Chapter One – The Truth Behind Maybe
“When are you leaving?”
“Tomorrow. Daddy said we have to go in the morning.”
“But…why didn’t you tell me? I thought we’re friends…”
“Daddy just told me today! I also didn’t know. When he told me, I was angry and I cried because I don’t want to go,” the dark-haired girl about 8 years of age burst out, as she flung herself to her friend in a tight embrace. “Kristen… I really don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave you here ‘coz you’re my bestest best friend ever!”
The blonde girl in pigtails hugged her friend back as if she held on to her dear life. Soon enough, the two young girls were both crying their hearts out as they stayed in each other’s arms.
“Are you coming back here? Even just to visit?” Kristen asked in between sobs as soon as the tears started subsiding.
The dark-haired girl looked at the tear-streaked face of her friend and timidly shrugged.
“I don’t know.”
The dark-haired girl watched as her blonde friend looked down and tried to hide her sparkling green eyes. As much as it pained her to leave the only friend she ever truly had, Leila felt the hurt more as she looked at the other girl’s saddened face. They’ve only been friends for three months but it felt like forever. Apparently, it wasn’t.
“But I’m going to write to you. I promise Kristen! And when I know where we’re going to live, I’m going to give you my address so you can write to me too…” Leila tried to lighten things up. She didn’t want to leave her friend sad and lonely, but subconsciously, her innocent mind knew it was inevitable.
“Are we going to see each other again?” The blonde looked up to the eyes of her friend…
“Maybe…” The brunette gazed up at the perfectly composed sky as she reminisced on the very distant past. She missed the past – a past where everything was so simple and there was no fear of pain or rejection. She missed the innocence that came with being a child, the feeling of being free from the burdens of the world. But everything now was a mess – herself, her family, her world.
My world. When did I start thinking that way? My world and the rest. But indeed it was her world and the rest. She was aware of the truth that she was different and the mere fact that she had lived the rest of her life being brought up that way only served to cement such thinking in her head. She was no average 18-year old girl and the rest of the world would agree without a doubt.
But the rest…they make all the difference. As much as she lived in her own world, she also knew that the rest – the outsiders, the others, the audience in her own private reality show – shaped her being. They made her, created her image even with the not-actually-knowing who she was. They sculpted her persona, Leila Charles-Carlson, the controversial daughter of Arsen Carlson and Laura Charles, one of the biggest and most influential business couples in the whole world.
Lei laughed silently to herself. They make me but even they can’t seem to agree with what they’d want me to be. For the rest, she was a thousand guises – the billionaire’s daughter, the princess, the athlete, the model, the musician, the teen idol, the next big gossip, the rebel, the brat, the spoiled child, the snob, the playgirl.
By now, she didn’t bother suppressing the insanely huge grin that swept through her face. The playgirl. I’m the playgirl now? Once more, she laughed, only louder and more prominent this time. People were such hypocrites.
When all you want is to fit in, they go ahead and use you, play with your emotions. And then you realize they’ve started branding you the playgirl. Oh how I love irony!
But there was no point lamenting on an insignificant past. More so, there was absolutely no point trying to figure out what they would perceive of her tomorrow. And she’d rather not care what they would be like too. She’s had enough of two-faced morons.
“What’s so big about her being in our school anyway?”
“Ohmygod! What are you, insane? Did you fall from bed and bump your head this morning? Kristen, she’s like Lei CC! THE LEI CC!”
Kristen chuckled as she listened to her close friend squeal on the phone, “Diane, this is going way over the top –“
“Going way over the top?!” Diane cut her friend before she heard another insane remark, “Of course it’s going to go way over the top girl! We’re talking billionaire-slash-model-slash-perfect-hottie here, Kristen! I mean, you do know who Lei C-C is right? You’re not some alien taking over my friend’s body. Oh god, get out of my friend’s body this instant… And I did not just say that!”
Kristen laughed aloud as she heard her frantic friend’s babble. “Shut up, dork,” She could definitely imagine Diane pouting on the other line. “And no, I haven’t been abducted by aliens to forget who Leila Charles-Carlson is. I just don’t think it’s a big deal that she’s going to study at our school this year.”
“What are you talking about? What no big deal are you talking about? Cut that crap right now girl and see some sense in what I’m saying. Lei CC is the hottest thing right now, and she’s going to study at our school, our school, you hear? That makes our high school the hottest in this planet!”
“Uh huh…” Kristen still didn’t see where her friend was going with her argument.
“And we’re going to have the best senior year ever! I mean, not that we have that all the time, coz hello! Senior only once! But hey! With Lei in our class, everything is bound to be interesting. And you know what the extra perk is?” Diane sounded like she was bouncing on her feet.
“What?” asked the other girl, indulging her friend.
“When we go to college, we can tell everyone right off that we studied in the same school as the CC heiress. And we know her personally.”
“How sure are you that she’s even going to be friends with us, Diane?”
“Oh, don’t be silly Kristen! Of course she’s going to be friends with us. I mean, c’mon, what’s not to like about us? We’re practically friends with everyone.”
“I’m friends with everyone. You’re only friends with those who have subscriptions to teen fashion magazines and are oblivious to the different shades of black.”
With another person, Diane would have found this kind of banter offensive. But she had been friends with Kristen for so long and an insult from her friend would have sounded like a very comical joke.
“Well, I’m friends with those who matter. And what’s with hanging out with those Goths anyway? It’s not like they will ever look good when you’re with them.”
“Don’t say that. I happen to know that they are really nice people and they’re sensible to talk to,” Kristen knew that no matter how much she tried, people like Diane will never really understand the Goth’s side. There will always be stereotypes. At least, I’m trying to break that.
“I mean, it’s okay for us that you’re hanging out with those losers sometimes. But if you were another person and not Kristen, we would have branded you a loser too, you know. But well, we all know you’re too cool to be one. You’re just one hell of a do-gooder.”
Kristen sighed. There was no use tying to change her friend’s thinking. She knew Diane was a good person but her friend can have a one-track mind most of the times.
“Plus, I read Vogue, you know! That is so not teen fashion!” Yup, definitely one-track.
“Okay, okay. Vogue… Got it! But Diane, please try to refrain from mocking the Goths. They’re still my friends, you know.”
“Yeah, right. Whatever,” there was a brief pause until Diane broke the silence. “And what are we doing talking about them anyway? I mean, one minute we’re wrapped up with Ms. Hotness Lei and the next, we’re talking about those friends of yours.” The repulsion found in the statement was undeniably strong and very obvious.
Another sigh escaped from Kristen. It was better if they didn’t dwell on the stereotype issues anymore. High school will always be high school.
“Ms. Hotness Lei?” Kristen figured they’d rather tread on neutral ground, like…Ms. Hotness Lei. Where did that come from?
“Yeah. Leila Charles-Carlson. The epitome of hotness!”
“Oh-kay,” Kristen drew the word out in exaggeration, hoping her friend would realize how way over the edge the whole admiration thing was already going. “Plus, in case you didn’t notice, you’re wrapped up in her, emphasis on the single you.”
“You’re just like that now. I bet you’d go gaga over her too, once you see her tomorrow. And when that happens, I’d be the first one to nudge you and remind you how this is so not a big deal,” Diane replied in sarcasm, mimicking her friend’s earlier argument.
“Well, I still don’t think it is. And anyway, what’s with the squealing? Last time I checked, you were happy flirting with the cute guys at the football field. Total level-headed straightness.”
“Well, I am very open-minded. And plus, bisexuality is like, the biggest trend right now. Homophobes are so yesterday!”
At this, Kristen couldn’t help but laugh aloud. Only someone like Diane would think of sexuality as a fashion trend.
“And think of it this way, Kristen. Wouldn’t it be nice to say that your first time with a girl was actually with the Charles-Carlson heiress? I mean, hello! Major rad points!”
“Don’t try that innocent act on me Kristen, ‘coz I’m not buying it one tiny bit!”
“They say she’s awesome in bed…”
“Diane!” Kristen wasn’t used to these kinds of conversations and she felt the blood rushing to her face. “Where do you even get all those rumors?”
“Secret! I have my sources, you know. Plus, I bet she’s –"
End of Chapter One.
Coming Soon on Of Tears And Broken Hearts
“We didn’t want to give you a car, or a diamond bracelet, or anything as superficial. We wanted to give you back your memories. And with that,” He pointed at the papers she held, “you can easily go back to those special times – something, I know you treasure deep in your heart.”
She looked around at all the students – insane, way over the top, students – and scanned the crowd for her friend. What caught her eye wasn’t her friend though, but a huge banner posted at the wall of the nearest school building with a message written in big bold letters:
WELCOME MISS LEILA CHARLES-CARLSON TO WRIGHT-DUNCAN HIGH SCHOOL, HOME OF THE UNBEATABLE EAGLES!