Secrets are what we keep because we feel we need to, because we feel that we are protecting someone or it could be because we were afraid of the repercussions if the secret got out. As kids we were told not to lie, that lying is bad, but as an adult we find that sometimes you need to lie a little in order to get a better outcome of things. As adults we would lie and keep secrets to protect the ones we love and the ones we fear of losing. How good are you at keeping secrets?
Ayden and Kaia were best friends from birth, they were born on the same day and their mother’s became friends from the hospital. They were only minutes apart, Ayden was born four minutes earlier than Kaia however they were placed next to each other in the newborn nursery which was how their parents became close friends.
They grew up in Sherman Oaks, went to a private school nearby and eventually moved two houses away from each other. Their mom’s Mrs Oakley and Mrs Cavanaugh insisted on living near each other for the kids convenience, but everyone knew that both moms wanted to close so that they could see each other everyday. Ayden’s mom, Mrs Cavanaugh (Lisa) was a well known writer for children’s books so she was often at home crafting up some new story books while Kaia’s mom, Mrs Oakley (Helena) was into marketing. When they weren’t working they would be getting drinks or making food for their families.
“Hey, what are you up to?” She felt the bed take a dip, lifting her head from her pillow. She knew it could only be one person who was rude enough to wake her from her peaceful afternoon nap. She groaned rolling her eyes as she turned over, feeling cranky that her nap was rudely interrupted.
“Come on, get up. I want to talk to you. I’m bored” Ayden nudged her sides, trying to get her to talk to him. She sighed, “what do you want Ayd? Can’t you see I’m busy?”
“You’re going to college in a few days, I want to spend time with you”, this got her attention so she quickly sat up ready to talk. She applied to enter UCLA for a business degree and she managed to get in, growing up they wanted to attend UCLA together however something changed and Ayden has been keeping a secret from her. She constantly asked him what his plan was, she wasn’t even sure if he applied to UCLA and she didn’t understand why he was keeping it all a secret. She was upset even for him hiding things from her but she knew she couldn’t push him, and now he has brought up college she wanted to hear what he had to say.
“So are you going to tell me if you applied for UCLA? Or have you been accepted anywhere else?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you everything tonight, but first can we spend the day together. I missed the non cranky you, and I hate when you’re angry at me” he told her truthfully, her heart melted as always. She always had feelings for him, ever since they were seven and her ice cream dropped and he offered to share his, she loved him more than just friends. She has never admitted her feelings for him, she knew he didn’t feel the same. Ayden always had girlfriends and would always encourage her to date and explore the world, but she was too hooked to look past anyone else, not that she would ever admit it. For the past few weeks, she has been more cranky and snappy with him, she couldn’t understand why he was keeping his college choices a secret.
“Promise?” she held up her pinky finger, they always made pink swears ever since they were four and found out what it was. It was a cute gesture that they decided to maintain in their friendship despite being teens, it was like an unbreakable bond between them. He instantly hooked his pinky finger to hers, sealing the promise with a kiss on the back on her hand, her heart fluttered whenever he would do that but she always maintained her cool.
“Now can we go out?” he asked with a huge goofy grin plastered on his face.
“Where do you want to go?” she asked, as she sat up straighter so that she would tie her hair into a messy bun.
“It’s 3pm now, it’s not too hot on the outside, so I was thinking we could go hiking at Deervale-Stone? Just the two of us”
“Ayden Cavanaugh, you woke me up to workout? Are you serious?” she asked him in disbelief.
“In a few days we will both be busy, I just want to spend some time with you”, he reached over to pull her closer to him, she obliged as she leaned back against his chest she smiled as she inhaled his scent.
“Fine, but don’t you have to spend time with Jen?” She reminded herself that he had an on and off girlfriend for the past two years. She liked Jen, even though she wished she was always in his arms and not Jen but she knew that Jen was a nice girl and Jen understood their friendship.
“We broke up for good last night” he informed
“What? What happened?” she quickly sat up, to look at him. She didn’t know they were having problems, usually Jen would call her for comfort but this was news to her.
“We realised that we didn’t have feelings for each other, and she got into University of Houston, we didn’t want to bring our baggage along to a new place” she nodded her head, she understood but deep down she was wondering if he was dumping her as a friend as well. She was nervous but she knew his lips were sealed until tonight.
“Are you okay? How are you feeling?” Kaia asked, curling herself to him to give him a hug. They were always affectionate with each other, since young their parents made it a point for them to always support each other and hug each other, it has become a habit for them. They do it with each other all the time and without any hesitance. Ayden engulfed her in her hug, sniffing her hair.
“I’m okay. It was for the best actually” he assured her as he stroked her back.
“Okay, I’ll change and we can go” she got up and walked to her wardrobe. She changed into her sports bra and biker shorts, tying her hoodie on her waist before checking herself out in the mirror one last time before exiting her walk-in wardrobe.
“Ready?” Ayden asked as he stared at her up and down, taking in her outfit.
“Yeah, just let me spray some perfume” she said as she picked up a bottle of perfume spraying it on her wrist and neck.
“Why do you need perfume? You smell great already” he commented, never understanding why girls spray perfume on themselves.
“Let’s go before I change my mind Ayy”.
They left her house, and drove to the hiking trail. They chatted about everything under the sun, even though they knew everything about each other, they still found topics that they could always discuss. There was never a dull moment between them.
Arriving at the foot hill, Ayden parked his car and they got out to begin their hike. The sun was out but it wasn’t as hot as it appears, slightly gloomy but Ayden was right, it’s a good day to take a hike. They usually would workout together, Ayden had to be in shape as he used to be in the track team whilst Kaia just wanted to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When Kaia was 13, she had an eating disorder. It went undiagnosed for a year and she lost a lot of weight. Ayden found her passed out in her room after skipping class and ignoring his calls, her parents were at work and did not realise that she had skipped school. They sent her to see a psychologist and she has been working on herself ever since. Ayden always ensured that she ate proper meals and encouraged her to accept her body as it is. She started developing an eating disorder when puberty hit and her boobs were growing and she was more ample than her peers and older boys/men which made her very self conscious. Although she has recovered and feeling much better physically and mentally, everyone around her was still worried for her and she admitted that she would catch herself sometimes going back to that particular path.
“So are you excited for classes to start?”
“Honestly it’s kind of mixed emotions for me. I mean I’m glad that I got into my number one university, but I’m nervous” she sighed, “and you still haven’t told me where you applied or did you get into UCLA” she grumbled.
“Kaia, you’ve got this in the bag. You don’t need me there” he encouraged as he removed his shirt, deciding to continue his hike shirtless. Kaia swallowed, taking in the sight of him shirtless, admiring how his muscles glisten with sweat against the sun.
“Ayden” she started, she rarely called him Ayden. It was always Ay or Ayd. “Why can’t you just tell me?”
“I didn’t apply to UCLA” he admitted, looking straight away as they hiked. Her heart dropped, she knew deep down that he didn’t apply but him confirming it was something she wasn’t ready for.
“Where did you apply to?” she tried to maintain her calm, her fear was that he would attend another university and he would forget all about her. It was highly unlikely she knew but it was still one of her fears.
“Kaia please” he stopped in his tracks, looking at her, his eyes pleading for her to drop the conversation, to which she sighed. They continue their hike in silence, both lost in their own thoughts until they reach the peak. They stood by the rocks, staring out at the city and the sky was beautiful.
“I enlisted in the military,” Ayden admitted.