I’m almost finished writing the sequel to my Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages, and I feel like sharing a teaser today. If you were a student anywhere around the time I was, enjoy the nostalgia. Otherwise you might need to Google stuff. I’m hoping to have my follow-up ready to release by mid-May. Enjoy and spread the word:
The phone rang only one more time that night, and it was Adrienne. Feeling defeated, I hadn’t even bothered to rush to the phone and just lay on my vermilion carpet, staring at the Spirograph-looking design on my ceiling until my mom yelled that Adrienne was on the phone for me. I shuffled across the hall and all the way around my parents’ bed (normally I would have flung myself right onto it, grabbing the phone while I landed) to pick up the phone. “Ok, Mom. Hang up. I’ve got it,” I yelled then put my ear to the phone, not saying a word until I heard my mom’s line click. “Hey, Adrienne. Are you back to the world of the living?”
“Not quite. I feel a bit like the undead. I think there was a point where I almost went into the light, but my future husband Kurt Cobain called me back.”
“Are you coming to school tomorrow?”
“Probably not. I also still look like the undead. I was calling to give you my locker combo so you could grab a few things for me.”
“Adrienne Pierce! You’re not going to do homework, are you?” Adrienne was smart, but she was mostly lazy and she didn’t usually care enough to bring home work.
“I might. I know I’m going to be really behind. You know, if I can pass my tests and quizzes, I should be mostly ok, but I probably couldn’t do that right now. I do want to actually pass.”
“Wow. High school has changed you. You’re growing up right before my eyes,” I feigned the whole choked up and crying thing.
“Yes, Master Drew. I learned from you.”
“Ah, very good, young Grasshopper.”
“Anything non-academic I need to know about? Mom said you stopped by the other evening while I was all out of it. Usually you just call, so I figured it might be a biggish deal.”
“Uhh…” I hesitated, embarrassed.
“Drew. It’s me. What’s up?”
“I don’t know. I’m stupid.”
“I need a story to corroborate this claim.”
I told her everything, sparing not a single detail in the process, but I did it in record time because I just wanted it to be over. And then I paused to give her time to consider.
“So he hasn’t called?”
“Well, you’ll see him tomorrow.”
“I know! What do I say? I wish you were going to be there so I wouldn’t have to face him alone. I made such a fool of myself.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. You’ll find out tomorrow.”
“That’s your wisdom for me?” I asked incredulously.
“It’s all I got. Undead, remember?”
“Oh, all right,” I whimpered. “I need you feeling better. I’m a disaster on my own. I need my wing-girl.”
“I’ll be flying next week. Just get my books and drop them off tomorrow. I need socialization with someone outside my family or I’m going to have to drink Windex or something.”
“Will do. See you tomorrow afternoon, if I survive.”
And I did, though I was only bodily present in each of my other classes that day. Ms. Finch noticed right away, but we were fortunately given time after our vocabulary quiz to either write in our journals or read a book. I reread the same page of Petals on the Wind about a hundred times. Why did V.C. Andrews find it necessary for every member of the Dollanganger family to have a name beginning with a C? I thought I’d sorted it out in the first book, but now I was getting the characters blurred and thinking about how my name, Danny’s name, and Dustin’s name all began with a D. Of course, we weren’t nearly as twisted as that incestuous brood, but it did make my mind wander. She reminded us that our journals were due on Monday.
By photography, I was ready to face Dustin, no matter what. The uncertainty clouded everything else. I arrived with a smile on my face, which faded as the warning bell sounded, and disappeared completely when the final bell rang without any sign of Dustin. Then relief spread though my entire being. This explained it. He was sick, or some horrible thing had happened to a family member and he was unable to attend school or call me last night. The circumstances were entirely out of his control.
I expressed this theory to Adrienne as I dropped off her books that afternoon and we watched Paula Abdul and Keanu Reeves in her Rebel Without a Cause style video for “Rush Rush.” Somehow we found her to be an acceptable pop artist, and we both drooled over Keanu, just as we had while watching him bring down surfer bank robbers in Point Break.
“Yeah, that makes sense,” she coughed out and then blew her nose.
“Man, you’re still sick.”
“Actually, I feel much better. What are the dress-up days for next week?”
“You’re suddenly feeling the need to express your school spirit for Homecoming?”
“I like a chance to wear weird stuff.” Adrienne had never really needed an excuse to do so before, but it would be easier if it was sanctioned.
“Uh, let me see,” I said as I opened my own bookbag. I had come straight to Adrienne’s after getting off the bus and had walked with Emily. At some point earlier in the week I had shoved the Homecoming flyer into the bottom of my front pocket of my hunter green Jansport. At least four pieces of paper were uncrumpled in the process before I found it, straightening out the creases on the edge of Adrienne’s coffee table. “All right. Monday is pajama day.”
“Done. Got that for sure,” she replied. “Next.”
“Tuesday is crazy hat day.” I paused, but Adrienne didn’t add any commentary that time, so I moved down the list. “Wednesday is cross dress day. No. Wait. They had to change it. Apparently some parents complained because some of the senior guys were planning to wear miniskirts or something.” We both looked each at each other and laughed.
“So what are we doing instead?”
“Uh, I can’t remember. They announced it today during photography, but my mind was elsewhere.”
“Inside out and backwards day!” Emily shouted from the kitchen.
“How do you even know that, Emily. You’re in middle school,” Adrienne called back, annoyed.
“I hear stuff,” was her simple reply as she walked in front of us with a brownie to get to their bedroom.
“Hey! Where’s my brownie?” we both asked in unison.
“I think they’re in the kitchen,” Emily said as she shut the door behind her.
Assuming we were both too lazy to make our way to the kitchen for brownies, I continued with the list. “Thursday is blast from the past day.”
“Cool! We are totally going to raid my grandma’s closet this weekend.”
“And Friday is spirit day. School colors and stuff like that.”
“Yeah, I’m not doing that. I don’t own maroon outside of gym class, and I don’t really wear it then either.”
“Same here. I better go now though. I came straight here and Mom will worry I missed the bus. I’ll see you tomorrow if you feel better.”
(Obviously you should consider this as Copyrighted material and not try to pass any of it off as yours)