The New Me

After a bad experience at her old school, Hayden Flack moves to Bradley Stoke determined to change everything about herself.
She knows how act, what to wear and from past experience, what to expect.
But on her very first day, seeing a long-lost childhood friend was something she definitely didn't see coming. Hayden quickly recognises Ellis but he can't even remember her... or does he? Why is Ellis acting so strangely, and why is he so different from what he used to be?
After a few months at her new school, Hayden seems to have settled in quite well and is living what appears to be a stereotypical popular girl's life. But not everything is going as 'well' as she thinks it is. Her 'friends' are acting weirdly suspicious, and when her long-lost brother suddenly comes in contact with her, she can't help but feel like there is something going on that she doesn't know about. How long will it take before she realizes what is going on beneath the surface? (PG-13)

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10. The Jealous Type

I’ve grown to really hate house parties. The excessively loud music, the crowds of people (half of which I didn’t even know), the sick.

“Hayden you might wanna think about cleaning that up,” Sophie mentioned, nudging me to look at a puddle of the foul liquid which lay in the middle of the kitchen table.

I gagged; I wouldn’t be eating there any time soon.

I dodged through the mob, desperate to get away from the crowd and the smell, only to find myself bumping into Cole and spilling his drink all over the carpet in the process.

“Shit! Sorry Hayden,” he gasped, glancing at the yellow stain on Mum’s carpet. “Hey, where you going?” He asked, grabbing my hand before I could leave.

“It’s too crowded.”

“It’s not that crowded," he replied, holding his grip.

Eventually I decided there was no point arguing with him and stayed put, although I began to feel more increasingly nervous and the urge to get outside was hard to ignore.

He moved in for a kiss, completely aware that we were in the middle the room and that everyone could see.

It was so obvious.

More people arrived at the party, my breathing increasing as more bodies pressed against me. But Cole clearly got the wrong message as he began to kiss me harder. I let out a little panicked whine and escaped, shoving people out of my way in desperation. 

“Hayden, wait!” Cole called, but he didn’t bother going after me.

Privately I was glad to be left alone, and enjoyed the few moments of solitude, sat on my back porch. The cool night air breathed against my skin and calmed me down and steadied my breathing.

The back door opened, followed by the sound of heavy music, yelling and laughing. Then silence.

“Hey.” A voice said, with a noticeable air of confidence.

A pretty girl with bleached blonde hair sat beside me. She gave me one of those smiles which you can never be too sure whether it was fake or genuine. 

“Hey,” I replied awkwardly. “Melissa, right?”

She sat down next to me in an elegant sort of way; perching on the very end of the step, back straight, head held high. “That’s me,” she grinned. Her pearly white teeth glowed in the night.

There was a few moments of silence, consisting of me privately wanting her to leave, and her clearly trying to think of what to say to me.
“Nice house party,” she said.

“Thanks,” I replied. “I wasn’t really planning on having one; Sophie just arrived and it sort of happened.”

“Oh Sophie tends to do things like that,” She laughed. “…well she did when we were friends anyway,” she added, almost dramatically.

“You were friends?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Years ago. But we fell out; we don’t speak that much anymore.”

“Oh.” I replied with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. 

There were more moments of silence.

“So you’re going out with Cole?” She eventually asked.

I smirked to myself. Sophie had warned me that Melissa was secretly quite jealous about it, although from what I heard Melissa was the one who did the dumping.

“Yeah.” I shrugged.

“Realised that he’s an absolute prick yet?”

“I wouldn’t say he was a prick…”

Melissa let out a genuine laugh. “You’re nice Hayden. But I can see right through you. Nobody lies to me.”

My throat tightened. What was it about those words that scared me so much? …Did she know more about me than I thought? I forced an awkward laugh.

“So when are you going to bear him the news?” She asked.

“Did I say I was going to dump him?” I questioned, raising an eyebrow.

“Well you may as well have, the way you acted around him earlier. If you weren’t thinking of dumping him you wouldn’t have made off like that.”

“I feel stalked.”

She forced a laugh, trying to hide her obvious irritation. “I know I’m probably coming off as a jealous bitch. But I’m not really the jealous type.”

“No?”

“No.”

"Okay then."

She frowned; clearly she was unused from receiving so much disinterest. “Anyway... I should probably tell you more about Cole. And what he does.”

“I’m guessing he manipulates people?”

“Yeah-”

“So a bit like what you’re doing right now then?” I smirked.

Melissa blushed furiously.

“No offence Melissa, but you can go back inside, or just go home or whatever. But please don’t fill me in with loads of dirt about my friend.”

I grinned at her in triumph, although I was surprised to see her almost pitiful expression. 

Friend?” She laughed. She edged closer to me, narrowing her perfectly arched eyebrows. “You’re more stupid then I thought.”

And with that, she left, leaving me repeating her last sentence over and over in my head.

Why did she laugh at the idea of Cole being my friend? He was my friend, wasn’t he? Of course I wasn’t as close to him as I was with Sophie. And we didn’t have long conversations, or have much in common. But I’d hung out with him for months now. And he was my boyfriend… surely that meant something?

I returned to the party, pleased that now the numbers had noticeably reduced, yet less pleased with the increase of mess and rowdiness. Cole was much easier to spot, and not so difficult to get to. He seemed pleased to see me.

“You okay?” He asked.

“Yeah.”

“So… what happened earlier?”

I hesitated. “I err… had to get some fresh air. It was way too crowded.”

He nodded, “yeah I guess it was a bit.” Then he edged closer to me, but I moved away.

“What’s up?” He frowned.

“…Do you just want to talk?” I suggested, edging further away from him still.

He showed obvious disappointment, but he shrugged and followed me to the dining table. But it was immediately clear that we had almost nothing to say to each other due to our obvious lack of interests. 

Eventually Cole sighed, “Look do you just want to snog or something?”

I frowned. I glanced at his chiselled features, his bright blue eyes, and his ruffled, blonde hair.

Oh how they used to get to me.

“Well?” he asked.

Before I could respond, we were interrupted by Sophie, with a slightly amused but panicked expression across her face.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I have a feeling Evelyn might be awake,” she said sheepishly. “I really needed the loo, but Morgan and some girl were in there so I went upstairs and heard her crying.”

“Brilliant.” I replied sarcastically. “I knew that this was a stupid idea.”

 I left Cole, who looked just as irritated as I was. “Can’t she get to sleep by herself?” he complained.

I rolled my eyes.

I found Evelyn wailing in her bed; her teddies were thrown on the floor, her face was as red and her curls were damp with tears. A wave of guilt spread over me; how could I have been so selfish? Evelyn must have cried for ages and I couldn’t even hear her over all the noise. Upstairs, I could still hear everything; cheering, laughing, the loud music and the occasional smashing sound (I prayed they weren’t windows). Morgan had clearly lied about not hearing anything, and I hated myself for being such a gullible idiot. Of course Morgan would have lied if that meant they were going to have a house party.

Evelyn seemed to calm down when she saw me. She scampered up and hugged me tightly. “Why’s it so noisy?” she complained.

I hesitated. “…It isn’t.” I lied.

“Yes it is,” she insisted, “don’t you hear it?”

I put a hand against my ear and pretended to listen. “I can’t hear anything at all,” I shrugged.

“Yes you can, Liar!”

I paused for a moment and gasped, “Ohhh. That’s just the TV; I’ll go turn it down.”

“It doesn’t sound like the TV,” she mumbled, but she snuggled back into bed anyway. “Can you read me a story?” She added hopefully.

I nibbled my lip; I thought about Cole and Sophie waiting for me downstairs and the amount of cleaning I’d have to get done by the end of the night. “Maybe another night. Sorry Evelyn” I sighed. Then I dashed out of the room before she had time to respond.

It took me a while to find my group, who I later discovered had migrated into the back garden. “Guys, Evelyn’s awake and she can’t go to sleep. We’re going to have to stop the party.”

“What?” Morgan groaned, “come on Hayden, it’s only eleven!”

“Can we at least stay?” Sophie asked hopefully.

“I… dunno,” I replied, “can you just help me get everyone out first?”

I rolled my eyes when Morgan let out another one of his famous high-pitched laughs. “What’s so funny?” I demanded.

“Nobody’s going to be that pleased about leaving a party so early,” Morgan replied with a snigger. “Don’t worry though; I know how to get everyone out of the house in seconds.”

“How exactly?” Aaron tested him, raising an eyebrow.

Morgan grinned. “Just watch.”

The four of us watched Morgan with amusement as he headed towards the dining table and stood on it. He let open his mouth and roared, “THE POLICE ARE COMING!”

Immediately everyone scattered, spilling drinks and tripping over their feet in the process.

“GET OUT QUICK! POLICE!”

 The room emptied in minutes, leaving behind a hell of a lot of mess and the five of us.

I gasped.

Mum had always taken in pride in her spotless lounge, her immaculate carpet, and her interesting antiques from Pierre, her fresh vase of flowers which she changed every few days. Now, the room looked like any other house after a house party. Beer stained the carpet (although thankfully no wine); an unavoidable stench of sick lingered in the air; the antiques were missing from the shelf and had ended up in random areas of the room, one of them having disappeared completely, and the vase of flowers were a sorry site; many of the flowers had snapped straight from the stems and stared down at the table gloomily.

“We’ll help tidy it up for you,” Sophie offered, “…Just as long as we can stay over.”

I shrugged. “It’s not like things could get much worse.”

“You spoke too soon.” Cole muttered, pointing towards Evelyn who had arrived at the foot of the stairs as rubbed her eyes sleepily.

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