Chapter 1: Diego.
Once upon a time, in the busy city of Vegas, there was a girl named, Emmy; Emmy Santiago to be more precise. She had very beautiful and rare cerulean eyes. Why rare? Because these eyes always had the undeniable warmth and acceptance in them that could prove to be overwhelming. Despite having everything the world could offer, Emmy had always wished to have an elder brother but unfortunately for her, she was the only heiress of an extremely rich family. She used to think having an elder brother was COOL. Emmy Santiago was the only precious child of her parents, who were the owner of a very big corporation; famous for its discoveries and inventions in the modern technology. Emmy's father was very intelligent, a great scientist. He was a very smart person with an exceptional IQ and was basically the founder of the very "Techno City Corporation".
Emmy was also blessed with the same intelligence and smartness; she was to take over her father's corporation in the near future. She always aced her every test, every examination and basically there was nothing that she couldn't do, she even sometimes helped her father with his various projects. Emmy was 15 years old but was already in her last year of high school. And after the summer vacations she was to start her collage. Her teachers were very impressed with her God gifted aptitude. But she couldn't care less, she might have all the luxuries of life, she might be a celebrity and she might have all the wealth that everyone in the world longs for but she didn't want any of it. All she wanted was a sincere friend that would stand by her forever. She always longed for someone, someone comfortable to be with. Someone she could play with, watch movies with and someone with whom she could enjoy swimming and share her secrets. Sadly, for her there was no one like she desired. However, she didn't lose hope.
"Mom, I want to visit the orphanage that's close to the complex," she said that while absently playing with her food at the table, her eyes staring at her platter.
Both her parents looked at her with some astonishment. "Sweetheart, why?" her mother asked somewhat perplexed.
Emmy looked at her mom with big eyes, staring at her with some emotion in them that could resemble to loneliness and maybe bit sadness.
There was some silence. Emmy took a heavy breath, overwhelmed with an unknown emotion she let it all go, "It's because I'm bored mom!" She slammed the fork that was in her hand on the table in frustration. Both her parents got worried because Emmy never got this riled up before; at least not so suddenly. Tears brimmed her eyes, she gave a small sob, "I'm alone mom… I'm sad…" another sob escaped her mouth and she gave a small hiccup, silence lingered again and then in almost a whisper she spoke, "I don't have friends…"
Her mother came to her and hugged her tightly, "Sweetheart we're always here with you."
Emmy hugged her mother back, "You don't understand mom, you're not… you're not always here." She clutched her mother's shirt. "Dad's busy most of the time, you're… well you've got other things to take care of. The children at school treat me like some nobody either because I'm very small or because they're envious of my background. I know you guys love me and try to be there for me but it's still not the same as having a friend…" Sobbing she looked at her father through her mother's shirt, "Please dad… I want to go to that orphanage."
Her father came close to her and hugged her from the other side. "You're my princess Emmy, your wish is my command." He said as he kissed his daughter's forehead and stood up, taking her hand along with him, making her stand up as well. He looked at his wife, "I'll take her to her room." His wife smiled warmly and nodded in response.
When Dr. Santiago had tucked Emmy in her bed, he sat down on the floor beside her bed, "May I ask why an "Orphanage"?"
Emmy just shrugged her shoulders and smiled, "Don't know dad, a gut feeling I guess. Besides, there's no harm in visiting one, right?"
"No, there's no harm at all." He gave a comforting smile, kissed her forehead again and left the room after making sure Emmy had closed her eyes.
It was weekend and Emmy was headed to the same orphanage that she had planned to visit with her mom since her dad was busy with work and projects and whatnot. When Emmy reached the predestined destination, she was surrounded by hundreds of orphans but no body bothered to greet her. She felt like they were happy in that place and didn't want to go anywhere else; she couldn't understand the reason though. Looking around however, Emmy met her gaze with a boy, who was almost of her own age, had black spiked hair and very deep chocolate brown eyes which could be mistaken for coal black. He was wearing a plain royal blue T-shirt and black narrow bottom jeans. His arms were lazily crossed over his chest and he seemed bored. Still, his gaze had such an intensity that could have scared any other kid but to Emmy it was intriguing; in a strange way. Yeah, she had come across many stares and gazes of different people; mostly cold ones. But the one the boy was giving was not like that, it was more like I'm-a-loner-don't-bother-type. Instinctively, while keeping the eye contact, she started to walk towards him. And much to the surprise of the boy she sat next to him on the bench. She broke the eye-contact the moment she sat on the bench and started playing with her fingers with some nervousness. That's until she said, "Hi," a bit timidly.
The boy did not reply and broke his gaze from her face at that moment and looked down to the ground. Emmy, after an uncomfortable silence asked, "What's your name?"
The boy looked at her; he brought his one hand behind his neck, looked up at the sky and in a very uninterested tone and asked, "Why do you care to know?"
Emmy smiled, At least he talks. "Ummm… I don't know, maybe, because you are quite different from the other children that are here."
He turned his head and stared at her wondering what she meant. Just like she heard his thought, Emmy again spoke up, "I'm not saying your strange or anything… I guess you're somehow, kind of interesting to meet."
"You're wasting your time here with me. Why don't you go find someone else who interests you?" he replied with a slight note of annoyance.
That annoyance didn't go unnoticed by Emmy but she ignored it nonetheless "Nah! You're better than everyone over here." She looked around the place, "It looks like you're the only one who wants to get out of this place, so what's your name?" she asked excitedly.
The boy rolled his eyes, truly annoyed by the girl's friendliness but judging by the fact that she still hadn't left, he knew she wouldn't leave unless he told her his name. "It's Diego," he stated simply.
"So, you don't have a last name or something?" she asked now turned towards him fully.
"No," he blandly replied then he brought his hand back down and again crossed them in front of him. He looked at her with the same intense gaze as before. "Look girl, I don't have all day to talk to you. Why are you still here?"
She laughed nervously at his antics to shoo her away. Oh! I'm not going to leave him this easy. "Oh, well!" she replied innocently. "Actually, I have an offer for you," She looked at him while saying that, then turned away. They both met with silence, no one looking at each other, when Emmy broke it and said, "Instead of living in this place, why don't you come with me to my home?"
He raised his eyebrows and gave her the are-you-stupid-look, "And why would I want that?" he inquired totally not interested with the conversation they were having.
And with that began Emmy's famous blabbering. "Well … the first reason is that my house is larger than this building." She said everything with gestures here and there, "Secondly, we can have loads of fun there. We have a swimming pool, a recreation room, a big library and … and so much more that you name it. And oh! You can also have your own personal room. We won't have a problem with it…" she zoned out, "Besides, my mom loves kids; she could make you all kinds of food…" But one look at Diego and she got the hint that she was talking an awful lot. So she sobered up a little, "Eh… Briefly… you'd love living with me. We'll not treat you with hostility, you will be more than a guest, you'll be considered as a new member of our family, nevertheless." She finished up with a very hopeful look in her eyes.
Diego stared at her as he felt dumbfounded, what's up with her? Is she crazy or did she hit her head before encountering the very unfortunate me. But soon, he regained his composure and stood up from the bench; face betraying no emotion, "Look, I couldn't care less of what you're family could provide me with. I'm fine here. I don't need to go anywhere else." With that he turned away and was ready to leave.
"Oh come on!"
And now she's whining?! What's her deal? Were the words that came in Diego's head.
"I know you'd want to have a luxurious life. Everyone wants it, duh!" Emmy replied, announcing as if she had stated the most obvious.
"Emmy, honey! It's time to go home. We'll come back some time later your father is waiting!"
suddenly Mrs. Santiago's voice echoed through the building.
"Ok mom! I'm coming!" Emmy replied with the same shrill in her voice as her mother's that made Diego wince. Emmy then turned back to her hopefully-soon-to-be-friend and said, "Look Diego, I have got to go but the offer still stands. I'll be back the next week to get your answer and hopefully to take you to our home, okay? Until then…" she paused, "Goodbye!" She waved at him even when his back was turned on her. "And don't go anywhere!" echoed her voice as she went out of the building with a hope and a smile that Diego would agree to her proposal and she would finally be able to have a friend that she so longed for. Sure he's a bit stuck up… but he's interesting.
Later that night, at the TCC complex, the Santiago household was having dinner. "So, did you find any friend there, honey?" Mrs. Santiago asked her only daughter. At this Emmy's father also became attentive to listen to his heiress's words.
"Well, I did meet someone. He was a bit hesitant about coming and living with us. But you'll love him, mom. He seemed somewhat strange but was nice. He looked lonely. He could really use a friend, just like me. I told him that I'll come to see him this weekend."
"That's perfect, honey! I'd also love to have a son! Oh, this is going to be so much fun!" Mrs. Santiago squeaked with joy as she clapped her hands in excitement. "What do you have to say about this, dear?" she asked gesturing towards Dr. Santiago.
"Well, as long as my little girl is happy, I'm happy. That boy is completely welcomed by me. A thoughtful expression came on his face, "But, what was his name again?"
"Oh sorry! He's Diego. Totally forgot about that. Seriously dad! You'll love him!" Emmy replied enthusiastically.
"I am sure, I will honey," Dr. Santiago replied smiling.