Date me, p.5
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       Date Me, p.5

         Part #3 of The Keatyn Chronicles series by Jillian Dodd
 
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Page 5

 

  "That's because you can't protect your heart. Your heart feels what it feels. Your brain helps you decide if that person is worthy of your love. "

  "So you can love someone who’s wrong for you?"

  "Of course. Your heart is capable of loving lots of different people in lots of different ways. The way you will love your children is different from how you love your pets. The way you love the man you marry is going to be different than the love you felt for an old boyfriend. "

  "So you loved and married my dad, but now you love Tommy. How is the love you felt for my dad different from what you feel for Tommy?"

  "That's a hard question. Um, your dad was my best friend. He was gorgeous and he made me feel beautiful and he could always make me laugh. When I walked into a room with him, I knew every woman there was jealous that I was with him. He was caring and sweet. "

  “And Tommy?"

  "I don't want to diminish what I had with your father, so don't take it that way. When I married him, there was no one I wanted or loved more. But Tommy felt different. He felt like my destiny. I don't know if it's because I needed to experience life before I was ready for Tommy or what, but he came into my life at just the right time. You liked him right away too. I never would've been with someone you didn't love. You were always my first priority. "

  "I don't know if Dawson is my destiny. But I love being with him. He's sweet and sexy. He makes me feel happy and, I don't know, I have been through a lot lately. When we first started hanging out, he told me that he felt like he was healing every time we were together. He had a really rough breakup that he was trying to get over. And I feel that way about him. "

  "Keatyn, you're seventeen. You don't know what your future holds. If you feel like you love him and you want him to know it, you should tell him. "

  "Thanks, Mom. I think I just wanted someone to tell me it was okay. I don't really trust my feelings. I never would've thought B would do something like that. I thought I loved Cush because of a pair of boots. And I thought Vincent was my friend. I must be a really bad judge of character. "

  "Part of life is making mistakes and learning from them. I've made plenty of them. "

  "You have? You're, like, perfect. "

  Mom laughs. "I am far from perfect and I make mistakes like everyone does. So are you going to tell him?"

  "Yeah, I think so. Night, Mom. I love you. Give the girls a kiss for me. ”

  "Love you too, sweetie. "

  Wednesday, September 28th

  Getting tangled up.

  Lunch

  "So, Monroe," Jake says, setting his tray between Whitney’s and mine. “I hear you’re trying out for the play. "

  "Yeah, I'm planning on it. "

  Whitney starts talking loudly to the table just as Peyton sets her tray down. "Okay, people. Voting for Homecoming Court is this afternoon and every vote counts. You know that Jake and I will be the perfect King and Queen. " She leans over and kisses him on the cheek. "Won't we, baby?"

  "I don't really care about that,” Jake says, shrugging his shoulders. “But I do want to play the Good Prince in the drama production. " He turns to her. "Remember, I told you tryouts are tomorrow?"

  She waves her hand, dismissing him. "Jake, who cares? This is Homecoming Court I'm talking about. It's important. "

  He gives her a defiant look and turns to me. "So, anyway, Monroe. You know, if you get the part of the Cheerleader Bachelorette, we're going to have to kiss a lot. " He stops, licks his lips, and gives Dawson a smirk.

  Whitney's face goes blank and she shuts her eyes tight, just for a second.

  She rubs her hand up Jake's arm. “If it's the lead, then I'm sure you will get it. You’re talented at everything you do. You didn't mention though that the role calls for kissing. "

  I smile and happily inform her, "Oh, it's not just the Cheerleader Bachelorette he has to kiss. He will be kissing—what was it, Jake, four or five bachelorettes?” I turn and say to Whitney, "But, you know, it's just acting. ”

  I notice Peyton isn’t wearing her normal boring pumps. Today she has on an adorable pair of kitten heels. “Peyton! I love your shoes. They’re so cute. ”

  Yeah," Whitney says. "If you want to look like a tramp. "

  "Better than looking like a grandma," Peyton fires back. "And personally, I think Dawson is going to win Homecoming King this year. " She gushes to me. "Wait until you see it, Keatyn. Eastbrooke does Homecoming up big. You and Dawson will dance together in front of everyone. It's a big honor. And you two are just so darn cute together. "

  Jake says, "As long as Dawson understands I may be borrowing her. We’re going to have to do a lot of practicing. ”

  Whitney shoves her tray away. "If you’re trying to piss me off today, Jake, it's working. Excuse me. "

  She gets up and leaves her tray on the table. Rachel and the minions immediately look concerned and follow her, all leaving their lunches on the table for someone else to pick up.

  Peyton snickers and flirts with Jake. "It's kinda fun to piss her off, isn't it?"

  Jake rolls his eyes, shoves the rest of his pizza in his mouth, and says, "I better go talk to her. "

  As Dawson walks me to French he says, "Keatie, do you really have to try out for the play? Jake had a part last year and they have a ton of practices. You won't have any time for me. "

  "We'll find time, Dawson. Even if I have to sneak to your room in the middle of the night. "

  He grabs me and pushes me up against the wall in front of French class. "We should skip class, sneak into my room, and spend the afternoon getting tangled up. "

  Miss Praline walks by and says, "Mr. Johnson, I think you better get yourself to class. "

  Stop grinning.

  French

  I'm thinking about the play. About how if I do get the part of the Cheerleader Bachelorette that I’m going to have to kiss both princes. Jake thinks he will get the part of the Good Prince and says that Logan will get the part of the Bad Prince. Kissing Jake will be no big deal. We're friends, but Logan will barely speak to me.

  I spin around in my desk and say to Aiden, "Isn't Logan one of your best friends?"

  "Yeah. Why?"

  "I heard he's trying out for the part of the Bad Prince. "

  Aiden nods and makes a little frown.

  Even though I wish I could control the wattage of his smile and its effect on me, I really don't like to see Aiden frown. It just doesn't look right on his face.

  "Is he nice?"

  "Logan?"

  "Yeah. He's in my math class. Sits right in front of me. He has a nice looking back but that's all I know about him. I tried to talk to him yesterday about the play. I don't think he likes me. " I sigh. "And I'm not sure why. "

  "Uh, that's probably my fault. "

  "Your fault?"

  Aiden moves his pencil around in a tight circular motion before raising his head. "I may have told him about some of my past frustrations with you. "

  "So he hates me," I say flatly, putting my head down and turning back around.

  I'm completely, one hundred percent over the hottie god but, for some reason, knowing that his best friend hates me because of things Aiden has said about me makes really sad. That and his stupid stars.

  Annie looks at me. "What's wrong? You look like you're going to cry. "

  I wipe a stray tear from the corner of my eye. "I think I have something in my eye. "

  Aiden leans up and whispers in my ear. "He doesn't hate you. "

  I turn back around because now I'm kinda pissed. Pissed that this idiot who I've been wasting my time tutoring for almost a month is saying bad things about me.

  "You must have had wonderful things to say about me to make him hate me when he doesn't even know me. "

  "He thinks you kind of played me. ”

  “Played you? Are you kidding me? You’re the one that got all pissed off and didn’t
call. ”

  “He’s also sort of down on love. ”

  "That must be why he wants to play the Bad Prince. He'll get to be the cynic. "

  Aiden nods. "He is kind of cynical about love. ”

  I do not want to talk about love of any kind with Aiden, so I change the subject to something more pleasant. "I think it's funny that Jake is trying out for the part of the Good Prince. He's so not good. "

  "He's a Prefect," Aiden counters.

  I remember Jake's first words to me. "Yeah, but he's naughty. I love that about him. "

  "You said that so easily. "

  "Said what?"

  "That you love him. "

  "Well, not in love. That's different. "

  “Have you told Dawson you love him yet?"

  I fidget and rub my feet together nervously. "I told him that I'm ready for the key. "

  "That's not what I asked. "

  "Well, that's all I'm answering because it's none of your business what I say to him. "

  Aiden smiles. The four-ton radioactive smile.

  "Stop grinning," I say and swivel back around in my seat. "It's annoying. "

  I’m lashing out.

  Dance

  "Okay, ladies," Peyton says. "That’s enough for today. Have a seat. We need to go over what's expected of you for Homecoming week. For those of you who are new this year, Homecoming at Eastbrooke is a time-honored tradition. Alumni will be on campus all week and you are expected to be on your best behavior. We’ll be working on our parade float with the alumni dancers this Sunday afternoon. After that, we’ll be teaming up with the cheerleaders and spirit club to make all the signs and banners that will decorate the halls this week. These are required activities. ”

  She looks down at her notebook and continues. “You're expected to go all out on dress-up days. Monday is Groovy 70’s. Peace. Love. Cougars. Think tie-dye and bell-bottoms. Tuesday is Pajama Day. A lot of girls will wear those zip-up onesies. They make your ass look horrible. Like you’re wearing a diaper with a load in it. I don't want to see any dancers in one of those ugly things. Wednesday is Western Day. Think cowboy boots, bandanas, and hats. Thursday is Sports Day. You'll need to borrow a Varsity player's football jersey for that day and pair it with your red sequined skirt. We'll perform at the pep rally, bonfire, and for the JV game. Friday is School Spirit Day. Normally, that's the day we would wear the football jerseys but I'd like to do something different this year. Shake some things up. Anyone have any ideas?”

  Katie whispers to me, “How cute would it be to dress as little cougar kitties? Like all in leopard or something?”

  I whisper back, “Tell her. That’s an awesome idea! Although I’ve never understood why they have leopard print mixed with their school colors when a cougar is different than a leopard. ”

  “Probably because leopard print is easier to find?”

  “Oh, yeah, that’s true. So tell her. ”

  “No, it’s a stupid. ”

  I raise my hand.

  “Yeah, Keatyn?” Peyton says.

  “Katie and I think it would be cute if instead of wearing school colors, we dress as cougar kitties. ”

  Peyton’s eyes light up. “That would be cute. We could wear leopard ears and tails. Those would be easy to buy. What about the outfit?”

  “We have those black tanks and flutter skirts that are required for our dance competition. We could wear those. ”

  “That’s perfect. Good job, girls. On Saturday, we’ll all be attending the Ladies’ Luncheon. Please dress appropriately. Nothing low cut or too short. ” She glances down again. “All right. I think that covers it all. I’m looking forward to a fun week. ”

  After practice, Peyton pulls me aside. “Jake really pissed Whitney off at lunch today. It was awesome. ”

  “What’s gotten into you lately? Are you mad at her?”

  She shrugs. “I hate how she just assumes that she’ll win Homecoming Queen. Like I don’t even have a chance. It pisses me off. I guess I’m lashing out. ”

  “I thought you were best friends. ”

  Peyton rolls her eyes. “We have a weird friendship, I guess. Maybe I’m just getting sick of feeling like I’m always supposed to come in second. I’m probably too competitive. ” She turns to Katie. “Great idea on the little cougars. We’re going to look hot. ”

  My supposed rebound.

  7pm

  Dawson takes me to the cute little Italian restaurant he brought me to on the day we bought my car. I know he's going to ask me out tonight, so I wanted to look extra cute. I straightened my hair but then teased it to look a little messy and sexy. The dress I'm wearing is a multicolored, crocheted Free People dress with a fringy hem. I couldn't decide if I wanted to wear the tall teal suede boots I got to go with it or the strappy purple suede heels. I went with the heels.

  We have a nice dinner, chat pleasantly about Homecoming, about his family coming, but not once about our relationship.

  I hope I didn't waste this adorable outfit on nothing.

  After dinner, he parks his car down by the field house and leads me out onto the big green commons ground, where we played football and he kissed me in the grass.

  My heels are sinking into the damp grass and I'm worrying about ruining the suede when he says, “This is where I first laid eyes on you. "

  “No, it’s not. We met at dinner, when you said Riley was a cheap imitation of the real thing. ”
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