Double Star.

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11: My Choice.

PoV Noelle:

I was walking quietly down the halls to have lunch. Sarah was absent this day making me wonder why, I tried to call her several times but her phone was off. I feel so lonely especially when Ashley disappeared right after the class ended, pretending that she was not hungry but, I know her long enough to say that the true reason behind that is that she’s meeting someone. I could tell by the way she’s acting so weird lately, head on the clouds and drawing some weird stuff like hearts and the letter ″E″ inside of it on the table. I would like to know who’s that crazy guy who made her so in love, he might be as complicated as her, especially when she doesn’t seem like the type of girl that falls in love with whoever. I could’ve simply asked her but I don’t think she would answer me honestly, she would even avoid my question. I mean, if she wanted to tell me about her love stories, she would have done it long ago since I’m her best friend, but she preferred to stay silent and keep that to herself, making me think that I’m not her best friend anymore.

Whatever, she’s not the only one who has an appointment! I also have a meeting with...food obviously and no one’s gonna stop me from eating. And guess what’s gonna be served in the restaurant! Lasagna ! my favorite food of all time. Just thinking about it makes me even hungrier.

Arrived at the cafeteria, it was crowded and noisy; of course, I would’ve not been surprised if it wasn’t the case. After all, we’re talking about lasagna! After a few moments of waiting, I managed to get a plate and when I turned around to take a seat, I accidentally shoved someone, which made me spilled my entire dish on his new clothes. When I looked up to see who’s that miserable person who ruined my food, I started to curse myself internally. Of all the people in this school, why did I have to spill my plate on this person? Why? The girl was looking at her dirty shirt with a big ″O″ on her mouth, then suddenly, she glared at me with anger and hatred. But my mind was thinking about one thing, my plate, wasted on this slut. What a loss! I wanted so much to eat this lasagna...

- “Oh no my plate ! “. Once I said that she pushed me back strongly, which almost made me fall on the ground if I didn’t hang on to a chair.

- “You dared to overthrow your fucking dish on me and you have the gall to act like nothing’s happened! I’ll show you what real hell is, bitch ! “. Oh my God! What a high-pitched voice! Even my cat makes less deafening noises. Her eyes were red with anger, it looked like she wanted to kill me.

The person in question is called ″Britney″ and the worst part of all this is that she is the girlfriend of my beloved stepbrother. She used to come to sneak out in our home all the time until my mom decided to put her out, and that’s when my problems with her began. Damn, I think I messed up this time, I’m sure the jerk of Taylor will take her defense and I’ll become the laughingstock of school, again.

- “You lost your tongue or what ? “. She arched an eyebrow, looking at me, up and down with wickedness.

- “Sorry ...“. I whispered against my will, looking down to not throw my middle finger in her face.

- “It’s too late now bitch! I’m going to make you regret the day you were born for dirtying my t-shirt that costs ten times more than your stupid ugly face! “. She was going to push me but I managed to dodge her attack, and without paying attention, I tripped her up and her high heels didn’t help her to keep her balance so she ended up falling on her knees. Oh no!

Laughs were resonating throughout the room. Although seeing that bitch on the ground was very funny, I didn’t find the pleasure to laugh because, not only a huge crowd had gathered but also the way she was looking at me like a serial killer, was enough to take my breath away and convince me that I’m really in big trouble now. Without overthinking, I took advantage that she is on the floor and tried to make myself a path to escape from this nightmare. But unlucky like I am, someone stayed in the way, not letting me go. When I raised my head to know who is this madman who wanted my death, I froze in place. What a great reunion, all that was missing was the prince!

“Oh finally you’re here honey! Look what this whore has done to me ... “. And without ending her unpleasant groan, he burst out laughing.

- “Oh damn !! Hahaha what’s that mess ?! “. I winked many times not understanding the situation. Is he laughing because his girlfriend is on the ground or because the worst is coming for me? Suddenly he stopped and turned to me.

- “You did that ?“. I hesitated between telling him the truth or lying to him. He’ll find out the truth anyway since everyone saw the scene so there’s no point in not admitting it. I nodded hoping that nothing bad will happen to me. I already heard that once, a close friend of Britney did some bad things to her and Taylor humiliated her so much that the girl ended up changing school but maybe he’ll do me a favor, after all, I am his sister.

Am I honestly believing what I’m saying ?! We’ve never talked to each other properly, he never gave a damn about me and all we do is insult each other when we talk. I know he hates me more than anyone because of the union of our two parents and it’s the perfect occasion to ruin my life and get revenge on me, so why would he act nicely to me now when he never did ?!

Suddenly, he got closer, I tried to move back but he grabbed my wrist and burst out laughing...again.

- “Uh ...“.

- “Hahaha fuck, you sure are a funny girl Hahaha I never thought you’d do that someday! “. I gave him a nervous smile. I don’t know what he is thinking, the way he’s laughing doesn’t reassure me at all ...

- “Honey, you’ serious ? She humiliated me in front of everybody and all that you find to do is laugh at me. You’re pissing me off...“. She had tears in her eyes and when he turned to look at her, I tried to take the opportunity to pull my wrist out of his hand and leave as quickly as possible but he gripped it even harder, making me sink away in this situation of despair, deeper than I was.

- “Shut the fuck up Britney! You talk too much for nothing”. Everyone started screaming probably confused, I think it’s the first time he repacks her in that way but that stupid scene is none of my business, all I want to do is to get out of here. I tried to free myself from his influence again but in vain. He squeezed me even harder and his head turned to me, making me apprehend more what’s going to happen. A strange smile appeared on his lips and without a warning, I found myself being pushed back, which made me fall to the ground. My wrist was aching me and I couldn’t feel my back anymore. Noises became louder and when I looked up to see my biggest fear, Taylor was helping Britney to get up. She stared at me arrogantly and hastened to pick up the rest of the dish that was on the floor. Understanding the nightmare I was living, I tried to get up quickly but Taylor pressed strongly on my shoulders not letting me move.

-” WHAT ARE YOU DOING ? LET GO OF ME ASHHOLE! “. Suddenly I felt no more pressure but something viscous and hot on my face. I can not believe it, they had thrown the dish on my face in front of everyone. How awful! I’m so ashamed now. How am I going to face everyone in school? Why does this kind of thing happen to me? He may not like me but, how could he do something so mean to me when I didn’t do anything to him? My vision became hazy and the salty flavor of the tears flowing down my cheeks, mixed with the taste of the lasagna, was dripping on my face.

A terrible silence invaded the space making me feel more ashamed, then in a second, laughers began to rise. When I saw the two morons smiling deviously, proud of making everyone laugh with their unforgivable behavior, a wave of overwhelming anger took control of me, and with all the strength left in me, I got up removing the food from my face. The hubbub that had started not long ago, was beginning to be quiet, too curious to know what will happen but I didn’t pay attention. I walked towards the slut of the year and gave her the slap that even her mom could never give her.

- “I’m sick and tired of knowing that people like you could even exist. Go back down to earth, you’re not the queen of the world silly! “. She stayed speechless, eyes wide opened and holding her red cheek with her hand, I could even read the fear on her face. You should’ve thought twice before trying to victimize me, bitch!

- “Noelle, calm down ...“. My breathing is getting more and more jerky and hearing this kind of word from HIM doesn’t help me at all. How could he have the nerve to order me to calm down after all that he did? My body is shaking from anger and I’m clenching my wrists so hard that I don’t even feel them.

-” CALM DOWN YOU SAID ?! ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHAT YOU’RE SAYING? YOU PUT ME IN THE BIGGEST SHAME OF MY LIFE AND NOW YOU’RE ASKING ME TO CALM DOWN ?! HOW DARE YOU? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? TELL ME WHY ARE YOU BEING SO RUDE TO ME? WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU? NOTHING THAT I KNOW! OR MAYBE YOU’RE TRYING TO GET REVENGE ON ME CAUSE MY MOTHER MARRIED YOUR DAD? LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ... I NEVER WANTED THAT... NEVER! I ALWAYS HATED YOU AND I CERTAINLY WOULDN’T WASTE MY LIFE BY ACCEPTING LIVING WITH SOMEONE LIKE YOU ... I thought maybe we could live as a family, but apparently, I was wrong ... “. Tears were flowing on my face more and more, I never felt so hurt in my life, and seeing his perplexed and desolated stare didn’t comfort me at all.

I turned to leave when suddenly, I remembered:

“Also, don’t ever try to call me by my name again. I don’t know you ! “. And after making a scene worthy of a Hollywood movie, I left the cafeteria with a crowd shocked by what had happened. After a moment, I heard the supervisors yelling...Pff...Always late.

I need to talk to someone right now. Someone who could listen to me and understand me and I don’t mind if I have to skip class and have to deal with my mother’s yellings, after.

PoV Sarah:

I was laying on my bed, looking at the ceiling of my room for about the whole day. The scene of the last time I talked to my aunt is still fresh in my memory. I didn’t dare to go talk to her or maybe I didn’t want to hear another of her famous expressions like “It’s not your business” or “You’re too young to understand”, so I locked myself in my room not wanting to do anything. I didn’t go to school today, if I’m not allowed to know about what’s happening in my life, then she’s not allowed to control it too. She didn’t say anything, probably not wanting to create another fight and I thank god for that. I don’t feel good mentally and my head is aching me so much. Why am I doing this seriously? Do I care about what this man wanted from me? Do I want to know what those papers hide? Maybe it’s nothing important and I’m just looking for trouble where there is none, but I think that what made me especially mad is the reaction of my aunt. If there wasn’t anything to worry about, then why did she react like that, trying to push me away from the situation, pretexting that she wanted to protect me. Protect me? Protect me from what ?. If she wanted that, then she would never go out with my Math teacher, not considering my feelings. I sighed internally, this man... he seemed that he had had a relation with my aunt, I wonder what kind of relation though...He also seemed to know about my parents, maybe he has something to do with my parents’ accident. Impossible! The case was considered close by the police, asserting that it was just a simple car accident, that my dad was drunk and he lost control of the vehicle. But what surprised me is what was my mother doing with him? My father and I were supposed to pick her from work after buying her a gift for her anniversary, and even so, she would never let my father drive knowing that he was drunk. Too many questions without answers, I wasn’t there when the accident had happened, my aunt told me to join her in the hospital and that’s where my parents lost their last breath. Who could help me understand this weird situation, except my aunt, I don’t know who...Wait...There is someone who could give me some answers...

-” Knock Knock “. Why is she knocking on my door, I told her to not disturb me.

- “I don’t want you to bother me...“.

- “Sarah, open ! It’s me, Noelle ! “. What? Noelle? what is she doing here? When I opened the door, Noelle jumped into my arms.

- “Noelle ? What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in class ? “. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and I knew something had happened.

- “I ... I wanted to see you. I called you but you didn’t answer”. I looked at my phone, empty of battery, laying on my bed. I was so in my thoughts all day that I forgot to charge it.

- “Oh, I’m so sorry! I was desperately looking at the ceiling all day that I forgot to check. I’m happy to see you”. She nodded with a forced smile and I asked her to join me to sit on my bed.

- “So something happened in school ? “. She opened her eyes, surprised.

-” How did you know ? “.

- “Oh you know, I have a crystal ball to predict all that can happen “. She smiled but it didn’t last long. I put my hand on hers to console her.

-” No seriously ! What happened? Did your step-brother do anything to you? “. She looked at me surprised...again.

- “But ... how can you guess ? It’s becoming strange! “.

- “I told you it’s my crystal ball ...“. I winked at her, smiling.

- “No, seriously I think it’s not that hard to guess since you’re in a very bad mood and your hair looks all messy, what happened ? You look like you’re coming right from a hard fight ! “. And suddenly she jumped into my arms.

- “Oh Sarah it was horrible! “. Her voice was broken and sad. I could even hear her sobs.

-” Yes, I know”. I said stroking her back.

*****************

After she calmed down, Noelle told me all her misadventure at the cafeteria. At the end of her story, I couldn’t restrain myself from laughing.

- “Thanks for your support, I put myself into real shit and you, all that you find to do is laughing! It’s so good to have you as a friend”. She said, crossing her arms in a desperate attempt to hide her annoyance.

- “Don’t take this badly but, you slapped Britney? the same Britney we know ? “. I said not believing what she did.

-“Why do you look so surprised? You slapped Luke too, I remind you”. She glanced at me with a victorious smirk making me realize that we’re the same.

-“It’s not the same”. I whispered putting my hand on my cheek, remembering his lips on that spot.

-” I never thought I would have the courage to do it but I wasn’t going to stay quiet after all that she did to me, she really pissed me off with her stupid jerk of boyfriend ! “. She said with a high tone.

- “Yeah I understand you but, you know what...I think he has a crush on you, that Taylor “.

- “Huh? What? A crush on who ? You’ crazy ?! He is a real asshole and he has a girlfriend. If you had seen him how he defended her, you wouldn’t think that”.

- “If you say so, but I just think he’s just being mean to get your attention since you’re the only one who could stand up to him”. I shrugged.

- “Don’t be stupid, please. He never cared about me and neither do I! I’m more worried about others’ reactions. If you saw all the people who were looking at us. I really don’t know how I’m going to face everyone tomorrow!“. She said, hiding her face between her hands.

- “Noelle, don’t worry, I’ll be there for you”. I said, smiling.

- “Thank you, Sarah ! I’m so grateful to you for listening to me, I’m probably boring you with my miserable life”. She said with a small smile on her face.

-“No not at all. You made my day, I promise”. I smiled back and hugged her.

-“Tell me, why didn’t you come today to school ? “. She looked at me intrigued. I hesitated to tell her the truth, but after reflection, I decided to free myself from these secrets, after all, she is my best friend now. She listened to my ranting and raving without saying anything, the expression on her face was changing progressively as I was talking.

- “What a story ! Why would your aunt hide things from you? “. She said, sitting cross-legged.

- “I don’t know, but what I know is that she knows this man very well”.

- “And the papers, have you managed to read them? “.

- “Not yet but I intend to know what they hide”. Noelle gave me a reassuring smile and gave me a quick look at her watch.

- ” Oh god it’s already 6 p.m, sorry I have to go ! My mother is already gonna kill me for skipping school and I can’t imagine what she’ll do if I come back home late”. She said, standing up.

- “You’re not afraid to meet your step-brother? “.

- “Oh I don’t think he will come home today especially after what happened ...“. I nodded and guided Noelle to the exit.

- “See you tomorrow then?”

- “Yeah, tomorrow”. She hugged me then whispered to me:

-” Thank you for listening to me “.

- “It’s me who should thank you”. She smiled warmly at me and we kissed each other before she left. I hurried to go back to my room before meeting my aunt. As soon as I arrived, I jumped on my bed.

-” It’s your friend ? “. I raised my head to face my aunt. I decided to ignore her, cause the memory of her slapping me is still fresh.

“Listen, Sarah. If I don’t want to tell you anything it’s only to protect you. I don’t want you to confront things that you have nothing to do with”. She said, sitting on my bed.

- “And what makes you say that I have nothing to do with these things ? “. I said getting up and sitting on the bed to face her.

- “Sarah ...” She put her hand on my face but I removed it.

- “What I mean ... is that you are still young and so innocent. You deserve a happy life, don’t ruin it with futile things. That’s what your parents wanted and it’s my wish too”. She smiled but the look in her eyes was still worried.

- “Yeah, I understand”. I nodded.

-” Really ? “. She asked surprised. Looking at my aunt more closely, I noticed big dark circles under her eyes, her skin was pale and she was really tired. That’s why I prefer to say yes to everything she’s askin’, I don’t want her to be sad because of me, she is my only parent and she seems determined to stay quiet about what happened so I’ll pretend I’m okay with that.

-” Yes, really. I consider you as my mother so I know you want only what’s best for me”. I faked a smile and she hugged me tightly.

-” Thank you ! I thought you would never forgive me”.

- “Aunt Jane, you’re suffocating me ! “. She pulled away from me and apologized.

- “And about your teacher, forget everything, I have never seen or even spoken to him before”. She reassured me and I felt relieved. I wouldn’t know how to act in school if she had dated him. Suddenly, she put her hand on mine and looked right into my eyes.

- “Sarah you are the most precious person to me. If anything bad happens to you I will never forgive myself, I have already lost my sister so I don’t want to lose you too ... “. She had tears in her eyes so I squeezed her hand.

- “Do not worry, you will not lose me”. I said with a reassuring look.

- “Thank you, thank you very much”. She wiped her tears and got up slowly.

-” I’m going to prepare the dinner “. I nodded with a warm smile. But something on the bed caught my attention. A kind of key on which was written the name of my father ″ Karl Arlyne ″. My aunt probably dropped it unintentionally.

- “Aunt Jane ? “. What should I do? Give this key to her and do what my aunt said to me before or keep it for myself and see what I can do with it later on? What if this key has all the answers to my questions ?.

-” Yes darling ? “. She yelled from the hallway. I have to choose quickly.

-” I love you”. I managed to say after changing my mind.

-” I love you too, sweetie”. I feel guilty for hiding from her this key but I’m too curious to miss this opportunity and I don’t care what’s coming next, I just think my aunt is dramatizing too much this whole story, after all, what might be so dangerous ? and even if it’s the case, I can always go back and act as if nothing had happened...Can I?

“We believe we can lead our destiny, but it is always destiny who leads us”.

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