I write stories like movies. Legally Blonde inspired me to finish law school but I dream of caramel lattes in the morning and travelling to amazing places in the afternoon. The teen fiction on my blog is inspired by the classics Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Tweeting @summerdaylight
Monday, April 28, 2014
Pride And Princesses Forever and After chapter 28
Forever and After
next day, Monday, everyone at school looked at me and Mouche like we were not
very nice people.
Someone made a twisted remark that we’d just been dating boys “for the
money” which was so horribly untrue.
“Besides, there wasn’t a single monetary prize on our list,” I whispered
The Princesses had reverted to type and taken out all their comments.
All the nasty ones they left, they attributed to Mouche and me. But even though
most people do tend to believe the first version of a story, something strange
There was an alternative to the Princess blog that week. It was our
secretly edited online dating diary. Mouche and I had only put boys on the site
that we liked or had good things to say about and gradually we added girls that
we had good things to say about as well. So, while the Princesses spent a few
more days defaming the whole school and losing their popularity, people started
coming to us for advice until Sunrise High became like a love fest of dating
teenagers, all looking for tips on the best places to go and what to do and
Petra had started it all in her bedroom the night of the wedding
reception and had uploaded it with our permission the next day, so although the
Princesses got in first and even tried to keep the items, we got in next. The Boy-Rating Diary contained all forms
of evidences, and for once, we knew to tone down all our comments about the
guys and make a fairly honest and accurate account of the teenage dating scene
that was ongoing at Sunrise High.
course, the Princesses spent an entire week publishing excerpts of the second
Boy-Rating Diary (omitting their authorship) and spent another week slandering
us. We held our heads high. If the boys really cared about us we knew they
would listen to our versions of the story, because Mrs Jones says, “you can almost never really put off a man
who is genuine about you. The man will never take someone’s word over yours, or
rarely, and in case he has any doubts about something, he should come to you
and Mark pretty much ignored what the Princesses had to say because manzamples
don’t read boy-rating blogs. Of course those girls never spoke another word to
us, for the rest of junior year.
Mouche didn’t seem to mind. “Do you honestly
think we’re going to see any of these people once we leave for New York?”
more worried about getting through senior...”
will all end up right in the end,” Mouche said. “I have another idea...this
time It’s nothing to do with dating juniors....I think It’s time to plan senior
year and then college...”
“Because this all turned out so perfectly,” I said archly.
“Perfectly,” Wednesday said, clapping her hands and chewing a long strip
of candy that neither of our mothers would have allowed her. There is so much
to be learned about joie de vivre
from children under six.
Thom had called that day with the good news. Mouche’s baby sister got
you realise that Wednesday has managed in three years to do what I haven’t done
consolidate a college fund...”
Mouche was so thrilled.
and children,” I thought as I snuggled Mouche’s new puppy in my arms.
“Don’t worry,” Mouche said, “We’re sure to get our scholarships and if
not, Wednesday can always give us a loan...”
Wednesday clapped her hands again. We were teaching her a new word every
day, but her favorite one was love.
all about the love,” Mrs Mouche said. Our mom’s stood in the hallway with new
cups of coffee and magazines in hand. Trish and Mrs Mouche had a great business
idea of their own - all about matching single parents - in cyberspace.
“Wow,” Mouche said. “Do you think we should tell them what we know?”
“No,” I said, “they’re just going to have to find out the hard way like
“It’s all about the love...” Mrs Mouche said, looking at Wednesday and
Mouche and Trey as he walked through the door.
“Big love,” my mom said looking at me with a smile. I smiled right back
And I should tell you about France that summer and how excited everyone
was when we arrived in Paris. We flew to London first and took the Eurostar to
the Gare du Nord which takes about three hours from the centre of London to the
centre of Paris. We had breakfast on the train in tiny plastic trays and Mouche
kept her unused serviette for posterity, “and to paste into our new Dating
Diary,” she whispered.
train rocked slightly from side to side when we went under the English Chanel
and although Jet was fast asleep by this point, I noticed Mouche grabbed his
hand because she gets motion sickness. I took a photograph of them on the
digital camera my mother bought me to remember life’s important moments. I also
took loads of pictures of the boys sleeping during the long journey in between
sampling tiny bottles of red wine, of Mouche posing in the many different
berets she’d brought with her and saying, “I look tres sophisticated,” of my feet resting against the window ledge
(because they’d be doing tons of walking that very day), and of all the dull,
industrial buildings the train ambled past as we entered the outskirts of
When the train finally stopped, Mark took charge and hailed a taxi at
the station and as we drove to the Rue de la Grande Chaumiere I put my hand out
of the window to feel the fresh Parisian air. In the Sixth Arrondissement, I
noticed the cobbled streets were littered with puffs of tiny smoke volcanos
winding up from the artistic-looking street cafes. Loads of Parisians smoke
which is very atmospheric but something I’d remember to tell Wednesday not to
do, no matter how sophisticated it looks, ‘cos it’s way bad for you.
taxi stopped outside the Hotel des Academies et des Arts where we were
staying.We checked in, then went off to
discover the sights, wandering through the Jardin du Luxembourg and along many
may be wondering where “the parentals” went during all of our adventures. The
boys had convinced the adults to let us travel in style and we were
unchaperoned for at least thirty-six hours while they went to Bordeaux for a
We went to the Champs Elysees the morning we arrived. After Mouche and
I window shopped in all the designer boutiques and souvenir stores, we all
decided to explore Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. Jet worked out how to get us
Metro tickets using coins and the vending machine and we caught the underground
train to Invalides and the Place de Clichy then on to Anvers. After checking
our map, we walked up the steps from the subway and visited Sacre-Coeur. On the
steps outside the church, we had an amazing view overlooking Paris in the
pastel sun. We sat together on the steps amongst a group of tourists until
Mouche said, “C’mon, let’s go to La Rive
Gauche,” in a French accent.
After exploring the little market stalls and many shops and restaurants
in Montmartre we found a bistro to have lunch opposite Notre Dame Cathedral.
The cathedral was gothic and carved with intricate, lace-like stone around the
entrance. Painting and architecture students spend hours sitting opposite the
building, just to try and capture its brilliance in the changing light.
Across from the cathedral, near the river Seine, next to a cloud of
smoke, we joked around as we ordered bread and soup for lunch. When the
traditional meal arrived we had to crack the layer of cheese baked on top of
the soup bowl and dip our spoons beneath to retrieve the warm liquid. It was
delicious, as was the wine that our parents would never have allowed us to
drink. Strangely, no one asked our ages in Paris but the waiter frowned every
time Mark attempted to speak French.
took lots of photographs of Notre Dame after lunch but we’d had our fill of
architecture by the time we reached the Eiffel Tower, even though the Parisian
icon was impressive from anyone’s perspective. Mark and I took the elevator to
the upper floor of the tower but Mouche and Jet disappeared momentarily behind
a crowd of tourists.
wonder where they went?” Mark said with a smile, before we kissed overlooking
the city of love.
“...I know, they were busy macking all over each other,” Wednesday said
later on when I told her the story of how Jet and Mouche got lost. Her verbal
skills had really developed.
“Well, yes Wednesday, I think they were, but I’m not sure we need to go
Wednesday giggled as I continued to tell her about Paris.
“That afternoon we took a boat ride along the Seine. Jet arranged for us
to travel back towards the hotel in one of the famous Bateaux-Mouches with a
glass covered deck. Mouche was very impressed to be floating in her own
always wanted to be famous,” Mouche joked.
You could tell Jet totally loved her by then, and not just because they
got “lost” again for an extra-long time while we all went to explore the Musee
d’Orsay. Mark wasn’t really into art “but I’m pretending to be, for your sake,”
he told me, “which shows you how devoted he is becoming,” Mouche whispered in
my ear over dinner that night. She could talk. Jet was holding her hand
everywhere we went by then. He seemed way in love with Mouche, if you ask me,
although everyone said they were too young to call it that.
our last day in Paris, Mark and Jet explored the gastronomical surprises in
Lafayette Gourmet while Mouche and I shopped in Galeries Lafayette and
Printemps. But although the large designer stores were inspirational, the polka
dot dresses and geometric designer gowns and flowing skirts tres chic, we found ourselves drawn to
the colorful market stalls along the street that divided the shopping centres.
It was whilst sorting through items for the people we loved back home that we
started to miss Sunrise.
Parisian clothes, food and shopping in general were amazing (after we
overcame the language barrier by referring to our tiny iPod guides when we
couldn’t remember a French word), but we still missed the vintage shops and
department stores back home. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be in
this amazing city, but we were really missing our moms when Petra surprised us
with a long-distance call from Los Angeles. Mouche answered her cell and Mark’s
guardians are sure to be surprised when they get the telephone bill for that
Petra was waiting at the airport with our moms and Trey and his new
girlfriend (yes, you guessed it, Missy), to meet us all when we returned home.
Petra was tanned after spending the summer in Cabo with her new boyfriend Josh,
and his family. She’d been only too happy to take our advice about what to wear
and say to impress Josh. It appeared to have worked out better than anyone
Mouche, Petra and I took Wednesday shopping in the stores situated
along the path that curved from Bel Air into Sunrise, the day after we arrived
back from Paris. We were still a bit jet lagged but it was the last day of
summer and we didn’t want to miss the sales.
favorite vintage store was closing and everything was less expensive than
Mouche, Petra and I tried on a whole bunch of dresses and skirts and
vintage jeans. Wednesday tried on hats and sunglasses that were too big for her
and even a pair of cork platform sandals that she could barely stand up in.
Mouche and I smiled. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have had
such a great holiday, amazing boyfriends and a new, slightly younger friend to
show the ropes. Although our dating advice was obviously beneficial, we assured
Petra across an accessory aisle that impressing boys wasn’t the most important
thing in life.
“Sometimes, It’s more important to impress yourself,” Mouche said,
adjusting a pair of elbow length, movie star, satin gloves.
“However, if you want more tips there is always the new Boy-Rating blog
we’ve started in preparation for college,” I added.
sometimes you have to look deeper than the surface of things,” Mouche said.
It’s what the boy rating diaries taught us, and she was right. I always
envied the fact that Mouche could say what she meant and mean what she said.
You may be wondering about the Princesses.
Jet’s neighbors were obliged to attend summer school.Their blog had taken over their lives. They
managed to add so many nasty words and images to the site that it crashed and
their grades (which weren’t very good to begin with) suffered.
They were plotting their next devious adventure across discarded
academic notes as we shopped. Stars in their own little world, the Princesses
would soon be forgotten by us. Far from seeing their popularity skyrocket, it
plummeted. When they were finally outed with the top-secret information we’d
kept hidden from them in the original Boy Rating Diary, they totally lost it.
You didn’t think we’d show them everything,
did you? We had tonnes of secrets ready to unleash on our world, but maybe we’d
hold off, for now. Mouche envisaged showing an abridged version of the original
diary, one day, to her own children and had saved each of the treasure chest
items. We donated the rest to Goodwill.
that’s the end of the story.
they were eighteen, Mouche and Jet eloped to New York. My best friend always
knew what she wanted. We were going to share an apartment but I ended up moving
in with Mouche and Jet for that one golden summer.
it wasn’t exactly as we thought it would be.
never did go to Julliard. I got a scholarship to NYU instead and I became a law
Mouche, who didn’t even want to be a triple threat or a boy chasing
guru, had the perfect husband and ended up going to Julliard to study dance on
a scholarship. She planned to study law at night, “when I’m old,” she told me,
“like thirty or something...”
Mouche never did get old. She was shot in a convenience store in New York just
six months after you were born. You were with Jet at the time. Mouche had
stopped dancing the previous year to have you. It was nothing to give up,
compared to what she gained, she told me. I saw what a wonderful mother she
wanted to write this all down and give you the diary to read when you are
older. I hope you don’t mind.
many of the important things I knew because of Mouche. She sure taught the
Princesses and me a thing or three. As a junior lawyer, living in NYC, working
sixteen hour days, I took a weekend off and went home to Sunrise to pore over
the diary notes and letters we wrote each other. I picked up old photographs
and digital ones, the scribbled glitter words, the gifts and phrases of our
teenage world. All of these items brought Mouche back to me. Finally I saw her
with scratched knees standing on the porch in the shining sunlight, yelling out
and waving for me to come outside when we were eight. Maybe she was waving
picked up the items we had folded and placed, one by one, in the treasure
chest. Mrs Mouche had given them to me, “because,” Mrs Mouche had said, “she would’ve wanted you to have them.”
The items really belonged to her. Mouche was the heart of the game.
The night she graduated from Julliard we had a
huge party. Mouche held a glass of champagne decadently in her hand. She wore
the latest, most fashionable shoes and the famous jeans from our treasure chest
as she gave her impromptu “commencement speech.”
In her words, Mouche incorporated so many of
the things we’d learnt when we were young girls, not just about being women but
about being human:
you strive to do and offer others your best, if you live to serve your art but
do not cut yourself off from the world, if you give more than you get and
always treat your audience with respect, then you might be invited to the most
fabulous party on the planet, whatever your dream and from wherever your
starting place. Hopefully, when you leave that party, the people will feel
happier than they were before they met you, kinder than they might have been if
they hadn’t. The colors around them will be more intense, the music more
beautiful, and the costumes more lavish. Then the dancing will seem more spectacular,
the singing pitch-perfect, the acting better than real life, the food and drink
more delicious than anyone imagined and yourself more appreciative of the
sound of hands clapping flew over the auditorium as she spoke. It was better
than I’d ever had when I’d been a student on stage at school, better than I’d
had in the one Broadway show I’d finally been picked for after six months of
auditioning, before I quit and went to Law School full-time. In those six
months Mouche had put me up in her apartment and never given up, “because you
would never give up on me,” Mouche said.
she never did go to Law School like she intended. Shedidn’tget to see her brother graduate from Medical School or become a surgeon
even though shealways thought he would
and shedidn’tsee Wednesday bank her college fund cheque or
become the head of her own little Princess clique (a kinder one, shepromised me, with a twinkle in her eyes). And
worst of all, she didn’t see you grow up which is an unspeakable loss.
months after she died she came to me in a dream, her blonde hair making her
seem more like an angel than ever before. In reality, she looked a lot like
Wednesday looks now, except her hair was poker straight and in all the
commercials that Wednesday did, her hair was curly, “like a Princess,” Wednesday noted.
said blondes aren’t smart?” Mouche asked, which is why I’m giving this to you.
Because the things that matter aren’t the items you can see or touch or buy but
the true love and friendship enclosed herein.
Mouche would have wanted you to have them with more love than I can ever
bestow, try as I might...