“Oh my God! I know, we were both total bitches when we first met, right?!”
“Definitely, I don’t know why I snapped so much, I’m usually really nice to girls I like. Not like… well not like how I was, I’m so sorry!”
I don’t know how it happened, but Natasha and I had become like… friends. It made me cringe when I thought about it, I guess I hadn’t had a friend since Emily. I guess people were just intimidated by me or something… although maybe it was something I was doing…. no, impossible.
“I’m really glad we’ve became friends Ari. I’ve been here for about 2 years and friendships just never seem to happen.” I was totally touched by what she was saying, and it actually seemed genuine!
“Anyway I gotta get to class, but I’ll see you later, I have a totally great plan for how to bust us out of this place”
“Really? That sounds great, I’ll see you later!” I wondered if Natasha ever left here, I’d never seen the gates open once since I arrived… It started to hit me that I was basically in a prison, I’d been saying it for the past two months, but I just realised I hadn’t left this place in 2 months! That had to be like, borderline child cruelty or something. I hadn’t even gotten a single message from Emily, Michael, not even Noah.
The tears were falling thick and fast, ew ew ew! Who the hell was I? Some sad ugly public school bitch?! Thank God no one was here to witness my downfall. Except someone was witnessing it, the ginger bitch from my dorm! Who did she think she was, stood over there watching me?!
I was livid, if she knew what was good for her she’d like, totally turn away and run like right now. I couldn’t believe someone was seeing me cry, I hadn’t cried in years and years, and the only time I do it, the only time, someone is there watching me!
“Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing watching me, you little creep!”
“Oh- I’m sorry, I didn’t know anyone was here, and .. I don’t know- I’ve literally just arrived, please Arielle, calm down.” Calm down?! Who did she think she was, an agony aunt? Next she’d be telling me how to fix my life.
“I don’t appreciate being like, watched! If you want to look, do it when I’m not an absolute mess!”
“I didn’t mean to- I- well, I haven’t seen someone cry here… I didn’t know if anyone… If anyone felt the same way that I do.” Her face changed from fear at my outburst to complete sadness, geez I felt sorry for her, what was this school? Everyone here was suicidal.
Before I knew it she’d burst into tears and was crying on my shoulder. Erm? How the hell did this little situation come about, like, 2 seconds ago I was crying alone, then screaming at her, now she was crying on my shoulder. This was definitely awkward.
“Oh- Geez, erm, shhhh- shhhh-” I patted her on the back over and over, I’d seen it in the movies, hopefully it worked.
“Wow. I’m really embarrassed now.” She let out a little laugh as she moved away from me, wiping away her last tears. I didn’t really know what to do… I didn’t even know what was really wrong with her. Clearly an emotional wreck.
“So like, what’s actually up with you?”
“Oh- I guess my behaviour is a little strange, it’s just that I hate it here so much, the teachers are so awful and the girls are so mean. It’s okay for you because you’re beautiful, but look at me! I’m a fat whale!” She let out another sob, Jesus, this girl was totally overreacting. She was dead right about me being hot, but looking at her she was actually quite pretty, if she could lose some weight and get rid of the boring hair.
I knew we had to get out of this school, I hoped Natasha was serious when she said she had a plan to get away. Poppy could be like a little project for me, pass some time away. Graduation wasn’t too far away, mom and dad didn’t really time my entry into this school well, I’d be here less than a year at the end of it.
“-Yeah, I knew that, if you’d give me a chance to get to it.” Okay so I didn’t know her name, but it would probably hurt her feelings. “I totally want to get out of here, we’ll just sneak away for a few hours or so, Natasha said she had a plan…oh my God its gonna be so much fun!”
“Leave the school?! No- I can’t, we have exams and-”
“- Shut up. You’re in no state to do exams! We’ll just have a little R&R, maybe get some of that weight off you, make you more confident and stuff.” She looked a little taken aback at my weight comment, but hey, I’d rather be a bitch to someone’s face than behind their back, and besides, I was being constructive, I wanted to help her.
* * *
Someone was talking, and prodding me as well… what the?
“Ari, wake up!”
Why the hell was she waking me up, someone better be dead, or kidnapped, or terrorists better be attacking the school.
“We’re leaving, come on, get up, we only have about half an hour!” Leaving now, under the cover of darkness? Yes! This was my scene, I like, totally loved little expeditions in the middle of the night, I could probably be a super spy if I wanted to, everyone would be dazzled by my beauty and I’d like, steal all the secrets or whatever. Okay I had to get these fantasies out of my head and get ready, which proved to be harder than I thought, because all my normal clothes had been thrown to the bottom of the wardrobe.
20 minutes later, after dragging Poppy out of her bed (which we barely managed to do) we were on our way, to where I didn’t exactly know. Natasha better have planned something great, if she thought I was some white trash Twinbrook bitch who would be pleased with a trip to the diner she had another thing coming. We all had to stop for a second and take a breath of the outside air. None of us had been out of the school for months, finally, we were like, back in the real world!
Stepping out of the taxi I didn’t realise where we where until I looked up. International, read the sign above a small building. International?
“Natasha, where the hell are we?”
“Don’t be put off by its size, it’s an airport.” An airport? I’d never actually left the country, but I’d seen plenty of adverts on like, TV and stuff, and this certainly didn’t fit my picture of one. “Private planes, private airport…” Natasha continued, “Girls, we’re going to France!!” We all jumped up and down, screaming and hugging, France! This was gonna be the best trip ever! We didn’t have to go through any customs or security screenings, which was amazing, although Natasha told me we had to on the other end, as this was an international flight.
“Cute plane! Who else will be on it?” Poppy asked, talking for practically the first time.
“No one silly, it’s my fathers, but he let me borrow it.” Natasha replied, walking ahead to the small plane.
As the plane descended into France 6 hours later I couldn’t help but stare out of the window in awe. I knew I should be trying to maintain my cool reputation, but it was just so amazing. I was in another country! The school would probably be freaking out about our absence… whatever, I didn’t want to think about that totally awful place, just enjoy myself in France!
The place was definitely cute, I loved it here. I never wanted to go back to that school, and I was definitely going to make it my mission not too, but for now I wasn’t thinking about that, I was more interested in having fun! Natasha and Poppy turned out to actually be like, really cool. Natasha’s dad owned a record company, so that’s how she had access to a plane (cool or what?!) and Poppy parents were both Doctors, and we all know how much they make. With money not being an issue there was no jealousy between us, though Poppy was probably jealous of mine and Natasha’s amazing bodies. The poor thing, I’d wake up and see her jogging down the street. I felt sort of bad for her, but she would be totally like, 10 times happier if she was as hot as us.
There wasn’t much of a party scene here, but we made our own parties! We would stay up talking way into the night, and we became really close friends. It was so weird, I never though I’d be able to get along with them, but they were totally cool. We could have like, deep conversations about our childhood then totally let loose and party into the night.
Although they were great girls who were probably my best friends (as they were my only ones… I still hadn’t heard from anyone back home except from the occasional email from mom or dad) I still wanted time alone to enjoy France. I’d grown up mostly alone, so I had no problem with having the driver drop me in the centre of the town then taking the day from there.
The stores here were totally cute, they were all small and overflowing with antiques, rare books, and relics. I bought everything I saw, sending it to a depo at the airport where it could be shipped back home. I had no idea where I would put any of it, after all it wasn’t like I had my own place or anything, but I just couldn’t resist the beautiful chests, interesting relics, and rare pieces of art. I was browsing one of the local stores one day, just having a look at these funny little gnomes in the window, when I heard someone talking to me,
“You like them?” The voice asked. I turned around and looked at the guy behind the till, wow, he was hot!
“Um- I guess so, but they’re not really my style.” I smiled at him as I replied, letting him know I wanted to continue the conversation.
“Yeah, I have to agree. I don’t even know if they’re for sale, I’ve only been working here a few weeks.” He had left his position behind the desk now, “They are kind of funny though, right?” He asked, running his hand over the gnomes little yellow hat. “So, what are you doing here? No- let me guess…”
“You’re a famous relic hunter searching for a rare find in this amazing establishment?” The sarcasm was thick on his voice, he clearly didn’t enjoy working here.
“You got me! I just think I could really find a gem amongst…” I moved my hand, indicating the entire store, “…this.”
He smiled at me. “I’m Leo.”
Leo turned out to be a revelation. We spent all day together, he took me round the little areas any normal tourist would overlook, the beautiful fountains concealed by rows of trees, the secret little stores hidden away in back alleys, and the places to get the best view of the town. After our adventures, we stopped at the square outside his store, and just took it in. We’d become close extremely fast, there was never an awkward silence, it was amazing. I had to put my hand to my heart, I couldn’t believe how amazing this vacation was turning out to be, and I thought we’d have been going for 1 night of boozing at a local hot spot back in the small town near our school. France. I loved it.
I had learned he was extremely intelligent, and it seemed like inane conversations about fashion and the latest gossip didn’t interest him one bit. I managed to keep up by calling on like, little snippets of information I’d gathered over the years. Besides, it wasn’t like I was stupid. Back at home (I couldn’t stop calling it that!) I picked up a book for the first time in years. Yes, I wanted to impress Leo, but I was starting to realise that maybe I hadn’t been living the best way, cruising through life, learning nothing along the way. The book I chose was actually interesting as well. I was enjoying myself! Geez, maybe Alexandra had been onto something with all those books she had.
Long lunches at the local bistro were our ritual, we spent hours (and a few bottles of wine) discussing anything and everything. I learned that he had just graduated high school last year, and still lived with his parents, who had a small house nearby. He was trying to save some money to get his own place while painting and writing (as well as seeing me, of course) in any spare time he found. I totally wanted to see his paintings, but he was adamant that I couldn’t, ‘one day, when they’re ready’ was his only answer. I was definitely falling for him, he was gorgeous, but that wasn’t it. Both Noah and Howland had been purely sexual, that’s the only reason I had approached them, and it was probably the same of them for me. But with Leo it was different, our hands had grazed for longer than is necessary, but he didn’t seem to be in any rush to get me into bed, he actually enjoyed spending time with me.
I realised that if I wanted this to progress any further, I was going to have to be the one to make the first move. We were laid under the stars one night, taking in the beautiful night sky, when I began to move closer. I didn’t want to have sex with him straight away, I think I was over that whole approach to men, although Howland had been great…. No! I had decided that I wanted to change. I just couldn’t be in a relationship with a teacher, mom and dad would be like, furious if they found out, and when I thought about it… it was a little creepy (but still kinda hot).
“Leo,” I began as I jumped up off the ground, waiting for him to do the same. “These past few days have been, amazing. Honestly they’ve probably been some of the best of my life. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds totally corny but I really haven’t had many days like these, with someone being so honest with me for no reason other than they like me.” I still hadn’t told him about my families money… I didn’t want it to prejudice our friendship, and possibly (hopefully) our relationship.
“I’ve had a great time too, Arielle. I really, really, like you. And I mean that sincerely.” It had changed. He knew that I wanted to be more than friends, and he obviously felt the same, because all of a sudden he was kissing me. Hello amazing! Howland eat your heart out, wow!
He smiled at me shyly as he drew away, I liked him more and more!
“It’s just so great to be spending time with a normal girl.” He said offhandedly as we began walking back towards the town. A normal girl? Oh S*#! I should have told him about my life from the start… It’s not like I was with the girls, telling them about my neglected childhood. I had left out the movie star mom, the businessman father who owned companies across the globe, the elite boarding school where I was having an affair with a teacher, the private plane that took me here, or the thousands of simoleans worth of French purchases that were currently waiting for me back at the airport.
“Uh- Yeah, totally…” I smiled nervously, letting me hand rest in his. This was definitely bad.
I avoided him the next day, he called me twice, both times I ignored him, finally sending him a text telling him I was feeling ill and would call him tomorrow. I spent all day in my room, wondering what on earth I could do. I was about to settle down to sleep when I heard a racket on my balcony. I was not in the mood to be stolen from at this time of all times. I slammed the doors open, livid, ready to scream that they had picked the wrong house, when I was confronted by the last person I expected to see, Howland.
“Howland? What the hell are you doing here? Coming to take us back to school? Look, we were totally coming back and-“
“-Sh Arielle. I have something to ask you.” Ask me? I thought we were going to be in the biggest trouble ever. How the hell did he even find us? Of course I wouldn’t have gotten into as much trouble as Natasha and Poppy, though I would have like, convinced him to lower their punishment.
“Arielle…” Oh no. What was this?
“Will you marry me?”
* * *
What do you guys think of Leo? I have to thank Sarah from The Starr Legacy for making Howie, who served as a base for Leo, available for download. I hope you enjoyed the chapter! x