Authors: Scarlett Haven
Tags: #romance, #love, #young adult, #high school, #stalker, #spy, #korea, #rich and famous, #south korea, #seoul
Girl Like Gracie
© 2016 Scarlett Haven
All rights reserved.
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This book is for
Thanks for sprinting with
Hurry up and finish your
This is episode one in the
Thursday, August 4
My new life.
I never thought my mom would abandon
me. Okay, maybe
harsh word to use, but that is what it feels like. Basically there
isn’t room for me in her life anymore, so she sent me off to live
with my dad, brother and stepmom.
I stand outside three story mansion as the
limo driver pulls out my hot pink luggage from the truck. This is
definitely an upgrade from the two bedroom apartment that mom and
me shared in Seoul.
The double doors swing open and an older guy
comes out and grabs my luggage. I’ve visited my dad for Christmas
one year when I was thirteen, so I know that this guy is his
butler, Fredrick Popov. He doesn’t look like he’s aged a bit in the
last four years.
This way, Miss James,” he tells
I roll my eyes.
This guy has insisted on calling me Miss
James since the first time I met him. I’ve always, in return,
insisted on being called by my first name, Gracie. But he refuses.
I see that he’s still as stubborn as ever.
I follow Fredrick inside. He heads up the
stairs, towards my room, but I take a moment to look around. This
house is a new one. It’s much bigger than the house I visited when
I was thirteen. It looks like a house you’d see a celebrity living
in on a reality show.
The floors are white marble, with little
flecks of gold in it. There is a staircase on both sides of the
room, both of them curving upward. At the top, there is a balcony
and a hallway on both sides. There is also a chandelier hanging
down. I look up at it, suddenly feeling very insignificant.
I look down at my pink Converse shoes.
There is a small hole on the side, and you can see my socks through
it. My black skirt is one I got from the sales rack. And my t-shirt
Vivaldi Over Bieber
has definitely seen better days. It’s faded and has a couple
holes in it, but it’s still my favorite shirt.
I hear heels clanking against the marble
floor, and I smell my stepmother’s perfume before I see her. She
steps out, and gives me a hug. I hold my breath so I don’t cough
from the overwhelming scent.
Gracie, so nice to see you,” she
says, in her fake nice voice.
I haven’t seen her since my father’s wedding
four years ago. Honestly, I had hoped to never see her again, but
apparently my mom had other plans.
When she steps back, I see her slowly look
at what I’m wearing. She frowns, but quickly recovers.
What has your mother been feeding
you? You’re so thin,” she says. She says it in a nice tone, but I
know the words are an insult. She’s never made her dislike of my
mom a secret. I suppose I wouldn’t like my husband’s first wife if
I were her either. But she could at least fake it for my
We’re vegetarian,” I remind her. Mom
swears her being vegetarian is what helps her keep her thin
I forgot,” she says. “Alfie quit
eating like that years ago.”
At the mention of Alfie’s name, my heart
sinks a little bit.
Where is he?” I ask.
Out with his friends,” she answers.
“He’ll be back soon. I’m sure he’s eager to see you.”
What about Dad?”
At work,” she says.
Aflie and Dad are both gone.
Neither one of them want me here.
Of course,” I say, under my breath,
then put on a fake smile. “Just point me in the direction of my
I’ll take you,” Claire says, smiling
way too big now.
Before I can come up with a reason for
to come, she’s on her
way up the stairs. I follow after her, up the marble staircase. I
let my hand slide against the dust free banister on the way up and
wonder if Fredrick got a big raise when they moved into this house.
He definitely deserves one. There isn’t even a speck of dust in
this house, not even on the chandelier.
I follow Claire to the right, going towards
my room. At the end of the hallway, she goes to the room on the
left, then tells me the room directly across from mine is Alfie’s.
At least we will be close again. We haven’t lived together in a
long time, and I miss him.
Inside my room, it’s very… clean, much like
the rest of the house. But it’s almost too clean, like it’s not
This isn’t a house. It’s a museum.
My room is huge. Like, it’s actually bigger
than the two bedroom apartment that I lived in with Mom. The floors
are the same marble that’s in the rest of the house, except I have
a huge white rug that covers a big section of the floor. The rug
looks really fluffy. There is a king sized bed. It’s white with
four big posters on each side. The duvet is my favorite color, hot
pink. Beside the bed, there is a nightstand that matches the bed. I
look and see a flat screen TV on the wall, a matching desk with an
iMac computer sitting on top, and a huge dresser. I even have a
white couch towards the edge of my room. There are double doors
that leads out to a balcony.
I hope everything is to your liking,”
Claire says, smiling. “If you want anything changed, let me know
and I will call my interior designer.”
I guess she can tell by my reaction that I
like the room. That much is pretty obvious.
It’s fine. Thank you,” I
Through here is your closet,” she
tells me, pointing towards one of the doors in the room. “I had it
redesigned for you. I even stocked a few clothing items. I hope you
Of course she did.
She opens the closet door and I follow her
My closet is bigger than my room was when I
lived in Seoul. And this room might possibly be my favorite in the
On the floor of my closet, there is a huge
black rug that looks similar to the one in my bedroom. There is a
whole that is a shoe rack, and it’s half full of shoes already. A
lot of them are heels. They’re cute. Really cute.
I love shoes. It’s one of my favorite things
to buy when I go shopping. When I lived in South Korea, it was hard
to find shoes in my size, because my foot is bigger than the
average girl in Korea. I blame it on my dad. He’s white. My mom is
Korean. Every year for her birthday, Christmas or Mother’s Day, I’d
buy her shoes so I could live vicariously through her.
There is also racks of clothes, and as much
as I hate to admit it, my stepmother has got style.
If you don’t like anything, we can
donate it,” she says, now looking a little bit timid.
Everything looks perfect,” I tell
her, truly meaning it. I bow to her slightly, then remember that
I’m not in Korea anymore. “Thank you, Claire.”
You’re welcome,” she says. “Should I
No,” I say, waving a hand at her.
“It’s just a habit from living in Seoul so long.”
Okay,” she says. “I will just leave
you to get settled.”
Thanks,” I say.
She walks out of the closet and then I hear
the door shut in the other room. I let out a sigh of relief,
thankful to be alone for a few minutes so I can collect my
Alfie isn’t here. He knew I was coming and
he chose to be gone when I got here. I knew my twin brother was mad
at me for choosing to live in Seoul with Mom instead of living in
America with him and Dad, but I thought he would be here. I haven’t
seen him in over two years now. It hurts that he’s not here.
I don’t let myself cry though. I just walk
out of my closet and check out the bathroom that is in my room.
I have my own bathroom! I can hear
In Seoul, the bathroom that we had was
small. The whole thing was a shower. There was a toilet, a sink,
and a shower head. In the middle of the bathroom, there was a
drain. You couldn’t leave anything in there that you didn’t want to
This bathroom, on the other hand, is huge.
Everything is white. White floor, white walls, white counter tops,
white cabinets. There is a huge white tub sitting at the edge of
the room. There is also a huge shower that is literally as big as
the bathroom Mom and I shared in Seoul.
This is crazy.
And this is my new life.
A few hours later, I am summoned down to the
dining room for dinner by Fredrick. I head downstairs. I still
haven’t changed my clothes since I arrived, which I don’t think is
a big deal. It’s not like I need to get dressed up for family
dinner. I immediately regret the decision when I get into the
The dining room is huge. There is a long,
rectangular table. Sitting at the table, I see my dad wearing a
suit. Claire is wearing a nice dress. Even Alfie is wearing a
dinner jacket. There is another boy that I’ve never met sitting
beside him, who is dressed just as nice as Alfie.
Gracie,” Dad says, getting up from
his chair. He walks over to me and gives me a side hug. “You’ve
I was thirteen the last time that he seen
me. I’m practically an adult now.
Not that he cares. He sent a limo to pick me
up at the airport. What kind of a father does that?
I’ll be nineteen soon,” I tell
You mean you won’t be eighteen until
April,” Alfie says.
Right,” I say, shaking my head.
“Sorry, I am considered eighteen in Korea. I forgot that I’m only
seventeen in America.”
Alfie snorts, but doesn’t say anything
Okay, yeah. He’s definitely still mad.
Thankfully, we are disrupted at that moment.
Three other people walk in the room. A man and woman about my dad’s
age come in with a boy that’s my age, maybe older.
Is this her?” the woman
Yeah, let’s talk about me like I’m not
standing right here.
This is my daughter, Gracie,” Dad
says, putting an arm around my shoulder. “Gracie, this is the
Sherwood family.” He points to the older guy first. “Gary Sherwood.
Patricia Sherwood. And their son, Elliot Sherwood. He attends your
I bow to them. “
You’re not in Korea anymore,” I hear
my brother say, in a sarcastic tone.
I try not to show how much his comment hurt
Sorry,” I say, starting to bow again.
About half way down, I catch myself. “In Korea, we show respect to
people that are older than us. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful.
It’s just a habit. Please, forgive me.”
I like it,” Patricia says, walking
over to me. “So many kids these days don’t have manners.” She holds
out her hand, and I accept her handshake. “It’s very nice to meet
you, Gracie. You are a very beautiful girl.”
Thank you,” I say, thankful that they
aren’t disgusted by my Korean background like my brother is. He’s
just as Korean as I am, so I don’t know why he is being so cruel to
me about it
beautiful,” the boy, who looks about my age,
says as he walks over to me. “When I heard you and Alfie were
twins, I expected you two to look alike, but you don’t at