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I stand there dumbstruck as the hottest guy in school walks past me, laughing with his friends. He glances my way briefly and smiles. His name is Hunter, he’s 17 and graduating, likes the colors red and black, has a dog named Butch, and is single. (Yea for that!)
I know I’m crookedly smiling back, but I don’t care. I just want him to notice me. Nobody else does in this stinking little school in this stinking little town about as far away from New York as you get.
Let me explain: My name is Lexi Anne Miller, and I live with my dad, stepmom, stepsister, and stepbrother. I am 16 years old, and I came from a not so small city called New York, the Big Apple, etc. I moved here with my dad to Montana, a not so cool state with small towns and farm life.
We live in a small town called Dillon, with a population of 4,226. Not at all like the population of New York City, where me and my dad used to live, which is 8,175,133. Yup, I am finding it a little hard to adjust, how’d you know?
We moved here because my dad decided to get married to a lady named Kendra Tanner. My real mom continues to live in New York and sees a boyfriend of hers often. My dad somehow got custody of me after the divorce, but I go see my mom every month in New York.
My mom is a big-time fashion designer, who makes thousands all the time. My dad works here at Dillon’s bank and my stepmom works as a teacher in the elementary school. Somehow, I’ve learned to live on such pitiful wages.
My stepsister’s name is Vanessa, and she’s 15. I don’t even have to share a room with her; score! My stepbrother’s name is Logan. He’s 17, and he reminds me of the fact all the time! Ugh. I don’t get along with either. They’re such farm kids.
I’ve made one friend at school, and even more enemies. They all think I’m some kind of snob or something. Anyways, my friend’s name is Jaclyn. She’s 16 as well, but very much a tom-boy pony-tail type of person.
My actual best friend lives back in New York with my other friends. Her name is Leanne, and I would kill to see her again! We’ve had so many good times.
“You’re drooling.” Jaclyn laughs as Hunter continues to walk past.
“Uh-huh…” I drawl.
“Snap out of it!” She snaps her manly fingers in my face till I blink twice.
“Wha-?” I shake my head.
“Daydreaming?” Without waiting for a response, she pulls me to another class. “Come on, English starts it two minutes!”
“How was school?” My dad asks me when I walk in the front door with Vanessa and Logan. We all kick off our shoes and retreat to our rooms without answering.
I plod upstairs and walk into my ever-welcoming (not!) new room. It has bright immature colors and pictures of kittens on the walls. No I didn’t decorate it; Kendra did that for me. Yuck!
So I flop down on my floral duvet and dream some more about Hunter. Totally hot….
“Didn’t see you today at all except for in the cafeteria.” Vanessa walks in. I don’t know why she likes me and tries to hang around with me. Goodness! I know I’m appealing and all but that’s a bit much.
“Whatever.” I shrug. Then I sit up. “Did I invite you in?”
“What are you, a princess? You’ll find people are not as polite here in Dillon.” Vanessa scoffs. “Yeah, people just walk in uninvited.”
“Polite? Huh! You think New Yorkers are polite? You get pushed and shoved here and there, and yelled at over there…It’s a zoo.”
“So why do you like it?” Essie, (that’s what I call her) leans against my doorframe.
“Because I grew up there. It’s all I’ve ever known.” I laugh. “Excuse me if I’m not used to cow business in the middle of the road and no traffic lights.”
“Yah, no kidding. You flipped at the worm Logan brought to you yesterday.”
“Um, that thing was pink and slippery and wriggly and downright disturbing! The only vermin in New York are beggars on the side of the road.”
“Vermin?” Essie’s eyebrows rise. “Wow.” And with that she leaves the room.
I whip out my awesome pink phone and text my mom: I MISS YOU
Her reply takes three minutes: miss you too. Are you coming to New York soon?
I smiled and my fingers fly over my phone’s keyboard: as soon as you can book me a ticket, then I’ll be on that plane.
My mom pays for all my tickets, since she’s like a millionaire. Her responses are now getting faster: sounds good. How about in two days, on Monday?
Oh yeah! Our conversation continues for awhile and after 20 minutes she tells me my flight is booked.
We say goodbye and I smile. I’m going to New York!!! Party time!
I can see Leanne, and some more girlfriends, and go shopping with my mom’s credit card and stuff. Hmm….new heels, a dress, earrings, a scarf, tank tops, fur-lined coats, manicures and pedicures….the works.
I trot downstairs happily and actually smile at Kendra. She smiles back, hesitantly, as she looks over at my dad.
“Dad!” I walk over to him. “I’m going to New York!”
“Uh-huh…You go there every month. What’s the big deal exactly?”
“I’m going on Monday, though. You know, in two days. I’m going to go pack.” And I run back upstairs.
The minute I exit the plane, I see my mom wave at me. I haul my small carry-on over to her and she envelopes me in a hug.
“How was the flight?” She asks me.
“It was good.” My head bobs. We head toward the luggage carousel for the rest of my things.
Not long after we’re on the road to mom’s apartment in a taxi. We chat about my school, and her fashion designs, and my stepmom, and her boss…and then, her boyfriend. His name is Mark. Yuck!
“Don’t tell me he actually lives in your apartment yet.” I growl and play with my fingernails.
“Yes and no.” My mom looks out the window. “He’s there all the time, but he doesn’t live there. In fact, I’m considering moving in with him into his place.”
I frown. “What will happen to Franny?” Franny is my nanny sort of. She always has been, but she continues to live in New York. Dad says our house is small enough.
“I’m sure Franny can find another place; another child. Besides, she doesn’t do much in my apartment anyway except make meals three times a day for the two of us.” Mom smiles back at me. “I’m sure she’ll be fine.”
Our conversation shifts to other things until we get to the apartment and mom unlocks her front door to her room. We step inside, and there is Mark. I’ve met him once before, and didn’t like him. I still don’t like him.
“Hi sweetie.” Mom hugs him, and he grins.
“Hi Lexi. Sup?” He follows me to the living room where I dump my luggage.
I frown and ignore him completely. Who does he think he is? My mom glances sadly over to him and he looks away.
“Lexi my darling!” Franny enters the room and smothers me in kisses. She starts saying her random Spanish stuff and wraps me in a bear hug.
“Hi Franny.” I push her slightly away so I can breathe. “How are you doing?”
She laughs. “Me? What about you?” She plops me down in the kitchen and hands me a slice of cheesecake. It’s good to be home again.
Leanne and I are promptly shopping the next day with my mom’s credit card after going hysterical about seeing each other again. We’re going around Manhattan looking in the most expensive stores for anything and everything. I’ve already found heels and a dress, and purchased them both. Leanne’s found designer jeans.
A store clerk is helping us find some popular shirts.
“Nah…I don’t think so.” I frown at a puke green shirt that she’s desperately trying to get us to buy. How is that thing popular?
“But it’s got such nice sequins, and I’ll even mark it down to 5% off!”
Leanne frowns too as the lady keeps persisting.
“30% off?” I know I’m pushing it.
“Deal!” She shouts. Apparently she’ll take whatever for it, but not before asking for the highest prices. Oh well, I suppose I can give the thing to my less fortunate friends at my old school. Besides, it’s my mom’s money; not mine.
A few minutes later I’ve purchased a few shirts including the ugly one, and Leanne and I walk out of the store.
“Lunch time?” Leanne asks as we climb into my mother’s car with her personal chauffeur.
“Absolutely.” I laugh. Mom’s driver transports us to a lovely French restaurant with the finest foods in all of Manhattan.
We walk into the diner, all three of us, and the driver goes to sit at a table by himself in a corner. Leanne and I shrug and pick a table near the front doors.
Just after a cute waiter takes our order, Madison Tyson walks in and sits down at our table.
Madison is the snob of my old school here in New York. I haven’t seen her in awhile, but I hear she’s still just as mean as ever, and almost as prissy as myself. Her hair is bleach blonde again, and her makeup is heavy. She’s wearing a red dress that swishes with her hips and matching red designer heels. She can be so stylish sometimes.
She purses her lips and looks over at me. “Lexi Miller, I never thought I’d see the day when you would come back to your senses and join us again in NYC.”
I laugh smugly. “Don’t you wish? I’m just visiting my mom.”
“Aw. It must be so sad to not see her anymore.” She looks so pathetic just sitting there with her lower lip sticking out.
Our food arrives fairly quickly and we eat while she watches.
“To get back on topic, no, it’s not so bad having my parents split.”
“Maddi, leave Lexi alone.” Leanne glares at her.
“Well, somebody’s snotty today.” Madison laughs, grabs up her red wallet from the floor where she had placed it, and gets off her chair. “So nice to see you both again, but I’ve just got to be going. I have to buy a dress for the dance at school tomorrow night. Tata.” She wiggles her fingers and leaves the building.
“What dance?” I turn to Leanne.
“Oh, just the annual spring dance. Hey, you should come with me.”
“Oh, I forgot all about it. Yeah, I should totally come. I’ve no idea what to wear though.”
“Seriously? You’ve got millions of things to wear.” Leanne laughs as we finish up our meal.
“Yeah, maybe.” I shrug as we (plus the driver) leave the restaurant and climb into the car once again.