Not For Me

Kalei has just moved from Washington to Australia to get away from her problems. She thinks she'll never make any friends, and no one will like her. But on her first day of school, someone's major crushing. But what will happen when she's got her eye on his best friend?


84. At the Formal Pt. 1

Kalei’s POV

Michael had a mirror in his bedroom. I had finished getting dressed and ready half an hour ago, but I couldn’t stop staring at myself in the mirror. Despite my green and blue blended dress, I felt horribly ugly. My stomach seemed to extend past the belt of the dress, and my makeup seemed smudged. My hair looked like a rat’s nest after I tried putting it up. My knee-high white boots seemed too high, but at the same time, not high enough. I turned my body, positioning myself every which way, but I saw flaws everywhere. My eyes flicked down to my wrists. Oh, no! I forgot to buy sleeves to cover up my wrists! I can’t go to the formal with my skin slitted as much as this…

“Hey, K? You done yet?” Michael called from outside the bedroom door. I dropped myself onto his bed and crossed my arms, hiding my multiple scars. He walked in and sat next to me after I called for him to come in. “Y’alright, love?” he asked, wrapping an arm around my waist. I nodded and whimpered a small “mhm” without looking at him. “Kalei.”

I looked at him with hurt eyes, letting my arms drop. “I forgot to buy sleeves…” Tears brimmed my eyes, wondering how I would be able to go with exposed scars. “Do you think… do you think I could borrow a sweater or something?” Michael smiled and kissed my forehead lightly.

“My trashy style doesn’t suit your goddess-like dress, K,” he told me with a smile. “Besides, with the way you look right now, no one will even notice you’re scarred. You look absolutely perfect, with or without marks.” I smiled at him slightly, happy that he was showing his sweet side right now. I needed it. “Now,” he whispered before lightly pressing his lips against mine. He pulled away as soon as he came in. “We have a dance to go to. And I have a girlfriend that I need to brag about.” He kissed me again and stood up; his arm was still around my waist so I stood, too.

“If you’re talking about me, there’s not much to brag about,” I insult myself with a chuckle.

“You just shut up, okay? If you have nothing nice to say about yourself, don’t say anything at all.”

Michael and I walked out of his house, arms linked together, and into his car. He didn’t let go of my hand the whole way to school. Wrapped Around Your Finger was playing in his car, and I desperately wanted to sing along. I chose not to. He smiled at me, lightly singing along to his song, nudging me with his elbow with a cheesy smile. It was a smile that reminded me of Thomas Sanders’ “misleading compliment” Vines. When he showed his sweet side, Michael reminded me a lot of Thomas. They were both super cheesy when they wanted to be, and Michael’s obsession with Pokemon was adorable. Then again, I have over 500 cards at home, so I can’t say much. 

“C’mon, K, you know you wanna sing~” Michael turned up the volume to where the song was blasting in the car. “You were miiinnnee for the niiigggghhhtttt, I was ooouuuttt of my miiiinddd!” I lightly giggled at his attempt and turned away. “If you don’t sing, I’ll call you ‘Lei’ for 3 months.” He pouted, staring at the back of my head. I sighed, my eyes finally meeting his. I can’t go back to that… That name holds more memories than any history book.

“If I sing, you can’t speak until the song is over,” I reply, negotiating.

“Mh,” Michael whined in his chest. “Fine. Now sing like the canary you are deep inside!” His eyes reluctantly left mine, now locking on the road before him. I could tell he was purposefully taking the long way.

“Making all our plans in the Santa Cruz sand that night…” I started out rather quietly, barely making noise, but I slowly began to get louder. “I thought I had you in the palm of my hand that night… Screaming at the top of my lungs till my chest fell tight... I told myself that I’m never gonna be alright!” I yelled song lyrics throughout the car with closed eyes, momentarily forgetting all my insecurities. I yelled the song into the air, releasing everything I’ve ever worried about. “Wrapped around your finger~” I smiled, slowly opening my eyes.

My relief was short-lived, however, as I realized the car was stopped in front of school, my window was down, and the song had been paused before I even finished. Luke, Alyssa, Ashton, Hailey, Calum, Jenai, Live, Brianna, and other students I didn’t know stood out my window, staring at me. I felt heat crawl up my face and rest on my cheeks, blushing out of complete embarrassment. I scanned the crowd around Michael’s car, looking at all the eyes on me. I saw Bella in the very front of the car and gulped. She smirked, seeing how nervous I was in front of her and everyone else.

Starting with Michael, everyone began clapping and whistling. Bella and I both were surprised, expecting something totally different. Michael and I got out of the car while everyone’s claps and yells began to die down. Many compliments were handed out to me, even though I didn’t think I deserved it.

“See?” Michael started, standing next to me. “I’m not the only one who thinks you’re a great singer.” I looked around, blushing, as everyone watched Michael and me walk into the school. He allowed me in first, and I waited on the sides as the rest of the students outside piled in. After a few seconds, all of my friends made it and came up to me. I looked around past everyone, in search of my raven-haired best friend. My search and thoughts were interrupted when Luke slammed his arm around my shoulder, causing me to flinch.

“Luke!” I yelled, calling over everyone so he could hear me.

“Whaaaaaat?” He giggled, knowing exactly “whaaaaaat”.

“Get off my girlfriend, mate,” Michael said as he shoved Luke away from me and into Alyssa’s arms.

“Fine. I have my own girlfriend.” Luke stuck his tongue out and hugged Alyssa with his whole body. She seemed to have flashed an annoyed glare at him and Live before smiling brightly and hugging back. Jaden glanced at them in irritation before looking at Hailey, who was watching Alyssa intently.

“Oookay, can we please hit the dance floor before I get insecure again?” I laughed nervously and leaned lightly against Michael’s shoulder, making sure my wrists faced away from the group.

“Sure, K,” Michael smiled and kissed the top of my head before taking my hand.

“Yeah, let’s go~” Jaden said, almost too sweetly.

“Actually, I need to talk to Ashton for a sec.” Alyssa pushed away from Luke. “...Alone.” She flashed a death glare at Hailey, flicking her eyes toward the gym where the dance was being held.

“Uhm, okay,” Ashton said a bit uncomfortably, “Hailey? Could you get us a coupla drinks, love?” He gave a slight smile and kissed her on the forehead to make her feel better.

“Uh… yeah, okay. C’mon, guys, let’s leave them to it.” Hailey led the group out to the gym.

“Hey, don’t worry, Ash is a faithful guy.” I smiled and held her hand while we stood by the snack table.

“Yeah, but Alyssa is still really pretty and nice… Live is a bit sketchy to me, though.”

“I don’t like either of them, to be honest.” I pouted and crossed my arms, wondering why the minion wasn’t with her boss. “What do you think Luke sees in her? She’s kind of annoying…” I blinked, not sure if I meant the dishonors I spoke.

“Yeah, she is, but I guess Luke thought if he wasn’t good enough for you, no one else mattered, so he just settled for the next single girl who wanted him.”

I shook my head and pursed my lips, rejecting even the thought. “Nah, Luke is too sweet a guy to do that. He’s almost like a little puppy, he wouldn’t hurt anyone on purpose, and he’d definitely never play a girl for his own benefit. But still… Out of everyone, Alyssa?”

“Don’t get too assumptuous, Kalei.” Live’s cloudy green eyes pierced mine as she stepped within close proximity with me, resulting in my needing to step back one. “You have no proof that I or Alyssa are up to something, and it’s not like you have no blood on your hands.” She glanced down at my exposed arms. “Or your wrists.” Her snarkiness became almost unbearable, I wanted to stab her right then and there. Dang, K, chill out, you impulsively-homicidal weirdo. I lightly chuckled at my sudden thoughts for a reason beyond myself.

“Yeah whatever,” I replied in an exasperated tone. “Just leave me alone, you annoying little notch.”

“Because ‘notch’ is definitely a real word~” Her too-long eyelashes fluttered knowingly.

“Actually, it is. You’d know that if you had a brain as big as your ego, or just a brain at all.” I smiled and glanced past Live, only to see Alyssa holding Ashton against the wall of the commons.

Ashton’s Pov

I looked down at the brunette who had me pinned, glaring at her in a half angered and half bewildered way. “Leave me alone, Alyssa. You have Luke, and I have Hailey.” The girl before me glowered in an attempt to intimidate me.

“Why do you deal with her? She’s so annoyingly naive and innocent. I can give you so much more, Ash~” She held her hand to where it cupped my neck, her glare morphed into a seductive grin.

“Oh… well when you put it that way…” I flashed a smile and rested my hands on her hips. She smiled and used both hands to rub the sides of my neck with her thumbs. “She’s way better than I thought she was!” I threw her to the side, my arms unraveling her as I stepped away from the wall, away from the opportunity for her to corner me. “Argh… Wait till I tell Hailey about this…”

My out-loud thoughts were interrupted by her fake, obnoxious laugh. “Are you kidding? She wouldn’t do a thing to me, or anyone. But when I tell Live, she’ll make sure your little girly friend stays outside of a 20-mile radius from here.”

“And what are you gonna tell her exactly? That I hurt your feelings by not giving in to your seduction?” I snickered, knowing there’s no way for her to get to me.

“Oh, no, I’ll tell her that you simply called her ugly. I won’t even mention Hailey, but she’s heard her say something like that, so she’ll go straight after her.”

“Tch,” I scoffed and crossed my arms. “You’re both petty.”

“I think you meant ‘pretty’.”

“What does Luke see in you?”

“Confidence. And it’s not like he’s wrong,” she released a soft cackle.

“Whatever. I’m going now, I need to get back to my girlfriend. Later.” I let my arms fall to the side and walked past the girl, leaving her staring at a wall and seething with rage.

The gym was almost full to bursting. How am I going to find her from here? I pushed past dancing students who were- probably- drunk and looked for my girlfriend. Before I could even call her name, K came up to me and smiled before inquiring.

“Have you seen Luke?” She asked, her fake grey eyes twinkling with optimism.

“I haven’t even seen Hailey,” I laughed into embarrassed honesty. “I’m surprised I found you in this crowd.”

“I know, right?” K laughed and reached her hand up to tuck a flyaway strand of hair behind her ear. I took notice of scarlet lines drawn across her wrist.

“Are you okay?” I asked impulsively, staring at her scars. Her face turned red in an instant and I realized I might’ve offended her. “Not that it’s obvious or anything, it’s just I-”

“Ashton,” the brunette before me sighed. Her eyes looked distant, and I could see the brown irises behind her contacts filled with pain. “I’m fine!” And just as soon as I saw the real Kalei, it was locked away in a shell of optimism once again. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go look for Luke.” Standing on her toes, K enveloped me in a hug and disappeared before I could return her farewell.


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