Chapter Fifteen

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"I should've asked him where we're going" I complain and Daley shakes his head. "We'll dress you approriate for any occasion." "That's impossible" I whine. "Bev, shut up and let me work." "Work? I think you've misread your true calling is design, styling, something roughly in that direction and not writing." He just looks at me, highly concentrated, staring into the distance but putting his finger up to his lips as if he was giving me my last warning to be quiet. But let's be real, I do need his help and can't afford him leaving my room without having picked my clothes and done my make-up. Which he does effortlessly.

Once he's done, he takes a step back and eyes me up from hair to heels, seeming completely satisified with his work, leaving me wearing black, shiney jeans that I don't even remember owning, a dark blue blouse and dark heels. My hair looks kind of fancy but the make-up works for everyday but also the sparkle around my eyes works for something a little bit more fancy. He was right. And that's why I don't trust him with a lot of things but 100% with hair and make-up and styling.

"Love it?" Daley asks, wiggling his eyebrows up and down. I roll my eyes but my lips curl into a smile automatically. "Yes, thanks." He pats himself on the shoulder and I laugh. "I still am sceptical about him though." "Bev, why wouldn't he like you?" "Because he seems so shallow, it just makes no sense. He wants to discuss work, that's it. I'm reading this all wrong." "Just go with the flow, don't think too much into this, okay?" I sigh and take a deep breath. "Alright."

There's a ring downstairs at the door. "I'll meet him at the front door" I say and grab my bag, kissing Daley on the cheek and then jogging downstairs. If there's one thing thin girls can do that I too have mastered, it's doing anything in heels. I could exercise in heels at this point. "Hey" I greet Mr. Remford who's leaning in the door frame, wearing a suit. "So I'm underdressed" I state. He shakes his head, holding out his arm. "No, you look great, Miss Nicholls. By the way, since I've offered you first name basis, do you mind me calling you Beverly?" "Bev. Please" I reply bluntly. He looks at me in confusion because of the quick response. "Okay, Bev. Don't let the suit intimidate you." I smile. "I'm trying not to." He grins and as I link arms with him, leads me outside to a long, black car. "Right..." I mumble, stopping and staring at the fancy vehicle. He laughs at my reaction, then opens the door for me. "Thanks, I guess" I say but my voice is just a hint. I really don't know what's happening.

The whole way to the restaurant, he's on the phone. It seems to be something about our event but I barely listen. I look out the window, the city rushing by and even though I've seen it a hundred times, I still stare because that's what makes me feel at home, like something I know. Because all the rest, I know none of that. I don't know planning a huge red carpet event, I don't know going on what is presumably a date with a very rich and very attractive guy who seems shallow but can't possibly be or he wouldn't even consider letting people in a restaurant see him with ... well, me. Maybe it's a dream. This could be my last night before becoming a teacher, I could be dreaming. I pinch myself and I'm not dreaming. Also, from the corner of his eye, Mason notices so I quickly put my hand back into the pocket of my jacket and stare back out the window. Way to go, Bev. Way to go.

Mason opens the door for me as soon as we arrive, reaching out for my hand. "Thanks" I mumble, feeling stupid for thanking him for everything. "After you" he says as he holds open the door of the restaurant for me too. I just smile this time, waiting up for him. He says his name and we're brought to the back of the restaurant. "So we can plan the event in private" Mason explains and I just nod, sitting down but of course not without him pulling back my chair for me.

I let him pick a wine because let's be real, I may be a teacher but I got no idea. Looking at the menu, I contemplate if I should be me or be who he possibly wants me to be. Now, I'm aware that no matter what I eat, it's going to seem too much. And usually, I don't care about that. But with him, for some reason, I care what he thinks and I don't care that I'm gonna pretend to be someone else for an hour. Which is insane, my beliefs, my morals rebel against just the thought so I take a deep breath and pick what I would pick if I was here with Daley. He'll just have to deal with it and he'll think I'm eating too much anyway so I may as well enjoy the proper food. I mean, I will probably never come to this place again, except if it's for him so why not?

Once the food comes and I've downed a glass of wine just to escape the tension, he finally cuts the crap. "What I was wondering, Bev..." he starts, looking at me with intense eyes. I am sure that half the world's teenage girls would die to be me at this moment, despite the tons of extra pounds on my hips. Because there's a very rich and attractive man sitting opposite me, a very romantic candle between us, fancy food, eye contact, beard stubble, messy hair, need I say more? And I'm not excluding myself here, just this once, I am all those girls I usually make fun of. "Do we want to go to the event together ... like, together?" And then I'm back. Sceptical me is back. "Sure." There she is again. I swear, a split personality is evolving inside me. "Great" he says and raises his glass. I see my hand do the same thing, our glasses meet above the candle and I down the rest of wine. I don't know if I want to fly up high with him or if I want to disappear into the floor.

I don't feel like myself stepping out of the restaurant. Mason takes me home and I listen to what he's saying but I have no idea what he's saying. Let's say, I listen to his voice. Before I'm completely sucked in, I practically jump out of the car as soon as we reach the apartment. I stop him from walking me up the stairs or even getting out of the car. But I can't stop him from opening the door for me. But at least he hugs me goodbye and gets back into the car straight away so I can stumble back into my real world of unwanted naked Daley and a ton of Dr. Pepper in the fridge.

As soon as I'm past the door and have closed it behind me, I feel Daley's eyes on me, seeing him sit at the kitchen table with a curious look on his face. "What?" I ask, sitting opposite him and letting my bag drop to the ground. "How was it?" he asks. I breathe out as if I haven't been breathing all evening. "I honestly do not know." Daley laughs. "No, really, Bev, tell me." "He's hot, he's rich, I can't figure out what the fuck the catch is." "There may not be a catch." "No, Daley, this is not real, this does not happen to me, this doesn't even happen to a star in a romantic comedy." He laughs again. "Calm down, Bev." "Hey, I may be different but that guy ... I'm just a girl. And I want to believe it's real."


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