The Star Beneath

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Karissa Arnhart is a normal girl. Or at least, she thought she was. Soon, she meets Hunter Ridson and her world is turned upside down.

Submitted: February 07, 2017

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Submitted: February 07, 2017

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Chapter 1

Walking into school that day, I didn’t expect anything good to happen. I mean, that’s all my life was. A jumble of mistakes and sadness. But looking back on that day, I’m so glad that I ran into him. Because of the clumsy moment, my life changed forever. My name is Karissa Arnhart, and this is my story.

 

….

 

It all started on a normal Tuesday two years ago. I wasn’t really looking where I was going. I had just gotten cornered in the hallway by some kid who seemed to think he was popular, although no one really knew his name. So as you can tell, I didn’t really care where I was walking. Then I ran into him. Hunter Ridson. The most popular boy in school. Now you wouldn’t really expect much from him. The only thing people noticed was his good looks and supposedly “amazing” football skills. A typical high school “it” kid. But I didn’t notice those things. I noticed the fact that Hunter always seemed out of it, thinking hard during classes while staring off into space. I also recognized the fact that he always seemed on edge.  If someone would call his name, he would spin around and glare at the kid. But no one else seemed to care about that. They were blinded by his popularity. Typical. Moving on, I slammed into him. Like, right into him. I guess I expected him to turn around and yell at me, going on and on about how you don’t “touch” the Populars. Instead, he grabbed me around the waist, and lifted me back on my feet. “Woah there” he said. I was awestruck. I had never liked Hunter, in the friend and crush way. He seemed so full of himself. I managed to stutter out, “T-Thanks..”. Hunter smiled and looked at me in a kind of cute way. I just sat there in the most embarrassing way possible, with my mouth hanging open. “I-I’m so sorry. I didn’t m-mean to run into you.” Jeez. I was so pitiful sometimes. I bet Hunter thought I was the world’s biggest dork. “Gosh!” I thought to myself. “Why am I acting like a freaking schoolgirl! I don’t like Hunter in “that” way!” I then realized that Hunter’s arm was still around my waist, and he was still staring at me. Oh, man. If Cherry sees this, she’s gonna kill me. By the way, Cherry was the most popular girl in school and had a monster crush on Hunter. But Hunter didn’t seem into her. Good for him. Finally Hunter let go of me, and handed me the books I hadn’t realized I had dropped. He gave me another smile, and walked away as cool as a cucumber. As for me, I was the opposite. My heart was in a puddle, and I could barely hold myself up due to the fact that everything inside me was on fire. Blazing. I rushed to my next class, but I didn’t pay attention. All I could focus on was Hunter’s arm around my waist, his soft brown eyes staring at me. Oh, Jeez. I needed to get a life. Like, I wanted to go to the store and ask the clerk, “Do you have any life for sale?” I’m such a dork. Big-time.


























 

Chapter 2


 

The next few weeks were a blur. I had no interaction with Hunter since that time in the hallway. Grace, my best friend, came over on Friday. She had no idea about the situation with Hunter. I planned to tell her that Friday, but as I was about to, something weird happened. As soon as I opened my mouth, the doorbell rang.

I sat up, wondering who was at the door this late at night. After hesitating, the doorbell rang again, so I walked over to the door, tripping in the process. As I grabbed the door in an attempt to catch myself, the door swung open, and for the second time, I fell into Hunter’s arms. He started chuckling. “Well, if it isn’t Avalanche again.” Oh, man, I thought. Hunter created a nickname for me! Grrr. “What?” I asked. “Oh, because you constantly fall into me. Clever of me, huh?” No. Just no. I replied, but only in my head. Finally it dawned on me that Hunter was at my house in the middle of the night. “Um, what are you doing here, anyway?” I was confused.

No one, and I mean no one, comes to my house at all, certainly not in the middle of the night. “Oh, you know. Just came by to drop this off.” I looked down at his hand. A letter rested in his palm. “Um, oh, ok. Well you can just set it here.” I pointed to the table next to the door. Hunter walked over and set it down. I noticed that the letter was addressed to me. “Thanks for letting me come by at 1 in the morning. Stayed late at a party,” he explained. I sighed. “Well, is that all you need?” Hunter looked over at the threshold of the door behind me, and that was when I finally noticed Grace. “Grace! How long have you been here?” “Since Hunter-” She blushed, and then cleared her throat. “Hunter rang the doorbell.” “Oh, well,” I turned to Hunter, “you might want to get back to Cherry’s party.” “How did you know that it was Cherry’s party?” he asked.  Sighing, I replied, “She’s the most popular girl in the school, Hunter. It’s kinda obvious, seeing as she has posted over 100 pictures from the party on Instagram. With you in them.” Hunter looked shocked. “You follow Cherry on Instagram?” “Um, actually, Karissa and I both do,” Grace piped in. “I thought you hated her! Why in the world would you follow her!” Hunter exclaimed. Because I like to look at photos of parties when you’re at them, I thought. Yah, ok that was creepy. And plus, I don’t even like him that way! Grrr, it was all so confusing sometimes. I cleared my throat. “Anywho, Grace and I would really like to continue our sleepover, so...yah.”

Grace glared at me. I shot her a confused look, but she continued glaring. She was going to have some explaining to do. “Oh, uh. Sure, I guess. Um. I’ll see you two-” Hunter waggled his eyebrows “-on Monday..” As soon as the door closed behind Hunter, Grace sighed and turned around. “Karissa, get a life.” “What?” I was confused. Grace never spoke to me this way. “I mean, Hunter is not in your league. At all. You really need to stop liking him in that way.” “Um, what the heck are you talking about, Grace? I don’t like him. Ok? So can we continue this sleepover in peace?”

Grace rolled her eyes. Guess I forgot that she doesn’t like it whenever I’m bossy. That night, as I went to sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about Hunter. I know, I’m such a first-class dork. “Ok,” I thought to myself, “I hereby declare that I am no longer going to have any interaction with Hunter from now on.” This time, I fell asleep in peace.


















 

Chapter 3

 

My declaration didn’t work out. For the third time in a month, I walked straight into Hunter. He smiled, handed me my books, and walked away without a single word. I was so confused. No “Hello, Avalanche.” or other witty comments, just a small smile. I decided that I needed to apologize to him, so I hurried after him, right on his heels.Then I noticed something weird. He wasn’t walking toward his next class, rather towards the basement, where the janitor worked. Quickly, I darted behind a nearby wall. As Hunter reached the basement door, he started tapping on the door in what seemed an elaborate pattern, his hand moving across the door in different places at different times. It was all giving me a headache. Finally, the door inched open, a loud creak sounding across the empty hall. “Who is here!” A gravely voice boomed.

I shrinked back against the wall. “Hunter Ridson.” “Permission granted.” The door opened fully, revealing a gold and red lined carpet flowing down the spiral stairs. I gasped. Big mistake. Hunter spun around, yelling, “Who is there!” Again, my voice betrayed me as I squeaked at Hunter’s loud cry. Rounding the corner, he crashed into me. I jumped back, tripping on my own feet. Right before I hit the floor, Hunter grabbed me around the waist, pulled me up, and set me on the floor. “Man, you really gotta stop slamming into me. It’s getting annoying.”

Like I assumed, he was mad. “Now, I got to ask. WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING HERE?” I cried out, backing up. “U-u-um, I-I-I wanted-d to apologize for-r b-bumping into y-you, so-o I followed you-u…” I stammered out. “I don’t care how you freaking got here. All I care is that you GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!” Hunter yelled. Backing up even further, I reached the wall. As I could go no further, Hunter went on. “I didn’t want ANYONE,” he screamed. “ANYONE to know about this! I spent all my life hiding this. IN SECRET. NOW YOU HAD TO COME!” He was screaming.“YOU RUINED EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. I MEAN-” He suddenly stopped short when he noticed that I was running down the hallway, tears streaming down my face.

Racing after me, he grabbed my arm, pulling me towards him. “I guess I got carried away. I swear, I didn’t mean to make you cry. Oh, my.” I was still crying, so I couldn’t respond. The only sound that came out was a short squeak, followed by a loud sniff. Pulling from his grasp, I glanced toward the door, confused. “Um, I guess you know now. Just come. I can’t keep this from you.” Hunter said. He pulled me to the door. Tentatively, I stepped down the stairs one at a time, gripping the rail so hard my knuckles turned white. It looked as if I was walking down the red carpet, probably because I was, in a sense. When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I gasped. A large room surrounded me, covered in gold wallpaper. Lucious white, fluffy, pillowy carpet layered the floor. Cameras and TVs covered the walls, showing footage of places that I was sure I had seen before, but couldn’t remember if I had. In the corner, a large bar filled with snacks was placed. Backing up, I pressed up against the wall trying to hold myself up. I was astonished. “W-w-what..?” Before Hunter could reply, I looked toward the corner. The last thing I remember is Hunter’s arms grabbing me, and my parents rushing toward me.



















 

Chapter 4


 

Four years ago, as I was driving home from dance practice with my parents, a car came speeding by us, running straight into our car. My parents didn’t make it. I was so depressed that I didn’t come out of my room for months, skipping school. Meals were delivered to me by my nanny, whom I never said a word to the whole two years she lived in my house. When I finally returned to school, my grades dropped to F’s in each class, mainly because nothing seemed real to me. Sitting in class and even just listening made me burst into tears, and eventually I was pulled out of class to sit in the hallway, still crying my eyes out. They say time heals all wounds.. I guess that’s true, as I eventually stopped crying every day and moved on. It still hurt to think about my parents, but I no longer was depressed. I moved in with my aunt and uncle after that. Present day. As soon as I saw my parents in the corner, I passed out. There was NO way possible they could have been there! Although I didn’t see my parents after the crash, the police told me they died. The police wouldn’t lie to me. No! They couldn’t!

When I woke up, I was laying on a couch. Hunter was over in the corner, talking to my parents. MY PARENTS! As soon as I saw them, I yelled out, “MOM! DAD!” Both spun around, crying. I sat up, tears streaming down my face as my parents rushed to me. Jumping into their arms was heaven. After five minutes of teary hugs, I pushed back. “What the heck are you guys doing here! I-I-I…” I broke off, starting to cry again. My mom spoke first, although still choked up. “This young man over here,” she pointed to Hunter, “found us on the streets. After the car wreck, your dad and I jumped out of the car and ran. We couldn’t risk it-” “Risk what!?!” I exclaimed. “Our identities. We will get to that later. Anyway, we’ve lived on the streets since then. Your dad had found an abandoned shack, so we took up residence in that. A few days ago, Hunter was walking down the street when he noticed your dad walking into the shack. After catching up with him, Hunter began to ask questions. Of course, at first, we didn’t really talk. But after he mentioned that he went to the school you go to, Karissa, we started talking. Finally, I ended up telling Hunter our whole story. From the car crash on. He took me and your dad to this room, and we’ve lived here ever since.” “But...why did you - and the police..lie to me?” “It was to protect you, Karissa. We wanted to keep you from the media and magazines. We wanted you to have a normal life. We did this because we love you, honey.” By the time my mom was finished talking, I was full blown crying again. Jumping up, I rushed into Hunter’s arms, thanking him over and over again for saving my parents. It was so amazing to see them after four years of me thinking they were dead. I couldn’t stop pinching myself, sure it was a dream.

But it wasn’t. All was real! “I’m so glad you’re happy, Karissa!” Hunter exclaimed. “I-I can’t believe that they are actually here! Oh, my….I can’t!” I said as I sobbed happy tears into his chest. He held me tighter. “But...why did they lie to me? I’m their daughter…” He didn’t respond. While he was holding me, thoughts swirled around in my head. Because of Hunter, I had my parents back. Because of Hunter, my life would be changed forever, and in a good way, I thought. As I looked around the room, I realized something. “Um, what is this room?” I asked. “And...what did you mean by your identities, Mom?” That was what scared me. All my life, my parents were just, well, my parents. I didn’t know them as anyone else. So, as you would guess, I was quite confused. “Uh...this is going to be hard to explain. Have you ever heard of the singer Mikael Armharn?” “Of course, Mom!” “Now, say your dad’s name out loud.” “Um..ok...Mike Arhart.” “Good, now, think about those two names and how they compare.” “Mikael Armharn…..Mike Arnhart….Armharn..Arnhart-”. Then it dawned on me. “Oh, my, gosh. Oh, my, my GOSH! Dad’s name...he...he..” “Yes, your dad is Mikael Armharn.”


 

 

















 

Chapter 5


 

I think I fainted. I’m not sure. But, again, I woke up to Hunter leaning over me. “You really need to stop fainting, Karissa. It’s not good for you.” “Thanks, Captain Obvious.” I groaned. Hunter rolled his eyes. “I think that’s enough surprises for one day, let’s get you in bed.” “BED! What time is it?!?” I exclaimed. “It’s 1 in the morning. Time flies when you have a busy day, you know.” I tried to climb off the couch, but I couldn’t stand. Hunter wrapped his arm around me, and helped me walk to the couch on the opposite side of the room. As he laid me down, Hunter whispered in my ear, “Goodnight, Avalanche.” Smiling, he walked away. I swear I melted.

 

Sitting up, I glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. It was eight A.M. As I scrambled out of bed, I tripped over the blanket and fell down. Hunter rushed in, worry etched on his face, but it all disappeared when he saw me on the ground tangled up in the blanket. He burst out laughing. “I thought you got kidnapped or something. Quit scaring me like that!” I laughed, but then something grabbed my attention. “Wait...SCHOOL! Oh, my. I’m so late for school!” “Karissa, calm down. It’s Saturday.” Hunter explained. “W-what..” Laughing, Hunter replied, “So much has happened, Kar. You just forgot the date. You also forgot something else..” He grabbed me around the waist, spun me around facing him, and shoved a blindfold on me. I freaked out, trying to twist out of his hold. “Kar, oh, jeez. Calm down! It’s a surprise.” Hunter explained. I relaxed a little at that statement. Leading me to another room, Hunter spun me around once again, and then took off my blindfold.

I gasped. The room was smaller than the original one, but it was amazing. Large tables covered in pink tablecloths were spread around the room, streamers and pink fairy lights decorated the otherwise plain cream-colored walls. Spelled out in glittery pink letters, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KARISSA!  covered one of the walls in the back of the room. It was then that I remembered. Today was my birthday! I still don’t understand why I run to Hunter to hug him every time I received a surprise, but I did once again in that moment. He whispered in my ear, “I hope you like it...I worked hard on this.” As he smiled, I reached over and kissed his cheek. “I love it, Hunter.” Pulling away, I walked over to a table full of candy, pastries, and...and the cake. The cake was three tiers, each tier decorated with small candy roses and soft pink piped frosting. On the top, spelled out with light purple icing, read, “Happy 17th Birthday, Karissa!” Once again, I gasped. Hunter walked over, grabbed my arm, and pulled me to another table across the room. The table was lined with presents in colorful wrapping. It was then that I noticed that there were others in the room. My mom, dad, and Grace stood against the wall beaming brightly. I ran over, hugging each of them in turn. “Thank you guys so much! I-I can’t believe that this is actually happening!” “You’re so welcome, Kar. Now, let’s dig into the cake!” Hunter said. Everyone in the room cheered and rushed to the cake table, fighting their way for a place in line.

When the party was over, I carried all of my presents to my new “bed” of sorts, since my family and I had moved into the basement of the school. I then noticed something particular. A letter was resting on my bed. I then remembered that letter as the one that Hunter brought during the middle of the night many weeks ago. Picking it up, I slid my thumb underneath the seal. “Dear Karissa,” it said. “I assume by now you know the truth. After I set that letter on your table, I realized I made a mistake. You didn’t notice that I grabbed it as I walked out the door, as you weren’t supposed to know about this yet. I knew about your dad for years, and every time I saw you, I wanted to tell you so bad, but I couldn’t. You have no idea how hard this was. Karissa, this may seem cheesy, but I need to tell you something. From the moment I met you, I knew you were special. You always seemed to stand out, and is was so funny how you hated me. I’m used to every girl in the school acting like they’re tied to my ankle, but you didn't. This is going to be short and sweet, but Karissa, I love you. And I just wanted you to know that. Sincerely, Hunter.” I teared up. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a love letter, actually not anything remotely close to one. Setting it down, I sat on the couch, and thought about everything, including my so-called bedroom. Apparently, as I had recently learned in a conversation with my parents and Hunter, there was (emphasis on was) a janitor at our school, but his office was located in the attic, not the basement. Harold, the janitor, knew about the top-secret room in the basement. In order to keep the room secret, he told the school that his office was down there. Harold also told the school that no one, not even the staff, was allowed down there, as it was his “space”. Anyone who wanted to speak with him had to meet in the front lobby with him. Although this may seem a weird thing, this plan had kept the basement secret for years. I also learned another shocking truth - the room that I stayed in was a safe house for pop stars. If the star had had something tragic happen in their life, and didn’t want it broadcast all over the world, they paid these people, which included Hunter and his parents, as well as many others, to hide them, and tell social media that the star or stars were taking a break from the fame, to settle down. Even though this idea seems skeptical, it has worked for over five decades. Ownership of the business has been passed down Hunter’s family to the oldest male still alive during the time. Hunter’s father currently owned the business, and Hunter was next in line. Moving on, a few years after my parent’s car crash, when Hunter found them on the streets, they paid him and he took them in, telling social media that “Mikael Armharm” and his wife were taking a break from fame. Of course, I had heard the news, but that was before all of this had happened. When Hunter said that he found my parents a few days ago on the street, he was lying. He had found my parents years ago, but they didn’t reveal that I was their daughter until last week, on the same day that Hunter said he had supposedly found them. What I didn’t understand is the fact that my parents had been lying to me all of those years before the wreck, when they left on long three week trips, only to say that those were business trips for their jobs. My parents were lawyers, or at least that’s what I thought they were. My mother - my dad wasn’t much of a talker - explained that her and my dad kept this from me because they wanted to protect me from not only the paparazzi, but adoring fans as well. As far as I knew, many fans weren’t that friendly when it came to meeting their favorite star, or the star’s family, attacking people and possibly the star, just to get their hands on them. One fan tried to shoot my dad once when he, my dad, wouldn’t let the fan come up on stage to hug him. The person had been arrested right away, and from my limited knowledge, I believe the fan was still in prison to this day. Despite the fact that I was quite distraught that my parents never told me their true identities, and how they let me suffer through the pain of thinking I lost them forever, I loved them deeply, and no words could describe how happy I was to have them back, alive and well. That night, I fell asleep with these thoughts swirling around in my head.































 

12




 

Chapter 6


 

-One Year Later-

 

I sat on the edge of the dock by the lake, a book resting in my hand, but I didn’t pay attention to the it. So much had changed over the past year, just thinking about it made my head spin. I glanced up as I noticed a figure walking towards me. “Hey, Kar.” Hunter said, as he emerged from the shadows. “Hey.” I replied. Hunter sat down next to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. I leaned into him, my head still spinning from thinking all about the past year. “I...I just can’t believe that all of this happened.” I began. “First my parents came back from the dead -” Hunter laughed, “- then I found out that they had lied to me their whole lives, and now…” “Now you’re here,” Hunter finished. A few weeks after my 17th birthday party, my parents and I moved out into the country, away from all of the drama. My dad had resigned from his pop-star persona, moving on to something else - farming. Hunter and his family had moved a few houses down, as they figured that relocation would be best for their business, because quite a few times students and staff alike had wandered into the basement, forgetting that it was off-limits. Hunter and I had become a couple, and the joy that came from that arrangement was comparable to nothing else. Grace came out with her boyfriend, Xander, every weekend to visit me, which usually ended up in shopping sprees and dinners with the guys. Since I was around 50 miles from the nearest school, I was home-schooled for the rest of the year, and now the only school related worry I have is college, as I still haven’t decided which one I was going to attend. Nothing was the same, and it never would be. Because of that one moment when I ran into Hunter, everything in my life changed, and not one person, nor thing, came out the same after the dust had settled. But the one thing I have learned from this whole experience was that when times get rough, having people who love and care about you is the best remedy around. My phone rang, breaking me out of my thoughts. “Hello?” I asked. “Hey, Kar! You want to go to a party at my place? You can bring Hunter!” Grace exclaimed so loudly that I had to hold the phone away from my ear. “Sure, who else is coming?” “Well, it’s me, Xander, Cherry, plus you and your other half.” I rolled my eyes. Grace was jealous of my relationship with Hunter, but I didn’t understand that, as her and Xander were like two peas in a pod. “Cherry’s going to be there?” I asked. “Yeah!” I smiled, although Grace couldn’t see me. Over the summer, I ran into Cherry while I was at a local coffee shop in the small town near my house. At first, things were quite awkward, but after a while, Cherry and I easily slipped into conversation. We became inseparable after that. Goes to show that not all Populars are snobby, I guess.

 

 

An hour later, I pulled into Grace’s driveway with Hunter in tow. Stepping out of the car, I walked towards the door. Just as my hand reached up to knock, the door swung open, startling me. “Haha, very funny,” I said as I saw Grace laughing. “Kar! You made it!” Cherry appeared at the door. “Hey, Cherry!” I exclaimed. She walked over and hugged me. After we broke apart, I glanced behind her into Grace’s house and saw my favorite thing ever - Grace’s pool. Gasping, I quickly ran in her house, ignoring the laughing from the others in the doorway. They all knew how much I loved the pool, and frankly, they liked to make fun of me for it. But at this moment, I didn’t care. Right before I reached the pool’s edge, someone came up from behind me and lifted me up. I spun around to see Hunter’s smiling face. “Hunter! Set me down!” I whined. “No. Not until you get something else to swim in on.” He said, still smiling. My face heated up as I glanced down at the t-shirt and shorts I was currently wearing. Pulling myself from Hunter’s arms, I ran back to the house, tackled Grace and pulled her to her room. “What the heck, Kar!” “Sorry, but I need a swimsuit.” Grace sighed. “Have you gone mental? Look down.” When I glanced down, I noticed that I had my swimsuit on underneath my shirt. “Oh…” I said as my face heated up once again. “Yeah...um...ok.” Laughing, Grace grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the room once I was ready. As soon as I ran outside, I jumped into the pool, finally free. Jumping behind me, Hunter grabbed me around the waist, spun me around, and tackled me. “Hunter! Oh my gosh, stop!” “Never,” He replied, laughing.







 

Epilouge

 

-Four Years Later-

 

Hunter reached across the dinner table at my favorite restaurant, grabbing my hand. Then the impossible happened. Kneeling down on one knee, he began. “Karissa Ann Arnhart. When I first ran into you, literally, I fell in love with you at first sight. When you found out about your parents, when you came to me, crying, I knew it. I knew that I loved you. And now, I want to show you that I do. Kar, will you spend the rest of your life with me?” Hunter took a deep breath. “Will you marry me?” I burst into tears. “Yes! Yes! I will!” Everyone in the restaurant cheered. I hugged Hunter. In that one moment, the pieces of my life fell in place, completing my long-awaited puzzle.


 

The End.

 


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