Secrets Behind the Lens

Desiree has always been the shy type. Not the kind of shy that stutters when a stranger talks to her, the kind where she keeps things only to herself and to her trusted friends. She isn’t that fond of a big crowd with a lot of people knowing her personal life. She would rather stay on the shadows and stay out of other people’s business. She isn’t emo either, just plain introvert

Then there's these other people in her life: Luce, Caleb and Dale
Each one with secrets kept hidden deep within them.

When all their world collides, will they risk their secrets to capture a beautiful moment or will it be a hindrance for a chance of finding a love of a lifetime.


2. Picture Perfect

I would like to dedicate this chapter to my amazing editor and a dear friend, Stephanie B.(:



 Desiree Kaye Miller


"Des! W..e...p!..ak..up! Des!" I creased my forehead the moment I heard the muffled sentences and I can't quite picture out where it came from. All I see is darkness.


"! We..e be l..e!" Then I felt my body shake. Is it an earthquake? No! It feels more like something or rather someone's causing this quivering. I heard footsteps and grumbling, a few seconds later I saw a faint light and tried to squint with my eyes closed. Then I heard a familiar voice and it took me a while to register whom it belonged to.


"Des! I said wake up come on!" Yup, it was Luce'. I turned to my other side of the bed, moaned and stretched at the same time and slowly opened my eyes. I had to blink a few times to adjust my sight from the surroundings that seemed foreign to me.


"Ow! What time is it?" with eyes half open, i looked at the clock table


"6:30? Go away!" I grabbed a pillow on my left and covered my whole face. Next thing I knew I was dragged, like literally dragged out of bed. My body quivered the moment my feet touched the cold floor. I put on some slippers to warm my feet and then stood up to face Luce.


"Ok! Ok I'm awake, see?" but failed to show it with eyes half opened. She smacked my left arm.


"Ow! Stop it!" I groaned and snap! this time I am fully awake.


"What is wrong with you?" I rubbed my sleepy right eye and yawned.


"It's 6:30." She crossed her arms over her chest, showing a little cleave.


"So?" I said, only this time sounding annoyed. I gained another smack on my arm.


"Hey! I said stop it. What is wrong with you woman?"


"Do you know what day it is today?" She said, still crossing her arms


"Yes, today is the day I go back to bed to continue my slumber." I rolled my eyes as I turned on my heel and started walking towards my messy bed. She smacked my arm again--for the third time.

Seriously, what's with arm smacking early in the morning?


"Lucinda Gabbe Collins! I said stop it" Her shoulder tensed. She knew once I say someone else's full name I'm either pissed or really, really angry. I raised both my hands up in surrender to show her I'm neither.


"Ugh! I'm not angry ok? I'm just annoyed of you smacking my arm, waking me up very-"I pointed at the table clock - "early. I know it's the first day of school, but can you give me just at least 30 minutes to continue my sleep?" The moment I said those words her shoulders relaxed.


"I'm sorry, shouldn't have done that. And no can do missy, we need to prepare for first days." Then she grabbed a towel and handed it to me without waiting for my response.


"You shower first" She commanded me.


"But its cold" I complained and tried it with a puppy dog face which unfortunately didn't work.


"Should've got your heater fixed. Now go, before I bathe you myself" she shooed me.


"eww! Fine" Then I dragged my ass towards the bathroom



After an hour and 30 minutes of pebble kicking, flower plucking and trying to count the strands of my hair, Luce finally went out of the house. I wanted to reprimand her about taking too long but there she is looking pretty as ever. Her dirty blonde silky hair swaying along with the wind as she approached me. The uniform fits perfectly on her model-like figure which is every girl's dream and every guy's fantasy. Her face without any make-up is a natural beauty unlike mine. Well. I don't really think I'm ugly. And I kinda also don't think I'm a pretty-face, though a lot of people say that I am. I have the right figure, with fats in all the right places but compared to Luce, she has the body of a goddess. She's two inches taller than me, but I'm not short either. And my hair is just okay--not really that shiny or straight -- can't tell because most of the time, I tie my hair in a messy bun or just a plain ponytail.

Luce is really a fashionista, even with a simple shirt she can make It look elegant. I like how she turns our simple and boring uniform into something fashionable. I, in turn wear this simple uniform every day since I'm a big fan of simplicity


"Finally! Been waiting here like forever" I exclaimed the moment she's a few meters away from me.


"I told you sequins on the skirt looks good on you" She spoke, ignoring what I just said.


"And I told you I don't want it. I love our uniform; it may be simple and boring but it's our school's pride"


"Ugh! Save me the lecture will ya! Speaking of which, where's your car?" She scans the empty lot behind me.


"Mom's borrowing it for some country club reunion or something"


"How about her Prius?"


"Her car broke down. Probably be fixed a day after tomorrow...."


"Oh, ok. But who's driving us now?" she gasped dramatically


"Please don't tell me we're riding the bus?" I saw the horror on her face. I laughed.


"I know you hate taking the school bus because it stinks. Don't worry I called Phil" her face lightened the moment I said her chauffeur's name.

Beep! Beep!

"Here he is" I looked back and saw a black Mitsubishi Montero Sport drove before me and Phil, behind the wheel, was as gleeful as ever. Phil went out of the driver's seat and positioned himself to open the car's door for us.


"Good morning Miss Luce, Had fun with your sleep over last night?" He greeted Luce the moment she slid in the car.


"Yeah!" Luce replied as she found a comfortable spot to sit on


"Good morning Miss Desiree" He greeted me warmly as usual.


"How many times have I told you Phil to just call me Des" I snickered


"I'm sorry Miss Desiree but I want to address you formally" I shook my head, I just can't say no to this old fella


"Oh Phil!" I laughed as I slid myself into the car.



As we got closer and closer, Luce was obviously excited about school. She kept asking Phil if we've arrived, which I thought would annoy him but instead just kept answering her questions with a smile on his face.

Phil could be weird sometimes.

And as for me, I felt like there's a heavy load on my shoulders. I'm not really thrilled about going back to school.

After a summer at Hawaii with my mom, my grandparents and Aunt Grace, I just could not believe that my sunny escapade has already ended. It was like living in paradise. I can feel the beach's sand under my feet, and there were coconut trees and straw skirts everywhere. I wanted to stay there a little longer but school's about to start and Mom's job needs her -- she's a surgeon so you can't really say no. I tried begging Mom to let me stay or rather let me live there, but she just wouldn't let me because our lives are at this peaceful town.

So here I am back to reality once again. I don't hate school, in fact I really love it. I just don't like the kids in it. But the teachers are great though.


"We're here" my train of thoughts suddenly disappeared the moment Phil startled me. After we went out of the car and said our goodbyes to Phil. We stood there staring at the sign on top of the gates saying 'WELCOME TO WEST-VALLEY ACADEMY'.


"We're seniors. Yay!" I heard Luce squeal in excitement beside me. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes hoping this would be a great year for me.


"Let's go" Luce exclaimed. I opened my eyes and said to myself 'this is it'. When we entered the gates, a guard greeted us.


"Good morning Miss Collins, Miss Miller" Peter greeted us warmly despite the cool breeze that surrounds the air.


"Good morning Peter" We both said in unison as we passed by the two big metal bars. Once we reached inside the school's premises, I saw students in short navy blue skirts, some in navy blue pants, all with white upper short sleeved polo shirt--for boys and long sleeved vests for girls--like the one Luce and myself is wearing.

Yup, same old, boring, crappy place.

Luce slid her arms around mine as we walked side by side along the gravel path towards the two large entrance doors. It was a bit crowded the moment we went inside then seconds later few heads turned at us, staring. I felt a bit conscious but still chose to ignore them. Luce started walking and I followed her pace. The more steps we took the more heads turned, oh no! I don't like this. People kept on staring at us and whispering. Some were whistling like perverts. But then I realized they weren't ogling at was Luce the whole time.

I was relieved and annoyed at the same time. Though it relaxes me that people don't notice me at all, but still it crushes my self-esteem. People have always known me as 'Luce's friend'. They have never even bothered to ask who I am or what my name was.

Luce and I had been best friends since middle school. Our first encounter was when she forgot to bring her lip gloss and I lent her mine. After that I can't quite remember how we got so close. All I know is that she had always been there for me ever since. You can probably tell by now that Luce is the 'It Girl' of West-Valley, ranking first in the popular people list. Even so, she never paid attention to such status quo and it never had affected our friendship. All because we both have our own jam and we seem to do things on our own pace.


I entered my first class which is English. Once inside, I scanned at the row of empty seats for a good place to sit on -- get a bad seat and you'll be stuck with it for the rest of the year. After seconds of scanning I found a perfect place: third row, third seat, not too far from the teacher and not too near at the back seats. Students were too busy chatting about their summer to even notice me, so I went to my spot and prepared the things needed for our first class when my phone buzzed. I reached for it on my skirt's right pocket. It was from Luce. After pressing a few buttons I read her message:

"hey! Did you find a good spot to sit on? I found a perfect one. It's just sad though that we aren't together on the first day but see you at lunch. -Lucinda"

"Yeah! Found a good one. Too bad we don't have the same Monday and Friday classes. See you at lunch! -Des" I was about to hit the send button when someone coming from the door caught my attention. My eyebrows suddenly knit the moment I realized it was the most annoying, arrogant, jerk in campus. Following him were his gang -- No. His minions. I tried to pretend not to see him but it was too late because he has already spotted me.


"Desiree deary!" He greeted me enthusiastically.


"Hi Dale." I replied in a sarcastically flat tone. Then I gave him a forced and faked smile. I was going to turn away from him when he sat next to me.


"Oh no you don't!" I yelled at him. He just grinned and turned to his gang and greeted someone coming in the room. Then his gang chuckled. I looked away from him.


"Missed me?" He gave me an evil smile with his piercing eyes looking at mine -- I hate to admit it but he looked sexy and I almost melted. I would have fallen for it any moment now if only he wasn't so irritating.


"Go away! Leave me alone Dale!" I really can't stand him. Dale pretended to give me a shocked and hurt expression.


"Awww that hurts" he fake pouted Then he just started laughing because he found my reaction hilarious. I gave him a disgusted look then I turned away. He's presence is just so annoying that I couldn't stand staying close to him. He would be the worst seatmate one could ever have , in my case at least.

Dale Anderson is --according to most girls in the campus-- the hottest pitcher of the baseball team who is also considered as the richest in town and whose family sort of owned West V. But to me, he is the most annoying person in the world. He is like a dirt in the eye that I want to get rid of. Unfortunately, he just keeps on showing up anytime, popping up anywhere -- it drives me nuts. He bugs me. I never wanted attention but whenever he's around, I always get the unwanted attention.


"Hitting on girls on the first day of school huh? Anderson." He said with a sarcastic tone and gave an evil smirk.

"Do you even have a shot on her?" He taunted Dale. I looked at his direction and glared at him --talking about unwanted attention. What does he want? How could he pop out of nowhere and draw attention. I didn't even notice him there before. Then I looked at Dale and noticed the change of aura. My eyes widened.


Uh-oh. This is trouble.


No. Caleb is TROUBLE.



Hope you like the first chapter. If it bores you please bear with me. I promise the next chapters will be interesting.

Lovelots, An Ni


Desiree's picture below (/^_^)/ 


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