Throughout your childhood and the rest of your adolescence most are told that secrets and lies are not good. You are taught that you should avoid going through life telling secrets and lies. I was taught differently, I was told and shown that the only way to obtain privacy is to keep secrets and tell lies to keep those secrets. My parents always told us that what we were doing is wrong, but that it is the only way to keep the situation we have. To keep me a secret from the world and most of all keep me safe.
My Mum ran the straighteners along the strands of my hair. I look down at my hands, my nails freshly applied with pale pink acrylics, I feel a tear roll down my cheek. My Mum places the straighteners on the table in front of me and kneels down holding her head beside mine, “Honey, I know you want your Dad there tonight but you know why he can’t be, I understand you not wanting Johnathan to be there and trust me if the situation was different he’d be there in a less than second flat.” I force a smile and she raises to her feet, she kissed my cheek and continues to fix my hair.
I stand in front of the full-length mirror placed beside my door, my hair straight falling around my shoulders, my makeup nude, varying shades of nude and brown on my eyes, and a gorgeous matte nude on my lips, I look around my room for a necklace none look right for the dress I sight and look down at the gorgeous white glitter on the straight neckline, leading down to the fitted shape of my dress, the white glitter fades to gold around my waist, and a pale pink leading to my feet, a split comes up to my thigh, revealing my gold shoes and pale pink gel polish on my toes I pick up my gold clutch bag and walk down the stairs to my family waiting for me, all sat around the coffee table. My dress cascades down my body and my hair lays pin straight down my back. My sister, Brooklyn, spots me first, she smiles, everyone’s eyes follow her, they all land on me, the look on her eyes are joined by a smile. Aria and Evelyn look up from their dollhouse and dolls held in their hands. My three parents hold in their emotions, not well, but they are trying. Dad raises to her feet, walking towards me with a large blue Tiffany’s bag in his hand, he pulls me in for a hug before pulling away and handing me the little blue bag, he smiles as I show the complete feeling of shock on my face. “Open it, princess!” I smile and open the bag pulling out a large blue box, opening it and revealing three gorgeous crisp rows of diamonds laid out in a chocker. “It’s a present for doing so well in your GCSE’s, from all of us, Me, your Mum, Johnathan, Brooklyn, Chris, everyone.” I smile, going around giving everyone tight hugs before Brooklyn helps me put on the chocker, “Mum, Dad, Jon-Jon, please no crying!” Mum giggles a little bit, she runs her finger under her eye. She walks around the couch and puts her hand on my cheeks and jawline. “My gorgeous girl.” She presses her lips to my nose. I feel a tear building up under my eye, I swipe away tear and shake off all the emotion stuff off. “Okay, no more tears! Picture time!” They all nod. I take a couple of photos with Brooklyn, Evelyn and Aria. Before turning to my parents, They snap a few pictures and selfies. We hear a knock at the door and I look at Brooklyn, Chris and Dad who rush into the kitchen, shutting the door behind them I sigh as I walk to the door, expecting to see Gracie and Hannah, a feeling of delight and shock fills me when I see Wes “Skylar... you look beautiful...” a feeling of shyness and love fills me as I look to the floor, moving to the side and invite him inside. Almost all my family welcome him with excitement over his arrival, I hear a squeal of “WES!” he smiles and says hello to everyone before walking over to my Dad and shaking his hand, “It’s a delight to see you again Mr Graham.” My Dad frowns, “I wish I could say the same, Wes.” Wes and I take a few photo’s together and sit with my family catching up and smiling together. Before we hear another knock on the front door, Dad, Chris, and Brooklyn scatter into the kitchen, Wes stands beside me for a moment, kissing me passionately, “Have an amazing night Lar, and I’ll speak to you in the morning, Love you scarlet.” I smile at his pet name for me as he then follows my family into the kitchen, I look after him listening to Wes talk to Chris in his classic New Yorker accent that has the power to make be fall to my knees and be completely at his mercy, before, I tear myself away from my admiration of Wes and back to the consistent knocking at the front door, I open the door, to see Gracie and Hannah dressed in their floor-length prom dresses. They spot me and their smiles grow bigger. “Skye! You look beautiful!”
I blush slightly as I look back at my younger sisters playing with their dolls. They look up to see my two closet friends in their ‘princess dresses’, their eyes bulge out of their heads. We take a few more photos before walking out towards my Mum’s crappy, run-down people carrier. I see a glossy black limo rolling to the edge of the pavement. A smartly dressed driver climbs out, “Miss Howard?” I step forward and wave to the man, “Your father requested my services for the evening.” I look back to Johnathan and he smiles slightly shaking his head. I run over and pull him for a hug, I pull back and look from Johnathan to my Mum. “Tell Dad, thank you.” I pull away hugging Mum and high fiving my sisters, “See you later.” I wave to them both as we all walk to the limo climbing in.
We make our way to our friend’s Jamie’s house, “You know I love Jamie, he’s my cousin but I honestly just wish he’d grow so balls and ask Skye out.” I fake a smile, “I don’t know, Jamie, is Jamie. I don’t know if I can picture him as anything more than the little boy who ripped my favourite dress and pulled the heads off all my barbies when we were 7.” the girls giggle at my reminiscing as the car slows again and we pull up at Jamie’s house. A confused look on his face, the second I climb out the limo his eyes widen, “You look astounding Skylar, too astounding for words...” I smile and pull him in for a hug, “Can I ask about the limo?” I smile and look back to the car. “My Dad got it for us.” I smile looking at it, wistfully thinking about my Dad, sat in my Mum’s kitchen wishing he could come with us instead. “Did he get you that necklace too, it amazing, you would think it’s real diamonds!” I smile, “Yeah he did.” My smile grows bigger each second that passes. “Damn Johnathan is good!” and that is the second my smile falls again.
Three weeks later
I wake up in my large double bed surrounded by blankets and cushions the light from the moon beaming around the edges of my roll down blinds. I stand up picking up my remote pressing the up arrow causing the blinds to roll up before. I walk into my wardrobe and change into my sports bra and a grey pair of yoga pants before grabbing my AirPods of the edge of my desk and walking down stairs into the kitchen and grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge before placing my earphones in my ears looking down to my trainers and walking towards the gym bumping into my sister, “Skye? It’s 5am, what the hell are you doing awake?” I look at Brooklyn as she’s dressed in a latex skin tight dress and black heels match, her hair straightened to her back with a few baby hairs flying away from her head, her lipstick slightly smudged around the edges I look away from her and to the floor frowning to myself, “I got up early to work out before work, why are you awake, and still so dressed up?” She smiles before looking down at her phone screen.
“I just got home, I thought you didn’t start work until 10.” I scroll through all of my favourite music before looking up at her again.
“I need to leave an hour early to get there in time.” Her eyebrows furrow
“That’s still four hours away Skylar, how long are you planning on working out, showering and sorting out takes a limit of two hours at the absolute most and that’s what I do before a shoot so how long are you planning on working out for?” I look to my phone again.
“I’ll speak to you in a bit Brooke.” I play my music as loud as it will go before walking into the gym, with vaulted ceiling and glass roof. I roll out a yoga mat in the corner and begin stretching out before climbing the rock wall running on the treadmill before the lifting weights and doing cardio, that’s when my 7am alarm goes off I run through the hallways, up the stairs and to my room when I go straight to my bathroom and walk into the shower. I stand there for a moment simply letting the water roll down my back drenching my waist length hair and before I turn around and let the water drench my face, letting the warmth of the water hug me. All I want is to feel the warmth wrap around my body for a second, after twenty minutes of the water warming my skin a step out and look in the mirror, all I see is my body and all the areas I want to change, as I look at my body I see all the part I hate.
Thinking about only a few weeks ago when I loved my body and since then everything has changed I hate what I see in the mirror I hate the body looking back at me, I can’t wear shorts without looking at my thighs and wanting to rip the apart, I can’t wear a crop top without looking at the way my stomach falls over my belly button slightly. I can’t look at my arms without seeing the way the cuff squeeze tightly around my arms. I can’t look at my face without seeing the noticeable chubbiness that is on my cheeks and my jawline, I hate the way I look and that is the thing I need to change. I get dressed into my work uniform before packing the few things I bought with me from Mum’s before running down the stairs into the kitchen. Dad, Chris and a Tired looking Brooklyn sat at the island. I walk over to the fridge pulling out strawberries, banana’s, kiwi’s, ice, my protein power and soya milk I chop up the fruit and place it in the blender. I take one sip as I spot Brooklyn staring at me. “What Brooke?”
She sighs and places down her phone, “How much do you weight?” I roll my eyes before slamming my glass on the counter immediately fully waking up Chris.
“That a bit personal, and also none of you god damn business.” She stands up and grabs hold of my wrist pulling me along side her into the gym and putting me on the scales. The screen reading ‘107lbs’ her jaw immediately drops.
“Skylar, I don’t think you understand how unhealthy that is! I’ve seen girls I’ve worked with end up in hospital in better condition than that!” That’s when I step of the scales and Dad and Chris follow us in. “Dad! She’s one ‘o’ seven. I’m two inches tall than her and weigh thirty pounds more and I’m unhealthily skinny!” Dad’s jaw drops.
“You are going to the doctors as soon as I can get you in, I don’t care if that means you have to cancel plans or can’t show up to work one day. You cannot play with your health that way.” I throw a huff storming past my family picking up my bag and meeting Steve stood by the car, climb in to the SUV and ask Steve to drive me to work.
It doesn’t take long due to the quiet Sunday morning roads, I drop my bag off at Mum’s and wave goodbye to Steve before sitting down to breakfast with Mum, Johnny, Evelyn and Aria, I just eat three blueberries slowly by cutting them in half and half again before acting shocked and running to grab my work bag and running out the door walk to work, leaving an hour early means I get work half an hour early, I walk in and spot my boss behind the counter “Hey James, can I get, a, black iced coffee.” He nods before making me the coffee and handing it to me, I walk through the store to the locker room, which is basically a hallway with lockers against one wall and an exterior door out to the back alleyway where people that smoke tend to stand, I place my bag in my locker and then smell a strong smell of cigarettes, coming through the door, I walk through and spot Jenny sat on a crate laid on its side.
“Hey Skye.” She offers me her cigarette, and I take it from her taking a few puffs before handing it back.
“How’s it been today?” She blows out some smoke before offering me the cigarette again.
“Busy, but mainly just iced coffee so it could be worse, I got asked earlier for a iced mocha, with soya milk, light on the ice and a double shot of caramel. It took all of me not to laugh right in her face. Like James would stock soya milk, he just started stocking almond milk.” I laugh as I hand her back the cigarette feeling the slight burn in my throat. I down the rest of my coffee before walking into the kitchen tying my pinny around my waist and washing my hands and then clocking in. James smiles at me before I go out the front and begin taking orders as Jenny runs about cleaning tables and speaking to the regulars. When Mrs Williams walks in with her laptop. Mrs Williams has always been my favourite teacher in school, “Skylar, how are you.” I smile as I hand the previous customers coffee to him.
“Hi Mrs Williams, I’m good, how are you?” She but then as she looks at me she begins to furrow.
“Skylar, you look overly thin. Are you sure you’re okay?” I nod and smile, which is when she smiles and walks away with her coffee in hand sitting down in the far corner when Jenny comes behind me, “James wants you to take your thirty minutes” I nod and go back through the kitchen putting on my hoodie before I sit down and begin eating the grapes I bought from home.
Ten minutes before my break is over Jenny comes into the break room, “There’s some guy out front asking, not gonna lie, I recognise him for some reason and I have no clue why, plus he’s fit as fuck.” I furrow my eyebrows and then follow her out to the front of the cafe, which is when I spot Wes standing with James. I freeze as I spot him. He turns and looks at me which is when he smiles massively, he walks over and smiles at me even larger, wrapping his arms around my body and squeezing me tightly into his chest.
“What are you doing here Wesley?” He pulls away from me and looking at me with pulled together eyebrows.
“I just wanted to see you.” I look at him, grabbing his wrist and. Pulling him into the locker room.
“Wes you can’t be here, if you’re here people might find everything out.” He sighs and sits down at the table and looks up at me.
“Skye, I love you, but being secret is hard, I want to post about you twitter and instagram and everywhere else, I want everyone to know how beautiful and amazing my girlfriend is. Why can’t we just go public with our relationship, if we do that it doesn’t mean that they are going to figure out everything about your Dad. I know you want to stay private but I want people to know how amazing you are because you are and I want that because I love you and I want everyone to know that. I want everyone to be jealous of my amazing girlfriend, I want everyone to see you as mine, I would people you know you are mine. I want to speak to my best friend about my amazing girlfriend, about you. Can we at least tell our friends. Please.” The last word to leave his lips sounds strained and painful as it leaves him lips.
“They know Wes. They saw us last week.” He sighs and stands up facing away from me running his hand through his hair pulling at the ends.
“They are guessing things Skylar. I want to be able to kiss in front of them and not hide in the toilets to do that. I want to dance with you I want to be with you, completely.” I look him in the eyes and walk towards him pressing my forehead against his before pulling away.
“I have to go back to work Wes.” He shakes his head and looks at me.
“Of course you do.” Walks past me through the door and out the store, expressing his clear anger as he walks out to his car driving away, the sound of the car reving loud enough I can hear it from the locker room at the back of the building over the sound of the kitchen and the sound of the loud London roads outside and with that a tear falls.
Jenny walks from the locker room with jacket on, her bag on her shoulder, Two cigarettes in her hand. Before handing me one, “You look like you need it after who ever that guy is came in.” I smile at her saying thank you before she nods and walks out the store leaving me to finish cleaning and lock up. I overturn the chairs and place them all on top of the tables before clocking out and making my way to Lara and Arlo’s house in Kensington.
I knock on the door which Lara immediately opens the door and pulls me up the stairs to her bedroom, she chucks pyjamas at me which I promptly change into, “So what’s going on with you and Wes? He showed up at 3 ish and has spent all day in lo’s room smoking out his bedroom window.” I sigh and sit on the edge of her bed.
“I need to talk to him.” Stand up and walk towards the door before Lara stops me before my hand even touches the metal on the handle she grabs my wrist.
“Skye, what’s going on? There’s always been something between the two of you. You kissed, that’s fine but now you two just seem to be arguing, which freaking sucks but if you two want to be together or whatever that’s fine, you do you, we’ll support you a hundred percent, we just want to know.” I sigh and sit down beside her as I look at her I feel ashamed and sad that I have never told her any of this before.
“Wes and I have been together for a while, I love him, I lost my virginity to him, he wants to go public, with you, Carson and Lo, fine I don’t care, but he wants to post about me on instagram and twitter, that defeats everything that my parents have tried to do, I get its hard, it’s hard for me too but there is a reason for it, I love the life my Dad offers me but I still want to be able to walk to work and not be followed, I wish I could have both but I can’t so I don’t know what to do, I truly wish I could but I don’t know how.” She smiles and hugs tightly into her body.
“I wish you’d told me, because I hope you know how much I would have supported you and I wish you would have let me but… honestly I think you just need to talk to him, calmly, don’t let either of you get too emotional just talk.” I nod and smile at her before pulling back and knocking on Arlo’s door. There’s no answer so I just open the door, Wes is sat beside the window with a cigarette in his hand. Arlo on the edge of his bed. When Wes spots me he drops his cigarette on his lap, which is when he swears and stands up brushing the cigarette off his leg.
“Can I talk to you please.” He nods and follows me out the room.
“Where do you want to go?” I look up at him, the atmosphere is tense and uncomfortable, none of which I would previously use as words that I would use when explaining time with Wes.
“Pool?” He nods, not saying a word or looking at me, his eyes fixated in front of him. The second we step out the house and around the pool, his hands land on his lap, as he rolls up his jeans and sitting with his feet in the pool, I do the same sit next to him, putting him to my right, I look up at him and frown.
“I love you too ya know, it sucks not being public, I want to talk about you non stop for the rest of my life. But doing that means going public, and possibly being revealed as Bradley’s kid. That makes everything that my Mum and Dad have done completely pointless, I can’t do that right now.” He sighs and shakes his head.
“I can’t keep doing this Skylar, I want to kiss you, I want to take you to the movies or to a restaurant. I don’t want to hide in your bedroom forever, I’m sorry but this is a deal breaker.” I turn my and look at him.
“I get that but things have changed, Lara knows, Lo knows, Carson knows, my family know. And I’m going to tell friends from school. We can be more open just not a hundred percent open just yet. I’m sorry but that’s all I can do, right now.” He throw a bit of a hissy fit and stands up.
“Right now? So when is the day you want to go fully public?” I sigh and stand up, standing in front of him.
“I don’t know just yet, I wish I knew, I’m just not ready just yet. Please Wes.” He turns away from me and sits on the edge of a sun lounger.
“Skylar, I don’t want to wait for someday, Skylar, it’s now or…” I look over to him.
“Or what?” The idea in my head makes me want to cry “or never. This is unfair Wes.” A tear rolls down my cheek as I look up at him. “Hiding our relationship hurts more than you’ll ever know, more than anything I love you, I love you so much, I hoped you understand why telling everyone is an issue, I don’t know what to do other than say, I can’t be with you, I can’t put either of us through that, I can’t do that to you, but I’ll always hope that one day hopefully we can be different and I’ll be able to run into you arms again, love you always Ley!” I press my lips to his, before stepping back and letting one tear roll down my check, followed by almost a million more.