In chapter three, Abby and Travis got nasty on the dance floor, and Abby was shocked and outraged when Travis kissed her neck. The whole point of going out together was so that people would stop thinking they were dating! Because they’re just friends, they night was rounded out with some good old-fashioned, friendly cuddling! (Matthew says: Platonic cuddling: It’s a thing!)
Chapter 4: The Bet
When I first read this book, I was certain this bet was referring to some sort of She’s All That-type plot device where Travis had a bet that he could bed Abby (Matthew says: Correction – “bag”) and her discovery of this would tear them apart! Given it was only chapter four, I wondered what I’d have to be reading for the rest of the book. If you think that sounds like an awful book to read, brace yourself, because somehow what actually happens is dumber!
This chapter opens with Abby and Parker exchanging flirty looks during class. He reminds her about the party that weekend.
“I won’t,” I said, trying not to bat my eyes or do anything else ridiculous.
Wasn’t she just cuddling with Travis at the end of last chapter and battling with conflicted feelings? She couldn’t have possible said more than two sentences to Parker, they met one time and then he asked her to the party. Abby never really tells us anything going on in her head – she just narrates what’s actually, physically happening, making for an often confusing and jumbled read. (Matthew says: Whereas Travis only tells us what’s going on in his head and then really quickly skims over what’s actually, physically happening. They’re so good for each other.)
Abby and America go to meet up with Travis and Shep to eat at the Lunch Table of Sexual Tension and Tossed French Fries where Travis looks pissy after being informed of Parker’s attentions. Chris Jenks, aka Typical Football Jock, tosses a french fry onto Travis’ tray for some reason (Matthew says: Seriously, people are throwing french fries at each other all the time in this book! Fries get thrown at people all willy-nilly. People must really hate french fries in the world of Beautiful/Walking Disaster.) and starts telling him that girl Travis slept with is raking his name through the mud.
I leaned forward so the brawny giant sitting in front of Travis could experience the full force of my glare. “Knock it off, Chris.”
Travis’s eyes bored into mine. “I can take care of myself, Abby.”
“I’m sorry, I . . . ”
“I don’t want you to be sorry. I don’t want you to be anything,” he snapped, shoving away from the table and storming out the door.
Abby is confused about Travis’ bitchiness, and Shep tells her he’s got stuff going on and that she has to be patient with him. Or she could just stop being an insensitive dick to him. And don’t tell me it’s because she doesn’t know he has feelings for her.
After school, Abby goes to nap in Travis’ bed because he’s not there and she’s sad and wishes she knew what was going on with him. Platonically. When she wakes up, she hears the rest of the gang talking about her in the kitchen. America is encouraging Travis to ask Abby out. (Matthew says: Which is weird, because why is she suddenly in favor of this?)
Travis, trying to one-up Abby in her stupidity says, “I don’t want to date her; I just want to be around her. She’s…different.”
American’s response to this doesn’t sound creepy now, but believe me, it’s going to get creepy and weird when you find out what she means by it. “You’re closer to her type than you know,” America said. Innocent enough now, but when you find out later…oh fuck it. I’m not Sylvia Day, I’m going to explain myself. America is referring to Abby’s dad who is really fucked up and reminds Abby of Travis. No, America wasn’t referring to an ex of Abby’s. She’s referring to her dad. More on that later, though!
Abby pretends she hasn’t heard anything, and Travis starts apologizing profusely for being mean earlier. He takes Abby to his room and starts to tell her how he doesn’t know what he would do if she didn’t put up with him. We’ve still only been really told through exposition that they’re BFF and Abby knows him like no one else, but I haven’t actually seen concrete proof of this yet.
It seems like they’re about to kiss, but his phone rings. I’ve never read such an inventive way to prevent a kiss between the romantic leads!
Travis gets a phone call informing him he’s fighting tonight, so the gang gets ready to go to the “floating fight ring.” America has Abby put on some slutty clothes, and Travis is having none of it.
Travis took my hand and led me down the hall. “Get a T-shirt on . . . and some sneakers. Something comfortable.”
“Because I’ll be more worried about who’s looking at your tits in that shirt instead of Hoffman,” he said [platonically], stopping at his door.
I know all my guy friends are always stopping me before I go out to be like, “I just won’t be able to concentrate on my sandwich knowing other guys will be looking at your boobs, Ariel!” (Matthew says: Obviously. This is why we’ve never gotten lunch, Ariel.) Travis isn’t the one noticing Abby’s boobs, it’s just that other guys might! This is a totally normal, platonic reaction from Travis. As is his locking Abby in his room until she agrees to change.
“You can’t wear this to the fight, so please . . . just . . . please just change,” he stuttered, shoving me into the room and shutting me in.
Sigh. So romantic. You know, in a just friends way.
Tune in next week to find out what outfit Abby put on instead and if Travis wins his fight! Oh, yeah, and to find out what the chapter’s title (“The Bet”) is all about.