Iam gorgeous. I’m not lying. Totally and utterly gorgeous. Breath taking. Dazzling.Beautiful. I am probably… no, Iamthe most beautiful girl… woman…personon this entire planet. I’ve known this my whole life. Mum and Dad have always told me that even when I was a baby people would always say that I was the most beautiful baby they’d ever seen and that my parents should be so proud. They’ve never stopped telling me how beautiful I am either, not that I’ve ever needed reminding; I mean,come on.
I’m a true English rose, some have said; honey blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes, slim physique, naturally busty and completely irresistible. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used my appearance to my advantage in the past but, really, there’s a lot more to me than just my looks. I’m not stupid, after all. I know when I’m being played or taken advantage of, not that I would ever allow anyone to take advantage of me, and I know exactly how to get what I want.
That’s how I got Ben. I mean, it was a challenge at first but I soon got him. My Ben.MyBen. He wasn’t my first boyfriend – far from it – but he was the only boy who has ever made me feel more of a princess than I already am. He had money and he knew how to spend it well.Obviouslythat’s not the only reason why I was in a relationship with him for so long, but it did come as a very nice bonus. Ben had always been very sensitive for a boy, even as a child, and this sensitivity was do endearing from a distance and just made our relationship far more relaxed and sweet. I mean, he wasn’tsosensitive that he cried over silly things, like chick flicks, but he was just sensitive enough to care about the things that mattered.
Though, I must admit, he did get a little hysterical when I confessed to cheating on him with Kyle Stratton. Well, that’s he put. I mean, we onlykissedand we were both drunk so it didn’t really count. But Ben wasreallysensitive when it came to things like commitment and relationships. It had something to do with his parents nearly separating when he was younger, or something along those lines; though I personally couldn’t see that being likely, I mean… I’d met his parents and they seemed pretty in love to me, considering how old they are.
I’ve always dreaded turning thirty. I mean, I guess there’s nothingwrongwith being thirty, it’s just the fact that everything goes downhill from then on. I’ve seen photographs of my Mum when she was in her twenties; she wasgorgeous! I mean, she’s always been really pretty, but she just looks so mucholderand it scared me that I would look like my Mother some day. Like I said, she’d always been really pretty, but she’d started getting wrinkles, like,reallybad and she’d wasn’t as skinny as she used to be and she was constantly re-dying her hair to cover up her grey roots. Yes, I dyed my own hair but that was only because my hair had started to turn a really horrible dark blonde when I was about thirteen and I wanted it to stay the same honey blonde it had been when I was a little girl.
If I could, I’d have stayed eighteen forever. I loved being eighteen. I loved being able to show bouncers at the club doors my I.D. and for them to give me ‘the nod’ to go in. Then again, there were some clubs that wouldn’t let you in unless you were twenty-one or older, and you couldn’t drink or purchase alcohol until you were twenty-one in America either so I then decided that I wanted to turn twenty-on, stay that age and be happy for the rest of my life. Twenty-one was a really good age, I’d come to believe, as you’re old enough to be classed as an adult but still young enough to be classed as ayoungadult and still look gorgeous.
But like I said, I’d used my looks to get what I wanted and that’s how I’d got my Ben. He’d thought I was beautiful too – who doesn’t! – and couldn’t keep his hands off me when we were together. I know we were only fourteen when we’d first gotten together but I could truly say that, in the two years that we’d been together, I could easily say that maybe I was a little bit in love with him. I knew that he was in love with me; he never let me forget it. He’d even asked me to marry him on my sixteenth birthday. It had been so romantic and was just like in the movies. He’d even gotten down on one knee. He’d pulled out this little black satin box which held a diamond ring that he’d said was his Grandmother’s. I hadn’t liked to say at the time but I’d felt a little disappointed that I was being given a hand-me-down ring but didn’t want to spoil the moment. I accepted, of course, and we were technically engaged for ten months; from November to the beginning of September. I was so happy.Wewere happy.
But thenshecame back. She’d left the year before and had moved to Scotland, or something. Ben had acted a little weird about it when she’d first left and I’d found it strange but didn’t think it was important so didn’t look into it further; looking back I probably should have. When she came back Ben changed. He was really distant with me and couldn’t look me in the eye. I’d asked him what was wrong and all he’d said was that he ‘couldn’t do this anymore’. I hadn’t understood at first and had thought that he was finding the transition between GCSE and A Level much harder than he’d anticipated. But when he told me that he couldn’t dousanymore I was speechless. I must have sat there, on his bed, with my mouth hanging wide open for well over five minutes trying to take in what he’d just told me. I’d asked why but he wouldn’t answer me. I’d gotten angry with him and had made up stuff that I shouldn’t have said, such as I’d never loved him and that it was best that we didn’t continue on in a relationship together. That had all been spur of the moment talk and as soon as I’d returned home I’d regretted it. I did love him. But he didn’t love me, it seemed.
That was the first time I’d cried over a boy and I’d hated it. I’d always thought myself to look ugly when I cried, and Ihatedto look ugly. Emelia and Nadine were behind my back the entire time, helping me through it all and telling me that he didn’t deserve me anyway and that I deserved arealman, not a boy who cried at the end ofTitanic… which wasn’t exactly true, as I’d only told them that because I was angry and needed to find a good enough excuse to make him sound worse than he was.
I missed Ben, I really did. I’d never stopped loving him. Every time I saw him my heart ached. I just wanted to run up to him and kiss and hug him so much. I missed the feel of his arms around me and the taste of his mouth on my lips and his earthy smell. I missed it allsomuch! I had everything I could possibly have wanted but I didn’t have him.
When I’d found out that he’d got his eye set onherI couldn’t see why at first. What was so special abouther? Yes, she had nice hair, a decent enough figure and I could possibly have gone as far as saying she wassortofpretty, but there’d not been much to her. She’d never really been that popular growing up and she’d always been quiet and kept herself to herself. I couldn’t see why Ben was so drawn to her. I was even more shocked when word got around that they gotten in a relationship together. It didn’t last very long though. They’d split up about two months later and neither of them would say why.
I thought this would be my big break at trying to get back with Ben. I went to his house one day and we’d sat on his bed to talk. He wouldn’t tell me everything that had gone off but I’d comforted him and told him that she wasn’t worth his time or patience. He’d then got mad and told me that it had nothing to do with me and that I should leave. I was really shocked. He’d never spoken to me like that before; it hadscaredme. I did as he’d said and left. Two months later, everything became clear.
It was our college year groups Art presentation asshewas last up on stage. She’d looked really nervous; it almost looked like she might have thrown up. She presented her artwork – it had, had something to do with playing cards and time and dates in her life and how she’d never been very good in school, or whatever – and I hadn’t really understood it at first but the bit that had shocked me, and the entire audience, the most was when she announced that exactly a year before she had given birth to a baby boy. My mouth had dropped wide open. I hadn’t even known she’d ever slept with anyone, let alone got herself pregnant at sixteen. Of all the people I knew, I’d never expected her to be the kind to become a teenage mother.
We all had the same thought in our heads: who was the father? Did we know him? Didheknow? In the dimmed lighting in the audience, I saw someone get up and run after her when she’d fled the auditorium. I hadn’t been able to see who it was from where I was sat so I followed them. I’d kept as quiet as I could, so not to be found out, and crept down the corridor I’d seen them go down. I stopped quickly, just before I’d turned the corner, as I heard voices from the other side. I listened carefully. I recognised Ben’s soft, husky voice right away. Of course it had been him, they’d been going out together and he’d obviously still had feelings for her and wanted to make sure she was okay. As I listened on they’d begun talking nonsense, stuff about paint and stories, but the clearest and most prominent part of the conversation was when she’d said to him ‘your son’. My heart broke into a million tiny pieces at that moment.Hisson!? When had that happened!?Howhad it happened!? Obviously I knewhowit had happened, but still! Him and…her!? It didn’t make sense.Nothingmade sense to me anymore.
I left then. I left the college and went home. I was confused, furious and upset. Confused because I couldn’t quite come to terms with what I’d just learnt, furious because Ben must have cheated on me when we were still together, and upset because I loved Ben too much for it to be any good for me. I hatedherand everything that she had caused. Ben and I had been happy untilsheturned up. We were going to get married and live in a big house with a nice car and have lots of babies and maybe a dog or two. We were going to grow old together and move to America, like he’d always said he’d wanted to do someday, and sit on our wrap-around porch watching the sun set on a warm summer’s evening. We were going to be happy together, untilshe’druined everything!
From that day on I’d hated her. That following summer things began to pick up though. She’d gone to Scotland to see her bastard child whilst Ben had stayed in England until he could afford to go up there with her. I’d decided this would be an ideal time to start talking to Ben again, withoutheraround, and we started texting. Everything was going perfect and I’d dared myself to send him a text explainingexactlyhow I felt about him and how much I cared for him. His reply had made my heart flutter and I’d really thought that I’d have a chance with him… but thenshebroke my Ben’s heart. I hated her even more. He wasn’t my Ben anymore. He was broken and you couldn’t speak to him without him storming off and getting upset. Everything reminded him ofher.
He didn’t answer any of my texts and rejected my phone calls. In the end I’d had no choice but to go round to his house and speak to him in person. I’d even put on the God awful perfume he’d bought me for Christmas a couple years before in an attempt to remind him of what we’d once had. I had expected to be spoken to a little harshly but I never expected to be spoken to the way he had. He’d treated me like dirt and spat venom through each word he’d spoken at me. I’d never felt so humiliated when he’d blamed me for everything that had gone wrong in his life and how it had been my fault that he was as distraught as he was. If he hadn’t have left me forherin the first place he wouldn’t have been in that state in the first place, I’d thought to myself.
Shewas to blame for all of this, not me.Shewas the one that had broken his heart, not me.Shewas the one that everyone would hate at college, not me. And I’d promised myself thateveryonewould know exactly what she’d done to my Ben and how she’d thrown him to the gutter and hadn’t cared about his feelings. Emelia and Nadine had been behind me the entire time. The three of us all vowed to make her life a living nightmare and, if it got that far, make her leave once and for all. Because, we’d come to the conclusion, if she’d left the picture completely, then Ben would have been mine for the taking. He’d soon have forget about her and would have realised that he’d made a big mistake when he’d broken up with me. He’d have comecrawlingback to me and, at first, I would have told him that I wouldn’t be able to trust him but I’d have taken him back and we’d have been happy again.
When I’d heard that Ben had been involved in the car accident and was in a coma I hadn’t known what to do. I was so worried and scared that something really bad had happened to him. When I’d found out thatshehad been involved in the accident too, my blood began to boil. Why hadshebeen involved too, I’d thought. They’d broken up! Why had he beenseeing her!? I went to visit him when word came around that he’d finally woken from his coma but he’d wanted nothing to do with me. I hadn’t even said a word and he’d told me to go away. I’d tried to explain myself but he wanted nothing of it. He’d sent me away without even hearing me out. He was still holding a grudge and I wasn’t amused.
From then on, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. It broke my heart that he wouldn’t even talk to me, after all that we’d been through. Even though we’d broken up for some of the silliest things in the past, we’d managed to be in a relationship together for over two years. Those had been the best two years of my life and I would never stop trying to get back to those times.
Even on Christmas Day I sat thinking about him, wishing that he was sat beside me watchingThe Wizard of Ozon television with a mug of hot chocolate each with mini marshmallows and whipped cream. We’d have been so happy and utterly in love that nothing else in the world would have mattered so long as we were together. My phone buzzed beside me and my ringtone began to fill the room. I took it into my hands and looked at the name flashing across the screen and answered it:
“Hey, Emelia,” I said, a light spring in my voice. I needed to make it sound like I was in a good mood; after all it was Christmas, right? “How has your Christmas been?”
“It’s been good, thanks. Aidan bought me a diamond bracelet and it’ssopretty, Amanda. I can’t stop looking at it on my wrist. It’s justsoamazingly beautiful.” I rolled my eyes and cringed. I detested the fact that Emelia was rubbing it in my face that she had an amazingly generous boyfriend who bought her diamond jewellery after only going out with each other for a couple months.
“Oh, wow, you’ll have to send me a picture of it,” I replied with fake happiness in my tone of voice, “you’resolucky. So, what were you ringing me for? Couldn’t you have just text me?”
“Well,” she began, pausing slightly as if she was trying to think of how she should word what she was about to say properly, “I just thought that it would be better for you to hear it like this than from someone else.” I was confused.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, crossing my legs on my bed and sitting up properly. I reached for the remote control and hit pause, freezing Dorothy and the Scarecrow on the television screen mid-song.
“Look, Amanda, please don’t get mad at me when I tell you this–”
“Tell me what?” I interrupted, panic starting to take over my whole body.
“Just… err; have you looked at Ben’s profile page recently?” I froze. Why was she telling me this? Should itmatterif I’d been on Ben’s profile page recently? What was on there that is was so important that I needed to be checking it regularly?
“No? Why?” I asked, edging for her to just tell me already.
“Oh, well err, I think you’d better check it, Amanda. And remember, I’m only telling you this because you’re my friend and I care about you.”
“Yeah, whatever.” I said, hanging up on her and reaching for my laptop. I opened the lid and went online. There were many status updates from various people wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and bragging about their presents that they’d got. I ignored most of them and went straight into the search bar. I typed in Ben’s name and hit enter, clicking his profile picture as it popped up. I scrolled through his latest statuses, many the same as everyone else’s for the festive occasion, but the one status update that my eyes glued onto was the specific one that outlined his latest relationship update:
Ben Russo is engaged to Casey Stewart.
What!? Engaged? When had they even gotten back together? As far as I was aware they were still broken up.How had this happened!?Why had this happened!?WHY!?
That was it. That was the last straw.Shehad crossed the line this time.Ihad been engaged to Ben before her. It should have beenmewith the changed relationship status update and nother.Iwas supposed to be the one to get married to him and live happily ever after.Ishould have been the one that was happy and nother.
There was one thing I knew for sure though;shewas going to regret the day she ever laid eyes onmyBen and she was going to pay forruiningmy relationship, future and happiness.
Casey Stewart was dead.