Chapter Two - British Bombshell
Bad Attempt [n.] - what Destiny does in this chapter with a British Accent and ex-enemies.
Vocabulary that you may not be familiar with:
GrapePad - Have you noticed that most technology is named after fruit? Orange Wednesdays, Apple and Blackberry. Of course you have. Well, in the year of 2020, they have GrapePads. In my imagination, anyway.
Foogle - future version of Google. Yes, my imagination is perfectly dull.
Fiz Falifa - Wiz Khalifa's grandson. Fictional, again.
Peter Degenirr – somebody from a fragment of my non-existent imagination who is interested in fashion and has his own label called, you guessed it, Peter Degenirr.
"You can't be old and wise if you were never young and crazy." -Chris Brown
2nd January 2020
My semph told me that it'll be 30 days. I've got 29 days now and 29 people to be nicer to. With a mug of hot cocoa in my hand, I stare at the laptop screen with my fingers rapidly typing as my only music.
So I still use an old-fashioned laptop rather than a tablet or a GrapePad, okay?
Even though we have all the newest technology within our house, (for God's sake, we're born with semph's on our necks, but that's there for old or young, rich or poor; everyone.) I prefer to use older things, like the things from 2010. I was five years old back then, but I remember my family used to use laptops. Laptops remind me of my childhood.
You're frickin' crazy, a small voice nags in the back of my head. Sitting on the cold kitchen chairs on a beautiful Saturday morning, six o'clock, in my dressing gown and hot cocoa, I'm browsing a girl from my childhood's whereabouts. She's the second person that I have to make something up to now, the first being Melissa, who'd I'd apologized to.
Oh my God, Melissa's dying today. She could be already dead, but I doubt it at six o'clock in the morning, or she could die later in the afternoon or the evening. I wonder how she's spending her last day: is she at a beach or staying at home? Is she scared out of her wits or remaining the calm girl that she always had been? Are all her family there, looking after her? Or is she being alone and throwing things at the wall? God knows with that crazy woman.
I wonder if she's thinking about me.
Ha, who am I kidding? Of course she's thinking about me. I'm just too amazing to not think about.
Typing in the name of my second victim, Stephanie Smith, I scroll through Foogle's results. My eyes widen momentarily as my cocoa spills over the table. Since when did Stephanie Smith, that snooty kid, become an entrepreneur for a fashion business? For God's sake, she's 15 years old! When we were kids, she used to wear flowery ribbons and pink shoes with orange blazers. Orange blazers! I have to track where she lives to make it up to her. God knows what I'll do when I get there: I just have to make it up to her to prevent one hell of a crazy death.
Yeah, her address is nowhere on Foogle.
I guess that I'll have to ask around, since she no longer lives in our state of Ohio. I beg internally that she doesn't live far away, somewhere like New York, since I'm travel sick and I have only one target a day.
"What are you doing up at this time?" asks my mum, suddenly walking into the kitchen while rubbing her eyes, letting out a soft yawn. She goes to the kettle and moans when she stares at the clock.
Supressing my own yawn, I reply with a soft tone to not bewilder my mother. "Just looking up Stephanie Smith, you know, that girl that used to be in my elementary school?" Getting a kitchen towel, I clean the cocoa up before my mother notices, but being a mother, she notices. Thankfully, she leaves me alone regarding that.
"Why are you looking for her?" asks my mom, clearly impatient of the kettle taking longer than expected.
I can't tell her that I'll die in 30 days or she'll go crazy. Either she'll keep me with her in dark rooms and absorb my comfort like a depressed person or she'll make me travel the World with her in 30 days to get the best of this life. Whatever she'll do, it'll be crazy, and therefore I stick to telling her a white lie. "Someone just told me that she's famous now." It's kind of true: Foogle told me that she's famous.
Mum puts a mug of steaming hot tea in front of me when I'd just had hot cocoa. This is a close-to-first. We barely ever drink tea in my family. We're American so what do you expect? "Oh, yeah. She lives in New York City now, doesn't she?" mum asks, smiling at me.
"Oh, does she?" I ask, smiling back, although I'm internally swearing. It takes most of my day to get to New York. "Well I got up early today because I've...I've...I've got to meet her!" I lie.
"Why?" asks mum, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "You two didn't get along though? Oh no young lady, you can't like her now because she's famous! That's called being materialistic! It's so wrong. Please tell me that my daughter isn't -"
I cut her off impatiently. "Mum, she told me to go there." It's a lie because karma and my semph are telling me to go there.
"Okay then. Just remember your intentions." says mom, pointedly. She works so hard to make me a good person: one of them Disney princesses that makes birds fly and princes’ fall in love. She's got to be kidding. I don't think I have a warm heart.
Calling Zainab and Leah, we set off towards New York at seven o'clock in the morning. If we're lucky, we'll reach New York by six o'clock at night. Buckling up, we set off for what will be a long journey. Luckily, using our brains, we have music and food.
But we even have the T.V's that are installed into our cars (a/n it is 2020, what do you expect?) to watch any TV shows we've missed and movies. It's a shame that I'll puke on the way, possibly. "You don't have to go to bloody New York, Destiny!" laughs Zainab as we speed down the highway.
Looking into the air, I moan in a soft voice. "I didn't think of that." I sound like a retard.
Zainab continues while Leah pigs out on brownies that her mom baked. "You could have picked someone else that you've wronged. Like me."
I snort almost immediately. "Yeah, okay."
Interrupting the conversation consisting of sarcasm now, Zainab looks at me thoughtfully. "You know who you remind me of?"
"Who?" I ask, scared. I hope it's not somebody like Fiz Falifa.
"Jade West from Victorious. You know, that creepy Goth girl?" she says, staring at me weirdly. Sometimes I look at this girl and wonder how her mother copes.
"What the hell do you watch?" I ask, snorting. "You’ve said that just yesterday. God, Zainab, you’re becoming predictable and repetitive.”
She pouts somehow unnervingly. “I dislike you!”
“You're bloody crazy." I add, in a British accent, failing majorly. We all continue trying to speak in British accents, but fail besides Leah, who is British. Leah's one of those British girls that acts motherly saying "love, sweetie" and the sort. Sometimes when she’s hyper, her British accent just makes her sound ridiculous.
Zainab's been my best friend since childhood and she's one of those crazy people that you have many wonders about. I wonder what goes on in her head. It'd sure be a crazy place. With auburn hair and funny facial features, she looks sort of cute. She covers her hair though, with a scarf, since it’s part of her religion.
As we travel along, I remember that one day which contributed to what I'm doing today, travelling to New York. I was only eight years old, in fourth grade in Elementary school.
Skimming through my kids versioned Robinson Crusoe book, which was required to be read by every pupil depending on your grade, I grew to a halt. Inside the book, it said there were cannibals scaring the main character. What are cannibals?
The class was filled with everyone sat on their desks of six students. In total, there were four tables, each consisting six students, strewn around the class. Glaring at a girl, Stephanie Smith, who was sat in front of me, I went to reach the dictionary. Just as I was to touch the dictionary, a girl placed her hand on the dictionary, stealing it.
Stephanie Smith. I glared, but was challenged with a worse glare and a smug look on her face.
And may I stress, witch. She was dressed in the blue jumpers that we all have to wear as a uniform, making us all seem like peas in pods, contradicting to the school teaching us that we're unique. It's kind of funny how the school contradict their own teachings subtly with uniforms and the way they speak. Once, I was talking and my teacher told me that I'm not special and the same rules apply to everyone. That was my Life Skills teacher, the one that teaches being unique.
Continuing with the dictionary event, we had a stare-off for a couple of seconds. Trust me when I say that in fourth grade, I was not a force to be reckoned with. At that time, I did silly things over petty matters, especially to Stephanie: my all-time worst nightmare. She was the Joker to my Batman, the McDonalds to my Burger King and the Tom to my Jerry. We couldn't live without hating each other. She whispered to the person next to her, Paula, while staring at me. It was kind of obvious that she was talking about me.
She dragged a box of stationary in between us, so I couldn't see what she was doing. Playing with the dictionary, she finally moved the box and passed me the dictionary with a sly smile. Fox. Opening the dictionary, I noticed a small yellow paper with fancy handwriting strewn on it. 'Paula said I'm her best friend so you're not invited to my birthday party anymore.'
Aiming a smile her way, I looked back at my dictionary. Inside my heart burned, but I remained composed. The way I'd been a third wheel all through fourth grade stuck to me. Why me, just why? But I didn't care, because I was the smiling kid, the cheeky one, the one that will possibly need to be placed in a mental institution when she's older.
Ack, how I loved being weird: being me.
Shocked at what a cannibal was, I stared straight into the dictionary. "Cannibal [n.] - a person who eats the flesh of other human beings. A man-eater." That, to say the least, was freaky.
People eat each other?
Oh my God, when I get home, I'm going to eat my little brother: Those were the only thoughts going through my head. Then I looked up at Stephanie as a smile etched across my face: I know it's wrong to lie and spread rumours, but I'd always seen a couple of old ladies on my street sitting in the sunny weather while gossiping. If they could do it when they'd possibly die the next day, why couldn't I?
While we all prepared to get into our seats for our Spanish lesson, I looked at the person next to me. His name was Michael and he was smiling. “Hey.” he said.
“Hi.” I replied, and then spoke in a hushed voice. “Do you know what a cannibal is?” I asked, to which his face grew slightly unnerved. He might have got eaten by them before or he might have been one himself.
“Uhmm, yeah.” he said, trying to change the subject. “Did you watch the game last night?”
I nodded, but return to our original subject. “Don’t lie Michael. A cannibal is a person who eats another person.” I pause as I laugh at his freaked out expression. Staring at me bewilderedly, he asked if it was true or if I’m being my usual lying self. “It’s true. And I know somebody in our class that’s a cannibal.”
He gasped, staring around at everyone in our class then back at me, with eyes widened. This was just too hilarious. I remember once there was going to be a special animated movie that was going to be aired and I lied to Michael that the director of the movie died so whoever watches the movie will be haunted by his ghost. “Who?” he asked frantically. “I need to know so they don’t eat me!”
I laughed. “Stephanie.”
“Steph?!” he shrieks, turning to look at the girl in question. Nature and humour must be on my side because ironically, when he looks at her, she’s biting her nails.
In a scary voice, I cackle. “It starts with biting your nails then it goes to biting other people’s nails then arms and legs. It eventually turns to heads when not treated properly. Or if she doesn’t eat anybody for a long time, she’ll go straight to heads. Watch out.”
A frantic Michael spread the rumour to everybody over the next few weeks, everybody believing it. It was technically him that spread the rumour then: I lied, but he spread it. I’m a frickin’ genius. Everybody steered away from her, earning some pity from me. I tried to sit next to her at dinners with sympathy, but she’d tell me to go away.
But now I know that attempting to sit next to her wasn’t enough. I have to go all the way to a bloody address given by Leah in New York. This, my friends, is my life.
As we reach a tall building, I stare in awe. Polished glass encases the visible offices with red plush sofas visible. My mouth drops open as we walk into the place while I adjust my eyes to the light. If I thought the outside was amazing, the inside is better. Beige and red is the main colours in this room, but the main office that we need is Stephanie’s office. I walk in, Zainab and Leah leaving me now, to do my karma-killing.
Knocking on the door, I wait for somebody to allow me in. When I hear her voice, I’m shocked. Somebody sounds like an elderly woman. Walking inside slowly, I feel frail. I know this is a place of Stephanie Smith, the girl who I targeted with rumours of being a cannibal. I’m expecting her to embarrass me and throw me out, but I’m hoping that she’s honed her kindness over the years.
Sitting in a tall black plush chair, she resembles the woman from The Devil Wears Prada. I don’t know who because I’m not into them old movies, but my little worm of a brother is, so I have to watch them. Yes, my little brother watches chick flicks. “Oh.” she says, looking at me with a smirk. “How unexpected of you to come here. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but is that you, Destiny?”
Trying to sound professional, I grin. “Yes, it is Destiny. I-I came here for a reason.” I start, and then spill that I’m sorry for what I did in fourth grade and that I’m willing to do anything to compensate for it because of karma. I should have left the last bit out because of her laughing.
“Anything?” she asks with a small smirk playing on her lips. Oh my God, I’m going to have to walk around Central Park naked while screaming lullabies. “Listen.” she says seriously, to which I nod. “I was supposed to call somebody who would assess fashion garments from the brand Peter Degenirr. Well, um, I forgot to call that girl so when Meryl, my boss, asked if I'd got her, I made up some lies."
I don't know where this girl is heading or what she's making me do, but I'm in Hell now. That I know.
"I said that she's British so she's got to come from there all the way to New York, which would be a delay. So, are you any good at a British accent and assessing fashion garments?" She raises her eyebrow expectantly to which I reply with a dropped jaw. She's got to be kidding me.
"Are you crazy?" I blurt.
She fiddles with her fingers over the table before nodding at me. "You'll be paid in karma." She says it professionally but I can tell that she's finding it within her not to laugh. I really want to swear at her right now, but I can't.
I give in, glaring at her office. I don't care how beautiful it is with the abstract art, plush chairs and oak tables. In a few minutes, I'll be put somewhere where I'll have to assess fashion garments. How the hell do you even assess a fashion garment? I'm thankful to my brother now, because I know from that olden-day movie that I have to give a snide remark or a happy remark.
I'm immediately pulled into a new room which is elongated in horizontal walls. It seems plant-free with a white wall behind a clear and large space, which I presume is where the people will pitch their clothes. If pitching is what they're going to do. Who knows what goes on here? "Hurry, hurry!" a woman in tall stilettos and puffy pink hair calls out. She's running around frantically but it doesn't work in her magenta pencil skirt.
What the hell is she wearing?
If that's fashion, kill me now.
In quick frenzies, many people change from pinks to blues, skirts to dresses, lingerie to shoes; everything within half an hour. And all I do is smile through it to spare their feelings when in actual fact I'm wondering how these people live like this. They care about clothes, perfume, clothes all day. Don't they have anything else to worry about besides satisfying somebody with worthless labels? I don't know how I could ever live like these people because I, for one, dislike clothes with a passion.
I wear them though, obviously.
I don't get even a chance to say something with the pace they work at, snapping images and changing hurriedly. The air around me feels claustrophobic, but I have to shake it away. I don't even get a chance to say thank you before everyone packs away and I'm pulled into Stephanie's office by the arm. "Listen." she advises, staring at me intently. "You're having a small conversation, no dinners luckily, with Peter Degenirr himself. This counts for everything. He's British himself so make sure your British accent is great. And your name is Madilyn Parsley."
There's nothing I can say with all the trouble that I've got myself into, so I scoff. "What kind of name is Madilyn Parsley?"
She shakes her head, agitated. "Just don't mess this up." She suddenly leaves the room as a sturdy man walks in. If he smiles, he could at least be a tiny bit handsome. But he doesn't. He just walks into the chair beside me without a greeting. Its seconds later when I realize that I should be the one saying the greetings.
"Good afternoon, sir." I start. I sound like I'm a constipated cow with my fake British accent.
He laughs breathily. "Good afternoon, love. I thought you'd be from England, not Scotland." I'm vaguely aware that Scotland is a part of Britain just above England and they love whisky. Stupidly, I decide to say any facts I know.
"Oh yeah. How did you know that I’m Scottish if I'm not with my kilt and bagpipes?" I internally face-palm myself. I've made a fool out of myself.
He only laughs. I'm glad that he isn't what I expected from the beginning where he wouldn't greet me. Laughing a lot, he seems to be okay. "Well, your accent makes that evident." I nod even though I have no idea what a Scottish accent is like.
Constipated cow, I thought I was. Not Scottish.
"Look" I say, trying to say it like 'Luke' since I've heard them say that once in a TV show. But now that I've said it, I have no idea what I'm going to say to him. "Cut to the chase. What did you want to tell me?" I internally punch myself: Stephanie told me that this meeting counts for everything, but I just made it a million times worse by being impolite.
His smile falters until he exhales the rose beside him. Urgh, I hate the smell of those things. "I just wanted to be polite and thank you for saying you enjoyed every garment of ours. I didn't know that you were going to like even one."
"Humble." I say neutrally.
He nods before standing up. But before walking away, he leans down to me, scaring me. What the hell? His perfume intoxicates me: why do people wear so much perfume? He whispers, sending a chill through me. I'm in trouble. "Next time hone your Scottish accent before you pretend you're somebody that you're not." Pulling away, he gives me a smile and speaks aloud. "Goodbye then!"
Adrenaline courses through my veins until Stephanie comes in. She blabbers on to me about how I'd done well or whatever, but there's one thing that I can think.
2 people down, 28 to go.