Forever Starts Today
I'm Daena Mettinaire and being me isn't easy.
For one, I am a daughter of two workaholic, multi-billionaires whose reason for living is to earn money in excessive amounts that they could let other firms feel money hemorrhaged.
My parents- my obsessed parents to be exact, has given me my first ever credit card when I was nine. It was actually mom's idea. She wants me to be all independent and decide and spend some things on- you guessed it- my own. Dad, on the other hand was against it at first, but obviously, she had talked him into it. So when they both handed me my first ever VISA, my mom wanted to cry. She had never looked so proud in her entire life. Not even when she peered at my report card which had straight A's which my dad showed no interest about.
As I look at mom and dad, and their expressions when I got home that day with my school report card, I had the feeling that I was adopted.
Oh yes, there isn't any possible explanation about it. And people will think that I am a very very lucky girl because it's as if I've just won the lottery by being given to a rich, childless couple who desperately wants someone to succeed them. I'm adopted and I'm officially going to become an heiress of a multi-billionaire firm once my multi-billionaire adoptive dad retires...
Umm... Not really... I mean, I'm not adopted. I can easily say that because I practically got my physical qualities from both of them. My parents, I mean.
I got Dad's green eyes, and his finely-chiseled nose. I inherited my auburn hair, cheekbones, eyebrows and 'petal' lips from my mom. So practically, I'm a complete mixture of my parents. When I asked Corinne, one of our servants if I am more like dad or mom, she just replied, "A pretty vision of your mother, and a braver version of your father."
Wow, sounds poetic. But that's it.
And I believe what she said. There is really no escape... I am Daena Mettinaire and I live in a big mansion and my dad owns lots of luxury cars and I have this barbie collection I hate- my mother's idea, not mine. And now... she's giving me gazillions of make-up as she walks into my room.
I mean, honestly... I don't wear make-up. Ever.
Mom approaches my bed. She rarely visits my room and I rarely see her. And truth to tell, I get so annoyed by her because all she does when she sees me is transform me into a fashion magazine cover girl.
I'm almost sixteen years old and I am no way in control of my life. Not even with stupid cosmetics... or my wardrobe.
"You must at least try to look like a lady," my mom insists as she leafs through the hanging clothes in my wardrobe, wrinkles her nose and looks at me with pity.
Is that an insult??
"I look like a lady," which you know, kind of. I wear a blouse, and a skirt and high-heels which she handpicks from the walk-in closet I never used... and do I need a tiara?
Oh my God!
My mom has finally figured it out.
The thing is, I have this bag stuffed with my real clothes and their waiting for me inside the limousine. Once I see to it that my parents are off, I change into them. I mean, no way I am walking with high heels at school. Just... no way!
And yes... I go to school by riding a limousine.
Oh well, practically. But more on that later.
Anyway, my mother is gaping at me like she uses to gape at me when she realizes I'm not interested in whatever she's nagging me to do. I think she's going to admit that I'm adopted after all, by the way her eyebrows darts like that. After minutes of controlling herself, she says "Honey, you really need your own make-up kit. I'll just apply a little blush on to flush your cheeks."
Ok, I give up. At least she hasn't figured out what happens to the blouse and the skirt and the dresses and the heels she lets me wear.
I take a sigh of relief and I allow her to paint my cheeks... and my lips... and my eyebrows.
A little blush on to flush my cheeks, huh! But whatever! I have tissues stuffed in my secret bag too. I'm going to just wipe my face and it'll all come off. I'm going to be the same Daena as I walk through the gates of the school. I don't have to worry. I-
"Daena, would you mind me driving you to school?"
"What?!" I shouted almost instantaneously as mom's word penetrated my thoughts. Realizing how this might've offended her, I gulped... and with a lower voice said "What?"
Saying the soft 'what' does quite a lot of difference... Doesn't it?
"I know, it's been quite a while since I've dropped you to school and I'm free today so..."
I don't think so... The damage is done. I realize as she looks at me with a pained expression.
"What do you mean it's been awhile? You never drive me to school," I want to say. But I remain silent instead.
"Daena, I..." she says and she looks at me, almost tearfully.
Is this my mother?
"Honestly, mom. You can drive me to school. Of course you can," I say, staring at my black painted nails.. I don't want to hurt my mother, do I?
Her face brightens but in a matter of seconds, she frowns as she follows my gaze. "Young lady, what did you do to your nails!"
So ten minutes later, I'm on the passenger seat of mom's red Mazda, all dolled-up and without my black nails (she demanded me to remove them), and I'm thinking really, really hard of my bag- my precious bag containing my real clothes. I'm concentrating... as if I can have it.
I can have it, a voice inside my head says. I can call Corinne and ask her to send me my bag. But what would I say without mom knowing it? I mean, she hates that bag. Now that I've thought of it, I must have chosen a 'fab' bag to counter mom's suspicion. Not that backpack. I guess I'm just going to pretend it's my 'bag with my project' or the 'cute pink bag I love'. Corinne's not stupid. She'll get what I mean.
I reach for my phone inside my glossy, new handbag- courtesy of mom- and I was going to speed dial when I hear mom's cellphone ringing.
The car is nearing the gate, and mom reaches for her cellphone and now she's listening through the mobile enhancement attached to her ears.
"Yes... yes... What?!" she sounds alarmed. "You've got to be kidding! You have got to be kidding ME!" she looks stressed. "OK..."
And she ends the call, stops the car, and looks at me with an apologetic look.
Whoa! Looks like I don't need to call Corinne after all.
"It's OK, Mom," I assure her.
"I'm really sorry," she says.
"That's... fine..." I say as I get out of the car. We have not gone out of the gate yet.
Of course, I'm not disappointed. I'm not disappointed at all... OK, I admit. I'm disappointed.
The most honest thing I'm going to say is "I wouldn't mind being seen wearing this girly dress... or wearing these high heels. Not if my mother is driving me to school."
As if to pull me from reverie, Mom punches some keys on the phone and speaks to the driver- the driver of the limousine, that is. And she asks me to wait for him here as she starts the car again and in a minute, the car turns a corner and is gone.
I look at the direction of our big and boring mansion and sure enough, there's my limousine, I could feel my disappointment subsiding. At least I can wear whatever I want to wear in school. I grin at Richard as he stops the car.
Ever since the incredulity of my limousine riding, I strictly asked Richard about screwing the formalities. Whatever you see in movies about rich young girls having doors opened to them by white gloved chauffeurs is not absolutely happening. At least not in my case. I have my own hands to open the doors, thank you very much.
I open the back compartment and slide in... clumsily. Whatever! It's not like someone else is watching.
Corinne is inside the car as she grins at me and holds the bag on her lap and I suddenly have the urge to snatch the bag away from her and hug it tightly.
I'm not wearing my high heels and girly dress to school! I want to dance with happiness, only that (a) I can't dance while sitting down and (b) I don't have the grace in doing this which to put it precisely, I don't know how to dance.
The limo starts to speed up as Corinne helps me change into my normal clothes: a pink blouse, blue denim pants... and I kick the high heeled sandals and replace them with my comfortable rubber shoes. She brushes my hair and ties it into a half-pony.
I almost forgot about the make-up on my face until she hands me a wad of tissues and holds a mirror in front of my face.
I wipe my painted face and was finishing up when I saw the familiar red bricked wall through the car window.
Richard pulls over as I had always instructed him to do but my problem is with-
"Miss!" I don't even know why she's hissing. Corinne can be really difficult sometimes. "I know you're doing it again but I have to tell you to stop it. Your parents would really be worried and..."
I don't believe what she's saying. Whatever happened to Miss, I beg you, your parents are going to kill us! or the Miss, I know you are embarrassed with this car but I can't see why-
"... it's two blocks away!" I catch the last few words as she says it more louder than the rest.
So we get to this part where I get to ride a limo in going to school. Actually, it's 50-50. I ride a limo to school but never arrive to school in it. Exactly.
In the end, I won Corinne's heart... I always do anyway. Obviously, Corinne is one of the softest people on earth...
I have the slightest image of her angry eyes and push it back to my memory.
Umm... Ok... Actually, I kind of bribed her- kind of threatened her really... It's just one of those childish things I say to her... but that's not important.
What's important is that now I'm free! The limousine had abandoned me for good- at least for now.
I am walking by the sidewalk and admiring the flowers and butterflies in the garden as I pass through them. I couldn't get any happier. I really should plan spending a week from the house... in an expensive hotel perhaps. I'll just demonstrate to mom about the drawbacks of VISA. And dad would also be furious... but still... People would call me "the independent girl with the Platinum VISA," or maybe someone's going to kidnap me when they realize who I am.
I glance at the people I meet at the streets and as always, no one seems to recognize me. Who would anyway? Most of the people who knows my parents don't even know I exist. There's this thing about swearing secrecy and not introducing me to the people until my parents 'officially' present me to the elite crowd... and that's during my sixteenth birthday... and it's happening in three weeks!
My stomach lurches just thinking of it. I couldn't be blamed for my being anxious about it- not excited, far from that. I had fifteen solid birthdays with the whole household- no more, no less and I'm suddenly upgrading with this grand birthday celebration of mine... Goodness, I may not go to the event.
Or maybe I would. If I don't go, my parents would die with humiliation and I'd be an orphan.
So, I'm not considering that thought. I haven't got any options to begin with. It's my birthday, and I must survive the event without stuttering or displaying my 'inappropriate behavior' as mom put it. She's really so bossy! When she's around at least.
Which now, I think, in the scale of one to ten is... one. And all she ever does is to annoy me. Example... (well, there's no other example, is there?) My 'bland fashion sense.'
And she stares at me as if I'm a child but honestly... I've grown pass that. She didn't contribute enough in my childhood life anyway and she treats me now as if I oh so need her fashion advice.
"Arrrggh..." I find myself jumping.
I miss the splashing water by an inch. It came from a small puddle from the ground.
I sighed and continued walking, only that this time, a bus edged it's way in a hurry and the great impact brought water on my rubber shoes and the lower part of my jeans.
"Stupid school bus!"
"That won't happen if you just watch where you're heading," says a voice from my right.
"Shut up!" I say in defense as I find myself heating up as the boy gazes at me.
I stare at my stained shoes and gulp. Realizing how I must have looked to him. I look up and survey him in the most confident way possible- which is kind of hard because I was also controlling the bump-bump-badump of my heart.
The best words would be "He's so cute". He is wearing an orange shirt and that kinda looks good on him. He has dark hair, and blue-green eyes and he has the most perfect form of face I had ever seen in my life. Umm... maybe that's quite true, as I've never seen enough males. He is tall (Could he be taking growth pills?) and he has a fair skin.
"What are you staring at?" asks the teenage boy. Have I been eyeing him too long?
What? I'm not looking at you. You think you would be that handsome to be stared at? that would not be the best thing to say. It would be better if I'll say Nothing. I just saw a butterfly pass by your beautiful face (that may sound silly too) or Just checking if I have already seen you around... Right, that's better.
"Miss are you okay?"
"Erm..." You seem to snatch my ability to speak. Oh! I can't believe I've been talking to him through mental telepathy. How I wish he can't read people's minds because that would be too much to handle.
"Sorry Miss but I think that you have been staring at me just like what you are doing right now. Do you find me handsome? Attractive?"
What? More like bighead!
"Sorry also to you," I say coolly. Thank God, I recovered. "...But I would be really late so please excuse me. Will you?" I finally snap at him, bumping at him as he was blocking my way.
He grins at me and I can't believe there'd come a day that I'm wishing I did not remove that make-up just so it wouldn't be too obvious when I blush- just like now.
Maybe I could tell him a witty retort to his.. rudeness. "By the way," I say, feeling quite impressed with myself finding out I can still think after all. "I can already see your big head bursting with that amazing self-esteem of yours. I don't want to end up picking and assembling the pieces of your brain."
"You would do that for me?" the boy almost choked when he laughed.
This is why I hate being a red head and being vulnerable to blushes... I'm sure that I would be late for school so I just ignored him and continued to walk towards the school gates ten meters away now.
"Wait Miss! I haven't even know you!" he shouts as I walk briskly away from him... but with his long legs, he catches up anyway.
"You're a complete stranger, I have no plans of befriending you, why would I even want to know you?," I say to him as I clutch a stitch at my side and pant. There, that should do him good.
"Miss, I'm not going to bite you or anything. Nathaniel Rudson and you are…?" he says as he holds out a bandaged hand. He never gives up, does he?
I pretend to be engrossed with the colorful roses near the pavement and avoid shaking hands with this 'stupid but cute boy'. Or do I really want to label him that? 'pityingly handsome big head' suits him more. "Yeah like I really cared..." I mumble, not taking my eyes off the beautiful roses.
"Oh I see. You love flowers don't you?" he says as he puts his ignored bandaged hand in his pocket.
"Umm… not really. They're just... nice," I say vaguely. This is the only answer I can give him. "Bye, Nathaniel!" I plaster a sarcastic smile. "I'll really should be going. I'll be late... and... and... um..."
I can't believe I'm stammering. I enter the gate and I realize that he may not be listening anyway. He is just walking behind me. And I swear I hear him mumble "Women..." and I feel the butterflies flying- no not in the garden... but inside my stomach.
MAY 4, 2009
AN: This is the edited version of chapter one... and it's already in first person.
However, what you can find after this chapter is the unedited Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 still written in third person.