Ch. 1 I Want to be a Pirate!
Today was just another day; the same as the last and every day before then. Why was I here? What is my purpose? Is my only option to get married and take my husband's inheritance? What a foul way of living. Can I not have my own ambitions? I suppose I must drag out every day for the rest of my life in complete "luxury." One born into wealth has a tragic life indeed. Once born with everything a person could ever strive for, what is there left to yearn for, to struggle for? These were the ideas I had swimming in my head that day.
That day it was like philosophy had somehow fallen from the sky and launched itself into my brain. Usually I'm like everyone else at Rich Cove: happy and blissfully ignorant of anything depressing going on around me. But somehow something in me changed. I wasn't sure at the moment if it was for the better or worse though.
"Johnny Lynn, are you even paying attention!" Rachel fumed.
Rachel was a childhood friend of mine. More like my parents' friends' daughter that they forced one too many play dates with in the past. Her yelling had broken me out of my blatant stare at the spot on the wall above Rachel's head in Diamond Prep's Cafeteria.
"Y-yeah, I'm sorry," I said trying to shake those thoughts away.
"Well, anyway, so, Robert got down on one knee and said…" Rachel launched back into her engagement story all over again and although I tried to listen for about the fourth time today my eyes wandered back to that spot above her head. Then without meaning too I let out a long sigh.
"Am I boring you, Johnny Lynn Collins?" Rachel fumed again now narrowing her eyes at me and puckering her lip out for her scowl.
"You know what? Actually you are," I admitted.
Rachel stared at me in shock for a moment but quickly changed to anger. I wasn't quite sure why I had said that either. Usually I just let her yammer on and on and pretend to seem interested. It was very out of character for me to be so brutally honest.
"Fine, I guess you can just sit somewhere else then!" Rachel snapped and crossed her arms over her chest. She did this a lot to get the other person to apologize and beg for her forgiveness. Rachel was one of the richest girls at Diamond Prep which made her one of the most popular. Anyone would kill to get on her good side. Maybe that's why Mother and Father forced me to be her friend in kindergarten.
"I guess so…" I trailed off before getting to my feet and walking away.
I could feel Rachel's eyes boring holes into my back as I walked away. No one has ever left Rachel at the lunch table before. I had a feeling she was going to raise hell with me later.
I left my caviar untouched and made my way to the vacant bathroom down the hall. I stopped at the crystal sink and looked into the oval mirror. I was pretty short for a Junior in High School. I was only 4'11 but my two inch heels made me at least 5'1. My eyes were a beautiful golden color but were hidden behind lashes that were caked with mascara that Mother made me wear so they would look "luscious." My hair was a golden blonde with large hooped curls that Father liked and Mother wouldn't let me cut.
Looking into that mirror made me feel like I was staring at an imposter. This wasn't me. If I had it my way, I would be staring back at a much different, more simple, REAL person. Being a rich child does come with a price; my parents dictate everything over my life, even the way I sit and what hobbies I'm interested in. I never thought once that I hated being rich but looking into the mirror gave me a feeling of disgust.
RIINNG! The screeching of the bell made me jump and I realized I had to get to class. While walking, another thought popped into my head: Is there a way for me to mix this up? Can I find a way to live contradictory to my useless life? Sitting in Mrs. Patterson's English class, I pondered these thoughts.
As Mrs. Patterson entered the room, the normal whirl of chatter from the students silenced immediately. All that could be heard was Mrs. Patterson's heels clacking against the floor. This is how most of her classes start. This is simply because she is the strictest teacher in all of Diamond Prep. If you were to as so much as slouch in her classroom she'd give you detention which mostly consisted of writing out lines until one's fingers bled. Throughout the school year I've been very keen on not getting that punishment. Father and Mother would have thought it a disgrace and it would be very embarrassing for me. But today I had forgotten about all of that. Instead my mind was wandering and I wasn't paying any attention to her lecture about grammar. Lucky for me, I sit closer to the back so she must not be able to see me.
"Hey Lynn," The sound of Bryce Everwater's voice brought my attention back to the classroom.
He was turned around dangerously in his chair and smiling at me. He gave me a gentle wave and I waved back politely. Bryce is a ginger that had too many freckles on his body. Despite that, he had a charming face that the girls gushed over. His parents owned a water bottle company and are almost as rich as mine.
Mrs. Patterson slammed the yard stick as hard as she could against the chalk board and gave Bryce the most menacing glare. "Mr. Everwater! Sit up straight and face forward!"
With his back still turned to her, he rolled his eyes. When he turned around he plastered on a fake pleasant smile and said "Yes Ma'am."
It seemed Bryce was off the hook because Mrs. Patterson just went on with her lecture like nothing had happened. She must be feeling generous today.
My thoughts quickly turned back to the feeling of pointlessness. What's the use of all these manners? All these lessons? What good are they for? Don't I have something better to do? What else is there to life when you already have it all? Is there anything left to be experienced?
I didn't have an answer to any of my questions so instead I let my eyes wander around the room. Every person's face had a look of boredom written on it. The kid in the very back was actually napping. It's a good thing Mrs. Patterson can't see him. She'd murder him for sure.
The person next to me had his head turned down as he was drawing something on his paper. Curiously I looked over to it and found that he was drawing a skull and crossbones. Then it hit me; rebellion! That's what I'm missing!
My thoughts were interrupted by a sheet of paper landing on my desk. I looked up to see who had placed it there only to see Bryce turned around in his chair again. He gave me a wink and turned around before Mrs. Patterson could catch him again. Unfolding the paper, I read:
Lynn, I wanted to tell you that I love you. Would you like to have the honor of becoming my bride?
Under the words were two boxes; one for yes and the other for no.
I just stared at it dumb founded. What kind of proposal is this?! Am I just some cheap skank that he can't even ask me properly! And what's this 'honor' thing he wrote? Does he think he's so important! What a cocky little prick!
"Ms. Collins!" Mrs. Patterson shrieked. Great, now she notices? She didn't see all the other kids slacking off?
"Yes, Mrs. Patterson?" I looked her in the eye challengingly.
"Is there anything you'd like to share with the class?" She eyed the note as if her stare had the power to instantly combust the paper.
"As a matter of fact, I do," I stood up from my chair and proudly proclaimed. "I'm going to become a pirate!"
After school I was riding back home in my long black limo. Chauncelor was the name of my driver. It takes about twenty minutes to get back home so I kicked off my heels and placed my feet upon a small plush pillow. I leaned back on my sideways seat and crossed my arms behind my head. I closed my eyes and smiled. For once I actually felt excited about something. The only other time I can remember feeling like this was ten years ago when my parents let me stay at Uncle Louis's cabin for a month. He was the only one who treated me like I wasn't any different from everyone else. He didn't care about my wealth or my status. He didn't even force me to use my "manners". Actually, I think he forbade me to use them. He said I was too young to act that stuffy. We spent a lot of our time going to the woods. That's where Uncle Louis taught me how to hunt. Since I was seven, I could only use a sling shot though. The only thing I could kill with that was birds. When Mother and Father found out, they took me back. They said it was "unbecoming of a lady." I haven't seen Uncle Louis since. My parents thought he was a bad influence but I thought he was the best thing that had ever happened to me. The only thing I have left of him now was the sling shot. My parents don't know I have it though.
Chauncelor pulled up right next to my mansion and George, the butler, opened the door for me. As I stepped out from the limo George took my hand and helped me out. Once out he delivered a message to me.
"Ms. Lynn, Sir and Madam Collins wish to see you," He said.
"Where are they?" I asked.
"In the Red Room, Ma'am," he replied.
"Thank you," I nodded before making my way into the mansion.
Once entered in the mansion, there were many rooms that lined the hallway. To my memory, I'm sure there are about ten rooms at least. There are still other rooms I hadn't pleasure of discovering though. Since we had so many rooms, we decided to color code them. Each room was named after the color of furniture that decorated it. The Red Room happened to be my parent's favorite room. I'm not quite sure why.
The Red Room was only a couple doors into the mansion, so I found it quickly. Inside, I spotted my parents by the fire place in their giant fabricated chairs with their backs facing me.
Without turning around, my mother waved her hand and said, "Lynn darling, come in."
I obeyed my mother's command and took a seat by the fire now facing my parents. Father looked unsettled and so was Mother. I must have done something wrong.
"What is it that you wanted me for?" I asked.
"Mrs. Patterson called," Mother said with a pitch of warning in her voice. Now it all made sense.
"Oh?" I said feigning ignorance.
"We heard about your little outburst," Father said getting right to the point.
I didn't say anything. I knew what was coming next. I didn't really want to hear Father and Mother scolding me about my decisions. Mentally I just tried to tune them out. I leaned my elbow on one of the arms of the chair and rested my head in my hand. My parents hate when I sit like this. They said it just wasn't proper.
"Lynn, sit up straight!" Mother said through gritted teeth.
I glared at her and refused to move.
"I don't know what's gotten into you!" Father yelled frustrated. "What made you say such a thing?"
I smiled. That was the one thing I didn't mind answering. This was my one and only decision I made on my own and I wanted them to know.
I stood up from my chair and put my fists to my hips proudly and said, "I want to be a pirate!"
Mother looked over at Father with a worried look on her face. I didn't expect them to accept it but why such a face? Father glared at me with gritted teeth. I didn't understand what made him so mad but I didn't let my triumphant smile falter. I was proud of my decision. This didn't amuse my father though. Instead he stood up from his chair and hit me across the face. I was shocked at first. I couldn't believe he had actually hit me! Gingerly I touched my cheek and felt the heat and sting of it. I felt small indentions in my cheek from where Father's rings had struck it.
I glared up at him feeling rage and confusion build up inside me. Why did he hit me?! Father's face was beet red and the vein on his forehead was throbbing. Even his nostrils were flaring. He looked like a fiery dragon who was just disturbed from his sleep.
"I don't ever want to hear you say that again!" He roared. My eyes narrowed at him in angry defiance. "Go to your room!"
Gladly, I stomped upstairs and slammed the door to my room. I kicked off my heels and threw them out my window. Tears of frustration made their way down my cheeks. Father never hit me before.
I started wreaking havoc in my room. I grabbed the pink curtains around my king sized bed and ripped them off. I threw the dolls off my bed stand and opened up my closet. I threw out all of my ball gowns and started ripping them up. I did this until I felt exhausted and passed out on my bed.
In the morning, I awoke to find that my room was totally spotless. What happened to my artistic tantrum? Did I only dream it up? I kinda liked the messy makeover I did. My pink curtains were even back in place. I grimaced at them as if it were their fault for still being there. The maids must have cleaned my room while I slept. Now that I think about it, that's kinda creepy.
"Lady Collins," Speaking of the devil, one of the maids peaked her head through my door. "We maids would like to get you ready for the day, if you don't mind."
"Sure," I said with a sigh. Might as well since I'm already up.
Ten maids walked into my room holding various different things. Some held hair accessories, others had bundles of clothes, but the only one I was interested in was the one that held my breakfast. She had it on a silver tray. Today's menu consisted of toast with raspberry jam, eggs sunny-side-up, and glorious bacon!
While I was munching on my delicious breakfast it only took the maids five minutes to dress me and do my hair. When they finished they had disappeared along with that silver tray of love. That's when I noticed what they had dressed me in. I was in a glittering, pale purple ball gown that wasn't too shy about letting my boobs pop a little. My hair was pulled into a tight bun and an obnoxious tiara was on my head. What the hell is this? I wondered.
"Lady Collins," George knocked on my door. "Are you ready for your ball?"
My ball? I had to think for a moment. What day was it? I looked over at my calendar and felt pretty stupid for actually forgetting my own birthday.
"Y-yes," I finally answered.
"Are you alright, Ma'am?" He asked. When I didn't answer him right away, he let himself into my room.
"I'm fine," I lied and flashed him my fake smile.
"Then would you allow me to escort you to your car, Ma'am?" he asked getting down on one knee and bowing.
"Of course," I said and gave him my hand to escort.
I followed him to my limo where Chauncelor was ready to take me to my ball. I got in the limo and we drove off to the Grand Hall where all the rich ladies had their ball. It was practically a giant auditorium with a glass roof. The walls were made of marble so it looked more like a Greek temple. Gardens grew all around it. I'm pretty sure it was known as one of the most beautiful places for ceremonies including weddings.
Once Chauncelor pulled over to the side where the rotating doors were, a butler with slicked black hair escorted me inside. It was only one o' clock so not many people were there yet. Regardless it looked like a kingdom. The floors were glistening and toward the back of the ball room it looked as if my parents were seated on thrones! So does that mean I'm the princess? This party already sounded like a bad idea. Why can't I just have what I really want? I just want to be free? Is that too much to ask? I still didn't understand why Father had gotten so mad at me for wanting to be a pirate. He could have at least thought I was joking. After all, it's not every day someone tells their parents they want to be a pirate. Why is it so bad that I want that? I just want to have a purpose! It doesn't look like I'll get my answer; Not today, at least. Father will be too absorbed with introductions and keeping a good face for the people. He won't have time to consider my thoughts. I guess I have no choice but to suck it up tonight and pretend my life is perfect.
Not many people showed up until about 5. Guys from my school kept asking me to dance with them. Being a Collins, I couldn't refuse a guest's proposal. Needless to say, my feet were killing me in only an hour. Of course, I thought this party was for me but actually it's just an opportunity to up the family name's social status. With whoever I danced with I had to play the game right and woo them so that they would put in a good word for my parents. Then later down the road, my parents would find a way to rob them blind once the poor rich guys got too enthralled in my parent's company. I was never too sure about what my parent's company was really all about. But to be honest, I didn't really want to know. All I did know was that it gave them very high respect on the social ladder.
I had danced for two hours, twirling and placing a fake grin on my face. I thought this night would never end. I deeply wanted it too. Some of the guys I danced with, I could tell, had never taken ball room dancing classes. It was simply awkward and infuriating. I had to keep my composure though or Father might get angry again.
When the last guy finally let me go, I thought I was free to try and hide myself in the bathroom or something so I wouldn't have to dance anymore but someone had caught my hand. Dammit, not another one! I was about to politely decline as possible but once I caught sight of his face my thoughts of discomfort were forgotten.
"Uncle Louis?" I said shocked.
Uncle Louis laughed at my expression; his golden beard twitching with laughter. He was dressed in a suit and his hair was pulled back into a pony tail. I've never seen him dressed this nicely before.
"You didn't think I'd miss my niece's seventeenth birthday, did you?" He asked with a sparkle in his eye.
This time my smile was completely genuine.
"Do Mother and Father know?" I whispered and ducked around looking for my parent's faces but couldn't find them in the crowd.
Uncle Louis replied with another bellow of laughter. I have a feeling Mother and Father have no clue about this. This broadened my smile. Uncle's mischief always made me smile. Something about breaking the rules gave me a feeling of letting go that I couldn't feel in my rich boring world.
"How's that sling shot doing?" He asked before twirling me on the dance floor.
"In hiding," I whispered when I was brought closer to him. "But don't worry. I'm still the sharpest shooter."
"I never doubted," he smiled.
My dance with him ended all too soon before he kissed my cheek and another boy took me away. I didn't want to leave. He was the only person to make me happy. I tried to pull back to him but when I looked back he had gone and I let the boy pull me into another dance. I looked to see who it was that had me this time and almost jumped when I realized who he was; Bryce Everwater!
"Hello Lynn, you look beautiful," He said with stars in his eyes. Was I really that pretty? I felt like a tent in this gown!
"Thank you," I said with my famous fake smile.
Bryce turned his face away a bit shyly before turning back to me. "I never saw your reply."
My reply? Oh right! The note; I never answered the note! I was too busy getting in trouble with Mrs. Patterson I forgot all about it. She found it and threw it away anyway.
"So what's your reply?" He asked with eagerness.
I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to marry him but I know if I accepted his proposal, Mother and Father wouldn't be angry anymore and I can settle back into my life but I didn't want that. I wanted to be a pirate! I wanted to be free! I don't want to waste my life achieving nothing but my parent's inheritance.
"Um…" I mumbled and bit my lower lip. It was a habit I did when I didn't know what to do and Mother hated.
Suddenly Bryce's shy blush had disappeared and was replaced with an arrogant smile.
"I know you want to, Lynn," He said. "You know how rich I am. You can continue to live comfortably with me. I noticed you checking me out too. You think I'm hot. You can't say no."
I stared at his face dumbstruck. WHAT! Did he just say I have no choice? Of course I have a choice, dammit! And it's not going to be with him! What an arrogant prick!
I just stared at him not knowing what words would come out of my mouth. There were none that came by as appropriate so I pushed him away.
"Lynn?" Bryce wasn't expecting this reaction.
I glared at him hard before stomping away as quickly as possible. Bryce tried to catch up with me but he got stuck in the crowd and couldn't get to me before I locked myself in the janitor's closet. I stayed there for the remainder of the night. Why can't this all end?
The butler with the slicked black hair that escorted me in the ball was now the one unlocking the janitor's closet. He found me in a ball by the mop and bucket. His eyes looked apologetic but he didn't say anything. He just extended his hand to me and led me back to my limo.
The ride home was a quiet one. I didn't even turn the radio on. I sat in silence just thinking. Why hadn't anyone looked for me? I guess it really wasn't my ball after all. The only thing I liked about the party was being able to see Uncle Louis again and that only lasted for a few minutes. Why did Bryce have to interrupt? Did he not see I was actually happy? I wonder if he told my parent's about the way I acted. My parent's will probably be furious with me. I sighed, when will this nightmare end?
When we finally arrived at the mansion, I thought I would save my parent's trouble of yelling at me again and headed for the stairs to my bedroom. I passed by the dining room when Mother and Father noticed me but they didn't look angry. Instead they were laughing and drinking.
"Lynn," Father beckoned. "Come here."
Hesitantly I entered into the room and sat in the chair Father was gesturing too. I was still waiting for them to yell at me but it never came.
"Yes, Father," I said.
"I've been thinking about what happened yesterday and I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let my temper get the better of me," He said with a look of real regret in his eyes.
"I forgive you," I said a little unsure. I didn't remember Father ever apologizing for anything before. What's he planning?
"I've been thinking and I have a solution to your problem," He smiled.
"My problem?" I wondered out loud. I looked over at Mother to see if she'd give me a hint as to what this was all about but she only smiled at me excitedly.
"Yes, I decided your need to rebel against us was just a way to say you want to be your own independent woman," He dabbed his napkin to his lips after having a sip of wine.
This piqued my interest. Does this mean he'll let me make my own choices? I can do what I want now?
"That's why your mother and I decided to let you marry Bryce Everwater," Father said taking Mother's hand and smiling at her.
WHAT! I stood up so fast from the table that the glass plate in front of me was nudged off and crashed to the ground.
"Lynn," Mother warned.
I ignored her and yelled at father, "How does that make me independent?!"
"Young Lady, you see here!" Father said sternly and standing up from the table as well. He didn't expect me to react this way.
"No Father! You see here!" I yelled back. "Are you really going to make me marry that arrogant prat?"
"You will not call him that and yes!" He said now getting red with anger. "You should be grateful you little wench!"
I couldn't take any of this any longer. I didn't want to be yelled at and I didn't want to be told what to do anymore. The only best solution I could come up with for this scenario was for me to leave. So, that's what I did. I turned and started walking out of the dining room.
"Where do you think you're going, young lady?" Father roared.
"To my room!" I yelled back and ran up the stairs to slam my door shut.
I half expected them to follow me up there but no one came. Good. I wanted to be alone. I started forming chaos in my room again. I threw things and even punched a wall. When I couldn't figure out what else to do with myself I started pacing around my room. Life can't possibly be just his! Have I wasted seventeen years of my life to be doomed? They can't possibly make me marry that awful ginger. I can't take anymore of this misery.
A strange thought crossed my mind. There was a way to save myself. Quickly I ripped off my ball gown and rummaged through my drawers for something else to wear. I found a red tank top. I wanted a pair of shorts or jeans but I realized I had no such garment. Instead I found a simple black short skirt.
After putting those on I ran into the bathroom and stared into my face disgusted. What's with all this makeup? I scrubbed off all signs of glitter and anything else and replaced it with just a small line of eye liner and a few strokes of mascara. Now I can actually see my face!
The next thing to go was the tiara. I snatched it from my head and threw it hard against a wall shattering it. Then I did something that even I didn't think I would do. I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the tight bun I had on my head off. My hair fell loosely to my shoulders in a sort of swing bob. The longer pieces in the front came down to my breasts and my short hair in the back lightly touched the nape of my neck.
The last thing I did was wrap my hair in a red bandanna and put my sling shot in the pocket of my belt loop. I'm going to be a pirate whether my parent's like it or not.
I poked my head out of my room and found the house totally dark. Mother and Father were finally asleep. I tiptoed to the kitchen and threw in as much food as I possibly could into a sack along with some water bottles. Immediately I changed my mind about the water bottles when it started reminding me of Bryce. Instead I replaced them with juice pouches.
At the front door I found the alarm system for the doors and punched in the code to turn them off. I saw the servants do this one too many times to get the code wrong. With the doors unlocked I slung my sack over my shoulder and bolted out the front door and headed for the harbor. I had to get out of here before someone noticed my absence. It was so much easier to run in my flip flops than those stupid heels.
It only took me a few minutes to finally reach the harbor. The running got me breathing hard and my heart pumping. I looked around for a row boat but found stones instead. They should come in handy. I picked a few up and placed them in a pouch where I had my sling shot.
I looked around a little more and found a row boat tied to a dock up ahead. I ran over to it quickly and untied the rope connecting it to the dock. I hopped into the boat and rowed out until Rich Cove looked like nothing but a speck in the distance.
Seeing the distance between me in the island gave me this surge of relief. I laid back in the boat and stared up at the sky breathing hard from my efforts. Then I started feeling giggly and I couldn't stop. It started out as a small chortle to a booming laugh. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. Suddenly everything felt like a weight had been lifted off of me and I felt like I could fly. It didn't even matter to me that I had stolen a boat. I didn't care. I was free. As if to prove I was no longer bound I screamed as loud as I could. I felt like I was alive again.
"I'm free!" I screamed back at the Rich Cove speck. "You can't make me marry anyone now! What will you do now Father? Yo ho ho and a freakin' bottle of rum! I'm free!"
I felt like I could dance but I wasn't quite ready to stand up at sea so I thought I would let that wait. Before I knew it I had fallen asleep but I was smiling for real. This was only the beginning of what was to come. I could feel it. This was the start of an adventure.
A/N: Hey guys, I just revised this chapter. I had my friend Amber help me edit it. So far I think it sounds far better than what I had written before. Let me know if you think I need to fix anything else or add something to this chapter. OH! And don't forget to favorite it if you liked it.
I'm going to be working on revising the other chapters so if you're interested in reading that make sure you check for changes every so often. If I've revised them I'm going to put a symbol at the top of the chapter so you know if it's been revised or not. The symbol will look like this: V.V
Hope you guys like. And for those who are eagerly waiting for the second book. I will work on that over the summer which will be at the end of April or Early May all the way until school starts again at the end of August. If i hadn't finished the second book throughout that time I'll still work on it during the school year. I am in College so I get pretty busy. That's why I'm working on the revisions instead of the second book. Sorry it's taking so long XD Thanks for reading! You guys are awesome!