The View From Up Here

Chapter 1


My name means heavenly, divine.

The way my mother says my name is not so divine. Or heavenly. Especially when she's bitching about my grades.

"Celeste," she bites out, her voice cold. She holds my grades stiffly in one hand. "What is this?"

"I believe it's my report card you're holding, Mother," I state mildly.

Oh, yes. I'm a witty one. And it's something my mother has never appreciated. We aren't exactly on good terms, seeing as she isn't the best mother and I'm far from being the best daughter.

"Nothing higher than a C in anything. And an F in Trigonometry," she says stiffly, her voice getting icier with each passing second. "What have I done wrong with you, Celeste?"

Everything, Mother. You've done everything wrong.

"Nothing, Mother." I smile at her as sweetly as I can. "You've done nothing wrong."

She ignores me and continues to bitch. "I've tried so hard. I've been the best mother I could be. You aren't a dumb girl, Celeste. So just try and stop acting stupid, for godsakes!"

"I will. But, I kind of have this thing."

My mother stares at me, eyes ablaze, waiting.

"It's called a social life. Perhaps you've heard of it?" I say airily.

Again, with the wit. I can't help it.

Her eyes flash. "I don't give a crap about your goddamn social life, Celeste. Will your social life-" She spits those words out as if it pains her to say them. "-matter in ten years, when you need a job? Your social life won't help you get a real life. You need to start growing up, Celeste, and that starts now."

Just stay silent, Celeste, and nod at the right intervals. Nod, keep quiet, nod again, I remind myself. Do not mess with Mother again while she's in her mood.

Mother's eyes are closed. A muscle ticks at her right temple. "Celeste."


"The Lee's have a boy." Her voice is hard and unflinching.

"I know, Mother."

"Adrian, is it? Adrian Lee?"

"I don't know, Mother."

"I've heard he's exceptionally intelligent."

"Yes, Mother."

The conversation is becoming pointless.

My mother presses her fingers against her forehead. I wait.

"He will be your tutor, Celeste." Her cold gray eyes flick upwards, studying me dissmissively.

Do not challenge her, I chant silently. Just nod and agree. Nod and agree. Nod and-

"Mother." I hear myself interrupt my mantra. "I don't need a tutor."

I mentally berate myself. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My mother stares at me, perfect features marred with anger. "Celeste."

I try not to show any signs of fear. "Yes, Mother?"

"I don't care about what you want." She focuses her steely gaze on me, a cold smile twisting at her lips.

I've figured that out a long time ago, Mother.

"This is for your future, Celeste," she begins again. "It's for your own good."

"Yes, Mother." I pause. "I know. I'm sorry."

"You'll request him as your tutor tomorrow, then?" It's more of a command than a request.

I say what seems to be the only thing I know to say in my mother's presence.

"Yes, Mother."

My best friend is a bitch.

And I say that in the most loving way possible.

It's kind of sad, really, but who am I to complain? If anything, I'm a bigger bitch. Not that it's a good thing. But, it kind of comes with the years of climbing- clawing- my way to the top. When you're completely, fully intent on something, you can't really take into account everything you're running over.


I look up from my mascara wand, and find my best friend- the aforementioned bitch that I still love in a totally heterosexual way- smirking at me.

"Sam's going to be there. At Lex's party."

"I broke up with him, remember?" I remind her. "And there's kind of a reason why I don't want him at the party, Ede."

"God, you're heartless. Think of all the children you're hurting. Poor little Sammy's all sad now," Eden says, smirking.

"Like I care." I run my mascara wand one final time over my lashes. "And I know he doesn't either. He has a million whores at his beck and call."

"He looked pretty whore-less when I saw him."

I blink. Sam manages to surprise me every day.

Ignoring the lull in the conversation, I take the moment to glance at my reflection. Ew. I'm surprised if anyone looks good- or even relatively normal- under fluorescents.

Eden takes my silence as a cue and hedges, "Can't you tell me why you guys broke up? Sam keeps moping and it's getting on my nerves."

I avoid eye contact. "It doesn't matter. We'll get back together. We always do."

"I know it, you know it, Sam knows it. So why is he all depressed this time?" Eden pauses and looks at me coyly. "Did you cheat on him? Was it with that hot new exchange student who's been lusting over you?"

"No," I say hotly. "God, Ede, tell him to take some anti-depressants or something."

Eden giggles. "I'll tell him. Courtesy of Queen Celeste."

"Thanks." I give her a sickly sweet smile. "You do that."

"Oh, I will," she says, grinning just as sweetly back at me. "Don't you worry."

She borrows my mascara and swipes it on her blonde lashes. We're silent for a moment as we both focus on our makeup.

"Ede." I hold out my hand for the mascara. "I have to go find a tutor."

The look Eden gives me when I say that is completely and utterly priceless.

"Don't implode or anything," I say coolly, inwardly giggling at her ashen expression. "My mom's forcing me."

She pales even more, which, all in itself, is an incredible feat. "Implode? Isn't that, like, an SAT word?"

I blink. "Sure."

Eden just stares at me.

"Ede, stop it." I try not to look at her for fear of bursting into racous giggles. "It was just my mom. You know how she bitches."

The color returns to Eden's pretty face. "God, Celeste, I thought you were going all smart on me."

I roll my eyes at her. "Not in a million years."

She looks visibly relieved. As if I'd ever give up my popularity to become a geek.

I grab my purse from the bathroom counter and take one last glance at my impeccable reflection. I give my image my prettiest smile.

Oh. I look pretty hot under flourescents.

A/N: Just as a disclaimer, just because I wrote this story does not mean Celeste's opinions are mine. Keep in mind she's at the top of her school's social pyramid, and she's extremely condescending and extremely over-confident. This also does not mean that all popular girls are like this; my characters are, though.

So, with that in mind, how was it? Hope you guys enjoyed it. Please review, because I put a lot of hard work into this and I'd love to hear what other people think. So tell me what you think, offer some ideas, constructive criticism, yadda yadda yadda. Thank you!

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