Tuesday, July 9, 2013

THE HOTNESS: A Modern Teen Pride and Prejudice (chapter ten: Homeroom)

Chapter Ten
Priorites and Private conversations

   “I’ve decided to help with the Bachelor Auction and the pre-prom party – if you guys still need someone,” Paige told her sister.  
    “Of course, I’ll tell Wednesday.”
    I texted the other girls straight away.
    Shiloh was very excited as they took the school bus home that day.
    “Not a good look,” Mackenzie stated, shaking her head. “I have no idea why you all voted those two in,” she added. Of course we’d offered to drive the Bennet sisters home but there were so many of them. The older Bennets were considered attractive and hardworking but they weren’t rich and didn’t live in a glitzy suburb like Honey (Bel Air) or even the nicest part of Sunrise. They lived, like I said before, on the wrong side of the tracks.
    “Do you want a lift, Sweetie?” Mackenzie asked me.
    “No, my mom’s picking me up after swim practice.”
     “Oh, cool,” Mackenzie said, as if it wasn’t. Being a Princess wasn’t as much fun as she thought it was going to be.    
     I laughed at the thought of her when I adjusted my goggles. I couldn’t deny our swim coach (we call him Mr Suave), isn’t our main reason for participating in the club. He’s really old (almost thirty) but relatively cute and his girlfriend hangs out in the bleechers like his personal fan club every afternoon except Fridays. Some women need to get a life. Whatever.
     As I wrote that into my story it suddenly occurred to me that maybe Mackenzie’s meanness was rubbing off on me. That wouldn’t be great, would it? My mom wouldn’t be proud, so I scribbled it out but I totally think women need to have their own interests outside of their boyfs. (that’s short for boyfriends) and husbands, don’t you? I’m going to put that under my advice column: Wednesday’s Advice. I think Honey’s got that covered though. I’m just her PA stand in. Honey is by far the most popular freshman. She’s pretty in the right way and definitely nice as well. I’m so glad we’re friends. I always beat her in swimming races though.
       Darcy pulled up into his driveway around the same exact moment as Honey and I were being dropped home.
       Mackenzie, having arrived earlier, realized just a glimpse of Darcy’s hotness from her upstairs window brightened her day. He glanced up at her through the car window and waved dismissively. He too had trailed the school bus. He was thinking how much he’d hate having to take public transport in LA as he clicked open the gates without giving Mackenzie even a backward glance.  
    That night, in their crowded but clean and comfortable home, the eldest Bennet sisters (who shared a large, fairy light decorated attic bedroom) were talking in their beds.
    “Okay, do you want to hear it? I’m ready.”
    “Of course,” Shiloh replied encouragingly. Shiloh was always encouraging. Her real ambitions, however unfashionable to her sister, lay in her heart and her home.
    Paige read her speech standing on her bed with Shiloh listening in rapt adoration. When Paige spoke, standing on her bed, it was almost like she was on fire – but in a good way. Paige got quite impassioned about topics whereas Shiloh was always happier sitting quietly and listening.
     At the end of Paige’s speech, Shiloh clapped.
    “Oh, Paige, I think your argument is amazing!”
    “Do you Shiloh, really? I mean, I’m not sure about my competition, except that he’s an Aussie misogynist, obviously.
     “What does that mean?”
    “It means he doesn’t think girls are as good as boys… just because… we’re girls!”
     “I didn’t think he’d be that popular, but then half the class voted for him. I think it’s because I’m too outspoken… not popular…”
      “Mmm… but don’t you think Ryan’s good looking?”
      “I suppose so,” Paige said hesitantly, lest Shiloh should think she liked him. Ryan was cute, but Paige was way too argumentative for such an easy going boy. He was obviously perfect for Shiloh, though.
    “I think he’s one of the cutest guys I’ve ever met,” Shiloh added.
    “Oh Shiloh, you like him!”
    “Uh Huh. I think I do.”
    “Well, be careful. He and his friend are just so…”
    “So what?”
    At that question Paige began to smile. She hugged her polka dot pyjama-clad legs and laughed.
    “So rich...”
    “I overheard Elle saying they are the richest people in the Southern Hemisphere. But I never thought Australians were class conscious. Maybe we’re just misinterpreting him. Darcy seems snobbish but maybe he’s just shy, like me.”    
    “Maybe… but I doubt it.”
    “Oh well, I’m sleepy,” Shiloh yawned. Paige went to flick the dimmer.
    “Remember,” Shiloh said, “Tomorrow… don’t hide your light.”

Paige smiled in the dark.