All chapters here:

Finally, this story is about to pick up its pace. Hope you like the direction it's taking. I'd love to hear about what you think will happen in the future.

Chapter 6:

I didn't hear from Tanner in the following week. He dropped me at my house after we left the motel and drove away, not talking to me during the whole ride more than necessary.

I spent the week trying to find as much information as possible regarding my life. I searched through my computer but there weren't any personal photos. My facebook profile had only slightly more than 100 friends and they seemed to be just acquitances from the school. I couldn't find a single message from Cheryl or my other so called ex-friends. 

I couldn't question my mother either, she left the house early in the morning and came back from work at dinner time. She'd make small talk with me, tiredness evident in her voice and I'd tell her I could clean up the dishes, earning a relieved smile from her before she slumped onto the sofa.

She was working too hard to afford the same lifestyle we lived before my father left. I now understood why I needed the money from Tanner, I couldn't possibly ask my mother to buy me anything when she was doing more than she can handle.

Basically, I was left empty handed until I found the mysterious notebook in the back of my closet. I excitedly opened its solid black cover thinking it could be a diary but I was wrong. On the first page of the notebook, a list was written. A list of names.

I quickly read through all names and came to a conclusion. The names on the list belonged to different guys from our school. The top names were written messily in sparkly pens while the bottom ones were written more neatly. There seemed to be two distinct handwritings and one of them I recognized to be mine.

I focused on the names I'd written and although almost all of them didn't mean anything to me, one stood out among all. It was Steve Collins, written with a bright orange pen.

I also found Tanner's name in the middle of the list, but it wasn't my handwriting. When I examined it closer, it seemed to be Cheryl's but I couldn't be completely sure. I stared at the page for a long time trying to decode the meaning but eventually closed the notebook. I had no idea what that list was and it didn't do anything other than confusing me more.

So, I kept pretending that nothing was wrong and cried myself to sleep every night. I had no friends, no one to talk to if you didn't count Tanner and I doubted that we would talk to me. Maybe, I could suck it up and talk to Cheryl but I was afraid of seeing her with Steve, a sight I surely couldn't handle.

One day, I received a text message, disrupting my pitiful routine. I curiously opened it, not being able to think of a person who would text me. It was from Tanner and I chuckled when I saw that his number was saved as "Sugar Daddy."

I read the text with a rare smile on my face, soon replaced by a frown. "Wanna come 2 the beach 2nite?" It consisted of a single question.

"Why?" I typed in a short reply, recalling the times I'd spent on the beach with Cheryl and Hannah.

"Cuz it's the it place =)" My phone beeped and I stared at the words while thinking of an answer.

"And you want me to come why?" I pressured ignoring the sick feeling in my stomach.

"Pick u up @ 10." Tanner sent, ignoring my text and I gritted my teeth, feeling annoyed. Trying to decide what to do, I found myself pulling out a bikini from my closet.

"It place." I muttered to myself. That meant that the power couple would probably be there and surprisingly something inside me was dying to face them. I closed my eyes taking a deep breath and sent a reply to Tanner. "Sure, see you then."

x x x x x

"What is your problem?" I sneered as soon as I got into Tanner's car. 

"I'm taking you out, Sunshine." He answered nonchalantly, making me look down and examine my outfit. I was wearing a bright yellow dress that matched my hair, mostly because I wanted to be seen in the dark. I wanted them to see me if I bumped into Cher or Steve, they didn't know what they did to me in this life but that didn't make them less guilty.

"You look good." He assured me, sensing my inner debate. "I thought you could use some fresh air, besides I'd hate to stay and listen to my parents bicker. They're both home tonight." He admitted his voice never wavering.

I didn't want to make things awkward, so I kept my thoughts to myself about his family and listened to the radio during the short ride.

We arrived to the beach not long after and it didn't surprise me that everyone was there. There weren't a lot of things to do in a small town, especially for teenagers on a hot summer night. 

As we made our appearance, lots of eyes watched our movements. I assumed they were staring at Tanner, I was a loser to them while he was the resident bad boy and we really made an odd couple.

"Let's take a walk?" I suggested wanting to get away from people. 

"Okay." He agreed and we started walking, me trying to ignore the others around. It was just an ordinary night, groups of girls and boys sitting together, laughing and playing games.

"Look who we got here." Tanner's voice made me snap my head up and I faced the most heart wrenching scene ever. Cheryl and Steve stood in the water, splashing each other while Cheryl giggled loudly.

I couldn't tear my gaze away from Steve. As much as I wanted to forget him, I needed more time. I watched his wet body glistening under the moonlight and how he smiled triumphantly whenever he aimed at Cheryl. My fists clenched at the sight, thinking maybe, just maybe Tanner was right about everything and Steve wasn't gay.

My hopes were crushed when the couple noticed that we were there and their eyes turned to me and Tanner. I saw the flash of jealousy in Cheryl's gaze and the longing in Steve's, when they looked at Tanner. With that, I was back to the reality and I did the first thing I could think of, fury boiling in my veins.

"Don't move." I whispered clinging onto Tanner's arm. "Now you're about to see how much the golden boy is head over heels for you."

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