Vraie Beauté

When two people have completely opposing ideas about Beauty…

and change each other's lives forever…

A Novella


"The greatest treasures are those invisibe to the eye but found by the heart"

- Unknown

Dedication: This story is written for my family who've supported me in my writing forever and now to all those who have read my fictionpress writings and urge me to keep going. Without you, I wouldn't have gotten this far or realized that writing for the enjoyment and blessing of other people is the best gift in the world. To you, I hope this story brings plenty of joy.


-Prologue-

23rd August, 2002

Oliver

I watched her as she licked the spoon, smacked her lips together and then grinned excitedly.

"Gosh, Ollie!! This tastes great! Try some!"

I opened my mouth, about to tell her about how much I hated raw dough when she shoved the wooden spoon right down my throat. I started coughing uncontrollably, waving at her hand and trying to get her to let go of that stupid spoon. Her eyes were widened as she watched me continue to choke in vain and it was only when I pulled the spoon away from her that she let go and I was able to pull the spoon from my mouth and cough out the rest of the disgusting stuff.

"I'm sorry, Ollie." She said in a small voice, looking up at me with her wide, blue eyes.

Mama had always told me that I had anger issues and if she were my younger brothers or sisters, I would have attacked her with the spoon.

But fact was, she wasn't my little sister. She was my best friend.

"It's okay, Bel." I managed to say in a strangled voice. "Not like I died or anything."

She had the smallest of smiles as she took the spoon from me and dumped it in the sink.

"Your papa will be so happy when he sees this cake. Remember to tell him that I helped you make it." She busied herself cleaning up the sides of the metal tin and placed the brown goo into the oven. "If you forget to tell him, I will punch you."

I looked at her incredulously. "You're a girl." I informed her, folding my arms and standing straight so that when she turned to stand next to me, she would realize that I was now a whole centimetre taller than her. "And girls shouldn't be hitting anyone."

She stung out her tongue at me. "Whatever. You're just jealous that I'm ten times stronger than you."

"You wish."

She hit me on my shoulder and seriously, it killed. But being the strong guy that I was, I tried to ignore the pain as best as possible and stood up straight once again and grinned at her. "You punch like a girl."

Punch.

"OWW!!"

"Belinda!"

Saved by Mrs Hart, Belinda's mother who entered the room with a phone in one hand and pulling Belinda away from me with another.

"Stop hurting poor Oliver." She hissed at Bel. "Go watch TV instead. I'll call you both when the cake is ready…go on."

We exchanged glances then looked at the cake in the oven. With a deep sigh, Bel turned and pulled at my shirt sleeve so that I followed her out of the kitchen, the sound of Mrs Hart's laugh echoing behind us.

"Mum's always siding you." Bel fumed when we finally reached the lounge room and climbed onto the large, cream couch. "You know, she's always telling me what a good little boy"-

-"I'm not little!" I protested but she just glared at me, silencing me at once.

"Anyway," She looked away from me, taking her single, golden braid in one hand and stroking it absently. She was staring straight ahead, at the blank TV as she said, "mum's always saying how much she wishes she had a child like you instead of a spoilt brat like me…it's not fair."

Realising that my mouth was partially open, I quickly closed it, shaking my head and trying to stop looking at her one hand which continued to move up and down her length of hair, her fingers so fair and perfect. Consciously, I looked down at my own fingers. They were about the same size as her's – we'd compared them just two days ago – but mine were more brown and stubby...

-"Ollie? Ollie?!"

I started and stared at her with widened eyes.

"Huh?"

"Why weren't you listening to me?!" She started to complain.

Fear rising, I quickly said, "You should be happy."

This was a mistake because she now glared at me. "Happy, Ollie? HAPPY?! Happy that she likes you more than me, her own dau"-

-"no, no…" I stared at my hands once again and said quietly, "at least…" Just the thought brought a lump to my throat. "…at least she doesn't have"-

-"oh look, Arthur's on!" Bel suddenly interrupted me, touching my hand and, when I looked up, pointed to the TV with the familiar face of that mouse-looking guy waving at us.

I frowned at the TV for awhile before glancing back at Bel who was watching the show intently, as if I weren't even there. I felt a tinge of resentment towards her for acting so coldly towards me whenever we brought up the subject of our parents. It wasn't my fault that they were as they are…

I sighed, causing her to look at me. Our eyes met – her blue eyes with my green ones and I knew that she realised that I had been staring at her. Quickly, I looked away and pretended to be as excited by Arthur as Bel was.

The credits were showing when Mrs Hart came into the room and told us that the cake was ready. I was oddly happy to be leaving to Hart house as Bel and Mrs Hart helped me put the cake into a nice box and tied a ribbon on top. The cake smelt nice – chocolate, my papa's favourite – even though it looked a bit funny and not at all like the cakes mama baked.

Mrs Hart held the door open for me as I stepped out and slipped my feet into my joggers.

"Say hi to your mum and dad for me, Oliver." Mrs Hart told me when I finally stood up and started strapping my helmet on.

"Yes, ma'am." I answered, giving her a quick smile and smiling to Bel who stood behind her mother.

Finally, I was ready. Carefully, I placed the cake in the basket of my bike and then turned to Mrs Hart and Bel to wave to them once more. I then slid onto my bike, kicked at the brakes and started pedalling down the road and to my own home.

It was only a five minute ride, which was why my mama let me go over to Bel's place so often. Our own home, in contrast to the three-storeyed, brick home that was named Hartshire that Bel lived in, was a small, one-storeyed place with no garden. But at least it was home.

I parked at the driveway, pushed the brake down and then climbed off my bike, took the box of cake from the basket and climbed up the stairs and entered the house without taking off my helmet.

"Mama! I'm home! Are we going to the hospital, because I baked a cake for…"

In front of me, rocking back and forth with her head buried in her knees was my mother, her constant sobs clearly heard from the place where I was standing, a few metres away from her.

"…ma?"

I could hear my heart start to thump rapidly as I set the box of cake aside and ran up to my mother, grabbing her hands which she had wrapped tightly around her legs and trying to make her look at me.

"Mama…what's wrong?" I whispered, feeling like crying myself after seeing my own mother cry for the first time.

She finally looked up at me, her eyes red and puffy and trails of tears continuing to flow down her face. Her eyebrows kept moving up and down and her lips quivered as she whispered, "Ollie…"

"Mama!" I held her hands harder, scared of what she might say to me. Scared that the sinking feeling deep inside my stomach actually meant something.

She leaned her head back against the wall so that her tears now fell from her jaw and down to her cardigan which was already soaked in tears. She did not even look at me but finally, she spoke once again, "Ollie…"

I still had her hands in mine and squeezed them, prompting her to speak further. Her hands responded by tightening around my own hands before she finally looked straight at me with her sad, pained eyes.

"Your…your…"

I know what she was going to say.

"Your…"

Right then, I just knew.

But it couldn't be happening…

"…your father…"

No…

"…he's…they couldn't save him, honey…"

Something overcame me – something I couldn't explain and didn't care to think about either. Angrily, I stood up, thumped back across the floor and towards the door before stopping short. I turned back, stared at the white box decorated with the blue ribbon before drawing my arm back and swinging it around, pushing the cake box to the floor and watching it fall.

Then I was out the door, grabbed hold of my bike and started pedalling as fast as possible, wishing that the wind that swept around me could destroy that dull ache that was inside of me.

He had promised he'd never leave me. But now he was gone. And I hadn't…

I brought up an arm and tried to brush away the tears that were blurring my vision. Guy's didn't cry…they shouldn't cry.

I didn't know where I was going as I pedalled on and on and on…

But suddenly, I couldn't take it anymore. I stopped underneath a tree and jumped off my bike, letting it fall onto the path with a heavy clang. I then ran to the tree and rested my forehead against the rough bark, unable to bear it any longer. I was crying and I couldn't stop…I couldn't stop the memories that flooded my mind or the pain that came with them.

…I hadn't even given him his birthday present…shown him that I had baked it with Bel…


A/N: voila! the start of a new story!! Hope you enjoyed this prologue and tell me what you think so i will be able to write this story to the best of my ability as we go along.