nine: jeremy

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     The next morning after my horrible Geometry test, I saw that annoying boy from church, Jeremy Fernandez, approach me while I was stuffing my books inside my locker.

     "How's it going, Alexa?" Jeremy said coolly, smiling at me.

     Jeremy tried to get close to my side so he could put his arm around me. I slapped his arm away and glared at him. "Don't fucking touch me," I hissed. He just laughed at me, and I rolled my eyes. "What do you want anyway?"

     "Oh, I just wanted to see my favorite girl, that's all," he replied as he leaned in and casually draped his arm around my shoulder again, and with his free hand, he ran it through his hair and waggled his dark eyebrows that would've made a girl swoon.

     Good thing I wasn't straight, thank God.

     I shrugged out of his grasp for the second time. "Stop it," I said as menacingly as I could. How many times did I need to remind him that I wasn't interested in him, or in men, or in anybody else?

     "Aww, but why?" Jeremy mock-pouted, attempting to make me feel bad for him by playing the I-have-Puss-In-Boots-sad-eyes look. "You didn't come over yesterday."

     "I was busy," I huffed, rolling my eyes and taking a step away from him. I needed to get to class, fast. "And besides, I didn't even know that I was supposed to go to your house."

     Yes, my parents conspired to set me up with this obnoxious little freak here. Sure, he had girls wanting him because he was pretty, but duh, he wasn't a girl. And most importantly, he wasn't Claire, either.

     "But your mom and dad promised," Jeremy whined, frowning deeply at me like a kid throwing a huge tantrum. Annoying, obnoxious, and a spoiled brat.

     "Yeah, well, I wasn't informed beforehand. And Jeremy, you and I both know that I've told you a hundred times that I'm not interested," I shook my head in exasperation.

     "That doesn't mean I'll stop trying," he retorted, his voice filled with steely determination. And then his mouth slowly twisted into a sly smile, making me nervous. Why was he smiling at me like that? "And something tells me that you were busy with someone else yesterday."

     "I...I don't know what you're talking about," I blurted out, annoyed with myself for stammering and feeling nervous and guilty at the same time. Why did he look like he knew something that I didn't?

     "Oh, I think I know exactly what I'm talking about," Jeremy drawled, still sporting that sly smile and rubbing his chin with his fingers. "You're still with her, aren't you?"

     Holy shit. How did he know about—

     "Your parents told me," he told me simply, answering my unspoken question, as if this wasn't much of a big deal anyway. "And I know for a fact that you're not supposed to see her. Ever. Oh, but yesterday after church...a little birdie saw you two share a kiss, at the small garden at the back of the church." I swear, I felt my stomach drop upon hearing his words.

     "Isn't that right, Alexa?"

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