1 | A Colourless Painting
“Waste of my damn space.”
“My grandma looks better in that dress than she does.”
“Shut up!" My best friend, Callum, shouts to the horrifying crowd in front of us. Despite my traumatized state, I manage to send him a fleeting grateful smile.
All of the students surrounding us send me disgusted looks and stomp off somewhere else. As soon as they are gone, Callum pounces on me. His thick and muscled arms wrap around my body, consuming me. I breathe his delicious scent in as I attempt to calm down.
He rubs soothing circles into my waist; whispers comforting words into my ear. My skin tingles at the sensation of him being close to me. My body craves more of it—I want to feel those intoxicating sparks all of the time.
Once again, I wondered if he felt them too.
Callum has been my best friend forever. I met him when I was two—that’s what I’ve been told—at a playdate. Apparently, when he had to leave, I put up quite a fight to stop him from leaving. I was clinging to him like a koala bear and wailing so loudly that his parents ended up relenting. Callum apparently spent an additional few hours at my house.
Ever since then, he’s always been with me. He’s my closest friend, the one I tell everything to. Well, nearly everything.
There’s just one small thing I’ve managed to keep hidden from him.
I’m in love with him.
And that’s not in a platonic way. I am hopelessly and romantically in love with Callum Jerald. And somehow, he has no idea.
Eventually, much to my dismay, we pull away. Callum’s strong hands rest on my shoulders, as a sign of comfort. I stare into his hypnotic green eyes, the eyes that always seem to entrance me with its beauty. I could stare into them for hours.
I sounded obsessed. If only he could hear my thoughts...
Callum is one of the popular boys. I mean, of course, he would be with his model looks and charm. There was no way he could be titled a loser like me.
He was so handsome, a simple smile could have the entire female population fall to their knees.
He plays for the football team and is on the student council. On top of that, he occasionally helps out at charities. Overall, he’s the unofficial golden boy of our school. Everybody loves him. He is perfect in every way.
The fact he’s not a snob or an a*s shows how true he stays to himself. He’s thoughtful and kind, always helping others out. Including me.
He’s your dream guy.
Me on the other hand, I’m an outcast. The outcast. The unpopular girl. The ugly duckling.
I get bullied a lot. Mostly by jealous girls who despise the fact that I’m super close with Callum. What they don’t realize is that I will never be with him the way I want to. Callum only sees me as his best friend, a sister.
I hate it. I long for something more, I long for him.
But it will never happen. Only in my dreams.
The other problem: he’s in love with a very pretty and popular girl called Nicole.
“Anastasia, don’t listen to them. They are so wrong about you.” Callum encourages, giving me a sad, sympathetic smile. I hate that he pity’s me. I don’t want pity. I want his love. “You are beautiful inside and out.”
I blush at his words and bite my lip anxiously. I know he only means it in a friendly way but that doesn’t stop my mind from thinking he means more. Inwardly, I am screaming like a crazy fangirl, happy he finds me attractive.
“Thanks,” I shyly mumble and avert my eyes away. If I continue to stare at him, I’m sure I would resemble a tomato.
My eyes float around the corridor, trying to locate my two best friends, Ares and Athena. The twins.
As you can probably guess, their parents are really into Greek mythology. So much that they decided to name their own children after two famous Greek Gods.
They hate their names but can’t change it because their parents flat out refuse to allow it. I like their names though, it’s unique.
I met both of them two years ago, in my freshman year. I was being picked on by Nicole, the cheer captain, and Callum’s crush. They quickly swept in and saved me from one of Nicole’s horrendous schemes. At first, I was extremely wary of them. I mean, they were both popular and gorgeous people who could do anything they wanted. I thought they might have saved me for their own sadistic intentions. But they didn’t. They proved to me that not everybody popular is horrible.
“Sia!” Athena calls from the end of the hall, using the nickname she gave me two years ago. According to her, Anastasia is too much of a mouthful.
She rushes over to us and stops a few inches in front of me. “Are you okay? I heard there was a commotion.” She asks with concern, her pale cheeks flustered.
Athena is a gorgeous girl. She has long, straight, and silky black hair and vibrant grey eyes. She is very similar to her brother. Their hair is jet black and silky; they are fairly pale. Oh, and they are also extremely tall. They look exactly alike except for the different eye color. Athena has grey eyes whilst Ares has hazel eyes.
To finish off their exquisite looks, they are both very athletic. Ares plays football with Callum and Athena participates in soccer sometimes. She goes running regularly as well.
“I’m okay now. Thanks to Callum, for coming to my rescue again.” I assured her, giving Callum another thankful smile. He returns it happily.
Athena watches our small interaction with a smirk. When she catches my eye, she gives me a knowing look and wiggles her eyebrows. She’s been aware of my crush for a long time now; is always teasing me about it. She always claims that we would be the perfect couple. But I always disagree, saying it would never happen because Callum doesn’t like me like that.
Athena would only wave it off and say I’m just oblivious. She refuses to give up her ship.
Nicole would never allow it to happen though. She would rather kill me than lose Callum to me.
“Great!” She chirps. “Now let’s get to lessons.”
For some reason, she is always excited to attend lessons.
I bid Callum a goodbye, for now, promising to see him at lunchtime. Athena links her arm with me and leads me down to Maths.
If there is one subject I hate more than anything else, it's Maths. I just can’t comprehend any of the stuff. Athena is a Maths whizz; so she tries to tutor me in our spare time. However, I’m never able to process it. It goes in one ear and out the other.
“You know,” Athena starts in a low voice. Her grey eyes dart between different students who give me dirty looks. “They are completely wrong about you Sia. You are amazing. They’re only jealous of you. They make you think you’re weak and worthless but they are wrong. Don't let them get into your head. You are stunning.”
“No, don’t deny it.” She cuts me off, sharply. “They bully you because you don’t stand up for yourself. They think you are weak and useless. They think you’re the reason Callum won’t date any of them. It’s not fair and I’m so sorry I can’t be there to punch them in the face more often.”
I take a deep breath. I want to believe her so badly but I just can’t. I’ve been tormented by them for so long that I just can’t see myself as this incredible girl Athena is describing. Callum, Athena, and Ares have told me numerous times that I should ignore them but after hearing all of it so much, it sticks to you. I can't let those ideas of myself go. It's always going to be engrained in my mind.
I'm simply not good enough. That is the harsh truth.
Sometimes I just want to run away. Start fresh. Change my identity and become someone new. Someone who is strong, beautiful, and courageous. Someone who’s not me.
Strong. I want to be someone strong.
“Thanks, Athena,” I reply, forcing a fake smile on my face. "I'm glad I have you."
Her thin lips stretch into a large smile, "I'll always have your back, Sia."
The sad thing is, I believed her.