Edited: Nothing much has changed, except I added a few sentences and checked some grammar, it's not perfect but criticisms are welcome.
Chapter one: Concert & Detention
Calista Herrera gave out a sigh as she entered the stage from the back, applause and whistles greeted her and filled the school theatre when she made her way towards the center of the stage next to the white pianoforte, smiling at the audience.
"I hope you enjoyed tonight's charity concert. Thank you so much for coming, it really means a lot to us. This is my sixth and final song for tonight; it's called 'All the love in the World', it's one of my favorites by The Corrs." She sat down on the piano and smiled, there was a moment of silent, she could only hear the coughing and murmuring from the audience as she prepared herself. She looked at the front row seats and smiled, her three best friends were sitting there with her four-year old brother Jake who was looking up at her admiringly and smiling proudly.
Once her fingers touched the white keys of the piano, she was off into her own little world. She played the intro for about ten seconds and then she started singing. Calista Herrera had the voice of an angel. Her eyes were closed as she played and sing; the melody and the lyrics kept her away from the real world.
I'm not looking for someone to talk to
I've got my friends, I'm more than OK.
I've got more than a girl could wish for
I live my dreams but it's not all they say
Still I believe I'm missing something real
I need someone who really sees me...
Don't wanna wake up alone anymore
Still believing you'll walk through my door
All I need is to know it's for sure
Then I'll give... all the love in the world
The song finished and she finally opened her eyes, she smiled and received a standing ovation. She grinned, stood up and bowed down to the audience. Calista was so used to it, she always performed in front of the whole school and she loved it; she'd always wanted to perform in front of people. She stayed on the stage until the clapping stopped. She surveyed the theatre to see who came and bothered to watch their class' charity concert instead of going to a wild high school party and she was surprised to see that the four elite boys of the school were there, right at the back as a matter of fact; they were clapping and whistling along with everyone else. Most of the audiences were parents and almost all of the teachers were there with their partners and children, some students were there too with their friends from outside school. Before the concert, they had sold about two hundred tickets.
The clapping finally faded and Calista gave another bow and then left the stage to be replaced by Ms. Donovan, her homeroom teacher.
"That's our school's music genius, ladies and gentleman, Calista Herrera. Anyway, I know it's late but we have some refreshments for everybody just outside the theatre, thank you all for coming, all these money will proceed to our class' chosen aid organization, which is the Children in Africa. Thank you again and I'll see some of you on Monday," she said, happily and then got off the stage. The theatre quickly emptied and everyone was outside congratulating Ms. Donovan and her class for their successful charity concert.
While outside, Calista was greeted by a loud cheer. Her brother Jake ran towards her and gave her a hug, she giggled as she picked him up.
"You were really good, Cali" Mimi Roberts said, approaching her and was followed by her two other best friends, Ysabella Scott and Miles Levine.
"Thanks guys so were you!" Calista initiated a group hug with Jake squeezed in the middle. Her three best friends performed too, they were also in Ms. Donovan's class and they participated by giving a dance number led by Miles, who was the renowned school's dancing queen.
"You're squeezing me," Jake told them, they all laughed. They chatted about tonight's event while drinking orange juice; some parents approached Calista to congratulate and compliment her.
"Don't wanna wake up alone anymore, still believing you'll walk through my door…" Mimi sang quietly. "Damn it, Cali! The song is stuck in my head!" Calista grinned at her,
A woman approached Calista with an eleven-year-old girl following close behind her, smiling at Calista admiringly. The woman was gorgeous and Calista guessed she was on her early 40's; but she did not look like one. The woman had short light brown hair with a genuine smile; she was wearing Chanel white trousers and blue satin vest underneath her white jacket.
"Hello, Calista Herrera?" she asked, Calista nodded shyly. "You were wonderful, dear" the woman had a posh British accent. Her friends excused themselves and decided to talk to other classmates, bringing Jake along with them.
"Thank you, ma'am"
"My name is Veronica and this is my daughter Nancy," Calista looked at Nancy who smiled at Calista. Nancy was the younger version of her mother except Nancy had long straight hair, the little girl looked slightly familiar but Calista was sure she had not seen her before.
"Nice to meet you," Calista said, politely.
"Well, Nancy here told me she wants to learn the piano and we've been looking for a perfect piano teacher and I think we found her," Veronica smiled, Calista smiled back but didn't really know what to say.
"Good for you," she was puzzled; she had no idea why Veronica was telling her this.
"Will you be willing to teach Nancy how to play piano twice a week? I'll pay you five hundred dollars an hour," Veronica asked politely.
Oh, that's why she thought. Calista's eyes widened, did she just say five hundred dollars an hour? Who is this Veronica lady anyway? "So do you agree?"
Calista sighed, "Of course I teach my little brother too, I'd love to but you don't have to pay me that much,"
"Whatever you say, Nancy really wants to learn so I'll do anything. Well, can you give me your phone number?"
"Of course," Calista dictated her phone number to Veronica as the older woman wrote it down her pink address book.
"Perfect, when can you start?"
"I'm free on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons," she said,
"Perfect. Absolutely perfect, can you start this Wednesday?" Calista nodded, and Veronica smiled "You're a heaven sent, well this is my address," the mother took out a card with their address on it and gave it to Calista; Calista didn't immediately look at the address; she already knew that they lived somewhere luxurious like the Luxe Subdivision where most students in Oceania Academy lived. "So how long have you been playing?"
"Since I was five years old," she replied,
"How many instruments can you play?"
"Four instruments, umm, I can play the piano, thin whistle, guitar and violin"
"You are very talented, I wish my son was like you; that boy is just bone idle," Veronica looked impressed and Calista blushed, thanking her but was wondering who her son could be.
A second later and her question was soon answered. Four guys had joined Veronica, Nancy and Calista. Calista had never talked to them before in her life, well except Lucas Phillips who happened to flirt with anyone in their homeroom; they were too rich and gorgeous for her; everyone who weren't their friends called them 'the unreachables'; they were notorious for dating only super models and other rich and popular girls in school. The guys all gave Veronica a kiss on the cheeks, all except Nathan James, the most popular and richest guy in school; he was also the school bully and Calista never really liked him. She wasn't that shallow; he may be God-like but she was sure he was the son of Satan; he pretty much owned the school as his father would donate money to the school every time he got himself into trouble and he had no respect for the teachers. From what she'd heard from other people, he was bad news. Everyone is school feared him. He was gorgeous of course, like an Abercrombie model with brown messy hair, roman-like nose, thin lips and the most amazing deep blue eyes; he was the school's swimming captain therefore he was bound to have six packs but six packs or no sick packs, Calista still did not give a damn about him.
His best friend Lucas Phillips, the school's notorious playboy stood next to Calista and wrapped his arms around her waist. Calista never liked their group but she didn't know why everyone in their school worshiped them; they were spoiled, arrogant and trouble.
"Calista! How are you babe?" he asked, acting like they were close friends. Lucas and Calista were in the same homeroom class; he was annoying and always flirting with the girls in her class; Lucas thought of himself as a 'chic magnet'. Calista narrowed her eyes at him and took his hands off her.
"Mother, what are you doing here?" Nathan demanded.
Calista raised an eyebrow
Right, she was just talking to Nathan James' mother, as in Veronica James, the wife of the richest man of the state. The James family had a business empire around the world; they had hotels, yachts, cruises, private jets, mansions you name it; they had at least two of everything material in the planet; she also knew that the James family were a family friend of the Royal Family in England, they were an aristocratic family. Now she thought maybe Nathan was so bad that even Satan decided to give him up and gave him to the James family. Ha! Even Nathan rhymed with Satan.
Biting her lip, she realized that she would be going to Nathan James' house every week. She just hoped she wouldn't be seeing him, she didn't want to cross paths with him, let alone make eye-contact with him.
"Darling, I heard that there's a concert in your school so I decided to watch. I've never been to your school before, so I just came to check it out and we also found a piano teacher for Nancy," Veronica explained,
Nathan raised an eyebrow, "Who?"
Veronica smiled and looked at Calista, "This girl Calista, did you see her darling? She was amazing,"
"Yes, I did see her." Nathan looked at Calista for a second; he didn't smile or anything. "Well done," he whispered, Calista only nodded.
"Hmm… I better go, it's quite late, I'm with my four year old brother and it's past his bedtime" Veronica nodded and gave Calista another kiss on the cheek. "It's very nice to meet you, Veronica and Nancy I'll see you on Wednesday then,"
Nancy nodded and gave her a hug. Calista walked away from them and went to find her friends; she saw them by the refreshments table, feeding her little brother who looked hyper and enjoying the attention from the ladies. Ms. Donovan was talking to them as well.
"Calista! That was awesome," Ms. Donovan greeted, Calista grinned at her.
"Thank you, Miss. I'm pretty tired,"
"Well I don't blame you; you played six pieces tonight. Go home and I bet Jake's tired too," Ms. Donovan smiled, looking at Jake who was pulling faces at the girls and shaking his head. The girls were laughing. Calista rolled her eyes. Her friends were using her little brother again for their own enjoyment and her brother seemed to love the attention.
Calista snorted, "I doubt it, don't you need help cleaning up?"
Ms. Donovan shook her head, "We hired the detention boys to do it,for once they actually turned up," she laughed, looking at Nathan's group. Calista giggled, "Mrs. James looks impressed with you,"
"She is, she wants me to teach her daughter how to play piano,"
"Wow, that's good, they're a really nice family. I don't know why Nathan turned up like that though." She chuckled "Anyway, Calista go home, okay? You've done your job for our charity event. You need to rest now, I'll see you on Monday" Calista nodded
Ms. Donovan was her favorite teacher in Oceania Academy, she taught Drama and was the youngest teacher in school. She was cool and trustworthy; she was popular among the students because she wasn't strict and would let students do whatever they wanted to do.
"Jake, come on. Let's go home," Calista picked Jake up from the table and put him down on the floor.
Jake pouted, "I love girls," he said, Calista and Ms. Donovan laughed.
"Glad to know, but it's not your time yet, sweetie." Ms. Donovan patted his brown messy hair.
Mimi kissed Jake on the cheeks as Calista said goodbye to them. "Mimi's my girlfriend now," he said to everyone, Mimi giggled.
Ysabella pouted at him, "What about me, Jake? I thought I was your girlfriend?"
"Yes, you're my girlfriend too," he said,
"And me?" Miles asked, giggling.
Jake laughed, he showed them three fingers and said, "I have three girlfriends," he said proudly.
Calista shook her head, "Playboy," she giggled, turning back to her friends "See you tomorrow, girls" she waved.
"Sure." They chorused and then they started singing the 'All the Love in the World' again. "Still I believe I'm missing something real, I need someone who really sees me... Don't wanna wake up alone anymore. Still believing you'll walk through my door…" Calista rolled her eyes.
There was a reason why she picked that song for her final performance; it was a personal choice and her friends knew why she picked it. She loved the song and the lyrics but the lyrics pretty much described her. She had everything a girl could ask for, she wasn't poor but she wasn't rich either. Her mother was a doctor and they had enough money to send her off to an expensive private school; her father left her mother a year ago because he had an affair with his secretary but he still give them money every month. She was living her dream too, her dream was to perform in front of people and she got that tonight.
Calista was a hopeless romantic; she'd never been in love before and she wanted to, being in love was just one thing she was missing, like what the song said. She had boyfriends before but they were not serious, the boys always end up cheating on her because they weren't always her first priority and she would stop after their first base. She had been called a tease by her ex boyfriends but she wasn't a tease, she had beliefs and she promised herself that she would only lose her virginity with someone who could make her feel special; someone who was willing to wait for her to be ready.
She and Jake walked to the parking area, it was the end of September and it was quite chilly already; she pulled her jacket tighter around her using her right hand and walked slowly for Jake to catch up with her. She smiled down at him and took his hands as they walked towards her car and drove towards their penthouse.
Their mother was watching TV when they arrived; she looked annoyed and worried.
"Where have you two been?" she demanded, Jake suddenly looked scared and hid behind Calista. Her mother had tired brown eyes with dark circles around it and brown hair with pale skin.
"Calm down, mom. I told you yesterday I have the concert tonight remember? I'm sorry if we got you worried, I did tell you," Calista apologized,
Samantha Herrera gave a sigh of relief and an apologetic look at Calista, "I'm sorry I forgot,"
Calista forced a smile, "It's ok," she said, heading towards her bedroom.
Calista wondered when she and mom had stopped being close; she used to tell her mother everything about school. Calista always blamed her father for what was happening in her family now; her mother had become a workaholic and she had to look after Jake all the time, not that she minded, she loved Jake to bits; but she just felt like she was drifting away from her friends too; she was acting like a teenage single parent.
"Okay, I have a day off tomorrow. Do you want to have dinner tomorrow night?" Samantha asked, she was trying to put her family back together again, without her husband Carlos; she knew she could do it. Samantha could feel that her children were slowly drifting away from her and she couldn't afford that. They were the only family she had.
Calista gave a tired smile, "We'd love that, come on Jake. It's bedtime," Jake followed her, happily asking if Calista could read her his favorite bedtime story and Samantha suddenly felt jealous of her daughter, her baby boy seemed to think that she was no longer his mother; Jake was scared of her already, she saw the way he hid behind his older sister when he saw the angry look in his mother's eyes, she needed to try hard and get this family back like what it used to be.
"Dude, what are you doing?" River Ambriosi watched his friend Nathan approached that white pianoforte. They were cleaning the theatre at eleven o'clock on a Saturday night; it was the worse detention punishment ever. They were expected at Kelly Hales' house party tonight and they couldn't now because they had to clean the whole theatre.
Two days ago, they were caught drinking alcohol behind the theatre's stage by Ms. Donovan and each of them were called into the principal's office; they were supposed to be expelled for drinking alcohol in school premises but because they all came from rich families who donated large amount of money to the school; they were only given detention.
The theatre's backstage had been their chill out place ever since Lucas stole the key from the school office and got it copied, that was in sophomore year. It had been their salvation since, away from their crazy admirers and stalkers; the four boys would go there every day lunchtime and just smoke or drink or do whatever they wanted.
Nathan sat down on the piano seat and stared at the black and white keys; he always wanted to play piano but he thought it wasn't cool enough so he decided not to. His mother had persuaded him to learn but he knew that if everyone found out about it, especially his so called best friends they would think he was gay. They thought piano was for girls and old people, people who liked to listen to classical music. His mother constantly asked him to start learning a music instrument and he decided to learn guitar but only secretly, not even his three best friends knew that he could play guitar well.
Calista Herrera, he knew her name now.
He'd seen her play. Ever since they started advertising the concert she would come in the theatre during lunchtimes to practice. She never knew they were just behind the stage and he would secretly watch her while the other guys fooled around backstage; it was why he decided to come tonight so he could watch her perform and even though he wanted to get out of doing the punishment; he had to do it just to see her.
A small smile appeared on his face when he realized he would be seeing more of her because she would be teaching his little sister how to play the piano; he heard her mention she would see Nancy on Wednesday; he was going to make sure he was free on Wednesday. For the past week, he couldn't keep his mind off her.
"Dude? Can you get that ass off the piano and help us clean? Don't be such a fag," Tristan Zhou said, annoyed. Nathan glared at him; he hated being called a fag. Tristan raised both hands to protect himself from Nathan's cold stare and apologized. "Sorry, but we were going to ignore this detention but you forced us to come with you and now you want us to clean while you sit there and act like his Royal Majesty?"
Nathan took out his phone and dialed the cleaning services and told them to come and clean up their school theatre and when he hung up, he grinned to his friends "You don't need to clean, they'll be here in five minutes"
"What about Kelly Hales' party?" Lucas asked, happily
"That's just some high school party Luke. We can have our own party, the strip club…" Nathan grinned and the other guys looked at each other, grinning mischievously.
"Are you sure we'll get in?" River asked; Lucas threw him a dirty cloth that he used to wipe spilled liquids on the chairs. River looked at the cloth in disgust and threw it back to Lucas but it fell on the floor and Lucas pretended it wasn't there. Nathan snorted; it was how they treated the girls too. River would go out with Lucas' ex girlfriends and hurt her and then passed her back to Lucas and then Lucas would just ignore her, just like the cloth.
"Hey, just pay the bouncers a couple of hundreds and we'll get in," Lucas grinned.
"Dude, speaking of parties. There's a pool party at Alexandria Cole's this Wednesday, dude she's the new face of Gucci. We got to go!" Tristan said, excitedly.
Nathan shook his head, "Go without me, I have plans on Wednesday," he grinned, slightly confused. Since when did he blow a party with hot super models running around in bikini? The answer was, since he met that Calista Herrera, he had it bad for her. He didn't understand it; she wasn't his type at all. She wasn't blonde; she never wore slutty clothes; although she was gorgeous with that long tanned legs, long wavy brown hair and green eyes; she had that Mediterranean look on her; she had a simple fashion sense and she seemed to be nice and smart and talented and also his mother and little sister seemed to like her very much.
Their conversation moved and they started talking about tonight's concert.
"It was all Calista's idea," Lucas said.
"OK, I've got a question" Tristan asked and all of them looked at him, curiously. "Which of those four girls would you like to date seriously?" he asked, it was always their game. Everywhere they went and every time they met a group of girls, they would talk about who they could take seriously from all of them, of course they would never really date them because they had their reputations to keep up.
"Which girls?" Lucas asked, looking around to see if there were girls but it was just the four of them in the theatre now.
"Not here, dumb ass. Calista and those three chicks she hangs out with,"
"Oh, them. I know their names. Calista, Miles, Mimi and Ysabella,"
"Which ones which?" River asked,
"Well, Calista is the one who performed six times tonight, the one talking to Veronica earlier; Miles is the school's dancing queen with the rock chick look. Mimi is the living version of Barbie girl, who is a model for American Eagle and Ysabella is the dark one who is fucking amazing at Volleyball, so which one?"
"Wow, they're all very hot. How come we don't know them?" River asked, of course he knew who Miles was already. They were in the same Art lesson and he loved annoying the hell out of her.
"'Cause they're too simple? They don't go to parties," Lucas answered, "I did try flirt with them during homeroom but they ignored me, fucking femme fatales," the guys chuckled. "But I think I would go for Mimi, you know? She's ditzy and quite naive, I think she'll be fun,"
"I like sports so Ysabella and I will have a lot in common, I've seen her around in gym class and that girl is competitive, she always wins." Tristan answered,
"Miles," River answered, "She just seems mysterious,"
They all looked at their leader whose thoughts seemed to be somewhere else.
"What about you, Nate? Which one?"
"Calista," was all he said, they waited for her to explained but he didn't. The cleaning service arrived and cleaned the whole theatre in less than ten minutes and then they left before the caretaker came back and decided to let the guys go because it was already twelve o'clock.
But not carefully so if you SPOT another grammar mistakes. Please point them out to me.