From Nerd to Hottie (4)

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The two months of summer went by fast. All I did was work and sleep. I barely saw Nolen and when I did, it was only for a brief amount of time. He worked a lot at his two jobs and had to help around his house a lot. I made him promise me that before summer was over, he'd let me do the finishing touches on his make-over.

It was the last day before summer and Nolen promised that we'd spend the day together.

I woke up super early and got dressed in jean capri pants, a pink tank top, and black sandals. I grabbed my purse and an envelope specially for Nolen and then headed to his house.

I got out of my car and rna up to his door.

"Hi, Paige." Nolen answered. "Your here early."

"We have a lot of work to do today." I smiled. "Starting with this." I handed Nolen the envelope. "Open it. It's for you."

Nolen slowly opened the envelope and pulled out what was inside- a huge wad of cash.

"Paige, no..." He shook his head and tried handing it back to me.

I shoved the money back at him and smiled. "It's all the money I earned this summer. You are the reason I got a job and saved it. The money's for our project to buy you new clothes."

Nolen covered his mouth with his hand. "Paige...."

"Consider it a gift." I replied. "And by the way, we gotta go! If you want a whole new wardrobe for school, then we need to get going."

Nolen followed me to my car, still in shock of the money I gave him.

"You need another hair cut." I said as I started driving. "I'm thinking I should cut it a little shorter this time."

"Whatever you say." Nolen nodded. "I trust you so you can do whatever, pretty much."

I giggled.

"Where are we going to get clothes?" He asked.

"The mall." I answered.

Nolen sighed. "I hate the mall and all their stores. They all smell way too feminine but claim they sell men's clothes."

"I thought you said you trusted me." I shot back.

"But..." Nolen laughed. "Fine, I do!"

I laughed again.

***

That morning and afternoon, Nolen got a whole new wardrobe. I helped him clean out his closet after out huge shopping trip and also gave him a shorter hair cut.

"Do you think your ready for tomorrow?" I asked, sitting on Nolen's bed.

"Yeah, I guess. I'm a little nervous though." He replied.

I smiled. "Why?"

"I know I'll appear different and I'll look good because you helped but I'm nervous that I'll fall or something while I walk or people will still tease me." Nolen answered, looking a little sad.

I sighed and touched his arm. "You just have to be confident. And even if you do fall or trip, just brush it off and act like nothing happened. If your teased, stand up to them and tell them to back off. And if worse comes to worse, call me for back up and I'll kick their asses."

Nolen laughed at me. "Thanks, Paige." He paused. "You know, I've been meaning to tell you something lately and..."

My phone started ringing really loud. "Hold on, Nolen." I got up and answered my phone. "Hello? Eric?"

Eric was a boy I met when I was working one day. We've gone out a few times but nothing serious is going on.

"Hey, do you want to go out tonight?" He asked.

"Sure, what time?" I replied.

Eric chuckled. "I'm on my way to your house right now."

"OK, see you in a minute." I smiled to myself. "Bye-bye."

Nolen looked at me curiously. "Who's Eric?"

"This guy I met a while ago. He want to go out to dinner." I picked up my purse and gave Nolen a hug. "I'm sorry I have to go so soon! I promise I'll pick you up for school in the morning! Please don't stress! You're going to look great! Bye." I skipped out the door."

I drove home really fast, freshened up, and then Eric picked me up. On the car ride to the restaurant, I remembered that Nolen was saying he needed to tell me something. I decided to text him and asked what it was.

I wrote: Hey, I'm sorry I ran out so fast. What were you going to tell me b4 I answered the phone?

Nolen replied a few minutes later: Nothing. Never mind. I suppose it can wait.

I was worried. Please tell me. I responded.

No. Nolen said.

I was frustrated so I left it at that.

Dinner was rather boring. Eric talked about some other girls and I was just angry at him and Nolen.

In the middle of one of Eric's stories, I completely interrupted him and stood up. "You know what?" I yelled. "I really don't like you any more." I threw down my napkin and stormed out of the restaurant.

Eric was running after me. He looked embarrased. "Paige, wait!" He grabbed my arm. "Hold on-"

"No!" I yelled. "I left my best friend for you tonight and I really regret it. Your not worth it." I yanked my arm back and  looked at him disgusted. "Don't touch me!"

Eric just stood there, shocked, as I walked home in the darkness.

I tried calling Nolen several times but he didn't answer.

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