The Path Of Thorns
P R O L O G U E
I have always believed that stories should begin with "Once upon a time".
Parents always begin with "Once upon a time" when they tell their stories. And you always took it for granted that stories always ended with "And they lived happily ever after."
You've implicitly trusted your parents as a child. Like Santa, fairy tales were reality. As a child, you've mapped out your perfect life. Graduate, attend college, get a decent job, marry well, have a nice house with two children and a dog.
When you slowly grow up in this world, when you start to lose your childhood and start to be a teenager you can no longer close your eyes. You're confronted with the world and it's harsh reality every day.
I wasn't ready for that yet, or at least I thought I wasn't. I saw the way my parents were fighting, saw the way my sister and my mother were changing into something fake and there was nothing that I could do to stop it.
So I started to live in denial. I had a lot of friends, I had a great boyfriend but they couldn't help. There were a lot of moments that I was sitting on my bed, starring out of my window and softly crying. It doesn't matter how long you live in denial . . .Reality will always catch up with you.
I thought nothing would change and my worst fear was that I would become what my sister and my mother became. Fake, empty and only carrying about material things.
But one day, change came without my permission. On November fifteen, my entire world as I had known it had been turned upside down.
My world had collapse slowly around and I hadn't noticed it would come so quick.
This is my story . . .
"Once upon a time . . ."
I woke up at the horrible sound of my sister. She was screaming as usual and she didn't even bother to lower her voice for me and my father.
You're probably wondering why my sister is screaming. Let me tell you a bit more about my family, which I doubt is anything like the typical average normal family.
Molly my mother. I miss my mother. My real mother. It hurts to admit it. The simple truth is that she's changed. She had turned into a woman I now barely even know. Sometimes I would listen to her voice and imagine my mother I once knew. I would squeeze my eyes shut just to get a small glimpse of the woman that was my mother. The one I knew before we moved to Palm Beach. The mother that would take Alicia and me to the park and hold me tight when I had another nightmare.
It's sad to see your mother slowly transform into a Palm Beach socialite. She only cares about the outside of a person. Money, status and my old mother she would get sick of those people, she was the one after all who taught me to look in the inside.
She was gone. Because of that, I couldn't stand her anymore. The way she would fake a giggle when one of my father's friends would tell a joke, the socialite who hid her feelings very well, who cared more about the gossip of today than her daughters. No longer would she show up at our performances nor give us the pep talk before a stressful performance.
But my other fear was that my sister Alicia was growing into my mother. And fast.
Alicia had become the perfect Palm-beach socialite. Her clothes were immaculate designer labels. I had asked her a few times to hang out with me, talk like we used to. But I would never have to wait for an answer because her face gave it away. She wouldn't hang out with me because I was not Palm-Beach material. I could never ever be a Palm-Beach socialite. Alicia was embarrassed to be seen with me and every time I think about it, I get a big lump in my throat.
My father had changed as well. Before he got this job in Palm-Beach we would spend a lot of time together. We would play all kinds of sports; win the first prize, just to have fun. Nowadays I was lucky if I could even see him for 5 minutes. When I did see him, I often found myself speechless, not knowing what to say. I would ask him how his day was and he would give me a short answer. I always said goodnight to him and sometimes kiss him on the cheek.
I open windows and curtains, letting the warm breeze in. It's always warm in Palm Beach. I quickly took a shower and changed for school. As I walked down the stairs, I could already smell the food. I could see Amoul, making a delicious breakfast for the family as usual. I have always enjoyed her company, but the rest of the family doesn't say a word to her because she's a maid. I think that's ridiculous.
"Good morning, Amoul."
I said and grab a plate. She gives me an sweet smile before returning to her work.
"Buenos días, Raissa."
Amoul was from South America, she cleans the house and does all the jobs that my mother would use to do.
She used to speak broken English but over the years she has very much improved.
My sister walked into the room wearing a mini skirt with a top from Ralph Lauren.
She rested her hands and drummed her perfectly manicured nails on the island. She looked distraught. Why she was screaming?
I wondered. On second, I don't want to know. She and Amoul never gotten along and they probably never will. Alicia sighed loudly trying to get Amoul's attention but Amoul ignores.
"Something funny Raissa?" I shake my head and quickly stuff another bite into my mouth. She still looked at me funny.
"Something wrong?" She asked me again.
"Well, now that you mention it, yes. Seeing you first thing in the morning always ruins my day."
She gave me a disgusted look, which she tended to do a lot. I grabbed my backpack
And gave Amoul a kiss on her cheek.
I gave my sister a glare and she shuts up. Thank God! I got into my Mercedes and drove to school. The drive to school wasn't far, give or take ten minutes. I always enjoyed the drive.
Our High School is gorgeous, well at least I think it's beautiful. We have palm trees lining the street and the building is made of striking old-fashioned red bricks. When you look out of the window you can see the sea. The school grounds are lined with luscious dark green grass.
There are benches located on the balcony which allows you to sit and stare at the sea for hours. The residents of Palm-Beach always demand the best of the best. Why settle for second best when you can have the best? In this school we only have jocks who are snobby, arrogant bastards. You're probably wondering why I'm not like one of them.
I came from a different background.I was born in Maine.Years ago... God that makes me sounds old.
Anyway where was I ?
Like I said, we lived in Maine and I was happy living there. Mom was so different. She was normal. She read the news and actually cared what happened in the world. She spent a lot of time with Alicia and I doing all kinds of activities. We had some good friends. Real friends. There was nothing wrong with our lives.
Then Dad got promoted.
My life was turned upside down. Sure we have money, a big house, and parties every week, but I never cared about those things.
Mom became this shallow socialite and now my sister followed the suit. Dad's never home. Our family has grown apart. It's not so great in paradise.
I saw my friends running towards me. Since we moved to Palm Beach, I have met only two people who didn't fit into the Palm Beach stereotype I've been telling you about. Naturally they become my friends.
Tanya and David.
Tanya is half Asian. Tanya is probably what you would classify as a punk. Her hair is short, straight and mostly black. I say mostly because she spots red highlights in her dark hair. This style happens to be her flavour of the week.
She had lined her slanted hazel brown eyes with kohl. Her jeans were baggy and frayed at the heels where she stepped on them repeatedly because they were too long. She had on a long sleeved fish net top over her strikingly red shirt.
We have a strange way of showing affection. Instead of the usual hugs, we always tell each other that we suck. We call each other names, like for example bitchface, fuckhead, dickweed. It may sound offensive, but to us it's our twisted way of saying that we care. But no, really, it's something affectionate that we share. Not everyone understands us.
When David first met us, he was quite shocked at our... colorful names.
He's used to it now and sometimes we notice that he comes up with some pretty creative names too.
David and Tanya have been going out for a year and a half now. They're the most adorable couple I've ever seen. Tanya and David never argue which is rather odd because I find that arguments are normal in any relationship. Come to think of it my parents never argue either . . .
I gave Tanya a hug. She's already going a mile a minute and David gives me a sympathetic smile. I laughed.
"What?" Tanya asks, curious. I shake my head and she continues to talk. Three guess about who she's talking!
His parents are billionaires. His mother is a world class painter; his father is an incredibly talented and famous actor.
Their fame is nothing compared to Aidan's. . His face on all of the teen and fashion magazines. He's been on every channel ever broadcasted to every television on the planet. Aidan is famous for being the son of the Conrad's. He does charities, comes on talk shows and so much more.
They're incredibly generous, always donating their time and money to charities. They have their own fashion label called Conrad, like their last name. They own mansions across the globe.
"Have you seen his last interview? He's so smart and fu-"
I turned my head away. Tanya is cool; she just gets a little carried away when she talks about Aidan. But hey, so do most girls.
That doesn't mean she's shallow or anything. She's just a big fan.
David was quiet. He's always quiet; he knows that Tanya loves him.
"How've you been?" I asked David trying to get a conversation that does not involve Aidan.
"Good. Basketball practice is getting tougher, but we have to be ready for the big game next week. So we have to train harder than usual. And you should have seen Tom last week in practice! That was-"
Okay! So maybe what I said about David being quiet isn't totally true. He can talk about sports on and on, like Tanya can talk about Aidan. No wonder they're together, they've so much in common.
I need to get some new friends! Just kidding! I see my boyfriend coming my way. His name is Logan and we have been dating for two weeks now. We get along great. We enjoy the same things, we like the same things, we watch the same things, we eat the same things. Our relationship is just so... B-O-R-I-N-G!!!
It's more like we're just good friends. There's no chemistry at all! I mean am I that hard to please? Logan takes my hand and gives me a quick kiss. So full of passion and romance!
I'm in such a crappy mood today.
My sister is surrounded by airheads again. Oh well, it's her life. More like death row to me. To me, spending a single day with them would be worse than death row.
Okay, I'm exaggerating, but this day sucks and I have a feeling that it's not going to get any better.
Logan and I enter our English class. He took a seat next to me and we chatter about unimportant things like normal teenagers.
Logan is so… Logan. I mean to say that he's so normal. I know what to expect from him and sometimes it that me comfort.
Class was almost over when the teacher receives a phone call from our Principal. "Could Alicia and Marissa Lewis go to the principal office?"
Whispers broke out in the classroom as I quickly gathered my books together.
Logan looks at me, his face full of concern and confusion. I shrug my shoulders. I have no clue what's going on. Alicia was there too. Alicia had never been sent to the principal's office before, unlike me who is no stranger to getting in trouble.
We took a seat.
"Your parents will be here soon to pick you up." Said the principal.
He was bald and his eyes were freaky! Cold and grey. Worst of all, he has a beer belly!
Well, most principals are freaky.
My sister doesn't say anything. I can see that she's nervous. I mean, this is a dramatic experience for her. I nod my head.
Five minutes later, our parents walked into the office. My mother looks terrible. Her face was devoid of makeup which was very unusual.
"Girls, your mother and I have a serious family matter to tell you." My father started. "But we'll discuss it when we get home."
I look at him closely.
"Why don't we talk about it now?
I challenged. Patience was never one of my virtues. I was starting to feel nervous.
My father shook his head. "Please Raissa."
His eyes were begging me. I took a deep breath. I was about to agree when my sister interrupted me.
"Why do we have to wait till we get home? Couldn't you wait till we finished school instead of dragging us out of class? What could be so important?"
The entire time Alicia spoke, I stared at my dad.
"Let's just go home. Alicia shut up."
I grabbed my coat and was the first one to step out of the office as my sister stares in shock. I walked away so quickly, leaving my family behind.
So what's going on?"
I blurted out the moment we walked into the kitchen.
My mother kept silent and sits in the nearest chair. My father looked at our mother one last time before focusing his attention on us.
"I know this must come out of the blue for you two. But your mother and I haven't been…"
I already knew what he was going to say. They would have broken the news to us sooner if it involved a death in the family. A quick glance at Alicia told me that she was full of questions. I tried to refocus my attention to my father but I wasn't listening anymore.
His finger. No wedding ring. I took a deep breath.
"…happy for a while now. And we both know that we can't do this anymore."
He looks straight at me. I feel numb.
"This has been going on for some time now." He stops and takes a deep breath.
I look at my dad and I see hurt in his eyes. I haven't seen his emotions for so long that it feels so weird to see them now. I knew what he was to say next and the suspense was killing me.
"We're getting a divorce."
And there it was.