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:
4.6 27 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1

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

This chapter has been rewritten


Sleepless nights were how I spent the last week. All those nights, I’ve spent drowning myself in textbooks and notes. The unpleasant overnight studying had also gotten me stressed out over the efficiency of the studying itself and how I would finish the exam well enough. Not only that, but overnight studying had also made me physically and mentally exhausted from making myself sleep-deprived and stressed out when studying. It’s one of my never-ending bad habit on every exam day or week. And I don’t think I’ve ever learned my lesson from that.

I should’ve relearned everything after school to prevent the stress from overnight studying. Or maybe I’m just too fucking lazy to do so. And besides, after school is the time when you should be relaxing, not relearning anything from school. Spending it by watching a movie, reading a novel, or hanging out with friends is some of the ways to relax. But still, I need to fix my study habit for the better. It’s definitely not good for my physical as well as my mental health.

Although the exam is finally over today, the anxiety about my exam results still haunts me. I know I’ve done my best, but I’m still a little afraid of the score of my exam that I’ll get. But fuck it, I won’t let it ruin my day. I’m going to spend it the best I could. And that’s by reading the sci-fi novel I haven’t finished yet.

A smile is already on my face as I step into my bedroom. Happiness fills my body as the thought of the exam week finally over pops in my head. I close the door behind me and drop my bag by the side of my bed. My body falls onto my bed, and I let out a contented sigh, closing my eyes as I soak in the relaxation of a study-free night.

I jump to my feet and shuffle towards my bookshelf, picking out my book, and go back on my bed. I let out a sigh as I put on my earphone and play my playlist. I lie on my stomach and start to read the novel. Engrossed with the book at hand, I keep reading the words after another. As I get to the ending, I hear a subtle knock from the front door. I wonder who would that be.

It’s impossible if my parents are already home by now, considering they’re busy most of the time. Besides, if they’re already home, they can unlock the door with their keys.

I quickly put a bookmark on the page and turn off the music. I walk out of my room and straight to the front door. I open the door, expecting to see someone, but find no one there. I glance around the street and see no sign of people around, only some birds flying off a tree. A thought strikes me, and a smile appears on my face as I shake my head. It must be Zane and Parker- the twins next door- doing another harmless prank on the neighbourhood. Silly little boys.

Zane and Parker have always been the prankster of the neighbourhood. They live next to my house, on my right, to be exact. I remember the first time they moved in. They startled me a little as they tapped and shouted behind me while I trimmed some roses from the garden. They laughed and giggled at my reaction, looking adorable. I ended up giving them some of the roses for their welcome gift. Both of them seemed happy by the present and ran towards their new home with big smiles on their faces.

I take a step back into the house and then notice a neat cardboard box on the doormat. A package? Whose package? I eye the box in suspicion, thinking back to when my parents talk about expecting a package, but never find the memory. I know my memory is not that bad because I always remember most of my parents’ words, especially something this important.

The box gives me a doubtful present as I realize it has no label attached to it. There’s no way an official shipment courier sent this package. My eyes widen as a terrifying thought crosses my mind. What if the box has explosives in it? There’s a possibility for that since my father is the town chief of police. I don’t know what he’s been up to, but it does sound serious since he’s been getting many harmless threats from an unknown group lately. The issue has escalated high from those harmless threats if this is a bomb. There’s only one way to be sure.

I lower my body to the ground, trying to catch any sound from the box, but hear nothing from it. I kneel on the floor and move my hand carefully towards the box, trying not to make any sudden movements. My heart beats erratically as my hand gets closer to the box lid, afraid of the possible bomb inside the box. I take in a deep breath and lift the top slowly. I lift it higher and higher until I get a view of what’s inside. I stare at its content in confusion, eyebrows furrowing.

Instead of a ticking explosive, a book sits inside of the box. It’s not just a book. It’s a girl’s diary, judging from the look of it. Cute stickers and photos of celebrities adorn the cover of the book. Whose diary is this? What is it doing on my porch?

I let out the breath I didn’t realize I’ve been holding and sit in front of the box, still staring at its content in confusion. At least it’s not a bomb, but what the hell? I don’t think this should be here at all. With curiosity swelling inside me, I take the book out of the box. I flip open the cover and trace over the written name on the first page. Miranda Cole.

My eyebrows furrow more as I scan the familiar name over again. I try to remember the name, wondering where I’ve heard her name, but nothing comes to mind.

I have to get this back to her. She must’ve been looking for this everywhere. Whoever has stolen her diary and brought it here is a cruel person. It probably has her secrets, and if it got on the wrong hand, they could leak her secrets. And it would also embarrass her for the rest of her life.

Maybe the reason why her name sounds familiar is that we’re attending the same school. I guess I’ll try to find her on Monday, maybe ask my friends if they knew her. Then, I’ll be able to give the diary back to her.

I put the book back into the box and bring the box with me into the house. I lock the door and go back to my room, leaving the door ajar. I put the box on the nightstand, staring at it with a frown on my face. I let out a sigh and lie on my back, staring at the dull, white ceiling above me.

My mind is full of tangling thoughts and questions about Miranda’s diary. I shut my eyes, trying to calm down my head from the endless questions. After I calm down, I open my eyes and lie on my side, staring at my dark phone screen when it suddenly chimes and lights up. I open the group chat and read the recent message from Alex. He told us he wants to tell a joke, definitely another corny joke, but that’s just how he is. I reply to his text, asking him what is it as I smile.

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

Ashton responds it with a ‘no’ while Taylor replies to it with a ‘why’. I smile in anticipation of his dumb, corny joke, just like any other jokes he has told us before. Alex finally replies to us, and I let out silent laughter as I read his answer.

Alex: Because it’s two-tired! Ahahahahaha

Never change, Alex.

Me: Hahahaha. How funny.

I keep texting with my friends, letting out another laughter as Xavier texts another joke as dumb as Alex’s. I glance at the time on my phone, only to realize I’ve been texting with my friends for about one hour until most of them have to go. I put down my phone, feeling my eyes a little irritated from staring at it for too long. I rub them gently and roll onto my back, starting to feel more sleepy with each passing second.

My eyes drift unconsciously towards the box, and I stare at it with a frown. Fighting the sleepiness, I pull myself to sit and grab the diary. I put it on my lap, holding it as I contemplate whether to read it or not. If I do so, I’m violating Miranda’s privacy. And I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help to do so. A little reading won’t hurt, right? Besides, there might be something informative in there, like where she lives or if she actually went to the same school as I do.

I stare at Miranda’s diary, still in doubt of my decision on reading it. With a little guilt, I press my lips into a thin line and flip the book open. I skim through the first few pages of the book. They’re full of cute and beautiful sketches and drawings of landscapes, cartoon-like characters, animals, and some random doodles. Wow, she’s talented.

My eyes finally meet the first page full of Miranda’s handwriting. I shift in my seat, an uneasy feeling pit in my stomach. I flip through the pages, scanning them for any information about her that might help me, but find none. None of the pages had anything about her address or school. I flip through the pages again and back to the first page full of the handwritings. I read the first few words of the page, which indicate the time it was written.

17 January 2016

After staring at the date for a while, curiosity finally takes over my mind, and I continue to read the writings.

Today is definitely the best day ever! I can’t believe that my crush since 4th grade asked me to be his girlfriend! Today felt surreal that someone as good-looking and intelligent as him would ask me to be his girlfriend, an average and ordinary person. We haven’t even gone on a date yet. I’m also not famous at school, like him. Many popular girls in school should’ve caught his attention more than me, like Grace Miller.

Hold up. Miranda knows me? But how could I not know about her? Or forget her? She has written about me as a popular girl, but I don’t think so. I’m just as ordinary as she probably be. Maybe hanging out with some of the most good-looking boys at school make people see so.

They look so close to each other and seem happy with one another. Grace does always look so close to her friends, especially the boys.

Now I know for sure that Miranda is talking about one of the boys, but who? She might be talking about Xavier, Calvin, Dylan, Alex, Ashton, Tyler, or Collin. Well, one way to find out.

The question about why he chose me keeps me restless. I mean, I’m no one special. But putting it aside, I’m happy that he wants me to be his because that’s what I’ve always dreamt of. That life-changing question was definitely a dream of mine coming true. He had also asked me to go on a date with him. I don’t think my life has felt better than this before.

As soon as I got back home, I definitely go straight to my closet and search for the perfect dress for my first date with him. I ended up choosing that baby blue dress I’ve bought recently and paired it with my favourite pair of white flat shoes.

On the date, he brought me to the cinema and stroll under the moonlight and the sky full of bright stars. How romantic of him! I was smiling the whole way.

He kept saying nice things to me as he smiled gently at me. And when he told me that I was also his crush since a long time ago, I felt so giddy inside. I guess that’s what people felt when they say that they have butterflies in their stomach. Never thought I would experience it first hand. We’ve talked about a lot of things as we strolled under the moonlight until it was time for me to go back home. He drove me home safely, and we ended the night with a sweet kiss. I never thought the night could get any better. I can’t wait to see him tomorrow! I hope our relationship will last forever.

I stare at the diary as the gear in my head turns. Who the heck is dating Miranda Cole between the boys? Why isn’t he telling us that he’s dating someone? Why is he hiding this? And it just doesn’t sound right as the boys are some of the popular guys in school, considering rumours about them spread faster than a contagious disease.

The knocking from the front door breaks my train of thoughts. I stare out my door as I wonder who else that could be. If that’s the same person as the one who left Miranda’s diary, dropping off another weird shit, I fucking swear to god I will rant until their ears burn like hell.

I rush towards the window, hoping I’ll find the culprit of the one who leaves Miranda’s diary here. Instead, I spot a familiar motorbike on my driveway. I quickly head downstairs as I hear another knock from the door. I unlock the door and open it, smiling at the person standing in front of me.

“Hey, Dylan.”

Dylan is one of those popular boys from school, who’s also my best friend. He has thick, dark brown hair that’s cut short and a light complexion. He stands at 185 cm tall, towering over my 165 cm height as his dark brown eyes stare back into my deep blue eyes. He’s dressed in his usual attire, a black leather jacket, a black t-shirt, a pair of black jeans, and a pair of combat boots. Yeah, I know, I know. He sounds like a bad boy straight out of a fiction book, but he’s not that bad of a person. He’s kind but can be annoying too. That’s just how he dresses that makes him look like it.

He grins at me. “Hey. Can I come in?” I nod and take a step to the side, giving him a way into the house. He contemplates for a few seconds and then shakes his head. “Forget about it. I won’t be long, anyway.”

“Okay, whatever you say.” I smile, standing in front of him. “So, what brings you here?”

He shoves his hand into his pocket and holds out a pen. It’s not just an ordinary pen but my favourite pen. He borrowed it in class earlier, forgetting to bring a pen on exam day. The cute pen has an ombre colour of blue and purple with a mercat (mermaid-cat) or purrmaid charm dangling from the top of it. The purrmaid charm is definitely what makes it my favourite.

“I want to return this.” He holds out the pen for me, and I take it gratefully. Huh, seldom of him to return my pen. He usually keeps it for himself and never returns it. What’s the difference with this one?

I look up at him with a teasing smirk on my face as I lean onto the doorway. “Why are you returning this? You usually never return any of my pens.” He rubs the back of his neck, a sheepish smile on his face as he stares away with embarrassment.

“It’s too girly.” He grimaces. “You know, the colour of the pen... and whatever is this.” He points at the purrmaid charm. “Of course, I can’t keep it like any other pens. It makes me look silly.” He chuckles. As his chuckle dies down, he folds his arms over his chest, and a smirk appears on his face. “I can buy you some pens in return for those pens you’ve lost, you know?”

“No, thank you very much. I can buy my own pens.” I scowl at him jokingly. He chuckles at me, shaking his head slightly.

“I have to go now. See you soon.” He smiles. Before he walks away, I let some words out of my mouth. “That’s it? You came all the way here to just return my silly pen?” He shrugs, grinning at me. “Yeah.” I scoff a laugh. “You’re weird. You can return this on Monday. It’s not like I need this now, anyway.”

“I was on my way home, and I thought to myself, why not return this now? I also thought it’s better that I return this now, or the pen will end up just like any other pen of yours. Lost and forgotten.” He grins. I scowl, holding my pen close to my chest. “Oh, hell no. You’re going to die if you lost this one.”

“That’s why. I still want to live, thank you.” He grins.

“Thank you for returning this.” I smile. He nods once, smiling back at me. “No problem. I have to go now. See you soon.”

He walks towards his motorbike and put his helmet on. He ignites the engine, and it roars to life in a few seconds. He turns to me, flashing me his boyish grin, and drives through the vacant street. I stare at my pen, shaking my head with a smile on my face, and step back into the house.

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Gabiba Juta: Love it. Need more

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