The Lying Game
Summary: When Payson wakes up about two weeks before school starts, in a hospital, with some bruises and first degree burns on her arms and legs, she has no idea what happened to her. Actually, she doesn't remember a thing, period. Everything is tabula rasa.
Her parents tell her that she has been found unconscious outside a burning cabin on the outskirts of town. With her, there was also another person, probably of her same age, whose body was found inside the cabin completely charred. The police hasn't been able to identify her.
After two weeks her life seems almost back to normal. She starts school and even if she still hasn't regained her memories of the life she had before the 'accident', her family and her three best friends are there for her and everything seems great.
But when Payson slowly starts to remember things of a life that has nothing in common with the one she's actually living, her first barely there suspicions become certainties. The life she's living belongs to someone else, someone who was obviously identical to her, someone who is now dead. When she also starts to receive strange messages and she finds out that a lot of people have several reasons to hate her, Payson realizes that what was labeled as an accident is in reality anything but and that the person whose body was found and that she later finds out is in fact her twin sister, has actually been killed and that she may be next.
This is the description of the story: When Payson regains her lost memories, after having been found unconscious outside a burning cabin, and with these memories not matching what she's been told about her life, she realizes that she's living her long lost twin sister's life. Trying to find the one responsible for her death is difficult, especially if even the people closest to her have reasons to hate her.
Characters: Payson Keeler, Kim Keeler, Mark Keeler, Becca Keeler, Kaylie Cruz, Lauren Tanner, Emily Kmetko, Sasha Belov, Kelly Parker, Damon Young, Austin Tucker, Razor, Leo Cruz, Steve Tanner, Chloe Kmetko, Alex and Ronnie Cruz, Max Spencer, Rigo, Marty Walsh, Ellen Beals. Pretty much everyone.
Pairings: Payson/Sasha (as usual), Emily/Damon, Austin/Kaylie, Lauren/Razor, Kelly/Leo.
I guess from the title you can imagine that this story is inspired by 'The Lying Game series' but the plot for this story won't really follow the books even if various things will be taken from it.
It won't follow the 'Make It or Break It' seasons either, it will be AU. Payson and the other girls will be simply high school students, not elite gymnasts. Payson will be a swimmer though - Payson without a sport and her competitiveness and determination to win wouldn't be Payson -. And Sasha will be - guess what? - her swimming coach and her English teacher.
There will also be some elements taken from 'Pretty Little Liars'(the TV Show, not the books), the anonymous messages first of all, but it won't follow its plot either.
P.S. Payson - as well as the other girls: Kaylie, Lauren, Emily and Kelly - will be 18 in the story so she will be a senior. Becca - Payson's sister - will be 16 and a sophomore in high school.
"Wake up, it's time, little girl, wake up
All the best of what we've done is yet to come
Wake up, it's time, little girl, wake up
Just remember who I am in the morning"
(Losing your Memory - Ryan Star)
She groggily forced herself awake. The strong light of the ceiling was hurting her eyes and she took a few minutes to focus on her surroundings. She was lying on something soft, a bed perhaps? Everything around her was blindingly white. She heard voices around her but she couldn't understand their words, everything was muffled, almost as if she was keeping her head underwater. She moved her hand slightly on top of the blankets but her arm ached so she stopped. The voices were starting to become clearer. Someone was calling her.
"Sweety?" A woman's voice was saying with a concerned, motherly tone. "Payson are you awake?" She tried to answer but her throat was parched and she suddenly noticed that her head ached too. What had happened to her? Was she in a hospital? Why was she there?
"It's okay Pay, don't try to talk. Take it easy." This time it was a man, his voice was deep and warm. She still couldn't see their faces.
"Payson will be fine, right mom?" Another voice, this time younger, of a girl.
"Of course Becca." The woman from before answered.
She tried to stand up a little on her pillow but her muscles wouldn't cooperate, she was feeling so weak.
"Payson? No, no, don't try to move. The doctor said not to strain yourself." The man said. She finally saw their faces, eagerly watching her, obviously worried for her. They were all around her bed, waiting for something from her. The woman was probably in her late forties, with long brown hair, chocolate eyes and a kind smile. The man was tall, obviously in his fifties, with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. The girl, probably sixteen, was pretty, with long blonde hair and huge blue eyes. They were obviously a family. Their faces were completely foreign to her, nothing about them seemed familiar. And yet, they knew her. They kept calling her 'Payson', but that wasn't her name, or was it? She had so many questions chasing themselves in her head. The woman came close to her. "How are you feeling Payson? Do you need anything? Do you want me to call the doctor?" She whispered "Water" in a terrible, scratchy voice she didn't recognize. The man, closest to the bedside table, handed her a glass of water. The woman helped her settle in a sitting position. She sipped slowly, her hands trembling, her throat burning. "What happened?" She asked them once she finished drinking the water.
"You don't remember?" The man asked her. The girl, she noticed, looked worried, her eyes shifting from the man, to the woman, to her. Payson shook her head in response but then stopped, feeling suddenly dizzy. She tried to bring a hand to her head but her arm was bound to the IV, preventing her movements.
"We were hoping you could tell us." The woman said to her in a kind voice. "They found you passed out just outside our cabin in the woods. It was up in flames and you had obviously been inside because you have various first degree burns on your body. You don't remember anything at all?"
"No, I'm sorry." She answered in the end.
The man shook his head and said "Don't worry. We'll figure it out." He looked worried though and looked at the woman - his wife probably - for a moment before lowering his gaze on the sheets in front of him.
"What, what is it?" Payson couldn't help but ask. Husband and wife looked at each other once again. "Becca, why don't you go to the vending machines and buy yourself something to eat? You must be hungry." She noticed 'Becca' about to open her mouth, obviously to disagree, but a look from her mother stopped her in her tracks. She nodded once and then left the room.
"They found a body inside the cabin, Payson. A body of a girl probably of your same age. The police has not been able to identify her because her body was completely charred. They weren't able to detect the fingerprints and even with the dental records they weren't able to find a match. Do you know who is she?"
"No." She said in a whisper. A body of a girl? A fire? What the hell had happened? And why she couldn't remember? "And the fire? How did it start? What the police said?"
"It was an accident. The fire started because of a burning candle that probably one of you two had left burning. The flames reached the window curtains and from there it just spread. Of course you know the cabin is made of wood from the most part, in a few minutes everything went up in flames." 'Wife' said. Her voice had started out strong but at the end of her speech, she was shaking and big tears were descending down her cheeks. "It's a miracle that you were able to get out at all, least of all almost unscathed as you did. You have a few bruises and some light burns besides a mild concussion probably caused by some tile piece that went down from the collapsed roof." She looked at her, upset that she was crying for her and not understanding why. Who were those people? Why they were so worried for her?
"Why are you crying?" She asked in a small voice. "I'm fine."
The woman suddenly burst into sobs and reached her side, hugging her tightly to herself. "Oh Payson, we were so worried." The man patted her head but kept silent.
She didn't know what she was supposed to do. They obviously knew her so why couldn't she remember them? She tried to think about something she could actually remember but realized with a start that she didn't even know her own name. How old was she? Where was she from? Who were her parents? Anything? She started to panic. Obviously there was something seriously wrong with her.
"Maybe you should call the doctor." She said then, once the woman had detached herself from her. "Of course sweety." The man left the room in search for a doctor and she looked at the woman, trying to find the courage to tell her that she didn't recognize her. "So my name is Payson uhm?" Not the best way to start the topic but it was something.
The woman startled and asked shocked. "You don't remember your name?" Payson grimaced apologetically. "No."
"What else don't you remember?" Payson kept silent. "Do you know who I am? And your father? Your sister?" Payson shook her head and lowered her eyes, suddenly feeling guilty. "I'm sorry." She heard the woman sob and she couldn't find the courage to look at her. She waited in silence for the man to return with the doctor, thing that he did a few minutes later.
"So Miss Keeler, how are you feeling today?" Payson raised her head and looked at the handsome brown-eyed, brown-haired man with a white coat and the metal tag that said 'Dr Walker'. He was obviously British.
"She doesn't remember anything." The woman said with a strangled voice.
"What?" The man asked dismayed.
Dr Walker walked up to her and checked her eyes with a tiny flashlight and checked her values. "Everything seems normal."
"Then why she doesn't remember? She didn't even know that her name was Payson or that we're her parents. She didn't recognize her sister." The woman claiming to be her mother said.
"It's probably an after-effect of the concussion and there's also the traumatic experience she went through to consider. It's not unusual for something like this to happen. Sometimes the patients have partial memory loss, sometimes they remember everything perfectly well and sometimes, like in your daughter's case, they remember nothing at all. It's usually temporary though."
"Usually? It means that there's a possibility that she could never regain her memory?" Her 'father' asked this time.
"It's a very remote possibility. But yes, it could happen." The doctor said with an apologetic tone. Then turned her head to look at her. "So, how are you feeling, besides the memory loss? Do you need something from the pain?"
"My head." Payson simply said with a grimace. Everything was still foggy, she was feeling confused and her migraine wasn't helping.
"I think a tablet of Tylenol is enough for now. If the pain gets worse and you need something stronger, just call a nurse with the emergency bottom." Payson nodded her head as a yes. Payson asked the doctor when they were going to release her but Dr Walker told her that she needed to stay in the hospital for a few days, just as a precaution. After a few recommendations the doctor left the room.
The remaining occupants stayed silent. Payson sighed and decided that she needed to say something. "Maybe you should start by telling me your names. Maybe it would help me remember." Her mother's eyes shined in hope at her words.
"Of course, you're right. I'm Kim Keeler, your mother and this is Mark Keeler, your father. We live in Boulder, Colorado. You also have a sister, the one you saw before, her name's Becca - Rebecca - and she just turned sixteen years old. She will start 10th grade this year. You are Payson Keeler, you'll be 18 in three weeks and you'll start your last year of high school. You are an average student but your real passion is swimming. You're the co-captain of the swimming team at school. You have three best friends of your same age, Kaylie Cruz, Lauren Tanner and Emily Kmetko. Emily is a ballerina while Kaylie and Lauren are co-captains of the cheerleading squad. You've been friends since third grade." Becca had returned in the room at that point and once the situation was explained to her, she put her cent in too. The three Keelers spent at least two hours telling her things about her life until the visiting hour was over.
Payson stayed awake for a long time after her parents and sister left. She had so much to think about that her brain refused to shut down. Nothing about her surroundings seemed familiar, not even the view out the window. The three people that were supposed to be the closest to her were complete strangers. She didn't even remember the faces of her three best friends, let alone anything else about them. What had really happened to her in that cabin? Why she couldn't remember a single thing about her life? So many questions and no answers. She stayed awake for hours, thinking about everything her family had told her and trying to find something familiar in it but without success. At last, when the sun had by then risen on the sky, she fell asleep, exhausted. Her sleep was restless and filled with confused nightmares. When she woke up a few hours later, she had no remembrance of them, but she felt anxious and scared.