When i first started writing this story i wanted it to be light and fluffy—nothing too angsty or dark. But it's turning into that.
I wanted to be able to read this story and literally LAUGH OUT LOUD. I wanted to make my readers excited, happy, and invoke other feelings like sadness and regret and anxiety. I wanted them to scream and laugh and cry along with my main characters.
And, although i didn't anticipate it; my story was turning into an Americanised drama story. Nothing's wrong with American Drama, just, I've never been there and my setting appeared to be American...
Thus, i want to rewrite my story; this time with Australian themes embedded with my own morals, values and attitudes. And of course, make roller-coaster-crazy story full of screams of laughter. XD
Chapter One: A Long Awaited Rendevous
During the second period of Wales High, a boy and girl stood in the empty school hall ways.
A wind had escaped from a topmost window and danced along washed-out greystones of the large corridor of Wales High School, where two people stood, their blue, white and black uniforms out of place against the dull colour schemes of the bricked walls.
The tall teenage boy watched warily the as other strode over, whom was accenting her angry stomps on the marble floor, dangerously glaring at him. Her alluring blue eyes did not leave his own dark eyes, causing the built male to have mixed feelings of losing himself into them and escaping from her wrath. Instead, he wisely chose to brace himself.
"Ryan," Ryan's heart skipped a beat when she addressed him (probably from fear, he told himself), "You are the most—"
Oh, dear, here she goes...
"—infuriating, rude, arrogant swine I have ever come across with my whole sixteen years of living. I hate every molecule of you that makes you you. Don't talk to me, do not approach me, gosh, and do not even look at me." Insert metaphoric stab.
But of course, this was Ryan Vegas, and he held the name of his father, who ran a dozen companies throughout Australia.
Life was great, and not even Flora Claringson could change that.
"Flora, sweetheart, if I did as you said, I would break your heart." He winked. How Ryan managed to flirt with Flora's dangerously furious state, he had no idea. But watching her reaction was completely worth it.
She hilariously (hilarious to him, anyway) imitated the sound of a dying beast, grunting and stomping to the other direction, her little cute face turning a lovely shade of red. "If I didn't already have a detention because of you, you would be in pain."
"Ouch, Flo, that hurts." He put his hands to his heart, actually hurt.
The school bell rang an alarm for a lunch break. Flora walked away in triumph.
"And don't call me sweetheart you pretentious fool." She called behind her, flicking back her dark strands of hair with style.
Walking away from me? That doesn't feel so good.
"At least we'll be together in detention, love." She couldn't see it, but she heard him blowing kisses at her back. Oh my, ignoring me now? No, he couldn't stand for that.
"It's really okay to admit that you're deeply attracted to me."
As predicted, a rubber came flying in Ryan's direction, and he dodged just in time, preventing a blind eye and possibly a bruised forehead.
"That was dangerous, honey." That was funny. He called after her, and then absconded down the busy school halls before she chose to take advantage of other stationery items for violent purposes.
Ryan walked into Geography class, late. "Ryan Vegas, you're late."
His classmates stifled giggles as Ryan humorously glanced at his watch. "By five minutes." He paused for effect, "I don't think I've ever been this early before." He feigned to look around stupidly as the class stifled giggles.
And then he leaned forward to hand in a note of explanation. He really liked Mr. Smits. Everybody loved Mr. Smits. He was one of the good teachers at Wales High, the type of teacher that students talk to just because he's easy going.
"Aye, a new record." Chris, one of Ryan's best mates, put into the joke and then said in a low voice, "Hey, man this ain't a good habit you're making."
"We all have our faults."
Chris Jones, Wales High's only male year eleven student part of the twelve senior councillors of the school, was all in all a good guy. He took school seriously, and genuinely cared about the wellbeing of his learning environment. He discouraged the use of drugs and smoking, and rarely consumed anything remotely alcoholic. He also cared about his friend's learning.
"Yeah, Ryan" The girl next to Chris leaned forward to be a part of the conversation, "what happened this time?"
Emily-Rose Butler, the only female year eleven student in the student council, and also the perfect girl for someone like Chris. She was an avid Christian, keen student, and a person with high standards. She claimed that she would never drink alcohol, would never dream of even trying a smoke, and to bring up drugs in her presence in unthinkable. On top of that, Ryan has never seen her wear anything scandalous. It's hard to imagine her wearing a bikini.
Hmph, On second thought ...
But she was a pretty girl, more attractive and smarter than three-quarters of their grade, and, if she was aware of her influence over girls her age, then Ryan never would have guessed so.
"Yo, Vegas." Jackson motioned for Ryan to sit by him. "Heard you starred in YouTube." Jackson Brown, played his charm with a rugged, laid-back look. Tall, dark, handsome, as many girls have described him before, and he knew it. "I heard it involved: coffee, someone's school project, and someone toppling over."
And people listened in for the gossip.
"I'll tell you later, man."
"And that you will, Mr Vegas." Mr. Smits called from the front of the classroom, completely aware of the attention that their corner was bringing to the rest of the class.
Jackson shrugged at his friend's reply, and turned to the front, as he also wanted to be a part of Mr. Smits class. He took out his pen and wrote as he spoke.
"Yes" Jackson began, "Later, of course, But don't forget, because I have a hot date I need to brag about," he joked.
Vegas noticed some girls heads lean in, and shook his head and laughed quietly to himself. Jackson, of course, was oblivious that he had caught the girls' attention with his little joke.
"And the best thing is that it's a blind date, but-"
"Which I believe is morally unjust," Began Emily, and Chris shook his head. "Blind dates are pointless, especially at this time of our age. Plus, it's totally an American thing—we're Australian and should be proud of that."
"I think it's a fun way to get to know people that you don't usually talk to." Argued Chris. "And, by following America, Australia is developing more and more. Take 1960s Freedom Rides, for example—the idea came from America and landed in the 1967 Referendum which resulted in the Indigenous Australians being a part of the census."
"But America also effects us in negative ways! We're only second behind them in obesity rates."
"Proud to be Australian." Chris put his fist over his heart.
"Except," Jackson continued, eyeing the squabbling love birds with a shut-up-and-get-a-room look, "I know exactly who she is, but she doesn't know me."
Ryan cocked an eyebrow, surprised by his friend's sneakiness. "Sneaky, Jack."
"It's not my fault your sister told me her friend's name." He smirked. "She even asked for my photo, you know."
"And of course you said no, because my little sister is not having your face on her phone." Ryan ruffled his friend's hair playfully, who lightly punched Ryan for touching his hair. "So who's the lucky girl?"
"It's ... Claringson." Jackson spied on Ryan with the corner of his eye, waiting for a reaction. Ryan instantly grimaced. He was sure that it was out of his mutual hate for the girl, not jealously.
"Ugh, Flora?" Ryan shook his head in an exaggerated sad motion. "That annoying little wretch. I feel for you." Jackson looked surprised. "What? She's so up herself sometimes. She thinks she's so perfect. She …" Ryan paused, knowing what he had said was completely untrue. Only he knew Flora's deepest secret, the secret that made her so imperfect. "I hate her." He finished lamely.
"Flora Claringson? I like her." Put in Emily unnecessarily. Chris, who, unlike Emily, knew Ryan's history with Flora Claringson, subtly nudged Emily and told her not to talk about her.
"I know, she's nice, isn't she?" Said Jack. "I guess that's cool that you don't like her anymore, Ryan. Since I'm going to date her." Jackson was completely aware of Ryan's and Flora's history, and only said those words as a test to make sure that Ryan held no feelings for her.
"Cool," came Ryan's indifferent reply.
"No, look," began Jackson, "If you don't want me onto her, then I'll just back off, yeah?"
Ryan, on the other hand, was feeling as his usual air-head self. He told himself that he already had everything that he needed. He told himself that he and Flora were ancient history.
"It's cool, Jack. I'm sure of it." And for good measure, he smirked, and Jackson returned the smirk knowingly.
Despite his previous train of thought, Ryan found himself walking towards Flora during lunch break.
"Hey Flor, watchya sweepin'?"
Flora stood in front of the school's notice board and sighed.
The underlying truth was this; Flora really did like Ryan. A little. Just a teenie weenie crush that would go away once after a month. Hah, who was she kidding? She's been majorly in love with him since primary school. She fell for him ever since he had accidently seen her dancing behind the school gardens, and he thought that she was great. And she was great. She was a protégée. Notice the word was.
No one ever saw her dance. Ever since she failed miserably on stage some time before they met, she had never danced in front of anyone. Except in front of him. But lately, in these high school years, he's been acting like an arrogant jerk. Ryan isn't the same person that saw her dance those years ago. But this doesn't stop her feelings for him. Not yet anyway. She knew she deserved better than him.
"Flo!" Veronica, Flo's eccentric best friend came up squeezing the life out Flora. This was a greeting that happened on the occasions when Veronica was exceptionally happy. Notice the word exceptionally; Veronica was always happy.
Despite being out of breath Veronica's presence had already lifted up Flora's mood. "What's up giddy alien?"
Veronica giggled, playfully slapping her best friend of the arm. "I'll have to look up "giddy" later." She daintily scurried through her purse, pulling out her phone which presented a picture. "For now, because I am such great best friend, I have a surprise for you."
Flora took a glance at the photo, and then quite literally ROFLed on the school halls. Okay, that was exaggerating, but someone had managed to snap a very funny prank photo of Veronica when she fell asleep on a couch.
Veronica snatched the photo off Flo, her eyes widening in horror in one second and then crinkling with laughter with the next. "Ohohoh!" She gasped for air. "Okay, that was good I admit. I'll get Ryan back twice as bad just you watch."
Flora stopped laughing. Oh yeah, that's right. Ryan and Veronica were twin siblings. They lived under the same roof, ate together, and fought together, played pranks on each other. Flora had found out when she visited Veronica's home on the beginnings of their friendship. She had been both surprised and extremely happy that she would be able to see the boy she had a crush on often, that is, until he began playing those little brother pranks on the both of them. So then began her hate-love feelings for Ryan. Ryan—was her best friend in primary school and the brother of her current best friend in high school.
"Anyway," Veronica interrupted Flo from her childhood reveries, "This is the photo I wanted to show you. It's meant to be the blind date that I set you up with, but I knew that you wouldn't want to go if you haven't at least seen him so … Don't I rock?"
"You have completely violated the rules of blind dates, you're the best."
The boy in the photo had red hair and light freckles. In the photo he was smiling widely, probably with his friend he appeared to be talking with. "Why you little stalker. He doesn't even know that you took his photo." Flo snickered. And upon a closer inspection, her eyes widened slightly.
"Wait a moment, who's that girl he's talking with?" Flora asked with a hint of hysteria.
The girl that Flora had spotted in the photo was Emily-Rose Butler. Student leader, straight A student, green-eyed, naturally blond and naturally beautiful. She also happened to be a righteous Christian, or so the rumours said.
And Flora did not want to be involved with someone that popular.
"Oh, that's just Emily. You remember Emily? You use to sit with her in ..."
"Year Seven." Flora finished for her. "And that was because we were forced to sit in alphabetical order."
"Hey, it doesn't really matter who he talks to. Emily is a nice girl, okay?"
Flora nodded, believing her friend, and let it go.
"Anyway, that's beside the point. Look at him." Veronica's chocolate eyes looked earnestly at Flo, excitedly waiting for her opinion. "Say it." She demanded.
"Say what?" Flo tried pretending that she had no idea what Veronica was talking about. Her friend rolled her eyes.
"Flora Jennifer Claringson, You will say it or I will never serve you cookies with cream at my house ever again."
Flora gasped. "You wouldn't!"
Veronica raised her eyebrows, clarifying that she oh-so would.
"Okay… Yes, he's 'hot.'" She said awkwardly.
"My dear, you speak the truth."
Flo hated calling guys "hot". It made her feel … girly. Not that she wasn't girly. But saying that a guy was "hot" was like treating him like an object.
"Hey, Floor, watchya sweeping?"
Veronica rolled her eyes at her brother's lame remark. "Floors get sweeped, they don't sweep."
"It's swept, actually." Flo corrected her friend meekly.
Veronica mocked-gasped. "Teaming up on me with the enemy, Flo?"
"She has all the reason to." Ryan placed an arm around Flo's shoulder, sending butterflies in her stomach. One look at her best friend's face of expectation sent those butterflies scattering away.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Flora said, pushing his arm of her shoulder. "I'm still not talking to you Ryan." Her eyes were dangerous slits.
"Flora, it's only one detention." Ryan really hated being blamed didn't he? Egotistical fool.
"No one will ever remember what happened anyway."
Flora scoffed at Ryan's poor attempt to cheer her up.
"Why, what happened?" Veronica cut in. "Oh, wait. I think I know. Is this because Flora chased Ryan down the hallways but then crashed into him, landing on top of the Jean Hale's prototype mascot?" Flora and Ryan turned to her, surprised that rumours had spread so fast. "Or is it because the mascot bumped into Mrs. Anderson who was drinking coffee and spilt her coffee all over her clothes? Or maybe even because Jean slipped on the split coffee and injured his leg?" There was no immediate reply. "Well, which one is it?"
"How do you"—Flora began.
"Know all this?" Flora glared at Ryan, who had finished her sentence for her. He shrugged.
"Well, I saw it on YouTube during Photography in second period…" Ryan and Flora exchanged shocked/horrified expressions. "Flora, it's all over YouTube because you did this totally awesome flip and caught the mug before it shattered."
There was a hand-to-mouth-shock from Flora.
"I never knew that you could move like that. Do you do karate or something?"
"Well, say something! Don't just stare at me like I just jumped off the Harbour Bridge naked."
"I wouldn't be the one staring, I'd be the one pushing you off" Ryan said with a shameless grin, and at the same time, ripping a flyer from the school's notice board. "Come with me, Flo."
"You hypothetical murderers!" Ron called towards the retreating figures, as Ryan was tugging Flora away forcefully. "Don't hurt her, Ryan!"
"Why, hurt you, Claringson? She cares about you more than me."
"And you call me arrogant. Ha."
Ignoring all the stares and whispers from gossiping students, Ryan led Flora this way and that, twisting around locker areas and walking through empty classrooms until he reached his destination—the second gym house.
Flora knew exactly why he had brought her here. This was where Flora used to dance for Ryan. It was the perfect place. Although old and a little dusty, the dark hall was always empty and had a stage. The front door was always locked, so they always used the entrance from the back of the girl's toilets (with Flora's help to check that it was empty, of course), which was connected to the backstage. They used to always hang around here, just listening to music or to laugh about the latest gossip, or even to express their problems with each other. The last time that they were here was at least six months ago. Flora had seen Ryan with one of the topic girls at school, and decided to never come to their rendezvous again. She still remembers how torn she had felt …
"I knew you still had it in you!" Ryan spoke, excited. "You can dance in front of others Flo!" He waved the flyer in the air. It was the same flyer that had made Flora sigh only a couple of minutes ago. Now she couldn't bear to look at it. The poster called for auditions for a dance musicale. In other words, it only brought her dreadful memories of the horrible day those few years ago.
"You know I wasn't dancing!" Flora retorted, also a little upset that he pulled her away so carelessly, as if what happened those months ago did not matter anymore. "Veronica talking about my apparent flip moves was an exaggeration and you know it."
Ryan walked on stage, his footsteps echoing within the empty space, ignoring Flora completely. Flora rolled her eyes, knowing he was headed to the old CD player. "My goodness," he whistled, taking out a couple of CD's, "they're all still here."
"This hall is only used for school dances at the end of the year, after all. No one ever comes in here." She sneezed. "It's always so dusty."
"Well that never bothered you before." He put in a soft ballad. "Dance, baby." He winked. Flora stared him down. Then replied,
"No." And then she walked away. Actually, she strutted in style to the beat, but nevertheless, she was walking away from the stage, away from Ryan.
"Crap, no, don't leave." Ryan quickly changed the song, and a hip-hop beat began playing. As soon as the soon began playing, he ran to the entrance from whence they came, speeding passed her to block her path. "Flora, I won't force you to dance. You can leave if you really want to." He slowly took her hand.
Don't look at him, Flora, She told herself. Don't take the risk of looking at his eyes. But, his hand was so warm over hers, and her heart raced against her chest, and the alluring music was making her muscles ache; move, dance, they seemed to scream at her. She was quickly becoming claustrophobic staring at the floor, and did the mistake of looking up.
Damnit. Ryan's eyes were sincere and pleading, and he looked as if he wanted to say so much more, but he held his tongue down. The driving beat rang in her ears, and before she knew it, the chorus of the song hit, and she roughly pushed Ryan away from her, flipping backwards to begin a routine.
"WOOT!" He whooped. "Who needs a stage to dance?" He shouted his rhetorical question, as Flora moved on the dance floor.
Flora gracefully leaped and flipped and bounced and sashayed her way on the wooden ground, in the middle of the hall. As she swayed and flopped and spun and kicked, she shut her eyes, allowing the music to take control.
Ryan's eyes followed her every movement. Each step graceful and concise. She moved with style and grace. She was beautiful. And incredibly talented.
Flora knew that Ryan was watching. She knew that, when he watched her dance, he reflects in his day, his life. She knew that he felt relaxed, was at ease. She also knew that it was the same Ryan that she knew so well, not the jerk that taunted her and played it cool with his friends.
"Hello?" The small voice was not Flora's or Ryan's. The pretty girl had peered inside the empty hall from the girl's bathroom obviously curious why the back door was opened. She was a very pretty girl, who had green eyes and long dark curls that bounced behind her. She was a person whom Flora knew all too well. "Oh!"
Flora glared at her.
"I'm sorry, I just heard some music and I thought I heard some voices so then I went inside …"
"Well, it's none of your business. So get the hell out." Flora's voice came out harsh and cold that it even surprised her. She felt a little guilty when the girl looked a little offended. But this feeling flew away once she remembered who this girl actually was. Ryan's girlfriend.
"Kat." Ryan smiled, arms wide. Kat, no longer looking intimidated, ran into Ryan's arms with a beaming smile. Katerina Jones was the girl that had been with Ryan the day Flora's heart was shattered. She was pretty, dainty, delicate, innocent young woman whom Flora didn't want to hate.
"I missed you during music class." She said sweetly.
"I know, sweetheart."
And then they kissed. In front of Flora. Flora stared at them shamelessly, telling herself that her heart was racing from dancing, not rampaging in jealousy.
"Ahem," Ryan cleared his throat, "We were just leaving, right Flora?"
"Yeah." Flora shuffled her shoes. "That's right." She bowed her head, feeling vulnerable under the gaze of the star couple of the school.
Coward, submissive, ignorant, weak? Yes, Flora knew she was these things when she said those words and walked out. But this was Ryan Vegas and Katerina Jones. They were the best couple in school, in town, in the state. Katerina was a prima ballerina with opportunities and recommendations literally just waiting at her doorstep. Ryan Vegas was a musician, a singer, a promising pop star. How could Flora even think of breaking up this perfect couple? How could she still be in love with Ryan even though he was lying jerk? How could she believe for the slightest second that Ryan still loved her?
Before she even walked out of the door, Flora could feel the warm tears in her eyes. She made a vow that she would never again be so naïve.
Oh goodness … how she needed to get over Ryan.
"Speak now or forever hold your peace." Veronica Vegas stared intently at her best friend. Flora had managed to remain silent until the end of the day. She couldn't help it. Or rather, she couldn't fake it. Veronica would know she would be faking it anyway.
"I speak." Flora mumbled to her shoes.
"She speaks!" Ron repeated, acting as though she couldn't believe it. "My goodness … Speak again."
"Ronnie." Flora's tone was warning. But Ron's reply was soft.
"Flo." The way Ronnie said her name made Flo look up. Veronica's eyes were as pleading and sincere as her brother's, and it hurt her to realise the resemblance. It made her want to cry.
"You can guess what triggered my mood this time." Flora flicked her hair, smiling it off.
Veronica gave her best friend a warm cuddle ("Ngaww!"). She knew exactly why Flora was sad. "That's okay, I'll handle it."
"Wait!" Flora exclaimed, in all seriousness. "You CANNOT prank your brother tonight. You need to help me prepare for the date tomorrow!"
Veronica slapped herself. "I'm so stupid. How could I even think—". She stopped, meeting Flora's smirking eyes.
"How did you know what I was thinking when I said "I'll handle it"?"
Flora winked. She knew her best friend too well.
I do not own anything you recognised. I made up the name of the school, and I didn't mean to copy it's name if it already exists out there ... Why is the state called New South Wales? Whats a Wales? Anyway,
Hey there! So how are you likin' mah story, eh?
So this is my re-write of my first chapter, but in case you haven't read that version, i'll jsut re-do my a/n as well!
So we've met Flora Jennifer Claringson, i changed the "K" in Claringson to "C" because then she sits alphabetically w/ Emily. She's a dancer. Or, she was a dancer, and for some mysterious reason she's kinda given up on that. I have to think of what happened ... but I'm pretty sure that her past will be introduced through the introduction of another character. Ryan only knows tidbits of her past, and Veronica actually doesn't know that her supposed best friend is a protégée performer. She's got really blue eyes and brown/black hair ... SHE'S ITALIAN PEEPS!
Mr. Smits.. Imma just add him in here shortly; he's a teacher, He's cool ... and blah.
Veronica ... is actually maybe short... Do you think that the dislikes her brother, for some reason, or that she's just playful with him? They're fraternal twins, ya know. Obviously, Ryan got the best of the genes. Jokes. Veronica is as pretty as you imagine her to be. But she's short-remember that.
Chris, this guy is actually shaped from a person that I know in real life—not anyone that i associate with, haha. He's the popular guy, but the good popular guy that was generally raised up by a good family. Religion? Idk.
Emily-Rose Butler, do you like her? What's your impression of her? She's actually Mormon (like moi), and she had more depth other than just an "avid Christian and keen learner" stereotype. And a ballerina. She's actually the voice of reason in the group. Everyone listens to her. She's also based on a person that I know in real life. She's the type of girl that hangs out in the popular group but would never consider herself as such. She's pretty, but she's is no way superficial. Maybe she's a little materialistic, and she does like to dress up.
And Jackson. Friendly, easy-going, popular, handsome, tall... The guy that almost every girl wants. Generally a good guy. Do we like him ...?
But let's talk about Ryan. Older brother of Veronica, and had love history with Flora. Our main male lead. Him and Flora were somewhat of childhood sweethearts. He had come across her by accident, soon after the "incident", where he finds Flora dancing behind the school yard. She was practicing a routine, so it was pretty good stuff. He was intrigued by her, she was young and naive, they hit it off. And then something happened. Oh and, he's the son of blah blah and is working towards earning to company blah blah. Pressure and expectations and all that shaz.
Katerina Jones. Prima Ballerina, she's close friends with Emily-Rose Butler, because they're ballerina's you know? I actually don't know a lot about dancing ... Anyway, she's pretty, popular, and she knows it. She's cute, acts innocent, but she's smart. She's dedicated. Definitely not perfect. She's a girl who manipulates and lies and backstabs to save herself. She's shallow and conceited and needs attention. I hope that I'm able to portray her character so well that, whatever we feel for her, it's with a passion.
The story plot. Let's think right here. It's going to consist of late nights, parents and constrictions, love and freedom, dance, mystery (nothing dark), happiness, sadness, anxiety ... rivalry, flora trying to keep on her feet and regain control of her life ...