Chapter 1: Introduction of a Ballerina🩰
~And it is from this world of darkness which come to the evil, destructive forces of man’s nature~
Chapter Theme Song: Sarcasm by Get Scared
"The first novel in a series of books is not what it seems. Wait till you reach the trilogy. You might be shocked. It's the same with people." -C.B. Blackburn
🩰Scarlett Brooklyn’s POV🩰
Moving from a tiny town in Mississippi to the eccentric and lively Las Vegas was a radical change, but that’s what most adults do — they move from their non-existent village to a large metropolis with the goal of changing their lives 180 degrees for the better. That’s what I was doing at the age of twenty; leaving with my best friend since middle school for the big city of entertainment and gambling.
I had no reason to stay in a small town, trapped like a mouse for a low cost of living, but no chance to touch the stars of my dreams. The family didn’t hold me back. My parent’s marriage had been a chaotic ocean ever since I was a little girl, but they kept the perfect couple life facade for the sake of the town’s rumors. My father was a businessman, always on the road, never at home. My mother was the traditional housewife, staying at home, cleaning and cooking, and spending her free time at coffee and cigarettes with the other women in town gossiping.
From an outsider’s view, we were the perfect, classical family, but if you were to live inside the vast house I grew up in, it was drama at each corner. I still recall being eight years old, seeing my father coming home from business trips, smelling of feminine perfume that wasn’t my mother’s, and when he would pull off his dress jacket, I could see the red lipstick marks on his white collar. My mother knew my father was cheating but never once started an argument. I suppose it was because she had no financial resources to live by herself. She was content as long as the stash of money continued to come, and they never stopped. Honestly, she cared more about her reputation than my father.
To put it mildly, I grew up more alone than with my folks. As previously stated, my father was more away than at home, but he made sure to compensate for his absence by lavishly pampering me, treating me like a princess, and ensuring that I was never short on money. My mother spent more time with her friends than with me. The only time she truly was present was when there was an important event in my life, and there have been plenty.
My ultimate passions were singing and dancing, especially ballet, so I had many shows in my hometown from kindergarten to high school. I always had my hair and make-up done flawlessly, never leaving the house if I wasn’t from head to toe presentable. I had a reputation to maintain. You could say I was the popular girl with Daddie’s money, never lacking anything in my life. I had a perfect life but with sharp cracks inside. Like my mother said: Put on red lipstick, a pretty smile, and flutter your long eyelashes.
Everything was perfect until my high-school graduation. That’s when the picture-perfect frame smashed on the ground, and the truth came out. My family’s dirty secret came out. My father wanted a divorce so he could marry a much younger woman — prettier than my mother, whose age started to show. The young woman was my father’s personal assistant. The entire town found out, and the biggest scandal emerged. The rest of the family, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, cousins, were all shocked.
My mother went hysterical, and my father could care less about the humiliating gossiping around the town. He planned to leave for good anyway, but my mother? She turned from the perfect, spoiled housewife to a complete disaster. The big house we had was hard to maintain without an income. It was hard to go from a rich life to the lowest level. My mother was so desperate she turned to prostitution. The family’s name was forever stained, and people started to look at me differently, as if I was a tramp, although I hadn’t done anything off-color... to say so.
Two years had passed since I graduated from high school after the dirty secret had been revealed, and the talking had not ceased. My dreams of being a professional dancer and singer had been smashed like a porcelain doll, only the empty void inside being left to be filled with the disgust of the people. I was dragged into the hell pit with my parents. My father didn’t contact my mother, or me, anymore. My mother continued to live off prostitution, turning into the town’s whore, and I moved away to live with my grandparents, who welcomed me with open arms. This situation didn’t last long, however, as both of them died eventually in these two years, probably affected by my parent’s divorce.
What other choices did I have? Move back with my mother? Beg for my father to take me back? That’s how I decided to move to Las Vegas with my best friend and start a new life. She was the only one who stood by my side through this drama. It was half her idea to move away for good and leave our hometown behind.
A dry chuckle left me as I arranged my book collection on the shelves in the two-bedroom apartment Viviana and I were renting — turning from a wealthy princess in a small town to a jobless and penniless nobody in a big city. We arrived yesterday in Las Vegas, and today we were unpacking, making ourselves at home. Taking a step back after I finished settling my books on the shelves, I stretched my arms above my head before admiring the rest of my bedroom.
The dominant color was pink in all sorts of shades; pastel pink, bubblegum pink, and flamingo pink. Other colors were black and white, along with some beige cream. In one part of the bedroom, where the bookshelves are filled with tons of novels variating from thrillers and mystery to dark romance. In a corner was my working desk with the laptop, and above were the shelves with all the medals and trophies I got from dancing. There was also a small vanity desk in white wood with a mirror and lights where I would do my make-up and hair. The bed I had was of average size, good enough for two people. I liked to have space when sleeping. A triple-layered ruffled cotton and lace duvet and bed skirt set in a bubblegum pink adorned the bed. Some would say it was too childish for a twenty-year-old, but I always had a weakness for these extra girly bedsheets. The light grey laminate flooring only had one white faux rug, and a big closet occupied one of the walls entirely.
My eyes finally landed on the magenta plush-toy bunny, which rested against the ruffled pillows on the bed. The plush toy had a classy attire; a black vest-dress, bowtie, tophat, monocle, and cane in one of his paws. The bunny character was named Dash and was from a cartoon show which had a few kids’ restaurants across the USA, but they suddenly closed, and the TV show vanished as well. It was the only toy I kept since I was a child, mostly because it was a reminder of my dirty secret. One that no one knew about.
“Hey, Scarlett! Are you done unpacking? I brought us some takeout!” Vivianna called from the small hallway outside my bedroom, and before I could reply, my stomach grumbled. Definitely hungry.
“Yeah! Just finished. I will come in a second.” I told her and glanced one last time at the rabbit before I headed out and toward the kitchen area. The apartment was fairly spacious for the rent price. The living room and kitchen were in an open space. Viviana was pulling out the food from the paper bags and setting them on the table.
“Thanks for bringing in the food. I wasn’t feeling like cooking today.” I commented, taking a seat at the table and opening the carton casserole with the cheeseburger and fries. “I didn’t even hear you head out.”
“Anytime, girl! I was actually out looking for some jobs and figured I should get some food for us.” She told me, throwing her long, stark red curls over her back before she seated herself at the table too.
“Any luck in finding something?” I asked her, putting a fry into my mouth.
She sighed. “Lots of job opportunities, but the pay isn’t as glamourous as you might think.” I slowly munched on the fries, nodding. We had some money saved before we decided to leave for Vegas, but where you spent, you have to put it back, or else there won’t be anymore. Calculating the amount of money we had saved, we could go by for two weeks or so, without a job. Still, that didn’t mean we should put ourselves to sleep.
“There must be something for us. I will try tomorrow to look for job opportunities at casinos for singers or dancers. Even as a waitress sounds good, plus I heard they make some fancy tips.” At my suggestion, Viviana smirked.
“Thinking about resuming your work on your dreams?” She asked, knowing well how I envisioned myself to be on a big scene, dancing to my heart’s delight, and singing my heart out to the crowd.
“Maybe. It’s the city of entertainment, so I might as well go for that. What about you? Anything specific you might think about?” I asked Viviana as she munched on her cheeseburger like she hasn’t eaten in days. Swallowing the mouthful, she bit her lower lip, and that was a sight she had a sort of plan going on around in her head.
“To be filthy honest, Scar... I considered the nightclubs’ job offers... into the stripper position.” She spoke in a small voice, clearly ashamed that she considered undressing in front of men for money, but I wasn’t one to judge people, and neither in a position to do such a thing.
“Hey, Vivi... It’s alright. There’s nothing to be ashamed about.” She hesitantly glanced back at me from her food.
“Look. I know it’s hard for us now, considering we start anew, and money is a bit tight, but everyone has to do certain things to survive and earn a roof over their head and food on the table.” I assured her, playing the comforting best friend who would never reckon with her.
“You think so?” She asked, taking a small sip of her soda.
“Surely, plus we are not in our little hometown where everybody knows everyone. We are in Las Vegas, the city of second chances. People come and go. I am pretty sure the last of the locals’ worries is a new girl applying for a stripper job.” Listening to my logical view, Viviana relaxed, and relief washed over her emerald green eyes.
“Thanks, girl. You always know what to say to make me relax... and you’re right! This is our second chance at making it big for us. Who knows? Maybe we will find love here too.” She suggested, then the cheeky smirk came back over her face. “Maybe you will find a guy who will finally break your V-card.” I almost choked on my cheeseburger at the mention of my virginity. My cheeks heated up, and a nervous chuckle left me.
“I am still surprised you haven’t lost it, considering what a vixen you were in high school. Everyone had expected you and Blake to end up together.”
I rolled my eyes at the memories. Blake was the popular guy in high school, captain of the football team, student president, and the typical playboy who tried too hard. He had too much confidence to the point of being obnoxious; always too loud, and flashing his guns. Most girls worshipped him, but not me, despite being in the same social category.
“He wasn’t my type. Yeah, sure. He had a nice physique, but other than that, nothing. It’s like a fancy bottle of perfume. It has a nice shape but there is no essence.” I bitterly commented, munching on another fry with ketchup to wash away the sore taste.
Viviana arched a perfectly trimmed eyebrow, clicking her tongue. “And what’s your type, ballerina? To begin with... I never saw you with a guy... or displaying any romantic interest in anyone. A-Are you asexual?” A poker face veiled my face, and I rubbed the bridge of my nose.
“What? No, I am not asexual... and to answer your first question, I prefer guys who are much more mature, classy, and gentleman-like, who are intelligent and can maintain a conversation.” I explained while devouring my food, putting my aggressive stomach at peace.
“Sounds like you dig for an older man.” She wiggled her eyebrows, and I laughed at the perverted face she made.
“I don’t mind being older as long as he has the characteristics I mentioned,” I admitted, blushing a light shade of pink.
“Well, I have to agree with you on this one. The guys our age aren’t that mature, still living with their parents, playing video games, and jerking off to cheap porn.” Another loud laugh left me at the descriptive and blunt words.
“You put the spot on the i.” I applauded, then we continued to finish our food in silence.
Glancing outside at the window, it was starting to get dark, and I was pretty tired after a whole day of unpacking and settling in. Tomorrow I would definitely head out and look for a job. The thought of going back between my legs to my hometown to my mother or calling my father made my guts twist as if I eat only iron nails. I wasn’t a spoiled girl. I could do fine without my parents, plus I despised being seen like that. The pretty girl who had the perfect life dipped in glitter and unicorns, never once having to work to obtain something.
Only because my father drowned me in money and gifts to fill his absence doesn’t mean the affluent and spoiled life had brainwashed me into thinking life was all pink. Even if the color made me content, I also had a knack for black because everyone has a dark side... and I was no different.