The next week was torture. Absolute, pure,agonizingtorture.
I had to just sit there, while Jackson justignoredme. Nothing from him all week. It was almost like I had died, and dropped off the face of the Earth.
But even though he dumped me for the Poplars’, he didn’t go anywhere near them all week. Didn’t speak to any of them at all, even though Bethany, Giada, Naylan and Kayleigh, the popular girls, were in all of his classes.
The really hard thing for me to deal with though, was him not even acknowledging me once. I though that, seeing as it was Jackson, he would ignore my parting words and at leastlookat me, maybe text me if he was guilty enough… but nothing. That broke my heart; my already shattered heart breaking into unfixable pieces.
That traitor had broken my heart, and every time I looked in the mirror, I got reminded of him, as we’d both had the dark hair and mixture of black and coloured clothes for so many years, it was hard to get him out of my mind. My mother still had no idea what had happened, and I was planning on keeping it that way, as I couldn’t stand her pity at me loosing my only friend.
So… I think it was time for a change.
“What the hell did you do, Carleetah?”
I was just climbing out of my car when Keelan had caught up to me. I looked up at him, and smiled slightly, hoping that he wouldn’t be too mad. I had just gotten home from my total make over at the mall, and I was now almost totally unrecognizable.
My hair was now bleach blond; platinum blond all over, which was surprisingly good to go back to. The black was so hard to keep in good condition, so I hoped that the blond would work in my favour and be a bit easier to take care of, as it was a whole lot closer to my natural colour than the black.
I had gotten 6 more piercings too, as I had been wanting more for a while, and I thought getting them all in one go was the best way to do it. I got 3 more in my ears; once more on each lobe, and once more underneath the top one I had gotten so many years ago. I had gotten my lip on the other side, so I now had snakebites, and my nose was pierced on the inside, so I looked like a bull, which made me laugh. And finally, I had gotten my belly button pierced. That one was supposed to have hurt the most, but I didn’t feel a thing for any of them. I was almost impervious to physical pain; I had been for all my life. Only the truly horrifically painful could hurt me, and even then, it was only as bad as to make me cry, no screaming, no horrific cursing… nothing. Emotional pain on the other hand… defiantly not impervious.
I had spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on some new clothes, all of them black with only some grey, red or white. Some new make up followed and I had spent over $1000, and I felt great. Like a new girl.
Keelan didn’t look happy about that. At all.
“What do you mean, ‘what the hell did you do’? I got a make over,” I said, my happy mood starting to sink down, the horrible mood I had been in for the last week; since Jackson’s betrayal; starting to come back.
“I needed to get rid of anything that would remind me of the backstabbing bastard,” I whispered, looking down at the ground, my good mood absolutely gone. I heard Keelan muttered something that I couldn’t hear, and he moved closer to me, now standing so he was leaning against the back door of my car on the drivers’ side while I leaned against the drivers’ door.
“So, what have you been getting up to lately?” I asked as I shrugged myself off the car and walked to the boot, pulling the keys out of my purse where I had put them earlier. I opened the boot, and started pulling the bags out, loading my arms up until I was loaded down with all 17 bags. I still managed to slam the boot shut, and walked over to the door while he talked.
“Well I am going out for dinner tonight. That will be fun,” he said sarcastically, making my laugh as I unlocked the door, and walked through to the kitchen where I expected Mother to be. She wasn’t, so I had to try and find her.
“Up here, darling!” she called from somewhere upstairs. I grabbed my bags, and lugged them up to my room before heading to her room, where I was sure I had heard her voice from.
I poked my head around the door, and peeked in to see her sitting at her vanity and searching through her masses of make up for something. I walked in properly until I was standing right in the door, and then I could take in what she was wearing. It was a floor length turquoise satin gown, halter neck with a split up to the knee. She had her hair in a side pony, and she had her best jewellery on, including the pure diamond necklace that I brought her 2 years ago for Christmas, and the matching earrings I got her a year later.
“You look nice, Mother.”
She looked up from her searching, and her eyes lit up as she laid her eyes upon me.
“Oh, darling, you look amazing! I am glad that you did go blond again. It suits you.”
I smiled at her, and she went back to searching for I think it was lipstick, as it was the only make-up she hadn’t applied. I walked forward and sat gently on the end of her precisely made bed while I watched her applying her lipstick that had just happened top be at the bottom of the box.
“So what’s the occasion?”
“We are going to dinner, darling,” she mumbled while she wiped away the excess red from her lips.
“We?” She sighed and turned around to face me with a pleading expression on her face.
“Yes. We. And youhaveto look nice,” she said sternly before turning back around and fussing over her hair. I frowned slightly at her words. Didn’t I look nice most of the time? Alright even?
“Okay… What dress should I wear?” she whipped around and looked at me, shocked. A look of amazement spread over her face next, and then gratitude.
“You want me to choose?” I nodded, and she broke out in the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face in my 16 years. She came up to me and pulled my into a quick hug before grabbing me hand and dragging me to my room, where she ran into my huge walk-in wardrobe and started searching through my extensive collection of dresses, most of which were black, but I had some nice ones in there too.
She ran her perfectly manicured fingers along the edges of the various gowns in my possession, and I saw her stop at one in the black area. She pulled it out, and I knew she had found one of the nicest, and one of my favourite, outfits in my wardrobe.
It was a floor length, deep black satin gown, strapless, that draped down over the bodice and flowed gently down to the ground. I smiled at her, and nodded in approval. She grinned and squealed in delight, and then helped me put it on, as it was longer than I was tall, and I needed help lacing it up at the back. She then selected a pair of pure white stiletto pumps, and made me put them on, which with their 3-inch heels, boosted me to a normal height of 5’6”, and made the dress just brush against the ground as I walked, instead of pooling onto it like it did before.
She was happy with how I was dressed, so she pulled me back to her room, and made me sit down at her vanity as she applied my make-up. I rolled my eyes at her excitement, but let her carry on, and let her do her thing.
“Okay. I am done.”
I opened my eyes and looked at her warily. She had spent 10 minutes on make up, and I usually spent 2, so I was worried as to how I would look. She smiled and gestured for me to look in the mirror. I did, and I was shocked by who was staring back at me.
I didn’t recognize her.
Her pale blue eyes with the sapphire blue ring around the iris were enhanced by the darkness of the smoky eye shadow mother had applied, as well as the light blonde locks that lay in soft curls over her shoulders. Her skin was pale, as were her lips, as mother hadn’t applied anything to them except clear lip gloss. The dress she was wearing brought out the paleness of her skin, which helped bring out her eyes.
She was gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful.
She couldn’t be me. No way.
“Wow…” I murmured as I reached up to touch my cheek gently. The girl in the mirror copied me, and her lips parted slightly as she smiled tentatively. I cringed, as I had twinged my new piercing, and the girl in the mirror did too, her hand flying to her mouth to try and stop the pain.
“That… that can’t be me… I don’t look like that, mother.” She smiled down at me, and placed her hands gently on my shoulders.
“You do… very beautiful,” she murmured as she smiled proudly down at me. I smiled up at her, and then got up out of my chair. I hugged mother quickly, and then laughed to myself as she instantly got worried and started rushing around muttering something about ‘not having enough time’. I shook my head and walked downstairs, to find Keelan sitting at the kitchen table, flicking through a magazine that I had brought not too long ago. There was something different about him, but I just couldn’t quite out my finger on it… I looked him over for a moment, and then figured out what it was. He had changed his clothes. Before, he had been wearing some dark blue skinny jeans, a tight black t-shirt, and a pair of skater shoes; but now he was wearing a tuxedo; black tie and everything, with some polished black dress shoes. He had even combed his hair, which was an improvement.
He hadn’t noticed me yet, so I decided to make my presence known. He was sitting with his back to me, so I snuck forward on the balls of my feet, making sure the heels didn’t give me away, and got right up behind him before I placed my hands quickly on his shoulders, making him jump.
I giggled as he spun around and laid eyes upon me. His mouth dropped open slightly, and he looked me up and down, finally resting on my eyes. He mouthed a silent ‘wow’ and looked my over again. I rolled my eyes at him, and walked around getting some food to eat, as I hadn’t eaten all day, and I was famished. I got myself some salad and some small slivers of roasted chicken that we hadn’t eaten from the night before, as well as a diet coke, and sat down to eat before we had to go for dinner. I also had to eat fast, as Mother would have a fit if she found me eating before going out for dinner. Shoving as much lettuce and cucumber into my mouth as I could, I chomped down on the crunchy goodness, sighing as the food landed in my eager stomach. I chomped the rest of my small plate down in mere minutes, and my stomach no longer grumbling, I washed my plate and ran upstairs to get what I needed to go out in public, like some more lip gloss, and my cell phone.
When I got back downstairs, Mother was standing with Keelan in the foyer, talking to him about something I was unsure of, as I only caught the last bit of the conversation.
“… yes he is different from back home. But he is still the same boy. So be nice,” my mother was telling Keelan sternly, her voice stressed. I didn’t understand what she was so worried about.
“Yeah, I know, Leona. But I just had some bad times with them back home. I don’t want to see them, and then make a fool of myself because of old wounds,” Keelan explained, getting upset by the sound of things. I walked in then, and they both turned to look at me, and Keelan’s expression turned soft as he looked into my eyes. I averted my eyes, feeling uncomfortable, and smiled at mother, smiling even more when she held out her hand for me to take while we walked to the car. She was old fashioned like that, and it made things really fun when she did things that normal people didn’t do.
I took her hand and walked with her to her car, a black Mercedes C300 Sedan. She got into the drivers side, and I walked over to the passenger side and climbed in. Keelan was over by my door, still with the soft look on his face. I looked away, and buckled myself in and just sat there playing with my cell phone while mother talked to Keelan through my open window.
“I will see you later, then, Leona. Carleetah,” he said, nodding to each of us in turn. I didn’t acknowledge him at all, just set about pretending to text someone, my black painted fingers clicking against the touch-screen, when I couldn’t, as I had no friends to text. That thought made my face fall, but I pushed the thought out of my mind as mother started up the car, and started backing out of the driveway.
I knew mother would want it to be a surprise where we were going for dinner, so I closed my eyes and turned up the radio station mother had playing in here; which happened to be some classical piano music, and smiled as I listened to the intricate melodies of the pianist. I had a guitar at home, and I could play it well, but I love the piano the best. It was just so beautiful…
30 minutes later, we pulled up at ‘George’s at the Cove’, the fanciest restaurant in San Diego, and I knew that this was going to be a special meal. We only came here once before, and that was when mother was trying to pull me out of my deep depression I had enveloped into just before Jackson became my friend. Correction: fake friend.
She pulled up at the front, and the valet took out keys and drove out car away. We walked up the front steps, and opened the door. We were enveloped with the scent of freesias, and the faint smell of lobster. I was allergic to seafood, so that smell made me feel a tad nauseous, but the freesia smell overpowered it and made it only a little noticeable. We stood at the podium where the maître‘d usually greeted people, and waited for only a few minutes before he came and asked for our reservation.
“Muller,” my mother said, and I frowned at the name. I had heard that before… but I couldn’t remember where. I shook my head slightly as the maître‘d lead us to a table where four other people were sitting, with two other place setting sat up.
He pulled out Mothers chair and pushed it in once she was seated, and turned to do the same for me, but I had beaten him to it. I smiled up at him from my seat beside a boy who was about my age, and he shook his head as he handed me my menu. I nodded to him in thanks, and he walked away.
I looked up at Mother, and she was talking to the two oldest people at the table. It seemed that they were the two other boy’s parents, and I think that I remembered the father.
“Carleetah. This is Johan and Lucinda Muller. Do you remember them darling?” Mother asked me. I looked at them closely, and smiled as I nodded. I did remember Lucinda. I mean who couldn’t? With her reddish brown hair, and emerald green eyes, she couldn’t be forgotten easily. And Johan with his light brown hair and dark brown eyes wasn’t hard to remember, but he was a beefy man; used to be in the Army while he lived in Germany, so he was muscled, and that was hard to forget, as he took up so much room.
Lucinda smiled sweetly over at me, as I was on a diagonal from her across the table, and said in her soft voice, “You look absolutely beautiful, Carleetah.”
“Thank you, Lucinda.” I said smiling largely. There was just something about Lucinda that made you want to smile every time you were around her. But that wasn’t a good thing if you had a fresh lip piercing. I flinched and my hand flew to my lip, and touched it gently before licking it gently. Lucinda looked at me worriedly, and I pointed to my new lip piercing.
“I only got this today, so it hurts a lot,” I explained, smirking when she nodded seriously. She looked over the piercings she could see, which were only my Snakebites and my Septum.
“How many do you have?” I laughed at little at her tone. She sounded like a teenager, rather than a 39 year old woman. I was about to answer her, when I realized I couldn’t remember how many I had now. So I had to count.
“3… 5… 8…10…11, 12, 14… 15,” I muttered the numbers under my breath until I got to 15, where I said it loud enough for her to hear. Her eyebrows rose and she laughed once in disbelief.
“Oh my gosh. Where are they all?” I chuckled at her, and pushed my hair back and turned so she could see the 5 in my left ear. I then did the same for the 3 in my right ear. Then I lifted the locks of hair that covered my right eyebrow so she could see the two there, and then I poked my tongue out so she could see that one too. Then I pointed to my lips and nose, then my belly button.
She looked impressed, and then smiled at me. I knew she and I were going to be good friends. I looked over at the boy to my right, and I knew who it was. I could remember him. He didn’t look a thing like he did back in Grand Marais, but I could see it in his face shape that it was the same boy.
“Kristian?” I asked quietly, looking intently at him. He smiled at me, and I knew it was defiantly him, “Oh my God…” I muttered, not sure what else to say. He nodded a huge smile on his face. I smiled too, ignoring the pain, and leaned over so I could hug one of my best friends who I hadn’t heard from for 10 years.