Paranoid

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Summary

A girl, a missing classmate's diary, secrets about her friends, and the fight between the good and the bad. As the secrets unravel, it makes it hard for her to trust anyone. She's like prey, they watch her every move, and they'll get to her when she least expected it.

Genre:
Mystery / Drama
Author:
Alma Azura Celia
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
27
Rating:
4.4 16 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1

This book is under editing and rewriting. Please excuse the grammatical errors written in this book.


After I’ve spent a week with sleepless nights, I can finally breathe the air of relief. Although I’m still nervous about how my exam scores would be, at least I can sleep well from now on without worrying about studying for the exams.

I’ve been staying up past midnight to read textbooks and notes I took in my classes for a week. It’s been a habit of mine not to relearn the lessons I’ve learned in class after school. One of my teachers told me that it’s an effective way of remembering the lessons much longer and clearer. She told me that it’s because the information is still fresh and relearn it will stick it more into our mind. But, I’m not quite sure about that because I’ve never done it to prove it. Watching movies or reading novels is what I do instead.

Doing overnight studying is not that pleasant to do because I keep stressing about remembering all the lessons and do well in the exams. I can’t stop stressing about if the words would stick into my head long enough until I finish the exams. I’ve never learned my lesson from that. But thank goodness that all of those nights I’ve spent studying has now passed.

I step into my bedroom with a smile on my face, feeling happy that I can finally relax and do pretty much everything I want to do. But, though, I need to fix my study habit. I can’t keep letting myself stressed out for the rest of my school days by studying all night long. It’s not a good habit for my mental health and also my physical health too.

I drop my bag by the side of my bed and let my body fall onto my comfortable bed. I let out a content sigh and roll onto my back, staring up at the white ceiling above me. I contemplate about what to do and come into a conclusion within a minute. I decide that listening to some music while reading the sci-fi novel I haven’t finished will be a nice thing to do for now. I push myself off my bed and shuffle towards my bookshelf. As I pick up the novel, I hear some knocking from the front door.

Knock, knock, knock.

I freeze in my place as I stare out of my bedroom door in wonder of who could that be. My eyebrows knit together as I think that it will be impossible if it could be my parents. They have keys to the house themselves. I snap out of my thought and quickly go downstairs to the front door. I unlock the door and pull open the door, expecting to see someone standing in front of me. But, the porch is empty of human presence. I look on my left and right to find birds flying off of trees and nothing else. I shake my head a little as I smile, thinking that could be Zane and Parker - the twins living next door, doing another childish and harmless prank to the neighbors. Silly little boys.

Zane and Parker have always been the pranksters into the house on my right a few years back. I even remember the first day they moved into the house. I was just trimming some roses of the bushes in my yard when they startled me by tapping and shouting at me at the same time. The twins were laughing at my reaction while looking so adorable. I ended up giving them some roses as a welcome gift. Both of them seemed happy with the gift they received as they went back to their house with bright smiles on their faces.

I take a step back to close the door but stop when my eyes land on a box sitting on top of the doormat. A package? Whose package could that be? I keep eyeing the box in suspicion, searching through the memories in my head for the time when my parents told me that they’re expecting a package soon, but no, there’s nothing I can find.

The box gives away its doubtful present to me from having no label of the sender nor the recipient on its surface. There’s no way that this is a package sent by an official courier because of that.

My eyes widen as a terrifying thought crosses my mind.

What if there’s an explosive inside the box?

It’s a possible chance because my father -the sheriff of the town- keeps receiving a lot of threats and terrors from an unknown group lately.

I lower my body to the ground, kneeling in front of the box with a careful move. I start to feel scared as I think of the dangerous things that could be inside the box. I take in a deep breath and hold my hand out to the lid of the box. I lift the lid slowly with caution. Higher and higher until it’s fully opened. The fright that was looming over me vanishes within a second as I see the content of the box. I stare at the content in confusion, wondering who could this belong.

Instead of a ticking, timed bomb, there’s a book inside of the box. It’s not just a book, but it’s a girl’s diary. I’m confident of it only by staring at the diary. Stickers and pictures of celebrities adorn the diary cover. I take it out of the box, looking at it with curiosity. I turn over the cover, and my gaze immediately moves toward the name of the owner.

Miranda Cole.

My eyebrows furrow at the foreign yet familiar name. I get even more confused than I was before as I try to remember the name. I keep trying to remember where did I heard the name before, but nothing comes to mind. Questions as to who is Miranda Cole and why her diary is here appears in my head.

I have to give this back to her. She must’ve been be looking for this everywhere. But, how can I get this back to her when I don’t even know her? The reason why her name sounds familiar to me could probably because we’re going to the same school. I guess I’ll try to find her at school on Monday and give this back to her.

I grab the box and lift myself from the ground, staring at the diary in wonder once again. I get even more confused as I stare and ponder about the diary in hand. Why would someone put a girl’s diary on my porch? I guess someone’s playing a prank on Miranda, hiding the diary from her.

The diary could have all of her secrets inside. If this diary gets to someone irresponsible, they could leak all of her secrets. It could also embarrass her for the rest of her life. So, that’s why this prank is a cruel thing to be done to someone else.

I put the diary back into the box and step back into the house. I lock the door and ascend the flight of stairs towards my room. Questions that are swimming around my head are left unanswered. There’s nothing I can do about it. Even if I try to shut them out, they keep coming back and confuse me even more.

I push my door close, letting it open ajar. I put down the box on my nightstand, taking the diary out of the box. I hold it and stare at it, and my mind is spinning in confusion. My eyebrows knitted together as I ask myself why the diary was on my porch. There has to be a logical reason for it. But for now, I can’t think of anything about it.

I shake my head and sigh in exasperation, placing the diary on the nightstand. I lie on my back, looking up at the ceiling with my head tangled up with questions. I shut my eyes close, trying to stop them from keep coming into my head again and again. I sigh and turn to my side, pulling my phone out of my pants pocket.

The phone screen lights up, and I see my group chat notifications. I swipe on one of them, and the recent chats from the group show on the screen. Alex texts the group, telling us that he has a joke to tell. I smile at the text as I ask him about what the joke is.

Alex: Do you know why a bike can’t stand on its own?

Ashton responds the text with a no as Taylor asks why. I smile wider, knowing it would be as dumb as the other jokes he has told us before. Another text pops up, and I snort as I read it.

Alex: Because it’s two-tired! Hahahahaha

I continue to laugh for a few seconds and finally manage to type a reply.

Me: Sure thing, smartass

I keep chatting with my friends, laughing when Xavier texts another joke as dumb as Alex’s one. I don’t realize how the time passes so fast until I glance at the clock. It turns out that I’ve been texting with my friends for about 40 minutes, and when I take my eyes off the screen, they feel tired. I rub my eyes and roll onto my back.

My eyes drift unconsciously toward the diary, and I stare at it with a frown on my face. Pulling myself to sit, I put down my phone on my side and grab the diary. I contemplate reading the diary but holding myself back from doing it. I can’t read another person’s diary. If I do so, I’m not respecting her privacy, and it’s also plain rude.

Reading a little won’t hurt, right? Besides, if I read the diary, I’m not going to tell anyone about whatever I read in it. I can also try to find her home address, and if I found the address, I can give the diary back to her soon.

I stare at the diary in hesitation, biting down my lower lip as I do so. I feel bad for going through someone else’s stuff, but I have to do it for the best of the owner too.

I flip over the first pages of the diary, staring at her beautiful drawings and sketches in admiration. The pages are full of natural landscapes, cute looking cartoon-like characters, animals, and doodles. I trace my fingers along the drawings and sketches as I think of how talented she is.

I stop flipping through the pages when my eyes meet the page full of her handwriting. I shift in my seat with an uneasy feeling in my stomach, still hesitating about reading the diary. I continue to flip through the pages mindlessly until the last page of the book, but find nothing but a blank page. Not even a single word that indicates where she lives. I frown as I flip through the pages back to the first page with handwriting. I read the first few words on the top of the page.

17 January 2016

I stare at the date, contemplating on reading for another few minutes. Curiosity finally takes over me, and my eyes start to move from one word to another.

Today is the best day ever! I can’t believe that my crush since 4th grade asked me to be his girlfriend! It felt so surreal to me that someone as good-looking and smart as he would want me to be his girlfriend. An average-looking girl that is not so smart. I’m also no one popular in school. There’s a lot of better-looking and more popular and liked girls than I am in school, like Grace Miller.

I stop reading the diary, furrowing my eyebrows in confusion.

She knows me? But how could I did not know her? She has written in the diary that I’m popular around school while she’s not. I don’t even feel popular because I’m just an average girl like her. Maybe just maybe, hanging out with some of the good-looking and smart boys in school does that to me.

They look so close to each other and seem happy. Grace always looks so close to all of her friends. She even seems a lot closer to her guy friends rather than the girls.

So, he’s talking about one of my guy friends, but I’m not sure which one of them. I mean, I have a lot of them. Most of my friends are boys. She could be talking about Xavier, Calvin, Dylan, Alex, Ashton, Tyler, or Collin.

I let the question passes and continue to read.

Why would he choose me? I’m no one special. Aside from that fact, I’m happy that he wants me to be his because I can finally be together with him. It was a dream came true when he asked that life-changing question. He also asked me out on a date, and I don’t think I could be happier than I was back then.

As soon as I got back, I quickly searched through the closet for the most perfect dress I can wear on our date. I got changed into the baby blue plain dress that I’ve chosen. I slipped into a pair of white flats and waited in the living room impatiently for him.

On the date, we went to watch a movie, and after that, we took a stroll under the moonlight and the sky full of stars. I found it to be quite romantic, and I can’t help but to smile along the walk.

He kept smiling down on me, saying nice things to me. He also told me I was also his crush ever since a long time ago. We talked and kept talking, getting to know each other better until it was 9 in the evening. He drove me back home safely, and we bid our goodbye. I can’t wait to see him again tomorrow!

I stare at the diary, the gear in my mind turns as I think about who, between all of my guy friends, could be dating Miranda. I start to feel curious and more curious because the boys never really told me if they’re dating someone. Even if one of them does have a girlfriend, I would’ve known about that already. Knowing that they’re some of the popular kids in school, it would be hard for them to hide something like that from me. Rumors will spread faster than a contagious disease.

Knock, knock.

My eyes snap towards the direction of the staircase, and I frown in confusion.

Now what? If that’s the same person who left the diary on my porch, wanting to leave another weird shit there, I swear to god I’ll scold them until their ears burn.

I rush to the window, looking down my driveway to find a familiar motorcycle parked there. I head downstairs as I hear another knocking from the front door. When I get there, I open it and smile at the person standing in front of me.

“Hey, Dylan.”

Dylan is one of my friends. He has thick, straight hair that’s cut short, almost black-colored pair of eyes, and light complexion. He stands at 185 cm, towering over my 165 cm height. He’s dressed in a leather jacket, black t-shirt, a pair of black jeans, and also a pair of combat boots. The attire makes him look like a bad boy coming straight out of a fiction book. Although, in reality, he’s not that kind of person.

“Hey. Can I come in?” He asks. I nod at him, taking one step to the side so I can give him a way to go through. He stares into my house for a few seconds and shakes his head a little as he waves his hand dismissively.

“Forget about it. I won’t take long, anyway.”

“Okay. Whatever you say.” I roll my eyes at him. I step in front of him and sigh. “So, what brings you here?” I ask, still feeling confused about his sudden appearance. He usually notifies me first if he would swing by my house.

He shoves his hands into the pocket of his jacket, fishing out for something inside of it. He pulls out his hand and there in his hand, is my favorite pen that he borrowed earlier in class. It has blue and purple ombre color with a mercat or purrmaid charm. What makes it my favorite is because of the cute charm.

“I want to return this.” He holds out the pen for me to take, and I grab it from him.

Huh, seldom of him to return my pen when he usually keeps it for himself. Never giving it back to me. What’s the difference with this one?

“Why are you returning this? You usually borrow my pen and never return it.” I cross my arms over my chest, smirking at him. He looks embarrassed for a moment as he rubs the back of his neck and smiles sheepishly.

“It’s just too... girly.” He cringes. “You know, the color of the pen and this charm of a cat with a fishtail?” He stares at my pen, frowning. “I can’t keep it. It would only make me look silly when using it.” He chuckles. When his chuckle dies down, a smirk appears on his face as he crosses his arms over his chest.

“If you want to, I can buy you other pens as much as I borrowed from you in return.”

“No, thank you. I can buy them myself.” I try to look annoyed with him but failed when I can’t repress a smile from appearing on my face. He chuckles at me, shaking his head.

“I have to go now. See you soon.” He smiles and turns on his heels. A frown appears on my face as I stare at him descending the steps.

“That’s it? You’re coming here only to return this and leave?” I stare at the back of his head in confusion. He stops in his tracks and turns around to face me. He gives me a lopsided grin and shrugs. “Yeah.”

“You’re so weird.” I scoff, shaking my head lightly. “Why didn’t you just return this to me on Monday? It’s not like I would be needing it for now.”

“I was on my way home, and I thought why not return it now? I also thought it’s better to return the pen to you now or it’s going to end up just like your other pens. Lost and forgotten.” He grins.

“That’s a good reason.” I nod my head approvingly.

“I know. Okay. I’ll see you soon.” He smiles and waves his hand at me. I return the gesture and smile back at him. “I’ll see you soon.”

He walks towards his motorcycle and put his helmet on. He starts the engine, and it roars throughout the neighborhood. He flashes me a grin and drives away from me, leaving me standing on my porch with a stupid grin on my face. I stare down at my pen and shake my head as I step back into my house.

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