The woman in pitch black coat and velvet cloak suddenly turned. She was looking at the petrified, shivering, ready-to-faint Sara. Sara knew why she had been called, but Diana did not get to the point right away. She knew her sister too well. Sara would say that she didn’t do anything and make up an excuse. Diana was tired of it and would not let that happen. This time, Diana would show Sara what it felt like to be alone, to be abandoned.
There was only one person Diana could trust, confide in, and who would understand. Mom had died three years ago and, ever since, Diana had to live alone. Sara told everyone that Diana’s favorite color was black and that she loved rainy days but, in truth, her favorite color was bright pink and she loved the sun, especially when it was at its brightest. Sara was a fibber.
Diana did not take too much time with this.
“So,” Diana snapped, “how do you feel about yourself?”
Sara was extremely surprised. She’d never been spoken to like this in her life.
“S-sorry,” she stuttered.
“It sounds like you’ve never used the word sorry before,” Diana said. “Well, I should let you go, but next time if I ever find you doing this again, I won’t let you off so lightly.”
“W-well then, I-I sh-shall be o-on my way,” Sara said, heading towards the door.
“And I shall be on mine,” Diana said entering her room.
In actuality, Sara had nothing better to do. She ended the conversation just to get away from her ‘evil’ sister. She had hoped it would be another one of those times when Di had taken it lightly and asked her to tea afterwards. Sara would have been happy to accept.
Well, she thought angrily, if Di isn’t going to be nice to me I’ll just be worse to her.
But how? That was the hardest question. It would take quite a while for Sara to think of how she would take revenge on her sister. She had not learned anything in school or in college, all she had thought about was her complexion and how she looked. Once, she had forgotten to turn in her exam paper and absentmindedly put her cosmetics case on the teacher’s desk instead. She had gotten very embarrassed and made it up to the class – or thought she did – by wearing a new dress and looking extra pretty the next day.
Now, coming back to Diana. She was answering a few invitations to tea parties and dinner parties, saying very politely that she had something else planned. But when she glanced at the last letter, she saw something totally different and ran out of her house to post the letter.
I am not going to tell you who that letter was by, but this is what she had answered to the last letter: I would love to have tea with you, truly yours, Diana Ross.
The basic reason why Diana had answered the letter with a yes was that she was the only one invited. Also, the girl who had invited her was her best friend at school. As she arrived at her friend’s house, she could smell the fresh daisies, feel the dew on all the plants, hear the sound of animals, and see the beautiful view of the mountains behind.
At first, she was too shy to ring the doorbell but she gathered up her courage and said to herself: “It’s only me, after all, so there’s no reason to be shy”. She raised her shaking hand and rang the doorbell, so lightly that the whole button didn’t get pressed. It rang anyway, although no one noticed it at first. Eventually, her friend realized someone was at the door.
“Why Di,” said Bell, “when I last saw you, were happy and bold. But now, you look so meek and cold.”
Diana laughed. Bell had put her at ease.
“I love your poetic passion,” she said.
“I love it too,” replied Bell. “You seem a little bit more like yourself now. Well then, why don’t you come inside and make yourself comfortable? We were just preparing tea. We weren’t really expecting you to come sooo early,” Bell said, reluctantly.
Now, Di was feeling slightly uncomfortable. Bell never spoke reluctantly. She always planned what she was going to say before actually saying it. And, knowing her friend, Di knew right away that Bell was hiding something. Diana spoke from her heart so she spent no time beating around the bush.
“Come on, you’re hiding something,” Di said. “These kind of tricks don’t work with me.”
“M-me? You think that I-I’ve been hiding s-something from you?” Bell said.
Diana thought that Sara’s soul had gotten into Bell.
“Admit it, Bell,” she said.
“All right, all right. I’ll admit it,” Bell said guiltily. “But I just can’t tell you what it is.”
But Diana did come to now after all.
The ground began shaking and Bell took Di’s hand and led the way up to the library. She went to the history section and pulled a book which turned out to be a doorknob. The door swung open leading to a secret passage. Diana gasped.
“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” said Bell with a grin. “Now, I’m going to tell you the whole story.”
They sat at the table and Bell began.
“So you know how my mom and dad died when I was a baby? My mom when I was born and my dad a few days later? That he left me with my aunt who treated me like a child who had murdered her sister? Once, I went exploring and the exact same thing that just happened to you happened to me. The ground began shaking and I ventured deeper and deeper into a secret passage. As scary as it was, I was not afraid. The deeper I went, the more it began to go underground. Then, something gave me a start. It was a ghost. And not just any old ghost, it was my mother. She was the only ghost who could go through things and hold things. She told me something that I don’t want to reveal to you but have to. She said that she liked being a ghost and that she had been happy to die. There was something else she said, something amazing. She herself had hoped that I, Bell, would find this passage. Then, she disappeared, leaving me in awe. Suddenly, she came back and said: “I just forgot to tell you not to tell your aunt about this. She was a horrible sister to me.”
“Like Sara is,” said Diana.
“I’ve been wanting to tell someone about this,” continued Bell, “but I never knew who until you came. I knew I could trust you. I hope you can trust me.”
“Of course I can,” said Diana.
“Well, then, that’s my story,” finished Bell.
“If I ever have something as a secret, you’re the first person I’ll tell. Why don’t you come to my mansion often? It’s quite deserted, you know, and we’re quite similar; we have big houses and no parents. We can hang out together a lot.”
“Why don’t we go to tea?”
“That’s a great idea, I’m starving.”
“We prepared green tea, scones with jam and cream, and cookies,” Bell said. “I hope you like it!”
“I don’t like it, I love it. I just wanna run down and eat everything on the table.”
“What are we waiting for?”
The girls happily went downstairs hand-in-hand to a round table. The scones, cookies, and tea were so tempting. Not a crumb was left on their plates. After that, Diana had to work so she left to go home. They promised to go to each other’s houses at least twice a week.
At home, Diana signed some checks. The whole day, she had a smile on her face. She wasn’t afraid of going out anymore. It had all come back to her. She could remember her childhood days when she was playing in her neighborhood playground. She and Bell would swing on the swings, slide on the slides, talk so much, and have so much fun. That was not going to stop. Even though she was an adult now, she was not going to stop. She was going to go out more often, have more fun, and hang out with Bell more. And her mansion was not deserted anymore. It was full of her and Bell’s laughter.
A lot more of her school friends came to visit. She hosted a dinner party – not a big one, just with five-seven guests – but had an amazing time.
Sara was planning to take revenge on her sister. She had no idea that Diana was having so much fun. She was just sitting in her room, bored. She was evil and always would be. Cheaters never win, but she hated to lose. This was one of her weaknesses (she had too many weaknesses for me to list). She was more talkative than Diana but she talked so much that nobody wanted to get close to her. Talking was her life and if anybody butted in on her speech she would look at them with an evil eye. She never expected to be interrupted and considered herself grand. Also, she expected to be waited on in her house. For instance, if I were to have tea with her, she would expect me to serve her.
Sara was not the richest sister. Her house was big, but not as big as Diana’s. She had nice clothes, but not as nice as Diana’s. Her mother and father’s will gave most of their money to Diana, not Sara. They had no living relations. Her mom and dad were only children and orphans.
Sara had gotten long fingers from her father. Diana had gotten her mother’s light hair and blue eyes, along with her father’s wide smile.
Diana was naturally beautiful but never bragged about it. Sara was not so beautiful but bragged about it anyway. Sara thought she was the best even though Diana was smarter and nicer. Diana was born to be nice. Sara was the opposite. You would never know that they were even sisters if they stood side by side.
Their mother and father had both died of an unnamed illness. It was highly contagious. Their mom had died first but the dad had gotten it from her and died a few days later. This was a tragedy to Diana and Sara. It affected their relationship a lot. Diana had loved her mother and Sara had loved her father but, after both of them had gone, the sister had nothing to do more than quarrel. Of course, they didn’t argue in public but they didn’t get over their arguments for months. It was a weird combination. One, smart and quiet and the other, loud and foolish. They grew further apart after their parents’ death.
Bell was satisfied with her friendship with Diana. The two of them were super close but there was one thing that Diana did not know about Bell: Bell had an older sister who had run away from their aunt one night and never returned. Bell had gotten a message that she was alive. Bell loved her older sister, Elizabeth (Beth). Bell was worried about her sister as she had not received recent news of her. That day, when there was a knock at the front door, Bell knew exactly who it was. Beth was the only person who knocked instead of ringing the bell.
When Bell opened the door, she flung her arms around Beth.
“So, how is everything?” said Beth.
“Wonderful, but quite lonely. It’s more wonderful when you’re here and, this time, don’t run away. Please?”
“I’m never going to,” Beth said. “I realized that it’s better to be home than anywhere else and, most of all, that I missed you. I remember the fun times we had – playing hide and seek, tag, and throwing balls. I hope we can do it again.”
“We are going to have the most amazing time ever.”
“Is it time for dinner yet? My stomach is growling.”
“It’s before dinner but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a snack. Why don’t you get comfortable? Where were you all this time? You have to tell me everything.”
“I will. I’ll tell you every single thing.”
“Every single thing,” echoed Bell.
Sara and Diana were arguing. Sara had left the mansion, her cheeks red with anger. She got mad easily and was sensitive. Diana, on the other hand, had triumphed. She had won the argument. Her day had been good. If she had to rank it out of 100%, it would have been a 99.5%.
She danced her way to the kitchen. She had loved dancing when she was a kid, just like her mom. The two of them had danced and danced and danced until they fell flat on the floor laughing. This memory put a sad smile on her face but then she remembered that she could still be a child if she wanted to. She could see herself running round and round the mansion again and again, going crazy and not thinking about rules of etiquette. She was being a kid, a real kid, and it was so much fun. Those fun, happy, and memorable times were gone. Those times when her mother was alive and would hold her hand and put her to bed, were gone.
Sara, on the other hand, hated being a kid. She thought that it was better to be grown up and respected. She wanted everyone to look up to her, even though that isn’t the right way to think.
Diana was invited to a big dinner party on Friday. She was so excited. She picked out a beautiful gown, did her hair, and was ready to go. The bell rang and Diana rushed to the door, knowing that it was Bell because they were going to the party together. They shivered in excitement. When they reached the house, they rang the doorbell and were escorted inside. Their friend greeted them with big hugs. They returned them warmly.
The party went smoothly. There was food, drinks, and dancing. After the party, Diana was so tired that she almost fell asleep in the car. The moment her head touched her pillow, she was fast asleep.
Sara had also gone out that night, but she didn’t go anywhere interesting. She just watered her plants. She used to love gardening but she had long since forgotten. Now, it seemed like a chore even though her flowers were pretty.
Her back ached as she bent down. She was suddenly hit with all of her good memories. She could remember her childhood with Diana, her friends, and Diana’s friend – what was her name? – Bell. The three of them would have fun picking flowers from the gardens, dressing up, and posing for silly pictures. Tears welled in her eyes as she thought of those things. Then, suddenly, a memory from the day before her mother’s death popped into her head. Bell’s sister had come to her and swore to be her best friend forever. She’d introduced herself as Beth and had put her arm around Sara when her mother had fallen asleep for the last time. She had discussed her plans to run away with Sara but had actually left sooner than Sara had expected.
Before she realized what she was doing, she ran to Bell’s house and rang the bell.
Beth opened the door. Sara threw her arms around her friend. Bell was not surprised. She knew that Sara and Beth had been close – she had been close to Sara herself – and Diana was the only one who didn’t know Beth. Bell would tell Diana when the time was right, but the time was not now.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Dreading who it was, Bell opened the door. It was Diana.
“I-I’m sorry, Di,” said Bell. “I know I should have um … told you about this earlier. I hope you’re not mad.”
Diana’s frown turned into a smile. She burst into laughter.
“You expected me to be mad at you? You should have told me.”
“Oh, Beth didn’t want me to,” said Bell.
Sara, who was in the background, got a scared look on her face when Diana’s gaze fell on her.
“I know we haven’t been the best of friends but, this time, I’ll be better if you will,” Diana said.
“Of course I will,” Sara replied.
After ten minutes, Beth had been fully introduced to Diana.
Now, we shall come to an end. A happy ending, of course. The girls later called themselves the Fantastic Four, went on crazy adventures, and lived happily ever after.