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Better At Pretending

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"Why me? Why can't life just let things go my way?" I take a deep breath. "I don't want it to be perfect just better than this.." Blake pulls me close, "You're the most perfect thing in my life Ali." When everything falls apart only then do you realise they everyone is broken they're just better at pretending so Alicia learns to pretend to. The life of Alicia Carter is anything but boring, as she navigates the ups and downs of teenage life she faces challenges and loss which make her feel alone although little does she know they will ultimately bring her world together. She discovers who really cares and who does not. The secrets from her past threaten to break future but a certain bad boy has the glue to put her back together along with her best friends Camille and Scott as well as her dysfunctional family. *** Four years ago her dad left with no explanation and no goodbye, everything seems shattered with no escape. Will she learn to say I love you, the three words that could pull her apart? Despite the pain everything feels okay again until the loss of her and best friend threatening to send Alicia to a state of no return. In desperation she starts to send letters detailing her life to the one person she can trust most her Aunt Rosie.

Romance / Humor
4.2 5 reviews
Age Rating:


“You keep a lot to yourself because it’s difficult to find people who understand you”

If you were to ask who is Alicia Ella Carter? You would get three very different answers depending on who it is that you decide to ask, the answer from those who don’t know me being... She’s quiet and doesn’t stand up for herself. Alicia has good grades in every subject and stays in on the weekends to study in order to maintain her good girl persona. Always the last to be picked in gym class She has a few close friends but its clear that she builds walls so high that no one would be stupid enough to even try to climb she wants to be unnoticed and there is no reason for her to be noticed so we let her stay to herself. She’s pretty but not worth the time to get to know because she doesn’t try, she isn’t popular and she never will be.

However, if you ask my friends you’ll hear the other side of me... Alicia is confident around those who she trusts she’s funny and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and she can throw a mean right hook. She knows her worth despite being through hell and back she stands strong, every now and again she breaks but keeps it to herself, she hates to be seen as weak she has always been taught to be independent. The good girl, good grades show is part of the cover to stay out of trouble, to get by and get out. The badass side isn’t for everyone to see just those who trusts enough to share it with. But never, ever, underestimate the lengths she will go to in order to protect the people who protect her.

Finally, if you ask me who I am I’ll give you the answer I give everyone, stick around long enough and maybe you’ll see both sides to me.

Or maybe you won’t.

It’s the first week of summer before I go to sixth form and I’m going to meet Lottie James, we’ve been friends since the start of primary school, we’re gonna hang out at our favourite place on the beach front.

When we met, I was sat by the swings waiting for my turn patiently like the good girl I am, when Hailey or as we call her now Barbie-Hitler stole my turn, may I remind you that at six years old this is a huge deal, like end of the world as I know it and the start to Barb- I mean Haileys evil ways. Ready to admit defeat I turn to walk away when I hear a loud...


Stopping me in my tracks.

I turn around , low and behold it’s the angel herself Lottie pulling Hailey off the swing admittedly probably not the best way to deal with it however it was straight to the point.

“Not. Your. Turn.” The small angel shouted, her name unknown to me at this point.

Hailey tries to straighten her clothes out. “But...But..” She stutters. Hailey never stutters.

“But nothing Satan” My guardian angel replies, even at six years old she had the best insults, can you even imagine what she says now?

I couldn’t help but laugh so I walked over handshake at the ready and to introduce myself to my saviour.

“Hello, I’m Alicia. What’s your name?” I asked with all the confidence that I could muster, a stray smile finding it’s way onto my face.

The angel looked at me pondering her next move staring at my hand held out in front of me handshake at the ready like it was some foreign custom, I guess it was at age six, before leaping at me with a friendly hug taking me by surprise and both of us down to the floor.

“I’m Lottie” She smiled back as we laughed and giggled until we cried.

And that my friend is the start of our epic friendship and we have been inseparable ever since. My own personal body Guard, Hailey still terrorises everyone like her first day on the playground except now there is the grand invention of social media but thanks to Lottie life is still bearable. Lottie always knows just what to say and when to say it and she’s not afraid to tell me the truth, every ounce of my confidence is down to her. At age 16 life really is a roller coaster however she makes sure that I am never on it alone.

She has been there for me through everything even when my dad left I knew that I could trust her with anything, everyday she was the reason I went to school, she told me I could until I believed that I could. My dad left a hole in my heart the kind created by death and yet he’s still alive it’s ironic really because at least if he was dead i could grieve and move on but I can’t I’m left with unanswered questions and the fact that he left me, he left my family willingly.

Anyway Lottie is the kind of friend that you can tell your deepest darkest secrets to and know that they will stay exactly that, secrets. Lottie is the kind of friend that you can’t live without.

I make my way to my mirror to admire the outfit I have chosen for the day, I have decided upon denim shorts paired with a pale pink camisole. I’m wearing my go to shoes, my white converse which as Lottie reminds me, not appropriate for public usage but I wear them anyway. I may have good grades but I still love fashion, this probably comes from one of my other few friends Scott Wilders fashion extraordinaire and mega-diva. I’ve curled my dark brown hair and let it cascade down my shoulders to frame my face, along with minimal make-up including the pink eyes shadow bought by my next door neighbour and other friend Camille Denton. She told me it would bring out the green in my eyes, boy was she right. Although she’s a year older than me I trust her completely we were friends even before Lottie but over the years life has got in the way however I care about her completely.

I pick up my bag and walk towards the door, shoving my phone and keys in on the way, taking on last glance at my bedroom. My bedroom walls are pale purple almost white, although I have a lot of stuff it’s always tidy, my mum is convinced that I must have OCD because it’s not normal for a teenager.

“Mum! I’m leaving” I bellow down the hallway, However it’s not my mothers voice which responds.

“Alicia!” It’s William my 14 year old brother.

“Yes!” I scream back knowing that if I don’t leave now I will be late.

“Can you help me!” Ugh, Here we go...

“I’m coming.” As I enter the living room I’m met with a sight that even a Nun would laugh at, William hanging off the back of the sofa by his foot with his top falling covering his face.

As the older sibling I do what any sensible sibling would do and pull him down leaving him with a crash landing. Laughing again so hard I clutch my stomach watching the scene unfold. I know better to stick around as the blonde haired blue eyed monster straightens himself out ready for his attack. So I run to the kitchen to say a quick goodbye to my mum before I disappear. As I enter the kitchen I see my mum sat at the breakfast bar shifting through paperwork.

“Mum, I’m gonna go to see Lottie now” I say to grab her attention.

“Ok, be safe and tell Lottie that she is welcome to come over anytime” She relies with a smile, a fake one, but a smile never the less.

“Bye mum! Bye William!” I shout on my way out of the door.

Ever since my dad upped and left things have most definitely not been the same mum is more worried than ever and William struggles to control his temper. Although I’m not one to talk biting my tongue has always been easier said than done, but I pretend and only those I trust get to know that, to outsiders I’m the shy girl with nothing to say. Just how I like it, making it perfect to get by unnoticed.

As I can’t drive and I live in a tiny village in Hove with minimal transportation that isn’t the taxi being mum, I head next door where Camille lives, Cam is one of my best friends and I’m lucky enough that she’s just a few steps away. We have a gate which connects our gardens we use it all the time for secret sleepovers and midnight feasts. However, I don’t have the same relationship with our other neighbour they happen to be an elderly couple who’s bedroom window faces directly into mine, NOT FUN.

She’s 17 and therefore she has the god send that is a license to both drive and her freedom. She offered to give me a lift into the main city of Brighton. My home.

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