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The Betting Game - Chapter Eleven

I sighed and watched as the sun started to rise and couldn't help but feel a small, sad smile make its way to my lips. I'm still stuck in the past.
Mia's POV

I ordered a big mac and went back to take a seat next to my friends who went silent the moment I was in earshot. What? Am I being left out? The past few days passed by normally and then Friday came and we planned to hand out at McDonald's at 5. I was a little late so when I noticed them exchanging secret looks I was about to snap.

"Spill..." I said as I plopped down onto a chair next to Clara and James.

"You spill. What's with you and Tyler? Are you any close to your goal?" James asked. I couldn't help but notice the laughter clear in their eyes. Were they mocking me?

"I don't know! Do you know how hard this is?! Stop making it harder," I snap.

"What's so hard about it?" Clara asked.

I had to keep my calm or I would have gone screaming at each one of them. "Well, there's Tanner."

"What's any of this got to do with Tyler's brother?" Nick now stood behind me with a smug grin. He handed me my tray of big mac before taking a seat opposite mine.

"He thinks, I seriously love his brother and he's happy about it. He says I'm different and he likes my attitude. Guys! This is bad," I sighed. I honestly feel guilty about it now.

"He can help you get to Tyler then," James said as he took a bite of his sandwich.

"Hey!" I slapped him in the back causing him to choke out half of his bite. "That's cruel!"

"Are you sure that's it? Like Tanner is your only problem? Since when do even turn down challenges?" Bryan added.

Seriously, nothing gets to their brain... does it? "I didn't say I wouldn't do it. I just meant that may be we should change the bet."

"Oh, yea... we could see if you could get me to love you," Nick grinned. I would have slapped him if he was only a little closer.

"You're backing out?" Clara asked, her eyes widened.

I took a deep breath and started taking big bites of my big mac. "I'll do it! Ok?!" I said in between chewing. James shook his head at me... while laughing. Can I do it really?

Tyler isn't as bad as I make him out to be and honestly he has his own problems already. Am I being too harsh? It's not like he's done anything really wrong. 'It's only a heartbreak'... this is a pathetic excuse because a heartbreak isn't something easy.

"How about this? You get him to invite you to the dance party and you win. He doesn't have to be in love with you. Just ask you to the dance, whether you forced him or not is up to you," Clara said.

"Forced? Why would I force him?! You make me sound like a desperate woman and the dance is in two weeks... are you for real?" I sighed.

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I can't believe this is happening. Tyler will hate me! Wait... why do I care? I changed into my PJs and lay down in bed. 3:22 AM and I can't sleep. I buried my face in the soft pillows. Time seemed to pass slowly until I heard the familiar sound of my phone... indicating I have a message.

I immediately sat up and reached for my phone on the bedside table. Who is it at this time? Unknown number. I raised an eyebrow and read the text. 'Are you sleeping?'

Is it a mistake from someone? I shrugged and before I could put it away I got another one. 'I'm bored and can't sleep. Help.'

Well at least we're going through the same hell. I tried to send a text but whoever it was beat me to it again. 'Mia, do you want to hang out? I'll come and take you.'

Oh wow! This stranger knows me. Hey, doesn't that mean we both know each other? Another buzz. 'Mia? Are you awake? I'm almost outside your house.'

WHAT?! This person is seriously impatient. Who the hell? I quickly changed into my blue denim mid-thigh shorts and put on a gray cardigan over my sky blue tank top. I grabbed my phone and slowly tiptoed down the stairs... careful not to wake my mum.

I have a feeling, I know who's this crazy to come over at this time of the night. I gently opened the front door and made sure I had a key before closing the door behind me. I got another message on cue.

'I'm here. Turn around.'

I did and almost jumped at the figure leaning against a silver BMW, his hands stuffed in his pockets. His hair was rather messy but it looked sexier that way. Whatever... the lights from his car was blinding me. I ran over to him and hit him in the chest causing him to blink at me in confusion.

"Turn off the light! My neighborhood is empty and no one's usually around at this time of the night. So before people start complaining..."

He ruffled my hair, shutting me up. I was about to slap his hand away when he turned and walked to the driver's seat. "I thought you'd ignore my texts, and hey... don't just listen to random texts! I bet you didn't even know it was me."

I opened my mouth to protest but he went on. "If you do that again, I will get really pissed. Just get in."

I watched, my mouth wide open as he got in and shut the door. This guy is unbelievable! I rolled my eyes and opened the passenger door.

"How did you get my number?" I asked.

"Secret."

"Why are you here?"

"I wanted to see you."

"I'm... what?" I think my brain just registered what he said.

He grinned and leaned forward making me hold in my breath. He was too close... too close. He raised his hand, brought it closer to my face and leaned even closer. For a moment, I thought he was going to kiss me but then he just grabbed the seat belt and made sure I was buckled up. "Chill. I was joking. You look like you're going to get a heart attack," he said when he sat back and buckled his own seat belt.

Do you still think I shouldn't slap him? I felt weird things in my stomach though. Was I nervous? Me? I took a deep breath and let it out. Relax... he's just a guy... just a guy. It's just... Tyler.

I don't know for how long he was driving but we stopped finally and when I got out of the car, I noticed we were at the beach. I turned to him to give him a puzzled look. He was now standing next to me. I just noticed the idiot was actually wearing gray jean shorts and a black shirt. He now had a backpack slung over his shoulder.

"Why didn't you just come here with Jessie?" I blurted.

"She's asleep," he answered, just as quickly.

To my disappointed, I felt a little hurt when he said that. He would have just come with her if she was awake. "Wait... how did you know I was awake?"

He was quiet for a while. After a few seconds, I watched as he ran a hand through his hand and shrugged. "I didn't. I was bored... thought I'd give it a try. Seeing if you were awake that is."

I scoffed and looked around. I felt the wind pass me by. It made my hair which I hadn't bothered to tie up fly behind me. It was a little cold but it was relaxing. The place was rather empty. Well, I don't think anybody would want to wake up at 3 in the morning to come to the beach.

For a moment, as we walked to the shore... I thought I saw a boy with brown hair standing by the sea; slowly making his way to the water. I walked closer and he turned. I saw my own eyes stare back at me. What? My eyes widened. Asher. He wanted me to go with him. He held out his hand and smiled.

"Asher," I whispered. He was right there. I was about to run to him when something or someone pulled me back. I tried to push him away but his arms remained tightly wound around my waist. "I have to go!" I screamed. "He's waiting for me."

"Mia... calm down. No one's here," his voice snapped me out of it. I stopped struggling and his hold on me loosened. He hesitated before completely letting go and turning me towards him. "Are you ok?" His voice held a lot of concern. I could feel it. Why does he care? He'll hate me later. He won't even want to see my face.

I forced a smile. "I'm fine. Really." He didn't seem convinced. He kept searching my face for any sign of... craziness I guess. So I did what I was good at. I poked him in the stomach causing him to take a step back and give me a long puzzled look. I'll make him forget my crazy outburst.

"You like getting poked?" I raised an eyebrow. I took a step back but he took two steps closer.

"You don't have to act like that in front of me. Cry if you want to. I don't like seeing you force yourself."

That immediately caused my smile to disappear. I don't want anyone to see my weak side... especially not Tyler, but why do I -

"Mia..."

As stupid as it sounds, I tripped onto a rock and fell right into shallow water. What's worse than being wet at 3:30 in the morning? Not having clothes to change into. I groaned. I could see Tyler turning away to hide his smile. Well, he didn't have to do that 'cause I saw it.

"Help me, you jerk!"

He cleared his throat and held his hand out. I smirked and grabbed it, pulling him down beside me. His face was priceless. I started laughing like an idiot. "Payback for last time."

"Hey! That was so long ago," he scowled. I watched in amusement as he got up and sighed. For a moment I thought he'd suggest we go back but he just took off his shirt.

"Tyler!" I protested.

"Snacks? You can enjoy the view while you're at it. You have my full permission," he grinned.

I gasped and felt a blush creep up to my face. I'm still thankful the whole thing earlier on was forgotten. I followed him and we sat side by side on the sand. He opened his backpack and practically emptied its contents on the ground.

I stared at him as he opened up a big bag of chips and started munching on it. My eyes moved to his hard abs and I felt myself blush harder. I hate him for this. Although he was looking at the sea I could feel a smile creeping on to his face. I frowned. He's a distraction. Why is he so intent on embarrassing me?

"Want snacks? Or my body?" He asked, and then I watched him in disbelief as he burst out into hysterical laughter. I narrowed my eyes at him and felt my whole body heat up. Damn you Tyler! He's so gonna get it from me. I snatched a water bottle and watched as his eyes grew wide.

"Oh no you don't!" He said as he got up on his feet, the bag of chips long forgotten.

I smirked and opened the bottle cap, running after him. "Tyler you bastard! Get over yourself," I shouted as I ran after him. This went on for a few minutes until I had soaked him and dampened his hair a little, but it was worth it. In the end we sat side by side, me panting like I had run a marathon. I don't know why I'm so unfit. Tyler seemed so relaxed... as if he hadn't run in the first place. It was beginning to get brighter... the sky I mean. I wander what time it is? I walked back to the car and checked my phone. It was almost 5 AM. Already? Time passed by really fast. Was I actually enjoying myself?

"Tyler! I need to get home before mum wakes up," I said as I walked back.

"Let's just see the sunrise since we're here anyway. Please?"

Ugh! If he's gonna say please, then how can I say no? I nodded and sat next to him, our thighs almost touching. It felt rather relaxing... being here. It's been awhile. I haven't been able to come around here much because it kind of reminded me of Asher. It was his favorite place.

I sighed and watched as the sun started to rise and couldn't help but feel a small, sad smile make its way to my lips. I'm still stuck in the past. After a while, I felt Tyler's warm hand on my shoulder and looking up, I noticed he was fully dressed now and was telling me to get ready to go home.

"Get some sleep when you get home," he added once we were in his car.

I stayed silent for a while. He's being so nice. Is it ok for me to hurt him? I put my hand on his shoulder to get his attention and once he looked at me I kissed him. I can't believe I did it! Yea... before you could go thinking too much... it was just a simple peck on his cheek. Yet, I still can't believe I initiated that.

"Thank you... for today," I said while awkwardly shifting in my seat. I could feel his eyes on me as he started the engine.

He cleared his throat awkwardly and turned on the engine. "You're welcome and thanks for coming with me."

I can't hurt him. I just don't know how I'm going to do it now. 'Please don't fall for me,' I wanted to say that, but that would have been plain dumb.... I just have to go dance with him, and then I'll stay away from him and save him any problems.

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Published: 7/3/2013
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