Beneath The Mask [On Hold]

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Chapter 12

✱Blake’s POV✱

After the ‘chat’ with my grandfather, I couldn’t describe how I was feeling. My emotions were a mix of anger, hurt and disappointment. Angry that I let him get into my head, hurt that this was what he thought of me and disappointed at myself for being such a horrible person.

I hated this feeling. I hated how he managed to put me down so easily. How easily he made me feel bad about myself.

As we got out of our grandfather’s office, Colton gave me a sad look. As though he knew how I felt. Well he doesn’t. He doesn’t know how it feels to be continuously compared to his brother.

As we went down the stairs, I told Colton that I would be on the gym as I needed to blow off some steam.

“But-” He tried to object.

“No Colt, I think I’ll break a wall if I don’t calm down right now.”
With those words said, I turned my back to him and walked towards the gym.

Even after hitting the punching bag for a while, I sadly didn’t find any peace of mind.

Suddenly, I heard footsteps behind me. Thinking that it was Colton who had come to tell me to calm down, I took off one of my gloves and hurled it at the person behind me without turning around.

“Woah!” I heard a voice behind me. Wait, that doesn’t said like Colton. I turned around to see Emma holding the glove in one of her hands and raising an eyebrow at me

Shit. I had completely forgotten that she was here and that we had to practice.

“Blue! I totally forgot that you were here. Let me just go change-”

“No. It’s fine. You don’t really seem in the mood.”

“Blue, just give me 10 minutes. I’ll go and -”

“Theo, it’s fine. You aren’t in the mood to dance. You’re obviously stressed about something. Dancing when you don’t want to isn’t very productive.”

I just nodded and sat on one of the benches in the gym. She must have sensed my glum mood because sat next to me and said, “Colton told me that your grandfather gave you a hard time.”

That was a problem with Colton. He believed that there was no problem in discussing my personal problems with others.

“How much did he tell you?”

“Just that he gave you a hard time. I stopped him before he could say more though.”

“Why do you do that?”

“What?” She asked, a look of confusion covering her face.

“Stopping people when you are about to know my secrets. The other day, you stopped my drunk ass from telling you why I wanted to get drunk that day. Today, you stopped Colton from telling you what happened with my grandfather. ”

“It’s an instinct, I guess. If somebody wants you to know something about their life, they have to tell you themselves. While sober. Besides, I wouldn’t like anybody telling others about my problems.”

I snorted at that. “You? Problems? What problems could Emma Sparx have? You have the fucking perfect life! You live in this own perfect little bubble of yours where nothing is wrong.”

I regretted my words as soon as I said it. I knew that I hurt her because she immediately stiffened.

After talking a deep breath, she said, ” You, Blake Ryder, know nothing about me. Nothing! What do you think gives you the right to judge me when you don’t know me at all. I get that you’re angry and upset, but I will not let you channel that rage at me!”

She was right. Not just about me being wrong judging her, but also about me channeling my anger towards my grandfather at her.

I lifted my head to apologize when I saw that she had already left.

I rushed through the hallways, but by the time I reached main door, her car was heading out the gate.

〰️✱〰️

I stood in front of her door with our usual orders of ice cream from ‘Creamy Dream ’, the place Emma and I had gone to the past two times.

I knocked on the door and her voice from inside yelled, “Coming!“.

When she opened the door, she seemed to be in a phone call. But she froze as soon as she saw me.

After a few seconds, I decided to break the silence. “How long do you plan on keeping me here? ’Cause these ice creams are gonna melt.”

She just rolled her eyes and let me in, saying that she was only doing so because of the ice cream.

I went in and put the ice cream in the refrigerator and sat on one of the stools around the island.

Emma came there after a few minutes, not on a call anymore.

“That was Noah. I told him what you told me, and he has told me to give him your number and that he’ll get in touch with you.”

She talked to Noah about me wanting to apologize to him? Even after I was a jerk to her?

She walked into the kitchen and pulled out the ice creams from the freezer.

“Where’s my waffle cone?”

I wordlessly pushed it front from where it sat in front of me. She passed me my ice cream and scooped hers onto her cone and came and sat next to me.

“So... Are you going to state your purpose of coming here?”

I heaved a deep sigh and said, “I came here to apologize.”

“Fine. Do it then.”

“What?”

“Apologize.”

“I just did, didn’t I?” I frowned.

“Saying that you came to apologize isn’t considered as an apology Theo.”

I swear this girl is going to be the death of me.

“Emma Sparx, I’m genuinely very sorry about what I said earlier. This is the second time-”

“Third time. This was the third time you’ve judged me.”

What? When was the other time?

She probably saw that I was confused because she immediately explained, “The first time you judged me was when you first came to my house. You called me a Daddy’s Princess who’s trying to prove to her dad that she’s grown up. You know the other two times. ”

Wow... I’m a jerk.

“Emma -whatever your middle name is -Sparx, I’m genuinely very sorry about what I said earlier. This is the third time I’ve been judgemental about you. I shall not repeat my mistake again.”

“Amelia Grace. It’s Emma Amelia Grace Sparx.”

I narrowed my eyes at her. “I’m not repeating my apology again.”

She laughed and said, “I’m not asking you to.”

“Does that mean you’ve forgiven me?” I honestly don’t understand why she gives me such a hard time.

“Of course.”

After that, we decided to watch a movie while ate our ice creams.

Halfway through the movie, she turned towards me and said, “I’m bored.”

“That is the purpose of watching the movie. So that we aren’t bored.” I explained to her as though I was telling a little kid.

“I meant that the movie is getting boring.” She said with narrowed eyes.

“What do you want to do then?”

She thought for a few seconds and said, “Let’s continue our game of 20 questions.”

After playing around with basic questions for a while, I decided to ask her a deep question.

“What is the best advice you have ever received and who gave it?”

“That’s two questions at once, but I’ll answer them anyways. The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from IJ. He said, ′ Somebody else’s opinion about you doesn’t change who you are. You know who you are and that’s what matters. Always remember to stay true to yourself.′ ” She said with a small smile on her face. The smile was the one which a person has while remembering fond memories. As though they would give anything in exchange to go back to that moment.

Who’s IJ, though? That’s when I realized that there was a lot about Emma Sparx I don’t know. Then again, it’s just been slightly over a week since we met and we could barely tolerate each other for more than half of it.

“What about you Theo? What is the best advice you’ve ever been given and who gave it?”

I thought for a while. I knew that it would be one of the things my mother had said to me, but I wasn’t sure which one was my favorite. Every single advice she had given me, I have cherished and I always will.

“My mother once quoted Les Brown to me and said, ′ Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars ’. I was seven when she said that, so I didn’t understand what she meant then, but once I grew up, I realized it’s beauty.” I answered, getting a flashback of the time seven year old me was sitting on my mother’s lap and listening to this.

Things were so perfect back then. Suddenly, I found myself being jealous of my seven year old self.

After that, both of us just sat in a comfortable silence, drowning in our own ocean of thoughts.

Suddenly, her phone rang, disrupting the silence. She asked me to excuse her and went to the hallway. She came back after a few seconds and said, ” Theo, I’m so sorry, but I have something with related to work. I’ll be back in 5 minutes.”

With that said, she again disappeared into the hallway.

I removed the movie from pause and continued to watch it.

〰️✱〰️

Today is Sunday. The day Emma and I have decided to practice with our costumes on. We finished the choreography the other day, so that is not a problem.

She should be on her way to my house right now. I just hope she doesn’t bump into my grandparents. If they meet her, I’m sure they’ll invite her to dinner then insult her in every way possible.

But once she came, she told me that she would be collecting her gown tomorrow as there were some last minute issues. When I asked her if she would be fine to directly perform in the gown on Tuesday, she assured me that she would be fine.

We were done practicing and were on our way to the main door when we my grandfather stopped us.

Fuck.

“Who might this be?” He said, looking at Emma.

“Grandfather, this is Emma Sparx. She’s my dance partner for this year. Emma, this is my grandfather.”

“Nice to meet you Sir.” She greeted with a smile and held out her hand. My grandfather just looked at her hand and looked at her with a cruel look on his face.

Fuck! He has started his evil scheming.

“Are you one of my grandson’s friends Ms. Sparx?” He asked her.

She turned her head towards me and then looked back at my grandfather and replied, “I guess you can say that.”

“Then, Ms. Sparx, why don’t you join us for dinner tonight?” He said, the evil smirk growing larger on his face.

FUCK! There’s no way in hell I’m allowing that.

“No. Emma has to go home. She’s busy.” I said, trying to get her out of this.

“Is that right, Ms. Sparx?” She turned towards her with an eyebrow raised and his face set in stone.

“Yes, Sir. I’m afraid that The- Blake is right. I have a lot of college work pending.” She said. I guess that means that she got a hint.

“But you will anyhow be eating once you go home, you might as well eat and then leave.”

The asshole in our presence didn’t wait for her response and called Edgar, who came within 10 seconds. See? Everyone in this house are scared of him.

“Lead Ms. Sparx to the dining room.” He ordered and left.

If you’re wondering why he didn’t just tell me to take her, it’s because he probably thought that I wouldn’t be joining them. I never do. I hate family dinners, especially when he’s there. I rarely eat with my family when he isn’t there, but when he is there, I make sure to stay out as much as possible.

But today, I will eat with my family. Even if it means that I have to tolerate that man. I’m definitely not letting Emma deal with this alone.

Edgar and I looked at Emma with pity.

“I’m going into the lion’s den, aren’t I?”

“Just don’t pay attention to anything he says. He finds some weird kind of pleasure by putting people down. He and his wife both love getting into people’s head and making them uncomfortable in their own skin.” I explained to her.

She nodded.

“On a scale of one to ten, how bad is it gonna be?”

“Eleven.”

She, again, just nodded.

I told Edgar to get back to work and we both made our way to the dining room. Edgar looked surprised when I told him that, but didn’t say anything. I’m sure the rest of the family’s reaction is going to be the same.

I hope you survive this dinner, Blue. I really do.

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