So.. Addy was sick for the entire last week and my dancing lessons with Rick didn’t make any progress. I think if I wouldn’t pay him 1.000$ per day he would have quit by now.
But it’s Monday again and Addy and I are sitting in the car, me dressed in her clothes to get rid off my reputation. She and I left the car and entered school. The eyes of everyone were on me the second I entered. “Do they always stare like that?” Addy asked, whispering in my ear. “Yes” I said and we walked to my locker, where Tara was standing at hers.
“Oh well well.. So fast you replaced me” Tara said and I rolled my eyes. “I didn’t replace you, but I am allowed to have more than just one friend and I chose her to be my other friend” I defended Addy. “That” She said referring to Adalyn “Is out of our league” Tara said and I became angry. “NO!! She’s totally in my league, maybe yours is somewhere else!! I thought you were different Tara!! But as soon as the world isn’t about you, you become a total bitch and you go around judging people by their families and there clothes!! What matter’s is their heart, the way they think! Their personality!!” I yelled at her, before slamming my locker and walking off with Addy. “Thanks AJ” She said and I smiled and put my head down on her shoulder while walking. “No prob” I said and we laughed.
“Hey, wanna go to the library in the first small break?” I asked and she nod. “Yeah, why not” Addy smiled. “See you later Addy” I said and waved goodbye before entering the class room.
I almost fell asleep, but then finally the bell rang and I hurried out of the class room and caught up with Addy. “Why do you wanna go to the library anyways?” She asked. “I wanna get that book on the second world war. Still behind in History and the book seemed a good one to study” I said as we entered.
We walked to the History section and started searching. “Can I help you?” A voice sounding like Rick’s asked. “Hey...” I realized I didn’t know his last name. “Henderson” He said a little cold. “I am so sorry, I should have known that..” I said, feeling bad. “Yeah, you should’ve” He said. “Well, Mr. Henderson, my friend AJ here was reading a book about the World War 2 when she was here last Tuesday and we are looking for it” Addy took over when it became painful and awkward at the same time. “Well, follow me. I don’t if it’s in there, but it would be a place you could look” Rick said and lead us to a table. “Can you see it AJ?” Addy asked and pushed me towards the table.
I started looking through the books, till I found. “It was this one” I said, pointing at the one at the bottom. I wanted to lift the ten books on top of it, but they were to heavy so I dropped them. “Shit!! I am so sorry” I said, giving the right book to Addy and started to pick up the books from the bottom. Rick was already on it as well. “And that happens when rich girls try to do something themselves” He said and after we were finished, he left. “What’s wrong with him?” Addy asked confused.
“If I only knew.. One moment he’s all nice, well his nice, and helpful and the other one I can listen to things like that” I said maybe a little sad. “Wanna find out what it is?” She asked. “Yeah, like he’s gonna tell me” I said, looking at her. “We are not asking him! Didn’t you say, he graduated from this school three years ago?” She asked. “Yeah?” I more asked than answered. “Let’s look for the year book at lunch break” She suggested. “Okay, but now I have to get to my next class and so do you” I said and pushed her towards the exit. I signed in that I borrowed the book and hurried to the class room.
Then finally it was lunch break and Addy and I met up again and hurried to the yearbook section in the library. “Which years do we need?” Addy asked and I tried to remember. “We have 2014 minus three years, would be 2011 minus four is 2007. 2007 till 2011" I sad and we took out those yearbooks and started to look through them. We didn’t find anything in the book of 2007. Just a picture of him and a picture of my so perfect sister.
“Chelsea Cyntrina Mason” Addy read out loud. “What is that for a name?! Your parents really have a huge imagination when it comes to names” she said. “I know, that’s why second name is a combination of Charleen and Janine” I explained and turned the page of the year book of 2008. “This is useless... We will never find anything” I said and then of course the bell rang to tell us that lunch break is over.
We put the books away and went to our next classes. History. Funny thing, I actually paid attention, but when the long school day was finally over, I was thrilled. Bad thing, we drove with Addy’s car and her school day ended like an hour ago. We did not think this through...
Then I spotted a familiar car. It was the gardener car my parents had, well it’s a truck. My parents call it gardener car because he’s the only one driving it. I walked over and was surprised to really see Rick behind the wheel. “What are you doing here??” I asked, looking inside through the passenger side window. “Adalyn had to go to her house to get the rest of her stuff before the banks sells it” He explained. “So she sent you?” I asked to be sure and not really believing it. “You see me here, don’t you?” He asked in his usual annoyed voice. “I hope the truck is fancy enough for you” He added and rolled my eyes, but then put on a fake smile. “It’s perfect” I said and stepped aside so I was able to open the door. I got in and put my bag in front of me. Even before I closed the door, he started the motor. I closed it fast and he started driving.
It was boring, the drive so I decided to turn on the radio, while Rick was concentrated on the street. Out of the speakers came a song that I had never heard before, yet the voice sounded familiar. “Turn that off” Rick said cold, but I didn’t. He couldn’t turn it off, because we were on a highway right now, because he needed some things for the garden and I agreed to go with him to buy them. Well, it’s not like I had a choice. “Is that you?” I asked and turned it up louder. “TURN THE SHIT DOWN!!” He yelled a little angry. “No! This is really good Rick!!” I said, but he didn’t really believe me. “It’s not!” “You don’t actually think this is bad!! Otherwise you wouldn’t have recorded it and put it in your car and the radio in your car!!” I said and his face was like thousand times before blank. “Why can’t you just listen once?!” Rick yelled a little angry, okay a lot angry.
“Because I have my own brain!! And I know how to use it!!” I defended myself. “Well, then turn off that fucking radio!!” He snapped at me again, but I refused to.
“Easy baby maybe I’m a liar
But for tonight I wanna’ fall in love” I sang along, which he totally disliked, but I didn’t care. “This is so catchy Rick!! You should upload this to the internet or send it to a record company!!” I said and he laughed at that. “Yeah of course, maybe I’m richer than you after that Mason” he said and I rolled my eyes. “Just call me AJ, it suits me better” I said and once again he laughed. “I still don’t get why you work for rich people if you clearly hate them. Or why do you work at your old high school in the library? Why do you work two jobs??” I asked, trying get to know him. I don’t know, but there was something interesting about him.
“How do you know I went to Bridgewood?” He asked. “Yeah.. I kinda ask my mother about you” I said and he raised an eyebrow. “You were a strange man in our garden, I wanted to know who you are” I explained. “What else do you know about me?” He asked interested. “Well... I know that you have to be like 20, you work two jobs and you graduated the same year as Chelsea” I said and the happy/flattered look disappeared from his face once I mentioned my ‘perfect’ sister. “Don’t worry, she has that effect on people that they just wanna hit her in the face” I said, yet he didn’t smiled or smirked or had any other happy expression on his face.
“Okay, your money is really helpful to pay my rent, but stop talking bout Chelsea” He said and I wondered how he knew her, I mean he didn’t sound like he just met her in a school’s hallway or at his job here. He seemed to know her better, I think.. “Sure! I hate talking bout her so much. She’s such a bitch!! I don’t get how she can be related to me. I almost have the feeling that I am only popular because I am her sister and people are afraid of her” I said and Rick let out a laugh. “Afraid is an understatement!! A huge one!! And to be honest, I would have never thought that a Mason would go outside the house looking like this. I mean, it’s cheap stuff, why would you wear that??” He asked and I sighed. “I am sick of people thinking I am like Chelsea”
“Totally get it” He said, he was still cold, but not as cold as before. Then we reached the parking lot of the hardware store and he stopped the truck. “Are you coming with me or is that not fancy enough for you?” He asked and I could have hit him. “I told you before, I am not the rich girl you think I am” I said and got outside. “Are you coming?” I asked and laughed and got out himself. He locked the truck and walked into the direction of the store.I hurried after him. “Are you kidding me?!” I asked as we entered the store.
I got a shopping cart and he took it from me. “Fine, when you wanna push it” I said and walked faster. “Don’t run!!” He yelled after me. “I am not a little girl anymore” I told him back. “You are acting like one AJ” He yelled. Him saying ‘AJ’ gave me a weird feeling that I couldn’t explain. “Annabel?” A woman asked me. I looked at the woman and saw that it was Tara’s mother. “Hey, Mrs. Ricardo” I said and hugged her briefly. “AJ, where are you??” I heard Rick yelled. “I’M HERE” I yelled back. “Who’s AJ?” She asked. “I hate that everyone thinks that I am that rich girl and I wanna change my image, meaning my look and Annabel sounds so rich, so I am using that as my nickname” I explained.
“You don’t have to change for other people to like you An- AJ” She said and I smiled at her try to call me by my new name. “I am finally the way I want to be now. My parents are the ones that what to change me so bad” I said. “I heard you and Tara aren’t talking right now” She said and I sighed. “She doesn’t understand that I don’t like that people have this image of me, the image that I am like my sister. I am not my sister” I said and she nod. “I know you aren’t Chelsea” She said. “There you are” Rick arrived where Mrs. Ricardo and I where. “Rick, this is Mrs. Ricardo, Tara’s mom” I introduced them. “Hello” He said, clearly feeling uncomfortable. “Anna- AJ, you know you can call me Julie even when you and Tara aren’t talking anymore” She said and I gave her a smile.
“Okay, see you then, we gotta keep going” I said, knowing that Rick wouldn’t have said anything. “Goodbye AJ” She said and gave me a quick goodbye hug. “Rick” She said giving him a nod and a smile, before she walked off. “How is it possible that Tara is her daughter? She seems so nice and friendly and Tara is the complete opposite” He said and I nod. “It took me time to realize that too” I said and looked around for flowers that would look in our garden. “So, what is your gardener opinion on flowers in our garden?” I asked him to change the topic. “I would not take roses, everyone has them” He said and I nod understanding. “Was thinking the same thing” I said and walked a little further away from him and looked through the seeds. None where really what I was looking for. None really caught my eye.
“How bout this ones?” I asked and showed on some flowers that where already planted “Phlox sub..sub..ulata” I tried to pronounce. He laughed and took a closer look at them. “They are pretty, imagine plenty of them together” He said and looked at me. “This would be so beautiful” I said as soon I imagined it. “Okay, then let’s get ten of those” He said and I helped him to put them on the shopping cart. After ten minutes we had all of them on the cart and 30 minutes later we had everything and got back into the car. “Hey, should I call the kitchen and ask if they need anything, I mean since we are in the town” I asked and he nod. “Sure” He simply answered. I got my phone and looked through my contacts for Pam. Once I found her I pressed the call button.
AJ: “Hey Pam, it’s me AJ”
Pam: “What do you want?”
AJ: “The question is what do you want, from the grocery store I mean”
Pam: “You would get it? You’re a doll”
AJ: “Okay, let me get something to write”
I looked through my bag, but couldn’t find a pen. I sat back up and Rick handed me his phone opened on the notes. “Thanks” I said and took it.
AJ: “Okay, you can start”
I said and Pam told me everything she needed. I wrote them down and once I was finished I saved it and gave Rick his phone back.
AJ: “Okay, got everything. See you then Pam”
Pam: “See you AJ” She said and hung up.
I put my phone down and turned off the display. “Let’s go” I said and turned the radio back on, but I didn’t turn on Rick’s CD, I found a mix CD somewhere in my bag while searching for my pen, which by the way is still missing. “Why do you have that?” He asked laughing. “I accidentally put it in my back yesterday when I got out my car I guess”
I put it into the radio and Maps by Maroon 5 was blasting out the speakers. “You like them?” Rick asked surprised. “Yeah, I once saw them secretly in concert, when I was 15 together with Tara. We told her mom that she was staying over at mine and we told my parents I was staying at her’s, while our best guy friend that time, who was 18 that time by the way, drove us there and went with us” I explained. “That doesn’t sound like something Miss Annabel Mason would do” He said. “Yeah, I am nothing like a Mason Sugar” I said and turned to the window side and looked out. “I have to confess, you are nothing like I imagined you would be. You are nice and nothing like those rich bitches I am used to” He said and I laughed. “I am gonna take this as a compliment” I said, smiling bright in his direction. “Well, it was supposed to be one”
Wow... Rick really just complimented me!! That’s something I would have never thought would ever happen.
“But I wonder where were you?
When I was at my worst
Down on my knees
And you said you had my back
So I wonder where were you?
When all the roads you took came back to me” We sang along to the lyrics. The thing is that I was happy for the first time in forever.
Ten minutes later we arrived at the grocery store and I turned off the music. He parked and we got out the car. He locked it and I went to get a shopping cart, then we entered the store and tried to find every thing Pam told us to get. Just the tomatoes were nowhere to be found or we just didn’t find them. Like another 15 minutes I screamed. “I FOUND THEM!!” I yelled and ran towards them and held them up in victory and made a happy dance, while Rick put them in the cart and laughed at my immaturity, but hey, that’s just me.
I stopped and saw people were watching and I thought about how confident Addy was and thought about what she would do..
She would probably bow, so that’s what I did before walking off with Rick. “What was that?” He asked with a smile on his face. “I thought about what Addy would do and did it. I don’t know what came over me” I explained or at least tried to.
We paid and got back to the car and put everything in it, before getting in ourselves. “So, what other songs do you have on that CD?” He asked. “A lot of Justin Bieber and Once Direction of course!! I mean they are totally hot!!” I said and he looked at me, trying to find a hint if it was true what I said or if I was lying. “Really?” He asked and I think he actually believed me. I nod, but I had trouble to hold my laughter back. “Dude” I said in a serious tone “I was kidding!!” He rolled his eyes and I laughed. “I think they look okay, well they are not exactly what I call my type” I said, trying not to sound like a hater.
I looked through the tracks until I found one and pressed play and sang along.
“I keep going to the river to pray
Cause I need
Something that can wash all the pain
And at most
I’m sleeping all these demons away
But your ghost
The ghost of you it keeps me awake”
Somewhere in the middle he joined me, but we only sang along during the refrain because none of us knew the lyrics to the rest of the song.
After 30 minutes we reached the gates of Bridgeway Mansion and I climbed over Rick to get to the intercom and pressed the speak button “Open the gate Fred, it’s Annabel” I said and let go off the button. “Got it” He said and I climbed back on the passenger seat, while the gate opened and Rick drove inside and parked in front of the huge stairs leading up to the mansion. “I’ll get the groceries to Pam and then I’ll help you with the flowers, so wait! And before you can say anything, this wasn’t a question!!” I made clear and got out.
I brought the three bags to the kitchen and gave Pam a quick hug, before going back to the truck and jumping back in.
This place was so big, that it was the easiest way to drive with a car to the places you wanted to go. If you would walk, you would be walking forever. That’s why I am able to hide from my family so good.
We stopped at the huge swimming pool, which was just getting cleaned. I greeted the guys and then helped to Rick to carry the flowers to the places he wanted them to be. I planted them and two hours later we were done and watered them a little. We got back to the truck and got in. “Dance lesson today?” He asked and I nod. “Only got a month left to learn it” I said. He started the car and drove to the little hall where we always had the dancing lessons. We got out and I got my laptop. Once we were inside, I put it down on a chair, turned it on and started the music.