Part One: Chapter 1
𝙸'𝚖 𝚐𝚘𝚗𝚗𝚊 𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝙵𝚎𝚋𝚎.
I text her.
𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚘𝚘, 𝙱𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊. 𝚃𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚛𝚎.
Reading our conversation with Febe is making me cry. I'm gonna miss her. Chiefly, our memories at Wellington. I cannot forget her and the times we shared. I'm gonna miss everything. My friends, my fellow schoolmates, my neighbours, and our school.
After I finished primary schooling, Mom and Dad discussed that we're gonna move to Sydney, which only took nine hours of travel from Wellington to it.
I place back my phone in my pocket and I rested my head on the window of our car. Abby, my older sister, is leaning her head on my shoulder while my eldest sister, Kendall, is sleeping. Mom is sitting on the passenger seat while Dad is on driving. We were so tired. We took nine hours of sitting in our car. Now, we have another nine hours of travel to finally get to Sydney.
Abby gets her head out of my shoulder and sits up. "Mom, can we stop?" she says.
"Why, honey?" Mom asks her.
"I'm hungry," Abby complains.
"We're gonna stop when we get at Melbourne," Mom says, "I heard they cooked the best dishes here in Australia."
"How long we will take in Melbourne?" Abby asks with her slothful voice.
Mom looks at her wristwatch and says, "In fifteen minutes, sweetie."
Abby groans and utters, "That's way too far."
"Just close your eyes like your sister's," Mom says to her.
Abby leans on my shoulder again. "I'm gonna miss Wellington for sure," she whispers to me.
"Yeah," I responded.
"I can't believe I'm a college now," she says, "why can't I finished my college years at Wellington instead?"
"I don't know," I reply, "I also can't believe I'm in Senior now."
Abby sits up and faces me. "I heard Herschel High is an impressive school."
"Really?" I express.
"Yap," she says as she leans on my shoulder again. "But Wellington High is much better."
I roll my eyes. I know she'll say that. "Do you know we're gonna live in Sydney?" I ask.
"I don't know exactly," Abby says, "but I heard we're gonna live near at your school."
"Near the school?" I ask.
"Yeah," she says, "but it's good, you know. We never lived in a place near the school."
I take a heavy sigh. "I think I'm not gonna love my life at Sydney, Abby ."
She looks at me and says, "There's nothing to hate, Bella. Principally, don't act like you're a stranger at your new school."
"I don't even what I'm going to do there," I state.
"Jean is there to guide you," Abby says.
"We're not close," I say, "I didn't even meet her once."
"Don't worry," she says, "she's our cousin. She'll take care of you for sure."
"Let just see," I say before I take a deep breath.
We keep quiet in the next minutes. Then, Abby looks at the window. "Are we already at Melbourne?"
"Oh, yes. We are," Dad says.
I look at the window. Melbourne. It's kind of pleasant. There are many lights on the streets as I see through the window. It seems like a European city but I felt like I'm in New York.
Abby took her phone from her purse and took a picture. "This is gonna be great," she says. She faces Mom. "Mom, I'm hungry."
"Yes, we're stopping now," Mom responded.
I look at the window again. I saw tall constructions and images of celebrities. Numerous people are walking around.
"We're here," Mom expresses, "Abby, wake Kendall up."
Abby touches Kendall's shoulder and shakes it and says, "Hey wake up you bludger."
Kendall opens her eyes and says, "Are we already at Sydney?"
"We're not," Abby says, "now wake up, we're going to each lunch."
Kendall sits up and rubs her eyes.
Kendall is my and Abby's elder sister. She graduated college two years ago at Wellington. Now, she works as a nurse. Kendall is not the type of girl like Abby, who is a very talky person. Kendall is really quiet and very stern. She is like the devil queen in my life.
I don't mean I don't like her, but the thing is, we aren't close. She keeps on judging my flaws while she keeps on loving other people as if they were her sister. But in the end, I still can't disobey her, or else, she'll kill me.
Abby keeps on shaking Kendall's shoulder even Kendall is already wakened up.
"Hey, do you want to die?" Kendall shouts at Abby.
I roll my eyes, not minding these two brain sick girls. As Dad stopped in a parking lot, I quickly get off the car. I hugged myself and kept myself warm through my arms because the wind is so strong. As soon, we are all inside the restaurant, we sit at a table near the fireplace.
A server showed up in front of us and says, "Arvo, Ma'am and Sir, can I take your order please?"
Mom looked at me, "Bella, what you want to eat?"
"Same with Dad," I responded.
I always love Dad's préférée. I'm like I'm his number one fan around the world. I am entirely close to him and I felt like I'm his favourite among my sisters since we had no brother or a boy in our family, Dad chose to like me.
"Why this thing takes so long?" Abby whispers to Mom.
"Calm yourself down, Abigail," Mom says, "be patient."
Abby rolls her eyes and focuses on her phone again. I keep looking around the restaurant. There are so many hanging lights hang on the high ceiling and paintings as if we're at an art museum.
I get my phone from my pocket and log in into my Facebook account on my phone. Back in Wellington, Febe always uses my phone because her parents don't allow her to use gadgets and very strict over her especially her brother.
As I'm logged in into my account, I searched "Herschel High", which is gonna be my new school in Sydney. I'm kind of curious about what's my new school's look like and what it has. As I click the web page, Herschel High, Sydney, Australia, I saw a big grey building full of window mirrors and it has a big grandstand. It has three-story buildings and twenty-three hectares of lawn.
I take a deep breath.
"Is this gonna be my new school?" I ask myself quietly.
I stop on scrolling when I see a post that says;
𝙶𝚘 𝙲𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚊𝚛𝚜! 𝚆𝚎'𝚛𝚎 𝚐𝚘𝚗𝚗𝚊 𝚠𝚒𝚗 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚠𝚘𝚘𝚑𝚘𝚘!
At first, I thought of our school's sports name, Cougar. Cougar is my favourite animal since it's like a big cat, and big cats are my thing.
I tapped the uploader's name then it showed up a profile picture of a teenage girl who's wearing a green cheerleader's clothes and there's a C printed on her crop-top. She's holding two green pompoms on her both hands and she has sunglasses laid at the top of her forehead. I guess she's the captain of the cheerleading squad.
I looked at under of her picture, which is her name, and it says;
Oh, God. It's Jean. My cousin.
I looked at her Bio and it says; MM, which I don't understand why. I stalked her personal information about herself and I saw she's in a relationship with someone and it started on June 24, 2019. His boyfriend's name is Marc Montgomery.
That's why her Bio is MM. Because M is for Marc and the other M is for Montgomery. Marc Montgomery.
I tapped the word Marc Montgomery, which is tagged on the post, then I saw his account. His Bio is JH. Jeanilyn Hudgens, for sure. I tapped his profile picture but Jean's picture showed up and it's on private. I stalked his account and tapped the word Uploads but I see nothing. There are no posts on his account.
I quickly put my phone back in my pocket because Kendall tried to snatch it away from me. I don't want her to know that I'm stalking Jean's boyfriend. Kendall gave me a look and I just stared away from her. I can't stand her eyes. She has a devil's pair of eyes.
The server came walking back to our table and set the trays in our front. Their dishes are great looking. I bet it's delicious.
Abby lets out a groan and says, "Finally."
We started to eat mutely. I'm sure we're all empty-bellied because each one of us is only focused on our plate. After we're all done up finishing our meals, Abby groans again.
"That was so tasty," she says.
I nod. "Yeah," then I face up Mom. "We should be visiting here next time, Mom."
Mom nods her head. "Of course, we will, sweetheart."
Dad looks at the wall clock. "We should keep going now. We have a lot of hours left to drive."
"Yeah, we should," Abby says, "I want to see our new house."
Dad chuckles. "Have seen your Aunt Hermoine's house, haven't you?"
Abby and I shook our heads.
"We're gonna live next to her house," Dad says.
"You mean the lawn next to hers?" Abby asks.
"But Dad isn't it a big lawn?" I ask.
"Don't worry," Mom says, "do you think we don't have enough money to buy that lot?"
We're not kind of a wealthy family, we're just comfortable. But my Grandpa, Dad's father, is a well-known architect in New Zealand. He sells mansions and buildings there. That's why Dad got a good impression from Mom's parents.
Mom and Dad built a business at Wellington, which is a hardware store. Our store is kinda enormous and long-familiar around Wellington. It's not because we had a business, that doesn't mean that we're gonna spend our money easily. Mom and Dad are very careful when it comes to finances. They spend our money responsibly. We don't mostly waste our money on the things we want. We only focused on our needs and not our wants.
Gratefully, we finally had enough money to build a house in Sydney. Mom and Dad discussed that our hardware shop remains in Wellington. But I don't know if they're going to build another hardware shop in Sydney.
"Did we already built a house?" Abby exclaims.
Dad nods. "Your Grandpa designed it."
Abby and I let out a huge excitement.
"Oh my gosh! It's gonna be so amazing," Abby says.
"How many bedrooms do we had, Dad?" I ask, "I should have an own room."
Back in Wellington, I never experience having my room. I always share my room with Abby. Most times, Abby is very nosy when she's asleep. And if I'm having the chance to have my room, I'll be so glad. I'll be free from Abby's talky nights of sleep.
Dad nods his head again. "You three had separate rooms from now on."
I smile. "Dad, I want my room to have a single big window and it should be faced to the north."
"Yes, it is," Dad responds.
"We should keep going now," Mom reminds.
"We should!" I exclaim, "I cant wait to see our house."
Our new house is pretty large. It's a wonderful white Victorian style that has a two-story wall with a wraparound front porch, decorative trims, and it has a Mansard roof. Grandpa truly did a good job embellishing our new home.
I quickly get inside the house and it's already fully furnished. I run upstairs and see each room and hell, they're all large! I enter one of the rooms and it quickly gets my attention. It has a single big window facing our front neighbour and it faces the north exactly. This room is absolutely mine.
But poor Abby. She chose the room Kendall liked because the room has its master bathroom and a huge walking closet. She and Kendall argue about it.
"This is my room! I'm the first one who gets in here," Abby says to Kendall.
"I am the oldest so I'm having this room," Kendall says back.
Abby puts her right hand on her waist and calls, "No, Kenny. First come first serve. So get lost, you bogan!"
Kendall puts her hands on both sides of Abby's shoulder and shouts, "Do you have a death wish, Abigail?"
"Never!" Abby shouts back.
They started to pull each other's hair and they fight, as expected.
Mom came running upstairs and she pulls Kendall away from Abby. "What is the problem with you two?"
"I get this room first but Kendall wants to get it!" Abby speaks.
Kendall rolls her eyes and says, "I'm the one who must get it."
"But you're unfair-"
"This room is mine and your Dad," Mom cuts off. "So no one is going to argue about this room."
Kendall and Abby stay speechless.
"This room is your Abigail," Mom points a room, which is in the front of Mom's and Dad's room. "That one is yours, Kendall," Mom says, pointing the room in my front.
Wait. What? Kendall's room is in my front? No way!
What I dislike about being close to Kendall's room is because she always turned her speakers in the highest volume when she's sleeping. Oh, God. I don't think I can sleep in harmony tonight!
Kendall starts to walk inside her room while Abby did the same. But before Kendall walks into her room, she says, "You better not knock on my door, Bella."
As if I'm going to knock on her door!
Kendall enters her room.
She's twenty-three yet she acts like an ankle-biter
I heard Mom and Dad's laughs from the living room so I went downstairs. When I get down, I see my Aunt Hermoine sitting on our couch while Mom and Dad on the other. They stopped laughing when Aunt Hermoine's eyes went on me.
"Bella," Aunt Hermoine says as if she sees an angel. "Come here, darling."
I come close to her. She pulls me to her to give me a kind hug. I've never seen Aunt Hermoine last ten years ago. I last saw her when I was six years old and after that, I've never seen her before.
The only thing I figure out at Aunt Hermoine is that she still looks so young. She looks so beautiful. She looks like Dad since she is Dad's little sister.
Aunt Hermoine kissed both cheeks and says, "Oh, I missed you, Bella." I sit next to her. "Where are Kendall and Abigail?"
"They're upstairs," I respond, "they're fixing their things."
Aunt Hermoine sighs and says, "That is good to know." Then she looks at my face and says, "I can't believe you're a lady now."
I felt both cheeks blush.
"The last time I saw you where you're only six," she says. "And now, you're sixteen."
I nod my head. I don't know what I'm going to say next.
"She's going to start schooling, Hermoine," Dad says, "Herschel High, wasn't it?"
Mom nods. "Yes, it's next to our block."
"Herschel High is a good school around here at Sydney," Aunt Hermoine says, "Jeanilyn goes there."
"I forgot about Jeanilyn. Where is she anyway?" Mom asks.
"Oh, she's having a sleepover with her friend," Aunt Hermoine says as she chuckles a bit. "Why didn't you let Bella finished her Senior year at Wellington?"
Dad sighs. "We want to be closer to Abby when she got into college."
"And we guess Australia's universities are good," Mom says, "Kendall wants to work in here too."
"What university is Abby's entering?" Aunt Hermoine asks.
"STU," Dad says, "at Newcastle, and it only took two hours of driving."
"But we have nice universities here at Sydney, Hiram," Aunt Hermoine says to Dad.
"Abigail didn't get the grades," Dad says, "but STU is a good college, though."
"Yes, it is," Aunt Hermoine says then she looks at me. "You're going to be great friends with your cousin."
I smile, hoping it's true.
"When you're going to start to go to school, Bella?" Aunt Hermoine asks.
"I don't know," I whisper.
"On July, Moine," Mom responded.
"Why can't be tomorrow?" Aunt Hermoine says.
Tomorrow? I'm not even ready!
Dad shakes his head. "We're just gonna practice our new living here in Sydney."
"And Bella isn't ready yet," Mom joins in while looking at me.
"You can ask me anything. I'll be staying here in Sydney a little bit longer before I go back to Hawaii," Aunt Hermione says.
"We should eat tea already," Mom says, "come eat with us."
"Sure," Aunt Hermoine replies.
Mom faces me and says, "Call Kendall and Abby and tell them we're going to prepare tea."
I cover myself with my thick doona. I get my phone from my table beside my bed. I see a lot of messages from my schoolmates at my old school.
𝚆𝚎 𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞, 𝙱𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊! 𝚆𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚜𝚑 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎.
𝙸'𝚖 𝚐𝚘𝚗𝚗𝚊 𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚜 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞!
𝙸 𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞, 𝙱𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊.
𝚆𝚎 𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚢𝚘𝚞, 𝙱𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊 :)
I read the messages over and over again. I miss them so much.
I quickly hid my phone under my pillow and pretended that I'm sleeping when Mom revealed in my room. I closed my eyes as I heard her footsteps coming closer to me. I felt Mom kneel and kissed my forehead. She then turned off my lampshade and closed the door.
I open my eyes and put back my phone on my side table. I'm about to close my eyes again when my phone vibrates. I grab it and then I see;
𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚌 𝙼𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚐𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊 𝚏𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝.
I read it again. Marc Montgomery. Marc Montgomery. Marc Montgomery. Aha! It's Jean's boyfriend.
I guess Jean told her boyfriend, Marc, that I'm her cousin so he should add my Facebook account.
I press the word "Confirm". I go to my Messenger and I'm planning to chat with him because God knows if he'll be my cousin-in-law.
I waited for him to respond. But he didn't. He's not even online anymore. It's already 10:30 pm. I guess he's already fallen asleep. I turned off my phone and put it back on my side table. I flip to my right side and stare into the beautiful view of the night sky outside of my big open windows. A minute passed, I didn't notice that I fell asleep.