Home > The Fill-In Boyfriend(13)

The Fill-In Boyfriend(13)
Author: Kasie West

Mrs. Rios must have supersonic hearing because her head whipped toward us. I leaned back. Half of class passed and I swore Bec was just trying to drive me insane by not saying a word. Finally she slipped a note back to me.

You are going to be his date to the party. His new “girlfriend.” You owe him.

My heart thumped loud in my chest. I had told him I owed him a fake date on prom night. He’d taken me up on it. Why had he taken me up on it?

The day passed excruciatingly slowly as I thought about Saturday. I hoped seeing him again wasn’t going to screw up my plans. No, this was good. Like I said before, he could answer my questions and it would be over.

It was hot as I headed toward Claire’s car at the end of the day. Had it been this hot all day? I peeled off my sweater and laced it through the strap of my backpack. When I looked up, Logan Fowler was standing in front of me, blocking my path. His easy smile and confident posture reminded me why I had told Claire to ask him to prom. He was definitely A material. I returned his smile.

“Logan.”

“Gia. What happened at prom? You were supposed to be my queen.”

“Are you rubbing it in that you won and I didn’t, Logan?”

He let out a loud laugh. “I was just surprised you didn’t, that’s all.”

Why did everyone else keep bringing this up? Did they want me to be upset? “I guess you’ll have to dance with me another time.” I moved to go around him but he held out his arm, stopping me.

“I’m having a party this weekend. Come.”

“This weekend?”

“Saturday.”

The invitation that Bec had left sitting on my desk for all of first period flashed in my mind. Of course it would be the same day. She’d kill me if I bailed now. “I can’t, but thanks for the invite.” I pushed his arm away and left him, throwing a smile over my shoulder to let him know I wasn’t trying to be mean.

“I see how you are. Playing hard to get.”

I laughed and kept walking.

Claire was already in her car when I got there. I collapsed into the passenger seat.

“Well, hello to you too,” Claire said.

“Hey, baby.”

“Oh, now you talk sweet to me.” She started the car. “So, check out my hair.”

I looked at her hair but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. It was long and black and shiny just like it always was. “Yep, it’s still perfect.”

She shoved my shoulder. “I want you to note that there are still no aftereffects of surfing yesterday. No—how do you put it? —saltwater trauma.”

“Well, that’s because you have beautiful magic Asian hair. Mine wouldn’t be as kind.”

“Magic Asian hair?”

“Don’t try to deny it. How did it go yesterday? Did you all have fun?”

“We did, but Jules and her mom are fighting again so it turned into a therapy session.”

“Did you tell her that no one gets along with their mom?”

“Except you.”

“You didn’t tell her that, did you?” As if Jules needed another reason to hate me.

“No, I didn’t. But her issues with her mom go beyond the norm and there really wasn’t much I could say that made her feel better.”

“What’s going on? Is she okay?”

“I really don’t feel like it’s my place to tell you. Maybe you could try talking to her.”

“She doesn’t want to talk to me. And what makes you think I’d be able to help?”

“I don’t know. You’re good with people.”

“Not with her.” Claire was probably just trying to get Jules and me to talk more. She’d probably given Jules some story about me as well that she was supposed to help me with. But Jules didn’t want to be my friend so I wasn’t sure why Claire thought anything I said to her would make a difference. I knew it meant a lot to Claire, though, and maybe it really would help so I said, “I’ll try.”

“Thank you.”

The first thing I noticed when Claire pulled up to my house was my brother’s beat-up car sitting at the curb.

“Drew’s here?” Claire said. “I should probably stay.”

“Funny,” I said. “And gross.”

“Come on, you know he’s cute. I can’t help it.” She turned off her car and got out with me. I rolled my eyes but laughed.

Inside, Drew had a plate piled with food like he hadn’t eaten in weeks. Maybe the last good meal he had was here, three weeks ago. He had some new growth on his face that made him seem so much older than me when really we were only three years apart.

“You’re home,” I said unnecessarily.

His mouth was full of food but he smiled anyway. He even added a “Hey, sis.”

“Hi.”

“Hi,” Claire said as well.

He swallowed. “How’s it going? And yes, I’m home for the weekend.”

“It’s only Thursday.”

“I don’t have classes on Fridays.”

I wondered if his being here would change my plans for Saturday. Would Mom want us to have some sort of family dinner that night?

Claire sat down at the table in the chair across from him. “How is UCLA? I’ll be there in a hundred days with Gia.”

He gave her an amused look. “And how many hours?”

Her cheeks went pink. “I don’t have that figured out.”

“Well, you’ll love it. It’s great.” Drew took another bite of food then he turned toward me. “I ran into Bradley the other day.”

“Oh?” My face went numb. I didn’t want to talk about Bradley right now, in front of Claire. I was worried something might come out. When I told Claire the truth, it needed to be just her and me. My brother wouldn’t help.

“He said you guys are fighting?”

“That’s what he said? That we’re fighting?” I wasn’t sure what that meant. That he thought we might get back together? He hadn’t called me back since I left the message the day before.

Drew’s brows went down. “I think that’s what he said. Are you not fighting?”

“He broke up with me.”

“He cheated on her,” Claire added.

Crap. “Well, I mean, that’s what it seemed like,” I said to smooth things over in case my brother relayed this back to Bradley.

“What do you mean that’s what it seemed like?” Claire said, indignant on my behalf. “There was that other girl there. He basically admitted to it.”

 

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