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Hate Me
  • Текст добавлен: 15 октября 2016, 06:33

Текст книги "Hate Me"

Автор книги: Jillian Dodd

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Текущая страница: 19 (всего у книги 19 страниц)

My ears perk up as Whitney deviates from the script.

“I hate to have to do this, but something has come to my attention, and I feel compelled to share it with you, as is my obligation, per the Eastbrooke code of conduct.”

She uses the remote to make the screen behind us roll down from the ceiling.

Now she has my full attention, because this suddenly feels a lot like the day at lunch when she sent the texts to all of Chelsea’s friends.

Only it’s a lot more public.

The dean and most of the faculty is here.

A few of the parents.

Is she going to do something else to Chelsea?

Whitney flips open her laptop and Peyton, who is still holding my hand, digs her fingernails into me.

I glance at her and see that her face has gone completely white.

I follow her eyes toward the podium.





I can’t believe this is happening.

I look at the pictures Whitney is getting ready to flash across the screen.


Not now.

Not tonight.

Not here in front of everyone.

My heart sinks, and I get a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I remember what she said to me that day at the lunch table.

How Peyton surprised her.

Peyton lets out a little whimper as the screen finishes unrolling.

Whitney was only nice to us because she was planning to destroy Peyton the way Vanessa destroyed Mandy.

Peyton is nothing like Mandy. She didn’t do anything mean and calculating. She was hurt and needed comfort when she turned to him.

I look out into the crowd and see the boys’ soccer coach and remember how Whitney specifically asked him and his wife, who is now five months pregnant, to chaperone.

She wants to destroy them both.

Right here, in front of everyone.

I can’t let it happen.

I can’t let intimate sexual photos of an underage Peyton be flashed across a screen in front of the whole school.

Not to mention what it would do to Coach Kline’s life and his wife’s.

Just as Whitney is ready to start the slideshow, I move quickly, dropping Peyton’s hand and grabbing the remote out of Whitney’s.

And it’s at that moment that I know what I have to do.

Even though I shouldn’t.

Even though it will ruin everything for me.

I have to do this for my friend.

I turn to a stunned Peyton. “Why don’t you take Whitney’s computer and put it somewhere safe? Photos aren’t necessary. I’ll tell everyone the truth.”

Peyton gives me a confused look, then takes a shaky step, grabs the laptop, and walks offstage.

I'm left with a crowd of students wondering what I lied about.

Whitney opens her mouth in protest, so I take the microphone from her too.

I notice a small group of reporters have moved in front of the stage.

Not only was Whitney going to tell the school, she brought in the local press.

I start telling every lie I've told since I got here.

I look at Riley and confess. “My name isn't Keatyn Monroe.”

Then I find Aiden’s eyes in the crowd. “I did recognize you as the goalie that day when you asked.”

Then Dawson. “I didn’t leave my Mercedes at home because of the snow.”

Then Maggie and Annie. “My parents didn’t move to France or delete my social media. I didn’t get in trouble at home, and my photos didn’t get lost when I synced my new phone.”

I speak directly to Annie. “I have seen every one of Abby Johnston’s movies. We do have the same mannerisms, and our voices are so similar even Tommy can’t tell them apart. And that’s because I'm her daughter.”

Cameras start flashing, so I hold my hand strategically in front of my face.

“I came here because . . .”

I want to tell them why. But I realize I can’t.

Not yet.

I can’t put them in danger.

I won’t.

I know that I don’t have until March with Aiden anymore.

That his time bomb app just went off.

My biggest problem is the reporters, not my friends.

Because if they announce that I’m here, Vincent will come.

And I can’t do that to Eastbrooke.

To the place I love so much.

I’ve been stalked and kissed and dated and loved, but now I can see it clearly on their faces.


I hear the big metal doors behind me close and know that Peyton has made it safely out of the ballroom with the laptop.

I hate to do it, but I need to tell my friends one more lie.

Just one more lie.

And in order to do it, I’m going to have to give the performance of my life.

But I’ll do it because I love them.

I stand up straighter, jut my chin out, and become the cold, uncaring bitch who takes whatever she wants from whomever she wants because she thinks she’s entitled to it.

I peek through my fingers, finding Aiden.

He’s the one I have to convince more than anyone.

I smirk, looking at him like he’s a piece of trash, not worthy of my time, then shrug. “I came to Eastbrooke because I wanted to see if I could act. To see if I could pretend to be someone else. I lied because . . . Well, because I could. Because I’m a good actress.”

Aiden darts off the dance floor.

I turn around, my eyes following him.

Wanting to talk to him.

To tell him I’m sorry.

To tell him this isn’t how I wanted him to find out.

My hand reaches out toward him.

He shakes his head at me, puts his hand up in the halt position, pushes his back against the exit door, and walks straight out of my life.

Tears spring to my eyes as Whitney grabs my elbow, pulling me close to her.

“Very slick,” she says. “And very interesting. But don’t worry, I have backups of the photos. Peyton’s not getting out of this.”

I hold my head high, still in bitch mode. “Yeah, she is. Because it just so happens, I have a few photos of my own.”

I reach down, take my phone out of my clutch, click a few buttons, and send her the photo where she’s lying across Coach Steele’s desk.

When the picture pops up, the smug look slides off her face.

I wrench my arm away from her.

“If you ever try to hurt Peyton or any one of my friends again. If any of those photos ever show up anywhere, I will show these photos to the whole school. I’ll tell them how you couldn’t get Camden by sleeping with him, so you settled for his brother. I’ll tell them that your relationship was a sham.”

“What do I care? I’m going to college.”

I give her a smug, bitchy smile. “Because I’ll also send them to every Ivy League school you applied to. Camden kept everything. And there are hundreds of pictures and screenshots for me to choose from. I could release one a week for the rest of your life. If you wait until we’re older, then I’ll send them to your boss. Your parents. Your friends. Your husband. Because you can bet on this. If those photos ever see the light of day, I will destroy you.”

For the first time since I’ve known her, Whitney looks scared.

She nods at me in understanding, puts her head down, and slinks off the stage.

Still shielding my face, I head off the stage toward Cooper.

I can tell he’s pissed.

“What the fuck was that? What the hell were you thinking? There are reporters here. We’ve got to get you out of here now.”



“I said no, Cooper. I’m not going anywhere. Help me out by rounding up those reporters. I need to talk to them.”

As he goes off to speak to the reporters, Annie walks up to me and says, “I thought you were different. You made me believe that nice girls could be popular. I’ve mentioned your resemblance to Abby Johnston quite a few times. We saw her in New York! It would’ve been so easy for you to tell me the truth. Which means it was all just a mean game to you.” She grabs Katie and pulls her into the conversation. “Katie and I are in agreement on this. We’re not friends anymore. Although I doubt we ever were.”

Her and Katie march away as I recoil slightly.

I wasn’t expecting that from them.

I want to go after them and say I’m sorry.

But I can’t.

I turn around and stare at the door Aiden just walked out of.

I want to chase him.

Beg him for forgiveness.

Tell him the rest of the truth.

But as I see Cooper and the dean herding the reporters into a room, I know that I can’t do that either.

I remember Grandpa once telling me, Sometimes you can’t find yourself until you’re lost.

I thought it was just another silly Southern saying.

But I get it now.

I was lost.

And, somehow, throughout this whole ordeal, I found myself.

I know exactly who I am.

And if Aiden is the boy of my dreams . . .

If he really is my moon boy . . .

My fate.

Then he’ll understand.


The End


The final book in The Keatyn Chronicles Series.

Release date: August 30, 2014

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