiftly changes the subject. 

"So no Fuckin' in the Bushes for us then?" he says. I hit him and he laughs. "I meant in the song."

"No, we are not having that song in the duet." 

"You're boring."

"You're inappropriate."

And we just work on the song as if nothing even happened.

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