Can't be a smooth ride forever so buckle up your seatbelts :)) I think I've already hinted at this for a while but now it's all comin' out :')) Hope you'll be able to find out more about Hailey and Matt!
Chapter shoutout to: ElleLeeLove and all the hopeless romantics who have been reading The Exchange and making my day with lovely comments! :)
I wake up on Saturday morning to the incessant buzzing of my phone. "Emma" flashes on the screen and with an inward groan, I sit up and stretch out my legs, willing myself to stay awake before picking up. I glance towards the door and hope it hasn't disturbed Matt.
"Hey Em, what's up?" I ask, covering a yawn and sitting back against the bedframe.
"What do you mean what's up," Emma's exasperation rings out. "Did you die or something? I tried to call you and message you, like twenty times this week."
"Ack I know, sorry," I apologize sheepishly. "I was out most of the week with Matt."
"Matt?" In spite of her previous annoyance, Emma's voice piques with interest. I can imagine her wiggling her eyebrows suggestively as me. We always shared guy gossip with each other and she seems to be surprised I haven't shared the news with her sooner.
"The older son. Arthur's brother"
"Ah okay, you had a busy week." She seems to hesitate before continuing. "Ah..."
"Out with it Emma," I sigh, pressing the phone a little closer to my ear. "I think I already know."
"Right," she replies softly. "I did a little digging and it seems like Ben wasn't in Switzerland."
"Mhm," I murmur, picking at the bedsheet absentmindedly.
"His photos seem to show he was in Florida, visiting some girl named Lexi. They seem pretty close, like um, there were a few photos where they were kissing. And even one together from childhood."
"So family friends," I mutter, exhaling sharply. "That's a long freaking time."
I mentally kick myself for not realizing sooner. How often had Ben mentioned he was visiting Florida? Whenever school was out and there was a long holiday - all the time and I had simply went a long with it. He always came back with some sort of token or souvenir, along with some romantic apology about leaving me. And like an idiot, I had fallen for it.
Why had he done it? Why hadn't I noticed?
And then another horrifying realization dawns on me.
"I wonder why I haven't seen these photos."
"Erm," Emma starts nervously. "I think he might have changed some of his privacy settings."
"Damn it, that son of a bi-"
"Wait Hal, I'd love to talk - we can tomorrow if you want - and I'm so sorry about Ben but I can't stick around. Drew is coming to pick me up soon," she adds hurriedly. I feel a twinge of envy as she names her university freshman boyfriend of three years.
"Ah that's okay, go and get ready, have fun." And with a click, I'm left to contemplate alone.
At that moment, Matt saunters in, oblivious and smirking.
"Did I hear you almost swear? At your mom?" He pretends to gasp but stops when he sees my blank expression, walking over to perch on the side of the bed. I avoid his eyes, fidgeting under his concerned stare, and bury my face in the blanket before speaking with a muffled voice.
YOU ARE READING
The ExchangeTeen Fiction
Exchange (v.): 1. Hailey Brookes trades in her original summer plans to, instead, swap places with a family friend's young son and live at their suburban estate. Having just been dumped by her boyfriend Ben, her goal for the summer is to steer cl...