I Hid From Everyone After MY 16th Birthday (Part 2)

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– (Grant) My, oh my Raven, is this the new lady in your life you were telling me about?

– (Raven) No, this is Annalise, my best friend. My girlfriend should be here any minute.

– (Grant) So, you’re telling me this girl is single? How would you like to go to Italy for a day in my private jet?

– (Raven) No way. She’s not about to let a stranger take her to a foreign country.

– (Grant) How about you let her decide?

I kind of liked how protective Raven was over me, even if it was just because he hated his brother. But as soon as Marie arrived, Raven had to go and Grant continued to treat me like a queen. And by the end of the day, he asked me on a date and I said yes. He was lovely, what was the harm in it? Plus I wanted to move on from Raven. But when Raven found out I was going out with his brother, he was enraged.

– (Raven) How could you do this? Going out with Grant is the worst betrayal ever.

– (Annalise) Why? You’re already dating my best friend. Me dating your brother isn’t that different.

– (Raven) Except my brother is my enemy that steals all of my parents’ love. And you’re my best friend. (scoffs) It’s just too much.

– (Annalise) Okay, okay. If it’s that important to you, I won’t date Grant.

But the damage had already been done. Raven blocked me on all social media and whenever we were in school, he totally avoided me. There was nothing I could do to win him back. So, I started going out with his brother and tried to forget about him. Except after a few weeks, I discovered that even though Grant was handsome and sweet, we have nothing in common. One afternoon I was sitting at this boring lunch that had taken me to and I made up a lame excuse to leave. I decided to take a walk on the beach when suddenly, I spotted someone there. It was Raven.

– (Annalise) What are you doing here? Please don’t yell at me. I just wanted to say hi.

– (Raven) I wasn’t going to yell at you. The truth is I miss you, and I totally support you dating my brother if it makes you happy. Just like you supported me dating Marie. Also, I’m collecting seashells to make a necklace out of. Wanna help me?

– (Annalise) I’d love to.

Raven and I spent hours collecting shells and as the sun started to set, Raven asked a stranger to take pictures of us with our bag of shells.

– (Stranger) You two make such a sweet couple.

– (Raven) Actually, I have a girlfriend and she has a boyfriend. But she’s still one of the most important people in the world to me.

Raven put his arm around me as the lady took our picture and I just wished he could just hold me like that forever. I was still thinking about it when I got home, but just as I walked through the front door, I saw a shadow come towards me and I jumped.

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– (Marie) Where were you, Annalise? I’m just curious.

– (Annalise) Um, I was with Raven. He decided he wanted to be friends again.

– (Marie) Well, it’s just that I was on Instagram and I saw Raven posted a picture of you two collecting seashells together and his arm is around you? How very romantic.

– (Annalise) Marie, it wasn’t like that. I ran into him by accident.

– (Marie) I know it may be hard to believe that any guy would like me better than you, but guess what? Raven prefers this dirty servant over your royal highness. And in case you weren’t keeping track, your 16th birthday is in 10 days. I guess then, the princess’s hair will finally turned gray and her face will turn wrinkled and ugly. Just because I’ll look different.

– (Annalise) Does it mean my life has to be over. I can still be happy.

Marie just smirked at me and walked off, but her words really got to me. I woke up every morning filled with dread and counted down the days till my birthday. Raven could tell something was wrong and he kept asking me about it at lunch. 

– (Marie) She’s just distracted studying for exams.Plus, why do you care about what’s going on with her?

– (Raven) Because she’s my friend? What kind of question is that, Marie? Annalise, I know something’s been up with you. Why can’t you just tell me?

I wanted to tell Raven about my conditions so badly but I was worried I’d freak him out so I kept my mouth shut. On the night of the birthday, Marie told me she had a surprise for me in the living room.

– (Marie) I’d been kind of hard on you these past few weeks. I just got jealous when Raven posted that photo. But we’re still besties and I made you a present perfect for Halloween.

– (Annalise) Wow, that’s really sweet. 

But when Marie showed me my present my stomach did a somersault. She made a doll that looked exactly like me wearing my exact clothes. She also had pins in her. 

– (Marie) I had to leave the sewing pins in place to hold her together. I thought we could have a ceremony to say goodbye to the young Annalise. All little girls grow up eventually and get older, right?

Before I could answer, Marie tossed the doll into the fireplace.

– (Annalise) Oh my God, okay you’re freaking me out. I think you wanted my condition to ruin my life because I don’t know, you’re jealous of me or something?

– (Marie) Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. All I know is it’s my time to be the pretty and popular one now, not just your little servant girl.

I couldn’t be around her for another minute. So, I went upstairs to watch MSA videos and collect my thoughts. After that night, I avoided Marie and Raven and told Grant I couldn’t date him anymore. I even refused to go to school. Too much was happening too fast. And a few months later, I started aging and my hair slowly started turning white. So everywhere I went, I wore a scarf around my hair and face. Then one day, someone knocked at the door and my heart jumped to see that it was Raven.

– (Raven) Annalise, is that you? Why are you dressed like that?

– (Annalise) Just leave me alone, please. You won’t understand.

– (Raven) You know what? No. You’ve ghosted me for months, and I came here to check to see if you were okay.

Suddenly I started to cry everything took Raven everything. Then, I took off my layers to reveal what I looked like.

– (Annalise) Well, what do you think?

-(Raven) How could you keep a secret like this from me? Annalise, I have to go. This is just too much.

With that, Raven walked out the door and I felt totally shaken up. He has left because he thought I was hideous and I was. Someone knocked on my door and it was Mom.

– (Mom) Annalise, Marie won’t be working for us anymore. I discovered that she’s mentally ill and wanted to hurt you. Marie made over 1,000 dolls of you with pins in them. I guess she was trying to do some evil spell and I found them in her closet. She’s in an asylum now. 

I was lost for words. I knew Marie was jealous of me and had been acting weird lately, but I had no idea it had gone so far.

– (Mom) At least her new boyfriend is visiting her. His name is Grant, so I guess she’s his problem now.

Wait, Marie was dating Grant? Did that mean Raven and Marie had broken up? I wanted to call him and ask him, but after the way he’d left me last night, I didn’t want to speak to him. But later that night, I heard a knock on my window and it was Raven.

– (Annalise) What are you doing here? I thought I’m too ugly for you to look at.

– (Raven) What are you talking about? I never said you were ugly. I was just shocked that you’d kept your condition a secret. I am so sorry I made you feel that way. Can you come out with me, please? 

Raven sounded really sincere, so I agreed to sit with him in our front yard.

– (Annalise) I’m sorry I kept this a secret from you. I was just worried I’d scared you away.

– (Raven) You could never scare me away.

Suddenly, Raven took my hand and looked into my eyes.

– (Raven) You know, I broke up with Maria a couple of months ago. I’ve been wanting to end things with her for ages, and since you broke up with Grant, I guess those two got together. –  – (Annalise) What do you mean you’ve been wanting to break up with Marie? 

– (Raven) I never loved her. The truth is I loved you, but I thought you didn’t feel the same way. So when Marie asked me out, I just said yes. She was pretty and she was your best friend, so I’d still be close to you.

– (Annalise) Raven, I’ve been in love with you ever since we became friends. I just never had the courage to tell you and I knew this would happen, so I didn’t think you’d want me anyway.

– (Raven) But I do still want you. And Annalise, your hair looks like starlight.

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