Disclaimer: Victorious, the characters and everything else associated does not belong to me. I am merely borrowing them for my own amusement. Oh, yeah, I guess yours as well. I also don't own the songs, unless specified that I actually wrote them.
No concrete update schedule.
Warning: The following story may include mature themes such as drugs, violence, alcohol, violent references.
Previously on A Heart to Call My Own…
"You know Miss Vega, I saw your school audition. I must say, I was quite impressed. In fact, I think you might be a good candidate for the role of Eliza."
"Uh, wow… do I have to?"
"See? She doesn't even want the role!"
"That's enough, Jade."
"I agree with Cat. I don't see why you can't just give her a chance and get to know her. You might find you actually like her."
"Because," I told them. "I don't like her, I don't want to get to know her and I don't appreciate her taking over my life!"
Once I was done with her, I picked up my shoes and without a second glance back, turned and walked out of the library, content with the knowledge that I would finally be able to sleep tonight.
It started on my second week at the boarding school. At first I thought it was just a bunch of kids trying to mess with me. It was probably known by most of the students that Jade wasn't happy with me being here; she'd started yelling at everyone around her and spoke only to those in her small circle of friends, so I'd assumed it was only a matter of time before someone decided to do something about it. The first one appeared in my bag after lunch. I had started avoiding Jade and spent most of my time either alone or with someone from the group. André and Cat had been particularly nice to me and I welcomed their help while trying to stay out of Jade's way. Truth be told, I was becoming a little afraid of her. She was constantly yelling or throwing things; while I wanted to fix the problem or apologise, I knew it wouldn't do any good. Mostly I just wondered why she had become so forceful in her hatred towards me.
When I dumped the contents of my school bag onto my desk (a new addition to the room, at the Matrons insistence) I noticed a small white note flutter to the ground. Assuming it was simply scrap, I picked it up and was about to toss it in the bin, but stopped when I saw something written on it: No one wants you here. It was small and silly, probably a stupid joke at my expense. I shook my head at how pathetic people were and stuffed it into my pocket before starting my homework.
The next day I received another one. I was looking at my school map as I walked in the general direction of the main office. By now I was becoming more familiar with the layout of the place. I was still amazed at how large everything was, so I spent a decent amount of time wandering around, acquainting myself with the grounds. Having a map and a few people available if I ever got lost, I found was extremely helpful.
When I entered the correct building, I congratulated myself at having successfully found the destination and started to put the map away, when I noticed a plain white note taped to the back of it. I was both confused and impressed: that they had managed to attach it to something I used regularly, and I wondered how they'd managed it.
Unfolding the new note, I read it and frowned: Leave now before it's too late.
Okay... This is getting weird. I put the note into my pocket and decided not to worry about it at the moment. Really, there was nothing I could do since I didn't know who was sending them, but the words bugged me.
As the week went on it only got worse. I found more notes in my bag each day and they all seemed to be urging me to leave the school, as if warning me. It was only when I found one in my newly appointed locker that I realized they weren't trying to help me, they were threatening me: I warned you to leave, now you'll pay the price!
When I returned to my room that afternoon, I put all the notes together and tried to figure out what it meant. Pay the price? Did they mean money? What could they possibly do? Who was this person?
I reasoned that I had to know them, or at least have a class with them, otherwise how could they get the notes into my bag?
I looked over to the large empty bed and had a thought. It could be Jade? I shook my head. No, I rarely even saw her any more, plus, she would never be this mean. Would she?
When the weekend arrived I was glad to be able to have a break from the notes and woke up feeling refreshed for a change. Glancing at the sleeping form of my roommate, I felt relieved to be able to give her some space and headed toward the bathroom, but stopped when I saw an envelope sitting in front of our door. I gulped, nervous at what I might find and picked it up. Slowly, I turned it over and saw that it was addressed to me, but let out a sigh. There was no way it was the same as the notes I had been receiving all week. They'd never been in an envelope before, and it had my full address on it. Thinking it was probably from my parents, I opened it and looked inside, frowning when I saw what it contained. It was not a letter from my parents. I walked back to my bed and emptied the contents of the envelope onto the pink sheets. I looked at the small, white notes scattered on my bed with wonder. Why?
I picked them up one by one and read as many as I could handle. They were all the same: insults, nasty remarks, things I never wanted to hear again.
Why are you here?
We all laugh behind your back!
No one wants you here!
Should I show them to my friends? Or an adult? I stuffed the notes under my pillow as quickly as I could, trying to be quiet so as not to wake Jade and ran from the room. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I needed to get away from them.
I felt the tears run down my cheeks before I realized I was crying and sat in front of the lake. I pulled my feet under me and buried my face into my knees, not really wanting to be seen. It was bad enough that I was being called names, I didn't need to add 'cry-baby' to the list.
Why are they doing this? I never did anything to anyone… except Jade. Maybe it is Jade? Maybe she hates me that much, she decided to try to get rid of me? Should I confront her? Should I tell someone? But… what if it's not her? What if it's someone else? What if what the notes say is what they really think of me?
I sat up and looked around me. My last thought was particularly sobering. If they were true, I certainly couldn't tell anyone. They would just confirm what the notes said or laugh at me and tell me I was being silly. I didn't want that. I would just have to ignore them and hope they stopped. If I tried my hardest in every class and got really good grades, then they might change their minds about me. If it was Jade, maybe she would accept me as a friend. I hoped it wasn't Jade. Maybe I could find out for sure…
The notes didn't stop. I began collecting them, storing them in a folder for when I could change what they said, like a to do list. Be nicer, friendlier, stronger, kinder, better. If I could use the notes to make me a better person, they had to like me.
At lunch the following Friday I sat, thinking about the most recent note: Your voice sounds like someone strangling a seal. I had to hand it to them, they were becoming more creative with their criticism.
"What about you, Tori?" André asked from beside me. I hadn't been paying attention to what they were saying.
"What songs are you performing for the audition?" Robbie clarified. The audition?
"Uh…" It took me a moment to remember that in the class before lunch, our teacher had announced that auditions would be held in two months' time.
I shrugged my shoulders.
"I dunno." I told them, looking down at my food and moving it around with my fork. "Hadn't really thought about it." I looked up at them and decided to make a confession. "Also, I kinda don't know how to read sheet music."
"Seriously?" André asked me with a worried look. I simply shrugged and looked back at my food. "We could help if you want." He offered. "Pick the songs and learn by ear instead."
"Really?" I asked him, surprised at this.
"Sure, you're our friend now, Tori." Robbie told me and I had a thought.
"What about Jade?"
"Jade knows how to read music silly." Cat told me.
"No, I mean- I'm auditioning for her part."
"Don't worry about it." Beck chimed in. "She needs the challenge. Jade's run this school for too long. It's about time someone came along to put her in her place." He smiled at me, but I simply frowned.
I did worry. I didn't want to upset her any further, especially if she was the one sending the notes. I just wanted to be friends. Taking her role in the musical… who knows what kind of mess that would cause.
Why am I even worrying so much? Just because I audition for the part, doesn't mean I'll actually get it. I need to stop being so arrogant. If I'm not careful, I'll turn into Trina!
Over the next few days, André, Robbie, Cat and Beck helped me choose the two songs I needed to learn. Unfortunately for me, they had to be from the musical we would be performing. I wondered if the teachers were just being lazy.
"Most people sing 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly' and 'I Could Have Danced All Night' when they're auditioning for Eliza," Robbie told me. "I think you should do 'I Could Have Danced All Night', it's popular, but you do need to show you can actually sing."
"Uh…" I stopped him and raised my hand slightly. "I don't know the songs you're talking about."
"Wait, you've seen the play, right?" André asked.
"Well…" I bit my lip. "Not, entirely."
"And that means…?"
"No?" I offered. André put his head in his hands, Robbie sighed, Beck groaned and Cat sat in the chair beside me, seemingly more interested in making herself dizzy. "My parents don't really go to the theatre."
"Well, what about the movie?"
"It's a musical." I told them with slight disgust.
"I don't like musical movies. They're kinda… stupid. People breaking into song for no reason…" I shook my head.
"Tori," Cat told me. "This is a performing arts school. If you tell that to the teachers, they'll probably cry."
"Okay, we can make this work for us. She doesn't know any of the music, so she won't sound like anything they've heard before." André said after running his hands through his hair. "But girl, you've gotta start watching those musicals." I shrugged sheepishly but agreed.
"So what songs should she do?" Robbie asked.
"Let's stick with 'I Could Have Danced All Night' but the other one…" André began to pace. "She needs to display her range of vocal talent, so using the basics would be a good option, however…" He muttered as if forgetting we were all in the classroom listening to him.
"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain." Cat began to recite as she spun her chair.
"What?" I looked at her in confusion.
"The rain," She turned the chair, pausing to repeat the phrase to me. "In Spain… stays mainly… in the plain!" Cat began laughing hysterically and I looked to the boys for some clarification.
"No…" André said thoughtfully. "She'd need someone to play the other part for that." Cat seemed to ignore him and continued her weird chant while, I assumed, making herself more dizzy.
"She could do 'Just You Wait'?" Beck suggested with a shrug. "Little more interesting."
"But, she'd still need someone else for the king." Robbie told him.
What? I had no idea what they were talking about, but this play was beginning to sound really weird.
"Well, just remove those parts. I doubt they'll care." André nodded to Beck appreciatively.
"Yeah, it's a good idea. So it's settled then." He turned to me. "You'll sing 'Just You Wait', then 'I Could Have Danced All Night'." André told me.
"Uh, sure?" I looked at them and wondered how I was going to learn two whole songs, and keep up with my other classes.
AN: Now we're getting to the darker parts. I so love that some of you are figuring out the little hints I give. Soon it will make sense.
I know this is all Tori at the moment but fear not, we'll see Jade again soon. There is reason behind the madness.
Update: I've edited each chapter extensively. It's not necessary to reread them, but it's a good idea. Nothing major has changed. You may have noticed several chapters missing. They will be back. I missed some important events last time round and it was easier this way. Hopefully there will be more to come soon!