It’s been a week since my first date with Kaleb Nixon and things were going very well. Adam even decided to give Kaleb Nixon another chance and invited Kaleb to sit with us at lunch. To my surprise, they had a lot in common. Kaleb even made Adam laugh quite a few times. I’m pushing noodles across my plate, hearing bits and pieces of the boys’ conversation. Suddenly, the cafeteria seems to go silent. My head snaps up to see what caused it. That’s when I see Olivia Connors stomping her way towards me.
I actually haven’t spoken to her in a few weeks. She’s basically left me alone. It would seem like my good luck was about to end. She was on a war path; the click of her heels was so loud they could wake the dead. The glare in her eyes could turn anyone to stone. She was angry, that was for sure. And her attention was solely on me.
Adam cursed low under his breath when he noticed Olivia coming our way. Kaleb tensed, eyes shining with anger. He hated Olivia just as much as I did, maybe even more. She stopped only a foot away from us, hands on her hips.
“Okay, drop the act, Kale.” Olivia snapped, enraged eyes focused on Kaleb.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Kaleb shook his head.
“You’re trying to get back at me for our breakup, I get it. It worked. So, drop the charades.”
“Not everything’s about you, Liv.” Kaleb growled.
She scoffed, “Please, Kale. I know you. You do this kind of crap when you’re mad at me. It’s time to stop and we can work things out. We both know we’re destined for each other.”
Kaleb laughs, “I’m not mad, Liv. I’m just done.”
"Done?” She parrots, like she’s never heard the word used against her before.
"Done, Liv. I’ve moved on.” Kaleb explains.
“With her?” Olivia shrieks, pointing a manicured nail in my direction.
Kaleb’s eyes snap to mine and he gives me a sweet smile. He doesn’t answer her, instead he cups his hand behind my neck and pulls me in to kiss him. He smiles against my lips. Olivia screams, the sound filling the lunch room.
Suddenly, Olivia pulls me from my seat. Kaleb jumps to his feet, stepping towards us. Before anyone can react, Olivia’s hand is flying towards my cheek. Faster than her mind can register, I reach out and grab her wrist tight to stop her from hitting me. Olivia gasps, her eyes wide as she realizes what I did. She pulls against me, but I don’t let her go. “If you know what’s good for you, you’d leave us alone, Olivia. I know you’re insecure about yourself and you want validation, but you’re pathetic.”
She opens her mouth to speak, but can’t find the words to speak.
“I’m going to let you go now. When I do, you’re going to turn around and you’re never going to mess with anyone ever again. Do you understand?” I snap.
She nods slowly. I wait another second or two before pushing her away from me. She rubs the wrist I held in her other hand. She glares at me, but I see the fear in her eyes. She spins around and walks straight out of the lunch room, everyone watching as she goes. It takes a few moments before everyone around me starts going back to what they’d been doing.
“Holy cow, Greer, that was awesome!” Adam yells, giving me a high-five.
“That felt really good.” I laugh.
Kaleb rubs my back with a bright smile, “It’s about time someone stood up to Olivia.”
“Where’d you learn that kung-fu grip thing you did?” Adam asks.
“I took some self-defense classes.” I tell him.
“She’s pretty B.A. too,” Kaleb laughs. “She knocked me flat on my back at a party once.”
“No way, you did not!” Adam yells.
“Yeah, not to mention that time she almost broke my arm.” Kaleb continues.
“Greer, why are you so violent?” Adam laughs.
I know they’re joking, really, I do, but I still feel the nerves start weighing down on me. I’m not violent, just extremely paranoid and ready for anything. My uncle made sure of that. The U.S. Marshals made sure of that.
At some point, the conversation moves on without me. The two boys barely notice that something has changed with me. They don’t even realize that they said something wrong. Why would they?
“Greer, you listening?” Kaleb pulls me out of my trance.
My eyes snap up to Kaleb and I realize that Adam is already gone. I wonder when he’d left. I nod quickly, “Yeah, sorry, just tired.”
“What are your plans for tonight?” He asks, his hand squeezing my knee under the table.
I groan, “I have so much homework I’m behind on. Not to mention, that test in English tomorrow.”
He nods, “Okay, I have Sofia tonight anyway.”
“Oh, yeah? Where’s Irene going?”
“I think she might have a date.” He cringes as he says that. “She’s hiding it from me because she knows I’ll demand to meet the guy.”
I laugh, “She’s a grown woman, Kaleb. She can take care of herself. Besides, I bet the guy is really nice.”
He shrugs, “Yeah, whatever.”
Once school ends, Kaleb drops me back at my house and then leaves again. He’s been driving me every day since we decided to give us a try. It’s nice. Leo’s truck isn’t in the driveway, which is weird. The last week or so, he’s been here every day once I got home. Something must have come up.
I step into my quiet house, dropping my bag by the front door. I have homework to do, but I can’t bring myself to start it. Maybe after a nap I can get my mind to focus. So, I settle down on the couch and flip on the TV. It’s not long until I drift to sleep.
I wake up to my door bell ringing. When I open my eyes, I realize that it’s already getting dark. I slept a lot longer than I’d meant to. I rub my face and try to wake up a bit more. The doorbell chimes again. I stand to my feet, expecting to see Kaleb standing on my front porch.
It’s not Kaleb.
I pull open the door hesitantly, coming face to face with Bash Gardner.
I hadn’t seen him since he punched Kaleb at the party. I didn’t particularly want to see him either. He’d basically dumped me because of my feelings for Kaleb. I might’ve been mad before, but I came to realize that Bash wasn’t the guy meant for me.
“Greer,” Bash looks nervous and I can tell something’s bothering him. “Please, can we talk?”