Clue to the New World
I eyed the airport woman in front of me suspiciously. She was holding a very large and conspicuous bag that she seemed to be claiming as her purse. When she told the man giving people tickets she would be leaving for America I smiled in relief.
The lady moved and it was my turn. I sighed and looked at the boy. He was cute and looked too young to be working at an airport. My mind fussed at myself. My old best friend was in the Hospital because she tried to kill herself and all I was thinking about was cute boys? Sicko, I cursed myself, thinking silently to the horrid, horrid, video.
I looked up at his smiling face and clutched my suitcase tighter. "Australia, please. The Gold Coast."
Once Rikki had called me, and after my escape to the bathroom, I had called my Mum. I told her that I wanted to visit Cleo and Rikki (which was only part lie), and she was strangely delighted. I had gotten all of my things in the course of five suitcases, and now I sat on the planc, chewing gum profusely, to stop the ear popping.
Time would go fast now. I knew that seeing my friends would be strange. But maybe that wasn't the whole reason I was leaving France. I needed to get out of my lifestyle that was a few nights ago. I wanted to go back to being old me; the one who only ever cared about her best friends, family, and being the nice sweet girl that I really was.
It was evenly eleven am now. Tons of familiar yet unfamiliar faces pondered upon me. This was my homeland. It was light out, as I traveled with my blue bags, and awaited on the bench waiting for my taxi. It was strange to think I wasn't going to be riding in limos any time soon.
When my Taxi got there, I told the man that I wanted to go to the Juicenet Café. He stared at me as if I was insane. I blushed.
"There is no Juicenet Café, hun." He replied seriously.
"Um, excuse me? There is, its right near the docks."
"Um, no. It went out of business. I know the area. Its now a Bar called Rikki's."
Whaaa? My eyebrows arched in confusion. Maybe I should have called Rikki, herself, before I took on this mission of old-habits. Also, I should go straight to…well wherever my friends were. And why the hell was the Juice Bar now named Rikki's. Did she own it? It wasn't possible.
"Um…then I'll go there." I told him mumbling. The car rumbled past familiar sightings, like my old home. And then finally we arrived at a Café with police cars scrabbling around it.
The taxi driver looked at me. "Um…stay here. I'll come back, probably. If I'm not back in twenty minutes, you can leave."
I rushed forward, past all the glowing lights, and stern looks, and even a screaming police women telling me I couldn't be here.
That's when I saw him. Zane Bennett. Doing his favorite pastime. Complaining and screaming at someone.
"What do you mean the bitch keeps sputtering? Can't she just tell you what the fuck she was doing breaking in here?" Woah. Maybe Zane was only nice when he was with Rikki.
"No, Mr. Bennett. It seems as if she has been badly hurt. We don't believe she broke in, but was taken hostage." The police woman replied calmly.
Zane stood there, looking as if he was in a dispute with himself. I watched him mumble something with the words fucking, bloke, and asses. Then he smiled at the woman. "Can I see this girl, myself?"
She sighed. "Yes, but you can not interrupt the investigation. We think she might have been raped." My eyes fluttered, and Zane stopped silent for a moment.
"Okay." Then he turned and saw me.
"Emma, what the fuck are you doing here? And…"
"I… I'm here to visit Cleo. And Rikki." I added, only half-lying. I hope Rikki hadn't told him too much about the last couple months.
"Oh." He replied. "Why are you here?"
I looked around realizing he was right. Why was I here?
"What happened?" I answered by question.
"Someone broke in last night. The whole place is trashed. And all they left behind is a stranded girl who…well I don't know."
"Oh my god…" I looked at him. "Wait, why is the Juice Bar called Rikki's?" He looked at me incredulously, like I was the ridiculous weird girl that wasn't making any sense.
"Wow, you really went off into a different world…" He mumbled. For a split moment I thought I saw a hint of knowing in him. Did he know about my…porn video? And if so, had he told Rikki and Cleo? Did Rikki own this place with Zane? Where was Cleo? Why did I have to be so clueless?
"My dad bought the place. Without you and Ash, it collapsed. Its my Café now." He muttered. "But now everything's fucked up." He added bitterly.
I looked down. This place was more chaotic than I had remembered.
"Yeah. Did you hear about Cleo?" I asked, wondering if I should have. Maybe he didn't care. I mean honestly, it appeared the only person he'd ever really cared about was Rikki, although he took slight interest in us, he probably pretended to feel bad about it for Rikki, but really couldn't care less.
I was shocked he didn't know. "She's in the hospital. Rikki told me she tried to kill herself."
"What? Cleo… That's…"
He nodded silently in agreement.
"Well I should be going then…" I looked at him waiting for him to say something but he didn't. I felt out of the loop. Exactly what had happened after I left? And was I glad I missed it?
"Emma…You know that… Well, Rikki and I broke up…" Somehow I wasn't awed in surprise, but I felt dull, and bad, and bitter. Not that I'd ever admit, but something about Rikki and Zane always intrigued me. The most unexpected couple ever.
"Oh. So who's Café is this?" I asked. I felt completely stupid for showing no compassion. I had never been exactly rooting for them.
"This Club…is mine. I had it closed last night though…for reasons." My head was starting to hurt from all the things I didn't understand.
"Well…Zane, do you…" I sighed, not knowing what to say. "Do you want me to leave…or…?"
He shrugged. "Stay. Leave. Its all the same to me."
"Okay." I looked at the darkened version of the Juice Bar that was now a Nightclub named my best friend's name.
I was going to offer to come with him to see who the girl was when he just walked away. I bit my lip. I found myself sitting on the ground, hunched, with arms protecting me. Its not until the police woman asks me if I need something. I look over and see the Taxi is no longer there, so I tell her I need a ride to the Hospital.
It was terrible. I didn't like seeing an unconscious Cleo, and hear the sharp beats of her heart beating back and forth, as if at any moment, she would stop breathing and die. I also didn't like that they forced her to wear a hospital gown. She always had been very pretty, and her girly style was being put to mayhem with blue dots on a white blanket they turned into an outfit.
I almost stopped breathing myself when I saw the cuts engraved into her wrist. It was scary. To think that the Cleo I knew had done this to herself, it didn't seem right. Cleo was always the happy naïve one. What had happened?
I shuddered and turned around to see a boy with a handsome face and two blue innocent eyes staring at me incredulously, curious, and careful.
"Who are you?" I asked, thinking how it would have been absolutely terrible if Cleo had cheated on Lewis. I would never let her live that down.
"I could ask the same to you." He seemed to be checking me out without one perverted glimpse within his eyes. I crossed my arms.
"I happen to be one of Cleo's best friends. She's never mentioned a hot guy with dirty blond hair and innocent eyes, that feels he's important enough to watch her as she sleeps in a Hospital Room."
"Well, she's never mentioned a blond pretty girl who looks a tad too skinny, and believes she's Cleo's best friend without being here for the last three years."
I look at him scornfully. "I'm Emma. She might have mentioned me…As her best friend until I moved away…?" He seemed foreign to English.
"Well then you must not really know Cleo." I added with a superior feeling empowering me.
"Or you must have been way too busy to never visit on breaks. I'm Will. Cleo's friend as well."
"Oh." I answered solemnly.
"I'm Will, Bella's boyfriend." He smiled at me, then frowned for a moment. "I saw you in pictures, just remembering now. You're the other mermaid, right?"
My blood ran cold. He knew about mermaids. That wasn't right. We had a big deal about telling our own boyfriends that we were mermaids, why would they tell just a lonesome friend?
He smiled. "Don't worry, I'm trustworthy."
Somehow I believed him.
"Who's Bella then?" Before he could answer with his shocked face I heard a shriek.
"Emma, is that you?"
"Cleo!" I rushed over and gave her a tremendous hug. She smiled at me, then went forlorn, realizing the only reason I had came was because I thought possibly she was dead.
"Emma, why….your here." She gasped and for a moment looked uncertain. "That's great." Why did that smile of her's seem so plastic?
I looked at Will, as Cleo surpassed a hug with him as well. Except his's seemed for genuine. More real.
"What the hell happened?" Will and I stared at each other, weirded out. We said the exact same thing.
Cleo sighed. And she told us the tale of a mermaid moonstruck and an angsty moon that just felt the urge to label her one of Australian's Most Crazy.
I didn't know what I should have been more angry about. The fact that Rikki and Cleo had lied to me or that there was a mermaid who wasn't me and thought that she was best friend's with Cleo and Rikki.
But I was hurt. No other word could describe me better. And I didn't know how I was supposed to react. All I knew was this Bella girl seemed sketchy. Who miraculously disappears right after their friend tries to kill herself?
Strangely, no one noticed this but me.