20 | Angry Hannah
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”
- James Dean
Callum avoided me all day. Whenever I passed him in the hallway, he would turn around and walk in the opposite direction. At lunch, he was a no-show. Apparently, he had homework to complete. But I knew he didn’t.
By the end of the day, I was pissed. Pissed at myself and at Callum.
Throughout the day, the press had been trying to find a way into the school. It turns out Casey had hired some extra guards to stop them.
Social media had been blowing up as well. The amount of questions on there about whether I’m dating Jason or not is insane. I haven’t even touched my phone since yesterday in fear of the number of messages I have. Fans somehow manage to get my number and like to either ask me on a date or ask me a question. I normally receive around two hundred on a normal day. At one point, Lulu had to hire someone to personally delete all of them because there were just too many.
“Hey, Hannah,” I call out to her as we leave our history classroom. Hannah turns on her heels, directing her attention to me. “Do you think you could come round mine? I have something important to discuss with you.”
Hannah gives me a questioning look at my seriousness but nods her head nonetheless. Inhaling, I give her a small smile and start walking again with her.
The feeling of eyes on me overwashes me again. Throughout the day, fellow pupils have been staring with eager and curious eyes, gossiping with their friends. Alan has had to stick with me the whole day because I’ve had so many people come up to me and ask me if I’m dating Jason. I literally want to rip my hair out at the question, that is repeated every minute by someone else. Every single person that utters those words on their lips makes me want to go up to them and yell.
“Whitney! Whitney!” A man’s voice yells desperately from behind me. I take a glance over my shoulder to see some sleazy reporter barging his way through the hallway. “Is it tru-”
Before the middle-aged man who like every other reporter, gives me nightmares, can finish his sentence, Alan is up in front of him with an enraged expression.
“Leave.” Alan orders, simple yet so effective. The reporter gulps, trying to hide his nervousness by glaring at Alan. Alan sighs in irritation and repeats the question, in a deeper voice. “I said leave.”
The reporter nods his head furiously and spins on his heel, stumbling his way through the crowd.
We start walking again, this time I dart my eyes around the halls to make sure no other reporter managed to sneak his or her way into the school. I understand that they are trying to do their jobs but when they are on your case all of the time, it’s really hard for someone like me to justify their actions.
Most celebrities despise the press.
“You okay kiddo?” Alan asks me, concerned. It’s the first words he has uttered to me since yesterdays incident. I mask my shock by giving him a grateful smile and turn to look back at the path in front of me.
When we make it out of the door, I’m swarmed with press shouting questions and snapping pictures furiously. Feeling overwhelmed, I have to take deep breaths to calm myself down. Alan along with some other guards push their way through, ignoring their cries.
I keep walking, my head staring down at the ground. Hannah copies my movement, her small form shaking slightly. I grab onto her hand and give it a tight, reassuring squeeze. Hannah squeezes back, letting me know she’s grateful.
The black BMW jerks to a stop in front of us and the two passenger doors at the back open. We are both ushered into the car by guards in black suits. Alan climbs into the front seat and reverses out quickly, with precision.
“I’m so sorry you had to go through that,” I apologize to Hannah, turning to face her.
Hannah, who was staring out of the window with a look of fatigue, now faces me. “Don’t worry about it. It’s just what happens when you have a famous friend.” Hannah says, lightheartedly in the tense atmosphere.
It doesn’t ease the guilt I’m feeling.
“Wow, your house is massive,” Hannah comments whilst gawking at my house. We stroll up the first steps, Alan tailing us.
I chuckle at her astounded face and open the glass doors. Hannah stares with wide eyes, noting every piece of furniture or photograph that she can see.
Jason pops his head around the corner, looking at Hannah strangely.
“Who is this?” He questions, bringing the rest of his body into the foyer.
“My friend Hannah,” I answer. Jason nods his head and awkwardly leans against the wall, not knowing what to do. He crosses his legs together to give himself a more natural, comfortable position.
He opens his mouth to speak but closes it in failure. Sooner or later we are going to have to talk. And then I have to have words with Lulu about dealing with the media. Now that’s a talk I’m dreading.
“Jason, do you think you can leave Hannah and me alone for a while?” I ask him, a serious undertone in my words instructing him to go along with it. He frowns and uncrosses his legs so he can walk away.
Once Jason disappears around the corner, to the kitchen, I drag Hannah into the large and spacious living room. Casey decorated the room, her aim for it to be as homely as possible. That’s one of the many amazing things about Casey: she wants everybody to feel comfortable.
Hannah takes a seat on the expensive leather couch, sighing in comfort as she leans into it. I don’t blame her when we first got it, I ended up lounging on it for a whole day. Casey had to get Lulu to come over and scare me off of it. When we were packing up our belongings, I made sure the couch would come with us.
“Hannah, I have something to tell you,” I say, slowly lowering myself onto the other side of the couch.
Hannah doesn’t respond, she just gives me a look to continue. Biting my lips, I think of a coherent sentence to say, working out how to begin.
“Well, you see...” I stammer. “Oh god,” I sigh and comb a hand through my messy blonde locks. “I don’t even know where to begin.”
“That’s okay,” Hannah smiles softly. “We all have trouble with words sometimes.”
“It’s not that. Okay, it kind of is.” I admit. “It’s just...I have something to say and I’m afraid you will hate me for not telling you.”
Hannah shuffles on the couch, moving closer to me. She puts her arm around my shoulder. “Well, why don’t we see? Have a little faith in me.”
I nod my head and start again. “So I lied - well, deceived you I guess is really what happened. My real name isn’t Whitney, its Anastasia. And I was born here, in this town. I ran away two years ago after I found out that my crush, who was my best friend, hurt me. My parents basically forgot about me and my two older brothers pretended I wasn’t their sister. I met Casey a couple of days after running away and she took me in. There she set me up with an agency and I became Whitney.”
Hannah frowns. I can only imagine what thoughts are running through her head right now. Perhaps she’s trying to piece together the facts, attempting to work out what this leads to.
“I’m sensing an and.” It’s not a question but a statement.
“Yeah. The people you know, Ares, Athena, Brock and Callum, they...” I swallow hard. “They are my old friends. Brock is my older brother, Callum was my former best friend and crush and the twins, they were like family.”
Hannah blows out a breath in shock, stiffening. Her face turns neutral and her eyes mask themselves as she stares down at the fluffy white carpet.
“Oh,” she mumbles. “Wow.”
“Hannah, I’m so sorry I never told you. I didn’t want you to view me differently. I was weak back then, I was being bullied by everyone and I was in love with my best friend. W-when Lily and Callum announced they were dating, I had to leave. That smug expression on her face broke me. Callum didn’t see it, he was blind. My brother humiliated me in front of them too. He took their side.” I blurt out, not being able to stop myself from talking about all of those feelings I left bottled up.
Hannah snaps her head to stare at me, stunned.
“Are you telling me that Brock did nothing? ” Hannah asks, her tone low and almost threatening. Not to me but to Brock.
“No,” she intercepts. “I need to know what my boyfriend did to his own sister. And Callum. Gosh! He knew too, I can see it in his eyes. The guilt. I never knew who or what happened but I could see the sadness in his eyes. That jerk.” She spits and stands up, outraged.
Hannah chews on her lips with a ferocious expression on her face. I haven’t known her for very long but I know that it’s not in her character to get mad very often.
“How long did it go on for?” She questions.
“Whitney, how long did they let you go through that? How long did Martin and Brock abandon you for?” Hannah repeats, the insistence in her tone telling me to answer her.
“As soon as I started high school, Brock left me to become popular. Back then, I was seen as a loser. Girls were jealous because I was friends with Callum and hated it when he paid them no attention. Martin just stopped talking to me. He didn’t answer the calls and didn’t video call.” I tell her. My blood rushes thinking about my treatment back then, the neglect, the bullying.
Hannah curls his fists together by her side, her upper lip curling upwards. She looks beyond pissed.
“I’m going to kill him.” She states firmly.
Hannah starts pacing in front of me, blabbering on about ways to kill him. I must say she has come up with some very inventive ways.
“Is that why you were talking to all of them? Why you dismissed me?” Hannah queries.
I nod my head. “Yeah.”
Hannah plants her butt back on the couch and buries her face in her hands. Hesitantly, I pat her back.
“I - please can you forgive me?”
For several moments, Hannah doesn’t move or answer. One would think she was dead if her shoulders didn’t rise and fall every once in a while.
“F - forgive you?”
I nod my head, apprehensively.
“Of course I can. You didn’t even do anything wrong. You were scared, I understand that. I’m so sorry your brothers were like that, that your friends were too. God, that must have been so freaking awful.” She says. I sigh in relief, pleased that she doesn’t hate me.
“You’re amazing, you know that?” I tell her, sincerity in my voice.
For the first time in a while, a smile breaks its way onto her face. “I know, that’s why people love me.” She smirks and winks.
I laugh. Yeah, she really is amazing.
I hope you all had a great Christmas! Remember to leave a comment or write a review if you are enjoying this book!