XOXO, I Hate You
By Elena Lane
Date: May 1, 2019
Ch. 44

The first date, if it could be called a date, was interesting to say the least. Beverly and Gordon went to a restaurant called Jay Martin’s. It was a newer place, but it had numerous rave reviews. It was the hottest spot in town and normally, it took weeks just to get into the door, but the Wells family was not normal. Therefore, Beverly could drop in at pretty much restaurant she wanted without running into much trouble. In fact, the owner, Jay Martin himself, greeted Beverly like a celebrity when she walked through the door. Sometimes, it was fun being the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson Wells, but mostly it was incredibly tedious.
The restaurant had a very young vibe about it and as soon as he walked in, Gordon took a look at the surroundings and Beverly could tell that he was admiring the architecture because though she couldn’t name the style or design elements, Beverly too was awed by the building’s beauty. The building must have had years and years of history before it was finally converted to be a restaraunt. “It’s beautiful in here,” Beverly mused.
Gordon chuckled, “I’d say that it couldn’t be as beautiful as you--”
“But you’d be lying,” Beverly said sadly.
Gordon chuckled again, “No, what I was going to say was, ‘But that would be cheesy.’”
Beverly felt stupid, but then, she laughed it off, “Yeah, I guess that’s true.”
“You are very beautiful, Bev. Don’t ever let yourself think differently.”
“And you, Gordon, are very handsome, but I bet you get that a lot. I think even my sister has a little crush on you.”
“Jenny?” He asked with a gaping mouth.
Beverly laughed. She couldn’t deny that Gordon was attractive. “Do I have another sister?” Beverly asked jokingly.
Gordon thought for a moment, “No, I guess that you don’t.”
Then he spoke again, “I don’t know if you remember this, but we use to be good friends when we were kids.”
“Yeah, I remember that. We used to play bride and groom.”
He scoffed, “More like bride and bride. You always used to make me wear a veil. It was so embarrassing.”
Beverly couldn’t help but laugh, “You could have said no.”
“How?” he asked with an amused expression, “No one in their right mind could say no to that little pouty face you use to make.”
“My mom always seemed to resist it with little effort.”
“Well, I guess she’s not in her right mind,” Gordon replied and though he had meant it as a joke, Beverly knew that the statement had been one hundred percent true. In some ways, Linda Wells was insane.
Just then, the waiter came to the table and they gave him their order. For a while, they chatted aimlessly, talking about everything under the sun. Their conversation didn’t feel forced and to Beverly’s shock, she really liked Gordon. Not only was he a good looking guy, but he had an adorable personality. There was something about the way his brown eyes lit up when he was talking about things he was passionate and equally endearing was the way he was so down to earth, despite growing up amidst wealth. In many ways, Gordon was Beverly’s kindred spirit; they were both simple people fighting against their parents’ ways of life.
As much as Beverly wanted to hate Gordon, she couldn’t help but want to get to know him better. The problem was that she couldn’t let herself get too close or she’d become a complicit member of her parents’ insane scheme and Beverly certainly didn’t want that.
“Beverly, you need to go out with him again. We can’t have you two get married if you don’t even know each other. That would be ridiculous,” Linda said as though the rest of the situation wasn’t ridiculous. It had been awhile since the last date and Beverly’s parents, her mother especially, were getting restless.
“Linda, everything about this is ridiculous and I told you that I like Gordon, but I can’t marry him and I won’t.”
“You promised your dad that you would give this a chance.”
“I did give it a chance, but it didn’t work. Okay?”
“Try a little harder, please. I don’t want to spend the whole summer arguing with you, Beverly. Bradley is home and I want to make things as nice as possible for him.” Linda Wells was desperate to please her youngest son for some reason that Beverly didn’t quite understand. Maybe she was just buttering Bradley up so that she could set him up with some random girl that he didn’t want to marry. After all, why arrange a marriage for one twin and not the other? Linda continued, “You’ll get to see Gordon tonight, anyway. He’ll be at the Fairview party.”
“I hate those people, Linda. I don’t want to go.”
“But you’ll go anyway and you’ll cozy up to Gordon Reeve. Am I clear?” Linda asked in a voice that left no room for argument.
And for the millionth time in Beverly’s life, she said, “Fine.”
Of course, the party was boring, but really, how exciting could a group of prim and proper socialites get. “This sucks.” Bev was startled by the voice, but was calmed when she saw who it was.
“Oh, hi, Gordon.”
“You haven’t been answering my texts.”
“I’ve been busy.”
Gordon gave Beverly a playful grin, “Really? It’s summer; you don’t have school and you don’t have a job. I don’t see what’s keeping you so busy.”
Beverly shrugged, “Netflix.” If Beverly was completely honest with herself, the only reason she was watching so many movies was because she needed to distract herself from Gordon.
“For some reason, that excuse doesn’t seem very good to me.”
“You know why I don’t want to answer your texts, Gordon.”
“Because I’m endearing?” Yes.
“No, that’s not why and you can’t actually be okay with our parents’ matchmaking.”
“Well, I don’t particularly enjoy that they’re trying to treat me as a puppet, but I can’t complain too much about it considering that I get to be with such a pretty girl.”
“Don’t flatter me; a girl can only take so much sappiness.”
“I’m just telling how I feel. Just because we don’t like how we came together doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy each other. Our parents being insane doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We can turn it into a positive.”
“But it is a bad thing and I’m not much into optimism.”
“Like I said, it doesn’t have to be bad. Whether you believe it now or not, I’m going to make you fall in love with me, Beverly Wells. I promise.”
“We’ll see,” Beverly said skeptically. She tried to muster a skeptical look to give him, but she was already starting to doubt her own ability to push Gordon out of her life. He made her heart flutter and standing beside him just felt right. Beverly needed to find herself a boyfriend to get her mind off of Gordon or he might actually make her fall in love.

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