"Were you rich?" I suddenly asked, she had already given off those stuck-up vibes. Her bedroom was decorated fit for a princess, but I was still sure this was only second-best to her mansion back home in LA. She didn't seem happy with my questions and neither were Lou or Ray, but I didn't care; I wanted to make her feel out of place and alone.
"I guess," she mumbled uncomfortably.
"Figures," I added slyly, I could tell we weren't going to get on and I should probably make that clear from the beginning, otherwise if I wasn't careful she'd be hanging round with me at school, expecting me to show her round and befriend her.
"Verity!" Ray hissed. I sat back finished with my attack; a small sense of guilt bubbled up in my throat and made a lump which I couldn't swallow. The door opened and the little Zoey-minion bounded in, she stared up at us with her gormless expression making me uncomfortable,
"This is Maddy," Zoey said breaking the awkward silence,
"Hello Maddy," Lou smiled and leant forward; at that moment I wanted to hit her, why did she have to be so nice? Ray gave me another look to say ‘what's wrong with you?' but I just gave him one of my looks, I didn't want to be here and I didn't want them making friends with Zoey!
"Lou, don't we have to go now?" I asked standing up, Zoey looked relieved,
"Do we?" she asked looking at me,
"Yeah...you've got that thing that you were gonna do," I said evasively,
"What thing?" she asked, she was being her blond-self,
"You know," I gave her a meaningful look,
"No..." she muttered totally oblivious, ugh I wanted to hit her again but I didn't. I took a deep breath and started to lie,
"You said you'd drive me to Will's house,"
"Did I? When?"
"When we decided that I was going to ask him to homecoming!" I snapped, Lou got off the edge of the bed and looked shocked,
"You're going to ask him?!" she asked surprised,
"Were you listening at all to that conversation in the car?" I asked, "Ray, you heard!" I switched the limelight on him and prayed he'd play along,
"Yeah," he said quietly, at that moment I wanted to hug him, I smiled happily,
"Thanks for having us, I guess we'll see you in school," I added sweetly, perhaps too sweetly making it almost sickening. Zoey didn't smile as she said,
"Yeah...bye," I heard her bedroom door slam as we reached the stairs; Ray put his hand on my shoulder and walked me outside to Lou's car.
"You were out of order back there," he told me, "you judged her before you even met her... it wasn't cool,"
"Are we going to Will's now?" Eloise called already in the car,
"No, I'll explain in the car Lou. But Verity's going back home, aren't you?" he asked forcefully,
"Yeah, right, bye," I said heading across the front yard to our house next door. I stepped in and closed the door with a sigh of relief.
"How was it?" my brother, Max, asked coming down the stairs,
"Don't go there," I groaned,
"That bad? Where are Mom and Dad?"
"Still there, I escaped when I could," I told him,
"What were they like?"
"Just like every other family from Beverly Hills, LA,"
"That bad eh?" Max asked,
"We used to live there; you remember what it was like for me!" I told him, "It was hell on earth, and it's safe to say they're just the same as every other family we met back there,"
"I hated it there too..." he muttered, "I'm pleased we got out when we did... why did they move?"
"I didn't get that far, I escaped when I could," I told him earnestly, I left him in the hallway and went to my bedroom, I walked to the window which looked over to their house and my eyes widened. I hadn't noticed when I was over there, but Zoey's window looked right out towards mine, I could see her lying on her bed, her face in the pillow. I ducked under the window frame and let my heart sink; avoiding her wasn't going to be as easy as I thought.
"Verity!" I heard Max call, I got up and went to the top of the stairs, "Mom just called, she said they've invited us round for dinner,"
"Does she know you came back?" he asked,
"No, I guess not," I said walking down the stairs,
"If we're quick she won't know you left, so they'll be no questions," Max smiled, we headed next-door and soon we were all seated round a large table, Max on my right and Zoey on my left. The parents chatted whilst the teenagers ate in an awkward silence, it didn't seem like Zoey was going to tell her mom that I'd left either - for that I was grateful. After dinner Zoey, Max and I went into the ‘kid's room' and sat on the beanbags which Lisa had obviously just bought as they still had tags on, Zoey began to play with her long blonde hair.
"Why did you move?" Max asked, he evidently would prefer to be back at home on COD or talking to his girlfriend, or anything other than talk to his new neighbor.
"Mom and Dad had a few arguments; they thought it best we move away from LA," I watched as Max's face became interested in what Zoey had to say, as if everything she said was fascinating... I groaned internally. Max was crushing on the beauty from LA.
"How did that affect you?" he asked,
"I..." Zoey looked upset, "I hated it, my whole life was back in LA, and then one day I was just told, ‘hey Zoey, we're going to move today, let's go.' My whole life was turned upside-down,"
"I can imagine..." Max said leaning forward, I stifled a laugh, but Zoey seemed just as interested,
"Have you ever had to leave somewhere?" she asked fluttering her eyes. I could see how Max looked in her eyes, he had blond hair which fell messily over his brow, deep blue eyes which kinda gazed at you and he wasn't ugly. Max was also older, by two years and he was 6ft 4 - I don't know why he got the height and I didn't... life isn't fair.
Finally two hours later we had to leave and the flirt-fest had to end, I thanked Lisa for dinner and exited the house as soon as I could. I fell on my bed that night exhausted, it had been a long day and I was sure it had only just begun... not to mention homecoming was on Saturday night, with the big game on the Friday. I had three days to get a date. Crap.