2 | A Colourless Painting (part 2)
“Wassup guys?” Ares yells excitedly, dropping his food tray on the table loudly. A few people look in our direction curiously but quickly avert their eyes when they see it's Ares. Everybody knows what he's like. To us, we know he's basically a big teddy bear who has a kind heart. If I wasn’t hopelessly in love with Callum, I would probably have a crush on Aries.
"Ugh, it's you again,” Athena complains, dramatically dropping her head onto the table. Normally, the two of them would argue about pointless things. They do it to wind each other up and have a laugh. They make act like they despise each other but you can see the love shining in their eyes. They would never intentionally hurt each other. Sometimes I envy them a lot. I wish my two older brothers and I would have a relationship like them.
Martin is in his first year at college. We used to be close but when he hit his teenage years, he changed. Gone was his baby sister who was the only girl for him, instead it was one night stands. I was replaced with cheerleaders, star athletes, and model-worthy girls. He now attends our local college so he’s still at home but I never see him. Martin is either studying or partying. Most days, I don’t utter a single word to him.
My other older brother, Brock is in the same year as me. He was born in September whilst I was born in July. We also used to be close. At one time, it was Brock, Callum, and me. But now Brock hangs out with the soccer team and the cheerleaders. He doesn’t even spare me a glance at school.
He likes to pretend I don't exist.
In all honesty, my two brothers can’t be bothered with me anymore. And it hurts. A lot. It's like a knife is piercing my heart every time I’m in the same room as them. At breakfast, they talk to each other but ignore me. I miss the way things used to be. We all used to love each other so much but now...I am not part of their equation. To them, I don’t even exist.
My parents are always busy as well. They’re both lawyers--good lawyers. If they’re not working on a hard case, they are spending time with each other. On the very rare occasion, mom might take me shopping, or dad might take all three of us out for lunch. Thus, I was basically raised by the amazing Mia. Our housemaid. In the Claire household, Mia is the only one who seems to notice me.
“You know you love me really.” Ares smugly retorts, shoving a pile of mash potato in his mouth. Athena and I both scrunch our noses in disgust and look away.
“Where’s Callum?” I ask both of them, looking around the lunchroom. Callum is normally here, messing around with us. Also, he promised he would see me today. Callum splits his time at lunch with us and the football team. So does Ares. Athena always sits with me though because she knows I will be sat alone if she left.
“Missing him already?” Athena teases.
I scowl at her, “No. I’m just wondering.”
“Oh look!” She springs up in her seat. “There he is...with Nicole.”
Instantly, dread fills me. Callum's with Nicole? His long-standing crush? The infamous cheer captain who has made it her life mission to ruin me? Surely it's a mistake.
I swivel in my chair and see Nicole and Callum walking together, hand in hand. My heart is thumping in my chest in anticipation. It can’t be...
My eyes water at the sight. Without a word, I’m on my feet and I’m heading over to them.
I don't know where this confidence has come from. All I know is that I have to discover the truth.
I come to a halt a few inches from them. Nicole is standing there, with a smug smile on her beautiful face. Her light brown hair is framing her soft-featured face. When I look into her blue eyes, which are lighter than mine, I can see the hatred for me. Callum is standing beside her, his hand in hers, staring at her with a sickening amount of love.
He...he wouldn’t betray me like that, would he?
“Callum?” I barely manage to whisper out, my thoughts racing. I’m overreacting. I only overreacting. That’s all. “What’s this?”
Callum gives me a smile and takes his hand out of Nicole’s hand so he can wrap it around her waist.
“I have something important to tell you. I was going to do it earlier but you were...preoccupied.” Callum begins, his eyes dancing with excitement, “Nicole and I are together."
And there goes my heart. It shatters into a million pieces at his words. I can feel bile at the back of my throat, threatening to make its way up. Swallowing harshly, my hands by my side fist together.
“We’re dating.” Nicole coldly cuts me off, narrowing her eyes. “Get it into your thick head.”
My mouth falls open at her bluntness. I snap my eyes to Callum to see if he will do something about her words but he doesn’t. He looks like he’s somewhere else right now.
“What’s going on here?” Brock, my brother asks, stopping near us. His ash-blonde hair that’s darker than mine is scruffy. He stands tall, at a height of 6′4. I’m 5′9 which is tall for someone my age. But right now, I don’t focus on what we share in our DNA. If I wasn’t shocked at this, I would be stunned that Brock is here right now talking to me. The last time we exchanged words was because I wanted to use the bathroom.
“Oh, we were just telling Anastasia that I and Callum are dating.” Nicole answers.
Brock raises an eyebrow at me as if to say ‘what’s your problem then?’ If he was a real brother, he would know how I’m feeling right now. He would know I am feeling like my whole world is crashing.
He would be defending me.
I tear my eyes away from them. Some students stare at me with hatred, some roll their eyes at me and others just don’t care. Why should they care about the pathetic girl who was pining for her best friend? Why should they care that he’s betrayed her? That he’s siding with her bully?
My own two brothers don’t care. People who share my blood. My parents are too busy to be worried.
All I have left now are the twins and Mia.
“I’m going to get some food for us,” Callum tells Nicole, without sparing me a glance; then walks over to the canteen.
It's as if I don't exist anymore.
“Stop being silly Anastasia, you’re making yourself look like an even bigger fool. You're so pathetic, I don't even know how I'm related to you.” Brock hisses and then saunters back to his table, without a care in the world. My head spins and my heart stings with unfathomable pain.
I'm now left with Nicole.
Nicole turns to face me, an evil and sadistic look on her face. “Aww, poor Anastasia. It appears nobody likes you anymore. Callum’s already chosen me. Those twins will side with me soon, it's only a matter of time. Then you will be completely alone.”
A small tear falls down my cheek at her words. I frantically wipe it away, hoping Nicole won’t see how much those words hit me. How true I know they will become.
Callum walks back over to us with a tray of food. Nicole takes the can of coke and shakes it slightly. Callum doesn’t notice it but I do. She then opens it in front of my face and watches with a grin as I get drenched in the liquid.
My blonde, wavy hair drips the coke. My baggy clothes stick to my body like a second skin. People around us freeze for a second and then start laughing hysterically.
Athena and Ares sit down shocked, unsure of what to do. Callum...Callum just stands there, not making a move to do anything, and then his eyes light up. He begins to laugh at me. My own best friend is laughing at me. When I'm feeling like my whole world is collapsing around me. When I feel like nobody cares for me.
Athena and Ares sit there, not sure what to do. Neither of them makes a move to comfort me or fight back. Everyone abandons me.
I want to cry and scream. But I also want the floor to swallow me up. I hate it. I can’t stand any of this anymore.
With a glare full of hatred directed to Nicole, Callum, the twins, and my brother, I storm out of the lunch hall and out of the school. I run home, sobbing my heart out. Passersby stare at me, some with sympathy and some blankly.
How can people be so cruel?
When I get home, I run upstairs. I don’t think anyone is home today. Mia has the day off, Martin is at college and my parents are at work.
Slamming my bedroom door shut, I collapse onto my bed and cry. I cry about Callum. About the twins. About my brothers, my parents. And most of all, I cry about myself. For not being good enough, not pretty enough, not popular enough.
I cry because I hate myself.
I’m not flawless, I’m a painting that's splattered with flaws. I’m useless and pathetic. I should just leave. I want to leave this horrid place and find somewhere new. Maybe I should...
Do it. Leave. Find somewhere new, become someone new. My subconscious encourages.
Could I do it? Could I leave?
But where would I go? I would be homeless. I don’t have that much money. Only my shopping money that I’ve been saving. That’s about three hundred bucks. Enough to survive one day.
Don’t think about that now. Worry later, leave now. A part of me says.
And for once, I do something crazy. I pack my things. I take a handful of clothes, money, my toiletries, and my phone. With everything packed, I write a note to everybody.
To whoever reads this,
By the time you read this, I will be long gone. I have decided to leave because I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know who I am anymore. I need to find myself. I’m sorry if this causes you heartbreak but know, I will probably be happier. I will hopefully become a better person, a real person. I love all of you, even if you don’t love me.
I have two wishes. One, please don’t come and follow me. I have to do this. If you try and find me, I will run. This place isn’t my home anymore. Two, live happy lives. Be happy, Brock and Martin, study hard and find nice girls. Mom and dad, love each other. Spend less time at work and more time together.
Callum, if being with Nicole makes you happy, then don’t give her up ever. Twins, try not to fight as much. Love each other.
Thank you for making giving me some great memories. Thanks for making me feel loved at one point in my life.
Lots of love, Anastasia Claire.
My hands shake as I put it on the dining room table. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I’m leaving.
With one last look at the house, I step outside and lock the door. I shove my keys through the letterbox and start my journey. My journey to a new life.
To a life of glitz, glam, and perfection.
To my famous life.