A/N: I'm so sorry it took so long for me to finish this- procrastination is my biggest enemy I swear. Thank you for the reviews, they're highly appreciated. Enjoy this chapter, I'll expand at the end, but anyway here it is;
Maya groggily opened her eyes and looked around. She was in the sitting room. She clambered off the sofa, stretching, and she entered the kitchen. While she was pouring herself a bowl of cereal, her sister came downstairs.
She and Maya were complete opposites. With her long, golden, blonde hair and striking blue eyes, Maya reckoned her sister got all of the good-looking genes their parents had passed down to them. Emily's idea of fun was parties and big groups of people, while Maya preferred to spend her time outdoors, avoiding large gatherings. Despite their differences, they got along quite well, most of the time.
"You're finally awake. My friends are coming over soon, I don't want you to be in the sitting room." Maya sat on a stool by the kitchen counter "or in the kitchen." Maya looked up and stared, annoyed, into her sister's eyes.
"This isn't your house".
"Come on, Maya. Don't be like that. I would leave if you asked me to".
She rolled her eyes, "Sure you would".
"Please." Emily pleaded. "What time is it anyway?" Maya asked, ignoring her sister's irritated looks.
"Time for you to leave." Emily responded as she turned her head towards the front of the house, where a car could be heard pulling up.
Maya sighed an exaggerated sigh before grabbing her bowl of cereal and going upstairs to her room. She opened her laptop and checked the time. 14:52. She closed her eyes in exasperation. Half of the day was already gone, just because she slept so long.
Her eyes flew open. What time was she supposed to meet with Lily? She wracked her brain for a moment before she remembered. At 5, right? She relaxed again. She still had hours until she had to leave.
She couldn't wait to see her. I can't believe that out of all the people she could have followed, she chose me. She smiled to herself.
She scolded herself; she couldn't let herself think of her as anything other than a friend. It'd just make things awkward, and she really did not need that.
Shutting out any more thoughts about Lily, she began her homework.
By the time 5 o'clock rolled around, Maya was aimlessly scrolling through social media on her phone, her homework sitting long abandoned on her table.
Suddenly realising that she was supposed to be there already, she stood up and grabbed a jacket before going downstairs.
Passing the sitting room, in which Emily was sitting with a couple of her friends, Maya reached for the handle of the front door, but before she could turn it, the door opened from the other side. She stepped back, startled, as her mother entered the house.
Her mother had dark brown hair, similar to Maya's, except hers was long and straight, and her eyes were a striking blue, so she looked more like Emily than Maya. She and Maya weren't particularly close.
"Oh, good morning Maya," she said, smiling at her daughter, "where are you off to?", "Just- meeting with Jamie" she wasn't sure why she lied; it's not like she was doing anything bad. Her mother didn't seem to register her hesitation as she replied, "Oh, alright then, I love you." "love you too.". She side-stepped her mother and hurried towards the forest, where Lily was waiting for her.
As she walked towards the forest, Maya looked up at the sky, which, although it was the middle of autumn, was a gorgeous shade of blue, with only a few wispy clouds scattered across it. A chilly breeze blowing through the trees made her zip up her jacket as she entered the forest and began walking along the path towards the playground.
As she climbed the ladder tree, she saw Lily lying on the nest swing, her eyes shut. She looked so peaceful that Maya tried to approach as quietly as she could, but as she came closer, Lily opened her eyes and smiled tiredly at her.
"You came." Lily said, moving over to make space for her.
"Yeah, sorry I'm late," she started, "I lost track of time". Maya sat on the swing beside Lily, careful to leave room between them.
"Are you ok?" Maya asked, after noticing how tired she looked.
"Of course," she replied quickly, closing her eyes again to avoid Maya's concerned gaze, "why wouldn't I be". Maya said nothing, but she couldn't help but wonder what had happened.
They were quiet for a moment before Lily asked, "When does school start?", "In two months or so", "That's quite a while".
"Yeah" Maya replied absent-mindedly.
Lily murmured, "Two months 'til I meet Jamie".
"You can meet him before then," Maya pointed out, "I'm going to watch a movie with him tomorrow, you should join us!".
Lily looked at Maya, contemplating for a second. Maya saw that she was biting her lip in thought. She looked away, annoyed with herself. The little things are the most fatal, don't notice them, she begged herself, but to no avail, as when she turned back to look at Lily, she couldn't help but notice small strands of her perfect hair falling onto her face, and the tiny dark green speckles in her eyes and- ugh, she was doing it again.
Maya turned away from her again, instead facing the green of the forest. Lily said, "Ok, sure", before silence fell between them again. The silence wasn't awkward, nor uncomfortable, but as she heard Lily move into a different position, she felt like she should say something, but didn't know what.
Instead, Maya focused on her surroundings. Of course, she had been here many times before, but there was always something new to look at, to smell, or to listen to. That was the best thing about nature; not only did it accept change, but it also embraced it, creating such beauty mankind could never compare to. She wished she could do the same.
Some time passed and silence still hung in the air, until the sharp noise of a ringtone cut through the quiet. Maya promptly glanced back at Lily, who was in no rush, it seemed, to pick up the call. When she finally answered her phone, rather than a friendly greeting, she harshly said, "What". There was a cold edge to her voice Maya would never have expected from someone like Lily. She was evidently not fond of the caller.
Maya wasn't trying to eavesdrop, but it was difficult to not hear what she was saying, as they were sitting beside each other.
"Whoever it is, they can wait, I'm not coming home 'til later". She gritted her teeth at their response but didn't say anything. It seemed that the person at the other end said something offensive or even threatening then, as Lily replied, "fine, whatever, I'll come, but I'm not coming alone" without waiting for a response, she ended the call and glanced up at Maya, who was watching her curiously.
"I'm sorry," Lily said quickly, "I shouldn't have assumed you would want to come". "But I do have to go, my mother has a guest waiting for me." She clambered out of the swing as Maya said, "Don't worry, I do want to come," smiling at Lily as she got up.
"I can meet your parents and see your house". Lily furrowed her eyebrows, "I'm serious you know. You don't have to come". Maya shook her head, "Don't be ridiculous, I want to". Lily looked at her, sceptical, "Are you sure?"
"Absolutely. We are going to your house, right?"
"Oh er- yes, we are".
Maya followed Lily as she left the forest, and they went on their way.
Almost 10 minutes later, they arrived at the bottom of a long driveway that led to an enormous modern house with multiple cars parked in garages around it. The house had two storeys, and a large balcony was settled into the corner of the building. The spotless walls white, with huge glass windows, and where the driveway met the front of the house, it went around a circular pavement area, in the middle of which an elegant fountain sat.
They were walking along a paved pathway on the right side of the driveway, and as they came further up, Maya saw, to her right, a large green area with nothing other than a few decorative ornaments and plants carefully placed on the perfectly cut grass.
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Lily glancing at her with a slightly concerned look on her face, so she tried to not seem as astonished as she felt.
They finally reached the house, and Lily opened the door, letting Maya enter before her. To her dismay, she saw that the people waiting for them were dressed formally. She felt underdressed, and she self-consciously tugged on her orange jacket, hoping she didn't look as out of place as she believed she did.
There was an uptight-looking couple, who looked like they were in their mid-40's, standing in the entry hall; the woman was tall, skinny and wore a floor-length, black, satin evening gown, with her straight brown hair swept up into a tidy bun. Maya decided that the woman, who she assumed was Lily's mother, possibly could have looked quite pretty if it weren't for her eyes; they were such a dark shade of green you could practically see your reflection in them, and the way she looked at you could, and would, make you tremble.
The man beside her was wearing a black suit with a blazer and tie, and he was looking at Maya with disgust, as if she was a particularly big piece of dirt on his shoe. He had an exaggerated jawline, his black hair was combed back, and his eyes were full of an indescribable coldness. He, too, was tall and slim.
As Lily followed her inside, Maya took a moment to look around. The room they had entered was huge, with a white marble tiled floor, and a ceiling taller than her house. Ahead of where they had come in was a large staircase that split in two directions where it reached the wall. To her left, the wall opened in an arc into what seemed to be the dining room. On the opposite side, the wall had two doors, with nothing nearby signifying what was on the other side of them.
"So?" Lily started, "where are they?"
"Still waiting" her mother replied. Her voice was filled with a fake warmth towards her daughter. Even those two words sent a chill down her spine. Maya, weakly attempting to get on their good side, introduced herself, saying, "I'm Maya, Lily's friend?". Lily's parents turned their gazes to her, and the father simply stated, drawling as if talking to her was a waste of breath, "You will address us as Mr. and Mrs. Thomas"
"Now" Mrs. Thomas said sharply, making it seem like Maya was nothing more than an interruption, "you will go to your room and change into an appropriate outfit, and then come back down and meet us in the dining room. Do I make myself clear?" she spoke quickly, as if she was in a rush to go somewhere, or moreover, Maya thought, in a rush to get away from somewhere. As Lily began walking towards the staircase, with Maya close behind, she called after them, "and get your friend a change of clothes too", saying the word 'friend' as if she was mocking her.
After passing through multiple grand hallways, they reached a door, which Lily unlocked to reveal a vision drastically different from the rest of the house.
Instead of rich purples, golds, blacks and whites, the sight that greeted her was full of colour. A queen-sized bed rested against the wall, but stuck out into the centre of the room, and it had a yellow duvet, with blue, white, and purple cushions and stuffed animals set in a tidy decorative manner.
A pale purple desk sat beneath a window framed by yellow curtains, and a fluffy dark blue carpet covered the entire floor. Colourful picture frames covered the centre area of one wall, filled with creative photos of objects and people. A purple door was in the corner; she assumed it led to a bathroom. Shelves full of personal objects filled any empty spaces in the room.
"My parents hate anything unorderly," Lily said as she entered the room.
"So every time I come in here it feels like an act of defiance." She turned her head and smiled at Maya as she stepped into her wardrobe, which was in the far corner of her room. Maya followed her in.
"I keep it locked so they don't come in and sabotage it".
"I wouldn't have thought they would let you decorate your room like this." Maya admitted.
"Oh, they didn't," she replied as she began looking through her clothes, "I used their debit card while they were away on vacation. I find it so easy to get sick of their fancy decor, so I took the opportunity to change my room when it arose." Maya looked at Lily and raised her eyebrows, "Oh wow". Lily was holding a few gorgeous dresses in one hand while she continued searching for more, but at Maya's comment, she looked up at her.
"I have so many dresses, feel free to keep some. I assume we're similar sizes". Lily let Maya leave the walk-in wardrobe before following.
Lily turned around and placed all the dresses she had been holding on the bed individually. Astounded by their beauty, Maya gazed longingly at them, but she had to admit, she couldn't imagine herself wearing any.
"So?" Lily asked her friend, "Which one would you like to wear?"
Maya looked up quickly at her, "I- I don't think I would look good in any of these".
"Nonsense," she replied, "you would look amazing in anything". Unable to stop herself from smiling from the compliment, she said, "I don't agree, but thanks". After pausing for a moment, she pointed to the plainest dress in the pile; a royal blue, ankle-length halter neck dress, "I'll wear that one". Lily smiled and pointed out, "It'll go beautifully with your hair".
Maya picked up the dress and, after asking Lily where she could change, she went into the bathroom.
The walls were made up of small light blue tiles, and the floor of large white ones. A large bath sat in the corner; it was white, and the toilet and sink were too, but the articles in the room, like soap and towels, were coloured similarly to the bedroom.
The room wasn't particularly small, nor large, but she noticed a parting in the wall in the corner of the room, and when she peeked around the corner, she was shocked to see a relatively big swimming pool and a jacuzzi fit into a large room. The room had the ceiling and floor made up from the same white tiles as the bathroom, and the walls, too, were the same as the bathroom. Other than a closet in the corner, the room was quite plain.
Turning back to the bathroom, she put on the dress. Admiring herself in a mirror covering almost the entirety of one wall, she smiled. She felt pretty for once.
She left the bathroom and saw that Lily had put on a dress too. It was a rose gold colour, with a trail. The dress was shoulder-less and had a beautiful glittery silver design around the waist, fading as it went further up or down. She had pinned her hair back with a pretty silver hairpiece.
They stood there for a moment, taking each other in, then suddenly Maya burst out, "You look gorgeous". For the first time since they met, Lily was the one was flustered, as she stumbled over a "thank you" and returned the compliment with a bright blush covering her face. Brushing her hands on her dress, Lily asked her, "Do you want to do anything with your hair? I can give you some accessories too if you want?"
She thought for a second, before responding, "Can you straighten my hair? And yeah, I'd like a bracelet or something, but nothing too flashy." "Ok, sure". As Lily went to get some jewellery, she called to Maya, "I hope you don't mind staying for a while longer, us having to get dressed means we're having a formal dinner with some people".
When they came downstairs, Maya's hair was straight, and she was wearing a couple of dainty, shiny, silver bracelets, along with matching hooped earrings and a small, elegant, silver ring with an embedded dark blue crystal. Lily was wearing small, rose gold and silver, dangly earrings, and Maya hadn't noticed it before, but she was always wearing the same, sleek black, wide band ring on her right middle finger.
When they entered the dining room, Maya noticed a couple there who looked a similar age to Lily's parents, if not younger, along with a boy who looked around her age; she assumed he was 17 or 18. All three were identical in that they had jet black hair, soft brown eyes, and chocolate coloured skin. The woman was quite short and plump, while the other two weren't particularly tall nor short. They were also dressed formally, the woman wearing a figure-hugging sparkly red dress that matched the colour of the men's ties.
Lily approached the group, and their faces lit up as soon as she was in their line of sight. "Lilianne how wonderful to see you!" the woman beamed, pulling her into a hug. Maya barely had time to absorb the fact that her name was Lilianne, not Lily, before the woman turned to her and asked,
"And who is this?". She opened her mouth to speak but found she couldn't, so Lily stepped in, introducing her as her friend Maya.
She nodded her head a little as the woman smiled politely at her, introducing herself as Mrs. Maxwell and gesturing towards the man as her husband, Mr. Maxwell, and their son Trevor, who was hugging Lily at that moment. She noticed that when he leaned in to kiss her, Lily turned her head, so it landed on her cheek rather than her lips. Odd.
Maya followed quietly as Mr. Thomas led them all to the table, where she stood awkwardly as everyone sat down. Lily looked over at her and gestured towards the empty seat on her right. As she hastily sat down, she stubbed her toe, causing her to bite her lip to silence herself.
All she wanted to do was dig a hole in the ground and stay there. She was a flustered mess, and all she had done in the past 5 minutes was humiliate herself. Holding back tears, she gave Lily a small smile, who smiled sympathetically back.
Trevor was sitting to Lily's left with his father across from him, and Lily's parents were in front of Maya and Lily, with Trevor's mother at the end of the table by her husband and son.
The food arrived, and she was pleasantly surprised to find that they got a starter and found herself tucking in; she hadn't realised how hungry she was. As they began to talk, Maya could already feel herself disconnecting. Lily turned to her and spoke to her occasionally, but with her doing nothing but nodding and answering in monosyllables, along with Trevor repeatedly calling for Lily's attention, as the dinner progressed, she zoned out, and soon it was as if she wasn't even there.
After dinner, Mrs. Maxwell suggested that Lily and her 2 guests go upstairs to her bedroom for a while, while 'the adults talk'. Lily's mother pursed her lips but said nothing. Maya drew her hand up to her face to hide her smile; either Mrs. Maxwell didn't know what Lily's room was like, or she knew but didn't mind it, but Mrs. Thomas quite obviously did.
As they were going to her room, Lily dropped Trevor's hand, who was attempting to drag her ahead, and fell behind with Maya, and began telling her what they were talking about.
"You see, my parents own a company, Crystal Fawn, you might have heard of it, and the Maxwells invest in it" Maya nodded, she had seen the brand in some shops, but didn't really use make-up, so she didn't know much about it.
"Of course, my parents don't tell me much anymore, but I believe it's not doing too well".
"Oh." Maya wasn't sure what to say, so she kept quiet.
"How did you find the food?" she asked her. "It was nice". Lily stopped walking and grabbed Maya's arm to stop her too, while Trevor continued on, oblivious.
She looked tense and began babbling, "Are you ok? Did I say something offensive? I'm sorry if I did, I knew I shouldn't have made you come, I really am sor-", Maya cut her off, "Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong, and like I said before, I chose to come, you didn't make me".
"Oh, well, ok then. But why have you been so distant since we got here? I know it's not a very happy place but I- sorry I'm rambling again"
She wasn't sure why she was acting how she was, so without an alternate answer to give, she replied simply, "I don't know".
"Alright then" Lily looked concerned but decided to let it go, "we should catch up to Trevor" "Yeah".
While they had been in Lily's room, Trevor was the only one talking, presumably to Lily, but it had seemed he was unaware that nobody was listening, as the two girls had just sat leaned against each other, half asleep. Maya soon got a call from her sister who told her to come home, and so she left the two.
As she was walking home in the darkness, she wondered how they had come to be a couple, and if the business between their families hurt or contributed to it in any way.
She showered before going to bed, and she couldn't erase the image of Lily in the dress she had worn before her head hit the pillow and she fell asleep.
A/N: I've decided to discontinue this story. I might come back to it eventually, but definitely not for a longg time, since I have no experience with the main themes, and no loyalty (I wanted to start writing like 2 other things before I finished this TT). I'll continue to post on here, but only short things like one shots. So yeah, I hope to see you again soon :]