Saturday, August 10, 2013

THE HOTNESS: A Modern Teen Pride and Prejudice (chapter forty-seven: The beginning of another...)

(Second Part of our story – two years later)

Chapter Forty-seven
The beginning of another…
   Time passed, as it generally does.
   Paige and  Shiloh were now grown-ups (sort of). I was almost a junior, along with Honey – we  ruled the school and took extension classes in acting at UCLA (on weekends). But enough about us – you’ll hear about us in Popular (our next novel). Now, it’s all about them…
    This is where the Bennet family were at:
    The financial crisis had hit the family hard.
    Shiloh had elected not to go to college but instead took a job as a nanny during the week and worked as a waitress at a local diner on Saturdays. This kept Shiloh  very busy. She hadn’t met anyone to compare with Ryan for two years but she put him out of her mind, convinced he was not the man she thought he was.
    As for Paige – though she’d won a new scholarship to study at UCLA, money was tight and she worked hard and dated little. Paige hadn’t met anyone to compare with Darcy, unfortunately. She was convinced Darcy really was everything she thought he was. And more. She’d tried to forget him, really she had.
    But she hadn’t.
    In her second year studying International Relations, Paige had won a debate scholarship to go to the International University Debate Finals at Oxford University in England. This was held for a week over summer. Her college was paying for everything for herself and the team, but she was doing shifts at the restaurant with Shiloh, to pay for extras.
     Both girls were less happy than they seemed, but always hopeful. Their younger sisters had mellowed a little, but were still dangerously addicted to social networking. Senta, their middle sister, was counseling them. She hoped to become a psychologist one day.
    “I wish you could come with me,” Paige said to Shiloh after bussing her final table.
    “Knowing you are going on an amazing trip is enough. Besides, I like to stay close to home to help Mom and Dad. But, you have to tell me everything when you return… “
    “Of course,” Paige said.
     Her friend Coco was at summer school and hanging out with Amadeus in London. They were both on music scholarships, so at least Paige wouldn’t be totally friendless.
       The day Paige was due to leave, Mr and Mrs Bennet almost started crying until Paige hushed them and said she’d see them in a fortnight, along with Shiloh. Tthe competition only ran for a week, but Paige wanted some days to sight see with Coco who would be there too. It was all planned.
   Mrs Bennet shook her head, “Oh, I just know you’ll meet someone over there and fall in love and leave me.”
   “Mom, chillax. I’m only eighteen. I’m going to England for a debate, not a bad romance!”
   “That’s what you think. Oh, I don’t know Paige, when you were all younger I only wanted to see my girls happily  married, and I still want that, but there is so much out there in the world for you to see, so much to do. Do you know, you are the first girl in our family to go to college and the first one to have a passport – I’m so proud of you, Paige. You get to see the things I haven’t.”
   “Oh Mom, don’t cry, you could always come visit me.”
   “Oh, Paige, I have your sisters to consider. We didn’t all win the trip, it’s just too expensive.”
   Mrs Bennet hugged Paige at LAX. Shiloh gave her a locket with their photographs which Paige wore close.
   Mr Bennet hugged his daughter again, but was a man of few words.

   “Remember how much we love you,” she whispered into Paige’s ear. Besides, those were the best ones.