a/n: If you are reading this, congratulations! You have stumbled upon the REMASTERED version of Celestica! If you can recall, Celestica was written in the year 2012, when I was fifteen. People seem to love this story so much, and I feel that this fic is not a proper showcase of my writing. So, I've decided to rewrite it, and I now find it the quality that I'd prefer it. The story is exactly the same, with only I've changed some minor details, added dialogue, and expanded vocabulary. Please enjoy, and know that I appreciate each and every one of you that have read this story, or still continue to read this story. Please give me a review if you like the new changes! Also, right now, I'm in the process of remastering the entire fic, but only have the first few chapters done. All of the authors notes will be changed to let you know you are reading the remastered version, so if it does not say this is the remastered version, I haven't fixed a chapter yet! All right, I won't take up any longer of your time. Have a good one, Degrassians!
rating: This fic is rated M for a reason. Sexual content and drug use are involved.
disclaimer: I don't own Degrassi!
summary: After being "shipped out" to California to stay with her father for the summer, conservative Clare Edwards meets a rebellious teenage boy that turns her world inside out. REMASTERED VERSION.
"When it's cold outside hold me - don't hold me. When I choose to rest my eyes coax me - don't coax me." Celestica | Crystal Castles
I can remember the first time my mother said that she was sending me to stay with my father for summer vacation, and how the first thing I could think of was that she was "shipping me out" so she could be alone for the first time in forever. And by alone, I mean with her 'new and improved' husband. She had sent my step brother off to stay with his birth mother in Vancouver, and me to stay with my father who had recently moved to the states; California in fact. I remember kicking and screaming and telling her I'd rather die than go stay with Randall. Ever since I'd found out about my father's affair with a much younger woman, I couldn't see him the same way. For months I didn't believe it, until he had left. He invited me to his new apartment… where he lived with her. She was pretty. But not as pretty as my mother.
The nerve of someone to share something so intimate with someone that wasn't your one and true love is awful to me. Then again, wonder if I should even be talking considering I gave up my virginity to my step brother. It bothers just me thinking about it. I used to think it was one of the poorest decisions I had ever made. I thought that before I had to move to California.
I remember sitting in the airport, and my mother smiled at me, and she told me I'd have fun with my father, and to send him her love. I didn't get it. She was married, and she still wanted to send her love to a man who had deliberately gone off and slept with a woman that wasn't her. God says to forgive those who trespass you. I don't believe that. Well, sure I do believe it; but forgive, never forget. My mother forgave Randall months after their divorce. I couldn't even forgive a boy who allegedly cheated on me in grade nine for nearly two years.
"Do you have your passport?" She asked. I nodded. "Do you have your ticket?" I nodded again. "And the American money I gave you before you left?" I nodded for a third time, and she relaxed a little.
I looked around, noticing Jake and my step father standing a little ways away from us at a Wetzles Pretzels stand, talking to each other as Jake whipped out a small piece of paper and fiddled with it in his hands. I didn't know what it was. Under the circumstances between us I didn't really care anymore, either. It had been weeks either of had talked to each other, and nearly a month and twelve days since we had ended our secret relationship. I wasn't keeping track or anything. Jake looked up at his father, and gave him a half sort of smile. It was fake. I knew Jake well enough to see a pretend smile from him and the one he gave Glenn was clearly a fake smile. He mouthed the words thanks dad, and then looked over at me. Even from possibly a hundred feet away we could look at each other and our eyes could meet. I looked away, because I did not want my last look before California to be Jake Martin.
"I'll see you in September, mom." I kissed her cheek, and she hugged me tightly.
At the beginning when she had said she was sending me to Randall's, I had thought she was trying to get rid of me, but now as she held me it was as if she didn't want me to go anywhere. She kissed my hair, and whispered goodbye practically a thousand times. Thankfully, what had released me from her grasp had been the flight attendant calling for flight 218.
"Hey, don't miss me too much. I'm only a long distance phone call away." I teased, which I probably shouldn't have done because the waterworks followed suit.
I'm not entirely sure how I got out of there, how I had torn myself away from a tear-jerked woman's grasp. When I was sitting in my seat on the airplane, I could feel her face glued to the window, watching my plane take off and fly away. I had never left the country before, let alone left her for more than a weekend at Alli's house. This was a big step for her, and she had better take it now before I ditched her for college somewhere far, far away. I loved my mother. I loved her so much, sometimes even too much. But everyone knows what an over-protective mother is like every once and a while. But that was her most of the while.
I remember waking up, and finding that my back hurt, and that the plane was coming in for its landing. I remember thinking to myself that my father would be waiting for me once I got off the plane and I'd have to pretend I loved him all over again like a little girl with her father. Though the idea of being around him made me shiver in disgust. I didn't really believe Randall deserved the little childlike love that I'd forcefully give him. As long as he didn't have a new girlfriend on his arm, I figured I could survive a little while – not the whole summer, but definitely a little while – with him. I remember taking my bags and pulling them off of the overhang compartment and slugging them down the aisle to where my father would appear and insist on taking them. I remember him doing just that, and me letting him do it, and him giving me a big hug and kiss.
"Hi Dad." I mumbled. The word Dad was sickening on my tongue. I hadn't called him that to his face since the last time I saw him, just Randall.
"Hi sweetheart! Welcome to Sunny California!" he said cheerfully, and I flashed him a fake sort of smile.
"I think you mean Sunny Florida, but I'll take it. It's good to see you." I lied.
It took me a moment to notice that my dad had grown a beard since I had last seen him. He had this ridiculous sort of I can't believe I haven't seen my daughter in six months! sort of smile on his face, and I didn't really know how to respond to it. In all honesty it looked as if he was about to cry over me. Nobody ever cried over me except for my mother, but that was completely understandable. Mothers cry. And if they don't cry then something actually must have been wrong that they weren't telling you. It's just in the Mom Rulebook.
On my way out of the airport, I took notice of a restroom sign, and asked Randall if I could be excused for a moment before going off with him on our (apparently two hour – and that's not including traffic) car ride back to his house. When he said 'his new house' it gave me a bit of chills. I didn't want him to have a new house, really. I wanted him to be back in my house with my mother, and that none of this stuff had ever happened. Perhaps that would mean I would still have my virginity locked up in a heart shaped necklace my mother had given me, but either way I wasn't really thinking about that. It was more of the three or four months my mother was miserable because of what happened with Randall. Stupid, selfish Randall Edwards.
"Ready to go, kidd-o?" Randall laughed, as I walked back out to him.
My dad had always loved The Clash. I never really understood his infatuation with them, but he worshipped them. He would play them when my mom wasn't around back when they were married, and he apparently continued to still play them now. And on the way home from the airport, I was silently wishing my headphones weren't packed away in my suitcase so I didn't have to be listening to The Clash any longer. Normally, I'm sure I could take it. But I was just unsettled around my father lately, and I didn't want to put up with it anymore. Even if he was flesh and blood. I guess I had gotten the disliking for my fathers favorite band from my mother. I can recall her saying probably a thousand times turn that racket off! God doesn't like The Clash and I don't either. And then my father would try to think he was funny by saying something about how if God listened to good music, then he'd listen to The Clash.
That's back when my family was happy, but I barely remember times like those.
That's back when my sister lived with us, my sister whose now about twenty and married and also literally lives on the other side of the world. Darcy moved to Kenya towards the middle of my grade nine year. And as much as I thought life without an older sister to yell at you and pick on you and make you feel inadequate would be easy, it truly wasn't. Darcy Edwards was totally gorgeous, popular, and not to mention was also a pretty darn good older sister when it really came down to it. Despite her teasing sometimes (though I deserved it, I used to wear Catholic school uniform every day before I finally got over myself) she was always there for me, and I was always there for her. We were inseparable at home, but at school it was completely different. When she left it was the first time I had been to an airport. Airports made me think of Darcy. My father made me think of her even more.
We pulled around the corner to the street that was my fathers, and I know that it was my fathers because as we pulled past the Pacific View mall, he went on and on about how excited he was to show me his house. My father seemed far too enthralled about me coming to live with him for the summer. He was constantly going on and on about all the sights to see. Main Street. Salzer's. Golf n' Stuff… this place just didn't seem like my father's scene. He had taken a teaching job at the high school nearby, and had also been searching for a summer job. Good for him considering I wasn't about to spend every moment of my summer with him, as he probably expected.
"Goddammit." Randall muttered, and I scowled. He swore now. No, worse than swearing he used the Lord's name in vein. My dad, who used to be Mr. Christian himself, had now thrown all religion out the window. "Not again." My dad pulled over to the side of the road. I glanced ahead, and then I saw it. Three boys, all dressed in black were throwing eggs from a grey carton at the house a little ways away. "Hey! Not again! I'll call the police. Not today. Get the fuck off my property!"
One of the boys laughed, and threw another egg up at the second story window. Oh. This was my new house. And I was being welcomed into the neighborhood with a proper egging. I'd take it as my initiation.
"You're bluffing, Randall. You're always bluffing." The boy with the shaggy black bangs spat, and took off with his friends into what appeared to be a hearse.
I got out of the car and looked at the mess made all over the porch, feeling a little bad for my father… only a little.
The front was a bit dreary. Perhaps it was the fact that it had egg all over its face, but it was a mush of greens and browns. The inside helped little. There was a creaky set of stairs that led up to two sets of bedrooms and a bathroom with a creaky door. Actually, all the doors were creaky.
I guessed that this house had lived through half a century.
"It's nice." I told him. Off of the kitchen was a pantry and a door to the backyard. It was nearly dark out, though, so I didn't bother checking out the yard.
"I'll get your bags, and then I need to clean the egg off the house." Randall says.
"I can clean up the egg, Dad. I'm feeling a little queasy from the airplane anyway – I need some fresh air." I give him this fake sort of smile, almost like the one Jake had given Glen only several hours ago.
"Okay, it's nearly nine though, so be careful out there." My dad side hugs me and kisses the top of my head. "Only been here five minutes and you're already so helpful."
I find my way around the kitchen, grabbing a roll of paper towels and heading out to the front yard. My dad was carrying in the two bags and as I was walking out, and the door shut behind him. Alone at last… I thought to myself. There was egg all over the front windows, and the panels of the house. Along with the walkway and the grass – which I wasn't about to waste my time on.
"Pretty girls shouldn't be forced to clean up something bad boys did." A voice muttered behind me. I nearly screamed; dropping the eggy paper towel out of my hand and onto the concrete. And as I spun around to see who was speaking to me, my heart nearly stopped. It was the boy from maybe ten minutes ago. The one who had egged my house in the first place. "I'm Eli Goldsworthy." He grins.
"You egged my dad's house." I answered quickly. My heart was still beating crazy fast.
"Your daddy's an ass." He spat. I don't have the heart to stand up for him because I know that it's true. My dad can be a total ass. He had an affair – that made him an ass. "In my defense, I didn't know Randall was bringing home his daughter. Or that he had a daughter. And I surely didn't suspect her to be pretty." Eli paused, as if he was waiting for some sort of reaction from me. But I wasn't giving in that easily. "Anyway," he starts up again as if he had never taken a moment to stop in the first place. He reached down the paper towel roll, and rips one off, joining me on my quest to clean the windows. "What's your name? Blank Edwards. Randall never mentioned he had a daughter. We didn't even know he was married."
"He isn't." I replied, throwing a gloppy paper towel to the ground.
"Ouch. You sound bitter. Ugly divorce?"
"Yeah." It hadn't exactly yet dawned on me that I was talking about my mother and Randall's divorce to a stranger. A stranger that seemed to be in grade eleven or twelve, and had just egged my brand new house.
"Your dad was my French teacher. He was a total asshole and now I have to go to summer school and deal with him again. Total waste of my time." I raised my eyebrows. Randall hadn't yet told me that he'd be teaching this summer. In fact, he had made it seem like the entire summer would be a total blast because he'd be spending every waking moment with me.
"Oh." I whisper. And then I add: "I'm not like him."
"I hope not. I would hate to have another Debby-Downer in this town." Eli stops cleaning the front window, and then looks at me. I feel as if he's checking me out but I know there's absolutely no chance that would happen. "Are you busy later?"
"I don't know." I shrugged my shoulders.
"Do you like parties?"
"Not exactly?" he ponders.
"I mean I've never been to one." Then he starts laughing at me. As if at first he totally thinks I'm joking even though I'm not. I've been to birthday parties, Christmas parties, and I think one bat mitzvah but never a party-party.
"What about a rave?" he asked.
"What the heck is a rave?"
Eli snorted. "They really sheltered you, huh?" Sheltered. I crossed my arms. I was most definitely not sheltered. Kept in the dark a little… maybe. But certainly not sheltered. "Listen, I can help you out. Let me take you out to a rave."
"That's okay." I reached down for a new paper towel, feeling his fingers wrap gently around my wrist to get my attention. I gasped out of instinct, our eyes meeting. You're safe a voice in my head whispered. It was dark out – well, getting dark, but the lights from my porch were flickering off of his eyes. They were a green color. They reminded me of the leaves on the trees in springtime. I immediately turned away, not wanting to start blushing.
"Okay, not a rave. But let me take you out somewhere."
"Why?" I whispered, and Eli shrugged.
"This is my only weekend before summer school. Plus I want to be the first guy in Ventura to take you out. I want to see if we are good together. If we don't go out together, I lose the chance of seeing if we are. And if we don't go out together, then I could let some other asshole mesh well with you and you see; I wouldn't like that very much."
"Why?" I asked again.
"I just wouldn't." he took two seconds to let go of my hand, and clear his throat. As if the whole asking me out situation hadn't happened in the first place. I hadn't rejected him, but he was treating himself as if I had. Then he added: "Why don't you go inside? I'll stay out here and finish cleaning up the mess. I made it, after all."
"I more or less came out here for fresh air, so it's fine." I said blankly, finally able to rip a paper towel off of the roll and walk to one of the front windows. I could've easily cleaned the window off in seconds if Eli hadn't jumped in front of me, blocking the window.
"Blank Edwards, I insist." It dawned on me at that moment that I still hadn't told him my name. "If you won't go inside, sit on the porch and I'll do it."
"You're persistent, you know."
Eli grinned. "I know." I handed him the paper towels.
"It's Clare, by the way."
"Clare Edwards…?" I raised my eyebrows. If he knew my father, then he should've known my last name.
"Clare What Edwards?"
I sighed. "Clare Diana Edwards." I answered, and Eli smirked smugly towards me as if he was hiding something. "What?"
"That suits you." Then he's cleaning my house, and I'm just watching. This whole place seemed odd. A boy basically calls me pretty, begs for my full name and suddenly I find him cleaning off my house. Oh, and don't forget, he made the mess in the first place. I tilted my head to the side and finally sat on the front steps.
"So do you live down the street or something?" I asked.
"Nah. I live in Pierpont." He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. They're in a long white box with the words DUNHILL printed on the front. "You got a lighter?"
"No." I shook my head.
"It's all right. I've got one on me somewhere." Eli dropped his paper towels onto the grass and shuffled through his pockets until he came across a little black lighter with a skull and roses printed on it. "You want a smoke?"
"No." I shook my head again.
"I didn't think so, but it wouldn't have been very gentleman like of me to not offer you one." Eli opened up his pack of cigarettes, and his eyes went wide as he pulled the last cigarette from the package. "Look at me, the lucky one!" He quickly lit it up, and took a drag. "Anyway, Pierpont is where the drug addicts live. They're all pretty fucked up, but I'm one of the low-key kids. Along with Adam and Fitz. The guys I was with."
"Oh." I whispered, feeling sort of awkward as he talked about his drug addict friends. "I'm from Canada."
"Ah, Canadian, eh?" Eli joked. "Soul born Californian. I've never even been outside the state."
Eli turned to look at me and he pinned his eyebrows together. "You don't talk a lot, do you?" he asked.
"I… not really." I murmured. It's true, I really didn't talk very much. Especially with people I didn't know very well. The only people I could really talk freely with would be Alli, and before everything happened, Jake. I stood to my feet, and leaned against the pillar of the porch. "I should go inside."
"Why?" The roles seemed reversed for a moment.
"I don't know… I think my dad would freak if he saw me talking to you." I paused. "You don't have to finish, by the way."
"If he comes out I can just yell at him in French and prove that I didn't deserve that F he gave me. Because I fucking didn't."
"Why do you say that?" I asked.
"I may have not done the homework, but I aced every single test. Every one of them. He just hated me because I flirted with all the girls in French." Eli took a moment to smirk mischievously at me, before opening his mouth again. "Cela ne me dérangerait baiser une jolie fille comme vous. Les yeux comme ceux-là ne viennent pas autour souvent." He speaks to me, and I nearly have to roll my eyes at him. He even added a wink at the end, which, for him, seemed out of character.
"Peut-être compliments Sèche-vous aller plus loin que un bonjour."
A cheesy grin curled onto his face, and a laugh fell from his lips. "So you speak French."
"Dad's a French teacher. It would be an abomination for his little angel not to speak it." I told him. As we stood outside, and the darker it got out, I could feel myself becoming attracted to the physical qualities of a guy like him. He wasn't too tall – not nearly as tall as Jake was – and he wasn't too muscular. But there was just this way about him that made him irresistibly good looking. And when he laughed along with me, it was like we felt some sort of connection. Maybe he wasn't wrong about the being good together thing. "Anyway, I really think I should go inside." I gestured behind me.
"Couldn't you stay out a little longer?" he croaked, and for a moment he sounded almost needy. But then he quickly picked himself up again by taking a drag on his cigarette. "I don't want it to look like I'm robbing your house."
"Good point." I laughed, and sat back down on the porch steps. We sat in silence for a while. Eli didn't say anything sarcastic – or French – and I just didn't speak. He was nearly finished, but after having some form of company that wasn't my fathers, it was like I didn't want him to go. Though clearly his friends were down the street parked in their hearse waiting for him to finish up. I slightly felt bad – but then again, I didn't. "So tell me about Pierpont." I finally blurted out, and Eli looked over at me from his cleaning up and acted as if he was surprised I had initiated conversation.
"Sandy. Really sandy. It's mostly beach. Mostly beach and apartments and then really fucking nice houses. But I'm in the shitty part of the area so I just live around a bunch of rich assholes that piss me the fuck off." Eli explained, pointing in the direction of which Pierpont was. "I see their kids riding around on their motorized scooters and I think to myself how that scooter could be, like, a pack of cigarettes." Eli rolled his eyes and threw the butt of his cigarette down onto the ground and stepped on it. "Sorry." He muttered. I didn't think he was really sorry.
"So is that all you care about in life? Hooking up with girls and cigarettes?" I questioned. It caused Eli to laugh, which I guess was good. He found me quiet and he found me funny.
"Of course not. I have more substance than that. I just like hooking up and cigarettes. Everyone likes hooking up."
I wouldn't argue with him there. I liked kissing. And for the two times I got to have sex with Jake, it was phenomenal. So perhaps he wasn't lying. Except for the cigarettes part. "But you'd rather an environmentally safe way of transportation be a pack of cigarettes for your pleasure. Would they even last you the week?"
"Would they even last me a day is a better way of saying it, Clare Diana." Eli corrected, as he then proceeded to prove his point by whipping out a second cigarette and lighting it up seconds after.
"You smoke an entire pack of cigarettes a day? That bike thing could last you a year! Maybe even longer!" I argued, and Eli shrugged his shoulders at me. He had finished up the walkway by now, and all that was left was the grass, which we weren't going to bother with.
"You just don't understand. I guess you'd gotta be an addict to get it. And clearly you're not so you just don't get it." Eli took a drag, and blew the smoke towards me; probably expecting that I'd try to brush it away or something, which on the contrary, I sat there and took it. "Anyway. It looks like I'm all finished here, so I guess I'll be off."
"Okay." I smiled a little, as if our time together was heartwarming or something.
"So when can I see you again?" he slipped the cigarette into his mouth, and reached for my hand to help me stand up again. "Like I said, I want to be the first to take you out."
And then I was blushing. I had hid the red cheeky feeling the whole time, but now I couldn't bare it any longer. Even my ears were feeling hot at this point. I slowly let go of his hand, and shrugged my shoulders just a slow as I had let go of his hand. "I… I don't know." I whispered. "I mean I just got here."
"I'd like to take you out. I can wait a while for you, if you want." He offered, but I shook my head.
"It's not your fault or anything, it's me. I've dated two guys ever and they both ended up total… total…" I bit my lip, finding it within me to work up the courage to even mutter such a word. "They were total assholes." And Eli seemed to beam at my word, as if swearing was a big accomplishment for me or something.
"Well, I can assure you that I am also a total asshole. But I have the heart to let you know it before I might so possibly hurt you." Eli gave me this genuine sort of look, and let out a breath of air towards me. And it didn't smell like smoke either. It just smelled like plain air. "But I'm not going to hurt you. I think we could have something, you and me." Eli took a step backwards, and swallowed. "If anything, you'd probably end up crushing me at the end of it. Anyway. I'll come back tomorrow, how does that sound?"
I looked down, a smile on my face that I was so desperately trying to hide. "Okay. Tomorrow then."
And that was the last I saw of Eli Goldsworthy for the night.
He walked down the street, lighting up a third cigarette as he approached his hearse with his friends – Adam and Fitz. And I remembered their names because all night I was replaying what had happened with him in my head. The first person of Ventura that I had met was Eli Goldsworthy. All of this seemed like some cliché movie plot to me, though I was hoping it wasn't.
Randall had made a big dinner for me while I had been outside. I hadn't even realized how long I had been out there. Dinner was awkward and silent. I made sure not to mention the student who he hated who'd been helping me clean up the house, even though I couldn't get it out of my mind. I also made sure not to mention Mom or anything about her. If I started talking about her, I was afraid I might start crying.
Dinner only lasted about fifteen minutes before I said I was going up to bed. Or at least I lied in my bed, and stared at the awkwardly slanted ceiling above me just imagining an actual date with this rebellious character.
Eli Goldsworthy would have never seemed to be someone that would ask out a girl like me. He was dark. You could tell by the way he did his hair and his clothes and how he drove a hearse. I on the other hand preferred books and silence and wearing floral dresses. How could Eli have thought the two of us would be good together? The only reason, I figured, he would ever want to talk to a girl like me would be he wanted a good hookup.
I even thought maybe it was because I was the teacher's daughter and he just wanted to get back at my father in the first place. For some reason though, deep down, I was trying hard to believe that Eli was trying to go after me because he was actually taking an interest in me. Not because he was the boy that liked hooking up and cigarettes.