Chapter One

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"I just, don't understand" Liv shut the textbook resting on her lap and I rolled my eyes. She had the attention span of a goldfish, we hadn't even been revising for five minutes yet. "Why isn't one strand of Spaghetti called a Spaghet?" She looked at me deadpanned.

I didn't even know what to say. If she used her brain to store information about our degree as much as she did to think of half the shit that left her mouth she would be doing so well. "Can you shut up, we're not taking a break for an hour." I laughed, grabbing my highlighter.

"Sorry, sorry" She opened her textbook again. I gave it five more minutes, before something absurd would leave her mouth again. Precisely thirty-eight seconds later I heard her shut her textbook again, she grabbed my phone that had just lit up from beside us, waggling it in my face. "Hey, this is Zach, kiss.' She read off my phone.

"Who?" I asked.

"He's texted you, how would I know? You saucy little minx, tell me all."

"Ohh!" and it all suddenly came back to me, "I gave him my number two months ago, but he never texted so I erased him from my memory." The kind of thing you do to protect your pride when you fancy someone and they don't fancy you back. What better way to deal with rejection than deny it? Pretend you never even met.

"Dickhead," she muttered. I snatched my phone from her, unlocking it. Liv was the kind of girl that preached about being a 'strong independent woman', how 'men were useless' as she went home with a different one every night. 

"Play hard to get Aria," she reached over, trying to grab my phone.

"What are we, thirteen?" I laughed, messaging him back a 'hey'.

The little dots appeared indicating he was typing, "I know this is crazy," I read off my phone "and you must think I'm a bellend for not texting back, but I've been so busy. Could I make you dinner on Sunday?"

"Absolutely not." Live retorted, "The audacity to -"

"I just told him I would love to" I giggled. "What's the worst thing that could happen?"

She got up and paced the length of my room. "Well," she put a finger up, "Firstly, he could literally be a serial killer.", another finger went up, "What if he roofies you?", finger three went up, "What if he kidnaps you and we literally never see you again?"

I rolled my eyes, again. "Liv, babe, how many guys have you gone home with that have tried to kill you?"

She thought about it for a minute, "None, I mean a couple have choked me and that's close-"

My fingers went straight into my ears, "LA LA LA LA LA", I slowly retracted a finger before grabbing a pillow from behind me and whacking her with it. "You're so graphic, we have a no TMI rule, remember?"

* * *

It was an hour before I was supposed to meet him and my stomach was doing all kinds of somersaults. Perhaps going to his house was the wrong idea, I mean it made his intentions quite apparent. But wait, did me saying yes suggest that I was going to sleep with him? I was most definitely not that kind of girl.

It was fine, I was ruminating. If I felt uncomfortable I would just leave, it was all fine. I took a deep breath, staring back at my reflection. I didn't really know what I was supposed to be wearing. I'd decided on a little black dress, and dressed it down, not wanting to give off the wrong impression. My brown hair was out, straightened. I had to make it look like I had made some kind of effort.

I hadn't been on a date in so long, I didn't even know what the fuck to do. Did I hug him when he picked me up? Shake his hand? Kiss his cheek? Just smile?

Ava, get a grip of yourself.

Fourty-Five long minutes later, I'd managed to not cancel and was shakily making my way to the top of my road. My furry hood over my head, this was the worst thing about living in a small town, everyone knew everyone. The last thing I wanted was there to be some rumour about me getting into a car with a strange boy.

"Hey," his voice was low and husky, the way I remembered it. His eyes piercing and I almost felt a little weak at the knees. "You look nice." he smiled, his voice was laced with his confidence, he was charming and charismatic and he knew it.

"Zach-" my breath was a little shaky, "thanks, you too." and I managed to pull my lips upward into a smile. He was dressed well and he smelt nice, he ran over, opening the passenger side of his car for me. "Thanks" I said again, as he shut the door behind him.

"I'm not some kind of predator," he'd said not even five minutes into the car ride. "I just wanted to apologise genuinely for not messaging you back for two months, and thought me cooking dinner rather than buying you a meal out would help me redeem myself a little."

I laughed, "Don't worry, I thought you might had been busy." What a fucking lie. I remembered sitting by my phone for 2 weeks straight after meeting him, hoping that every notification was a message from him, as I sat sobbing wondering why I wasn't cool enough for him to actually message me.

"I didn't really know what to cook," he started, and he looked over and he was beautiful. You're not meant to call boys beautiful, they prefer handsome, but he was beautiful. His brown eyes were catching the sun as he pulled into his driveway. "And I can't really cook," he laughed, "So, I've been on the phone to my mum for about six hours and she told me to warn you there's a high chance of food poisoning.'

I hadn't even realised I'd been smiling the whole car ride until my cheeks started to feel sore. "I tried to cook for my flat mates while we were still in halls," I turned to him and I undid my seat belt, "and I set the oven mitt on fire and they had to evacuate the whole accommodation." He chuckled. I let out a sigh of relief I didn't even know I was holding, it all felt so natural. Then again I had met him about eight minutes ago.

"Okay, so I've chucked my house mate out for the night-"

I cut him off, I didn't even know what had come over me. "Bold assumption to assume I'm staying the night."

He smirked a little, a cheeky smile appearing on his face. "Is that a bet? That I can make you stay the night?" 

I shook his extended hand, trying to bite back a smile "It's a bet."









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