Liar (It Takes One to Know One)
Chapter One -
"Honey, we're almost there… come on, wake up."
I groaned and turned in my seat, which was rather hard to do considering I was strapped down to it. I opened one eye slowly, and then the other. My mother, in the front seat, was looking at me and smiled when I finished opening both my eyes. "We're about ten minutes away from the house," She said happily. Only when she had turned around did I allow myself to roll my eyes. Moving had not been my idea. Moving meant change, and change was the thing I hated most of all – besides seafood… but that's a different story. I know, I probably wasn't the only sixteen year old girl that had been forced to leave all she had known since she was three and move to some God forsaken place, filled with nothing but miles and miles of empty land – okay, so it wasn't really "miles and miles of empty land", more like a few hundred feet between each house and building – but still! Moving was not the most amazing idea Robert and Suzan had ever hatched. Robert and Suzan, the people I rarely ever claimed as my own, the reasons why I was forced to say goodbye forever to my best friend, the reasons why I was now going to be forced into a school with UNIFORMS, were sadly my parents.
The people that caused me so much emotional anguish and who also caused me to develop a few gray hairs at such a young age – I'm not even kidding. I WILL FREAKING SHOW YOU – were the same people I had to say 'goodnight, I love you' to every day.
"I still don't understand why we had to move," I mumbled to myself. I really hadn't said it to anyone but myself. My parents and I had gone over this conversation since the moment they had told me about moving. It always ended with someone in tears – usually my dad don't ask.
"Rhea, we've been over this before," my dad said, looking at me through the rearview mirror, "I was offered a very good job, and I couldn't pass it up. Don't you want to be rich?"
"Money isn't everything!" I seethed. I blinked and raised my eyebrows at the same time my dad did. Wow, never thought I'd say that.
"I thought you liked money," my dad said in an amused tone.
"I do…! But not when it runs your life." And takes you away from everything you've ever known.
"It's not running our lives. It's simply helping it out a bit," my mom added.
"Psh, whatev," I said looking through the window. "Are we almost there? I want to get out of the car." And away from you.
"We should be there in a few minutes," my dad said. I knew he was aggravated with me, but I could have really cared less at the time. When we pulled into the neighborhood we'd be living in, I had to admit, it was far more then beautiful. The houses themselves were gigantic, but so were the front yards.
"Jesus…" I said as my face was plastered to the window. "These houses are huge!" I said emphasizing the word 'huge'. I swear, as we passed one of the houses, it could double as a castle.
"We're here," My dad said.
"WOW, that castle is our house??" I said enthusiastically, jumping up and down in my seat.
"Haha, of course not. This is," he said pulling into the driveway next to the castle.
"Oh. My," I said staring at our new home. While not as big as the other houses – actually, I'd even say it was the smallest- it certainly wasn't the least amazing. What it lacked in largeness it made up in beauty. It was two stories – with a possible basement – and built magnificently. "Woooow. Look at that garden," I said looking at the beautiful bed of roses leading up the driveway.
"It's amazing, isn't it?" Dad said looking at me through the rearview mirror once again.
"Pshh, it's alright I guess," I mumbled and threw myself back into the seat.
He laughed and pulled up to the end of the driveway. I jumped out and praised the heavens as I walked around, stretching my legs. Fifteen hours in a car will do that to you. I looked over at the castle/mansion. Geeze, it was so close I could see into their living room. They could afford a huge house, but couldn't afford land?
"What's with their house being so close?" I asked dad as he climbed out of the car.
"It's not that close to us," he said, intentionally avoiding my eyes.
"… There's something you're not telling me isn't there, dad?" I asked suspiciously. If it turned out that our actual house was the trashcan at the beginning of the driveway I was going to kill him.
"Well, kind of." He said, sheepishly.
"I knew it. Well, I call the top of the trashcan," I said and started walking back down the driveway.
"Rhea, what are you talking about?" Dad said raising his eyebrows.
"Erm... nothing…" I said and stopped walking. I guess the trashcan wasn't our new home…
"This house belongs to the owner of that house," he said pointing to the castle/mansion.
"Oh, is that all??" I said sighing in relief. "I thought you were going to say something crazy, like we were going to have to sleep in a trashcan."
"Um… why would we have to live in a trashcan?" He said.
"Oh, I don't know… I was just guessing…" I said shuffling my feet.
"No, we don't have to live in a trashcan," he said laughing. "We just have to live in my boss's spare house."
"Oh well that's bet- wait, what??" Living in a fellow employee's spare house is okay, but your boss's?!
"You heard me; this is my boss's spare house. He was kind enough to let us leave here until we can really get on our feet," He said getting a little angry.
"Um, okay. You're boss's house is fine," I said walking backwards a bit.
"Good. We're meeting him for dinner in an hour. The movers should have put all of your stuff in your room. Second floor, third door on the right. We'll finish unloading the car."
"Okay," I said watching them get all the trash from the car.
"Go!" he said when I didn't go right away.
"Fine," I sighed and walked into the house.
I have to say, for a spare house, it was pretty much the shit. I allowed myself a little tour before I went to take my shower. When you first walked in the only thing you saw was a huge chandler and a large red carpet on the floor. I slowly walked in and turned toward another room. Apparently the whole house – except possibly the bedrooms – was made of wood flooring. This room was the formal dinning room, complete with a wood fireplace. The next room I went to was the kitchen. All the shelves and counter were made of steel.
Gosh, mom's going to have a field day in here…
I decided to skip the rest of the house and finish it later.
I found the stairs and ran up to the second floor. I was pretty excited about seeing my room, granted it really wasn't my room. My room in Kansas, where I used to live, had been extremely small and uninteresting, but, when I walked into my new room, painted a light purplish color, was much bigger and had a happy, welcoming feeling about it. As my father had said, boxes upon boxes were spread out across the floor and even across the bed. I sighed and reached for the box that said 'CLOTHING' in large capital letters on the side of it. I decided I wasn't going to get dressed up for some old man that had hired my dad, and instead picked a pair of jeans and a worn out 'Coca Cola' shirt that I'd had since I was fourteen. I placed both the jeans and the shirt on top of a different box and headed to the bathroom. A bathroom. IN my room, not in the hallway like at my old house. Thankfully, there were already clean towels under the sink. I placed two out on the counter before pulling back the shower curtain and started running mildly warm water. I peeled off the traveling clothes I had been in for the last 15 hours. I grimaced at the thought of ever having to ride in a car for more than an hour ever again. I hopped in the shower, basking in the feeling of warm water hitting my skin. The tension in my shoulder muscles started to ease out. When I finished washing off, I dried off using the towels I had found. I didn't feel like finding my hairdryer in the endless forest of cardboard boxes, and instead decided to let it air dry.
Thank goodness I had put my toothbrush in my purse just incase we had to spend the night at a hotel. I pulled that out, and also my mascara and face powder. Although I didn't want to turn any old men on tonight, I didn't want to be mistaken for a hideous monster either. After brushing my teeth and putting on a little make up, I put on some flip flops and headed down stairs. My parents were there, unpacking in the kitchen. I threw myself against the couch in the living room, which was parallel to the kitchen. I looked at them through the doorway that connected the living room and kitchen together.
"I'm ready," I mused and watched my mom drop a fork in surprise. She looked over at me and sighed.
"Don't sneak up on me like that, Rhea," she said picking up the tainted fork. She walked over to the sink and ran it under warm water.
"You're wearing that to meet my boss?" My dad said looking at my outfit as if disgusted by it.
"Er… I was planning on it…" I said glancing down at it. I didn't think it was that bad.
"At least put on a decent pair of shoes, Rhea." He said setting the plate he was about to put away, on the countertop.
I rolled my eyes. "Fine," I said annoyed. I got up and ran back upstairs to the room I claimed as my own. I grabbed the box where I had pulled out the clothes I was now wearing and found a pair of my favorite rocketdogs. I hobbled out the door and into the hallway as I tried putting them on without sitting down or taking a break from walking and putting them on the correct way.
When I finally got both pairs on, I rushed down the stairs where my parents had stopped unpacking the kitchen and were now also getting their shoes on.
"Better?" I said modeling the blue rocketdogs I now sported.
"A little, but they ARE better then those other things you had on," dad said glancing at my feet then continued to lace his leather shoes up. Yes, you heard me correctly, LEATHER shoes. But that's not the only fancy thing he was wearing, oh no, not by far. He was actually wearing a suit. And I don't know if I mentioned this before, but my dad's not in the best shape. He actually has what you would call a 'beer belly'. He doesn't even drink beer, or really any type of alcohol, except for the occasional glass of wine. So, I guess it really wasn't a beer belly… but it was better then outright saying he was fat.
I glared at him. "Dad, you know those 'things' I just had on are called Flip Flops."
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever, let's go. We're going to be late," he said standing up and fixing his tie.
When we got there – about two minutes later, ahem – I was feeling a bit annoyed. I really didn't want to do this. I was tired, hungry, and I just really wanted to go back and watch some TV. Not because I'm like, some horrible daughter or anything, but come on I had been in a car for fifteen hours straight. The last thing I wanted to do was go over to my dad's bosses' house for some awkward dinner.
We walked up to the door – I stealthily put myself behind both my parents – and my dad rang the doorbell.
I don't want to do this; I don't want to do this.
The door opened and we were greeted by none other than… a butler. How cliché. I actually liked how they called themselves 'BUTlers'. I, myself, could never adopt such a name for my work. But you know I didn't really have a very big butt fetish or anything. Butlers probably did.
"Hello, I would take it you are the Johnson's?" The butler said eerily sounding like Batman's butler. I was pretty sad when he died in the third movie. Or did he? Wait… he was just really sick. He didn't die, did he??
I was rudely pulled away from my thoughts when I noticed everyone was staring at me.
"What..?" I asked looking from my dad, to my mom, to the butler guy, back to my dad.
"He asked if he could take your jacket," my dad said through clenched teeth.
"Oh, er, sure. I guess." As soon as I gave it to him, I regretted it. I'd seen those movies where the help stole people cash from their jackets they had offered to take. Granted, I only had about thirty cents and a stick of gum. But still! That was the expensive type of gum, not the cheap-only-lasts-for-a-few-minutes type of gum.
He led us into the house, carrying my coat with him.
Maybe if I just tugged it out of his grasp… I bet I could take him if he wouldn't let me have it…
I started to reach for my jacket when we suddenly came to a stop.
"Introducing, Master David Jackson and his wife, Mistress Jean Jackson," The butler said in the same eerily batman-butlery voice as before.
We all looked up the stairs and, sure enough, two well dressed, upper class, people came walking down the stairs.
The woman, obviously Jean Jackson, was quite striking. Her bone structure was as flawless as her smooth looking skin. A warm smile touched her lips as she greeted us.
"Hello, you must be Robert and Suzan," she said, you could even hear in the tone of her voice a smile, "I'm Jean, and obviously you know my husband, David." She touched her husbands shoulder lightly and he stepped forward.
I had expected an older man, around sixty or so, but this man couldn't be more then forty-five. Like his wife, his bone structure was beautiful. Is brown eyes spoke as he looked at both of my parents and then at me. The only sight of ageing that I could see on this man, were the small streaks of grey, forming above both his ears.
He greeted my parents before turning to me. "And you must be Rhea. How lovely you are. Very beautiful," He said shaking my hand firmly.
I blushed, looking down, and muttered a small 'thank you'.
His wife agreed. "Yes, she's extremely pretty." I looked up and she smiled at me. I smiled back and said thank you once again.
Mr. Jackson looked over at the butler. "Charles would you call up to Rebecca's room and tell her the guests have arrived?"
He said this as a question and I was mildly shocked. Most people would have ordered much a thing.
"Of course, sir. It would be my pleasure." He said and made a little bow before wandering off – with my jacket!
I silently cursed myself, positive my wonderful gum would not be there when he returned it to me – or my thirty cents, for that matter.
"Shall we go into the living room? We still have about fifteen minutes before dinner will be ready," David said raising his arm and pointed to the direction of the room he was talking about.
We walked towards it, and I took this opportunity to look at the house in detail. It looked remarkably familiar.
"Have you figured it out yet?" I looked over and saw Mr. Jackson and his wife smiling at me.
"Figured what out??" I asked confused. Had I missed something again while I was day dreaming?
"Why our house looks so familiar," He asked smiling even more.
I thought about it for a minute. Then it hit me. "You modeled the house we're living in after this one, didn't you? Only you made this one larger"
"That's exactly it. Except it's the other way around. We modeled this house after that one. You see, it was my father's house, and as soon as we came into some money, we built this one, and left the other one there for guests."
"It must be hard maintaining two houses," my mom said looking over her shoulder as we entered the living room.
"Not really. We can afford it. And that house has its own pair of maids to keep it up." He said sitting down next to his wife.
I sat down in a chair a little off to the side. It felt awkward sitting there with four adults.
But as soon as I thought that a girl about my age, with thick blonde hair and round eyes, came walking into the room. She was wearing a white blouse and a long blue skirt.
"Allow me to introduce you to my daughter, Rebecca," Mr. Jackson said smiling at his daughter, then at us.
"Rebecca, would you be so kind as to show Rhea up to your room. I'm sure you both don't want to stay and hear about politics and the like. If you want, you can go down to the kitchen and eat dinner there also." Mrs. Jackson said.
"Thanks mom," she said smiling in relief. I did also. Sanctuary!
"Come on, Rhea," She said motioning to me.
I smiled at her and got up. 'Thanks,' I mouthed to her.
'No problem,' she mouthed back.
When we were at a safe distance to start complaining without being heard by the rents, I said, "Holy shit. I really thought I was going to have to go to dinner and be bored out of my mind."
"Haha, yeah. My parents are pretty cool though, they know how much I hate doing that," She said leading me up the stairs. "As you know my names Rebecca, but you can call me Bec, or becca, or stupid. Whichever you see fit."
"Haha. You can call me Rhea, or Rae." I said, smiling at her joke. "So do you go to that uniform school too?"
"Mmhm. I've been trying to talk my parents out of it for years. But they won't enroll me into anything different," she stopped, "I guess they aren't that cool after all." She said and laughed. "This is my room," She said, pointing to the door on the left. We walked in and I stopped.
"Woooow." Now THIS was a nice room. It was painted light blue and had pictures and posters of bands all along the walls. And it was BIG. Twice the size as my current room, and mine was pretty large.
"You like?" she said, sitting on her bed.
"Mmhm. Very much so. I like the whole house, actually," I muttered, fascinated by all the posters and walked in further.
"Wait until you see the pool," she said, looking out the window.
I perked up at this. I loved pools. "You have a pool??" I asked excited.
She laughed, "Yeah. It's out back. I can go show you if you want."
I nodded excitedly.
"You can start heading down there if you want. I'm going to change out of these barf clothes."
After she told me how to get to the back door so I started down. I walked through the informal living room, and then ended up in a hallway. Third door on the right, she had said. I opened that door, which ended up being a bathroom with a door next to the shower. I shrugged and opened it. I laughed and stepped out into the cold night air. Although it was late September, the weather was still a bit chill at night, particularly up in Massachusetts, where my new house was.
"Wow…" The pool was very pretty indeed. It was surrounded by different colored plants and flowers. The house was connected to it, and was used as a substitute waterfall.
As I walked towards it, I muttered a bit loudly, "Jesus, I wish I had a mother fucking pool like this…"
I heard soft laughter coming from behind me.
"You must be Rhea… want a cig?"