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Diary of A Liar

Chapter Two
This is How I Heard the Story
Diary excerpt: There's a thin line between love and hate. Some people can't see it at all. Even I
admit that it used to be more vibrant for me, but I still know what to look for. As long as I stay
focused, I can always find it. I can't imagine how it must feel to have something staring you in
the face and still fail to notice it. I'll be it's a really common feeling in this town.
Cece drove her bright red corvette down a small, winding road. She felt like she was
halfway into the woods and if she kept going, the road might disappear. But Sara had described
it this way. Cece couldn't wait to see her again. People who had seen them interaction referred
to Sara as 'the little sister Cece never had.' Cece remembered the first time she had heard this.
She had gulped, hard, hoping to swallow the lump in her throat and her eyes had welled up with
tears. But Cece had to admit that it was pretty accurate; she just hated to think of it that way.
Cece may as well have been an only child before she met Sara and now she could barely
picture her life without her. Why would she want to?
Cece slowed down as she approached a large gap between the trees, and steered
towards the park where she and Sara had agreed to meet. Before she got out of the car, she
dialed Eric; she had already put his number on speed dial. The phone only rang once before his
loud, energetic voice boomed through the speaker of Cece's car.
"Cece Drake, back from the dead!"
Cece grinned. "Please tell me you don't have plans tonight. Oh and I need a favor."
"Oh me? I'm good, thanks for asking!" Eric teased. "What can I do for you?"
"I need you to invite this girl, Julie Cassile, to your party but she has to think I scored her
the invitation." Cece quickly blurted.
"Easy. Done!" Eric exclaimed. "Barely back one day and already playing games. I like it!
Want to come by later?"
"Sounds good. I'm seeing Sara now but I'll call you after." Cece pressed "end," tossed
her phone in her black, leather purse and adjusted some photos that were sticking out of the
front compartment. She climbed out of her car and approached a wooden table, squinting at the
thin figure she saw seated at one of the benches. Cece could only see the back of her head.
Wavy blonde hair flowed down past the girl's shoulders.
"Sara?!" Cece cried.
Sara leaped from the bench and enveloped Cece into a tight hug. Sara looked slightly
taken aback.
"It's so surreal seeing you out here." Sara broke the silence.

It was even more of an adjustment for Cece, but it was long overdue. Cece flashes a
warm smile. "Thanks for meeting me," Cece's tone was sincere. Her voice sounded different
than when she spoke to Darren. That was probably because she didn't despise Sara half of the
time, Cece noted to herself, bitterly.
"Did you miss me?" Sara's cheeks looked rosy, as they did when she was happy.
"Ya think? Of course! I can't believe your hair got so long!" Cece winced, hoping her
small talk skills hadn't dwindled too much.
"Mine? Look at yours!" Sara practically shouted. "You look like a completely different
person. Blonde is definitely your color!"
Cece brushed her tongue across her inner lips, which she pressed into a satisfied smile.
"Good!" Cece winked and took on a tone that sounded almost evil. "My turn to have more fun."
"We're really going to pull this off." Sara's voice squealed with enthusiasm.
Cece laughed. "Maybe. First I need a crash course in popularity, girl talk and everything
social."
Sara may have been more than a few years younger than Cece, but she was already the
queen of her clique of popular girls. Cece and Sara had made a popularity play book, and Sara
swore that all of their gimmicks had worked. She had even tailed another popular girl, Alison, at
a nearby school for inspiration. Alison was a grade below Sara at a school one town over from
Sara's; Alison's school was in Cece's new hometown, Rosewood. Thinking about her made
Sara smirk. That girl didn't know that Cece and Sara existed, but she would. "You can have any
crash course you need, but catch me up first." Sara's face flushed with concern. "What
happened with Wilden?" Sara hated Wilden for being the only guy -- well, almost the only guy-who could push Cece around. Little did she know she would soon have more reasons of her
own.
Cece couldn't help but think of Ian when she looked Sara in the eye; they had the exact
same powder blue eyes, similar to Cece's, except that Cece's had both blue and green hues.
Cece found it so bizarre that people like Ian and Sara could look so much alike, yet have nearly
zero involvement in each other's lives. Ian had abandoned Sara and her family, moved to a new
town and told all his new friends that he was an only child. Cece had only recently learned that
Ian still kept in touch with Sara, but he couldn't be her brother anymore; that's how he had
explained it to Sara and somehow in his mind it didn't sound selfish. Ian had dropped his old last
name and his whole old life, Cece included. Cece chewed on her tongue, stifling a sigh. Ian had
broken both of them, but Wilden might be worse.
"Wilden was such a jerk before, worse than usual." Cece drummed her nails on the
faded wood table, nervously. "I couldn't tell if he was just messing with my head or threatening
me too."
Sara grimaced. "I hate how much he knows about you..." "...about both of us." Sara spat.
"I--" Sara started to say something else but stopped herself, an anxious look flashing in her
eyes. Sara's phone rang and she glanced at it and quickly silenced it.

Cece caught Sara rolling her eyes and she burst out laughing. "Little miss popular
ignoring her friends?" Cece mock scolded. "Which duckling was that?"
"Claire. She wants to go dress shopping. We're both going to homecoming. Sara perked
up and gave a shy smile. "Girls in our grade aren't allowed to go unless an older guy asks
them." Sara blushed briefly, then rolled her eyes. "You're supposed to be cool about it, but Claire
is so excited it's embarrassing."
Cece's eyes widened. "Homecoming? Mama's proud! When's the dance?" Cece
beamed; Sara's life was improving and she deserved it after dealing with her pathetic excuse for
a family.
"This Saturday," Sara replied. "Same as Rosewood high."
Cece froze. "Rosewood's homecoming dance is this Saturday?" How had she not known
about this? She couldn't believe that Julie, who worked at that fashionista boutique with outfits
that would impress Rachel Zoe, hadn't mentioned it. Cece pondered incredulously. Was Julie
actually more concerned about Eric's Halloween party than homecoming? Cece noticed Sara
staring at her, probably curious as to why Cece would ever look panic stricken about a high
school dance.
When Cece voiced her concern about her new friend to Sara, Sara practically exploded
with laughter. "In Rosewood, one of the most materialistic towns on earth--" Sara's voice
emerged through hysterical hiccups and giggles. She caught her breath. "You think a girl with
that nice of a wardrobe would be a loser? I bet she wins best dressed in the yearbook.
Cece's chest flattened with relief and she laughed. "Well, maybe second best now."
Cece's gold bangle bracelets slipped further down her arm, revealing a fresh purple and black,
round bruise. Wilden had grabbed her hard. Cece glared at the mark-- it tainted her otherwise
perfectly tanned wrist-- and swiftly moved the bracelets back over it, wincing when she touched
it. It hadn't looked like that earlier, Cece fumed to herself, or she would have concealed it better.
She tacked on a poised smile hoping that Sara wouldn't notice.
Too late. Sara snatched Cece's arm, albeit in a much gentler manner than Wilden's, and
stretched it across the table. She examined the bruise, narrowing her eyes. "Did Wilden do that
to you?"
Cece stiffened. Sara sometimes acted like Cece's preteen body guard and Cece didn't
want her to get too overprotective. "He didn't do it on purpose," she mumbled in response. "He
just doesn't realize how strong his grip is." Cece groaned, regretting her words immediately. She
sounded like one of those moronic wives constantly getting beaten by a husband who 'never
meant to hurt her.'
Sara bit her lip. "He shouldn't have been grabbing you in the first place!" She protested.
"Don't worry. I kicked him really hard after." Cece blinked back a stubborn tear. "He
made a comment about Ian." Cece admitted.

Sara squeezed Cece's hand. "Are you ready to see him? He told me his girlfriend has
homecoming queen in the bag."
Cece fought off the pang Sara's words sent through her body, forcing herself to ignore
the vibrating in her eyelids and temples. She removed a photo from her purse and gazed
wistfully at Ian and his annoyingly photogenic, stick-thin girlfriend, Melissa. Cece folded the
photo, bending its edges. She straightened up, tilted her head and flashed her mysterious half
smile. "Ian betrayed us; he can't get away with that." She said, firmly. "He and Melissa should
enjoy their moment in the royal high school family while they can. They don't have much time."
Sara leaned forward. "What are you going to do?" She whispered.
Cece fiddled with a Swiss Army knife that hung on her keychain. She expertly tugged at
one of the knives until the blade stuck out, then violently stabbed at the photo, puncturing it,
then slicing it in half. She pulled her index finger to her lips. "It's a secret." Cece tilted her head
up, giving Sara a wink. She had to keep people guessing, including Sara. If Cece revealed too
much information, she knew that people would lose interest; she had witnessed this firsthand
too many times. As much as she trusted Sara, -- which was already too much for Cece's usual
comfort level-- she couldn't risk losing her. 'Always keep them wanting more' had been a rule in
their playbook.
Sara ran her hand through her curls. "What about Wilden? We can't trust him. He
already knows too much."
Cece wrinkled her nose. "You're right." She admitted. "That's why you're going to help
me dig up something even worse on him."
Sara hesitated. "That sounds dangerous." Sara's phone beeped and a photo of Ian's
face flashed on the screen. Sara covered it furtively but Cece had already seen.
Cece smirked. "It's a dangerous game we're playing," she said flatly. Cece grabbed
Sara's phone, and Sara gasped, then her eyes veered past Cece's head; she was avoiding eye
contact. Cece flashed her an understanding smile. "Let me give you my new number," Cece
said, tapping furiously on the phone's keyboard. She opened Sara's most recent text which was
from Ian. 'NATXAA,' it read. Cece gritted her teeth. Ian and his dangerous secrets and
indecipherable codes. At least he was consistent. Cece counted backwards in her head making
sure not to exhibit a facial reaction to what she had seen. She had no idea what Ian's text
meant, but she quivered; she doubted it was anything good. Cece closed Sara's texts and
opened the "new contact" section where she had just put her number. She handed Sara the
phone, glancing at the time. "Gotta go." Cece gathered her purse, phone and keys. "I have a
homecoming dress to pick out, then I'm meeting up with Eric."
Cece and Sara hugged again, then Cece started towards her car, leaving behind pieces
of the photo she had stabbed. When she had reached a far enough distance, Cece turned back
to steal a suspicious glance at Sara. Cece looked up just in time to catch Sara removing a shiny,
silver flask from her jeans pocket and pour a generous swig down her throat. Cece recognized
that flask; it had belonged to Ian. Cece cringed. How long had Sara been drinking again?

Sara wasn't an alcoholic, but Cece worried about the decisions Sara might make while
intoxicated. Cece couldn't imagine figuring out her limits at that age. She would have to make
sure to show Sara the ropes; if Sara wanted to drink, she was going to do it anyway, but Cece
could prevent her from getting out of control like her brother did. Cece took a step towards Sara,
but shook her head, thinking better of it. She rapidly walked to her car. She pressed herself
against the car and watched Sara from a distance. Sara stared at her phone, her hands
trembled as she lit the wrong end of a cigarette. Sara fiercely ripped it in half and flung it onto
the ground, furiously stomping the ruined cigarette into pieces. She steadied her hands enough
and lit a new one, expertly, Cece noticed. She reminisced about teaching Sara how to do that
during one of their heart to hearts on the roof. Now, Sara closed her eyes and took fast,
flustered puffs.
Cece stepped a bit closer when she saw Sara making a phone call. She tip toed behind
a bush. Sara had the remains of the picture of Ian and Melissa in her other hand. Cece covered
her mouth to stop from laughing as Sara tapped her cigarette ashes on their faces. Then she
eavesdropped as Sara barked into her phone. "I don't care if it's an emergency! I'm done with
these creepy videos!" Cece shuddered, and finally got in the car and drove off. NATXAA..
Videos... Ian... Sara... Complicated much? I thought nothing happened in Rosewood, Cece
snarked to herself.
Before Ian had moved to Rosewood, Sara's mother got furious anytime Sara acted out.
Sara would have been dousing herself in perfume to mask any possible odor of cigarette
smoke. Now Sara's mother barely noticed she had a daughter. Cece frowned, wondering what
Sara wasn't telling her about her home life. She could tell that the Sara she had seen today was
different; this Sara didn't give a shit if her jeans smelled of smoke. This Sara probably smoked in
front of her mom's face and her mom probably didn't even see her. Sara had self destructive
phases in the past because she felt that nobody cared about her. Cece couldn't let that happen
again, especially not now. She took a mental note to get Eric's advice; he would know what to
do. Cece's cheeks burned as she compared Sara's family situation to hers. Perhaps Cece was
better off with her absentee family. At least she didn't know what she was missing. She gripped
the steering wheel until her hands turned red. She exhaled deeply. Don't let them win! She
commanded to herself. She promised herself she wouldn't. And Cece Drake had always been a
woman of her word.

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