Chapter 4: To Flirt or Not to Flirt

1351 Words
Sitting down for lunch, I placed my bags down next to me. “So no matter what, you need experience in flirting." Hannah grabbed a few fries and shoved them into her mouth. “No kidding, I wouldn't even know where to start." I swirled the straw in my Coke. “I cannot believe you don't give up on letting me use your fake identity to practice flirting with Chase. I am the last person who can flirt, and this guy is clearly ahead of me in that department." I could picture him sitting next to his friends, showing them my messages, and laughing at me. What was even worse was if they found out it was me, the new girl. “Look, I don't need this guy anymore. Who knows what he's into anyway?" I shook it off. What made him interesting? The bad boy look? Probably. “Yes, yes, he's so lame and ugly! But you have already sent him messages before. Plus, if you failed on that fake account, you could succeed in reality." She winked at me. Like anyone could believe that. My phone dinged. It was another message. Sweat tickled behind my ear, and my stomach churned. “It's not him!" I slid my phone toward Hannah, and she pushed it back to me. The relief in my body gave way. Looking down at my phone, she picked it up and handed it back to me. “It's your mom!" Cheerful as ever, she went back to downing her food. Mom was just checking in. She liked Hannah, so I am pretty lucky. Otherwise, she would be calling me every few seconds. After a week of being here, she seemed more relaxed, but that could change in a second. I put Chase's things aside and shared with her the latest romance novels I had read. Hours passed. Eventually, lunch turned into almost dinner. Hannah drove me home a little less crazily than when we were heading to the mall. “Welcome home, honey!" Mom said from the kitchen knocking out the dishes, which reminded me that I had a few chores I had to do before the weekend was over. “Hey, Mom, I had a good time with Hannah." I kissed my mom on the cheek and sat my bags on the kitchen table. My mom was already sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, watching something on Netflix. She didn't always get to be this way, only on the weekends. “Want to sit with me?" She patted the cushion next to her. I loved seeing her happy and safe. Furthermore, I was also glad she was not stuck in a loveless marriage. Mom poured two glasses of orange juice. It went with our biscuits because I added a few dashes of orange flavor. We laughed and judged the characters in the show for almost two hours. Mom started to snore, and I definitely did not want to wake her. I grabbed a blanket and covered her, taking the juice glasses away and setting them gently in the sink. The clock shined red, telling me it was a little after ten. My room was nice and chilly. The double window in my room had been opened, which my mom had probably done. We both preferred to be a bit chilly since it was easier to get warm. I took the new clothes out of the bag and hung them up, tossing the tags in the garbage. My phone made a small sound. It was getting muffled by my purse, which I had tossed on the ground. It was him. I forgot I was still logged into the fake account. The message said, “Hey, how's it going? Wanna get some beer tonight?" What do I say to that? I could go with the truth, or be edgier, which Hannah said he was into. I didn't want her to be right. I wanted to be myself. I message back, “I'm good. And I don't drink. Not a cool answer, but it is the truth." He questioned that. “Why not?" “I guess I just never felt the need. What's the point?" I asked. “Boring life without alcohol." He changed the subject. “What are you doing now?" I took off my clothes from the day and hopped into the shower. Okay, maybe the edgy thing to do was not respond so quickly. Plus, if I was being realistic, nothing would come from this. He was really nice to look at though. After standing in hot water for ten or fifteen minutes, I came out with a few messages. “Hey?" the second message said. “Did I scare you off?" He included a wink face on that one. I started to type with the towel wrapped around me. The breeze felt nice on my hot skin. “Just got out of the shower, getting ready for bed." I pulled on a pair of striped cotton shorts and an old rock band tee I found at a thrift store last year. My room had grey walls, a small closet, and barely enough space for my bed and desk with room for me to walk. “Hot. Wanna come out and drink juice with me instead? " He responded quickly with a smirk sticker. “3 months ago, you said you would consider hanging out with me. Now, your decision is?" I blushed, perhaps because it had not always been me with this fake account. I started to type back. "No! I'm a woman of mystery and fickleness." I hit send. “Hahaha," he typed with a laughing face. I never thought of myself as funny, but a part of me was pleased that I was able to make him laugh at that moment. “So let's change that. Some mystery is good, but you're killing me. Would you meet me outside if I pick you up?" He sent a few question marks. I laughed at the thought. My mom would kill me if I went out, and, honestly, I didn't want to. So far, he had his looks going for him, and he saved my life. If he was as much of a player as I had been told, then I knew this could only end one way. “Thanks, but I have a book to read." I went to message back. He wouldn't want to talk to me after being denied. I hit the backspace on that. What if I wanted to be better than who I am? I wanted to have fun too. “I like books just as much as anyone, but I can be much more fun. Join me!" He messaged back. “I bet you'd like that." I included a wink face to be flirty or edgy or whatever. 'Okay, baby steps, Aria, baby steps.' I started to type. “Do you like books? Tell me your favorite genre, and I will answer you." He responded a few seconds later. “Thrillers." “I can pick you up, say yes, and I'll be out front." I started to panic. No back and forth? “Some other time," I typed back. “Good things come to those who wait." I set my phone down and let out a squeal. Hannah was going to freak if I told her about this. I pulled out the latest romance book that I also grabbed from a thrift store. It was old as in it smelled like a library. It probably hadn't been opened in twenty years. I took a look at the first few pages, and it was definitely written before I was born. 'Why can't guys be like this?' I wondered to myself, staring at the fake gentle and handsome guy on the cover. “I'll wait a little longer. Goodnight." The messages stopped after that. It took everything in me not to reply. 'Let him have the last word. It doesn't seem too desperate, girl.' I repeated this in my head until my eyes shut for the night.
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