Chapter 11: Dinner with the Worthingtons, Have I Mentioned That I'm Poor?
Alec guided me to the intricate maze that was his house. Occasionally I felt our shoulders bumped and I inched away from him. Nevertheless, somehow my feet kept bringing me closer to him.
I swear, this must be because of the whiskey. I was so accustomed to cheap beers that even the smell of a slightly expensive whiskey would intoxicate me.
Alec didn't seem to mind our bumping, though.
Just before we reached the dining room, Alec's grandmother showed up. Her face transformed into pallid white as she saw me.
"Alec," her voice was warning him.
"Hey, Grandma," Alec greeted her easily. "You know Andrea, right?"
"I know that she's not going to have dinner with us," Mrs. Worthington snorted through her high-nose.
"She is," Alec was smiling, but his voice demanded finality. "And she's here as my friend, not as a help."
Mrs. Worthington sighed, and for once, her botox couldn't quite conceal the wrinkles around her forehead. "This is outrageous."
I stared at the ground, my cheeks heating up. I fumbled with the hem of my tee, suddenly noticing the fading colors and the cheap quality of the fabric. And then I dared myself to take a glance at Mrs. Worthington's clothes: yet another one of her collection of colorful suits. I wondered if my whole wardrobe would account to buy one of those.
"Pretty please, Grandma?" Alec smiled, the kind of smile that would make girls at any age swoon. He looked straight at Mrs. Worthington's eyes, and then added. "I need her."
I saw Mrs. Worthington's green eyes started to flicker with hesitation. There was no doubt that she loved her grandson: the way she couldn't quite keep her chin tilted high around him was the dead giveaway.
"Oh, okay," she finally acquiesced. "But you have to take me for an afternoon tea tomorrow."
"I will," Alec kissed her on the cheek, before then leading us to the dining room.
Mrs. Worthington was walking right beside me, and I could feel her gaze hovering towards me. She didn't keep me wonder for long, though, because she whispered to me, with quite a lot of contempt: "You sneaky maid."
"I didn't do anything!" I whispered back at her.
Mrs. Worthington was about to retort, but then the sight of Victoria and Phillip met us. Nobody introduced me to him before, but just one look, and I was already pretty sure that the blonde man was Phillip.
He was a typical all-American boy: blonde, buff, and blue-eyed. He smiled at me when he saw me, but there was something about his face that made me distrust him almost instantly. Maybe it was his high-cheekbones that reminded me of Disney villains, maybe it was because his crooked smile.
That. And he put too much aftershave.
"Is that your new girl?" he asked at Alec while half-leering at me. Victoria noticed his leering, but her mouth didn't quite say anything. It seemed like she had already accustomed herself in her partner's habit.
"No. Andrea's just a friend," Alec said curtly. He then gestured me to sit beside him.
"Why you never bring a proper partner for dinner, man?" Phillip smiled his crooked smile. His ruddy cheeks reminded me of a punchbag. "I keep waiting for you to come out of the closet."
Now. I could practically see it in my head: my fists contacting his cheeks, his teeth were all clattered on the floor.
"Don't worry, Phillip. If I ever want to swing that way, you'll be the first to know," Alec somehow could keep his cool. "I mean, that blue eyes? What kind of man can resist that?"
At this point, I fought the urge to open my palm and high-fived Alec with full strength. Phillip gurgled for a while before then deciding that he couldn't come out with a good comeback. He did, however, elbowed Victoria slightly.
Alec's mom came to her boyfriend's rescue in an instant. "Alec. Manners, please."
"I'm always at my best behavior," Alec reached for the wine and started to pour some into his glass. "I was just telling Phillip the truth. He should take that as a compliment."
He couldn't be anymore drunk than that! As Alec raised his glass, I took it from him. Before he could protest, I'd already gulped everything down my throat. It burned a bit, though, and my face was all scrunched as the sudden vertigo attacked my head.
"You could teach Andrea how to drink wine properly, Alec," Victoria said. I didn't know how she did it, but somehow it made me feel patronized and elevated at the same time.
|Emma Stone||as Andrea Robinson|