Chasing Michelle – This short story is written as a script.
Two years before the events of Life is Strange..
10.45 – Chase Space
The Chase Space is Chase’s family about to open art space. With an “Inauguration today at 4!” banner at the entrance. Inside the place is an almost a full pink/black art space, dealing with a “Zulu Art of Center Africa” exhibition still in preparation. There are ancient African statues and pictures of cave paintings.
<Victoria! Hurry up already! We need those sushi trays upstairs! Move please!> Victoria mother’s yell to her, looking at her phone without searching her daughter.
Victoria rushes on the stairs of the Chase Space, bringing four trays, two by arm like a waitress. Arrived to the first floor, she tries to check the place moving her head to the left and then to the right. She is dressed like a normal teenager, with jeans, sneakers and a cute pink shirt designed more for fourteen years old kids rather than sixteen girls. She has a ponytail and wears no make-up at all.
<Oh gosh, where I’m supposed to leave these trays?> She founds a table with beverages <There!>
All of a sudden, Mrs. Chase receive a phone call and answers turning her head to the entrance of the art space. Victoria hears the ring, looking over the balcony of the first floor to the ground.
<Yes? Hello Mister Jefferson, yes, I know! We are so glad that you’d come to our “Zulu’s Art” exhibition! You are such a talented artist and->
<Mister Jefferson?!> wonders Victoria
<Oh don’t worry Mister Jefferson, I realize you are a busy photographer and tied up to your art. The “Chase Space” will always open for your work!>
An angry Victoria stomps the ground, causing one of the trays to flip and fall to the floor, with her trying to reach it before it falls. Unfortunately, moving like that causes only to make the other trays to fall on the ground as well.
Alerted by the noise, Mrs. Chase asks <Victoria? What just happened?>
Victoria, realizing the mess she made whispers <Oh no…> starting to think <My mum will kill me, I just screwed the inauguration… I…>
<What the hell Victoria?!> Mrs. Chase reaches the first floor, looking the sushi trays fallen to the ground.
Victoria face starts blushing, ashamed of what she has done.
<You messed up everything, and it’s just two hours to the opening! I can’t let people in with sushi on the ground!>
<I know mum, I was just trying to hear what you were..>
Mrs. Chase raises a hand and stops Victoria from talking <Listen honey, grab two Franklins and go catch some sushi across the street! And PLEASE ask them to do delivery. I can’t mess this thing again!>
Victoria nods and starts walking down the stairs, sobbing about the mess she made.
<Figures. I can’t even help my parents during their most important day on their life. I’m such a dork.>
Victoria grabs a backpack with a fluorescent figure similar to the one in Vic’s room during Life is Strange. She leaves Chase Space and starts walking to a Sushi restaurant near the Art Room, looking to her feet
She starts thinking again <I shouldn’t even come to the Chase Place. The more I stay away from my parents the less damage I do. I just want to help, but I can’t even move some trays without screw it up.>
Victoria almost reaches for the restaurant but keeps thinking <I wonder how I could impress Mister Jefferson if he actually could come to my parents’ exhibition. Nah, I would probably start to bubble like a child while trying to talk to him!>
Entering the restaurant, Victoria noticed six Japanese paintings.
<Oh wow! They are Katsushika Hokusai’s famous Mount Fuji paintings!>
She extracts an expensive digital camera from her backpack and takes a picture.
<Look at the colors!> Victoria starts thinking again <The original were made using the Wood blocking printing technique! It’s about drawing an image on paper to guide the cutting of a wood block. The block then is covered in ink and is used to create the image.>
A nice Japanese old lady behind the counter notices Victoria taking a picture, so she ask <It’s so nice to see you kids so interested into art these days. Are you a photographer young lady?>
<Well…> Victoria mumbles <My parents are, I’m just trying to become one!>
<You’ll become one, you’ll become one. The secret is to focus on what’s important in life. Your family, your friends and your dreams.>
The lady nods to the paintings <Like Hokusai-sama. He understood that Mount Fuji was the essence of Japan itself, so he created his famous works.>
Victoria listens and smiles to the lady, looking innocent and kind at the same time.
<But I think you came here for a different reason than hear me talking about paintings yes? What can I get you dear?>
<We need four big trays of sushi for a…> Victoria looks away <For my father’s store opening. I can’t bring them to him because well, I have to go to study. Can you make the delivery? The store is just across the street!>
<Oh! You are the daughter of the lady who just called asking for a sushi delivery! Don’t worry sweetie, your mum already informed me that you’ll pass by to pay. We are already cooking and getting things ready!>
Victoria looked disappointed <Well ok…> and handed over the money without uttering another word. She walks out the restaurant and starts thinking while walking somewhere
<Do they really think I can’t even make errands by myself? No wonder I’m still sixteen doing nothing! At my age my dad already won two photography contests, my mum was a press photographer in high school!> Victoria puts her hands in her pockets <I have to improve myself! No matter the cost! But how? I’m just an artists’ daughter in a big city full of kids like me. I can’t do anything here.>
She started walking on the sidewalk, looking down to her feet.
<No way I’m going back to Chase Place today.> Victoria snorted <I’ll only be a pain in the ass if I stay in their way.>
Victoria reaches a bus stop bench and sits. She gaze toward the sky, realizing is about to rain with a grimace on her face. She puts her backpack on her legs and grabs a comic book from it.
<…And beside, nobody will talk to me. But I don’t care. My brand new Hawt dog man comic book will take me company! Yas!>
Victoria smiles while the rain starts dropping. She lowers her eyes again and close the backpack again almost hugging it.
<I’m just wasting time. But it’s like I can’t do anything here to be relevant! I swear to God. The moment my parents will buy me a car I’ll drive away from Seattle and make my own art! My photographs! >
The bus arrives and Victoria climbs the steps, entering the vehicle and reaching over a free spot. Moving forward on the street, the bus changes the landscape visible from the window. Victoria puts the chin on her hand, watching the drops hitting the glass.
All of a sudden, a group of 18 years old female students walked into the bus, sitting near Victoria and one of them is recognized by her.
<Michelle?!> Victoria assumed an astonished and surprise expression. <That’s really her?!>
Vic then lowers her head and sighs. Michelle is a white blond haired girl with pink ponytails. She was wearing a red and white “AI” (The Art institute of Seattle) sweatshirt, a pair of black jeans and expensive boots. Her friends are dressed with the same style. Looking like the classic and stereotypical college mean girls.
Victoria looked away, trying to see Michelle’s face on the reflection on the window <Man, I didn’t see her since we were kids and neighbors! She actually introduced me to photography because my parents were too busy to do it themselves.>
For an instant, Michelle saw her old friend and smiled to her. Seeing this, one of her mean her friends recalled her.
<Hellooo? Mish? You still there? I was telling you of Brandon! I will definitely score with this guy!>
Michelle moved her head again, not caring about Victoria anymore. Meanwhile, the bus is rapidly proceeding to Seattle’s outskirts.
<Even if she was two years older than me, Michelle never gave me the typical “I’m too cool for you kiddo” look.> Victoria thought <I lost contact with her when she started to attend Middle School and I was still in elementary. Then my parents got rich and we moved. She looks so good and pretty! I wonder what faculty she attends!>
One of Michelle’s friends noticed Victoria’s gaze and started to look at her in a bad way. Victoria got scared and so she looked away. Without knowing what to do, she pulled out her Hawt dog man comic. She starts reading, giggling at the page where Hawt dog man punches one of his worst antagonists: Herr Pretzel, wearing a Bavarian dress and hat. “You won’t stop me from destroying your kiosk, Hawt dog man!” at which our hero responds “Try it! Then I’ll give you a reason to be depretzd!”
<Hello Vicky!> Suddenly Michelle sits near Victoria, looking happy to see her old friend.
Victoria immediately hides her hawt-dog man in her backpack, without realizing the cover is still visible.
<Oh! Hi Michelle! Where did your friends go?>
<They already reached their stop, so I’m all alone now! How are things? I didn’t see for how long? The elementary school?>
<Yeah! I was like what? 8?> answers Victoria <It’s so nice to see you! And your ponytails are so amazing! Are you a freshman now?>
Michelle points with her finger her sweatshirt saying <I’m a design student at The International art institute! It’s so nice to be in college: I can do whatever I want, whenever I want! But well, I can do this only because of my scholarship!>
Victoria puts her hand on Michelle’s arm, smiling proud.
<That’s so cool Michelle! Congrats! I always knew you were amazing!>
Michelle laughs a little bit, blushing proud of herself.
<I got to be honest with you Vicky, I get help from my friends. I’m not saying I’m the leader of my clique but I try to. There’s not enough time to party and study here in Seattle swee!>
<Oh, I see!> But Victoria isn’t looking so convinced.
<What are you reading?> asks Michelle, grabbing the Hawt dog man in Vic’s backpack and giving it a quick look.
<Hawt-dog man! Wow, that brings back some memories! Remember when we played videogames in your basement? Gosh I was such an uber-pro in Final Fantasy X, you were a six years old kid that couldn’t even understand how to play blitzball!>
<Oh my! when you showed me that you could actually win the tournament in FF-X, I thought you were a videogame God!>
<Yeah! We should do this again sometimes! One of my boyfriends, err, one of my boy-friends bought me a Playstation 3! You should crash at my place and play some good ol’ games. I still live at my old place. Give me your number swee!>
<Ok!> Victoria grabs her phone. The mobile is old, decorated with stickers and smileys. Michelle do the same, showing a more expensive phone. While the two friends exchange their numbers, two girls, other students from “IA” college, show up spotting Michelle sitting near Victoria. One is a tall redhead with a black sweater and expensive jeans with rips, the other is a young black woman with pink fashionistas glasses and a piercing on her nose.
<Yo Mishy-mishy!> Then staring Victoria <Oh excuse-you, but what are your dorky ass is near our Michelle?>
Victoria opens her eyes a little bit scared <Oh, uhm, Hi! I’m one of Michelle’s childhood friends and I..>
<OMG look at her phone! What are you twelve? That looks sooo ’90 I can still hear Kurt thobain shooting himself in the head!>
<Well..> Victoria tried to play it nice <There was no actually phones like these in the nineties!>
<Oh please, are you trying to be cool with me? Get out of our faces! Mish! Say something to this child!>
Michelle opened her mouth looking at Victoria with displease, than smiled to her friends.
<Yeah, she was trying to sell me this childish Super Hawt dog man or whatever this stupid comic is called.>
<Michelle?!> said Victoria shocked, feeling betrayed.
<Why are you calling with my name? I don’t even know you, we attended the same elementary school but who cares? It happened like ten years ago! Disappear nerd!>
Michelle laughed, letting the redhead grab Victoria by her ponytail, dropping her on the bus’ floor. Some of the other passengers tried to intervene, but Michelle stopped them <Sit tight folks! There’s nothing to be seen here! Just throwing out the trash!>
While Victoria was trying to stand on her feet again, she was hit by her own backpack, right in the back, thrown by Michelle’s other friend. Fortunately for Victoria, the bus arrived at her stop letting her get out of the bus, only after retrieving her backpack. While running home, Victoria started crying, entering her family’s mansion rushing to her bedroom. She lied on the bed, hiding her head under the pillow.
<Why? Why she did that to me? She was supposed to be my friend! She asked me to go to her house and play videogames together! Why?>
Victoria took off from her shoulders the backpack, seeing her Hawt dog man comic book. Screaming in rage, she tore it apart, throwing the pieces around the room. Then she heard her phone ring. It a SMS from Michelle.
“Hey Vic, I’m sorry for what happened before. I had to act like a total bitch to be the queen of campus. So… see you Thursday night? No hard feelings xoxo”
Victoria gazed the SMS incredulously <What? How dare her!?>
Disgusted, Victoria threw her phone on the wall destroying it in pieces. In despair, she started to cry again.
Then, she had an Idea.
After walking to the mirror, she grabbed her ponytail and cut it off without caring to look good, getting a short haircut.
<You think you are so cool Michelle, huh? How dare you. I’m Victoria Chase damn it. My parents have wealth and they are opening their own art space while you still leave on your own same old house with your parents.>
<Pathetic! You are pathetic! You’ll be able to be the stupid leader of your clique in that little Seattle College, but I will become Queen soon in a photography school. >
Victoria winked to the mirror laughing.
<Au revoir nerdy Vic, welcome bitchy me.>
And then she took a selfie with her tongue out.