The Hidden Truth (Book 1 of The Hidden Truth Series)

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Sneaking Around

Dinner is extremely quiet. As if no one wants to speak because they are afraid to say the wrong thing. All you can hear are the scraping of forks on plates and the slurps of drinks. Out of the corner of my eyes I can see Percy watching my every move and Adri watching his. This is too awkward and it's all because of the new guy. I guess I have to be the bigger person and speak up first. Taking a deep breath I just start talking.

“So Shayne...what made you want to volunteer here?”

“Oh well you see I’m a very big believer of fate and destiny and you know strange feelings when certain things happen. That type of stuff, and while I was looking for places this one came up and I had a sort of heart pulling feeling that I was meant to come here. Something wanted me to come here so I believe my destiny has something to do with here. Also I love to help people.”

Hmmmm that’s very interesting. He believes in fate and destiny. Maybe he can help me? No I don't know him I will not drag him into my crazy jumbled up life. Wait? Isn't that what I want to not know the person I bring with me on this trip? Maybe he can be the one. Maybe that’s his destiny! To help me find my past. I’ll slowly start bringing him in. That wont work since my birthday is tomorrow. I’m going to have to be quick like ripping a Band-Aid off. I nod at him so he doesn’t think I ignored him. Then there is the silence this is too weird. Mrs. Taylor broke the silence this time.

“So Estrella where do you plan on taking Shayne tomorrow?”

“Um I don't know maybe just into the market. Everything is there and maybe we can do some shopping.”

“That sounds lovely”

She says and I nod. We all finish one by one. Since I’m not doing my chores tomorrow I decided to do dishes. Scrubbing the dishes till my nails are weak and frail I feel someone’s hand on my arm. Which in return startles me and I drop the cup I was cleaning. Luckily it was plastic this time. I turn around to glare at the person when I see its Luke my face softens. What does he want? He looks sad.

“Hey Luke what’s up?”

“Sorry for scaring you. I was just wondering when you’re done if you can come into my room?”

His room? I’ve never been in his room. Well invited to his room. I have been in it when I do laundry to put his clothes on his bed. I look at him trying to hide the confusion and I think I’m doing pretty well. I give him a smile.

“Of course I’ll be right up”

I tell him and he gives me a small smile and goes up stairs. I finish what is left of the dishes and head towards Luke’s room. Passing the hallway I hear humming minding my own business I slightly glance to see Mrs. Taylor locking up her office. She must be done for the night, which makes this easier for me. I see her put the key in the vase in the hallway. That’s why she tells us to never touch it. I always thought it was because we could break it, but no it's because that’s where she hides her office key. Things are starting to look up in my future. I continue walking towards Luke’s room. When I get there the door is shut like always, so I knock. The door opens a few seconds later and I find myself sitting on his bed. It's silent at first just like dinner but then he speaks up.

“I have a problem”

“Okay….what is it?”

“It's about a girl”

“Oh girl problems! I can help with that!”

“I know that’s why I called you”

He gives a small chuckle and I smirk.

“No you called me because I’m the only one you talk to”

“That’s true”

He says with a smirk matching mine. I like this Luke one who actually shows emotion and interacts. One who is actually showing interest in someone.

“Well what is your girl problem?”

“Well I don't know why but I like this girl.”

“Okay that’s natural”

“But I have never talked to her”

“Okay…do I know her?”

“Ummm yeah…”

“Okay….OO maybe we can get Adri in here! She can help she is good at relationship advice!”

“No! I mean no don’t call her”

“Oh...I get it. You like Adri”

“Yea don't tell her please!”

“I won't but if you want my advice I would start talking to her and see where it goes from there”

“Okay but doesn't she think I’m a freak”

“No of course not! No one here thinks you’re a freak”

“Kayla does….”

“Yea but Kayla thinks everyone is a freak”

I say and he laughs and nods.

“Okay I’ll try and talk to her”

“Good. Is that all?”

“Yea”

He says and I nod standing up to leave. Out of the corner of my eye I notice a notebook that says sketches. I wonder if that’s his clothing sketches.

“Hey Luke?”

“Yea?”

“Are those your clothing sketches?”

“Yea”

“Maybe one day you can show me?”

“Yea sure I guess.”

“Also I think you should show Adri she loves fashion that could be a conversation starter”

“Okay I will do that! Thanks Alice.”

“You’re welcome!”

I say and close his door. That is so cute I didn't know he liked anyone little own Adri. They would actually be a cute couple! I’m so setting that up before I leave. Heading towards my room I look in Adri’s room to see what she is doing. I see her laying there throwing a ball up in the air. She must be bored. Maybe I can start my set-up now.

“Hey Adri what are you doing?”

“Ahhhhh!”

She screams and I laugh. I must have scared her because she ended up dropping the ball on her face. I can feel my stomach turning and starting to hurt from laughing so hard.

“What the heck Alice! Couldn't you knock!”?

“I’m sorry I didn't mean to”

“Yea yea yea sure you didn't. What did you want anyway?”

“Nothing just to say hi!”

“Are you freaking serious? You scare me half to death to say hi? Get out!”

She says while throwing her pillow at me and I just chuckle and shut her door turning sharply. Just taking one step forward I have already bumped into someone. Great going Alice.

“Hey Alice!

“Oh hey Shayne!”

“Where you headed?”

“Oh you know just to get some sleep really tired what about you”

I say while looking down to see he has a towel in his hand. Oh a shower. I look back up to him and smile.

“Just to shower then off to bed”

“O sounds good well goodnight!”

“Goodnight!”

Traveling down the rest of the hallway and then into my room where I wait. . I decided while waiting I would check my email. Moving from my bed to my computer I log in. Email after email pops up and I find myself clicking them all. Junk, junk, junk, and more junk. I click through each one bringing them each to the Trash till one of them catches my eyes.

From: Unknown

Subject: Stop while you're ahead

Who is that? Their subject makes no sense ‘Stop While you’re ahead’? Ahead of what? I click on it and it opens there is a small message and then a link at the bottom. I read it out loud.

From: Unknown

Subject: Stop while you’re ahead

Estrella….Estrella….Estrella…….Silly silly girl. You don't understand what you’re getting yourself into. I’m stronger than you will ever be. New born or not you will never be as great as me! So stop looking while you can. However, if you continue to look and push forward then read and read carefully…you will die end of story!

Okay that scared me a little. What are they talking about? It's probably some kind of sick twisted joke. I’m not much liked at my school, but really this is just too far. I delete the email and log out of my account. Looking at the clock I see that it's late but not late enough. I try and think back to my dream and see what is in there that I can use. I think and think and then I remember on the letter it said Morgan le Fay. I decided to do that and search the Internet to see if anything came up. Typing it in a lot of things come up. The first thing was the Wikipedia on the name. I decided to click it and read. Morgan Le Fay also known as Morgan le Faye, Morgane, Morgaine, Morgana. Morgana as in Ursula’s sea witch of a sister from Little Mermaid 2? I continue to read. It goes on to say how she is a powerful sorceress and appeared to be originally a supernatural being weird. I kept reading and got really interested. After reading the whole article I was confused. Why would the letter or envelope have that on it? Did it belong to her? That wouldn't make sense she was known about in the 1800s there is no way she is still alive and the envelope looks too new. I go back to Google and click on the second link. It brings me to the website of a store in Montana.

Looking through each of their merchandise I see it's like a craft place but like very creepy crafts. I wouldn't go so far to say witchcraft because it's not. I’ve seen a witchcraft store and their website does not look like this. Searching through the merchandise I find it. The envelope! They sell them there. This is a big key to finding my past. I keep looking until I find the address at the bottom of the page. I decided to take down the address. This will be the first place I go to on my journey to find my past. I decide to look through picture of Morgana to see what she or what she did look like. I mostly get pictures of the comic Morgana but then I get some of what she looked like. When you look at it closely she kind of looks like someone I know or have definitely seen before. Maybe in a dream? I keep looking until someone’s voice distracts me.

“I didn’t know you were into witch craft?”

I turn around to come face to face with Shayne. I quickly exit the page and turn to face him. He looks at me with amusement in his eyes. Quickly standing and moving to my bed I answer him.

“I didn't know you were so freaking nosy and I’m not into witch craft!”

“Then why were you just looking at a witchcraft store?”

“I wasn't it wasn't a witchcraft store and I accidentally clicked on an ad that brought me there!”

“Oh okay”

“What are you doing in my room anyway!”
“Oh I was just going to ask you about tomorrow”

“What about it?”

“Isn't it your birthday?”

“How did you?”

Before I can finish my sentence he points over my shoulder. I turn to look and see that in the hallway is our big calendar that marks special dates and who does chores that day. I look at tomorrow’s date indeed it does say ‘Estrella’s 18 birthday’ on it. I look over at Shayne and shrug.

“Yea what about it?”

“Well why are you showing me around town if it’s your birthday?”

“Because Mrs. Taylor told me too and it’s probably her way of getting me out the house to plan her ‘surprise’ birthday party”

I tell him while putting quotations mark over ‘surprise’ since they never are surprises if she does them every year. Shayne just sits there on my bed and chuckles. I look at him with suspicion then look at the clock. It’s midnight I should be sneaking into Mrs. Taylor’s office by now but I can't with Shayne awake. He follows my gaze to the clock and smiles while walking towards me. He is now standing right in front of me with a huge smile on his face. Raising my eyebrows at him he just laughs.

“What?”

“Let me just say it is my honor Ms. Montgomery to be the first to wish you a happy 18th birthday”

Shayne tells me while doing a little bow and kissing my hand. I pull it away and look at him grossed out.

“Thanks but that was not necessary.”

He just chuckles and starts to exit my room, which makes me wonder what he, is still doing up this late. Its midnight he should be asleep.

“Mr. Moore-”

“Shayne…. don’t call me Mr. Moore I’m your age that’s just weird and too formal I don't like it.”

“Okay sorry...Shayne what are you still doing awake?”

“I could ask you the same question Alice”

“I had trouble sleeping what's yours?”

“I just wanted to be the first to wish you a happy birthday. Now if you'll excuse me I’m quite tired. Goodnight Alice”

“Goodnight Shayne.”

He nods and shuts my door. That was weird. Shaking my head and ignoring what just happened in here. I decided to give Shayne an hour before he fell asleep, so with that I set my alarm to 1am and slipped into bed. Once that is done I turn around and sleep. My dreams are only filled with the questions storming around in my head and I find myself more confused when I wake up from my alarm. Turning off the annoying sound before it wakes someone else up. Getting out of bed slowly I grab some sweats to throw over my shorts and a sweater to put over my tank top. Finally ready I slowly make my way towards the door and turn the knob.

Click!

Peeking my head outside I see it is dead silent and everyone’s door is closed. Great! I didn't wake anybody up and I don't have to worry about anyone catching me like I guess in my dream. I close my door behind me just in case someone wakes up they will see it's still shut and won't think anything different. Making my way downstairs I realize I forgot something important from my dream. Socks. The floor is freezing which makes absolutely no sense since it's the summer but step after step I’m finally in front of the office with the key in my hand. This time when I go to unlock it I succeed. I hear the oh so glorious click sound and the door slowly opens.

Just like my dream I see the many drawers some with all the kids names on it and most empty and unlabeled. I look around the room to see it is pretty messy and cluttered but at the same time pretty. Her office has beautiful flower arrangements and vases. Probably all the ones we get her for her birthday or mother’s day. Scanning all the drawers I finally see the one that says Estrella Alice Montgomery. It looks like it has been recently opened. Maybe Mrs. Taylor was looking at it debating whether or not to give it to me. Oh no what if she is planning on giving it to me? What if she isn't though? But what if she is? Maybe I should just wait and see? No what if she never gives it to me and I don't have this opportunity again. I can't back out now, not when I’m so close.

Opening the door I feel like I’m reliving my dream. The blanket the doll and the letter are all there sitting in a nice stack. Wait where is the necklace? Oh well. Instantly I grabbed the letter and start reading. I skip the first part because once again it's just explaining me.

Cum Luna plena, incipit decrescere. She is in great danger and when she turns 18

Okay this is where I was interrupted in my dream. I look around and see nothing has changed so I believe I will be able to finish this. I continue.

Cum Luna plena, incipit decrescere. She is in great danger and when she turns 18. Not only will she be experiencing these weird symptoms they will also be after her. That’s why I brought her here. This place is very secluded and cannot be detected by anything. Not even the most powerful people on this earth.

Is she talking about our government? Is the government after me? Maybe I’m an illegal immigrant and that’s why my parents had to give me up. They were caught but they wanted a greater life for me so they gave me up. That would explain why they haven't come and got me. They got deported back and now they are trying to earn their papers. Makes complete sense! I continue to read to see if there is anything else.

Life is full of uncertainties, one moment you are the queen of the world and the next moment you may amount to nothing, and will do anything to keep the people you love safe. So that is why I trust you with my dear dear sweet Estrella to keep her safe. Maybe one day she will be able to come back to me to her family, but until I know she is safe she may never know about us or they will find her. I will keep a close watch on her and your establishment but I will never see her until it's time. So promise me when she turns 18 you keep her even safer then you have all those years. Make sure she is happy and finds love. But mostly make sure you treat her as any normal kid, though she isn't normal. Let her do things that kids or teens or even young adults might want to do. Don't keep her from living life. Let her be herself and love her no less when she finds out who she is.

My greatest pleasure,

M

Also if my dear Estrella is to be reading this right now, which she might be because I know how determined she will be to figure out her past I will tell you this.

Dear Estrella,

My love, you are that sweet morning song that plays in my head every morning when I wake up, you are the dream that came true and I cannot begin to express in words how lucky I feel to of had you even if for such a short time. No matter what don't believe I didn't love you because I did. I love you with every inch of my shattered heart. Every Time you are feeling down don't take it out on Mrs. Taylor for you are loved. If I could come back for you I would but I cannot. It is too dangerous for me to leave here but just remember. It is you whom I want to go back for and bring you home, it is you who makes me feel happy and complete, it is you who fills my heart with all the wonders and joys of the world. I love you. So today I make the promise to you that come high or hell waters you will always find me by your side. Not physically but spiritually. I will always look over you for I truly love you.

With all love,

Mother

At the end of the letter I feel the once dry page is now soaked with tears. My mother does love me, but she had no choice but to give me up for I was in danger. But why? She never once explains what I’m in danger for she just says that I am. Why does she sound so mysterious? Why can't she just tell us what's going on? Who am I in danger from? But most importantly who am I? She said to let me be myself and to love me no less when I find out who I am. The immigrant idea is slowly slipping out of my grasps and in comes whole other questions. That’s it I have to find her I have to figure out what's going on? What my past really is and who my mother is. I have to leave soon, but how? Mrs. Taylor would never let me just leave especially since the letter told her to keep me close especially when I turn 18. How am I going to do it? My mother kept saying if she could come get me she would but it's too dangerous. She never said anything about me going to find her. That’s what I’m going to do I just need help.

“Alice? What are you doing in here?”

Great! I have been caught. I’m glad that it wasn't Mrs. Taylor since the person didn't call me Estrella but I’m terrified to find out if it's Percy because he will automatically tell and my life would be ruined. Putting the letter in my sweater pocket and closing the door I slowly turn around to see who caught me. My blue eyes meet those two burning hazel eyes I have come to know and I instantly relax.

“Shayne”

“Alice what are you doing in here?”

“I had to know.”

“Had to know what?”

He asks and I answer him by holding up the letter. He comes over to me and takes the letter reading it closely. When he finished he looks up confusion quickly flashes in his eyes, but just as quickly as it came it is gone.He slowly folds the letter and hands it back to me. Taking it and shoving it in my pocket I look back up at him.

“You wanted to know well now you do”

Flashback hits me as hard as a ton of bricks. His voice that line his eyes. Reminds me of my dream when he first came here. He is the answer. Him. I can't help but feel the smile break out.

“Not exactly there are things I still don't understand and want to know”

“Well how are you going to do that?”

“I’m going to ask my mom.”

“You know where she is?”

“No”

“Then how are you going to ask her?”

“I’m going to find her and I need to soon.”

“But how?”

“I’m going to leave this shelter and find her”

“You can’t do that can you?”

“I have to it's my only way. I’m 18 now I can legally leave and that’s what I’m going to do.”

“You’re going alone?”

I nod. The look of pure shock is written all over his face, and I can see his inward battle of whether or not to tell me I’m crazy and how this is a bad idea but he just stays silent. The way he asked me if I’m going alone sounded like he was worried. Of course he was worried I’m an 18-year-old girl who is planning on going who knows where to find a mother who left me. He is probably also thinking that I’m crazy by wanting to go find out about my past something I know nothing about something so mysterious it's dangerous.

“I don't think you’re crazy. I understand why you want to find your mother and to figure out your past, It’s just…. Are you sure you want to go alone? The letter said you’re in danger I really don't think you should go alone.”

Did I just say that out loud? I look over at Shayne who nods at me. I just stare at him and shrug.

“Well what else am I going to do?”

Both of us sit in silence thinking. Then it hits me. An idea that has to work. I said I didn't want to take anyone I know because I don't know where my past will lead me but I don't want to take a complete stranger either. That’s exactly our relationship right now. I smile and I decided to take this opportunity.

“Shayne?”

“Yea?”

“Can I ask you a question?”


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