Ki$$ & $ell: Chapter Seventeen

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Chapter Seventeen

By the time I hit the school hallways on Monday morning the news of my appearances on not one, but two talk shows had gone totally viral. If I’d been a disease, they would’ve had to declare an epidemic.

Girls I’d never met gushed over how cute Ryder was and begged me to spill on what he was like in real life. Of course, there were also those who were downright bitchy about the fact that it had been me, and not them, who’d gotten to spend time with the Night Light star. But it’s not like I could blame them. I’d have been just as jealous if I were in their position.

Surprisingly, the guys were just as bad. For some reason they felt the need to fill me in on everything that was wrong with Ryder. Ricky Telman claimed he was “a total douche who wasn’t as cool as he thought he was.” Chad Ferguson smirked as he said, “Ryder’s definitely into dudes.” And Ted White glared as he said, “That turd is such a chick, he might as well be wearing a tutu.”

I was getting the vibe that my classmates of the male variety were feeling just a tad bit…threatened by my new friend. And the girls? Well, they were somehow under the impression that dating a superstar was actually an attainable prospect. Which was so not true. 

After riding the wave of euphoria that kicked in upon leaving Ryder at the Snooze soundstage, I’d tried to stay busy. Subconsciously, though, I was really just waiting for Ryder to call me. Or text me. Either would’ve been fine, I swear.

It started with me just checking my phone when I woke up in the morning, hoping he’d called me after I’d already gone to bed. Then, it escalated. In the past, I’d left my cell in my room when I was at home, only checking for messages if I needed to call someone. But suddenly I was carrying my phone with me everywhere: when I was in the kitchen making breakfast; as I went out to retrieve the mail; and even into the bathroom with me when I went to take a shower.

            In other words, I became a tad bit obsessed. Mom finally had to take my cell away from me and hide it where I couldn’t find it. This was torture, but at the same time, I was grateful to quiet the crazy.

            And now, it was Monday morning and still no word from Ryder. I was a little disappointed, but not totally surprised. I’m not sure what I’d been thinking. That this big-time actor was going to trade in his celeb friends and all the bright lights and fame, just to play the role of average Joe and hang out with me? Yeah, not so much.

            Still, no one at school knew that Ryder and I weren’t talking, and I wasn’t about to tell them. For now I just tried to ignore the glares, answer people’s questions as honestly as I could (“Yes, Ryder’s as nice in person as he seems on the show” and “No, he wasn’t wearing lifts in his shoes to make him taller”) and enjoy the positive attention I was getting from my brush with fame.

            Unfortunately, this did nothing to impress Kristi, who happily continued to rain on my popularity parade. And in Kristi’s world, when it rained, it poured.

            “Saw you on Snooze this weekend,” she said, all perky and peppy.

The tan and toned girl squeezed herself down next to me, nudging out Phin, who just rolled his eyes before moving to the other side of the table. Then Kristi smiled at me as if we were buddies. Like she hadn’t been torturing me nonstop since third grade. People passed by, glancing over at us as they attempted to figure out what was going on. It probably even looked like we were having a friendly conversation. But I was close enough to see the evil in Kristi’s eyes.

            Well, okay, so maybe the purple contacts she was wearing weren’t helping. But still. She was pure evil.

            “What do you want, Kristi?” McCartney asked, not falling for her nice act either.

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