XOXO, I Hate You
By Elena Lane
Date: May 8, 2019
Ch. 55

Beverly was shopping at a discount store, searching for some good bargains, but what she really needed was some shampoo. If Linda knew that he daughter was shopping for shampoo at Cheap Findz, she’d probably drop dead, but Beverly didn’t see anything wrong with the store. Sure it didn’t carry the ritzy stuff that the Wells family loved so much, but the products they did sell were just as good as some of the brand name things. Beverly liked it at the store, maybe more so because she knew that her mother would disapprove.
Bev picked out her shampoo and some other necessities that caught her interest along the way and was ready to checkout. She moved to the ten item or less line. She moved to the line, seeing a cashier named Greg, who was checking her out in more ways than one.
Beverly watched as he scanned her items while giving her a mischievous look. Despite this, he seemed nice, even if he was a little over eager. So, Bev gave him a flirtatious smile just to have a little fun. He printed her receipt and pointed to a number towards the bottom of the reciept with his pen, “This is how much money you’ve saved today and here,” he said jotting something down, “is my number.” Then, he gave Beverly a wink.
“Maybe I’ll call it,” Beverly said slyly, but she actually was considering it. Greg, a Cheap Findz employee would definitely not please her parents. He’d be the perfect one to put them in their place. If only he could make her forget all about Gordon.
Beverly gave him a smile, “How about you take me out on Friday and I text you my address.”
Greg looked taken aback for a moment, clearly surprised, but he kept his composure quite impressively and said, “Best idea I’ve heard all day.” Greg would be the perfect distraction that Bev needed to keep her mind off Gordon.
Their first date wasn’t bad, but Greg wasn’t Gordon; he certainly wasn’t as hot as Gordon. Beverly liked Greg though and he definitely was the more rebellious choice. Still, Beverly knew she was in trouble when, on her date, she couldn’t seem to stop bringing Gordon into the conversation. If Greg noticed he didn’t say anything, but he did express that he would like to keep seeing Beverly. At first she said no, but she relinquished, recalling that Greg had been a perfect gentleman, only daring to give Bev one gentle kiss on the lips.
So, they went on a second date and a third and several after that. Beverly even took him home to meet her parents once and to say that the meeting went badly was a massive understatement. During the time she was dating Greg, Beverly kept her distance from Gordon, hoping that she’d fall in love with Greg instead. Unfortunately, even as Beverly was with Greg for three months, she still couldn’t get her mind off of Gordon, who her parents had been pushing towards her with extra vigor. Each conversation she had with Gordon made Beverly want to give in to her parents’ demands, but she stayed strong and kept pretending like she and Greg had a relationship worth keeping.
Beverly felt guilty for leading Greg on for so long. So, one day, she brought the issue to his attention. She looked at him, putting on her most sympathetic face. “I want to let you know that I’m just using you to piss off my parents,” Beverly said casually to Greg as they were watching TV. She didn’t want him to get too attached to her; she just wanted to mess with her parents.
He shrugged, “Whatever.”
“So it doesn’t bother you?”
“I mean it’s kind of obvious that you’re into that Gordon guy so I knew that I didn’t stand much of a chance. Your heart already belongs to someone else.”
“Does not,” Beverly protested.
“Whatever,” Greg replied skeptically.
“How can you tell that I like him?” Bev asked, unable to let it go.
“You talk about him all the time.”
“Only because my parents want me to marry him. It’s just so crazy and frustrating.”
Beverly slapped him lightly, “Can’t you answer me with something other than ‘whatever’” she said, lowering her voice to mock Greg’s.
“Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t really believe anything you’re saying right now,” Greg said, voice terse. “Besides, I don’t really want to talk about the guy that you want to be your boyfriend. I think it’s pretty obvious that I like you, Bev. So, I’m not keen on being reminded that I’ll never be him.” His voice softened, “Sorry, but I’ll never be Gordon.”
“No, but you’re a good guy despite that.”
“Not good enough,” Greg added bitterly.
“Come on, Greg. Don’t get all dark and depressed on me. I like you--”
“But not like you like him,” Greg said with a sigh. “It’s fine. I understand and if you want to keep up this charade, it’s fine. I like spending time with you, even if I’m only pretending that you love me back, but I don’t think that you should deny yourself love just because it’s what your parents want you to do. Who cares? If it makes you happy, then who cares?”
“It’s the principle,” Beverly said firmly.
“Maybe,” Greg said, “But I’m not saying that you have to marry Gordon right now. You don’t even have to marry him it all. Just give him a shot and see what happens and if someday you do want to get married, you don’t have to do it on their terms. You can always elope. I’m sure that’s not the wedding your parents had in mind.”
“You’re actually not an idiot, Gregory.”
“I have a degree from Stanford and I’m currently getting my masters, but you still think I’m stupid?”
“My sister has a law degree from Harvard,” Beverly quipped. If Jenny could get a degree, then anyone could. So, Beverly wasn’t all that impressed.
Greg’s eyebrows knitted together, “Jenny?” he asked with surprise.
Bev nodded, “I don’t have another sister, do I?”
“How?” Greg asked disbelievingly. It had been a shock to everyone when Jenny had decided to be a lawyer. Jenny had always been the ditsiest child in the Wells family. So, it had come as a surprise that Jenny not only graduated from law school, but excelled at the practice of law.
“No one knows. She’s never been good at the whole school thing, but you’d be surprised; she actually is a pretty good lawyer.”
“Sometimes people surprise you.”
Beverly huffed, “Tell me about it.”

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