You'll Have To Try Harder Than That

374 38 183

"Never mind." He felt stupid. Of course a girl like Michaela would have plans on such short notice. He was an idiot for even thinking otherwise. He would spend his night with the company of The Bachelor and potentially his guitar. Awsten had gotten the guitar a few years back from a pawn shop and taught himself to play it over time. The stringed instrument was scuffed in a couple places and had a broken string or two. It had seen better days. Awsten told himself he would give his guitar some love over the weekend to make up for the recent neglect.

"You can't do that to me." She could bring Awsten with her. He wasn't flawless but he could definitely help win over some hard to please people. He was older than her and had probably done the whole college party thing before. He could guide her through it and make her look cool and more experienced. She was settled; Awsten Knight would be taking her to that party. Now, all she had to do was convince him of it. That was going to be the hard part. Michaela was bad at all things subtle. "Why? What's up?"

"I was going to ask if you wanted to grab dinner." Having to spell it out made him want to throw up into the recycling bin to his left. Was vomit recyclable? He doubted it.

"Dinner? Is Geoff busy or something?" Michaela might've been teasing him but the truth of the matter is that he was busy. Geoff had somehow hit it off with Chloe during their time together and was supposed to be going on a date with her tonight. The thought of his roommate spending his time with her made his stomach churn. The only way he could try and get rid of the hollow feeling inside him was through trying to find the love of his life.

"He's got a date." Besides, finding his soulmate was a better idea than wasting his time watching the latest season of The Bachelor again. True love wasn't going to be found through a television screen. Ever since finding Michaela and Ciara, everything on the soulmate front had come to a halt. Awsten might've had a year to find the person but he was sort of hoping that everyone would make themselves known in the first few weeks or something.

"So I'm just a backup plan?" Michaela jutted her bottom lip out into her signature pout. Today, her lips were painted a bright ruby red. It was her first time trying such a bold color and she wasn't originally sure if she was going to like it or not. It was only a few hours into her shift and she had already made more in tips than the day before. Suddenly, she was thankful she had tried on the new shade.

"What? No way! I-" Awsten was flustered to say the least. The words stopped tumbling out of his mouth when he noticed the person across the counter from him was laughing. Michaela was never fond of her laugh, yet another thing in an endless list of insecurities. To her, it sounded loud and obnoxious and the snorting didn't help her feel any better. To Awsten, it sounded like a symphony constructed for only his ears. He could've drown in the way it sounded.

"I'm kidding." Relief had hit Awsten when her laughter did but it was finally starting to sink into his skin and enter his bloodstream. He was positive that for a moment, he had blown it. That had been his one fear since starting whatever game him and Geoff had unintentionally become a part of. Awsten was constantly paranoid about destroying his chances with one of his potential soulmates. He knew he already blew it with Ciara and didn't want to ruin his chances with anyone else. "Is she cute?"

"She's Satan in the form of a girl." Awsten tried to ignore the fact that Geoff mentioned Chloe was going to help him with his search for a phone. He didn't understand why she needed to be there given the fact that technology seemed to be one of Geoff's fortes but he didn't press on the situation. It didn't help that sometimes Geoff would ask to borrow his phone so that he could call the girl. They'd spend hours talking away on one of Awsten's only forms of entertainment. Besides, what was it? The 1980's? He should've been glad that Geoff was getting his own phone but he wasn't. He knew Chloe would always be on the other end.

"Funny. Didn't peg Ciara as his type." When Awsten and Ciara were together, Michaela wore her perfected retail smile every moment she saw them in the shop. For a year and three months, she was a professional liar. Telling Ciara she loved her outfit, smiling at the two of them and pretending to care about their date plans. It was one of the hardest things she had ever had to do. She never wanted to do it again.

"Her name's Chloe and she's worse." Awsten didn't know Chloe to the extent he knew Ciara and never wanted to. Every moment he spent talking to the blonde girl, he felt a part of his soul slowly dying. He didn't care how over dramatic that would've sounded to an outsider. There was just something about Chloe that made every part of his body ache. It was uncomfortable, like a sting when you put hand sanitizer on a cut. Unexpected and unappreciated. He could've gone his entire life without seeing her again but life had other plans for him.

"I'll take your word for it." Michaela wasn't usually one to talk badly about other people unprovoked. She tended to stay silent if she didn't have kind things to say. It was a new philosophy, one she wished she had taken up years ago. Her eyes flickered to the boy still looking more awkward than usual. Michaela had totally forgotten that she dodged his original question. "Dinner. Let's do dinner at six. Where?"

"Wherever you want." Awsten was used to Ciara picking out places whenever they went out. He didn't think he was very picky but he was positive that Geoff would fight him on that statement. He always seemed to possess a desire for Greek food but he kept that fact to himself. Awsten wasn't entirely sure why he always had a hunger for the food but blamed it on the fact he was part Greek. It wasn't a significant part of him, probably something like twenty or twenty-five percent, but it helped him rationalize his cravings regardless.

"Let me think about it and I'll text you." Michaela's eyes ran up and down the oblivious boy quickly. Awsten would make the perfect accessory to her party. He was cute but not cute enough that she should be worried. He was muscular enough to protect her from any creepy guys but probably not strong enough to pin her down against her will. He was a safe bet but a part of her was hoping he wasn't. She wanted an adventure."Dress cute. I'm dragging you to this party after."

"Am I not usually dressed cute?" Awsten was feeling fine in his rainbow Guess shirt until she had made that comment. Sure, some of his pieces were a bit out there but they added character. It couldn't have been the black skinny jeans he was wearing or the pair of white Pumas on his toes. He had fussed over his outfit prior to leaving the apartment fifteen minutes ago. He wanted Geoff's opinion but Geoff seemed a bit too eager to meet up with Chloe.

"Don't wear your sweater that looks like a carpet." Awsten opened his mouth to object but a sound didn't pass through his lips. Michaela had her favorites and far from favorites on Awsten. Usually, he was fine but every now and then, he looked like a mess. Sometimes she wondered how much Geoff actually liked him if he let Awsten leave the house looking like a tacky rug. Her favorite piece of his by far was a seafoam green tank top with a row of little white geese across the chest. "Actually, wear something that shows off your arms. You have nice arms."

"I have nice arms?" Awsten looked down at his covered biceps in confusion. Had the last two years of working out actually done something to his once tiny arms? Awsten had been scrawny and out of shape a few years back. It wasn't until he had started seeing Ciara that he started hitting the gym regularly and lifting his barbells every night. He hadn't noticed much of a different but then again, he wasn't exactly paying attention.

"Blind and dumb. That's hot." Michaela was binge watching The Simple Life in her spare time and every now and then a bit of Paris Hilton would come out of her. Half an hour earlier, she had called a soccer mom bitch unironically and earned herself a dirty look from Cindy or whatever generic white name she had. "I'll text you on my break." Awsten had never been more excited for the clock to hit 1:00PM.

Game Over. Continue? // gawstenRead this story for FREE!