The Player and The Played

I’ll pick the girl on the first day of school.
First, befriend her.
Second, romance her.
Third, commence the three F’s.
Fourth, the ‘L’ word.
Good luck.

*I never knew about the game. But I should’ve seen it coming. I just didn’t expect that from him*


1. Prologue

~~* Laurel *
The harsh, cold, winds blow around me pushing my hood off of my head, I clench my eyes closed for a moment as my face gets attacked from the rain that was against me, there was only so many times I could be bother taking my hands out of the safe confinement of my pockets to fix the hood, so I left it, allowing my brown hair to fly around everywhere. If only I’d waited for my sister or her fiancé to get home, then they could’ve driven me to my best friend’s house.
Finally I arrive at my destination, my best friend Tori’s doorstep and knock loudly on the door, hoping I was heard over the howling winds, the door opens to reveal Tori’s mother who gives me a sad smile. “She’s upstairs Laurel.” Is all she says stepping out the way for me to enter the house.
I nod politely already halfway upstairs, I’d never had any reason to knock on Tori’s door, we’d been like sisters growing up, always simply opening each other’s bedroom doors, the opening of the door was our way of making an entrance, but when I opened the door this time I almost wished I hadn’t, biting my lip and holding back the tears at the sight before me, surely that wasn’t who I thought it was.
“Laurel.” Tori says wide eyed and I watch as the boy hovering over her looks over his shoulder.
His eyes also widening as a breathy, “Babe.” Slips from my boyfriend, Alex’s, lips.
I suck in a deep breath and run a hand through my damp brown hair, “Save it.” I interrupt as Alex clambers off of Tori, standing beside her bed, Tori sitting up and grasping the blankets to cover herself. “I’m leaving in a week, I thought you’d like to know.” I whisper, stepping away from Alex’s outstretched hand. “Don’t, don’t touch me.” I say spinning around and bolting down the stairs hearing both Tori and Alex call for me to stop.
Tori’s mum frowns at me as I wipe under my eyes. “It’s going to be alright Laurel.” She comforts, misunderstanding my mood, until she listens to the sounds coming from upstairs, it wasn’t just her daughter’s voice but a male’s voice as well.
I shake my head lightly, “Yeah everything will be alright,” I agree with her, “Once I’m out of this town and away from liars.”
With that I opened the door and stepped back into the harsh weather, instead of heading back home I head towards the park, trying to comprehend what I’d just witnessed and seen.
My best friend and boyfriend, were going at it behind my back, I wasn’t going to be missed apparently.
This change was obviously a good thing, I didn’t have to live near them, only one more week and I was gone.
After twenty minutes or so I started to contemplate going home when I feel something drop on my shoulders and someone help me stand up before I’m enveloped in a hug that was blocking me from the wind.
My mind goes back to when my mother had told me we were moving just a few hours ago and my reaction to the news.

‘Laurel!’ My mums voice echoes down the hall as I lift myself up, looking over the back at the couch as my mechanic mother walks in in her grease covered old jeans and sweater. ‘Sweetheart I need to tell you something.’
She looked so happy with what she was about to tell me, yet still worried, probably at how I’d react to it all. ‘Yeah?’
My mother stands before me, wringing her hands in front of her, ‘A great job opportunity came up for me.’ She started slowly, trying to figure out how she was going to word it all. ‘We’d have to move though, next week.’
My head snaps up as I get up from the couch, ‘Move? Why? Mum it’s senior year.” I complain running a hand through my hair in frustration. ‘We can’t just move.’ I call storming out of the room and straight into a chest, hot tears threatening to fall as arms wrap around me tightly.
‘I’ll go see mum.’ I hear my sister Steph say to whomever was holding me.
‘Alright.’ I hear Steph’s fiancé Declan say as he begins to lead me into the dining area.
‘You know this is a great opportunity for you mum.’ Declan says as we step apart, ‘Plus you know the area.’
I look up at him and narrow my eyes, ‘What do you mean I know the area?’
Declan cracks a grin as Steph steps up beside him, it’s Steph who responds to my question, ‘You’ll be moving near us.’

Declan pulls back and leads me to his car, cranking the heater as we both just sit there for a moment until Declan’s phone rings. “Hey Steph.” A pause, “Yeah I’ve got her, we’re coming home now.” An even longer pause, “I’ll tell her, see you soon Steph.” 
Silence fills the car as I pull my knees to my chest and stare forward, Declan turns to look at me. “Your mum and Steph know what happened,” He says before turning back forward and starting the car. “Your mum wants to know if you want to move in a week or the second we finish packing.”
And with that Declan started to drive through the dark, leaving the question to swirl through my head.
Earlier I would’ve said stay, but now? How could I stay, those two were the only people I was close to in this town. I think we’ll be leaving as soon as possible.
“Can we leave now?” I murmur into my knees, “Like not even bother going home?”
Declan lets out a light chuckle turning up the heater. “But we have to get Mr Tickles first don’t we?”
I can’t help the laugh that leaves my lips and Declan’s ridiculous words. “How could I forget?”
Declan lets out a mock scoff, “Beats me.”

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