"I'm Sophie Vera, and this is Channel Seven News." I announced, holding the microphone in front of my face. "Today our broadcast features the works of seven-year-old Noel Vera, a well-known concert pianist. Noel has been playing the piano since she was just four years old. She will be playing for us today, Claire de Lune, composed by Debussy. And now, Noel Vera, concert pianist."
I filmed Noel playing her piece, and turned the camera back to myself after Noel had taken a bow. "And in other news, school will be starting soon, so make sure you have purchased all necessary supplies. When we return, we will feature a dog that can stack blocks. Over and out!" I turned off the camera and pulled the SD card out, bringing it into my room and sticking it into my laptop. Now all I had to do was sync each video clip and publish the video to my YouTube account. I'd already filmed Noel's dog, Hoke, stacking the blocks. As I was sitting at my desk, Hoke jumped up on my lap.
At last I had finished the video. I played it for Noel and then saved it in my "Channel Seven News" folder on my desktop. I logged onto my YouTube account and posted the video there, and then logged onto Facebook.
"Hey, everyone! Another episode of Channel Seven News is up!" I typed into the Update Status box. I pasted the link and hit Share. Five seconds later I had one Like. It was Robbie Myron, my pen pal/boyfriend. We'd met when he was visiting his grandma, back when our family lived in Oregon. Robbie actually lived in Vancouver, Canada.
Hi, Sophie! How've you been? Excited for high school?
I glanced at the chat window, noticing a message from Robbie. Quickly, I typed out a reply.
Yeah! What about you?
We talked for a while, about how our summers had gone, my hopes and fears for freshman year (Robbie was a junior this year,) and just stuff in general. But his next message was the exact opposite of what I'd expected.
Sophie, are you alone?
No. Noel is here. Why?
Um, can you have her leave? I'm going to call you in a minute.
Um... Okay. Sure.
"Do you want me to leave?" Noel asked from behind me. I turned around and looked at my sister. Braided black hair, light chocolate skin, eyes blacker than midnight... Everyone noticed the differences in looks, everyone we met asked if Noel was adopted. She looked nothing like me, her older sister with the pale white skin, chocolate hair and golden eyes. (And no, I am not a vampire, I have seen Twilight. My skin does not sparkle, it is just pale, okay?)
Noel had been adopted from China when she was an infant. I was only seven then, and honestly, my Christmas wish was for a little sister. (Cheesy, much?) She and I had been really close ever since. I was the only one who truly understood her, not even our big teddy bear of a father, or our shy and quiet mother really knew who she was.
Sometimes Noel would go into this sort of 'withdrawal' state, where she'd just sit there with a blank stare on her face, or her emotions would go out of control and she'd start screaming. It's happened twice in public; once when we were shopping at WinCo, and once in the movie theater at the mall, right in the middle of her favorite movie, Ponyo.
The doctors and counselors had no clue why she did this. It's as if she's schizophrenic; her normal personality is this bouncy, optimistic girl, who shines Jesus' light everywhere she goes. Another personality is the autistic-like child, frozen and nonresponsive no matter what we do. The third personality is the out-of-control girl, unrealistically prone to panic attacks, where anything could set her off. It's as if she's got ADHD, autism, and borderline personality disorder all rolled into one. Maybe that was why she was in the orphanage; her biological parents had no clue how to take care of her.
I was so wrapped up in thought, I jumped when my phone started ringing. Noel picked it up and answered it, much to my annoyance.
"Hello?" Noel asked, one hand on my shoulder and one hand holding the green and silver cell phone up to her ear. "Oh, hi Robbie. Yeah, sorry. This is Noel. Would you like to speak with Sophie? Okay, here she is. Bye, Robbie."
"Hey, Sophie. Why did your sister pick up?" Robbie asked as soon as I had regained possession of my cell phone.
"She's just being a pest." I replied, grinning. Noel gave me a mock shove and I tickled her armpit. Normal sister relationship.
"Okay, well, is she listening to our conversation?" Robbie asked.
"Hold on." I answered. I hit the speakerphone button.
"Hi, Robbie!" Both of us chorused, giggling. Man, Sophie was seven years younger than I was, and we could still annoy Robbie together.
"Not funny." Robbie replied, his voice crackling through the speakers. "Sophie, this is serious. I need to talk to you alone."
"Fine, Robbie." I sighed. "Noel, why don't you go play your piano or something?" While I was asking her this, I was scribbling on a sticky note with my favorite sparkly green gel pen.
Noel nodded, and then sat on my bed with one of the books from our tree-house library. I glanced at the title, making sure it was appropriate for her and found her reading Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Okay.
"'Kay, Robbie, Noel's gone." I lied, taking it off of speakerphone.
"Thank you," Robbie sighed.
"Now, what was so important that you couldn't say in front of Noel?" I demanded, getting straight to the point.
"I don't think this is working out, Sophie."
It took me a minute for his message to soak in.
"Hello? Are you still there?" Robbie demanded.
"I'm still here." I whispered. Noel looked up from her book. "What do you mean, 'this isn't working out'?"
"I mean, the long distance relationship thing. For Pete's sake, we live in two separate countries! It's just too hard to keep this up!" Robbie was yelling, now. Noel was behind me at this point, her arms wrapped around my neck and her face pressed into my hair. My hand went up to stroke her hair.
"Well, if that's how you feel, then fine." I replied, on the verge of tears. As I hit the little red button, I noticed that my Facebook page was still open. I was about to click Log Out, when a new post popped up in my News Feed. The post was from Robbie. It was a picture. A picture of him, and some girl I'd never met.
He'd tagged the girl in the photo, apparently her name was Brittany Mels. In the picture, Robbie was wearing a white long-sleeved shirt and blue basketball shorts, his favorite sunglasses (that I'd given him for his birthday,) hanging from the front of the shirt. Brittany Mels wore at least two layered spaghetti-strap tank tops, the sage green one on top, a pastel pink one underneath, and the white bra straps showing behind them. Brittany's hair was a dirty blonde just like Robbie's, but hers had more color to it, each lock a different shade. Her ocean-blue eyes contrasted sharply with Robbie's familiar green-gold ones, but they both had a deep summer tan.
The two were at a park by the ocean, sitting on Robbie's favorite blanket – the same one we'd used on our picnic dates. It was sky blue with green and gold wavy lines that matched Robbie's beautiful eyes. Some of the lines were solid, some were dashed, and some were made of dots. You could see the green grass, blue sky, and pine trees in the background. Around Brittany's wrist was a silver charm bracelet, identical to the one that permanently resided on my wrist. I pulled it off and threw it into my trashcan in disgust.
"Sophie, is Robbie a player?" Noel randomly questioned. I turned around and looked at her.
"How did you learn that?" I asked in surprise. "Do you even know what that word means?"
"Yes." Noel answered matter-of-factly. "It's a guy who has more than one girlfriend at the same time. Robbie didn't break up with you before the conversation, and this picture was taken August 10th. That's twelve days ago."
"Twelve days?" I mumbled, looking for however she found that out. Oh. I closed out of the image and looked at the newest comments.
Brittany Mels – Wasn't that day just wonderful, honey muffin? It's hard to believe that August 10th was our 1-month-anniversary!
Robbie Myron – I know, sweetheart! That was the best day ever! Can't wait 'til Thursday!
Brittany Mels – I shall see you there! I must go, my mom has told me to get off of the computer. I love you!
Robbie Myron – Love you, too!
"Wow, they're making that really public." Noel commented. I logged out of Facebook, trying not to cry.
I'm Sophie Vera, and this is Channel Seven News. Today we are going to interview a player, Robert Nicolas Myron. So, Robbie, how is having multiple girlfriends working out for you, huh?