Day by day, I look out my window at night, wondering what the world does when it’s not working. I can never go out, so I always dream about what I will do, see or be.
I’m Melissa Redding. I am currently 20 years old. My birthday is March 27th. I have black hair and green eyes. I live on a beautiful island called Windy Isle. Windy Isle is a tropical place with lots of color and greenery. I live on Cobbler street with 5 other girls in my house. Technically 6 if you count our Mistress Ms. Wyndell. She’s an older woman who doesn’t have a husband or children. She has large teeth that accomodate with her large smile and her hair is short, dirty blonde gray. In the house we all share, we all have to share everything and it gets annoying,especially when you have to use the bathroom. Everyone's the same, no differences. I think it’s all because of our religious rules. We can’t wear revealing clothes, go out at night, party, drink, get tattoos, smoke, dye our hair, have any piercings or wear makeup and a bunch of other stupid things.
Our home is very simple, which is boring. Yellow walls, wooden floors, small kitchen, small laundry room with crappy washing and drying machines, 2 small bathrooms, a dining/living room and 3 bedrooms. Mrs. Wyndell has her own room, and us girls split up. The younger girls are Katherine (16), Marie (15) and Natalie (13). They were on the left. The older girls are Sarah (18), Talia (19) and I. We had the room on the right.
Chapter 1: The Beginning
I had just laid down after reading a chapter of my secret book. Usually we can only read religious books, but I found a good book and intended to keep it. I looked out the window, listening to the waves. I got upset. I would love just to go out at least once to touch the ocean for the first time. See the dark world for the first time. I shook my head and went back to my book. I would read a few sentences, but the outside was distracting. All of a sudden I heard someone yelling at me. I looked around outside, but didn’t see anyone. I looked down. There was a man standing there. He had dark brown hair and what I think was dark eyes. I couldn’t tell because of the poor light.
“Hey, lady!” he shouted.
“What are you doing up so late? Aren’t you supposed to be asleep?”
I looked behind me at the clock. It was 11:30. He was right. It was past bedtime.
“Uh, Yes, yes I am. What-a, what about you?” I asked.
“Nah. I go to bed when I want.” he cooly answered.
I thought how fun it would be to go to bed whenever.
“Where are you going?” I blurted out.
“To a club.”
“May I come too?” I asked. This was my chance! If this stranger let me come with them, then I would finally have my answers.
“Isn’t that against your rules?”
In the town, everyone knew our rules and where those rules were set.
“Yes, but I yearn for adventure. I want to see the world after light! Please sir…”
“Oh, alright. Come down here.”
I was so excited! I was actually going! I quickly got dressed and tried to look nice.
“How should I get down?” I asked
“The stairs, duh!” He answered.
“I cannot do that. The stairs are too loud. If I were to go down them, I would be caught!”
“Then, hop down through the window, and I will catch you.”
That seemed good to me. I sat on the window sill. I counted in my head, 1,2….3! And I jumped. I was scared for a second but the feeling went away when he caught me.
“Thank you.” I say. He puts me down. We start walking.
Um, my name is Blake Daniels by the way,” he says, breaking the silence between us.
“My name is Melissa Redding.” I responded.
I looked at him and studied him. He had a cute haircut with dark brown hair, beautiful dark eyes and an incredible jawline. He was also muscular. I noticed he was wearing a necklace, and thanks to his tight white t-shirt, I saw it was a cross. I thought that for sure he was a handsome stranger. We talked some more about ourselves and then we finally arrived at the club.
I stepped in and was instantly blasted by music. This music was strange. I was so used to religious music, I didn’t know what other music was. I looked around. This place was busy. People are all around doing all sorts of things. Some were eating/drinking, smoking, kissing and dancing. But their dance was new to me. They were shaking their butt and chest in a carefree way. Their hip movement was in a circular motion or moving about themselves whatever which way. The women here wore very exposed clothing. People were laughing and talking and having a good time. I thought if I got used to it, I would ease into having fun too. So, I just stood there, out of place, doing my own thang. I was interrupted by someone tapping my shoulder. I snapped back into reality and turned around. It was Blake.
“Oh, um, hello. Sorry.” I say.
“Hey. Um, what time do you wake up?” he asks.
“About 7:00. Why?”
“We better get you home then. It's 1:00.”
“1:00! Yes, I must get home. Oh gee, it feels like it’s been forever.”
“Did you just stand there in the corner the entire time?” He asked me as we left.
“Yeah. I just felt so out of place. Even more than I already do.” I said, looking at the ground as we neared my house.
“That’s your problem.” He said. “Time flies when you’re having fun. That’s why I was trying to get you back. You should’ve come over to me.”
“No, that’s okay. It looked like you were having fun with that blonde girl.” I said softly. “Anyway, how do I get in?” I ask,
“I will lift you up”
He lifts me up and I get on the window sill and I slide in.
“Thank you for taking me.” I say.
“No problem. He says and walks off.
I change back into my nightgown, shut the window and snuggle down into bed. I try to fall asleep as fast as I can.
Chapter 2: Surprise
Morning comes fast. I awake to Ms. Wyndell shouting through the house saying
“WAKE UP LADIES! RISE AND SHINE!”
Not quite what people would want to wake up to, but we’re used to it. I get up and grab a fresh dress, my undergarments and socks. I ran into the bathroom. I had to get there first.
Today was not going to be the day that I am the last one in the bathroom (like usual). I don’t know why though, but I just don’t want to. Luckily, I am the first one in and I locked the door. I put my clothes on the cabinet and my towel on top of that. I start the shower. I set it to a really warm temperature and get in. I take a 15 minute shower. I reach out and grab a towel and start to dry off. When my body is completely dry I wrap my long black hair in the towel. 5 minutes later I am out of the bathroom. I walk out and a younger girl, Katherine, rushes in. I walk downstairs and sit at the table. Ms. Wyndell had made a huge breakfast. This could only mean one thing, someone important was coming for breakfast. When we were all seated at the table, we realized there was an extra placement.
“Ms. Wyndell, who is the extra placement for?” Sarah asked.
“Well, it is about time that someone in this room has someone to look after her.” Ms. Wyndell said with a sly smile. I knew who she was talking about. It was me. I was the oldest.
“Um, Ms. Wyndell, are you perhaps talking about me?” I nervously asked.
“Yes dear. A charming young man is coming to meet you. After that, you two will get together and have a family! But don’t worry, he’s in the religion.” she explains. I am pretty sure it’s the end of the world. I don’t want to settle down with anyone at the moment. Especially if it means I will continue to be stuck in this stupid religion. We wait 15 more minutes until there is a knock at the door. Ms. Wyndell gets up and says,
“Oh! That will be him. Ladies, please all stand up straight. “ She walks to the door and opens it.
“Christopher! Hello! Welcome, welcome, come on in.” She pulls him in and shuts the door behind her. They all said hello and sat down again.
“So, Miss Wyndell, who is the lucky lady I will be meeting with? He asks with a smile.
I don’t want to meet him. I hide behind the others, but it’s no use.
“She is right here!” Ms. Wyndell pulls my arm and plops me right in front of him. We study with each other. I decided right away that I don’t like him. He is in between tall and short, weird blonde hair and green eyes.
“This is Miss Melissa Redding. She’s 20.” I look back at her and give her the ‘why did you do that’ look. She ignored me and kept on smiling.
“Melissa,” he started, “What a beautiful name.”
“Thank you.” I say. He also has an odd accent.
We talk some more and finish our breakfast. I am about to get up and put my dishes in the sink when….
“Oh! Melissa, let me take care of that for you.” and before I said anything he grabbed the dishes out of my hand and put both of them in the sink. He lightly smiles. Then, there was a knock on the door. -KNOCK KNOCK KNOCKITY KNOCK- I went to open the door.
“Hello! I am Mrs. Bingham.” A large woman said boldly. I backed away from the door and looked at Ms. Wyndell.
“Hello Mrs. Bingham. What can we do for you?”
“Um, Miss W, this is my mother. She is taking me home.” Christopher cut in .
“Mrs. Bingham I’m Ms. Wyndell. It’s so nice to finally meet you”
“Please, call me Krissy!” Mrs. Bingham exclaimed. “Who is the girl that my lovely son has met with?” she asks. Once again I am pulled away from my place and brought to the front of the group.
“This here fine woman.” Ms. Wyndell proudly said. “Her name is Melissa Redding and she is 20.”
“Oh, she is gorgeous.” the woman said. I smile politely. I was embarrassed. After a few more minutes Christopher and his mother left . I took a deep breath. That- was a lot. I left the room to go upstairs to do my studies. I quietly headed up the stairs and slipped into my room. Not long after I did, all the girls were surrounding me. They’re just like, staring at me. It was weird.
“What?” I angrily ask them.
“OOOUUU” Natalie says. “Someone’s got a boyfriend”
“I do not.” I say.
“And he’s kinda cute!” Katherine chimes in.
“And helpful! I want a man who will take my dishes for me too!” Sarah giggled.
“Totally. I wonder what else he would do for you Melissa.” Talia said.
“Girls please stop!” I cried out. “I don’t like him. Okay? Yes, that was nice of him to take my dishes, but I can do it myself. He’s not even that cute. Also, I don’t like his hair. It’s weird.” I shouted. I looked at them, their eyes wide and mouths open. I guess they didn’t believe what I said.
“Why do you all look like that?” I asked them.
“Because…” Marie started. “You kinda shouted at us-”
“What do you mean ‘ kinda ’? She did.” Natalie interrupted. Marie rolled her eyes and continued.
“You shouted about someone else, which is kinda like gossip and Ms. Wyndell told us not to gossip.” she finished.
“Oh, boo-hoo” I say with a careless voice. The younger girls gasp. “What? I honestly don’t care if i’m ‘gossiping’ or whatever. We’re allowed to speak our opinions and I did just that.” I argue. Just then Ms.Wyndell comes upstairs to find us not doing our work.
“What is all the racquet for? W hy are none of you not doing your studies?” she questioned.
“Sorry Ms. Wyndell. We were just talking about how wonderful Christopher is!” Marie answered.
“Yeah!” I answered right away, smiling.
“Ok then. Please get going!” She said and went downstairs. We separated and worked on our own thing until lunch.
“LADIES...LUNCH!” Ms. Wyndell yelled up the stairs. We all came down and sat down. We said grace and quietly ate. Ms. Wyndell broke the silence with an announcement.
“Today ladies, we will be going out for a walk.” Ms. Wyndell said. So we finished our lunch and put the dishes in the sink. We put our shoes and jackets on and went outside. I locked the door behind us. We walked in two straights lines. The elder girls (me) in one line and the younger girls in another line with Ms. Wyndell at the front middle. We walked along the streets quietly. Stopping every so often to point out birds or something. Sometimes we whispered to each other to point out things we liked. Us older girls sat on a park bench and discussed some things while the younger girls went and looked in a toy store window.
“So, what do you guys think of Christopher?” I asked them. “Give me your absolute honesty.”
“Well, I think he’s cute.” Sarah says.
“Honestly, I think Ms.Wyndell could have found better. Melissa I agree with you.” Talia comments.
“Thanks Talia” I say . I continue to sit there and think about my future decisions. What am I going to tell people when I tell them I don’t want to be with Christopher? I watch as Ms. Wyndell calls everyone back over to her to go back to the house. We walked down the same streets and the same way we came.
“When we get home, it’s Marie, Natalie and Katherine’s turn to make dinner.” Ms.Wyndell tells us. I sat down on my bed and read something off the bookshelf. After what had seemed like forever, dinner was ready. We all went downstairs and sat down. Just like lunch, we said grace and quietly ate.
When we all finished, we put our dishes in the sink. We all then proceeded to our rooms for bed. We changed, hopped into bed, and snuggled up in the blankets real tight to avoid being cold.
Chapter 3: Makeover
After Ms. Wyndell left and the other girls were asleep, I got out of bed and reached under my bed. I pull out my book The Love Deep Down. I turned on my flashlight bookmark. Before I opened the book, I opened the window. I liked the smell of the sea. I took a big whiff of the air and opened the book and began reading. I was deep in the book when I felt sand. Sand? Where was the sand coming from? I looked up from my book to see a shadowy figure lurking outside. I squinted and realized it was Blake!
“Blake! Hi, um why are you throwing sand at me?”
“You didn’t answer when I called your name, so I thought that throwing rocks would get you to notice. Rocks would obviously be painful, so I threw sand instead.” Blake said.
“Thanks for thinking of my health!” I laughed. “I apologize for the ignorance, I was deep in my book.” I answered
“What book?” he asked.
“ The Love Deep Down. It’s about a seaman who falls in love with a mermaid, but knows the ocean separates them. He has to figure out how they can stay together. He gets pressured by his boss to kill the mermaid after he finds out about her. When he doesn’t, his boss then captures her and sells her for a really high price. Then, the seaman tries to save her, but they’re caught and they both end up dead.”
“That’s interesting…” He said, “Something that’s not religious. Does any of your housemates know?”
“No, and they don’t have to know,” I said sternly. “So, what are you doing here?” I ask.
I wanted to know if you wanted to come to the club with me again.” he answered.
“So, will you?”
“Ummmm. Sure!” I excitedly said. I got out new clothes and got dressed. I turned off my light and put the book back under my bed. I went to the window and swung my legs over the sill. I wrapped one arm around the window frame. I pushed a little. I looked down. It seemed that Blake did remember how I had to get down and had his arms outstretched ready to catch me.
I pushed a little more and slipped off the sill and into Blake’s arms. He put me down and stared at me.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s just that, I don’t think that those clothes are suitable for the club. You said you wanted to fit in, right?I ”
“Oh.” I said disappointedly. I looked down at the ground. “I mean, yeah.”
“But, don’t worry. I will buy you a dress, get your hair and makeup done.” he kindly said. I looked up at him and smiled.
“Yes. I promise. I know a nice place down the road.”
“Thank you so much! This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me!” I squeal.
“Your welcome.” he says with a warm smile. We talk and walk to the store. He opens the door and steps aside.
“Oh, thank you.” We walk in and he leads me to the clothes section. My eyes go wide. There were so many clothes!! They all seemed so pretty too! We continue to a section full of dresses.
“What size are you?” he asks.
“Um, I actually don’t know. Ms. Wyndell says knowing our size will make us self-conscious.” I say with uncertainty.
“Well, turn around. Let me see the tag on the back of your current dress.” I turn around and I feel him unfold the back of my dress to read the tag. He flips the tag back and searches through a couple of racks and hands me 3 dresses.
“I think these dresses might work. Go in that room and try them on.” I do as told and I take the dresses. The first dress was a short black dress that was off the shoulder and folded down over my chest. I looked at myself in the mirror. My bra strap was showing. I rolled my eyes. I took the dress off, took my bra off, then put the dress back on. It looked so much better. I unlocked the door and stepped out.
“What do you think?” I asked, turning around and back again.
“I-I um, I like it.” Blake said. I was a little disappointed in his answer because I really liked this one, but I shrugged it off. I went back to the changing room and tried on the next dress. It was a spaghetti strap, sparkly silver dress. I stepped out. Blake started laughing.
“What’s so funny?” I ask.
“If it was nothing, then why are you still laughing? Tell me what’s wrong” I say demandingly.