Secrets and Lies

Casey is a teenager with an amazing will to succeed. She is an incredible runner and is determined to enter a marathon. However it is not that easy. Her world is upturned as her friend's life begins to break down and only Casey can help, Casey is madly in love with a man she thinks will never want her and a sad turn of events results in a huge blow. But Casey is still determined to follow her dream...

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25. 9th September 2013

 

It’s odd how something big can happen in only just a few days. Amaya started talking to me again. She wouldn’t talk about Ethan at all and would completely ignore me if I did, she seemed to have changed a lot since the last time I saw her. This morning she looked so tired that she had huge black bags under her eyes, and even though she had applied make-up she still looked as white as a ghost. It looked like she had tried too hard with trying to look pretty and in the end looked pretty bad with messily curled hair and smudged mascara. We couldn’t talk about anything real though. She seemed to clam up and itch her arms if I even as much as touched on her family, and she kept eating way to much at dinner time; shovelling tons of food into her mouth then always asking to go to the toilet in fifth lesson and would come back looking as white as a sheet with a little green tinge. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know how to help.

Even though it was September it was still humid so most people would just wear their white shirts to school. But Amaya refused to take her blazer off. Something was wrong and yet I couldn’t see what.

This morning, I went to see Amaya before school because of not seeing her for two more days due to the trip. We met at the soft sandy beach. Although it was boiling hot, there were huge dense black clouds sitting in the sky and they were horribly threatening rain, and a lot of it. When Amaya came, the down-pour started drenching us in a matter of seconds. Amaya’s mascara rapidly stained her face so that she looked like a weary panda and the water created streaks down her face. And she just stood there, letting it all happen.

Taking her hand I half ran- half dragged her to the nearest shelter which was some sort of small cave in the side of the sand hills. I had never noticed it before. Amaya seemed to be taking deep breaths in and out even though we had only ran about 500m. Soon she was breathing normally but she looked far from fine. Taking pity on her, I got out a wet wipe from my bag and began to wipe away the red lipstick and the eye shadow until her face was completely bare and vulnerable. As I was doing this she spoke for the first time in what seemed like months, her voice croaky and sad “I-I-I-I-I-I nev-e-r loved Ethan. I always loved you.”

What! What was she saying? She must have been confused. It sounded like she was telling me she was gay… This couldn’t be happening. Not now, not with my best friend. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings at all but I had to set her straight. My heart was taken, and it wasn’t by her. My mind blew up. What was happening!

I tried to stutter something out but was stopped. She leant forwards and kissed me. He soft delicate lips touched mine and I felt nothing but disgust. It took me a few milliseconds to register what was happening; I was completely shocked. I didn’t want this! What was she doing? She tried to put her hands on me but I wasn’t having it! In one whole moment, I felt this happen but I didn’t kiss back. Of course I didn’t.

Not knowing what else to do, I pushed her away from me watching the happiness fading from her eyes. What the hell. I didn’t know what to say. Regretfully, I did what I did best. I ran. I ran from out of the suffocating sand cave and away from her and her mind-boggling feelings. I ran from her calls and her cries, and I ran from her footsteps that were rapidly following me. I kept running even when silence came and when I was left alone. I ran so fast that my lungs roared at me to stop but I didn’t.

I arrived at my house to find everyone out like I knew they would be; they were all out at work. Sweet smelling bread was left on the side, and I found by holdall downstairs too all ready for the trip. What was Amaya thinking? I was un-settled and perplexed, my pulse sky high. I didn’t know what I should have done. The scene kept bouncing about in my head.

And then it turned clear. I should have should have seen it coming. Looking back now everything pointed towards this, everything that I was too blind to see. The way she kept looking at me to see if I was jealous of Ethan, not her. When she blushed red when I said Ethan was her type, because he obviously wasn’t and she must have felt awkward. When she nearly chose Ellie Golding as the person she wanted to marry. The fact that she was obsessed with Jade from Little Mix more than any other devoted fan. The way she looked when she was hugging and kissing Ethan, like she didn’t want to and was only doing it to make me jealous. When she told me she loved me and I thought she did as a friend. The way she hugged me, looked at me and spoke to me. I should have seen it coming miles away.

How had I been so stupid? And yet it seemed that I was setting the wrong impression, maybe even leading her on without realizing. When I hugged her and held her, maybe she got the wrong idea then. Or when I said I didn’t like Ethan, maybe she took that as a green light that I was batting for the other-side. How she seemed so angry when I held hands with Nico, or kissed Cole for that matter. She never knew I was in love with Mr Thayer, but I had never told her I fancied anyone or any boy. And just now, when I held her hand and dragged her to shelter and when I wiped the make-up of her face so kindly. She had taken everything the wrong way. And she was so confused when I rejected her. What had I done?

I realized that I needed to go back, that I needed to explain and help her. That I needed to show her that it was okay and that I accept her for who she is. But then Nyx barged through the kitchen door yelling at me to get my bag. She didn’t have a clue of what had happened. I tried to explain that I needed to go see Amaya and that I would walk to school after, but she just laughed telling me to get in the car. She didn’t understand! Why couldn’t she understand? And yet I couldn’t tell her what had happened, that would be betraying Amaya.

She grabbed my holdall and forced me out of the door, telling me that she was only driving me to school because our parents forced her too.

I didn’t care! All I wanted was to make sure Amaya was okay. I tried to run away but she grabbed at me, saying “I’m sure you can manage without your girlfriend for two days” and then pushed me in the car. For a second my heart missed a beat. She knew? And then I realized she was only joking. In the car I sent billons of text messages screaming at Amaya to answer them. Some were sweet and sensitive and others were angry but understanding. Either way she wouldn’t reply. I called her about twenty times and left her lots of voice mail but she just didn’t answer.

I could picture her sitting inside the sand hill, her heart stabbed to death and her mind bewildered and angry. She was probably crying her heart out. How could I have just run away without even uttering a word? When she needed me the most I just left her. What kind of friend was I? A horrible one. More than once I tried to get out of the car while we were driving, I was that desperate, but Nyx just screamed at me; pulling me in then locking the doors.

I tried really hard not to hate my sister, after all she was just trying to look after me and she didn’t understand. But still, she was stopping me from doing something extremely important.

I prayed that Amaya would be okay and that she would go to school and maybe see me before I went. When we got to school, I tried to run away again but Nyx wouldn’t allow it making snide jokes about Amaya and me. I despised her at that moment in time. Embarrassingly, she walked me all the way to the school entrance and handed me my bag promising that I even as much as but a toe outside the school grounds then she would personally hang me. To be honest, I wouldn’t put it past her.

I had ten minutes before I was meant to go to the art classroom, so I started searching the school for Amaya. But she was nowhere. She must have wanted to miss school for the day. Maybe she couldn’t face it. Maybe she couldn’t face me. And then I found Nico. I dragged him away from his new group of friends and hurriedly explained what had happened. I didn’t want to betray Amaya’s trust or make this any worse, but I needed someone looking after her when I was on this trip. His mouth opened in horror as he realized what a state she was in. I made him swear not to tell anyone else, and I knew he wouldn’t. He said he would go around her house as soon as school was finished and would text me the news tonight. That was the best he could do and I was grateful. “I’m sure she will be fine” Said Nico trying to smile as he hugged me tightly. I couldn’t utter a word so I just squeezed him tightly nodding my head.

Br-r-r-ring! Br-r-r-ring! Br-r-r-ring! The final bell went as it became nine o’clock and I said goodbye to Nico as the whole school made it inside. But he pulled me back. He brushed my hair, re-did my make-up delicately, straightened my azure jacket (we could wear non-school uniform for the trip) and then told me not to worry and to have a great time. How sweet was he? I took a deep breath in and out, and cleared my mind a little. Nico was right, I shouldn’t worry. He would take care of it delicately and Amaya would be fine. I was stressing about nothing. I should have fun at this Art trip and I was determined that I would. Nothing was going to ruin this. Besides, Nico had it under-control. But I still had this tiny nagging feeling…

“Thank you Nico. You. Are. Amazing.” I kissed him on the cheek before I walked off looking pretty, calm and happier. Nico was simply amazing. Everything was going to be okay. It even stopped raining.

I arrived just in time. I was welcomed by a shy smile from Mr Thayer whom happiness was radiating from. And it was contagious. Of the entire twenty or so students in the room, each one was smiling. When Mr Thayer began to talk to the class about what we were going to do today I got lost in his trance. He introduced two other teachers one called Mr Wilson and another named Mrs Collins. The former was tall and had board shoulders but also a stern face and a moustache whilst that later was small, meek and mouse-like with a corresponding hair colour. Mr Wilson forced us to hand our phones over, and we all did. I was angry, how could I see if Amaya was ok now?  

Before long the mini bus arrived, and people charged on after giving their bags to the driver. As normal I got on last, and the only spare seat was one near the front behind Mr Wilson and Mrs Collins but near Mr Thayer. I wasn’t complaining. The film went on but it was a pretty awful one, some 90’s film, so I tuned out and put my headphones in.

The drive would be about two hours and a half all the way to the Lake District, so I put on my favourite play list which would be repeated on shuffle. I hadn’t realized how tired I was because I just couldn’t stop my eyes from closing. In a minute or so, I was lost in a slumber.

Somehow I was watching that dream again, the dream in which I am saved by none other than the person sitting near me. I could feel the tangling of the bodies, the claustrophobia and the terror, and felt the strangling sensation which I witnessed only a few years ago. I remembered giving up and letting the water take me and then I felt his strong arms lift me from the water. My lungs were burning as I lay on the sand, Mr Thayer trying to save me. I felt his hands try and pump my heart and could feel his desperation. His lips were soft on mine as he gave me life and breath, and I could feel his relief as I opened my eyes and saw him for the first time. But then the dream changed. It wasn’t Mr Thayer giving me the breath of life, no it was Amaya. She forced her lips onto mine and kept trying to give me air even though I already had it. It was like I was suffocating again. Using all my strength, I tried to push her off me but it didn’t work; she wouldn’t leave me alone. I thrashed and kicked, screaming in an odd way until the dream faded and I woke up.

Blinking rapidly I found that I wasn’t sitting alone anymore. “Casey, are you ok? I heard you screaming and woke you up immediately” Said Mr Thayer who looked very concerned about my well being. His eyes were bright and anxious; it was sweet to see he cared about me. Thankfully nobody else on the bus noticed my screaming so it must have not been very loud. “I’m fine thanks. Oh, thank you.” I muttered, clearly embarrassed about what must have happened. He got up and sat back down on his own seat telling me he was here if I needed anything. Suddenly I wanted to need something, anything so I could talk to him again.

For the remaining half an hour of the journey it was like an awkward tennis match in which who could look at the person the most without them spotting them. It seemed that Mr Thayer was discreetly but definitely always looking at me with his dilated eyes, and to be honest, it was extremely hard not to do the same to him.

We arrived at the place at lunch time and the sun was shining with no clouds in sight. Even though the Lake District had a reputation for wet weather; it wasn’t raining at all. It probably would later though. We got off the coach and started to make our way down to the place in the middle of nowhere which we would be staying that night.

Because of the make-shift road being so narrow and full of pot-holes, we had to walk about a mile to get to this house. A lot of mumbling and grumbling was followed when Mr Wilson told us all what we would have to do. To be honest, I wasn’t bothered; I had walked a lot further before.

We set off and somehow I seemed to make it to the front within minutes; I wasn’t even going that fast. Mr Thayer was at the front of the group, so that was one of the reasons I made sure I was too. Even with him being a fully grown man, it seemed that I was fitter than him (as in being in a better physical shape) because I reached the half way point a lot faster than him. In fact as I turned around I seemed to have lost the group completely. Uh-oh.

I panicked. Where the hell were they? But that was when I saw it. A tiny red dot, then a splodge, then a figure, then a person, then a man, then my teacher, then Mr Thayer in his crimson coat. He was running towards me looking quite worried. Bracing myself for being told off, I waited for him to meet me. “ Casey? Casey! Are you ok? I turned around for like two minutes and you had completely disappeared. Why did you run off?” He demanded, beside himself with worry.

“I’m fine, I’m fine. I didn’t run off, I walked and I thought everyone was right behind me. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to worry you.” I said, a little ashamed. The anxiety and anger faded from his eyes as he almost looked ashamed himself. “That’s okay. Sorry I didn’t mean to get angry, it’s just I thought something bad had happened to you.” He smiled shyly as he spoke, and I realized that I must have really scared him.

On his order, we waited for the rest of the group and then walked all together. It seemed that we walked painfully slowly though. I knew Mr Wilson was furious with me and it was clear the he wanted to send me back to school, if he had his own way. Mr Thayer must have stuck up for me. I had a lot to thank him for.

We arrived at the house and I must admit it looked pretty cool. The house was big and had stone walls on the outside but on the inside there was lots of space. In the middle of nowhere was an original homely house with lots of space for everyone to stay. After being directed to the barn upstairs and the boys to the bedrooms on the other side of the house, we chose our beds. Our bedroom for that night was huge and eerie with lots of beds and a haunted toilet attached to it. Written on the cream walls were fading swear words and graffiti; the people that had come before us were obviously trying to scare us.

I mean it worked on the naïve girls on the group who without a doubt believed that there was a ghost haunting the room, but the rest of us thought it was rubbish. When we ate lunch downstairs and got settled in properly before we started our art work.

Because the views were so spectacular where we were, it was the ideal place to have an art trip. All situated at our chosen places around the site; we were given lots of different types of materials which included paints, pencils and pastels.

I chose somewhere where nobody else wanted to go. I sat on the gate that was to the left of the building and began to paint it and the field nearby. All I could hear was the soft chirping of some red bellied robins and the slight breeze that made the branches wave.

I didn’t seem to notice it but the time slipped by so quickly that by the time I had finished it was almost five o’clock and it was getting colder. Putting away all my things, I made my way inside seeking people. The scent of cheesy pasta floated up my nostrils and it was coming from the kitchen making my mouth water. Mrs Collins and her faithful companion Georgia was making dinner, so I left them to it and walked into the sitting room.

Everyone in there was male. The eight boys that came were all sitting and drawing a leaf ( I know, not interesting ) but were loudly nattering too. Sitting in there was also Mr Wilson and Mr Thayer. The latter looked up as soon as I came out of the shadows of the room. “Hi Casey. Please can I have a look at your canvas?” He said friendly, but with nothing else but that in his voice. Even though his pupils were dilated, was still fidgeting with the buttons on his shirt and was nibbling his lip; he seemed to talk to me like I was nothing more than a pupil. And maybe I wasn’t. Of course I wasn’t. Stupidly I may have read the tiny hints wrong. And yet his body language seemed so open but shy that I couldn’t help but to think… Maybe it was because he was right in front of another teacher and a group of boys. But then again, that didn’t stop him from being irresistible at school. He always seemed to look like he was trying to hide his true feelings, around everyone or anyone even with just me.

I gave him my canvas and he looked at it and beamed. “This is very good. I like the way you use tone and texture and have blended the colours well. Well done! All the other girls are up in the barn and are drawing it from the inside. You should go and do that, or stay and draw the leaf if you want too…” Why was he being so assertive all of a sudden? But the way he said that I could stay here with him and the other boys suggested that he wanted me too. His resisting smile was also telling me the same. But I decided to give him a taste of him own medicine. “Thank you Mr Thayer. Of course, I will go upstairs now, Sir.” I said politely, avoiding eye contact with him as I walked out of the room. I could have sworn he looked hurt.

****

It had just gone midnight and still I couldn’t sleep. Having been sent to bed an hour ago, I was restless and could only think about that one person that was lying in bed on the other side of the house. The darkness just didn’t feel right. Green light cast an eerie shadow around the room and I knew if I lay in my bed any longer I would simply boil. Quietly, I got up and went down into the bathroom that the room was joined with. The bathroom was spooky and unclean with the toilets whining terrifyingly. Maybe the ghost really did haunt the toilets.

I un-bolted the door which lead outside. A freezing breeze hit me and I rubbed my hands together vigorously. Why had I only worn a night-dress? Stacked around a long forgotten camp fire was seats made of logs. I tip-toed towards them and sat down, the newly wet grass soaked my feet a little making me even colder by the second.

But yet the sky was too great to just walk away from. Bright sparkling golden stars glittered in the inky black sky and the moon gleamed and illuminated my toes with its sliver shine. You never saw this kind of thing in Ainsdale. I wanted to stay out here all night but something stopped me.

A tall black figure was un-mistakably walking towards me. My mind flipped and my heart pounded. I screamed quietly and tried to run away but the silhouette ran towards me. But it wasn’t a monster or a killer. The moon shone on him and showed me that this man was Mr Thayer. He looked as flawless and tempting as ever wearing a blue jumper and grey pyjama bottoms. Eyes shining and pupils huge, he just stood there.

I think I died inside, like just melted as we were so close to each other. I realized I was violently shaking, with goose bumps attacking my skin. It was freezing. He noticed this just before I did and whispered kindly but with a hint of seduction “You must be freezing. Here put this on”. My heart hammered as he pulled his jumper off and gave it to me, showing me his bare chest and his six pack. He was a lot fitter than I thought.

I pulled the jumper on relishing the warmth and the scent of him. He sat next to me as I sat down on the log. “Why are you out here in the cold?” he whispered, eyes kindly smiling and sparkling.                                                                                                                                                              “I couldn’t sleep. What about you?” I said softly.                                                                                    

“The same really. Why couldn’t you sleep?” Why was he so bewitching?                                                              

 I hesitated and then told him. “I kept thinking about someone. You?”                                                                             

 

 “ Same” he whispered. Was he trying to tell me what I think he was?

Somehow our hands meet and that same explosion of electric shots happened and I knew he could feel it. We both leaned forward at the same time, and as if we had been waiting for this our whole lives we kissed. It was my first real kiss and I couldn’t imagine something more incredible. When our lips touched, the fireworks began. His lips were ever so soft and tasted of seductive chocolate; they lingered and longed on my own constantly sending explosions through my body. I was just as persistent and desperately we embraced like there was no tomorrow. Lost in a world of anguish; I could feel that he didn’t want it to end as much as I did.

And then a loud chirp interrupted us and we tore apart like we on fire. It was only a bird. And yet it seemed to force us to come to our senses. No matter how much we wanted each other, we couldn’t do this now or here. Anyone could catch us and then there would be a tsunami of trouble. But I loved him, and maybe, just maybe he loved me.

I knew he felt the same way about getting caught. But it was tempting for both of us to kiss again. I was so glad he had feelings for me; I thought I had been imagining it all. “I’m sorry for the way I treated you in the last couple of weeks. Kissing a lady like that because I was jealous of you with the guy with a quiff. It wasn’t right. But I was so angry and envious.” He blurted out. Wow. I had never loved him as much as I loved him now.

“That’s okay. And I’m sorry too. I really thought you didn’t like me at all” I murmured.                                                  

Taking my face in his hands, he looked me right in the eyes and enchantingly said “I thought you didn’t like me. But the truth is I-I-I can’t stop thinking about you. It’s almost as if the age gap is swallowed up. But if you don’t feel the same way then I am so, so sorry.”                                                                “ I think I feel the same about you. This is a dream, I-I-I think I’m in love with you” I mumble but it’s loud enough for him to hear it.

He seemed taken aback about this, and for one wicked moment I thought I had made a horrible mistake. Then he leaned in closer and whispered, “I-I think I love you too.” My heart literally stopped beating, this couldn’t be happening. Your dreams just don’t come true in one night. Those things only happen in fairytales. He had kept this hidden from me all this time.

I smiled more than I ever had before “I-I don’t think I ever said thank you for saving my life a couple of years ago.” I whispered.                                                                                                                             “Don’t worry about it. I am so glad I saved you because otherwise this wouldn’t be happening here or now. When I first laid eyes on you, well I think I fell for you then. I tried desperately to convince myself that you were way too young for me, and I could never ever act on my feelings due to your innocence. I never thought I would see you again, until I started teaching at the school. I actually couldn’t believe my luck when you walked into my class on the first day of year ten. But then that made it harder. Seeing you every day and knowing you could never be mine literally broke my heart. Then I noticed these signals, all these tiny things you did or said gave me a clue that you fancied me. But I thought that was all it was; just a crush. However unforgivable it is, I know, I looked inside your sketch book. I found the most amazing drawings off me with words written on the back about how much you loved me and I didn’t think it could be real. I found sketches of scenes happening with me in, like when I saved your life. But only now do I know for sure that this is real. But there is one huge problem. I am a teacher and you are my student. I have taken advantage of my position and even though you seem to have fallen as deeply as me, this is unforgivable. This is illegal. ” He said, utterly confused.

Now I was the one taken aback. It was everything I wished for and more. And even though he was right I still wanted this more than ever. Now I had tasted how it could be, I didn’t want it to end. “But if we love each other then it shouldn’t matter, should it? Nobody has to know.” I asked holding onto to his hand.

“No it really shouldn’t matter, but we have to be really carful about this. Oh and one more thing, please call me Bruno. I can’t stand you calling me ‘sir’” He said.

Bang! A door from the other side of the building opened. A huge silhouette was coming and patrolling with a torch. We were going to get caught. Before I knew what was happening, I automatically tore off Bruno’s jumper and gave it back to him and scarpered back into my dorm as he pulled it back on. I could hear voices and another man speaking. After a few minutes I heard footsteps and a door close.

That was close.

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