" Skye? ” I said, rather shocked. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My best friend was in the same car as me. I stared at her then I found myself asking this obvious question. ” You’re Julian’s cousin? ” I blinked my eyes and waited for her to speak. How can that slip out of my mind? She had the same last name as Julian. Skye Woods.
" Y-yes, Stella what are you doing here? Aunt Nancy is she... ” She looked at Nancy and Nancy nodded with a smile. Was I missing something? They looked like they were having a telepathy or something.
" Well, it’s a long story ” I explained in short and she just eyed me for a minute or two.
Skye finally laid her back to the car seat and crossed her arms.” We have some talking to do, tonight young lady ” she pointed out and I sighed. I can’t hide my bitter reality from her forever. After all, she was my best friend.
Nancy took off and we sat there in silence until she broke it. ” So, are you two friends? ” Nancy asked then looked at me from the corner of her eyes. She turned her gaze at the road swiftly.
" Best friends ” Me and Skye said in unison then we smiled. Nothing had changed between us. And I’d like to keep it that way.
" Oh how nice, what a small world we live in, isn’t that right Skye? ” Nancy directed her question to her.
" Yeah... ” Skye whispered and we fell into an awkward silence. Again. After half an hour or so, we arrived at a big crowded mall.
" Alright girls, our mission is to buy for Stella a lot of clothes, shoes, makeu-” Nancy started talking, but I interrupted her.
I held my hands like the shape of X, shaking my head. ” No makeup, never. ” I pointed out and they looked at me confused.
" Why not? ” Skye asked linking her arms with mine.
" Because I hate makeup, I feel like a colorful cake, no offense to cakes of course,” I replied. The real reason that I hated makeup, was because Raymond forced me once to put it on when his ‘buddies’ beat the crap out of me, so it was stuck in my head as a reminder for the abuse.
" That’s okay, now let’s begin ” Nancy linked my other arm with her’s, and we entered but to be flashed by the smell of all kind of perfumes and new clothes. It smelled fresh.
" We don’t have to buy a lot, I just need one outfit, you know besides the one that I’m wearing right now, which belongs to Julian. ” I pointed out then looked at myself in the mirror. We were in a wide store. It was my first time entering this shop. I never got the chance to shop with others even Skye, I just shopped once a year with Raymond’s company. It was not a pleasant company, not at all. But I had to stay quiet and not complain because then, I won’t ever get anything to wear. At all. He was being nice because he couldn’t hit me in public.
" Nonsense, you literally have nothing with you ” Nancy protested and looked at my reflection in the mirror again. I didn’t deserve all of this attention from a stranger.
" Okay, now I’m super curious, I want you to tell me everything in details.” Skye crossed her arms with a pout.
" I’ll tell you everything but not now” I confirmed.
I ended up with 7 hoodies, 8 jeans, 10 shirts, 5 pairs of shoes plus 3 casual dresses and one elegant dress. Don’t forget the undergarments. They were so generous and stubborn if I must say.
" Okay, who’s ready to eat? ” Skye asked and we nodded. I looked at the clock, it was 3:40 pm. Oh, and they bought me a new phone. I felt so bad accepting it, but they insisted saying: ′ How can we contact you without a phone ?′ excuse.
" I would like to have a burger, and an orange juice, please ” Skye ordered the waiter who was writing everything down on his small board, then he looked at me with a bright smile.
" And you ma’am ?” he asked politely.
" I’ll get the same without the orange juice please, plus a cup of water ” I replied then he looked at Nancy after writing down my order.
" I’ll get chicken wings plus salad and coke ” Nancy ordered and the waiter nodded.
" Coming right up ” he said then took off to another customer who was waiting eagerly.
" Are you staying in the pa- I mean the family’s house? ” Skye asked me while putting her elbows on the table then she rested her chin on her palms. She looked like Cinderella when she was staring at the sky from her room’s only window.
" I... Um, Ah I don’t know ” I replied, looking at my lap playing with my fingers. I had nowhere to go.
" Of course she will stay there, she is now a part of the family, the Woods family. ” Nancy pointed out with a genuine, big, happy smile. I felt defeated and weak yet relieved at the same time. I just nodded without saying any other word. 10 minutes later, our order came with the same nice waiter.
" Ladies, I hope you have a wonderful meal and bon appetite” he said then walked away, leaving us admiring the delicious, tasty food.
" Shall we begin? ” Nancy giggled and I smiled.
I nodded and Skye clapped her hands together. ” We shall ” she replied and we ate our food in peace... Or so I thought.
My eyes widened when my eyes landed on the entrance. ” Not him ” I muttered when I saw him entering the restaurant. ” He can’t see me ” I whispered quietly, but it turned out, not quiet enough because Nancy and Skye heard me.
" What’s wrong? ” They asked and I just stared at him, with a shocked, panicked expression.
" H-he’s not s-suppose to see me ” I stuttered but more to myself than them.
" Who? ” Nancy asked ” Is it, Raymond? ” She placed her hand on my shoulder.
I shook my head with fear ” No ” As I said that, he turned his head and saw me. He smirked a sly smirk that made me remember the abuse. Why was everything reminded me of the abuse?
He approached me, fast. ” Well, well, well. Look who’s here... Stella. The Stella. ” he said in his hoarse, creepy unpleasant, voice.