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 A Proposal chapter 19
next day, I woke up, plugged in my headphones and started on the one physical
activity I tried to do a few times a week, alone, jogging. To clear my head, I
ran the track along the path that led from my house to the Sunrise lakes.
main lake divided our neighborhood from the hidden homes of Jet and Mark and
the Princesses who lived high on the hill overlooking the town of Sunrise
itself. It was a Saturday and I was up early, preparing for my babysitting
duties that afternoon. I still had half of Act Two to memorize and a paper to
write for English on the traditional text of Romeo and Juliet, a prospect I wasn’t joyfully anticipating.
woken up feeling extremely angry, although I realized anger was a wasted
emotion and I knew I should share my feelings with Mouche but my anger seemed
to go beyond all articulation. I was going faster and faster (breaking a sweat
known only to me during dance classes) when I rounded a corner. As the music
blared loudly in my ears I ran face first into Mark Knightly, almost knocking
myself out. He seemed to scoop me up very swiftly in his arms.
“Mark must have been very strong from all the swimming and riding and
hunting...” Mouche said avidly as I relayed the story to her much later.“I hear back in England they kill animals for
“Not just in England,” I said as I read Mouche’s brochures for her
charity of the week, the local Animal Protection Society. She was considering
talking her mom into taking home a rescue dog which I thought was a very good
I continued, “Mark sat me down under one of the many oak trees that lined the
path of the gardens that led down to the lakes....”
I came to, he was leaning over me intently and my soon to be enraged eyes
stared straight into his remarkably blue, surprisingly honest-looking ones. He
was wearing a turtleneck sweater and jeans, even though I thought the day had
been hotter than usual for this time of year. Too hot in fact. I edged apart
from him very quickly, dazed and irate.
“Eww. Get off me,” I said, when I collected my wits, even though he was
only patting my shoulder as I was sitting hunched, against a tree.”
saying sorry went against everything I knew about males.
didn’texpect anyone to be...”
“Blocking my path,” I replied.
“Actually I came out here to look for you. I got your number from your
cousin, Ella. Then I rang your home and asked your mother where you might be.
I...wanted to speak to you...alone.” My mind was in overdrive while I watched
his perfect lips move. Mrs Robinson states, “...never
be desperate to fling a man your number, let him do the work. If he wants you,
he’ll find you. After all, men do traditionally like to hunt and gather...”
snapped out of my reverie. I didn’t like where the conversation was heading.
see you don’t have your entourage in tow?
“What do you mean?
“Your fan club, Teegan and Tory and whoever else...”
“No. I only went with you to Fall Fling because it was Mouche and Jet’s
it was just as much my idea.”
please, you could have fooled me...”
brushed d the autumn leaves off my track pants and stood up.
“Wait,” he said (so manly).
sort of want to finish my jog before my muscles go cold.” Along with my heart I wanted to add. Mark had a cute little dimple
in his chin that I’m told from reading one of those ancient Chinese tomes on
face reading, is a sign of great beauty. Face it, I was out of my league and
who would want to be with a boy-man as much of an arrogant nightmare as this
was...well, I never get the chance to talk to you in rehearsals and I was just
wondering if I could introduce you to my sister, Petra, sometime. She’s a bit
shy, and shegoes to HSYL but no one
speaks to her there because she’sthe
new girl. I’d like her to have some friends her own age, or a bit older because
she only mixes with adults twice her age and I’m a bit worried about her. I
think she would like you...you’re creative and interesting and...”
I was shocked and surprised.
mean my manners aren’t too “shopgirl”, my connections to the social life of
Sunrise High not too “common”?”
“What? I didn’tmean, well, I
said some things at the time that were honestly meant...”
that was before I knew you...before I knew better... I didn’tknow how...lovely you...”
and as if your remarks at the Fall Fling weren’tenough, do you really think I’d forgive you
for ruining the social happiness of my best friend forever Mouche Macintosh?”
“...I don’t know what you mean. I know I was unforgivably rude to you at
the dance but my sister had just come out of...this place where she was sent
for ...well, I was worried about her and I know I behaved badly and....I...”
couldn’tbelieve all the apologies that
were rolling off his tongue. It was as if the Mrs Jones Guide was completely wrong about men never apologizing
and my head was really more messed up with our boy rating games than ever
before. This was not supposed to happen. My mind should have been clearer than
ever by now and I really needed some head space to make sense of Mark’s
looked towards the lake mist and the water’s edge to clear my mind.
seemed more confused than ever. Before he could say another word, I turned on
my heel and ran back the way I’d arrived. I determined that Mouche should know
the whole story. It was time to share all the information I had gathered.
returned home and showered. I made some lunch – a bagel with cream cheese and
smoked salmon from a packet where I had to check the use-by date. I texted Mouche,
then I remembered she was doing her Saturday shift at the shelter. I suppose I
should’ve joined her as it is, according to Mrs Robinson, “very good indeed to help others.” I fully intended to just as soon
as I finished all my extra-curricular activities for the year (dating, essays
and the play).
After lunch, I sat at my desk and wrote a first draft of my English
paper. I wrote about the role of women in Shakespearean tragedy and reached the
conclusion that Juliet was somehow a younger version of some even stronger
females that Shakespeare wrote who were also played, originally, by male actors
(young boys). I wondered why it was often men who wrote female characters and
when I decided to add my ‘meeting in the
park with Mark’ to the shared Boy
Rating Diary I was very happy that the angry words infused in the pages
were written by real girls, not just boys pretending to know what girls think.
Sentences and phrases like, ‘He’sa complete and utter moron’ and ‘I don’t find him that good-looking anymore’
and ‘...so conceited hecouldn’tbe as clever as he thinks he is’ and ‘his poor sister, fancy having to put up with a brother like that; a
hyper-intense bore, a stuck-upsnob..’
I wrote the worst words I could think of under the heading ‘Mark Knightly’ (we were up to page 88 by
then) but let’s face it, those words were way harsh because I still didn’treally know him. But if hatred was just the
inverse of love, then I hated him an awful lot.
flicked through the combined Boy Rating
Diary thus far, every section had a different girl’s name and then every
boy, a different rating with comments etc.
After the first meeting, Teegan, Freya,
Brooke and Tory were certainly getting noticed - almost as noticed as we were.
Perhaps more. They were following our guide to the letter and it was only due
to their extreme narcissism that they didn’tquestion the logic in say, part six, where we’d added, “always wear
sexy, furry clothes and show a little skin - men love this,” when it was so
obvious that Mouche and I were doing the exact opposite and covering up in cool
jeans and sweaters (admittedly with a little fur around the edges). We wore
classic items that kept a little mystery.
Brooke kept her glasses on and her tops
buttoned but upped the smile factor and her nice girl ways also seemed to be
working. You had to give her credit for having her own mind – for once.
Strangely, the ways of the Princesses did
seem to, shall we say, be bearing fruit and Mark and Jet and the rest of the
football team had never been so popular...”
new entry took longer than expected. I had to write about meeting Mark in the
park and also add the other news I’d heard via various Princesses. The diary
was a good way of telling Mouche about the horrendous fact I’d discovered: Mark had actively stopped Jet from dating
her. I tapped my pink-feathered
pencil on my desk. I knew Mouche wouldn’tbe back from the shelter before 3pm, so I had most of the afternoon to
finish my essay. Then, I remembered something else I needed to add to the
diary. “It seems the streets aren’t safe
from either Knightly’s (Mark’ssister
was yesterday seen visiting a clothing store with her aunt, according to a text
from Ella) or Princesses (Teegan’solder
sister –Missy, the casting assistant – was earlier in the day seen breakfasting
with our florist, Tim, who is totally a closet case according to Mouche).
Suddenly, I thought about Joel. As it turned
out, Joel had emailed me twice.
“He’s practically obsessive,”
added these emails to the chapter titled, letters
and to the one where Joel apologizes for abruptly leaving and twice asks me, can you come to New York? (I emailed him
to say – maybe next year) so I think
that might have put him off but there is no way I’m quitting the play to be
with some guy offering no more than a transient weekend – who did he think I
Boy-rating was starting to make me analytical, and occasionally a little
bit angry, not an emotion I’d previously allowed myself to express. Mrs Robinson’s guide would have
something to say about that: i.e. stay
contained...) In The Good Girlfriend
guide it says, “never write love
letters...make sure your date writes the love letter.” We are modifying the
rules to include incidental notes and emails as love letters! So, although Joel
was forgiven for running off after kissing me (very passionately) I realized
Joel was not exactly the stable boyfriend material the Boy Rating Diary craved. At least dating and rating a variety of
boys had taught us to be highly selective.
let’s face it,” Mouche said, “people (i.e. Princesses) are only too happy to
see you paired up with the most inappropriate males (for example, Martin’s
holding in my hand notes of the dates
thus far (prior to consolidation). I’m reading them during my quick lunch
break. The notes are lying on my desk along with some of the more recent ones
in Mouche’sdrawer. I’m just about to
get to them:
Here are some more juicy details about the
dates that occurred this past week:
The game has expanded. Mark is interested
in Phoebe. I am interested in dating Mark (for the ultimate United Nations
experience) and Phoebe says, “Go for it.” So, I don’t think she’s really
interested. She says ‘strong and silent’ isn’t as hot as it’s supposed to be.
We went for brunch. Phoebe said, in the interests of the game, shedidn’tobject.
The date was okay but no real fireworks or
anything. Mark spent the whole time asking me about Phoebe and I think they
suit one another. The Princesses are throwing themselves at all the boys on our
list. The guys seem to be strangely bettering themselves though. Maybe they’re
not so dorky after all. And in the interests of sharing, I have thrown Jet into
the ring. He even took Teegan flowers! Maybe our original rules were flawed.
Could it be that the Princesses have
discovered that showing enthusiasm is not a bad thing? Are we all learning from
the fake truce and really beginning to be nice to each other? Could it be
possible that we are making like friends for real this time? And is this for
the greater good, not just for our dating game, but the good of teenage
Teegan, Tory, Brooke and Freya have each
had one date a piece. They are added to the FAKE diary but the fake diary has
become REAL; the two diaries have merged – we are beginning to trust the
Princesses! I’ll let them do the talking in their own words (they also added
more identifying factors) So, here is what you’ve all been waiting for: A list
of the dates so far:
Date: Teegan and Jet
Place: Breakfast @ Sunrise Puppy School (since
I have a new Chow Chow puppy and Jet offered to help train him!)
At first, all Jet could
do was talk about Mouche and how shewon’t talk to him. I followed every rule in the list, and he was surprisingly
responsive. I wore the very cool cardigan fashion, loosely buttoned but with a
demure polka dot scarf because his eyes nearly popped out when I went up to him
before rehearsal and said, “hi, Jet...I’veoften wondered why we’ve never dated...”
“Huh?” he said. Then he kind of laughed as
if his friends might be listening.
The dogs liked him a lot which is a good
I took a pro-active stance as per The
gained: a pair of gloves. It was slightly windy and
Jet insisted on buying me the fine woollen gloves I admired at the Sunrise
General Store on the way home.
gleaned: one (on the hand) when my new puppy was let
loose and dragged off his leash. I made a yelping cry and insisted Jet kiss my
Rating: 9/10 (Jet loses a point
for being already taken. I think Mouche holds firmly in her manicured fingers,
a place in his heart.)
Tory and Jack Adams
none, drinks diet soda
Job and personality:
high school junior, film obsessive
Kisses: one, on screen, between
the actors; I put my arm around him and he had to rush out of the room as I
whispered, “I hear you like to make…adult movies.”
Items gained directly:
a copy of La Dolce Vita
He’s promised to send me an email of his top ten list of all time great action
Possibility of re-date:
maybe, if I can find an ancient copy of Solaris. The good stuff; we are all
thinking of starting a Sunrise Movie Club which has to be a pro-active venture.
lost 4 points for luring
me into his “studio” when I thought he wanted an interview for a reality TV
show and to make out; but what he really wanted was to show me some old 1960”s
French film He’smad about. Jack seems
to be quite the romantic at heart.
Brooke and Tom Allen
high school senior, obsessed with investing his money; where he gets that from
is a mystery
none, but Tom raided his father’s study looking for hidden bottles and spent
half an hour trying to locate his father’s misplaced Financial Review
Job and personality:
high school mathlete and economics major. This was the most boring date of all
time, plus contrary to the “dot point list”, Tom has the makings of a bad value
system. Is he reformable?
Kisses: one, but loses points
because I had to initiate it; I know! The boy rating diary has encouraged me to
be far more adventurous than I normally would have been on a first date.
another sweater - his mother offered it to me when it got chilly (ah, I believe
that was cashmere, girls; project success!) and he told me not to bother
bringing it back (does that mean shedidn’tlike me? ) Ah dahrrr,
Teegan (who was way jealous and trying not to show it) wrote.
Mouche edited this
section with an interjection, “you should donate to the homeless charity,
Brooke. We have way too many sweaters now...”
Items gained directly:
monetary advice, ‘priceless’ according to Tom’s dad. Love letters? Doodles on
the back of a drink coaster with love hearts and hugs: “Does this count as a
Possibility of re-date:
not sure, Tom doesn’tinvest time in
high school relationships that won’t go anywhere. Besides, his mother wants him
to marry, “a descendant of the Vanderbilt’s...” but, learning about the NASDAQ
wasn’t as dull as I expected and we did hold hands watching the financial news.
Rating: 6/10 – room for
Freya and Peter Williamson
–local production of Guys and Dolls, Peter was more interested in taking notes
on the choreography than practicing it with me over ice-cream at the Sunrise
Diner. Ten for effort. He was dressed in shoes with lights and tiny wheels on
the soles of them, so he could roll down the pavement like a ten year old.
Everyone stared as he moon walked past.
Rating:6/10 for exuberance and
the fact he didn’tseem to care what
anyone thought about him.