The Truth Of It All
Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the workings of W.I.T.C.H. -- I leave that honor up to Elisabetta Gnone. Nor do I own the movie, "The Truth About Cats & Dogs," which had been written by the very talented Audrey Wells and directed by Michael Lehmann (and then distributed by 20th Century Fox). However, I can and DO claim to own this story and its inspired ideas FROM said series and movie.
Note: I can't believe that a lot of you, it seems, have never seen the movie this story's based upon. Since I'm so in love with it, it's hard for me to comprehend. LoL But seriously, both versions (movie and book) are very good. Anyway! Thanks to those who've read the teaser, reviewed and seemed to like it. I truly appreciate it! I honestly might try to write out the whole story and complete it before I post more chapters, but before that I might also just post a handful of chapters to actually get more of you pulled into the developing stories. Sounds good? Sweet. LoL Anyway, I doubt this will be "magic related" this story and just pure romance and antics and craziness like what went on in the movie, but I'd still implemented at least one of Will's established "gifts" that she has. And will use one of Cornelia's slight "powers," as well. Also, I've decided to call Will "Mina" instead in this story, and make Matt her older brother. Just go with it. LoL
This chapter was created/written in November 2007.
It was another bright, sunny and flawlessly gorgeous day within the exquisite city of Los Angeles, and within the currently early hours of the new morning, already were the roads bustling with traffic for the daily commute to work for the city's adult inhabitants.
Of course, this was one of the many familiar sights to behold for the majority of the L.A. residents, including one young woman by the name of Dr. Wilhelmina Vandom -- Or "Mina," as her fellow colleagues and some friends would refer to her by.
And since the sight of witnessing so many frustrated and increasingly irate drivers had grown so familiar to the young the twenty-three-year-old veterinarian on a regular basis, Mina had smartly opted to simply walk to her particular workplace each day, instead -- Which thankfully took little to no time at all to do, being that her apartment building was only around fifteen minutes away . . . twenty-five minutes tops, depending upon whether or not Mina would decide to stop along the way and purchase a cup of vanilla hazelnut gourmet coffee within her favorite (and very cozy) "Street Corner Café" (despite the fact that she could have just as easily made some coffee, herself, back at her apartment to save both time and money).
Or, if she'd happen to encounter her own form of unwanted assemblage along the way, courtesy of random, happy-go-lucky Rollerbladers enjoying a morning leisurely skate, or clusters of elderly individuals both walking and talking as though not possessing a care within the world.
Regardless, such occurrences were never all that much of a bother for Mina. In fact, not a whole lot was for her, as her life was on pretty good standing to being nearly perfect -- For her personal standards, anyhow. After all, at such a young age, she was already a completely qualified (and not to mention), successful veterinarian, having received high marks and distinct honors from the veterinary college she'd attended (and even throughout most of the country) due to her "utterly profound, almost eerie understanding of animal behavior and anatomy," as one of her former professors had once put it.
Mina, although proud of her hard work and fast paced accomplishments, had always felt a tad guilt ridden for them, as well. For, as greatly intelligent and gifted within the field of science as she was, she had also been granted a helping hand. A gift, really . . . one that she had always possessed for as long as she could remember, however could never truly understood how or why: Her astounding connection to animals.
A peculiar, yet endearing endowment that always, without fail, enabled Mina to immediately understand and even feel, in an empathetic sort of way, whatever the particular animal she was in contact or dealing with would be feeling (and even more curiously, they seemed to relate to whatever Mina, herself, might be emotionally experiencing at times).
And so, coupling this odd, mystifying ability with her studying dedication and natural scientific prowess, Mina had been able to catapult her way straight through to the end of her scholastic journey as a veterinary student at an alarming rate, drastically slicing the years required to complete the process by more than half as a result.
Yet . . . as amazing this feat had been, enough to rightfully classify her as a "wondrous genius and phenomenon," Mina truthfully did not agree nor perceive herself within the same prestigious light. To her, she was merely an ordinary person with an extraordinary penchant that she was only thankful enough to be able to utilize in order to help so many various animals (and, by extension, the people who owned them).
A bit ironic, however, given that the only real time that Mina actually spent within an animal hospital was during every other weekend, something that truthfully would always boggle her mother, Susan's mind.
"You have such immense talent, honey! Why don't you finally take on a full time job at the Sunrise Animal Hospital?" was what she would habitually query whenever the two would converse over the telephone (or whenever Mina would travel back to Heather field, Maine, where she'd grown up with her singer/guitarist older brother, Matt and their mother, an area where she continued to reside with her new, far more loving husband than her previous, Dean Collins).
Mina never paid much mind to such inquiries or was very bothered by them, as she was aware that it was merely a concerned mother voicing her sentiments. It was certainly a good thing that she had Matt on her side, regardless, to help lull their mother's worries from time to time, being that he still resided on the East Coast and could visit Susan more than Mina could (which she would also find a bit ironic, as well, that her mother would seem to fret more over her youngest child's well being and future more than she would her eldest, whose band had only just begun touring for the very first time in the three years that they'd been together).
But even if her mother's continued desire for her daughter to work full time at any animal hospital, period, ever did upset Mina, it wouldn't have mattered in the slightest in the end. Because while it was rather gratifying to extend her assistance and expertise at Sunrise during those weekends, Mina received far more satisfaction with her full time job as a host for her radio talk show called "The Truth About Cats and Dogs."
In this way, she was able to help not only one individual, but millions upon millions at one time, while simultaneously better educating them upon the proper care and understanding of their pets.
And she was damned good at it, based upon the mountains of fan mail, e-mails and syndication offers she had frequently received in the last year and a half she'd been working at the station.
It was still a shame, though, that Mina's horribly crippling shyness and desperately low self confidence regularly threatened to wash all of her professional glory down the drain. . . .
Her inability to shake the morphed perception that she was perhaps viewed by others around her as unappealing was the ultimate chink in the chain of the twenty-three-year old gentlewoman's overall composition -- Her cross to bear, as she felt it to be.
And to her mother, brother and most of her friends back home in Maine, this notion was positively absurd, of course. For truth be told, at five foot seven inches tall, with a naturally tanned, fairly athletic physique (courtesy of her active persona, with swimming as the main culprit, as it were), Mina was more than merely "pretty."
Her simple, yet elegant Bob hairstyle, with its full shock of radiant red hair made her look absolutely stunning. Even her warm and inviting chocolate colored eyes and fantastic smile were quite mesmerizing within their own right.
To Mina, however, none of those painfully obvious traits existed. Only an appearance worthy of obscurity was constantly present before her whenever she would gaze at herself within the mirror every night before bed and then every morning before work.
And sadly, due to living within a predominantly superficial world, no amount of reassurance from loved ones nor her grand success would ever be able to change those negative feelings for her, it seemed. . . .
So caught up within her random musings, Mina hadn't even realized that she was already approaching her destination. Adjusting and holding onto the strap of her Rawhide faux leather book bag with one hand (that she normally brought to work with her and usually used instead of a purse), Mina was about to reach out to pull open the two familiar clear glass doors of the building to enter when a tall, rather fetching, brown suited young man with a briefcase in hand suddenly rushed forward to open them for her.
That is, so she had thought for mere moments, before catching sight of three women who were also about to enter, as well. All of them were lithe and profusely beautiful, with long, flowing hair gently caressing each of their own three-piece skirted suits.
I should have known, thought Mina with a mixture of faint bitterness as well as a contrasting surplus of lighthearted humor to the spectacle. Said humor had then caused a smile of disbelief to rush forth and brand itself upon her creamy complexion after finally entering the building once the trio of walking beauty had done so for themselves, and the chivalrous young man had apparently filled his quota for the day as he did not continue to hold open the door for Mina, herself.
As daunting as that act might have been for others, it was actually refreshing to Mina, as it only further proved her point that there was absolutely zero reason or cause for her to ever modify her own personal opinion about her physical appearance.
Just another day in the life of 'Forever Single and Lonely' for me, she mused with little to no emotion upon the matter, so used to mulling such thoughts over and over within her head in the past, after all.
And as though to capitalize upon her point and steady emotional solitude, as Mina was walking towards the row of elevators housed within the lobby and began to rush towards one that was closing and packed with the very same cluster of "Beautiful People" from seconds before, she could hear the suited gentleman verbalize with much disdain, "Oh, great. . . ."
He was forced to reopen the formerly closed elevator doors to admit Mina inside with him and the rest of his ascetically pleasing female counterparts.
Choosing to give a momentary glance of umbrage as her only honest comeback, Mina then gave a tight, small and false smile of appreciation and said, "Thaannkks," stretching out the gratuitous word as a way to illustrate her contradicting displeasure to the man's rudeness.
I'm certainly off to a great start today, she thought to herself as she squeezed her way into the crowded elevator and managed to fit in the very back after hitting the fourth floor button. It's too bad that, instead of my empathetic talents, I wasn't endowed with the ability to turn the animals I help into "Prince Charming"s or what have you, since they at least always relate well to me. Ah, well. At least I do still have my job to look forward to everyday. That's something . . . I suppose.
The sudden, although familiar "dinging" sound of the elevator wretched Mina from out of her slightly melancholy thoughts as the doors opened up to the fourth floor a minute later. A grand sign upon a wall directly across the elevator's remaining occupants read, in big and bold blue lettering: "98.2. KRWW TALK RADIO."
A small, genuine smile began to creep its way from the corners of Mina's rosy lips, before meeting at the middle as she briefly gazed upon the sign after exiting the elevator, and instantly all of her previously mounting feelings of negativity washed away from her body as the confidence she held solely within her profession replaced it.
"Show time," she murmured softly to herself as she passed the sign and continued on down the long, blue themed hall down to her studio, where she would begin another radio show session and do what she did best: helping people help their animals, and ultimately help themselves . . . since it was pretty obvious by now that Mina could not do so for her own self.
"Don't touch that dial! It's Dr. Mina Vandom, with 'The Truth About Cats and Dogs,' and you're on the air!" Mina expressed with the usual inviting exuberance as well as authority she would always each and every weekday she would be on the air.
It had been over half an hour into her one hour and fifteen minute show now, and she had succeeded in expertly aiding over ten random individuals or so, with various inquiries ranging from mundane to the most dire and urgent.
Regardless of the question, Mina was always at the top of her game and ready for whatever issue her listeners needed consultation upon.
Adjusting the large headphones upon her crimson hued head, Mina turned her head away from the erected microphone before her to clear her throat just as her latest caller began to speak.
"Yeah, hello??" asked the rather flamboyant, southern voice on the other end.
"Hi!" replied Mina after returning her head to the proper distance away from her microphone.
"Oh, hi! This is Charles, from San Pedro, and um . . . okay, my question is I'm worried about my Basset Hound, uh, Lucille? She doesn't wanna seem to eat!" revealed Charles, the newest caller, while Mina listened patiently before responding.
"Doesn't wanna eat. Well, you know what, Charles? Usually Basset Hounds don't wanna eat what they can't smell," the red haired veterinarian remarked, her mind already formulating a presumed (although generally accurate) diagnosis for the Southerner's canine. "Does she have a cold, by any chance?"
"Oh, she is coughing a little bit, yeah. . . ." replied Charles on the other end, his voice sounding a bit worrisome as well as recollective at this.
Mina nodded to herself, glad that her suspicions seemed to be right on. Still, just to be on the safe side before giving her medical advice on how to properly care for the man's discomforted dog, she continued on within her inquiries.
"Okay. Is it like a dry, wheezing, like. . . ." Mina paused a moment, lightly clasping her neck and leaning into the microphone a bit, as she then began to demonstrate a sound that mimicked her previous descriptions of what her caller's Basset Hound might have been making, itself. ". . . type of cough, or, is it like a wetter, phlegm-based cough?"
She looked up and smiled a bit at her colleagues, Mario and Eric, who were within the control room across from her and were lightly chuckling at her attempt at sound effects. Because both men were her friends as well as co-workers, this did not phase her. And even if the three of them were not on good terms with one another, she fleetingly reflected to herself of how it was a good thing that she was currently within her comfort zone at that moment, or else she would have found herself feeling exceedingly embarrassed as she normally did for most everything else (and thus would lose her train of thought and be unable to assist her latest caller).
Mina looked away from Mario and Eric (who both continued to smile at her), and looked up towards the studio room's ceiling, gently resting a delicate finger upon her cheek while awaiting for Charles to provide a firm answer.
". . . Um, it's like the first one. More like a wheezy one?" he responded into his phone receiver while Mina nodded again, a small, knowledgeable smile forming upon her face.
It was now time for the fun part of her continued diagnosis.
"Okay. Can you put her on?" Mina queried with a tiny smirk, knowing that both Charles as well as the rest of her listeners would find her request to be a bit odd. However, since she could not personally interface with the sick canine as she would have back at Sunrise Animal Hospital, this was the only way Mina could know for sure what precisely was ailing the poor animal based upon the sound it would make.
Of course, if I were Sunrise right now, I'd be able to know almost immediately what was truly the matter with her without even trying, because of what I can do, she reflected as an afterthought at the same time that she listened to Charles speak once more.
"The dog?? On the phone??" he answered Mina's question with another question, utter surprise riddled within his voice just as she had previously anticipated.
"Yeah," said Mina without missing a beat, her simper broadening.
Charles, himself, began to chuckle a tad as he, complying, remarked, "Heh! Okay! Lucille! C'mere, baby! C'mere! Okay! Ah, here she is, doctor!"
All three of them, Mina, Mario and Eric snickered softly to themselves in unison as they listened to the commotion between the caller and his afflicted dog, Lucille.
Composing herself, Mina listened carefully just as the dog, as though on cue, sneezed generously into Charles's phone receiver. This was all she needed to seal the deal, as it were, on her completed analysis on what she believed could be the matter with the Basset Hound.
"Ohhh, baby," she began, her heart going out to the man's pet while it continued to sneeze and cough into the phone on the other end. "Yeah, she's got a cold, Charles. You're gonna have to take her to the Vet."
Apparently this final diagnosis surprised Charles a bit, for he asked with ample surprise, "Right now??"
To which, before ending the conversation and wishing both the caller and his pet well as she traditionally did with all of her other callers, Mina promptly answered with confidence, "Right away."
It was nearing the end of her program, and Mina informed her listeners that she had just enough time for one more caller. And so, pressing one of the many control buttons lit up before her at her desk to take another man off hold (whom Mario, during the show's final commercial, as a head's up, had previously informed her from the control room that the man was experiencing some troubles with his cat) and put him on the air, Mina swallowed gently as she began to listen in for the final time that day.
"Yes, hello??" said the cat-owning unidentified man within a strange, garbled sort of voice that made Mina smirk a moment to focus upon.
"Hello?" she responded, her momentary smile fading as she once again went back into "professional mode" and awaited to hear the specific inquiry the man wished to discuss with her.
"Yes! Yes, my name is Dan . . . okay? And I have a cat . . . uh huh? And he licked up and down my face, and now I got this awful looking rash, see what I'm sayin'??" the last caller of the day known as Dan explained within his continually garbled, odd and almost clownlike sounding voice.
Unable to control yet another amused simper from forming upon her face while listening, Mina let it be as she nodded and remarked, "Right. You're allergic to his saliva, Dan."
Well that was simple enough, she thought to herself, her smile growing. Good thing, too, because I'm getting pretty hungry.
However, apparently Dan was not satisfied with Mina's quick solution of a response nor was he convinced, for he continued on with a rebuttal.
"No, no, no! I'm not! I mean, you know, I never have been . . . prior to this occasion is what I'm talkin' about," he stated, causing Mina to grin uncontrollably at the news and the man's amusing vocal tones.
"But, you're saying he licked your face, and now it's all gross, correct?" she pressed on, her smile broadening as she inclined her head a bit.
She could hear Dan pause for a moment on the other end, before answering reluctantly with a bit of distinct embarrassment.
". . . Well, yeah."
"Okay, how long did this tongue bath last?" she asked, her hunger becoming forgotten as her intrigue upon the current matter heightened and she tried to decipher what could possibly be the precise cause for the man's sudden facial flare up.
Suddenly, Mina could hear Dan thinking aloud to himself as he honestly and quite literally tried to calculate the exact length of time that his feline friend had decided to lap repeatedly at his face.
"Well, let's see. . . . Carry the one and . . . went to uh . . . and. . . ." Dan murmured to himself, both the slight incoherences and natural humor to his voice at last pushing Mina over the edge as she began to softly chuckle into the microphone while awaiting patiently for the man to answer.
Finally, Dan remarked, "I . . . about three hours?"
At this, Mina's face fell before scrunching up a bit and she looked towards Mario and Eric, who both looked at one another and grinned in disgust and surprise at the news as they too listened in on the call.
"Ohhh . . . Dan. . . ." was all Mina could manage at that moment, feeling both perplexed and astounded by her caller's admission.
"Well, no no! It doesn't seem to hurt 'em, and h-he licks the fur! An --"
"-- He's a fur-person, Dan! He chases imaginary bugs up the wall! You gonna do that, too??" Mina interrupted with a sigh, a renewed smile upon her face while a hint of sarcasm layered itself within her voice.
"Imaginary?? No!" replied Dan incredulously, resulting in Mina once more chuckling softly.
"Hah-hah! No! No," she said, shaking her head while both reiterating as well as agreeing with the man's response, before continuing on to address not only Dan but the rest of her listeners, as well. "Okay, this is a good time to talk about limits! You can love your pets . . . but just don't . . . love your pets, you know what I mean? Repeat after me: Us . . . them. . . . Us . . . them. . . . Us . . . them. . . ."
It was later on in the evening, and another typical night alone for Mina. After having made and eaten dinner before then washing up for bed, curling up on her couch with a good book and her black and white male cat, Baby Head, was how Mina would usually unwind until falling asleep while soft jazz music played within the background.
Because both the neighborhood and apartment complex was pretty respectable, certainly representable as well as safe, evenings were quiet, slow paced and uneventful. Which was why when Mina began to hear relatively loud dance music playing through the wall behind her around an hour ago after her shower and still continued, she was utterly surprised.
For the year and a half she'd been living there, she had never once heard any of her fellow residents throwing any sort of loud parties or get together. And so, needless to say, Mina's curiosity had then peaked by then -- And especially once there had come a sudden knocking upon her door.
"Noelle?? C'mon, baby! Open up!" Mina could hear an unfamiliar male voice say over both hers and her apparently rowdy neighbor's music. Sighing in slight irritation, the fatigued redhead gingerly scooped up her friendly feline companion before rising to her feet.
"So much for a relaxing, quiet evening, huh, Baby Head?" she muttered softly to her pet, who softly mewed within her arms, as though in reply, while she walked to and then opened her teal colored door.
". . . You're not Noelle," said the unwanted visitor in distinct disgust, wrinkling his nose as he gazed upon Mina standing before her within her gray striped nightshirt with cat in hand. The feeling was quite mutual for the young veterinarian, however, as she felt a strong urge to wretch the moment she'd inhaled a nearly overpowering scent of unappealing aftershave that emitted from the uncouth male.
As the stench regrettably continued to waft into the air and up into her nostrils, Mina allowed her brown eyes to do a quick once over at the stranger. Clad within a rather cheap looking black leather jacket, dull cream colored shirt and blue jeans, the man appeared to have recently vacated some unknown rundown biker bar (especially with the slicked back brown hair upon his head and rugged beard growing upon his face).
I don't even want to know the type of party that's going on down the hall now that I've seen this guy, Mina mused in growing repugnance, before verbally stating (with her traditional and patented sarcasm), "Not today, no! But, uh . . . try again tomorrow -- Who knows? You might get lucky."
The man's face fell with an unappreciative glance at this before continuing to probe for the whereabouts of his mystery woman.
"But, is she -- I mean, is she --" he began inquiring, abruptly cutting himself off as he sneezed loudly into the sleeve of his jacket, causing Mina to immediately cringe and back away a bit (although silently thanking the Lord that the man at least had had the decency to cover his presumably diseased-riddled mouth in the process).
At the same time, an unfamiliar, disembodied female voice rang out from behind him.
"Over here, Roy!" called out the woman in distinct annoyance, before coming around the corner in the distance and stood a bit impatiently. As the man evidently known as Roy turned away from Mina's door, she embarrassingly felt herself gasp rather loudly the moment her chocolate hued orbs met with a brilliant, cool blue.
She had met with and was aware of most of the fellow residents who lived on the second floor of the apartment complex; however, standing before her was someone she had never seen before until now.
In fact, in Mina's honest opinion, standing before her was a woman that merely existed within fairy tales -- Or, at best, fashion magazines.
But certainly never in real life. Not in her life, anyhow.
Yet, there she was. A rather tall, very slender, curvaceous and agonizingly gorgeous young woman who appeared to be no older than twenty-one-years old or so. Her flowing, shimmery blonde hair nearly blinded Mina to gaze upon as the woman glared at Roy who approached her before walking past and around the corner towards where she'd come.
God, please don't tell me that this woman lives here, as well, or else my self esteem will drop even further she thought as their eyes met once more, causing Mina to blush instantly. Because could she be any more beautiful? Geez. . . .
". . . Sorry," was all the young gentlewoman named Noelle said to Mina with a swift, stiff sort of wave and softened, apologetic gaze towards her before turning on her heel and followed her male companion back to what Mina presumed was her own party.
"I-It's okay!" Mina at last remembered to reply, after having lost her train of thought for a moment while watching the far more attractive female disappear from view.
After merely standing within her open doorway for a few minutes or so as both her mind and senses recollected themselves, the increasingly despondent youthful redhead slowly turned around and closed her front door behind her.
Looking down at her now curiously sulking cat, Mina sighed softly to herself while stroking the top of his fur head with saddened energy.
"You're depressed? Like I really needed any further reminders of how there are only billions of women out there who are infinitely more irresistible than I am, sadly -- Now I've got one living basically under the same roof as me, Baby Head. . . . Oh, yeah! This week is clearly going to be a great one for me. . . ."
-- End of Chapter One
(A.N. Yeah I know this one was pretty boring. Can't be helped, since this is basically what happened in the beginning of the movie with Abby and her radio show – which all of the dialogue and actions literally happened in it, yeah – and then later on that same day while at her apartment with her cat and meeting Noelle's jerk b/f and modeling manager, Roy and his rudeness. Yep, the dialogue and interaction is what happened in the movie, as well, for those who haven't watched the movie. But Abby didn't see Noelle and only heard her voice and her apologize to her. I guess maybe they'd known of one another for a while before the movie's events began based upon how Abby interacted with Noelle later on, but never bothered to get to know one another until then. As for this story, though, I decided to further illustrate Abby's obviously contradicting mentality about herself through Will by making her think those things after seeing Cornelia, etc. So yes, that was Cornelia, but I decided to call her "Noelle" like the character for a reason. You'll know why in chapter two. Isn't a big deal or reason, but yeah. LoL Anyway, I hope you still enjoyed it and could clearly see and understand Will's personal feelings about herself despite her accomplishments. That always annoyed me about Abby. LoL Okay! See you later with chapter two! LoL)