Chapter Twenty

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Oli looks at me in disbelief from the side, I can tell because I watch him from the corner of my eye but I don't turn my head to look at him. "He didn't..." he repeats but I nod my head once again. "He did. But it's okay, honestly, I'm okay." He stops walking and turns which forces me to look up at him. He's only a little taller than me but I still have to look up tiny bit. "Bev, no offense but how?" I sigh, closing my eyes. "Because I'm used to it, do you think that that's the first time something like this has happened to me?" I ask and open my eyes again. Sometimes, this kind of problem really is not understandable for someone who has never experienced it themselves. They can't relate, no matter how hard they try to imagine how you feel.

He keeps walking and buries his hands in the pockets of his black jeans. "You're inspiring, Bev, really, you inspire me." I look at him from the side and laugh. "Do I?" His face stays serious. "I'm not joking, the fact that he insulted you and treated you like that, I'd imagine you'd be deeply offended but here you are, just a little bit mad that he is like that and not one bit frustrated about youself. It's amazing." "It's just because I'm used to it, that's all. You learn to live with it." "You're really strong." "No, it's kind of sad really. That it's happened so many times that it doesn't have an effect me anymore, that it's just like whatever." "That way you can help others not letting something like this have an effect them." "Tryin' my best."

We keep walking through the dark streets and after a while of me shivering a little in my half-long dress and thin cardigan, Oli takes off his leather jacket and places it over my shoulder. I smile. "Thanks. Sorry I'm too big to fulfill the cliché of actually wearing it" I grin. He looks at me and his eyes darken a little. "Bev, it doesn't matter." I raise one eyebrow. "I know and I'm not insulting myself, I'm just joking, what's humor if you can't laugh at yourself?" "But you sound sad sometimes when you joke like that and I know that you mean it too so let me tell you that it doesn't matter, no one cares what little shits with tons of money stuck up their ass think." He sounds a little angry now so I bite my lip and keep quiet. "It doesn't matter" he repeats. I take a deep breath. "I know it doesn't matter what other people think but I know what they think and I don't want to pretend I don't. And you can't relate but let me tell you it's hard to find someone who's serious. And that's why I've sort of given up looking actively."

He stops again and turns. "You of all people should know that appearance does not matter and in your case, we're not talking appearance, we're talking weight because don't you dare tell me that you're ugly or anything like that because I'm not having that and as far as weight goes, some people don't care, tons of people don't care, a girl doesn't have to be a stick, Bev, I certainly don't say that skinny girls are my type, anyone with a capturing personality is my type and I'm not the only one, there are tons of people out there who feel the same way, I don't have to be unable to relate to disagree with you." He sounds mad and he's building up more and more so I just take a step forward and hug him which immediately relaxes him. He wraps his arms around me slowly and pulls me closer. "No need to hit the roof" I whisper and he laughs into my shoulder. I smile and kiss his cheek before pulling back. "So, what now, Romeo?" He smirks. "Let's just keep walking." His reaches out for my hand and intertwines our fingers.

After half an hour, he looks around, then pulls me to the side and takes an unexpected turn. "Where are we going?" I ask. "You'll see." Not even five minutes later, I'm standing in front of a colorful paradise. "Arcade games?" I ask. He nods. "You bet." "I haven't got any money on me" I admit once we've found a game we want to play. "We don't need the bats" Oli announces and I look at him. "You wanna swipe that thing back and forth with your hand?" "Well, I haven't got money either." "You took me here!" He raises his hands in defense. "Sorry!" I roll my eyes and pout fakely. "What kind of date are you?"

We give up after two rounds because our hands just hurt too much. "Did you see an ATM somewhere outside?" Oli asks. I shake my head. "No, why?" "I was going to treat you to a pizza maybe but you're right, I am a shit date." "You'd be a great date if you walked me home because I'm really tired. And I just want it to be tomorrow." He looks at his phone. "It is tomorrow." "You know what I mean." "I do, baby girl, come on." He links arms with me and we make our way back outside.

The closer we get to the apartment, the more tired I get and once we're there, I feel like I'm gonna pass out on the spot but I force my eyes to stay wide open and stare up at Oli. "Thanks for walking me home and just ... being there for me tonight." He smiles and strokes a strand of hair out of my face. "Sure thing, baby girl." His sight drops for a second, then his eyes are on mine again. "You look very good tonight, baby girl." "Now you're exaggerating" I laugh and slap his chest playfully. "I'm really not. Do you need me to walk you up?" "You know what? If you want, you can stay over because Daley's not here anyway and that way you won't have to walk all the way back to your place." "I don't want you to feel like you have to invite me in just because I did you a favor." "No, it's cool, I mean, you've been so great tonight, it's the least I can do. Aren't you tired?" He yawns. "Actually, I am. Sure you don't mind?" I nod.


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