Try Not to Get Attached

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Read Time:17 Minute, 30 Second

By Madison Kim

Madison Kim is currently studying at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English with hopes to minor in Creative Writing, set to graduate in spring 2025. She is from Torrance, California, where she studied at El Camino College before transferring to Berkeley. Originally a Psychology major, whose love of reading, buying, and talking about books prevailed and inspired her to change her major with aspirations of becoming an author.

 “I need your help.” 

I looked up from where I was sitting to see him standing over me. 

Seth Roy. 

Arrogant, intelligent, egotistical, amazingly good-looking, and… a massive pain in my ass. 


“You don’t even know what I’m asking for,” he tried to change my already made-up mind. “Please.” 

When I saw his face, there was a look of desperation. I may not be able to tolerate the guy, but if he had that look this early in the conversation, I could at least hear him out. I let out a breath. “Fine. What is it?” 

“I need you,” he took a pause, like what he was about to say was going to piss me off, which wouldn’t be much of a surprise, “to pretend to be my girlfriend.” 

I choked on the water that I was drinking, which then Seth came around and patted me on the back, “Are you okay?” I shrugged him off. 

“Get off,” I said as I tried to compose myself and Seth held his hands up and backed up. “I’m not doing that.” 

“Why not?” 

“No. Just no.” 

“Please,” Seth sat himself in the chair next to me. “I’ll pay you. I’ll do your homework. I’ll wash your car. Please, I just need you to do this for me.” 

“Wow, talk about being desperate. Why do you even need a fake girlfriend? Why don’t you ask one of the many girls already fawning after you, instead of me?” I questioned him. Like I said, I have eyes, Seth’s a good-looking guy, there were multiple girls who’ve asked Seth out, which he all always declined. 

“Family reunion equals questions that I’m tired of hearing. What else?” Seth said annoyed, but for the first time in any of our conversations, I don’t think that annoyance was because of me. “And for asking you, well, you’re the one girl who won’t dig your claws into me and attach onto me afterward.” 

I gave him a blank stare, “Seriously.” I looked at him up and down, “You think too highly of yourself.” 

“Like you said, I’m desperate. Which means I am not above begging, Lola.” “Or I guess you don’t,” I snickered. 

Seth scooted closer to me, “Please.” 

“Stop, this is getting pathetic,” I paused for a second. Let’s see how much he really wants my help. “I want a favor?” 

“A favor?” His voice sounded doubtful but also laced with curiosity. 

“Yea. One favor for me to call anytime,” I said, might as well have some fun with this. I watched as Seth thought it over. “Fine. One favor, but nothing over the top.” Seth held out his hand and I shook it. Sealing the deal. 


When the last bell of the day rang, I left my class to my locker to get the rest of my things and leave this place. I was on track until Seth stopped next to my locker. I tried to ignore him, but all he was doing was silently standing there and staring at me. 

“What?” My voice was rougher than I expected. 

“Why hello there, my love,” Seth said with a bright smile on his face. “I missed you too.” My love. “Don’t call me that,” I said, staring down that obnoxiously handsome smile on his face. 

My comment only made his smile brighter. Damn. “I think we should get to know one another,” he said, skipping over what I had told him. I closed my locker and started to walk out of the school, as he followed me. “We need to at least know the basics right? We should agree on a backstory.” 

I didn’t want to do this now, all I wanted was to go home and go lay in my bed. “Can’t we do this tomorrow?” 

“No,” he dragged out. “The reunion is in three days. On Saturday.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Like I didn’t know it was on Saturday, it’s all he’s been texting me since we shook on the deal. 

“Did you just roll your eyes at me, love?” He stopped in front of me. “I need you to be serious. This is important.” 

It would be so easy to make fun of him, to make some snide remark about how much he’s stressing over nothing. But, when I met him in the eyes, it was obvious that this isn’t just nothing to him. 

“Fine. Walk me home?” I said, trying to extend an olive branch. “We can talk it through.” The walk home was more pleasant than I could have ever thought. As much as I get annoyed by literally anything that Seth does, it turns out it’s not so bad when he needs a favor from you. 

“Okay,” Seth said as he looked at me. “We met a year ago in anatomy and started dating six months ago after I asked you out on a date to the movies.” 

I nodded along as he listed all the things we agreed upon for our fake relationship. I cut him off though, “You never did tell me why you need a girlfriend.” 

“It’s not important,” he said, trying to dismiss the topic, but I wouldn’t budge. “It seems important enough that you’re stressing over it this much,” I replied back. “I mean, I don’t think I’ve seen you this stressed about school or sports, anything really. I mean, you were pretty desper-” 

“Are you done yet?” Seth huffed out, exasperated. 

I let out a laugh. “I will be when you tell me.” 

“You’re insufferable, love” he huffed out. 

“So, I’ve been told,” I let out with a slight smile, which Seth returned with a laugh. “It’s my family,” Seth admitted. “They know I’ve seen girls and stuff, but they’re always on my ass about it. To the point where it’s a running joke. ‘Oh, Seth is such a ladies man.’ ‘Seth can set me up with someone, he knows lots of girls.’ Seth this, Seth that.” I looked at him as he made his confession, showing me a completely different side to Seth, one that I didn’t see coming. “I just want them to take me more seriously.” 

“If you wanted your family to stop with the comments, how come you never just settled down with a girl? Get into a serious relationship with someone?” I asked. He looked at me and met my eyes. “The one girl I want doesn’t seem to want me.” His confession shocked me and I couldn’t help but ask, “Who is she?” 

Seth’s eyes closed like he wanted to tell me but couldn’t. “It doesn’t matter.”

I gave him a small nod of understanding. As much as I wanted to know who this mysterious girl was, I didn’t want to press him. Even I have some morals when it comes to annoying Seth. 

“This is it,” Seth said. 

I looked up to realize that we were at the front of my house. “Thanks for walking me home,” I told Seth. 

“No problem, love.” 

I had learned so much about Seth in such a short amount of time, that there are so many more layers to him than I had imagined. 


I looked once more in the mirror at my outfit. I wore a cute yellow sundress with a denim jacket on top, with black boots to finish it off. I usually don’t care this much for my appearance and what I wear, but I know that this is important to Seth. I needed to hold my end of the deal. 

When the doorbell rang, I opened to see Seth leaning against the door frame, wearing a white button-up with slacks, playing with his shirt’s cuff. I couldn’t lie to myself, he looked fine. “Hello, love,” Seth said, as he finished playing with his shirt. “Like what you see?” “What? No.” 

“Uh-huh,” he hummed as he looked at me up and down. 

When he didn’t say anything, I worried, “Is what I’m wearing okay? Should I change?” Seth blinked out of his trance. “N-no. No,” He stuttered out. He cleared his throat, “You look great, love.” 

I couldn’t help but laugh, if I was thinking this correctly, it looked like Seth was nervous. “Thanks,” I said as I closed the door behind me, and Seth and I walked to his car. He opened the passenger door for me, as I told him, “Also, I think you’re getting used to that nickname way too quickly.” 

“I’m just making it believable, love” I don’t even need to look at him to know that he has a smug look on his face. 

“Sure, whatever you say.” 

It didn’t take us long to reach his house, where his family reunion is taking place. “Are you ready?” I asked him. 

Seth looked visibly nervous, if he didn’t calm down, no one would believe that we were a couple. I grabbed him by the shoulder, “Calm down. They won’t find out.” He took a breath and calmed down. I watched him get out of the car and as I was about to open my own door, Seth came around and opened it for me, offering his hand. “What a gentleman,” I mocked him, but he didn’t seem to mind. 

“Anything for my love,” he smiled, but somehow I felt like it wasn’t a joke like I made mine out to be. 

I grabbed his hand and got out of the car. I walked to the front of Seth’s house as he closed the door. He walked up next to me and grabbed my hand. 

I jerked it away, “What are you doing?” 

“Hello? Relationship?” 

“Right. Right. Relationship,” I took his hand again. This was definitely going to be weird. “Sorry.” 

“Just remember when you’re with my family, that I don’t completely repulse you,” Seth said, his voice a bit venomous. 

“I don’t-” 

“Seth!” A voice called out. A woman walked out of the house to where we were standing. “I was wondering when you were finally going to arrive back.” Seth let go of my hand as the woman embraced him. 

When she let go, she turned over to me. “You must be the Lola Vang,” she said, her smile bright. “I’m Seth’s mom.” 

Before I could introduce myself, another voice called out. “Jamie!” A man came out, obviously looking for his wife. When he came to his wife’s side, he looked at her and said, “I was wondering where you went.” 

“Michael, I was just meeting Lola,” she said as she smiled at me. “Seth’s girlfriend.” “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Roy.” 

A laugh boomed out from Mr. Roy and he clapped his son on the back, “Finally, settled for one girl, did ya boy?” 

I turned to Seth and could see the irritation on his face. I could feel Seth’s gaze on me as I grabbed his hand and intertwined it with mine. I looked forward to meeting his father’s eyes, “He was just looking for the right girl. And he found her. Me.” 

I saw Seth’s expression change and I could see the gratitude from what I said to his father. His father’s expression changed from amused to serious, while his mother looked at me with a heartwarming gaze. 

“I-” Seth’s dad was about to speak before we heard his name being called by the rest of the family. 

“Go on,” Mrs. Roy urged. 

As Seth led me into his house, he whispered out, “Thank you.” 

All I could do was smile at him as the rest of his family greeted us. 


“You know, I would never say this about people I just met, but your family is,” I paused to think of the right word, one that isn’t rude or insulting, but nothing came to me. “I know,” Seth said. 

We were in his car which was parked outside of my house. We had spent the whole day with his family and they would not shut up about Seth’s dating life. 

“Y-you know,” Seth started. “You didn’t have to say half the things you said defending me.” He looked down, refusing to make eye contact with me. 

“It’d be weird if I didn’t,” I joked. “Right, boyfriend?” 

With that last word, Seth looked up at me. There was a hint of something in his eyes, as the silence consumed us. “Right,” he whispered as he leaned in closer. 

Before I knew it, his lips met mine. 

Seth was kissing me. 

And I was kissing him back. 

When Seth pulled back, there was panic in his eyes, “Shit. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” 

“No, no it’s fine,” I tried to reassure him, but it fell deaf to his ears. 

“You should go,” he told me. 


“Please,” Seth wouldn’t look at me and I refused to beg for his attention. I got out of his car and walked to my front porch and watched as he drove away.


I haven’t talked to Seth since Saturday after he kissed me and dropped me off at home. I didn’t see him around school today, not that it mattered, I didn’t want to see him anyway. At least, that was what I was telling myself. On the plus side, school’s over, but unfortunately for me, I had to meet with a teacher before I could leave. 

I walked through the hallway, making my way to the teacher’s classroom. When I turned the corner, I saw Seth with some girl. 

Seth’s back was leaned against a wall and the girl falling over him so that he’d catch her. I watched as she got closer to Seth, their bodies meeting. I silently prayed that he’d push her off, but he didn’t. I watched as the girl’s lips were a millimeter away from Seth’s. 

Typical. Of course, Seth kisses me and makes me think about it for the rest of the weekend, to leave me high and dry. Typical. God, I can’t believe I fell for it. I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it. 

My trance was broken by the sound of my phone dropping. I unknowingly lost grip on it during my mental tantrum. 

“Lola,” I can hear Seth call my name, but I just picked up my phone and walked the other way. I’ll walk the long way to the classroom if I have to. 

“Lola!” I could still see Seth calling my name, but I didn’t turn around. I walked faster so that he wouldn’t catch up with me. “Lola!” 

His hand gripped my arm to stop me. “It’s not what it looks like, love.” I refused to look at him. 

“It doesn’t matter,” I spitted out. “And stop calling me that.” 

“It does,” Seth argued. “And I won’t.” 

“No, it doesn’t,” I told him. “We’re not actually dating, Seth. You can do whatever you want.” 

“Look at me,” his speech faltered as he spoke. 

I pulled my hand out of his grip and walked away. 


He was never your boyfriend. I’ve been telling myself the same thing since I saw that girl toppling Seth. I’ve gone out of my way to ignore Seth. When I would see him in the hallway, I’d turn the other way. If he was in the cafeteria, I would eat in the courtyard. I didn’t want to see him. I didn’t want to be in the same vicinity as him. He was never your boyfriend. Doesn’t mean it can’t hurt. 

Despite my best attempts to ignore Seth, it seemed like he was always able to find me. Seth tried to explain himself, multiple times, not that I was hearing anything. Also, it was not like he owed me anything, an explanation least of all. He wasn’t my boyfriend. He wasn’t anything. 

That’s what I’ve tried to tell myself. I shouldn’t be this angry or pissed that Seth turned out to be what I already knew of him. 


Groans filled the room as the PA system, used for announcements, made a sharp noise, bringing me out of my trance. 

“Sorry,” a voice said. It was Seth’s. He took a long breath before he spoke, “Hi. I-uhm just wanted to say something really quickly.” His voice was shaky. He was nervous. Seth was rarely nervous. 

“Lola, love,” everyone in my class turned to look at me. “I needed to tell you something and it seems like this was the only way, seeing you’ve been ignoring me, my calls and texts and emails. I just wanted to explain, but you wouldn’t give me the time of day, which makes sense and I probably deserved it. Please. I know you’re mad and I’m so sorry. I was about to push her off, Lola, I swear. The whole time, I was telling her to get off, I promise. I-” 

My eyes were glued to the speaker, while everyone else’s were glued to me. “There’s a reason I asked you to pretend to be my girlfriend in front of my family. It wasn’t because you were the only girl that wouldn’t get attached to me. It was because you were the only girl I wanted my family to meet. Remember when I told you that the one girl I want doesn’t want me? That girl? It’s you, it’s always been you. I was the one that was attached to you and I prayed hoping you’d get attached to me too. Please, love? I’m so sorry, please talk to me,” there was another pause, until, “Okay. That’s it. Thanks, I guess.” With that the PA was turned off and everyone was still looking at me. 

I squirmed in my seat as the attention and stares from my classmates continued, looking like it wasn’t going to end anytime soon. Fortunately, the teacher got the attention focused back on him for the rest of the period, but I could feel the glances my way and I couldn’t focus on anything else except what Seth had said. 

It felt like an eternity before the bell rang, marking the end of the class period. I quickly grabbed my things and left the classroom. I walked through the hallways and the stares continued, but I couldn’t care any less, mainly since I was looking for a very particular person. 

When I saw him, I called to him, “Seth!” It took me calling his name a few times for it to finally reach his ears, which only increased the amount of people watching me. But, when he saw me, he started to walk towards me as I did the same. 

When we were standing face to face, it felt like there was nobody but us, even though the amount of eyes on us said otherwise. 

“I was trying to push her off.” 

I ignored what he just said and told him, “You still owe me that favor.” I could see his chest deflate, his voice flat, “Uh-yea, sure, what is it?” “Take me out. On a date,” I told him. A smile appeared on his face. “A date,” he repeated. 

“Not too over the top, is it?” I teased. 

“No, my love. It’s just right.” 


The End. 

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