Camilla Baker attends Beverly Hills High. She’s an exotic, popular and over-confident pack leader in Molly’s class. She has her eyes set on the future and she doesn’t back down from anything to achieve her goals. She has more secrets than a teen girl’s diary and she can be very mean sometimes, but without her, Molly would be just an outsider.
By the time school ended, I wasn’t ready for detention, but there was nothing I could do about it. After entering Mrs. Evans’ classroom, I took my place on a chair, the closest one to the door. Camilla arrived shortly after me and slammed her books down on the first desk in the middle row.
“This is lame!” she murmured, making a point of letting the legs of her chair scrape loudly on the flooring.
“Well, you know Mrs. Evans. She can’t stand when we talk.”
“You know what? I’m tired of not being able to talk when I want but being forced to talk when I don’t feel like it. This is bullshit.”
“A couple more years and you are out and can do whatever you want.”
“Oh, please. I never get to do whatever I want.”
“What’re you talking about? I’m sure you’re pretty much in control of your own life.”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“I’m just saying what I see. You’re confident and have style.”
“Style, huh?” she scoffed, but not in a mean way. “Do you have any idea how many hours I spend in a day to look like this?” She motioned to her body.
“I don’t know. A lot, I guess.”
She scoffed again, shaking her head from side to side. “You have no idea how much I envy you.”
“Me? What do I have that you could possible envy?”
“For starters, you’re the new kid here. You don’t have any pressure on you to wear designer clothes or maintain your position in the school’s social circle. I do, because that’s how people got used to seeing me here. Can you imagine how much I wish I could dress down sometimes? Just throw on sweatpants and an oversized shirt and don’t use any makeup.”
“I thought you loved all this being the center of attention, and the lavish outfits.”
“No my mother is the one who loves being the center of attention. I just don’t have a choice. She’s very controlling. You know what she said after we took a family picture?”
I shrugged, deliberating whether this was a rhetorical question or not.
“She didn’t say how good it felt for her to see us together or how proud she was of me. Oh, no. She told me that I needed to do a teeth whitening again because my teeth were getting yellow. Can you believe that? I don’t even remember the last time she gave me a hug. She pulls a little theater in front of other people and leans in for a fake hug, but she never embraced me, not even when I was a child. She was afraid that her tits would pop. …
“You’re the lucky one. Your parents are much nicer and they look like parents. My mother looks younger than I do from all of her plastic surgeries. Botox and what not. I can put on the best dress I have but she always has to one-up-me, so she can pocket the congratulations on how fantastic she looks for her age.
“We can’t even go to the beach because she hates the ocean, the sun, the sand, everything. How can anybody hate the beach? I don’t get that…. She has very white skin and she doesn’t want to go, that’s okay, but I’m not allowed to go either because she thinks the sun will make my skin age faster. I don’t even know who that person is. …
“She wasn’t always like this. She met my dad in college and their love produced me. Now I’m neither white nor black.” She sighed, looking out of the window.
“And that’s not all of it. After college she had a job as a babysitter, working for rich families, when I was only two. She met my stepdad by working for this family. Of course he’s white. Can you believe when we go somewhere? Everybody thinks that I was adopted. Sometimes I think even my mother’s ashamed of me.”
“How could she be ashamed of you? You’re one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever met. I’m sure you’ve got this wrong.”
“No, I don’t think I have. And that’s not even the end of the story. Last summer I fell for someone. I’m sure you already know who that person is. His mom’s white and his dad’s black, too. His parents didn’t divorce though; only his famous lawyer dad sleeps with every woman he can. Of course everyone knows about it. … He was so nice to me all summer. He did ask me to keep our relationship a secret, but that was okay with me. But when school started again he told me that he needed some space and now we’re just friends. And I have to watch him flirting with other girls and telling his friends that he slept with more girls than he can count through summer. He even flirts with you.”
“Are you talking about Chris?”
“Yep, that’s him. The legendary Chris Duncan. He’s trying to keep up with his dad even though I’m a hundred percent sure he’s ashamed of how his dad cheats on his mom. I remember once a kid made some smartass remarks about his dad and his mistresses and Chris beat the kid up so badly that his dad had to step in and probably spend a lot of money, just to keep him in school.”
“So how long have you known each other?”
She chuckled. “Since last year. I was the new student then.”
“Why don’t you tell him how you feel?”
“Are you out of your mind? You can’t show your real feelings around here, neither talk about them. People would destroy you, mock you to death.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, like a hundred percent sure.”
“Well, I’m very bad at playing games. I don’t think I can pretend that I like someone if I don’t, or act unconcerned when I’m not.”
“If you want to survive here, you better learn then. By the way this conversation never happened. I don’t even know what got into me talking to you about this stuff. I guess you just have this innocent face. Trustable.” She rolled her eye at me.
“Don’t worry. I would never tell anybody anything.”
“Thanks. … And now it’s your turn.”
“Now you gotta tell me something about yourself that you’re ashamed to admit.”
I’m the author of the Fields of Elysium saga, which I like to call a young adult romantic fantasy. The first book of the series was inspired by amazing movies like Dirty Dancing, Avatar, and Twilight and earned praise from prestigious review companies and readers. I’m currently working on book three and four, and planning to write one more novella to finish the series, dedicated to another very interesting character in my story, The Prophet, the mysterious leader of the Arkanians.
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