HPC Wannabe

May 1, 2010
They walked through the courtyard, hair blowing in the wind like they were at a photo shoot, and they managed to keep their hair perfectly in place. They were amazing. Like angels sent from the heavens, they seemed to glide over the ground. Their perfect skin and coordinating outfits made them seem fake, but not at all at the same time. Everybody seems to stop in their tracks to stare at them in awe, but they don’t even notice. They are the HPC, Hannah’s Pretty Committee. They were all about being best friends, shopping, and being popular. They laugh at the girl who just slipped on a banana peel. And I, Luna, was one of them. . . “In your dreams moon girl!” I could imagine the leader, Hannah, yelling at me. No, I wasn’t a HPC; I was the klutz they were laughing at.
“Luna, are you okay?” my friend Penny asked. Penny was a friend, but she and everybody else know I secretly have always wanted to be a HPC. I don’t think it’s rude to string Penny on like that. . . I’ll make it up to her once I’m popular.
“Yeah, just slipped,” I said. I knew my cheeks were bright red like a tomato and my throat was starting to swell like it does when you are about to cry.
“’Kay. Well just so you know, there is water all over your backside,” She almost whispered like nobody else had noticed. And she wanted to keep it that way. “Oh look, there is you mom,” Penny said trying to comfort me. I followed her finger to the Volkswagon van painted black with yellow stars. (It’s the Starry Night). Inside was my mom, her mousy brown hair up in a bun with a pen and that horrid oatmeal cable knit sweater with Levi jeans and her clogs.
“Thanks for covering me,” I said as I picked up my bag. “I’ll see you tomorrow, bye!” I said to Penny.
“Bye!” Penny said as I opened the back door to throw my backpack in the van and hopped into the front seat.
“Hi, Luna darling,” my mom said as I slammed the door. “What happened?” she asked, motioning to my soaking wet butt.
“Nothing, just slipped. Can we go home?” I said.
“Sure thing honey,” she said and look at the sky. “Oh look, the moon is out during the day today. You know that means…”
This is where I drone out her boring astronomer talk. That’s really all Mom and Dad do, look at the sky, positions of stars and what it means. Blah, blah, blah. They met each other at this huge convention for astronomers and from there it is history. They are even dorky enough to get married in a conservatory on the day of some big meteor shower that has something to do with love. And because my dad studies the moon, they thought it would be so smart to name their first born daughter Luna. Didn’t they know how much ridicule I would get? Probably not. I looked out the window to the blur of wildflowers rushing by, and then mom turned onto a dirt path leading to my house. I tried to imagine her driving into a village of homes where everybody I knew lived down the street. But I know that is too good to be true. We live in the middle of nowhere so we can see the stars better. As my mom stopped the car I looked at our old house, a Victorian home that was built who knows how long ago and could be a haunted house.
I walked through the doorway into the old home. Immediately the scent of musty flowered wallpaper hits my nostrils and I trip over a textbook lying open on the floor. In the center of the entry hall is Mount Astronomy, all of the spines in the mountain of books about to fall off from being opened so many times. In the living room is an old fireplace that homes a family of bats, a Persian-looking rug that is a gray-brown from never being cleaned. In front of about every window is a shiny telescope. It really looks odd in the old house, their shiny exterior shimmering in the light of the old chandelier.
“Luna where are you? Family meeting!” my mother called into the house.
“Coming!” I replied. I walked through the doorway to my family, my dad sitting across from my mom, my little brother John at the head of the table. Mom has taken off her sweater to reveal a paint-splattered t-shirt that she had gotten from a conservatory somewhere. Dad wears a houndstooth suit with a blue dress shirt underneath and a black tie. You can see his green sock at the inside of the shoes where his big toe has worn at the leather and his balding head is shining in the light of the chandelier. And then, there is John. He’s wearing corduroy pants with a t-shirt from Jamaica that says “somebody who loves me very much went to Jamaica and got me this shirt!” And he was picking his nose. Gross! He is so disgusting. Not only that, my parents gave him the most generic name out there, John, and I get stuck with Luna! Talk about being born under a lucky star.
“Luna sit down we have something to tell you and John,” my dad said.
“Wait, who died?” John asked.
“Nobody my shining star,” my mother said trying to hold back laughs at the “cute” comment.
“So then what is it?” I said. I really just want to leave.
“Well your father and I have made a big discovery, but we need somebody to invest in it. So a Mr. Smith would like to do that but he wants more evidence of our research before he does so we are going on a trip with him and his family. But we need you both to entertain his daughter and son,” mom explained.
“Wait, Smith, daughter. Is his daughter Hannah?” I asked.
“Yes honey but-“ my mom started, I didn’t let her finish I was already out of the room and in my bed before she could’ve probably finished her sentence. I grabbed the phone. I needed to talk to somebody. I dialed Penny’s number.
“Hello?” a kind, caring voice answered.
“Hi, this is-“ I started.
“Luna? What’s up?” she said.
“Wait how did you know it was me?” I asked.
“A friend can recognize another friends voice. What’s going on?” she said. I then started to explain the predicament I was in and she listened like a amazing friend would. When I was done with my whine fest she said, “Well I know you might not want to go, and if you want you can stay at my house while your parents are doing that. Gotta go. Bye!” she said.
“Oh, bye,” I replied. What a good friend she is. . . .

The next two weeks really flew by, but I guess a whole year would fly by when you spend all your time pouting, doing homework, and sleeping. My parents spent most of their time finishing last minute research. One night during dinner they even had us act like Mr. and Mrs. Smith so they could incorporate their research into simple chit-chat. School hat been okay, if you thing okay is Hannah glaring at you every chance she gets.
The day we left for the trip I get home to see a huge lime green RV sitting in our front driveway. I feel like I had come straight out of the movie “RV”.
The Smiths got to our house about thirty minutes later. Hannah was in a black Juicy sweatsuit with sparkly toms. I looked down at the outfit I was wearing. It was the same except everything was a knockoff. Her brother carried a Nintendo DSi and an iTouch, the latest in gaming technology. Her and her mother both carried Louis Vuitton luggage big enough to carry everybody’s luggage, but sure enough the Smith boys had nice Tumi leather luggage. I looked back at our own family’s luggage, a dusty navy duffle stuffed to the brim. Everybody just stared at one another. My family in awe, the Smith’s in disgust.
“So everybody knows each other?” my dad asked, obviously trying to break the ice.
“We can later. Let’s just head out on the road,” Mr. Smith said.
“Kids, why don’t you hop into the RV while we get things finished?” Mom said.
“Okay!” John said. So typical for him to be enthusiastic right now while I on the other hand am sweating bullets.
I climbed into the RV to see something that was better than my house times a thousand. It had state of the art appliances, wooden countertops, comfortable seating, and no dust at all what so ever. Why did this house on wheels have to be better than my actual house? I bet Hannah is thinking, “This is so not as great as my house.”
I sat in the fifties diner style booth right across from Hannah whose fingers looked like they might fall off they were texting so fast. I grabbed one of my five books and started reading when the unexpected happened.
“Aren’t you totally not excited for this? I mean come on, I don’t really want to go watch stars fall from the sky,” Hannah complained. I didn’t know what to say, should I just agree, or should I correct her that we are actually going to see meteors and they won’t fall from the sky.
“Oh yeah,” I said. Ah! That was such a stupid thing to say, I hope she likes it. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. . . “Well at least we have each other,” I added. Snap! That just made me look like a total loser. Hannah looked me up and down and then sort of smiled at me like she felt sorry for me, and then continued to text.
“So do you have a phone?” Hannah asked, eyes glued on the screen like she was mesmerized.
“Nope,” I said.
“That’s sad.”
“Yeah, but I have a bunch of other stuff.”
“Yup,” I said. Wow, where is the conversation. The wonderful part where we connect and become best friends.
“So is your brother as annoying as mine?” she said eyes glued at our brothers playing games on the DSi.
“Probably not, you can’t get much more annoying than John,” I said, trying to sound like one of the HPC girls.
“LOL that is just the way I think of Joey! You know, we might actually be able to be friends on this trip. . .” My heart stopped, I swear I might’ve died for a second. I couldn’t move a muscle all I could think was I can become an HPC! “Oh and can you grab me some water? Thanks.”
“Oh yeah sure,” I responded. Hannah picked up a phone call and I could’ve sworn her say, “Oh yeah, she will just do whatever I want this whole trip and then I can get rid of her when we get back! She will never be a HPC, don’t worry.”
As I walked past my “oohh and ahhh”ing brother I wondered if it was really true. As I filled the glass with water I saw Hannah go over to Joey, push John out of his spot and take his spot. As I walked to Hannah, something inside me snapped. I couldn’t let her treat him like that….
“Oh Hannah, could you please give John his spot back?” I asked her, handing her the water.
“Excuse me?”
“Yeah, John was there first and I don’t think it was really necessary for you to have done that and-”
“Moon Girl, did I invite you to my pool party?” asked Hannah.
“No,” I said very confused.
“Then why are you all wet?” Hannah said as her arm holding the water shot forward. I tried to block the water with my hand but my attempts were fruitless. The water droplets seemed to hit me, one by one. She took what was remaining in the cup and poured over my head. I slid down my head and onto my shoulders. I could hear the dripping of the water from my now sopping wet clothes.
“Nobody tells Hannah Smith what to do,” she said as she sat right back down in the spot I worked so hard to get for my brother. But instead of fighting I ran outside to my mom.
“Honey, what happened?”
“Hannah was being mean and I don’t wanna go!”

“Well, I would but you have nowhere to stay,” my mom said. Then it hit me, I did. I remembered the night I learned about this nightmare and I called Penny. “Well I know you might not want to go, and if you want you can stay at my house while your parents are doing that. Gotta go. Bye!”

“But I do! Can I go to Penny’s?”

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