CHAPTER ONE: All by Yourself, You're all Messed Up

That's when it all just fell apart like you're so perfect
And I can't measure up
Well I'm not perfect, just all messed up

- Everything I'm Not, The Veronicas






Sitting on the grass, I took out my lunchbox from my bag and started eating. Things are always nice here, with the breeze blowing and the chirping of the birds. At least, what I feel is nice.

This is the only time of the day I could truly enjoy myself. Nobody cares and no facades for me to put on. And most important of all, she was not here.

I had a huge bite of my tuna salad sandwich and smiled happily to myself.

"Do you know smiling when nobody's around is considered creepy?"

Hearing his voice, I turned around and grinned. "After knowing me for this long, you should already have known I'm a creep."

He chuckled but sat down next to me nonetheless.

But the truth is- I hadn't known him for that long. Two months, for the max. And how we met is a cliché- me sitting in here one day and heard footsteps. It's not usual that people found this place, because it is quite remote from the school campus. Then, said boy started throwing rocks into the lake, completely oblivious about my existence. I waited and waited, waiting for him to acknowledge me. But he didn't. That's why I greeted him in my best polite posture by saying, "Hey there." And he responded me by falling into the lake.

Good that he knew how to swim or, I would be the first person in this planet to kill someone simply by greeting him.

After that day, I knew his name is John, went to Addison-Raleigh, he's a senior like me and got a bunch of friends but hate 99 percent of them. Every word comes from his mouth is dipped with sarcasm, but up until now, I'm already used to it. He also threatened me not to tell anybody about him falling into the lake. Which I think it's quite impossible, since he seems to be the only one who really talks to me in school.

My cell phone blared out Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 which had practically made my heart stopped beating. The last time Angela called me was two weeks ago, asking, which means ordering, to do her a favour. And the favour was of her putting on a show about how much she 'cared' about her blind sister in order to attract Kevin Simmons, whom I had no idea who he was.

But hearing her introducing him to Anna, aka my step-mom, I knew the show we put on was successful. And I got a whole free-Angela week since she was practically glued to Kevin Simmons 24/7, and that week was like the best week in my life. I almost cried when I woke up in those mornings, knowing I didn't need to finish Angela's Physics project or her French essay.

But time flies, Angela is here again. I rummaged through my bag, trying to locate my cell phone. John dived in as well, but he with the healthy eyes beat me into it. He shoved the cell phone to my hand and I listened.

"Eden?" Perky, musical-like, magical, sweet, amazing, indulging, choose one. These are all the adjectives Angela's admirers used to describe her voice when I overheard them in the other room. Geez, they're just making out. I think.

"Mm-Hmm" I muttered, knowing exactly what she would say next.

"I need you to do me a favour." Again I made some incoherent sound.

Without stopping, Angela said, "I need to go to this party tonight and I'm sure father won't let me go because it's a school night-"

"-and you want me to find excuses for you and finish your calculus assignment." I finished her sentence. My heart had already sunk to my toes. Last night, I stayed up until one just to finish my English essay so I can spend tonight in Ronnie Winter's mesmerizing voice. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus just had their new album out, and as a true and faithful fan, I had committed to devote tonight in their music without doing anything. And now, with Angela's help, my Red Jumpsuit Apparatus night had been called off, but a Calculus night is so on.

"Yeah. That's right. And also, mother asked me to remind you that you got an appointment with Dr. Kingsley after school." She reminded me dismissively.

Dr. Kingsley, the old man with the attitude like a Santa Claus, happens to be my eye doctor. Poor guy seems to be a bit on the optimistic side, thinking that my eye problem will have a cure. That's why I need to meet up with him every week just to let him check my eyes. After these years, I had already lost my hope, but sure not him. According to my granny, I was still a healthy kid when I was ten. But after a huge fever, I lost my eye sight, completely. It's not like I care- Okay, I'm lying. I care. I care the fact that I couldn't see anything when other kids could; I care the fact that I need to use a cane wherever I go when the kids of my age were rollerblading. But this is my fate, who I am to change it?

My childhood- abandoned and left by her parents to stay with her grannies while the beautiful, charming, bright Angela was brought to different cocktail parties and balls. Nobody even knows the existence of little blind Eden.

Angela got to get the prettier dresses, the fluffier teddy bears and better compliments.

"You know what, Eden." It always started in this way. "Your dress is plain but mine got these cute ruffles. And dresses with ruffles are prettier than dresses with nothing." Angela told me when mother brought us to Caroline's, the small boutique in the downtown DeLuna. We went there to get a dress for Angela's eleven years old birthday. While in there, mother had bought me a dress as well. And from that day onwards, I swear, no matter how pretty a dress with ruffles is, I'm never going to wear one. And I'm content to be the plain Eden while Angela wore her cute ruffled dress.

It's like my existence is just a cruel joke from the above- making Angela the better one, the brighter one and the prettier one.

After telling me the reminder of my mother, Angela cut the call before I could say anything.

I flipped my phone shut and let out a sigh. I pressed the button on the watch. "Two-Fifteen," it announced with its monotone. It was a gift from my grannies.

I still remembered how grandpa had exclaimed, "How bravo the 21st century technologies are!"

"Not to mention the mop we bought on the Shop Channel. Eden, we don't even need to fill a bucket of water anymore. That's what I call miracle!" Grandma added.

The Grans seemed to be always amazed by the Shop Channel products. In fact when they gave me this watch, I had wondered if it was from Shop Channel too. But I could care less.

"We better hurry." I announced and started packing. I stood up and waited for John to do the same. But he didn't.

"Hey, can you hear me?" I nudged him with my cane. Being blind had its advantage- you could always have your cane as your weapon.

I could imagine John grinned at me with ease. I didn't even know how I could have that picture in my mind, but I did. I didn't know how he looks like, but I still feel like I had known him forever. Scary, isn't it. Maybe my lack of realism had made my imaginary world overrun. I somewhat subconsciously create an image for John in my brain. John with this confident grin, that tiny hint of smirk when something sarcastic was said. Like the guys in those storybooks, charismatic yet mischief. Maybe one day, when I had the chance to gain my sight back, I would realize John was the opposite of how I imagined him. And my heart would be shattered into pieces and … Wait. What was I even thinking? It's not like I could really see again. And, I had known John for two months only. Seriously Eden, stopped fantasizing. You're just a blind girl. And if John really happened to be how you fantasized him to be, he would totally have a girlfriend like Angela- the charming, pretty Angela; not the blind, pathetic Eden. So just get over it already.

"What's with the sad look?" John asked.

I shook my head. "Wanna go back together?" I pointed my cane to the school's direction.

"Nah, I'm skipping fourth. Mr. Johnston could use some time without me."

"So," I looked up, smiling, wondering if I were looking into his face or not. "Adios, amigo."

With that, I went back to school campus, following the chirpings of the birds and my dear white cane.



A/N: Hope you enjoy this chapter and leave a review. It will be greatly appreciated.