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Discovering Me (Book 1 of Discovering Me Series)

By @ess1223

Say My Name - ODESZA

{Isabella}

After dinner, My mom went to her hotel. I was elated that she followed through and came to see my show. I had never felt like a normal child that was able to invite their parents to things and have them willingly attend. I asked her once and she came with a smile – no convincing or pleading. It meant the world to me. Milo and I agreed to watch Sophia in my dorm suite to give Will and B a break. They more than earned it after dealing with us. I wasn’t entirely sure of how we were going to keep her entertained for a few hours, but I wasn’t worried. She was never the problem child. Give her a coloring book and some crayons and she’d be happy for hours. 

“This your house?” She looked around the living room.

“Mhmm. I share it with three other girls.” I locked our front door.

“They nice?” 

“Yes. They are my best friends. They might be home. If not, you’ll get to see them later.” I took her hand and led her to my room. 

“Do you want me to check?” Milo offered.

“Yeah. Thanks.” I smiled at him. 

I flipped on my light switch and removed my shoes. I kicked them aside and knelt down in front of her. 

“Do you want to take off your boots?” I asked as I helped her out of her jacket.

She nodded. I picked her up and placed her on my bed.

“Hello, **** — oh my God! She’s adorable!” Elle gushed, placing her hand on her chest.

“What’s your name?” Soph asked with a smile.

“Even your voice is precious! I’m Elle. I love your dress.”

“Thank you. Yours pretty too.” 

Elle looked to me. “I want to keep her forever. She is literally the cutest little kid I’ve ever seen.” 

“She’s been modeling since she was born. Being adorable isn’t even a choice; it’s a job requirement.” I removed her shoes and placed them beside my dresser.

“How long do we get to keep her?” Elle smiled brightly as she sat down on my bed beside her.

“For a few hours. Milo and I decided to give Wilmer and Bosworth the night off.” 

“Awesome. What are you going to do with her?” 

“I don’t know yet. Do you know where Milo went?” 

“Sami’s room. She had Finn put her contraband items in her ceiling panels before her grandparents showed up. She needs another tall person to get them out so she can use them. I was in there working on it when he walked in; he has a couple of inches on me, so we traded.”

“What does she have up there?”

“Mostly booze. She also has a pocket knife and a bag of lighters.”

“Balloons?!” Sophia cried in excitement. 

“A bag?” I questioned at the same time.

“No, Sweetie. I’m sorry. I was told not to ask.” She answered both of us.

“Is Morgan home?”

“No, she’s still out to dinner. She’ll love to meet Sophia. Mom loves kids, of course.”

She looked to Soph. “What do you like to do?”

“Play dress up, color, have tea parties, play blocks, and do make-up.”

“You’re in luck. I have a whole box of make-up. You can give us makeovers.”

“Really?!” She beamed.

Elle nodded. “I’m sure Milo would even let you give him one. You’re that cute.”

I laughed. “She’ll do it too. She loves him. Watch.” I looked to my sister. “Soph, why do you like my boyfriend?”

 “He real nice and talks pretty.” She informed Elle with a bright smile.

She laughed. “You are so right. I couldn’t agree more.” 

Elle went to her room to get her makeup. I picked up my laptop and took Sophia back into the living room. I connected my computer to the TV via HDMI cable. I signed into our video streaming service and put on her favorite cartoon, Madeline

“Do you want some juice?” I asked as she watched her show.

She nodded. I reached into her bag that B left with us and got one of her juice boxes. I poked the straw into the hole and gave it to her. Elle came into the room soon after with her small trunk of makeup. 

“Are you sure you don’t mind her using this?” I asked. 

“Yeah, this is old stage make-up. I only use it when I run out of the stuff I usually use. She can go crazy.” She walked over to the couch and placed her trunk on the coffee table. 

“Would you like to do our make-up first or should I do yours?” Elle asked, sitting down next to her. 

“You do mine.”

Elle looked to me. “I repeat, I want to keep her forever.” 

I giggled. “She’s a sweetie.” 

Elle got to work, applying her make-up as she drank her juice and watched cartoons. Milo joined us in the living room. 

“Did you get all of Sami’s stuff?” 

“I am very confused about the bag filled with lighters.” He sat down in the armchair. 

I stood up from the couch. “Is it okay if I sit with you?” 

“Yeah.” He smiled and gestured me over. 

I sat down on his lap and he put his arms around me. 

“What are we watching?” He rested his head on my shoulder.

Madeline. ‘In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines, they broke their bread. And brushed their teeth and went to bed. They left the house at half past nine, in two straight lines in rain or shine — the smallest one was Madeline’.” I recited the opening lines with a smile.

“Is it safe to assume you watch this with her a lot?” 

“I grew up watching this show. It stopped airing long before she was born. I own all the tapes and books; that’s how she got into it.”

“And you love it?”

I nodded. “Madeline got into trouble as often as I did growing up. Instead of being labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘troublesome’, everyone called her brave for fearlessly wandering into adventures. It was reassuring.”

He smiled and placed a kiss on my cheek.

We watched Madeline as Elle and Soph administered makeovers to each other. Once they were done, they moved on to me, Milo, and Morgan. Milo was a great sport. He didn’t complain as she coated his face in make-up and put his hair in two ponytails, even when Sami laughed at him so hard she cried. Sophia fell asleep around ten o’clock. Milo carried her to my room. She started whining every time he attempted to remove her arms from his neck, so he placed her beneath the covers and laid down on top of them, with hopes of getting up when she was in a deep sleep. Instead, he ended up falling asleep himself. B came to pick up Soph around 11. 

“Shh, the princesses are sleeping.” I opened my door to reveal the two of them fast asleep.

He chuckled at Milo’s appearance. “He’s very sweet. He didn’t have to do that.” He whispered. 

“I know. They really bonded.”

“He’s great with her.”

I nodded. “Being good with kids is a very attractive trait.”

He smiled over at me. “I love seeing you in love.” 

“What?” I tried to fight off the smile that was attempting to creep onto my face.

“You’re glowing and giggly. You’re happier than I’ve ever seen you. I’ve been in your life since day one. I know it has everything to do with being at this school. You love your friends, Milo, and dancing. It’s bringing out the best in you.” 

“I finally feel like I have a home and a real family.” I admitted. 

He hugged me. “Your parents have put you through the ringer, but I’ve always loved you. I’ve watched you grow up and blossom into a young lady. I’m very proud of you. You’re going to do it all and prove them wrong. I know better than anyone how headstrong you are.” 

“Really?” I asked shakily as I willed myself not to cry.

He pulled back and placed his hands on my shoulders. “You’ve overcome a lot in your seventeen years of life. The fact that you’re still able to smile and laugh proves me right about you. There were rough patches, but you made it through. That’s all you can really hope for in life.” 

“You’re the closest thing I have to a dad.” 

He smiled. “I know. Instead of ‘mama’ or ‘dada’, your first attempt at a word was ‘Bewoah’.”

“Really?” 

He nodded. “I was very flattered. ‘Awhee’ was your second. You couldn’t say Audrey’s name correctly until you were six. You were a funny little thing growing up. You were always getting into something, but it kept things interesting.” He mused.

“Soph can’t stay with her parents.”

“What?” 

“They’re not fit. She should stay with you or another family member. I don’t want her to get lost like me. They’ll just pay someone to care. They wouldn’t do nearly the job you do.” I reiterated.

“They missed her birthday this year. There were presents delivered and a card, but no phone call. It didn’t bother her because she’s so used to them being gone. That knowledge broke my heart.”

“I hate that.” 

“Your grandma Maggie would be a great fit. She threw her a surprise birthday party. She was so happy.”

I smiled. “I’m glad we agree.”

“Was she too much trouble?” He looked to Soph.

I shook my head. “We had a really good time. Elle’s in love with her, so is Morgan.” 

“I can’t wait to meet them.”

“You will. Don’t worry.” 

“Tomorrow. I’ll let you get some sleep.” He walked over to my bed to get Soph.

When he removed her from Milo, she started whimpering in her sleep. He looked at me with an eyebrow raised.

“They bonded.” I stated simply.

He smiled and shook his head. 

“Is it alright if she stays? I don’t mind waking her up and putting her back to sleep at the hotel.”

“Yeah, she’s fine. There’s plenty of room.” I waved my hand dismissively.

“Okay. I’ll be here tomorrow morning to pick her up. Thank you for the break. I had a nice time with Wilmer.”

“That’s great.”

“Mhmm. Goodnight, Sweetheart.” He placed a kiss on my forehead and crept out of my room quietly.

I went to my bathroom to wash my face. After changing into my pajamas, I kissed Milo and Sophia on the cheeks and climbed into bed beside them. I snuggled up close and fell asleep with ease. 

~

The next morning, the three of us went into the bathroom. Milo attempted to scrub off his make-up as I worked on removing Sophia’s. I’ll be honest, I laughed the entire time. He kept cursing under his breath because it was harder to get off than he thought. It got to the point where he thought about to give up and wear his mascara, eyeliner, and hot pink eyeshadow for the day. Elle invited Soph into her room and I took over helping Milo clean up.

“Why is it so hard to get off?” He sat down on my toilet seat cover to give me better access to his face.

I poured more make-up removed onto my warm wash cloth and started wiping off his face.

“It’s a selling point. No one wants to redo their makeup throughout the day.” I smiled.

“I understand the make-up logic less than Sami’s bag of lighters.”

“That’s saying something.” I giggled.

B came over to my suite relatively early. He was happy to finally meet my roommates. I spent the majority of my day with B, Wilmer, Sophia, and Milo. By mid-afternoon, it was time for Milo and I to start getting ready for our final performance of Sleeping Beauty

When I walked into the dressing room, there was a large bouquet of red roses on the counter in front of my mirror. I approached them with a bright smile. I removed the card connected to the vase and opened it. 

NOTE:

“Break a leg! We can’t wait to watch the DVD. Wish we could be there in person. We’re anxious to have you stay with us for a few weeks. We love you more than words can express. 

xoxo,

Aud, Ev, and Emmy

I felt really good; better than good, actually — great. The odds were stacked, but I had plenty of people in my corner. I could relax and focus on making my final performance my best one yet. Most of the talent scouts came opening night, but I wanted to leave a lasting impression on the families as well. Dancing was what I came to SMA to do; I wanted to make it clear that I took it seriously.

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