*The ship name for Mikayla + Matthew is Mattayla!!!* (y'all kept asking and I forgot to add this. ok enjoy the rest of this story)

Chapter Seven: Mask the Truth

"I know your secret," called out Toni as she headed closer to me. I snapped my head away from my textbook and toward her. Her eyes were snickering.


"I'm just kidding," she said, laughing as she threw herself onto her bed, lying down. "I just wanted to see your reaction."

I grumbled, hovering back over the desk. Jesus Christ, she nearly scared the shit out of me. I was pretty sure I was close to having a cardiac arrest. I thought that she found out I was Mikayla Tr-

"You're actually studying?" she said, examining my textbook as if it were a plague. She scrunched up her nose in disgust. "The finals are weeks away."

"But my professor is a hard-ass," I argued. Even though she was a biology major, which was probably the hardest course to take in Columbia, Toni was naturally brilliant. For some reason, education just came easily to her. I was insanely jealous. She could at least nail a B- without studying. "If I don't study right now, I'm definitely going to get an F."

"Tough luck," she muttered. "Well, I just want to talk to you right now..."

"About what?" I asked. I had lost all my concentration and started toying with my pencil. All the small texts blurred in my eyes.

"About Matthew," she said. "You know, after that Starbucks moment, he seems to like you even more."

"That was, like, three months ago," I muttered. Yeah, time flew. I was surprised that no one had discovered my secret yet.

"You've got him swooning over you," mused Toni. "I mean, the guy can't stop talking about you, especially when we went home for Thanksgiving. He was like 'Rachel this, Rachel that.' Even my little brother and little sister were sick of all his talking."

I sighed, blushing. That was so romantic of him, to be honest. "Okay, so what do you want me to do?"

"I know you told Matthew that you had a boyfriend in the summer who broke your heart and that you aren't ready for a relationship yet," said Toni, sitting up on the bed and facing me with a dead-serious face. "But please, give my brother a chance. He's a total sweetheart, and you definitely won't regret it."

"But I don't know if I'm ready..." I began, trailing off.

Toni cleared her throat. For the past four months of having her as a roommate, I knew that was a signal that meant that she was going to give me a huge lecture. "For years, I've seen my brother getting played by numerous girls. I mean, sure, he's charming and perfect in their eyes, but all they wanted to do was to fuck him so that they have something to brag about to their friends. Matthew grew up to be a gentleman, so every time he stopped the girl from taking her pants off, she would just leave him... So, yeah, Matthew had a fair share of broken hearts. Those relationships were all flings, but he genuinely liked most of those girls."

"Okay, what's the point of this story?" I muttered under my breath.

Toni smirked a little. "I've kept my eye out for him. It's weird because our roles are reversed; you know, having the little sister watching whom big brother dates is just a little weird in modern society. So after several heartbreaks, I told Matthew of whom I approve and whom I don't, and he usually takes my word into consideration. So, to sum it up, I approve of you. Because you're the opposite of those girls. You're intelligent and you're kind. You're not looking to screw my brother and then leave him. You're looking for something serious, just like him. And I know you tell me you're not ready, but I've seen the way you look at him. You look at him like he put the freaking sun in the sky every morning."

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