99% Faking It (Dating Dilemma)(72)

By: Chris Cannon


“Awwww. You never told me that.”

She blushed. “It kind of went against the don’t-talk-to-strangers rule I was trying to teach you.”

“That’s such a cute story.” I pouted. “I want a guy who is going to make an effort like that for me. Matt fell ass backward into liking me. The only effort he’s put into doing anything for me is giving me that Hermione wand pen.”

“He wouldn’t be upset if he didn’t really like you,” my mom said. “Give him a chance to get his head on straight. In the meantime, you can get to know Trey better.”

A funny thought hit me. “Trey could be dating other people, too.”

“Yes he could. Does that make you feel better?”

“Yes.”





Chapter Thirty-Eight


Matt


“How could you be so stupid?” Haley demanded as I paced back and forth in front of the living room television.

“Thanks. That’s helpful.” I hadn’t told her about what I’d said to Lisa so she could bitch at me.

“She asked for time and you gave her an ultimatum instead? No one likes those.”

“It’s not like I planned it.” I ran my hand down my face. “Thinking of her with Trey makes me want to punch someone…preferably Trey.”

“He’s actually a nice guy,” Haley said.

“Are you trying to piss me off?” So far she’d been less than helpful.

“You asked for my opinion,” she reminded me.

“It must have been a moment of insanity,” I muttered as I headed out the front door for some fresh air.

My dad sat outside on the porch swing, drinking a cup of coffee. “There’s some rock that needs shoveling if you want something to take your mind off your troubles.”

Not a bad idea. Sometimes physical work and being outside made me less angry. I went back inside and changed into some worn-out jeans and an old sweatshirt before heading to the area behind the greenhouse where the delivery truck had dumped landscaping rock. We moved it as we needed it up front to the wire bins. I grabbed a wheelbarrow and a shovel and got to work.

The shovel made a satisfying crunch as it bit into the waist-high pile of rock. I filled the wheelbarrow one shovelful at a time and then took it up front and dumped it in the bin. The rhythm of it relaxed me. I let my mind wander. What was I going to do about Lisa? There wasn’t much I could do, except wait and see. Maybe that’s what bugged me. I’d figured out what I wanted and she didn’t feel the same.

Wait. That wasn’t true. Like my annoying sister pointed out, I shouldn’t have walked off. But I had. Now what? How did I apologize without coming off like a jerk?

With any other girl I would have given up and walked away. No one else had ever seemed worth the trouble. With Lisa, I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to fight for her but I needed to find a way to do that without being a tool. How could I show her I was done running away?

I’d never given her the Harry Potter bag I’d bought for her. Maybe she wouldn’t be so ticked off at me if she liked the gift. Not like I thought I could buy her affection, but I needed all the help I could get right now and it would show I understood and appreciated her nerd-girl personality.

I hated the idea of not talking to her until tomorrow. Would she even talk to me? Maybe I should text her. Then again she wanted space. I filled and transported two more wheelbarrows of rock before I gave up on finding any answers.

All I wanted now was a shower and food. By the time I made it to the dinner table, Charlie was frowning, Haley was glaring at everyone, and my parents looked like they didn’t have a clue what was going on.

I’d barely sat down and taken a bite of my burrito when Haley said, “It’s stupid to be mad at Clarissa. She can’t control what her cousin does.”

“What if Clarissa’s cousin was a girl who’d asked your boyfriend out?” Charlie said.

“That would be different,” Haley said, “because Bryce is already my boyfriend.”

“I appreciate the support,” I said to Charlie, “but I’m the idiot who got myself into this position so there’s no reason to be mad at Clarissa.”