Home > Fake It 'Til You Break It(3)

Fake It 'Til You Break It(3)
Author: Meagan Brandy

“I’ve been the last two years, so I kind of expected to be, yeah,” I admit. “He wants to be a doctor, like his mom, so I know he’s super focused in science where Nico already had his face in his phone all day today. He didn’t take a single note while I took three pages. I don’t know, I might try talking to the teacher again.”

“Screw Alex’s pompous ass!” Krista blurts. “He might be good looking, but in a Wahlberg brother kind of way, while Nico is more Mark status, Calvin Klein campaign worthy. Way prettier to look at.”

I can’t help but laugh.

“And he lives right behind you! Think of all the late-night study sessions you could have.” Macy’s eyes widen in excitement.

“Yeeees!” Krista turns toward her. “She can knock on his door in her tank and tiny sleep shorts, the ones we bought her for her birthday, and be like I lost my homework, help me.”

“Help me, I’m poor,” they say in unison, laughing.

Carley and I look to each other, chuckling just the same.

“Come on, Demi! You have to use this to your advantage,” Macy whines.

“Yeah, take one for the team here,” Krista adds.

“You have a boyfriend.”

“Exactly!” Her eyes widen mockingly. “Did you not catch the take one for the team?”

“Does Trent know you have the hots for his bestie?” Macy teases her.

Krista only flips her off with a grin.

“You guys are crazy, no way. Can you imagine my mom’s reaction?” I laugh. “Me and the guy who got kicked out of her precious country club for fucking the owner’s daughter in the fountain on the golf course?”

“Don’t forget during her daddy’s tournament.” Macy laughs loudly.

“And that.”

“First of all, screw your mom for being so critical, even though I’m pretty sure she’d take him as a win. He’s literally all the things on her Demi must marry checklist.” Krista chuckles.

She has a point there.

“And two, Josie was his girlfriend, so not a big deal other than the whole being caught part, and three, a-holes, don’t forget Nico is Trent’s best friend, Trent is your friend. You know him, would he really love and support someone like a brother who was a total douchebag?”

“Total?” I tease, and she throws a chip at me. I smile, shrugging. “I’m not saying he’s anything other than the wrong chem partner for me. How he is as a human nowadays, I don’t know. He avoids being around me, remember?”

“He doesn’t avoid you.” Krista rolls her eyes.

“No,” Macy says sarcastically. “It just so happens since we started high school he has something come up every single time Demi comes near, or a shit remark when he has no escape.”

I lift my hands as if to say exactly. “Literally, today was the most we’ve talked since eighth grade, and it was maybe five worthless sentences he used to try and get under my skin.”

The bell rings in the next second, so we pack up our crap. The girls toss out the garbage while I roll up our blanket and stuff it in the bag.

Ever since freshman year, we’ve had the same routine for lunch. Whoever is assigned the locker closest to the quad gives theirs up and shares with someone else. We use the other to store snacks and things for lunch as well as the blanket we sit on every day.

It started as a way to have more time since we were spending half our lunch in lines, but we continued because we like having space to quietly talk amongst ourselves. Where we sit is close enough we can call others over if we want but still have our own friend time.

“Meeting at your house at six to swim?”

“Six-fifteen,” I tell her. “I have dance today, but I think I forgot my phone at home, so just come over.”

“Cool. Later.” Macy and Krista walk off while me and Carley carry everything to the locker to put it away.

“I don’t think you should push switching partners,” Carley says as she hangs the snack bag on the little hook, stuffing the unused water bottles into the bottom corner.

“Why not?” I hand her the blanket bag so she can toss it on top.

She shrugs, slams the locker closed and spins the lock. “You said yourself, you’ve been Alex’s partner the last few years, maybe it’s time for a new one.”

“But Nico? We’re not exactly friends.”

“You’re not exactly enemies either.” She steps backward, winking at me before she disappears.

I lean against the locker a moment, considering her words.

I guess she’s right, Nico and I aren’t friends, but I can’t say we’re enemies either. We’re simply two people who used to know each other and don’t anymore.

Two people that are about to be forced to spend fifty-three minutes a day together for the rest of the year, not counting out of class time we’ll likely need.

I’m about to push off the locker when the door at the end of the hall opens, and Nico along with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Josie, walk through, arguing. Or she’s arguing while he’s ignoring, continuing down the hall, but then his eyes lift, officially catching mine fixated on them and he stops in his tracks.

My gaze slides toward Josie.

She frowns up at him, waving her arms around a moment in an overly dramatic fashion before she realizes he’s not paying attention, and her head jolts to where his focus lies.

Solely on me.

An instant and deep scowl takes over, and she flips me off, shoves him lightly – or attempts to, but he doesn’t budge – and then storms out the way they came.

The second the door slams with her exit, Nico starts forward again, each step taken seeming smaller and slower than the last.

I stand up straight when only an arm’s length of space is left between us, but Nico keeps going, glancing away as he passes without a word, as if he wasn’t staring directly at me with each stride taken.

Only when he’s out of sight, do I realize I was holding my breath the entire time.

I roll my eyes at myself.

It’s about to be a long ass year.



Krista, as always, is the last of us four to climb out of the pool. She dries off quickly and ties a towel around her before joining us on the picnic table.

“Okay,” she starts. “You’re freshly single and in need of some hardcore lovin’. What movie do you jump into to get it?”

“Fast and the Furious,” Macy shouts, way too eager, making the rest of us laugh.

“Carley?” Krista asks her as she piles her plate full.

“Hmm, how about The Boy Next Door.” She wiggles in her spot.

“A murderous lunatic is your type?” I tease.

“He brought J.Lo to her knees, literally, okay,” she jokes. “That’s my man.”

“You guys are lame, Christian Grey me, please!” Krista shouts.

“As if we’re surprised.” Carley laughs.

“Demi?” Macy asks, a chicken wing shoved halfway in her mouth.

“Takers, all day.” I nod.

The three of them pause before they all change their mind and go with my answer, too.

“Talk about a dream team.”

“Right?” I agree. “I’d go for Hayden Christianson to TI in a hot second.”

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