Chapter 1

I was never good with audiences. Just looking at the crowd clad with handsome suits and elegant dresses makes me feel nauseous; it's like the whole place is spinning and only the chandeliers can steady my vision. Now, as I stand on this podium, I feel my knees wobble, my hands turn clammy and my breath shake. It doesn't even help that I'm wearing killer heels and I'm shivering in this dress. It is true when one says you have lots on your mind but you are tongue-tied and not a word can attempt to be released from your mouth. Because, that's exactly the best description of what I'm feeling right now. I got lots of things to say, a whole novel of it, actually. I was the key to it all, though I never intended to be one. I could just have been one of them, seated comfortably in their seats, enjoying the merrymaking and the vast array of buffet dishes to be lined up on. But no, I just had to be the one to talk, since I knew them best, and I knew how it all started and came to be. I practically directed everything. So, even if they knew I had stage fright, they still forced this upon me. I sighed.

The place was a beauty. Although violet isn't one of my favorite colors, they loved it, and the ambiance was soothing, classy and impeccably dazzling. This reminded me of the other debut I attended a few years back. It was our class president's debut, and Aira looked absolutely amazing in her four different dresses in different colors. Unlike the many debuts I went to, this was my first time in this kind of event, as it was a very rare occasion. I think it's everyone's first time. They are truly a trendsetter. I don't share the same principles in life as they do, but I do know that I'm happy for them. For me it's weird and almost unthinkable, but if that's how it goes, I think God can be happy, too.

I saw familiar faces grinning at me, anticipating what I would say. I knew I should have made a speech so that I could just read it aloud, but that won't be natural, will it? Well, I wanted to tell this point of view from my own experience, from the bottom of my heart. So, I should be ready with the consequences of an impromptu speech. Out of anxiety, I was unconsciously tapping my finger on the microphone I was holding. It's not much of an impromptu since I know what to say, but…

Where do I start?

The clock is ticking, Shariane, I need to get a grip… I reminded myself not to be an idiot. I took a deep breath and gave a winsome smile, as I started my tale. My amplified voice startled me a bit, but I told myself that I was doing fine and I had to keep going.

"I'll cut to the chase, guys. I'll start telling it from when Grant cornered me in a dark area of our university's botanical garden, and I was incredibly terrified, seeing his usually tame eyes become as that of a predator's."