Friday, May 3, 2013

Chapter 25: Set Up

I'm standing in front of my mirror getting ready for my stupid date with Marcus. I'm not trying too hard to look glamorous, rather just put together. I'm nervous for how the date could go because I don't know how he will react. I don't even know if Mother was telling me the truth when she said Marcus missed me, or if she's involved in some conspiracy with Marcus' mother. Avec des Glacons is a black tie only restaurant, so I chose a cocktail dress for the occasion.


I hear the annoying sing song tone Mother gets in her voice when she's excited about matchmaking getting closer to me. Ugh.

"Darling, are you really going to wear those shoes? You should opt for heels. Put some eye shadow on! I can't believe you haven't even done your hair yet!"

"Mother, I'm done with my hair."

"Nonsense, Verona. It's all over the place. Here, let me help you with it. I'll make it into a more acceptable updo."

Fine. Whatever. Mother takes my hair and wraps it into an uppity hair do which I hate, sprays me with entirely too much hair spray, and slaps some dark eye shadow on my eyelids. I am insanely irritated, but I decide that for tonight, she can have her own way. I don't need to get myself more riled up than I already am. However, this does not prevent me from rolling my eyes and giving her some attitude.

I make my way out of the bathroom, and Mother is right on me, as if she's afraid I'm going to trip and fall or something and suddenly become disheveled on the way to my room to pick different shoes. I find a pair of red pumps and slip them on.

"There, Verona, isn't that better? Those flat hippie sandals you were wearing are not suitable for a date like this."

"Mother, those are gladiator sandals and I love them. You make it sound like I'm going to my wedding."

"Well... I hope something becomes of this with Marcus! Oh, honey, I'm so excited for you!"

Mother claps her hands like an idiot and I close my eyes, picturing Camo's smiling face in my head so I don't scream.

Camo and Titanium stand in front of the Announcement Desk as The Leader smiles at them.

"I'm very proud of you boys. You've gotten jobs yet you have been attending all of your classes. I'm glad you have mastered the art of time management. I'm arranging a retreat to Egypt next week for some of the more obedient residents, and I'd like to add you boys to the list if you're interested. There will be lots of relaxation involved, so you can cleanse your souls and take a break from daily life. Do you want to come?"

Camo scratches his head and looks at Titanium. A retreat sounds like fun and so does a break from daily life. Titanium shrugs his shoulders. It doesn't seem like a terrible idea to him, certainly not one of the worst things they've been subjected to while living here. Finally, they decide.

"Sure, Mr. Leader, sir. We'll go."

"She's almost ready, Marcus. Thank you for waiting."

"You're welcome, Mrs. Balestrom. Verona is definitely worth waiting for. I am pleased that she finally agreed to go out with me."

I come out of the restroom to see Marcus and Mother engaged in a conversation. He looks happy. Just my luck, he's probably got the same personality as Mother. I had hoped in a dark corner of my mind, that he was miserable with this matchmaking stuff. His expression makes him look as if he likes it. Don't judge, Verona. He could just be putting up a front so Mother doesn't tell his mother that he 'behaved rudely.'

Marcus suddenly turns to me.

"Verona. You are stunning tonight."

"Thank you, Marcus. You look very nice too."

Mother looks like she's constipated and I don't know why she'd think I'd say something rude to Marcus. I hate how she always thinks I'm going to do the worst.

"Are you ready to go, Verona?"


At Avec des Glacons, we are seated at a table by the window. We sit there awkwardly because I don't really want to be there, and I don't know why Marcus is being awkward. I've ordered the Shrimp Ceviche, Grilled Lemon Salmon, and Raspberry Cheesecake. I get annoyed in my head when Marcus orders champagne for us. Why the fuck does he need champagne?

"Thank you for coming on this date with me, Verona."

"You're welcome Marcus. How have you been?"

I ask him a polite question even though I could care less how he's been. I really wish he would just let me go because I'm not interested. Hopefully there's a good time for me to tell him that.

"Honestly, not good. I'd been hoping we could go on this date earlier, and I've been missing you quite a lot."

Perfect. A time for me to tell him. Our food comes and the champagne is poured. I need to be blunt, but not cruel.

"Marcus, I'm seeing someone."

"Is that why you didn't want to schedule a date with me when I came over?"

"No, I wasn't seeing him then. The reason I didn't want to schedule a date is because I don't have feelings for you. I'm sorry."

"Oh. I see. What is it about him?"

"There's just a spark. I can't describe it other than instant chemistry."

"You mean lust."

So that's how you want to play, is it, Marcus? It seems like he doesn't believe in that kind of stuff, feelings, chemistry, connections. No I don't mean lust, you pompous asshole with your hair all plastered to your head.

"No. I don't. I mean feelings. I have feelings for him."

"What university does he go to?"

"He's not going to any university."

I am starting to get really fed up with Marcus, but I know dinner is nowhere near over. This restaurant does three course meals and we're only on course two. I stare into my salmon, eating a large chunk I've slathered in the lemon sauce. At least I can take pleasure in my dinner because it is delicious.

"What does he do then, if he's not attending?"

"He works with me at the bookstore."

Marcus laughs once, an obnoxious I'm better than him laugh and I want to do the soap opera move where the girl throws her drink in the man's face and walks away.

"What's so funny, Marcus?"

"He'll never be able to provide for you properly with a job at the bookstore."

"What makes you think I need to be provided for? I'm perfectly capable of providing for myself. I am a Balestrom, remember? That name is powerful in this town."

"Yes, true, which makes me a better match for you. My family name is powerful too and we could rule the town together."

Rule the town? What does he think this is? Feudal England where people rule the land? He's delusional. I don't even know what to say so I chug some champagne. Suddenly I'm grateful that he ordered it.

"Verona, you really should watch your alcohol intake."

"I'm sorry, Marcus, but I don't want to date you. I don't mean to be rude, but I don't see a future for us, even if we could rule the town together."

"I think I'll let your little fling play out and then call on you again. We're a good match, darling."

My blood boils as he refers to my Camo as a fling, the boy who I cried over when I thought he had left me, the boy who made me think of the word forever for the first time in my life. I grit my teeth and picture myself leaping across the table and punching that smug smile off the son of a bitch's face. After I've calmed down some, I ask him to pour some more champagne.

"We're celebrating, Verona. Celebrating a match made in heaven. That's why I ordered the champagne."

I didn't ask you why you ordered the champagne, you jackass. I just wanted more because you're making me angry. Dessert arrives and I am comforted slightly in the fact that this night is a few steps closer to being over. My raspberry cheesecake is amazing. I've stopped talking to Marcus because he hasn't asked me any more questions and he's obviously not understanding English. How much clearer can I be other than 'I don't want to date you?'

We eat our dessert in silence. I'm not sure why Marcus is so silent. Maybe he thinks he defeated me or something. After I finish my cheesecake, I chug my second glass of champagne. Marcus rolls his eyes at me for drinking. Some boys would find the chugging sexy, you prude. I'm so convinced he's not my type of guy since he talks the exact same way as my mother. Ugh. We wait patiently for the bill and I stare out the window at the cars. Marcus pays and we get up to leave. As he pulls up to the front gate of my house, he leans close to me and I lean as far away from him as possible.

"Hmm.. no good night kiss, darling?"

"No, Marcus. Sorry. Not now. Not ever. I thank you for the dinner, but please don't call me again."

As I get out of the car, I hear Marcus say, "I'll be waiting for you, Verona. I know you'll call on me when he dumps you."

I keep walking straight ahead towards the gate even though what I really want to do is punch Marcus in the face. When I get inside the house, Mother is waiting for me in the foyer with a stupid grin on her face. I can't say I'm surprised because she's been acting like Marcus is my soul mate.

"Verona, darling? Why the long face?"

"Why do you think, Mother? I don't like Marcus. I told you that the first time you brought him here."

"Did you not have a good time?"

Is she kidding me right now? Did I have a good time? On a date with a boy I just told her I don't like. Um, let me think... yeah, of course. I love hanging out with people I don't like. It's great.

"No, I did not. He disrespected me the entire night. I would have thought a little propriety was the norm among those of our status, Mother."

"He behaved improperly? How?"

"Well, he told me that I would not be able to provide for myself if I didn't end up with someone in a high class position. I am perfectly capable of providing for myself, and I felt insulted."

"Oh, thank heavens. When you said improper, I thought you meant he manhandled you."

Once again, Mother is not listening to the words coming out of my mouth. I close my eyes and try my hardest not to scream or punch a hole in the wall. Behind me, I hear a doorknob turn and click as it opens. I hope it's someone I want to see because I could really use some good news right now.


  1. Oh my. Verona can really really consider herself lucky that her father has a different view on things as her mother...
    and that date went splendid, don´t you think darling *rofl*

    1. LMAO, yes that date was the best date in the history of the world. Hhahaha. She is very lucky she has an awesome father, otherwise she would be sold off to Marcus like sheep.

  2. I'll take on mom if Verona wants to deck Marcus--or vise versa. As long as I get to punch one of them in the nose for being so snobby and judgmental. LOL! Great chapter!!

    1. Hi! Thank you! Haha, yeah, I'm sure Verona would appreciate your help so she doesn't have to beat up two people at once. She'd be pretty tired. LMAO. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

  3. Marcus is such a tool. I mean really, what a jackass. And poor Verona had to sit at the same table with him for the whole meal. Bleh.

    So, Egypt, huh? That should be interesting. I wonder if the Leader knows more than he's letting on, and is trying to separate Camo and Titanium from the 'strangers' and lives they've been having out in the real world.

    1. Marcus is a jackass. A very backwards thinking jackass. He thinks his family name makes him better than people, which is the very thing Verona loathes in a man. She doesn't mind being high class, but she hates it when attitudes come and spoil everything. That's why she tends to date people that aren't high class because they're usually more fun.

      Yes, Egypt. It's partly cause Camo rolled a wish to go there and it's the one WA city I haven't played yet. The Leader's always trying to separate his residents from the real world, even if he doesn't know about all the details of the rules Camo and Titanium have been breaking. He lets people get jobs so they can't claim he's for lack of a better word, sheltering them, but he's still a control freak, so he wants to make sure they're not 'too involved' in the real world by taking them away from it occasionally. He's being a manipulative jerk.

  4. Marcus is... ugh! He's worse than Rick! Talk about not letting it go and giving up! You dickhead she TOLD you she ain't interested now get that through your slimy skull before she has to go and pound some sense into that weak jaw of yours! (yes, my head was just snaking around as I typed that)
    *takes a deep breath similar to what Verona was doing all evening*
    Okay, the deep breath ain't working real good right now. I'm all kinds of riled up, and my son is Laughing at me. I think he needs to go clean his room now.
    ('you mean you read other people's stories? That's weird.' -- um, wth. I like reading.) (maybe he was being facetious)

    In other news, I'm very untrusting (duh) of Mr. Leader, sir. He's up to something.

    You wouldn't believe the number of typos I had to go and correct.

    1. I love your reaction! I was getting all riled up writing it, cause I tried to think of the worst person in the universe, besides Rick, LMAO. Marcus is the worst kind of confident, like a know-it-all who won't just accept that the world doesn't only work in one way. Closed minded for sure. I was getting really annoyed when I wrote that part about university because I hate it when people do that, as if only those who go to university are worth something. *clenches fists* I think with all the people here, Marcus would end up crumpled on the floor, everyone including me wants to punch him.
      Hmm... did your son think that you only wrote stories?
      The Leader's a stupid jackass. He lets his residents go get jobs in the real world, but then he lures them into some vacation type stuff to separate them from the real world. He's hoping to keep the illusion going that the residents have control of their lives when they really don't.

  5. Verona's mom is a piece of work, she is so snobby, but you describe her so well. LOL Marcus is an a-hole too. What a pompous prick! I did laugh when you described the mother as having a constipated look on her face. That was great!

    1. Thank you! Verona's mom has her head up her ass. She's so brainwashed about social status, it's making her look delusional. Marcus is also delusional, he thinks his family name entitles him to stuff, what a jerk. LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. Marcus really is a jerk. It's one of those snobby rich people things that annoys me: you have money, but you aren't allowed to stick your nose up at everyone else's idea of happiness or love or whatever. *sighs* He dies seem like the type of man Kayla would be gunning for as a future husband candidate for Verona…poor her!

  7. *he does seem, not dies

    And I'm interested to see how the Egypt trip will play out. I feel kinda guilty for not commenting in awhile, lol! :) I'm trying to catch up.

    1. Hi! :) Just FYI, I reply to comments on older chapters too, so if you ever feel you want to comment on an old one, I'll check it.

      Marcus is a jerk. He thinks he's better than everyone because of his family name. He has an attitude that makes me want to throw things. Haha. Yes, the Egypt trip... hehe.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    2. I'll keep that in mind. I tend not to comment on posts if they're older because they're *obviously* older :)

    3. Haha yeah! I still have people starting the baby challenge one even though I started writing it in January and I still reply. :) I always appreciate readers, no matter how behind they are and if they comment on older stuff, it's new to them! :) Plus I like talking to people who read my stuff. It's ultimately the readers who keep the story going, and I really, really appreciate readers.

  8. Omg Marcus, gtf outta here man. SHE. DOESN'T. WANT. YOU! Ugh! What an asshole. When you first introduced him, I thought he was going to be this timid little cute thing that Verona would just turn down, but now that he turned out to be quite the ass, I hope Verona gets a chance to punch him in the face like she wanted to.. Hahaha!
    Ugh, and her mother?? Get the hell off of Verona's ass! Jeeez!
    YAY. CHARLESSSS!! *spaces out*

    1. Marcus has so much earwax in his stupid head that he's apparently deaf. LOL. He's such an ass because he thinks he's so much better than everyone. I hate that attitude with a passion. LMAO. Charles... *hmm...* Oh, right, I was typing. Her mother needs something to kick her in the head and knock some sense into her.

  9. YAY! camo to the rescue maybe ? :D

    1. Heehee. Haha, I just got a funny picture in my head of Camo rushing in with a cape. ROFL.

  10. Verona handled this aweful date well, Marcus being so dumb! A fancy University degree... HAHA!
    I find it interesting how different Verona's parents are and despite of this love each other so much. Verona's dad is the best, please let him send her on a vacation to Egypt ;-)

    1. Marcus thinks he's all fancy. Haha, he's used to getting what he wants all the time, a spoiled brat. Verona's parents have been through a lot together, and sometimes you fall in love with the people you never thought you would.

  11. Egypt is far from Verona and Absolon. Hmmm....
    Dumb Mother. Dumb Marcus. Thank goodness her Dad walked in.

    1. Yeah, Egypt is far away, The Leader is hoping to take them far so they can be more sucked into his cult. He's rewarding them and hoping they take the bait.
      Verona's dad came in at the perfect time. Marcus is a pompous douchebag and Mother is a big bitch.

  12. Verona's mother was so controlling in this chapter, I mean sure she's pretty controlling in general but she was talking about how she dressed and the way she looked....Like really? That's your daughter, you should think she's beautiful all the time.
    "Those flat hippie sandals" I'm slightly offended by that lol. Some women like being comfortable and casual...

    Wow the leader really caught me off guard with that whole retreat invite, I thought he was going to be ripping their guts out for breaking the curfew...I'm paranoid for them and I'm not even in their position right now lol.

    "I am pleased that she finally agreed to go out with me." Lol he had no idea.

    "No I don't mean lust, you pompous asshole with your hair all plastered to your head." Damn Verona, was really verbally assaulting him in her head there :P

    Marcus really was snotty...Who does he think he is to ask questions about Camo? And why does he think he can just make assumptions and predict someones future...Yeah, Marcus she doesn't want you...GET OVER YOURSELF lol.

    Hopefully her dad will talk some sense into her mom because clearly she wasn't listening to anything Verona had to say here.

    1. Yeah Kalya was meddlesome to the extreme in this chapter. It's her "area" she feels, when Verona goes on a date, it's as important to her as it was back in the day when you would have a meeting with the king or something. It's not so much that Kalya didn't think Verona was pretty, she just wanted to "have everything be perfect" meaning done her way, not Verona's. ROFL, I think you should be slightly offended by that, cause I was too LOL, I like high heels, but I also like gladiator sandals. Verona's had pretty rhinestones on them too, so they would have been dressy enough for Avec de Glacon.

      Who says The Leader knows they broke curfew? >:D

      LOL, Marcus is a clueless jackass. XD Marcus hit a nerve when he said Verona couldn't possibly feel real feelings for Camo, so she was not happy, hence the really mean thought in her head. He thinks he's the shit, actually, LOL, he's got status, and money, which are the only things that he thinks matters to women. Since Camo has a lower status, and less money, he felt like he had the right to lord over him.

      Here's hoping, Kalya's in Crazy Land right now, Charles is going to have to work a fuckin' miracle. LOL.


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