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
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Pride and Princesses Perfume chapter 17
all arranged to gather the day after we received Teegan’s note. The Princesses
waited for us in the park next to the mall near the picnic alcove opposite
Sunrise High. It was as good a place as any, with a picturesque view of the
town, not far from the lakes. In the distance you could see the gated community
where Jet and Mark and the Princesses lived. The house of Mark’s relatives (he
resided with his aunt and uncle) was famous for its secluded opulence; it’s
tall, winding security fence. Instead of a duck pond, it was rumored his uncle,
who was a wealthy businessman, had even installed a moat.
moat, like in one of those old fairy tales?” Brooke asked Jet.
guess,” Jet told Brooke who told Teegan who told me.
heard there are two swans that swim around in it all day and sometimes they
disappear for minutes at a time under the drawbridge!”
hides the dark and eerie swampland that inhabits the backyard! It’s even
rumoured that the actual house is haunted,” Brooke said.
bet it’s for security purposes,” Freya added.
house (“more like a mansion”, Mouche commented, the first time shesaw it) was quite the most opulent in
Sunrise. It was built high in the Sunrise Hills, about a half-hour drive from
the cul-de-sac Mouche and I inhabited. Of course, Jet lived next door to Mark
but his house wasn’t quite as lavish. Jet only had a pool and a tennis court
but it was huge and grand and garish because his mother was a fashion designer
and his dad a major shareholder of Sunrise Bank.
This possibly accounted for Jet’s elevated status in his own mind,
according to Teegan.
first meeting had begun.
was the second last day of the week and we didn’thave rehearsals for Rocco and Julie so nobody was actively squabbling. Mouche arrived
with the hem of a costume hanging out of her tote; Teegan was not far behind,
talking on her cell with her notes jutting out of her antique jeans. Freya
paused by the gate to check her lip gloss. Brooke turned up a few minutes later
painting her fingernails and Tory arrived...help us...with an open guide: the
one we had discarded, the one Mouche and I loathed, The Good Girl’s Guide: Behave Like A Man and Get What You Want
Mouche looked worried, “Tory is not supposed
to be seeking out her own subversive dating literature,” she whispered to me
under her breath.
Tory just smiled pleasantly and said, “I’m re-educating myself.
I’veseen what’shappening with you two and I want to be
knowledgeable as well...”
Mouche leaned over and said, “Well, there’s no need for that, Tory.
We’ve done the reading and we can tell you everything you need to know about
Teegan and Freya and Brooke and Tory all smiled and looked very relieved
as we nibbled the delicious food in front of us.
truce had been grudgingly entered into and we were all acting sisterly.
Freya even offered to help with the costumes
and passed a skirt to Brooke who was attempting to gather a ruffle. Brooke held
the hem and waited with baited breath on every word Mouche said. Mouche really
had a way with monologues. When shespoke, people listened.
we’d been of the generation that went to Girl Scouts when they were little, I’d
say it was kind of like what I imagine a Girl Scout meeting to be like.
Everyone brought something extra, apart from the obvious attitude; we brought
extra food and extra smiles and extra humility to make the late afternoon seem
more like a suburban picnic than a gossipy teenage girl fest.
Mouche brought cookies she ’dbaked the previous night; I offered muffins in a pink cake tin that I’d
made with pink frosting and white chocolate; Teegan brought a bag of non-fat
chips (“because I don’t cook, my mother says it’s a waste of time, a woman
needs to develop real skills”) Tory laughed as sheplaced her basket of fruit on the table
because sheknew ‘real skills’ meant
‘other skills’ which meant ‘bedroom skills’.
Mouche rolled her eyes because she was the chair of the meeting and it
took a while for everyone to stop chatting.
like to announce that Tory (who raised her hand) will be taking the minutes of
this official meeting between us; a group of girls now to be known officially
as the ex-HSYLs. Freya will be responsible for passing out snacks. And I would
ask everyone to be as polite as possible whilst attending our official meeting.
After that, I guess, all bets are off.”
Brooke giggled. Tory chewed gum. Teegan rolled her eyes and Brooke
searched for her misplaced contact lens and Bible just in case she needed to
swear on something (in a good way). I’d noticed Brooke had become way more
religious this week.
“Firstly, I’d just like to say, Mouche and I have been forced to unleash
upon our small society, The Plan. And
since we’ve had more secret dates this month than you all have had hot dinners,
the plan obviously works.
we are not evil girls and since we are all pre-women the time has come to
declare a truce and forget past wrongs all of us may have caused each other...”
Teegan and Brooke looked magnanimously at me and Mouche, but Mouche
understood the importance of straight-talking in the sales pitch and continued
“The Plan is essentially a secret and if
you (you meaning Phoebe, Teegan,
Freya, Brooke and Tory) tell anyone else, it will be less of a girls club and
all out war. Besides, I have to warn you, our plan for dangerous dating is so good that if you tell anyone else,
everyone will want to do it and there will be anarchy...”
Freya looked quite alarmed and Teegan mouthed, “What’s anarchy?”
Brooke mouthed back with her cupie doll mouth, “chaos, famine, destruction, the end of the world, dummy...”
Mouche continued to talk whilst I flexed my ankles and pretended to look
serious, “before we start on the topic of...Teegan’s discovery... (Teegan
beamed with pride) I’d like to thank everyone for arriving promptly...”
The meeting continued and everyone’s face lit
up after grievances about school, boys and clothes had been aired:
“I would now like to officially ask you all to
join our Plan for The Year of Dating
Dangerously. Please take the time to read it well and hide it even better.
The meeting place is here; the guide book (Teegan presented a large blank
faux-leather bound pink diary – empty – our original one was hidden safely).
This diary will be kept at all times, in a common place; a group locker
ostensibly used for sports and other sundry items but which shall now be
referred to as “the secret locker” – spoilage (i.e. treasured gifts) from the
dates can be kept there (we weren’t too worried because we didn’t think a new
plan would bring any but of course, we’d underestimated the resolve of the
overindulged, who would make it their mission to outdo us and especially each
The girls in “our group” took the paper in
silence and read it wistfully. This is what it said:
RULES FOR THE YEAR OF
1.A kiss is meaningless, remember the higher
prize and use what you can to get it. Let everyone know you’ve staked your
claim, including the object of your affection.
2.Romance is so yesterday, a date today is so
different from a date in the sixties. Pre-men expect a casual hook up. So why
should we care? Act like a guy and care as little as they do.
3.For the secret rules of this game “a date/
hook up” must consist of a beginning middle and end and all details have to be
written up in the Boy-Rating diary
which is kept in a mutually hidden place. All secrets must be revealed in this
guide. All secrets to all of us, all the time. At the end of the school year,
if we all agree to go public with an edited
version, it can be uploaded onto a shared blog.
4.Proof:there needs to be proof of the date in the form of photographs for our
treasure chest, gifts, love tokens (and especially red roses) as these are
indicative of true love.
5.The girl needs to make every effort to impress
the boy; after all, around here, any decent guy is a wanted commodity.
6.The ultimate love token comes in the form of a
love letter. Whoever gets the most love letters and gets Mark Knightly to take
her to the prom, wins the competition.
7.All details must be shared; contributions to
be made by all parties, with an overview and progress report due on the last
Friday of every month; meeting to re-convene here.
8.Any previously dated man must not enter our
mutual place of work.
9.All resources have to be combined in our
secret box (AKA “the Treasure Chest”) to be bestowed upon the winner.
10.The Game shall remain a SECRET between the ex
HSYLs even if and when we decide to involve other people in our game.
Brooke was the first to look up in awe.
I’m not sure whether or not I agree with Rule One.”
“Each to their own,” Mouche replied. “Now, can we leave the discussion
of the Rules for later. This second
sheet is vital...”
At that point we gave them a list of the original
boyzamples but subverted the descriptions. So, for example, we said a boy
without integrity (eg. Alex Miller) actually had loads of it and other boys who
were total man sluts (eg. Ethan Mandel) were actually extremely gentlemanly on
a date. You can imagine the rest.
jaws of the Princesses dropped open when we handed them the list of collectible
treasure hunt items(we’d made some
more refined and others more general to account for the extra size of the “new”
“Isn’t this a bit morally dubious?” Brooke asked. She ’dgiven up on her contacts and had begun
cleaning her glasses with a napkin.
isn’t this like, Diary of a Teenage
Callgirl?” Freya responded, her mouth twisting slightly in anticipation.
“Only if you think prostitution is wrong,” Tory replied, her pretty but
vacant face searching for the up side.
think it’s definitely wrong...unless you love them,” Teegan said, hinting at
hidden depths previously unrevealed. “But I guess, shared knowledge of all
these boy dates would really enhance our romantic futures...”
“Diary of a Teenage Callgirl...mmm...that’sa really good title for a blog,” Freya added
with more creativity than I’d given her credit for.
“Listen up, girls. Here are the lists of items we want to gather in our
treasure chest,” Mouche handed out the sheets of printed paper with a sweet
Treasure Hunt Items
A pen (for writing up the
The Perfect interview
Shoes or boots in two sizes since we are all one of two sizes (convenient)
A golden bracelet
(preferably eighteen carat or over)
A pair of Chanel
A cashmere coat
A winter scarf
A diamond ring
are we supposed to get all of this?” Brooke asked.
“That’sthe game,” I said, “for
those of us who don’t have objections.”
“Well, I think It’s materialistic and wrong,” Brooke added.
“Then don’t play,” Teegan said.
Brooke looked crushed until Mouche relented. After all Brooke now knew a
version of the Plan so it seemed sensible to include her or shemight spill the beans to the rest of the
school and ruin everything.
“Okay, Brooke, you can still play just leave out the kissing and
gathering of items...” Mouche said.
Teegan rolled her eyes, “geez Brooke, you’ve become so uptight. Like
that’sgoing to be any fun.”
Brooke simply shrugged, “well, it’s nice to be included.”
“Fine. You work it out,” Mouche replied.
“Since you’reso smart, why don’t
you just tell us,” Teegan suggested.
“It’s all in there, read the fine print...we need to rely on our
personal attributes to become self-made women.” Tory added.
also handed them a list of “helpful” dating quotes from discarded guides...
“It’s all in the list,” Freya replied, “....wow...you guys are way knowledgeable.”
“Meeting to re-convene at the end of next
month. Be here or... be somewhere else,” Mouche said in her offhand, jokey way;
as if shewas saying be here or beware...
Teegan, Freya, Brooke and Tory were delegated Adam, Alex, Tobias and
Scott. They didn’tseem too happy about
it but each was prepared to try for specific research, love letters and
possible items. We all decided after we’d had one more date a piece, to share
items gained and lessons learned, then all bets were off to date Mark and bring
him to the prom. Because both Mouche and I had decided he was a pretty
disagreeable sort of fellow, we had no emotional investment in the dating
process whatsoever; everything to win and nothing to lose. The Princesses,
being even more materialistic (save perhaps Brooke) than ourselves, were sure
to be better at scamming gifts from our prospective boyzamples and then we
could just swoop in, and divvy up the spoils.
have a question,” Tory asked. “Would it be possible to change the bracelet to a
charm bracelet? It might be easier to gather charms...”
Princesses were already thinking on an entrepreneurial level. Perhaps their
business minds were even keener than ours. We hadn’treally planned on that. It seemed obvious
that we would outsmart them, having access as it were, to prior information.
idea,” Teegan said.I must admit Mouche
and I agreed. Our designated “dates” were Ethan and Josh, then all the boys on
the list would have been “dated” and “rated”. We could (in theory) swap them
around and consolidate “items” and “love letters”.
the end of the school year we would announce the “winner.” The winner, being in
possession of better rules and extensive guides to dating, would of course be
Mouche or myself (we could also halve the gifts – but the Princesses weren’t
aware of that fact. They thought we were all in it for ourselves after the
initial date and rate).