Author: love-fool PM
She played a masquerade, trying to hide from the pain deep within. Unfortunately sooner or later, the pain comes out and your costume is torn to bits. A Manny song ficRated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Manny S. - Words: 2,906 - Reviews: 8 - Published: 12-18-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1646445
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
[Disclaimer: I do not own Degrassi: The Next Generation or Evanescence's "Hello".]
[A/N: This story takes place in an alternate universe after "Should I Stay or Should I go?". Any episodes that followed that did not happen in my little alternate universe I have created for the sake of this story.]
Playground school bell
Rain clouds come to play again
The glitz and glamour of it all was enough to make a girl go immensely nutty. It was everything that Manny Santos could have wanted. All of the stares and catcalls were an absolute confidence boost and just inflated the balloon known as her ego. All of this power and attention just seemed to ooze out of everyone's eyes and shower Manny. The way that her hair was no longer in those incredibly childish and adorable hairstyles made her envied by the girls who looked like their hair had been hacked off with a saw. The way her make-up was oh so heavily painted on, as well it being painted on flawlessly was just beautiful. All of the beauty that seemed to just creep out of every pore of her foundation caked face gave her an immense confidence boost. But it all seemed to be a disguise that the real Manny was currently wearing. Even though she looked much more mature, it was as if a young child was playing dress up with her mother's clothing. As with any child masquerading as an adult, there would be some imperfection that would show. Perhaps the dead giveaway would be how the crimson red lipstick would have slid onto their pearly whites.
The imperfection for Manny was something simple and obvious. Even when Sully would wrap an arm around her waist and they'd parade down the hallway with the rest of their posse, Manny felt like something was missing. That something was always attached to Ashley Kerwin like Velcro. That something was a person. That person had a name. The name was Craig Manning.
Has no one told
you she's not breathing?
Hello I'm your mind giving you someone to talk to
This look of void would blast through Manny's brown eyes as she watched them stride down the hallway together. There was this vibe that would bounce off Craig and Ashley and into Manny's head. That bouncing vibe would flicker off the little voice inside Manny's brain.
"You're not good enough for Craig. Look at him…with Ashley. She dresses so weird and it covers her body. Craig needs a body. He needs to feel love. You can give him that love, Manny. Remember that red tube top and black hip huggers you saw at the mall? Wear those and Craig will want your body. He needs love. Show him your love you have for him. And after that, he'll love you. Craig doesn't need Ashley. Craig needs you. He had you once and he wants more. Can't you see?"
If only Craig were like a malnourished dog scrapping around for a tasty morsel of meat. But don't tell that to Manny. These voices buzzing around through her head and opening up the factory of ideas to get Craig was a sliver of hope for her. Craig didn't seem to like the old Manny, so maybe he'd like the new one.
Craig didn't want someone adorable like a soft plush bunny. He wanted someone that was seductive and would fulfill his urges. Manny could be that person, since Ashley seemed to lack that utter quality of being molded into what Craig wanted. Manny could be that chameleon that would change her colors when necessary. What Craig wanted Manny to be, she'd be it. If he said, "Jump!" then she'd ask "How high?". The only thing that mattered was Craig. If Emma didn't like Manny's plans on how to get Craig, then she could be cast aside as if she were an old rag.
Besides, her plan seemed to be working. Manny had gotten the things that she had been high on in her deep slumbers. And that whole Sully angle was working beautifully as well. Guys want what they can't have. Manny wanted to be the forbidden fruit that hung over Craig's head, tempting him with its immense sweetness. It didn't matter that Craig had cut the forbidden fruit from the tree, damaging it to some degree. This just wasn't any crush. In fact, Manny's feelings for Craig were much more than a crush. It was more like an obsessive pining over him that controlled her life. While she was lost in her girlish fantasies involving marriage, love, and Craig, she scurried off towards the Jeremiah household.
The rain fell hard on Manny, causing her to shiver in her black crop top that displayed her slender stomach to everyone in the tri-state area. The rainfall caused her stonewash miniskirt to cling to her thin body as her curls became lifeless and soggy. There must have been some reasonable explanation for Craig not returning her calls. Maybe after the thunderstorm that had rolled across the sky over the weekend, the phone lines near his house toppled over, this then caused him to lose phone service! With this idea meandering through her mind, bumping into all of those other horrid thoughts that involved Craig not loving her, she hopped up the porch steps to his house in her platform sandals. Her manicured finger pressed against the doorbell, causing the sound to wander throughout the house and reaching Craig's room. Craig was the only one home at the time; Joey was out with his new girlfriend and Angela had gone off to some birthday party.
The door slowly creaked open, to reveal a rather surprised Craig. He never really expected to find a soaked Manny with that bright smile plastered on to her make-up engulfed face. This smile set off a chain of flashbacks that seemed to appear before his very eyes. The mistakes that he had made helped a flood of guilt drown him in the sea of idiocy and regret.
"Um," Craig shifted nervously, hoping that Manny would just disappear and this wrenching feeling of guilt in his stomach would wash away like dirt on skin. "Why didn't you bring an umbrella?"
Unfortunately, Manny couldn't figure out the jigsaw puzzle of Craig. In fact, she didn't know very much about him. All she knew was that he was utterly cute and really sweet. She also figured that he loved her, ever since the magical evening in the garage. He expressed love to her, so he must have loved her. But Manny was just a wanderer in a desert. There was an illusion that looked like a bright and wet oasis full of vegetation and life. Unfortunately upon attempting to make her "discovery", she ended up running head first into a cactus.
If I smile and
soon I know I'll wake from this dream
"I couldn't find one," Manny chirped in her sticky-sweet tone that everyone had become quite accustomed to hearing. The pure sugar and naivety of Manny's words seemed to turn into salt and rub into the guilty wounds on Craig's body. He wanted everything to stop. But nothing seemed to stop Manny, the love sick puppy on acid. There was some hallucination that she was living that Craig was in love with her. But it wasn't like that Craig wished her any harm or to be damned to hell. The fact of the matter was that, he did care for Manny, just not in a romantic way. Her happy girl persona made her seem like a little girl who had just received many dolls and candy for her birthday. You just didn't want to ruin the bliss trip she was riding on. It would be cruel, not to mention heart wrenching to watch the little girl bawl her eyes out.
After an awkward moment, Manny decided to break the silence, "So have you gotten my calls lately?"
A look of depression and guilt was plastered on Craig's face, trying not to feel the need to start playing a game of charades with Manny's heart. He didn't want to hurt her, it was unbearable. But then there was Ashley, the girl he actually loved. They had a connection much deeper than the one he had with Manny. Not that he didn't have a connection with her, he did. It was just flopping about in the wind on a clothes line as if it were some white shirt drying outside in the sunlight and breeze.
"Uh," Craig contemplated lying to her, but that would only twist the knife more, and cause her more pain. He didn't want to cause any unnecessary pain that she shouldn't feel. Maybe the fact that he did care for her made his stomach somersault at the thought of Manny having tears stream down her face. "Yes, I have."
"Oh," Manny's curiosity perked up. "Why haven't you called me back? Are you grounded off the phone or something?" She cast him a slight smile as she stared into his eyes, trying to search for the look of love locked deep within his eyes.
"No," He choked out while he felt as though he was just going to ooze into a puddle of a scummy and sleazy teenager and slowly drip into the street gutters. "Joey's girlfriend has been calling a lot." Fortunately, that was the truth. "I haven't been able to get to the phone, plus I've been writing my paper for Kwan about…communism."
Manny's megawatt smile dropped a few millimeters as she let out a sigh, "Oh. Yeah, I understand. But I…didn't know you were busy. I'm sorry if I bothered you, communism seems like a hard term paper topic."
If only Craig could just come out and say why he was avoiding the subject that would crush her hope of him loving her. He wanted to whip her out of the candy coated lullaby she was a part of. That would just be deepening the wounds while sprinkling salt allover them, causing a deep burning sensation that would help tears condense in Manny's eyes. No, he couldn't do that. He couldn't live with himself. Oh god, then there was always Ashley. How would Ashley react if she found out about his little escapade with Manny? A tornado would rip everything he had built with Ashley right off the foundation and vaporize it.
"Listen, Manny," He
started attempting to break it easy to her, though that seemed near impossible.
After all they had been through, this was how it ended. In this case, all that
was well didn't end well. Manny would probably be devastated. He caught her
lost and empty eyes boring into him and trying to fill themselves with sparkly
fantasies that involved him.
He never got to finish the phrase he had began and drifted away from. Instead of his lips moving about and creating sounds with the help of his tongue, his lips were currently being pressed by Manny's. He could taste the remnants of strawberry lip gloss dancing about on his lips, triggering more flashbacks flickering in his mind. They were so strong that he could almost feel Manny's delicate hands strolling about on his body, trying to strip him off his clothes and love for Ashley. Within her hands, scratch that, entire body was this immense hope trickling throughout. Her body was always drunk off of this hope and could never be sober. Every touch of hers was pulling him away from Ashley.
He slowly detached her suctioning lips from his and looked her square in the eye, "Manny, this is really hard for me to say." He gulped before continuing, trying to sink into another world where none of this had happened. Better yet, a world where he hadn't had been born. "I'm sorry for everything, leading you on and what not. It's just that…I lied to you. I don't…"
Don't try to fix
me I'm not broken
hello I'm the lie living for you so you can hide
Manny could almost imagine Craig's words uttering from his lips that were now strawberry flavored because of her lip gloss. Her dream seemed to shatter into little pieces that made it impossible for her to be able to reconstruct it. The pain and the hurt she felt right now was overwhelming. All of this had been dropped on her like a large piano. Now she was smothered and hurting.
"You don't love me," Manny whispered tearfully. She felt so dirty. All she was to anyone was some piece of eye candy that would provide a short burst of satisfaction and nothing else. There was no commitment, just short flings and flavors dancing upon your tongue. "You….I can't believe you!" Tears soaked her words, making it impossible for her to talk. All you could hear was her sniffling hanging in the air causing Craig's stomach to wrench and guilt to diffuse throughout his body. At least now he wasn't pouring salt allover her open wounds. Now he was just letting them be, exposing them to the air and letting her put the band aids and hydrogen peroxide on them.
Her plan was
completely up in smoke. But she had to have Craig! He…they…oh
god. Manny felt the anger boil up inside her crock pot of emotions. It
was hard to differentiate them from another, since they all blended together in
one stew. All of her lullabies that she had sang to herself trying to brew up
the hope that Craig loved her were crashing down from the night sky. This
disguise of this seducer that she had imagined Craig wanting would no longer
work. She had painted herself up for him and he didn't admire her for her true
beauty. That seemed damn near impossible, especially with her fake and glitzy
masquerade party where she was the only one attending. She wanted to wash
herself away, not just the new Manny but the old one as well. As far as she
knew, she had no identity. Manny was silently screaming and crying for someone
to help her along the path to find herself. Everyone had misguided her and
threw her in different directions. They all wanted her to be cast in a mold
that would benefit them. There was no true Manny. She was currently being tossed
aside by her parents, Emma, Craig, and all of the other people in her life.
Without another word, she stormed down the patio steps as they rain dances across her bare skin that was being exposed by her revealing clothing. Rain water danced across her cheeks as they mixed with tears and eye make-up. This odd mixture charged down her face like an unstoppable rebel force trying to go past enemy lines. The cold water caused shivers to run up and down her spine, which then resulted in Manny clutching herself in an attempt to keep the warmth inside her body. This was deemed an impossible task as the world gazed upon her bare flesh showing. She felt bare and invisible. Manny wanted to be noticed, but she had no identity. It didn't seem as though you could be singled out when you were just another face blending into the crowd.
Suddenly I know
I'm not sleeping
hello I'm still here
all that's left of yesterday
Paying absolutely no attention to where she was
going, her small body rammed into a rather lanky and blonde body. She looked up and
saw a familiar rain stained face look down at her. That's what everyone was
doing, looking down at poor invisible Manny Santos.
"Manny," Emma asked as she looked at Manny, concern washing over her.
"Are you okay?"
Manny shook her head while spitting out a rather tearful, "No. I'm not."
"I don't want to sound motherly, but you'll catch a cold in those
clothes," Emma pointed out in her know-it-all fashion.
"I know," Manny chimed dismally. "I'm sorry, Emma." Manny flung her arms around a rather surprised Emma, who had no clue what to do. It was nice that Manny was apologizing for being a materialistic wannabe but there seemed to be so much more underneath that, some kind of embedded problem that was lodged deep within. It was almost weird how Manny came crawling back in her times of need.
As the rain continued to pour down on the two friends, Manny knew that she had to come out of hiding and find herself. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to be an easy task. Once one gets accustomed to hiding, it's hard to stop.