I could hurt someone like me, Out of spite or jealousy. I don’t steal and I don’t lie, But I can feel and I can cry. A fact I’ll bet you never knew. But to cry in front of you, That’s the worst thing I could do.
Skye walked into the church, behind Ivy, Jules and Kaylee. As she stepped into the building, she heard the organ start up with the wedding march, and her heart quickened. Skye turned her head, calming a bit when she felt her Uncle Alan reach for her hand. “You look beautiful.” He said, smiling proudly. Skye squeezed his hand nervously, “Thank you for being here.” She said back, looking over to the aisle as he took her elbow. “Wouldn’t miss it.” He said as they began to walk. Skye’s breath hitched as the entire church stood. She recognized the faces of her family members, and school mates, smiling as she brought her gaze up to the front, where Ethan stood. Skye’s grip on her uncle tightened as they walked, and she kept her gaze forward, trying to rid herself of any visible sign of nervousness. Skye looked at the left side of the church, her dark eyes connecting with Seb’s. He seemed to sense her nervousness, and gave her a quick wink, causing her to smile.
They reached the altar, and Skye turned to look at her uncle, who seemed to have quickly turned emotional. He kissed her cheek, then looked up at Ethan, “Take care of her, you hear?” Ethan nodded, and took Skye’s hand as she stepped over to join him. She smiled at Ethan, her heart still pounding. Skye brought her eyes up to his lighter ones, the familiar sight, and face calming her significantly. She smiled slowly, looking down at their hands. The priest began to talk, but Skye couldn’t hear a single thing he said. Her mind was racing, a million thoughts at once, and all of them involved her and Ethan. Their hands fit perfectly together, she thought, her smile widening. There was a silence, and she looked up at Ethan, realizing that the priest had asked for objections. Skye’s attention flitted out to the crowd, the silence, and the reassuring smiles signifying that there was no one in the room that didn’t want them married.
The priest then spoke, asking for the rings to be brought forward. Seb came forward, his usual grin even wider, and Kaylee walked over as well, a bounce in her step as she approached the altar. Seb placed the ring in Ethan’s palm, Kaylee doing the same with Skye’s. Skye’s fingers closed around the ring, giving Kaylee a thankful smile as her best friend walked back to her place with the rest of the bridesmaids. The priest’s voice made her turn back to Ethan, who’s steady gaze brought her heart hammering again. When he said his “I do,” she blinked slowly, the cool metal of the ring on her hand signifying that he really was hers. “Do you Skye Lovely take Ethan Wright to be your lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer for as long as you both live? ”I do.” She said, taking the ring from her palm and sliding it onto his ring finger, looking up at him when it was on.
The priest’s steady voice filled the church, “By the power invested in me by the Church of God, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.” Skye blinked slowly, tears forming as Ethan reached down, pulling the veil up and off her face. She smiled, then kissed him, a tear spilling over her cheek. Ethan pulled away, taking his thumb to wipe it away. “Happy tears.” She promised, taking his hand.
The church filled with applause, and as the rest of the room’s occupants stood, they took a step forward, married. Skye blinked away the rest of her tears, smiling wide as they walked out, the wedding march starting up again. Ethan was beside her, and everything was perfect. Camera’s flashed, and everyone was talking at once, but Skye could only focus on one thing, Ethan’s hand in hers, with a bond surrounding them that no one could break.
Skye sat on her bed, Ethan beside her. They’d been talking for a bit, and they’d come to the decision that it was time to tell her parents. They had put it off long enough, and now, with two days left until they left for Scotland, it was time to do it. Skye picked up her phone, dialing her mother’s number in Venice first, while Ethan watched silently.
“Hello?” She said into the phone, when the dial tone stopped and the phone clicked.
“Skye?” Her mother’s disjointed voice came back, probably confused as to why her daughter was calling. “Yes.” She responded, the whole phonecall feeling weirder and weirder. She never called her mother, for this reason. “Mum, there’s something I need to tell you. I don’t want your opinion, I don’t want your approval. I’m just telling you something.”
“Skye, is something wrong?” Skye almost laughed at the concern in her mother’s voice. It was true though, she only ever called her when something was wrong, the last time being Ollie’s operation.
“No mum.” She said, as Ethan reached for her hand. “This time everything’s perfect. I’m getting married.” She said quickly, squeezing his fingers in hers. “To Ethan.”
“What? No. I won’t allow it.” Her mother sputtered at the other end.
“That’s a shame,” Skye said flatly, “I was hoping you’d come.” She looked at Ethan with a frown, “But it doesn’t matter mum. I love him, and you can’t stop that.” Skye paused, pulling the phone away from her ear as her mother began yammering about how she wouldn’t let it happen. “Bye.” She said, before hitting end call.
Skye made a face, looking up from the phone, to the blonde boy beside her. “You said yours went well? There’s still my father to call..”
Without waiting another moment, Skye dialed the next number on her list, her father in Hong Kong.
“Hi Daddy.” She said as he came onto the line.
“Skye baby!” Came his response, followed by a quick, “Is this important? I’ve got lots of things to do.”
Skye scowled, by things, he probably meant new secretaries. “It’s very important.” She said, “Dad, I’m getting married.”
There was a brutal silence from the other end, broken by a final weak response.
“Is this a joke sweetie? Because I really don’t have the time.”
“No.” She insisted, “Ethan Wright. Remember him?” She asked, knowing for sure that he probably didn’t. “I love him, and we’re getting married on Saturday.”
“Skye Charlotte Lovely, you are not doing anything of the sort.” Came the stern reply, “You’re seventeen!”
“Old enough to figure out things for myself. Will you come?” She asked.
“Well, I’m very busy Skye baby..” Skye cut him off, “That’s all I needed to know. Bye Dad.”
She hit end call, then looked up at Ethan, “I suppose by Uncle Alan can give me away…” She said, her lower lip trembling at the thought that neither of her parents would be attending.
Skye flopped back on her bed, the sheets and the pillows flouncing up as she did so. She curled up, pulling her knees close to her chest, and closing her eyes. It was Valentine’s day, the day celebrating love and friendship, where red white and pink flooded the campus, and images of couples and hearts littered the walls. She hadn’t gone to see Ethan yet, and had found herself in her room, turning her calligraphy pen in hand, thinking back to how she had spent her last few February 14ths.
Valentine’s Day, 2 years ago.
Skye sat at her desk, thick paper littered about, her pen and ink wells surrounding her as she wrote. Her neat and loopy script filled the pages, informing Ethan of all the things she had done, all the people she’d met, and of course, of how much she missed him. Skye closed her eyes briefly, biting her lower lip as she wrote the last line, “Love, Skye” and sealed the envelope, placing it on the stack of letters meant to be sent out. She smiled, picking up the photograph that lay beside it. She traced the figures over with her finger, her own smile widening when she saw the six figures smiling back.
Skye got up from her bed, making her way to the corkboard she had set up ages ago. Pulling the pin out of one of the older pictures there, she took it in her hands, lifting in up to her lips to place a kiss on it. She was putting it back up on the board, when a distressed looking stack of envelopes caught her eye.
Valentine’s Day, last year
Skye stormed into her room in the apartment, slamming the door behind her. She tossed her bag onto the bed before dropping onto it herself. She covered her mouth with her hands to stifle a scream. Skye pulled her legs up, wrapping her arms around them, and resting her chin on her knee caps as she tried to sort out how she felt. Just hours before, she’d been out with some school friends, people she knew, not really friends at all. She’d shaken away the image of finding her mother in her room, asleep with a handful of valium in her hand, only to find her father, out on 3rd street, with some woman she’d never seen in her life. Skye had raced back to her apartment, mumbling excuses to the other girls and holding her head high. She’d found a package there, lying by her door, and had tucked it into her bag. Tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear, she gingerly pulled the package out, her hands trembling as she turned it about in her hand. It was just as she’d thought, and when she tore the paper open, dozens of envelopes fell onto her lap. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks as she kicked the paper away, fumbling for her phone. She put it down, realizing she really had no one to talk to. Ethan was gone, Kaylee was off on her trip to Europe, Seb was gone, somewhere to learn about weed or the like, and Lou was training for the Olympics. Skye let out a miserable sob, and buried her face in her hands.
Skye looked away from the letters, turning her attention to the mirror. She picked up her comb, running it through her short hair, and examining the reflection. Forcing a smile, she walked back to her desk, sitting at the familiar chair, her hands wrapping around her old pen.
Skye hung up the phone angrily. Again, she’d tried to call Ethan, and again, he wasn’t there. He’d been gone for over a year now, and she was still pining over him. She gritted her teeth, standing up quickly. “Fuck him.” She thought, as she dressed, “Fuck all of them.” She was Skye Charlotte Lovely, and she had finally come to the realization. Loving someone hurt, and it made you vulnerable. She pulled her shoes on, making her way out the door. Love made you weak, and she was prepared to never do so again.
Skye shook her head at the thought of her old beliefs. It had worked for a while, she supposed, but it was empty. She’d protected herself, but she’d never been happy, Skye mused as she dipped the tip of the pen into the inkwell, working away at the last of the papers spread about.
Skye laughed loudly, tipping her head back as she did so. Ethan’s hand was in hers, intertwined as always, their shoulders touching as they walked through the ballroom. He was there at her side; warm, tall, smart, and lovely. His voice echoed in her ear, his lilting accent and brilliant grin taking her back to the ballroom, her eyes dancing around the elaborate decorations to the swish of the girl’s skirts, to the pressing presence of the chaperones. She felt his lips at her cheek, smiling as he kissed her. “I love you.” Skye murmured as they pressed forward into the dance.
Skye paused at the end of the page, finishing with the loop at the end of Skye Lovely, and putting her pen down. She held the finished paper up, waving it slowly to get the ink to dry, before placing it into an envelope and sealing it. She rose from her chair, taking the small paper package and placing it on top of a new stack of envelopes, tying them all together with a string. She nodded at the bundle, picking it up, and placing it beside the older looking one before walking off to her bathroom to wash the ink off her hands and preparing to go out.
Anyone who thinks facial hair is attractive is either delusional, or lying. Scruff is not the way to go my friend, and I say this with love. It’s Valentine’s day, and I’m feeling particularly sappy, so please, don’t mind while I gush about how much I love you, and everyone I know.
I’m marrying Ethan, you know that, but, there’s a part of me that knows, someday, you’ll marry Ivy. They say that people wait years to find the person that they’ll love unconditionally, that person that they’ll be with forever, and I think that you’ve found her in Ivy Scarlet. You two have something special, don’t waste that, alright?
Graham, you’ve got the reputation as one of the nicest guys here at Easton, you’re good, like deep down, truly, good. A genuinely great person, and someone that I admire and respect. I love that I truly believe that if there’s ever anything wrong, I can go visit you, and you’ll help me out. You’re a great friend.
Also, you’re not weak, or scared by much. You’ve survived a Kaylee Shevel party, and one night of some extreme corruption on my behalf, and for that I applaud and commend you. Never change, alright?
Ivy’s my girl, and if you ever hurt her, (which I know you wouldn’t) you’d have Skye Lovely, and the horror of the whole of the monarchy after you, which is a frightening thought indeed. Take care of her, keep her happy, safe, and loved.
The original copy of Skye's admittance essay. Handwritten.
Billings is more than a dorm. It’s an image, carefully crafted for generations. Just like any building, made of bricks and mortar, the image of Billings needs to be maintained. Under it’s current leadership, it’s crumbling.
Billings was once an image, a group of strong, empowered young women with fierce ideals and leadership qualities. I remember as a little girl, being told stories of the legend that Billings once was. It wasn’t just a building, not just a dormitory for upperclassmen girls, but a powerful image, a force to be known. It’s with a heavy heart, and sincere remorse that I have to refer to it in past tense. Billings now is nothing but a shadow of the icon it was. I blame this on poor leadership, and bad decisions made on behalf of the leader. The leader of Billings is a queen in her own sense. She mustn’t be just an individual looking for personal gain, but someone who can bring the house back to it’s former prestige.
Billing’s current leader is someone who lacks leadership capabilities and the will to stand for the benefit of Billings as a whole. This essay is meant to tell you the benefits of early admission. I’m going to tell you how it is not only beneficial, but necessary.
Easton is a school of status, legacy and tradition. All of these are good traits, but one flaw can tear it apart. This flaw is a poor choice in leaders. Poor leaders make poor decisions, and poor decisions cause poor outcomes. It is these poor outcomes that caused Billings to deteriorate from it’s mighty form into merely a brick building, filled with cookie cutter girls with few ideals, goals and ambitions, strides backwards from the force it was in former days.
Easton Academy is an institute steeped in tradition. While tradition is a wonderful thing as it keeps discipline, ideologies and people in order, tradition is easily accused of being old fashioned and irrelevant in modern society. Tradition is corrupted simply, proof is seen all throughout history. Easton’s age-old tradition of Billings girls voting on incoming Billings members is one that has worked well for the school and it’s students for years. Strong, smart leaders made wise decisions, and picked good candidates, keeping the line of powerful girls going.
There’s a problem with tradition though. One slip up, one error made in any of these choices taints the whole circle. One person wrongly selected can set up a whole generation of poor leadership. The selection of Noelle Lange as leader of Billings was an improper one and her errors during this reign have destroyed Billings as it was.
Billings has crumbled, and is sitting on the shoulders of an incompetent leader. It’s crying out for help, it’s nothing like the force I grew up learning about, it’s nothing like the beacon of power and strength that it has boasted, rightly so, for generations. Billings needs a leader, someone to pull it from the murky shadow that surrounds it and someone to bring it back it’s glory.
This is why I, Skye Lovely, have called for early admittance. I find it my duty, as a student at Easton Academy, my job, to do what I can to restore Billings. I believe that it’s in my power and capability to accomplish this. I have done what I can to raise awareness at Easton to this failing icon, by arousing the concern in it’s current leader. I’ve tried to show her the errors in her ways, but I’ve come to an unfortunate conclusion. Noelle Lange lacks the personality traits of a leader. I’ve done all I can, and now I’m begging Easton, give me a place in Billings. Let me fix the problems that it has. This isn’t just a selfish means as to getting false recognition, a way of elbowing my way into matters that I can’t handle. I deserve this special privilege, and I can prove to you that I deserve, and can bring all the admirable traits of a true leader.
A position in Billings should not be a popularity contest. The qualities of a leader should be recognized first most over the amount of people an individual has rallying behind them. Crowds are easily swayed, and facts are easily twisted. There are several things about me that aren’t lies. Hard, cold truths, and they show every day. I’m the best choice for a spot in Billings, a way to insure a secured position in a younger, more responsible student.
These aren’t exaggerations. There are details that prevail. Throughout my school career, I’ve never been caught in compromising situations with any illegal substances, and I’ve never had to go to any rehabilitation institutions. While this would seem a very important aspect in the choice of a leader, responsibility was not on the mind of those in the selection position when the current Billings queen was chosen. I’ve come to recognize that she in fact does have an alcohol problem, and attends meetings at Alcoholics Anonymous, which should be a concern for the whole of the school, knowing that their supposedly rock solid leader is actually incompetent.
I’m also an excellent student, balancing a 4.0 GPA with several extracurricular activities and charity work. I’ve done work for People Tree, an organization that sells free trade organic clothes, a cause that I find valuable and important. I’m respected amongst the other students, with a mature, confident outlook upon any situation. While I’m not one to dwell upon people’s pasts or to make them reason for a person’s personality, I have to say that without self-praise that my background before arriving at Easton Academy was cause enough to prove that I deserve this honour. Born in upper class Manhattan, as an Upper East Side socialite it’s been in my blood since birth the importance of leadership and confidence. Seen as a motherly figure with my own brother and close friends, these traits are what are required and lacking in the current Billings leader. I’m not someone who gives up easily, or lets anything stop me from getting what I want. I’m innovative, and can always find solutions that best fit the situation. All in all, I’m a natural born leader, with all sorts of characteristics that the current leader of Billings does not have.
Why else should I be allowed early acceptance? Change. Change is a powerful thing. Breaking free of tradition, allowing new blood into Billings would be a wonderful thing for it, and for everyone at Easton. As Martin Luther King said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” I will work hard to bring change. Change is inevitable, but you can always choose for it to be positive. I can bring this good change to Billings, and I will work hard. One thing about me that is never disputed, is that I never give up.
In conclusion, there are three valid reasons why I, Skye Lovely, should be allowed early admittance into Billings. The first being that Billings is crumbling and needs someone to restore it back to what it once was, an icon for all of Easton students. The second being that I deserve it, that I have the skills, personality and capabilities to bring Billings this glory, and the third being change. Change is always what’s needed in a school as traditional as Billings. Tradition is strong, but the push for a new era is stronger. The old ways of having Billings girls pick their own leaders and members has failed them all, bringing to them an incompetent leader and destroying Billings image. The change of early acceptance, having a student, having me be in Billings, can fix it.
Billings is crying out for the help of Easton, and this is me throwing a lifeline. Toss it away, or hold on tight, the choice is yours.
Leave me alone. You’re the last thing in the world I want to deal with. I’ve had enough. I don’t want you back. I’m Skye Lovely, I’m cold. Bitter. Cruel and terrifying. Leave me alone, or you’ll see how truly horrid I can be.
Where are you? I know that the both of you won’t read this together, one of you will probably never see this page, but I like the thought that we’re functional enough to have a basic family to address a letter too.
Ollie’s sick. I didn’t know how to tell you, or how to deal with it. I’m scared. I’m never scared, mum. Where are you? Why do I have to be the adult while you waste your days in Vienna? I cancelled Switzerland. Don’t bother pretending you care by sending fancy gifts. We don’t want them. We don’t want anything from you. We just want everything back how it used to be.
Dad. Your son. I don’t care what you think of him. I don’t care that he turned out nothing like you. I don’t care. He’s wonderful. Nothing like you, yes, but that’s good. He cares about things, and people care about him. So what if he’s more brains than brawn. Not everyone can be you. He’s your son. He needs you.
I’m the only one here. And it’s horrible. Oliver’s friends, and me. The only people he can turn to. Some family we call ourselves.
There’s nothing in this world I hate more than sympathy. Nothing good breeds from guilty feelings. Don’t give me yours, and don’t think things have changed. Things have only gotten more complicated, nothing more.
I think that I’ll always hate you. Your false persona, you’re “I’m trying to be nicer” it’s all so fake.
Fake fake fake.
If there’s one thing I can be true to, it’s that I’ve never been like you. I accept. I get what I want. I say what needs to be said. I hurt feelings, break hearts, destroy dreams, and live to do it all again the next day.
Reality. Logic. Facts.
Life needs nothing more. You’re not that complicated Noelle, I’ve figured you out. You’re stupid really. All you’ve got is this thin as ice veneer, and it’s chipping. You’re not smart enough to hold it together. It’s not in you. I’ve told you once, a while back, I’m Skye Lovely, Ice Queen. My walls aren’t ice, they’re stone.
You haven’t it in you. You’re weak. You depend on others, and all you care about is yourself. Some Queen you call yourself. You can lie, say that you’re special, unique and worthy, but I see right through those ice walls. Weak. Desperately reaching out for someone to love you. You’re lucky you know, you don’t even realize. Your friends, they’re loyal. They say they love you and that’s what you want to hear, even though really, there’s nothing to love. You have no substance.
I’ve been fighting this battle a long time, and always on my own. Never calling for help, never shying away. I’m not afraid of anything remember? You. You’re always looking around, hoping that one of your friends will rescue you from me, little Skye Lovely. I’ve started with nothing, and look at me now.
I’m the Queen. In every sense, just lacking my crown. No one’s afraid of you. No one wonders what you’ll do next. No one worries whether you hate them. No one’s scared to confront you. No one questions what your opinion would be. No one cares. You’ve fallen into the sand, and I’ve risen up.
Billings is nothing anymore. Just a building, mortar and bricks. A once intimidating force, fallen apart. Weren’t you supposed to be the glue that kept it all together?
Enjoy the descent Noelle. Maybe you’ll figure out where you went wrong. It’s time you realized, a title is nothing but a facade unless you’re strong enough to carry the weight of it.
Your reign is over. I’m settling down on my throne, and a Dynasty is about to begin.
How could you be so stupid? Spending every night nearing unconsciousness? Didn’t you realize what would happen? You’re sixteen. And stupid. So fucking stupid.
Do you know how many people you’ll hurt? Mom, dad, me. Why don’t you think? What about Taylor? Kaylee? All of your stupid fucking friends? Did you think about that? No. Because you’re selfish. All you care about is having a good time. Well look at it now, are you having fun yet? How does it all look now that you’ve been hit in the face with reality? So stupid.
I hate you.
It’s going to be horrible. How could you put us all through this?
Okay. Don’t read the beginning of this letter. I’m sorry. The truth is Ollie, I’m scared. Really fucking worried. I know you are too. I’m the selfish one, because if anything would happen to you, all I can think about is how horrible that would be for me. I’m the hypocrite. Please don’t be sick. Please get better. Please don’t leave me or change.
I don’t think I’ll be sending this one out either. I think I’ve come to realize that I’m terrified of knowing what people’s reactions to these papers will be. But I’m satisfied with knowing that these perfectly formed letters on this thick manila stationary will only be seen by my eyes. It’s almost therapeutic.
We got off to a rough start, didn’t we? But, now I think I understand. I do come off as threatening, don’t I? See, you were right about me. I literally couldn’t care less. I didn’t know Rachel, and even though you were defending her, it bugged me. I wanted someone to party with, and you were in the way. I guess I really am selfish.
I’m glad we’ve become friends. We’re not that unalike are we? We’ve got the same priorities I guess. I look out for Oliver, and you look out for Rachel. You dance, I try to become Queen.
What makes me feel horrible though, is knowing that you’ve seen me at my weakest. I can’t stand that. Sometimes, I feel as if that means you’ve got an advantage over me, like, you know how to break me.
But really Ivy, there’s another part of me that’s glad someone knows I’m not an icy bitch. It’s good to know I’ve got a friend, someone who instead of me having to take care of them, and worry about, I know that they might actually worry about me sometimes.
Thanks for being around Ivy. I’m not sending this, but, you’re a great friend. You deserve to be happy, no matter how that is.
You’re actually not that bad. As people go, I’m glad you turned out the way you did, which is, nothing like me. I was thinking today, on the train back from New York.
Do you remember that time, when you were nine and I was eleven, and we were still living in the Palace with Alex? It was that time when you were stuck in the elevator. It was all that I could think about on the ride back, it’s strange how some things stick with you, and some don’t.
Growing up in the Palace was like living in a bubble, wasn’t it? We were the Lovely kids, remember how they used to whisper? Alex, you, and me. We could do whatever we liked, and no one could say a word. Playing house in the lobby, racing through the kitchens, we were a proper nuisance. I guess we haven’t learned much from then.
You’re still a nuisance. But you’re good. Sometimes I have trouble understanding how two people from the same places, could be so different. You, you care about people. You realize when to stop, who not to hurt. At least, I think you do. People don’t realize with you, and it hurts me to watch. You’re still young. You’re fifteen, and they expect you to know so much, to be able to figure everything out.
I have faith in you though. When everything seems like it’s complete shit, and you can’t understand a thing, don’t forget. You’re still young. And you need to make your mistakes now. Don’t be set in your decisions. Be reckless. Fucking hell, be wild.
I don’t think I’m going to send this out, but having my thoughts out on rice paper and ink makes me feel comforted. I love you best Oliver, don’t forget it.