Chapter 10 - Remembrance

~~~ Allaya ~~~

As I entered the house earlier, after the event with that massive beast, I reached to a conclusion, not to ponder on that incident again. I would have doubted my own senses, if not for Landon, that witnessed everything. 

Anyway, I’ll place it in a corner of my mind along with my nightmares, it won’t do me any good to speculate about it, and it certainly won’t bring me any answers. It’s better to prepare for the party, seeing Hayden with his girlfriend, that’s a real challenge.

I am prepared for the battle ahead, my outfit is my armor, I analyze my figure from every angle possible, doing pirouettes and all kinds of dance moves. My lips form into a satisfying smirk, the dress my parents got me looks stunning on my body.

My weapon is my make-up and unlike any other day, I used a ton of it. This shade of black that I’ve never applied before literally hides my age, I’m totally gorgeous, I look years older.

My smile fades away rather quickly for this is not who I am. I realize that I cannot find a trace of me in this image, I need to find some makeup remover to go back to my old self.

“Hurry up, princess, we are already late. You know your father, he has been waiting in the car for over half an hour, let’s go!” My step mother storms through the door, her words of impatient tone while glancing at her beautiful step daughter with love.

Absorbed in my thoughts, I did not realize how much time had passed. Creating a shield of clothes and make-up was a demanding job, I can’t pinpoint the last time I’ve spent so much time in front of the mirror, if ever.

Though my watch shows that the drive to the location of the party was an hour long, for me it seemed like an eternity until we reached the given address, my heart pounding like crazy all the way here.

As the huge gates open, we are directed to a large parking lot. I can’t seem to spot the end of it, the tons of luxury cars make my father chuckle and he has always been a man of no expression.

Nobody could read him.


But now it is clear that he doesn’t want to be here.

Neither do I.

So what are we really doing here?

All rational thoughts abandon my brain, the sight of Landon interrupts my concentration completely, I gulp down the lump in my throat. Dark blue suit that flatters his perfectly built body, dusty blonde hair that begs one to run the fingers through it.

I try to look aside because I have never seen him looking so majestic. My knees feel soft and I’m afraid it shows.

Then I relax and breathe deeply.

The last person you would notice in a crowd is me, I remind myself of my insignificance, which sometimes like today works in my favor. 

Or so I thought for he did somehow spot me, I can see him smile brightly, instantly installing a grin on my face too. His light blue eyes are shining like diamonds in the night, he makes his way to us, avoiding other guests.

“Thank you for attending our event. I am Landon, the best friend of the one we celebrate today, Hayden.”

My heart skips a beat at the confirmation of their relationship, my life is now more complicated than ever.

“What a joy to see a young man so well-behaved! I believe you’re Justin’s son, as the two of you look almost identical.” My father adds, he’s analyzing Landon from head to toe, openly delighted by his looks and manners.

Same with my mother, they are clearly not aware of Landon’s reputation.

“Yes, I am.” Landon declares intrigued. “I did not know you were acquainted!”

That makes two of us. I wonder what else am I missing.

“We go back a long way. High school. I haven't seen him in ages, but he insisted I attend the party, so here we are.”

My surprised look couldn’t possibly go undetected.

“You look beautiful, Allaya! This style suits you!” My thoughts are quickly interrupted by Landon’s remark.

I gaze down at my shoes, trying to hide my red face, I’m sure I’ve blushed, I can feel my cheeks burn.

“We’ve met before.” He clarifies as if he read my parents’ thoughts. “I think we met at least three times. Please go inside, I’ll catch up later, I need to attend to other guests too!”

A wave of disappointment hits me at his dismissive words. I would have stayed a bit longer, moonlight made everything magical and there is something about this place that makes the atmosphere mystical, again that unearthly vibe, I can feel it in the air.

It’s my first time here, but why do I feel like I’ve been in this place before?

All my eyes can perceive is an enchanting park ahead, but how do I already know that after a walk through that alley, there would be a magnificent castle in the middle?

Maybe that’s what your mind tricks you to see, Allaya, you’re dressed like a princess, why wouldn’t your prince live in a castle?

I shake the thought out of my head, I’ll get to it soon enough, no need to stress about it in advance. I’m going to conserve my energy, the night is still young and my senses are on high alert.

“Walk through there, the castle is right in front.” Registering that we did not move an inch, Landon points to the same alley I’ve envisioned as the road to the castle, and yes, he said castle, so how is that I was right?

We start following other guests that made their way in the same direction, my heartbeats are on overdrive in anticipation, and thrill that runs through my veins.

After a while, I pretty much relax and start to enjoy the lazy walk, the big trees and mesmerizing colorful flower gardens. A faint breeze is filling our lungs with fresh air, unicorns popping out in this scenery would not be much of a surprise.

Finally my mind is at ease, forgetting for some minutes the reason why we are here, savoring the dazzling view. Not every day one gets the chance to indulge in such natural grander, unless one is part of Hayden’s family, of course.

My mother suddenly stops as if she froze on the spot, scaring the hell out of me. I follow her gaze and here it is, in front of us in all its mighty glory, a marvelous castle, excessively large and imposing, beating every historical site I’ve ever visited. My mind is having trouble adjusting to the scenery, I feel small all of a sudden.

High thick walls composed of gray stones, each of different size and shape, as from different times or even different worlds. Big symmetrical windows are sparkling like diamonds in the moonshine, even the air becomes harder to breathe minute by minute, why is this place so familiar?

Is this even real?

I might have had a shock from the wolf attack earlier today, well not exactly an attack… it was more like an encounter, he had a chance to kill us both, yet he didn’t.

Or did he?

Am I dead?

That would explain a thing or two.

Nonetheless, the glorious castle is positioned ahead, embraced by its imperial garden. I can’t believe my eyes this marvelous architecture is within our reach, now I get Hayden’s royal like attitude.

“Fuck!” It slips my mouth once the castle’s big gold metal front doors open.

My mother casts a briefly scolding glare before returning to her swept off her feet demeanor, while my father’s figure as cryptic as most of the time, he doesn’t seem impressed, but I am.

The moment we enter the fascinating building, I start scanning the huge ballroom for Hayden, my eyes settling on the most perfect creature in the world, I cannot look away.

Honey-like hair, which she wears in long curls and mischievous purple eyes that decorates her small face. The long blue dress, princess style, flatters her body and the jewelry only compliments her perfectly tanned skin.

I instantly feel underdressed and not pretty at all compared to her.

Her smile reveals a set of perfect white teeth as she introduces herself to the guests: “Hi, I am Arianna. Thank you all for sharing our special moment tonight!”

My chest tightens and it takes all my self-control to push away the tears that are threatening to wet my eyes. A compulsion to run away like a coward is overwhelming me, but I fight it, though it feels like my heart and soul crumbled to pieces, and that the walls of the castle just collapsed on top of me. 

I can’t stand tall anymore, my body is leaning aside, the floor is spinning around, I need to hold on to something… or someone…

So that girl is Arianna, THE ARIANNA! 

How stupid was I to believe that Hayden would even look in my direction, now that I see his drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend, I feel like a foolish girl who dreamed about the prince. 

Why did I allow myself to do it? I knew from the first second that he’s out of my league.

Air leaves my lungs, and I forget how to breathe spotting Hayden beside her, smiling graciously while inviting people to serve champagne. They look so magnificent together, as if they were created for each other, both out of this world life forms.

I cannot share the room with them, it hurts too much, I cannot handle it. I excuse myself and try to find a place where to hide all night long or at least until I manage to stand on my own two feet.

Why does it affect me like this?

I barely know him. 

If I go upstairs on the second floor, the second room on the right is the perfect chamber to find my balance.


Again, how do I know all this?

Never mind, I’m going to see if there is such a place.

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