Age 6:

"Your hair is so weird, I don't like it. And people will call you a dumb blond. That's what my sister says. You should color it brown so you look smarter!" Lexi, my "best" friend said. She calls me her best friend. I don't know why, since we just met a few months ago, and she used to ignore me until Prince came to our agency and asked me to be his "trump card".

"I don't want to dye it, Prince said the bad things in those creams they use are not good for my head and my hair will fall out," I said. "Then buy a hat and hide your hair! And Prince isn't even here anymore. He never has time to play with me because you're always bothering him. He probably left because you're so annoying," Lexi said. "Okay," I said as I looked down at my feet quietly. Maybe she's right. I wonder if she is still mad at me because I didn't invite her when Prince took me out to play. Prince told me to keep it a secret. I miss him, and I miss Panda.

I don't know how many months it's been since I last smiled. I know people think I am just a kid, so I don't know what sadness is. But I do. I know what sadness is because I knew what happiness was. I used to be the happiest girl in the world…my parents pamper me, my friends always surround me, and life got even better when Prince and Panda—his most importantest person—appeared. My life is perfect. Well, it was. That is, until Prince and Panda went to a place called college together in a faraway land called New York…I wonder if that's their castle…

A few months after they left, everything else started falling apart. Mommy got very sick and also went to a faraway place. "Heaven". That's what the grown-ups say to me, but I know what really happened. She died. Daddy started spending more time at work or by himself. He doesn't smile much anymore. I think that was when I stopped smiling, too. Even though I was still surrounded by people who always compliment me, I feel lonely.

Since I am a child model, I was trained to reflexively "act cute" or smile when in front of people. It used to be easy since I was always happy, but not anymore. It gets tiring now. Being a child model is what Prince called a "double-edged sword" since people want to be friends with me only because of it but other people also don't want to come near me because of it. Lexi is also a child model and she is the only one who never compliments me or act differently around me, so I don't feel very tired around her. She is my only real friend, so even if she is mean sometimes, I still follow her around.

"You know, the workers are saying that you're not doing a good job, and you can't even smile right, and you should quit if you can't do it so you won't waste their time. They said it, not me!" Lexi whispered to me. I continued staring at my feet. They're right. Ever since Prince left, I haven't been happy here. I don't like doing this anymore. That afternoon, I told them I don't want to be a child model anymore. On my way home that evening, I asked daddy to buy me a hat.


Age 12:

"Will you go out with me?" the boy asked. He is already the third person to ask me that same question. I stared at him. What was his name again? I hardly even know him. "Why do you want to go out with me?" I asked. "You…have very pretty eyes. They sparkle! All the boys think you have the prettiest eyes!" the boy said. "A lot of people have pretty eyes…" I said. "Then…be-because I love you!" he stuttered. Love? What is that? I don't really understand it. He was the first one to say it to me.

"Will you teach me what love is?" I asked. "What? …Y-yes! If you go out with me, I'll do whatever you want!" the boy said excitedly. "Let me think about it. Meet me here tomorrow and I'll tell you my answer…" I mumbled. Today is Friday, which means I might get to skype with Prince and Panda. They have been very busy ever since they went to college six years ago. Prince is in medical school and graduating early with honors, so I've been seeing him less on skype. Panda has also been extra busy ever since she found a job, but they try to keep updated with me. They have been together for more than six years now and still very in love. They should be able to tell me what to do.

On my way home, it started raining, but I always have an umbrella in my bag. As I walked down the road, I noticed a pair of young siblings hiding under a tree. The little boy was shaking while the older sister tried to huddle closer to him. I looked at my umbrella. I think they need it more. I walked up to them and handed them the umbrella. The girl politely pushed it back, but the little boy was looking at it longingly. I threw the umbrella on the ground and started running as fast as I could. I looked behind me and saw the siblings picking up the umbrella reluctantly, and I couldn't help smiling. I know it was probably really rude to throw it at their feet, but I didn't know what else to do. I used to be better at social interactions, but now I just feel really awkward around people.

I rushed home and went on skype to wait for Panda. I didn't even change. Talking with them was something I looked forward to more than anything. Panda signed on and we started a video chat. "Baby! I missed you! Gah, work was so tiring, my brain cells must've been murdered inhumanely!" Panda whined. "Don't listen to her, all she did was look at pictures of food when she was supposed to be working," Prince said as he sat down next to Panda while Panda glared at him. I laughed. They're still amusing as usual.

"Baby must really like hats, you're still wearing your hat even at home?" Panda asked. I was so excited that I had forgotten to take my hat off. "Not really…they're actually a little constraining, but Lexi said she doesn't like my hair…" I mumbled. "Well I don't like her, and you look so much prettier without a hat. I always loved your shiny hair!" Panda said. "Baby, she's not you. The important thing is what you like, and what you want," Prince said. "Yeah! Who cares what she likes! That girl has always been selfish and self-centered," Panda said. "Well she does exhibit some early signs of narcissistic as well as histrionic personality disorder, so she does have a potential risk for developing-," Prince analyzed but Panda cut him off. "Of course you would know, Mr. Neurobehavioral-Expert," Panda said while mockingly rolling her eyes.

"How have you been? How are your other friends?" Prince asked. "Perfectly fine! I hang out with them a lot!" I lied. I don't want them to worry about the fact that Lexi is my only friend left since my other friends have gradually drifted away from me for unknown reasons, and I am bad at making new friends. They already have enough to worry about.

"Um…there is something I want to ask for your opinion…this boy I don't really know asked me out…he said he loves me, but I don't really know what love is…" I said awkwardly. "Awww! Our Baby is growing up! But damn, love? You're only 12! Isn't it too young for that boy to be talking about love? Kids these days…" Panda muttered.

"Someone once told me that love is not something you think about, it's something you feel. So Baby, what do you feel about this boy?" Prince asked with a warm smile. Panda looked at him and he winked while she giggled. I'm guessing she was the one who told him that.

"I don't really know…I felt a little warm feeling when he said he loves me. I also want to feel love," I whispered.

"Warm feeling is a good sign, but Baby you're so cute, I bet every boy wants to ask you out and they'll say anything to get you to go out with them, so you have to be careful who you choose!" Panda warned. "He's the first one who said he loves me…" I said. "Baby, do you want him to teach you what love is?" Prince asked calmly. My eyes widened. I almost forgot that Prince seems to know everything. All I could do was nod.

"You're still young, Baby. The world is too dangerous, especially if you have a strong curiosity…" Panda said worriedly. "Doesn't her curiosity remind you of someone?" Prince said with a laugh. "Ah…right. Our little girl is growing up and ready to explore…but I'm so worried! I have a bad feeling about this boy. Who goes around declaring their love so easily?!" Panda said. "The only way to know if something is wrong is to try it. Otherwise you'll never know whether it was right either. We can't protect her forever. She has to explore and experience on her own in order to learn. All we can do is support her and make sure to be there for her when she needs something to fall back on," Prince said gently as he smiled understandingly at me. I smiled back. That was the encouragement I needed to move forward.

Panda stared at Prince silently. There seemed to be some kind of tension between them. Oh no. Have I caused a disagreement between them? Prince looked at her. "What?" he asked. "You're so irresistible when you try to sound all philosophical! Please be the daddy of my child!" she squealed and snuggled in his chest while he laughed and tried to block the webcam. "Hold on, Baby's still here!" he said as he tried to hold Panda away. I laughed in relief. I wish I can be like this with my special someone some day.


Next chapter: No Luck No Love?


A/N: Hi everyone! For those of you who has read my other story, you know who Prince and Panda is, and you definitely recognize who "Baby" is! You're going to see a lot more references from my previous story here. For new readers, don't panic! You don't have to read my previous story to understand this one. They don't directly relate. This story just has guest appearances of some characters from my other story, so my old readers can feel some sense of nostalgia =] I know at this point, Baby is only 12, but the story will progress very fast and she will be 17 (which will be her age for the majority of this story) by the end of next chapter! Please be patient, there will be tons of action soon ;]