Chapter 21: I can't contain my happiness

So yeah, meeting Charlisse was pretty awkward. And it was pretty embarrassing too, since she didn’t actually know that Asher was my teacher (according to him). We hadn’t told her about the situation, but I felt bad having to lie to his family … and mine too.

They most obviously had no idea and they couldn’t find out before I graduated – they'd definitely go to an authority and get Asher kicked out of school … and I’d get expelled. That couldn’t happen – I had my eyes set on a really good university and I wanted to get in. It was only a two hour train journey, so I’d be close enough to Asher and the girls, but it was far enough from my parents. And, you know, Cam.

It had been four days since I’d gone to Asher’s place. Hillary was kind of right, in the end. We hadn’t actually done much talking after Charlisse left.

I was studying for my history test at the moment and it sucked. Who cared what the Chinese government was doing a few hundred years ago? I groaned and let my head rest on the book for a few seconds. I needed to pass the test, but I really didn’t understand any of it.

The tell-tale sound of heels clicking a few minutes told me my mother was on her way to my room and I sighed once more, righting myself and continuing highlighted the stuff in my notebooks. I needed to worry about the exams too, now.

What was the point of having three sets of really important exams in the same school year? Wasn’t two enough?

“Kim, I’m glad I found you,” my mom said from behind me.

I swung around on the chair instead of standing on purpose, looking at her. “Yup?” I asked, betting she’d talk about Cam’s birthday party.

“Your sister’s birthday is in three days, I hope you didn’t forget,” she said, as if she had totally expected me to.

I rolled my eyes at her. As if I could forget about the party – she’s been talking about it every waking moment of the day. “I actually didn’t, mother. Why, am I going to have to meet Gabrielle for a dress again?” I didn’t like the woman who gave mom dresses – she usually made my mother look too old.

But my mother liked it, so I wasn’t going to point it out. I’d rather make snide comments from the background.

“No, actually,” my mom said, surprising me. What?

 “Really?” I asked cautiously, “Why? You hate my personal choice of clothes.”

She shrugged, sitting down on my bed, “Well, yes. Your clothes really aren't fashionable at all –” well, at least they don’t make me look like I'm fifty “– but I thought that, since you’re seventeen now …” oh, so you finally realised? “You can choose what you want, as long as it's a dress… and it's a masquerade, so you’ll need a mask.”

Oh god, masquerade? Seriously? “Mom, that idea’s so old now,” I said, groaning. “I won't even have time. I mean, there's only three days left and I have tests and stuff.”

My mom rolled her eyes, “Those are excuses and you know it. Find a damned dress in time, Kim, or I’ll actually get Gabrielle to find one for you. Alright?”

Actually, I didn’t mind the dress Gabrielle had found for me when cam had had that party two months ago, but I wasn’t going to mention that. “Fine,” I muttered, “I’ll find a dress, okay? Any other conditions?”

I needed to get back to China, as weird as that sounded.

“Bring your guy,” she said, her eyes flickering to my wrist. Thankfully, I’d covered the name up.

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