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 Family Secrets chapter 23
Petra looked really shy and very skinny, although not totally anorexic,
as some might have said.
smiled up at me. Petra was sorting through her wardrobe, then shespoke in a reserved way, becoming more
animated as shemade her suggestion, “I was
hoping we could all go down to the skating rink next Saturday. I was going to
“That’d be great,” I agreed. I loved to skate even though I was less
than perfect at it. I enjoyed getting all dressed up in wintery clothes
although it was nowhere near winter weather.
trying to find something nice to wear. We don’t often have visitors since I’ve
been here and my aunt tends to sleep in the afternoons.”
“Right,” I said, not knowing whether to laugh or commiserate. Let’s face
it, all did not seem entirely “normal” in the Knightly household and I was glad
to be going home to my mom’s place and also to have Mrs Mouche’s warm and
loving home as a refuge. If ever I get married and have kids, I’m going to
remember love is more important than money.
suppose they keep her happy,” Petra said this almost like a warning. “Anyway,
take a look at my stuff; I’m trying to find this shirt I bought from Selfridges.”
you like to shop?”
Petra continued, “But I got this in London. I love to go to Kings Road.
I miss our old home.”
“Wow, you have the most amazing closet.” Honestly, it was fit for a real
Princess – well, maybe a young Queen.
“Just like Hannah Montana,” she replied, with a hint of her brother’s
“You’re right, I’m lucky. Come in, check it out.” Petra turned on all
the lights and she had the sort of fashion haul to do those teen envy reality
shows proud times a thousand.
“You even have proper stage lights around your mirror. I love that.”
placed my hand on the right shirt and jeans for Petra in minutes; then I got an
idea. I found some sort of vintage suit covered in plastic and said, “Hey, do
you ever wear this?
“Actually, I don’t. It’s too big for me. My aunt bought it for me to
wear to a wedding I didn’t attend.”
“Oh, you must really like it then.”
“Not really, I’m thinking of giving it to Goodwill.”
“No, don’t do that.”
really was the most perfect vintage suit I’d ever laid eyes on, exactly right
for my character to wear in the final scene of the play, and also for our
don’t you have it,” Petra suggested.
offered to reserve Petra a seat in the front row on opening night. It’s amazing
how kind people become when you are working towards a common goal. It’s like
the universe steps in to offer possibilities. One of our spiritual guide books
to dating, Astral Planet Loving, elaborates
After giving Petra a make-over, we entered the dining room together only
to find Jet inching closer to Mouche. When we arrived he let go of her hand and
started to act really cool and Mouche glanced over to me with a, “I think It’s
time to go,” look on her face.
noticed Mark’s uncle hovering over the drinks tray in the corner of the room
wearing a business suit and tie. He must have arrived home early. Mark looked
worried as he introduced us to him.
“Hello, girls,” Mr Knightly said in a slightly too-friendly way.
Mark’s aunt introduced herself with a dismissive, “and who are your
little friends, Mark?” as if we couldn’t speak for ourselves. She also looked
at our clothes with a distasteful expression on her face as if what we wore was
shabby. We left just as she was asking us what our fathers did for a living,
what kind of car they drove and if we summered in the Hamptons.
Poor Mark. He had wanted to leave immediately after lunch but his
relatives arrived early. He looked embarrassed as we gathered our jackets to
parents were never like this,” he said.
Jet interjected, “oh, Phoebe...Mark forgot to tell you something...you
should know about Joel.”
was in a hurry to leave. Mark’s uncle was creeping me out and Mark seemed
hesitant to speak loudly, so I jokingly said, “you should put it on paper.”
“Uh, okay,” Mark replied. He looked surprised that Jet had spoken on his
behalf when usually it was the other way around.
I knew guys didn’t usually write letters,
but I thought this might prove added commitment.Mark looked like he wanted to come with us
but was forced to stay when his aunt told him his Latin tutor was due to arrive
in ten minutes.
Turns out Mark’s uncle had arrived back from Brussels and was pouring
himself a drink. He actually asked us if we wanted one as we were leaving.
Petra excused herself to “walk the dogs,” after giving me a “see you
soon” smile. Mouche pinched another sandwich on the way out as Mark’s uncle
gave both her and me a long glance from head to toe.
“Eww.” Mouche said.
know. Mark’s uncle is super lecherous.”
must like younger women.”
“Gee, that’s original,” Mouche said.
know, poor Mark. Do you think he even noticed?”
“Definitely. Besides, he never would have invited us home if he realized
his uncle was going to be there.” Mouche said. “What a sleaze.”
can’t choose your relatives.”
“Unless they’re your friends,” Mouche added.
Surrounded by lush grounds and with the majestic mansion framed by
sunset falling, we finally understood why so few people had ever been to visit
next day a letter was hand delivered to my house.
Mark’s chauffeur embarked from the car and rang my doorbell. I sleepily
answered in my pyjamas and robe, rubbing my eyes.
have a letter for you, young lady.”
the chauffeur sounded like he was from another country.
took the cream paper, sealed in a gold envelope with my name on it, and
immediately thought of our treasures (letters from so many boys, growing
daily), but only a few from Mark thus far.
read the letter with interest as I poured milk into my breakfast cereal. My
mother arrived in the kitchen fully dressed in a suit and ready to start her
realtor day with a showing in Mark Knightly’s gated community. I considered
myself lucky to have such a good relationship with my mother and considered
Mark and Petra’s situation in a reflective light.
“Good morning sweetie,” my mom kissed me on the top of my head.
pulled out my cell and texted Mouche.
You need to come over right now P.
arrived ten minutes before we were due in home room. She was breaking some
cotton with her teeth (“I know, it’s totally not the done thing in your stupid Mrs Jones Etiquette tome, but I’ve just
finished hemming our dance costumes. There.”)
“Check this out,” I said. “It’s the longest letter He’s ever written!”
Waving the letter in front of her I ripped it open and read aloud:
There is one subject that I should enlighten
you about – the subject of Joel Goodman.
Although he is from the very best of families
and my father and mother were great friends with his parents, Joel was always
economical with the truth, from the time we played together as small boys. When
my father died, he left Joel (as his Godson) a sum of money for his college
education and Joel managed to hoodwink his own family into letting him have
access to this money which he then spent in a seriously disreputable manner.
But this is only money, which I have never thought was something worth arguing
“Mmm...” Mouche raised her eyebrow, “a man
with a good value system,”
“Finally!” I said, wickedly.
“Read on, I can’t wait to hear the rest. He
has this haughty British tone on paper.”
“Not just on paper.”
What really led to our
falling out was an incident that occurred during the summer holidays when he
came home from the prep school he’d been sent to by his parents. This was the
first time he tried to get close to my sister. He basically made an attempt to
seduce her. They were both under age and my Uncle threw Joel out.This has led to my sister being quite
unsociable and at one stage she suffered from anorexia (thankfully recovered,
but she is still quite fragile).
Mouche interjected, “actually his love for his
sister is really quite touching!”
I looked at her incredulously.
As for Joel’s parents,
when the company they ran was sold, they both received enough money to live on
comfortably for the rest of their lives. It is Joel who is lying, not me, and I
just wanted you to know this, so that we can be friends.
“No loving exclamation marks?” Mouche asked
“No,” I said, stating the obvious.
we have been way harsh on him. I’m sure he didn’t mean to separate me and Jet.”
“He’s certainly tried to make up for it
“Well, I’m beginning to see how complicated
relationships can be...”
Jones always says good ones don’t need to be.”
“Well, I think, just this once, Mrs Jones is wrong.