Friday, June 28, 2013

THE HOTNESS (chapter two: Mackenzie)

Chapter Two
    First things first, as Honey would say. She talks, I write, Veronica listens.
    The only person Mackenzie truly liked, (apart from her twin brother who obviously shared the same DNA), was Darcy. Mackenzie had idolized him since she was a little girl and all through her middle school journals she’d written things like, I wonder what Darcy would do? and Darcy is so hot / Darcy is the hottest boy I’ve ever met / Darcy is a rock star. He is the one, the only, the hotness.
     Wow, Mackenzie was years older than us but she was clearly “far more deluded” as Honey, who is aiming to be the most popular girl in school by her junior year, would say.
     Mackenzie was supposed to arrive with her brother that first day of school but she had an appointment with her hairdresser, Marvin Markin and that took priority.
     Marvin was the most notable stylist in Rodeo Drive. He had bright orange hair and simply could not be kept waiting. Mackenzie was lucky to get in on a cancellation.  School would have to be postponed. Mackenzie’s schedule of foils and straightening tongs was far more important than classes. After all, she reasoned, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  
     I read all of this in the notes Mackenzie had scribbled on the back of her History folder and left carelessly on a lunch room table for me to gather and carry.
     Oh, I forgot to tell you, from day one she designated me her ‘freshman helper’ and I played along so I could keep the others informed. I think it’s because I wear glasses that everyone thinks I’m smart. Honey and Veronica have been trying to encourage me to wear contacts. I’m allergic so I’m not going there – yet. Besides, as freshman, we don’t date and our lives are not nearly as eventful as Mackenzie’s, so I secretly enjoyed following Mackenzie around. Up to a point.
    Besides, I’m going to be an actress first, before I fall in love, then a writer: AWW. I write ActressWriterWhatever on my home page. At the moment I’m researching a potential television role as a teenage intellectual queen bee. I’m basing my character on Veronica and a freshman mathlete I know. My audition is not for two weeks so this gives me heaps of time to sleuth.
     “You need to start wearing contacts,” Mackenzie repeated that first day as if she were the inventor of style. “In color, I’d say blue. It’ll brighten your eyes,” Mackenzie assured me. I nodded. I knew I’d be thrown out of her potential inner sanctum if I openly disagreed with her.
    Let’s leave Mackenzie at Marvin Markin’s Hair Salon for Fashionable Teens (I did) and focus instead on her brother Ryan and his hotsicle best friend, Darcy. Mackenzie paid for my cab to school that day so I arrived in style just as the newbies created quite a stir in the hallway by showing up. Fame preceded them, Darcy reasoned. It was always the same:
    “Always a feast, never a famine. I’m so over it.” I heard him say distinctly to Ryan as he slammed his locker door again.   
     Ryan and Darcy complimented each other perfectly because they both came from a far flung, misunderstood and ancient part of the world – Australia. I looked it up on a google map during recess. It’s very orange. The center of their vast country of origin was largely red and uninhabited and although the coastline cities were modern and densely populated, the boys carried with them the look of bored, ruggedness on the hunt for action. There were tons of things in Australia that could kill you (like snakes and spiders) so Darcy and Ryan were like kings of their species – they’d survived to visit civilization – our school in Los Angeles.  
     And yet, Darcy persisted in boasting.
     “Sure, America is a large country, but we’ve seen cattle stations just as big as the ranches in Texas: our own back yards, for one thing.”
     What I’m saying, of course, is that it took A LOT to impress them.
     Their fathers both worked for The Bank of Australia (some people said they owned it) and the boys had never known anything but luxury: swimming all year round, tennis in summer, skiing in Falls Creek during winter, sailing in spring, horse riding when they weren’t driving their extremely expensive sports cars. 
     Even though they were sent away from their lush six storied homes and private boy’s schools on the shores of Sydney Harbor to one of the many far-flung family-owned cattle ranches where life was harsh and the weather was even harsher, during school vacations (to ‘toughen them up’ according to their fathers), they had an aura of ‘poshness’ about them. They acted, quite frankly, superior and although the Princesses were taken by them, we were not ‘taken in’ by them. Especially the taller one. That one was Darcy, obviously.