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I enjoy reading Sarah Shepard's writing. Her books are about normal teenagers who have big secrets and tell lies. She is my inspiration for this story.
Lynn, Chloe, Ariella, and Skylar were having a sleepover to celebrate the end of summer break. Next week, they were all going to start freshman year at Beverly Hills High. They were so excited and they were doing what they did in all their sleepovers, exchange clothes, do each others hair and makeup, feed on the latest gossip, watch chick flicks, or have marathons of their favorite TV Shows. Lynn and Sky just went shopping together yesterday and they got an amazing new wardrobe and brand new makeup for fall from Mac and Sephora and they were all super excited. They were at Lynn’s house, the Meyer’s owned a big house like all the rich houses at Beverly Hills, that had a big pool and a hot tub. They had a French interior designer come and design their house. All the furniture white with accents of gold, orange, and turquoise. They had big black and white photographs of famous cities and actresses like Audrey Hepburn that probably costed $3,000 each. Her 42 inch flat screen TV was on and Vampire Diaries season 3 episode 12 was playing and clothes were all spread out on her perfectly made bed and jewelry and makeup covered her vanity table. Chloe was doing Sky’s hair while Ariella did her makeup, Lynn sat on the bed arranging the outfit they picked for Skylar to wear. They were all chattering about the party coming up on Saturday, and it was supposed to be the best “Beginning of the Year” party. They were so happy that they were invited that it was all they’d been talking about for weeks. Their biggest problem was making sure they were wearing what’s trending now, or making sure they wouldn’t embarrass themselves in front of their crushes, or making it onto the tennis team, or doing well in the dance competition. Well that didn’t last very long, though.
Skylar was walking to the parking lot after a long dance practice. A big competition was coming up and the rehearsals lasted longer and longer as the competition day came closer. Skylar was looking down and texting her sister, Brittany, who was a junior in Beverly Hills High. Pick me up she texted. How was family night? she texted Ariella, Do you like her? Ariella’s parents had gotten divorced at the beginning of summer break and her dad had gotten a another girlfriend. Ariella and her younger sister, Hannah, were supposed to meet her today. Sky tapped her phone impatiently while she waited. She looked around at the deserted parking lot and hugged herself because it was a bit cooler today. She looked up at the stars, and remembered how a few summers ago, her’s and Chloe’s parents had sent the two of them to an outdoor camp and at night they would have to go stargazing and sketch the constellations into their notebooks. It put a smile on her face as she thought about how they would give the stars their own names and create their own imaginary people instead of actually memorizing the constellations.
She heard an engine approach and saw her sister’s battered, beige Mercedes Benz pull up. She opened the car door and slid in. “Thanks,” she said gratefully.
Brittany nodded, “No problem, I was just driving home from Ashley’s. So, was Kaitlyn being an unbelievably annoying butt again?” Brittany asked with a smirk on her face. Kaitlyn and Skylar had a long lasting feud that’s been there since, like, the beginning of time.
“Ugh! Don’t even get me started on her. She dances like a chicken having a seizure, and she has that snotty I’m better than everyone else , and you guys don’t even deserve to breathe the same air as me expression on her face the whole time! It is mindboggling how her friends haven’t thrown her in a well yet!” Brittany laughed while Skylar fumed on and on as they drove home.
The next morning, Ariella finally woke up after pressing the snooze button, like, 378 times. Last night, she and her sister had met Meredith, their dad’s current girlfriend. Meredith was probably the fifth girlfriend Mr. Simmons had had this summer, Ariella didn’t understand why he even bothered to introduce Mere, as he calls her, to them. When they came home it was pretty late, and then she had to finish a Language Arts essay that she waited till the very last minute to start on. Anyways, it was already 7:06 and the first period bell rang at 7:28.
When she was finally done with brushing her teeth, getting dressed, and poking her eye with an eyeliner pencil several times. She hurried down stairs and grabbed a granola bar to eat on the way.
She finally slid into her seat in Biology as the first bell rang. Mr. Evans was handing out sheets as he informed the class about a research assignment that each student was going to do on any topic they chose. Some students groaned as they looked down at all the requirements. Personally, Ariella wasn’t really looking forward to doing this assignment either. She was looking forward to going to the mall today after school with Chloe. She heard they got a bunch of new arrivals for the holiday season, and she really needed a lemongrass body wrap at the spa.
When they arrived at the mall, everything was glittery and there was a giant christmas tree, there were posters everywhere of new movies coming out, and all sorts of deals for christmas time. The two girls squealed when they saw the poster for Mockingjay. They had watched the first two movies together, and it was a tradition for the four girls to watch movies they had read the books for all together. First they headed to La Bella Spa, arm in arm, where they always got their body wraps.
Lynn decided she might as well start her research assignment for science. She glanced down at the list of topic ideas Mr. Evans had given them, and the only topic that seemed slightly less uninviting than the others was DNA. The requirements said they had to have at least 7 resources and they have to write a 2,332 word essay on it. Lynn decided she would go to the community college tomorrow and do her research there.
Lynn woke up the next morning, and got dressed and headed down stairs. Everybody was seated down at the table. Mr. Meyer was reading the newspaper, while Mrs. Meyer and Emily talked. “Hey Em.” Lynn said. Emily was in 7th grade, and the two sisters were really close.
“Hi,”Emily beamed at her.
“Um..Dad could you drive me to the community college close by? I have a research assignment to do.” Lynn asked.
“Definitely. I’ll drop you off after breakfast.” Mr. Meyer replied.
A half an hour later, Lynn got into her dad’s white Honda CR-V. She was wearing jeans and a plain tee she found, and her reddish tinted hair was pulled back into a high ponytail. She had brought her MacBook Air and the handout Mr. Evans had given them.
“So, what topic are you doing your research report on?” Mr. Meyer asked.
“I’m planning on doing it on DNA and blood type and genetics and stuff. I’m not really sure though.” Lynn answered. Mr. Meyer was a doctor, so she figured he’d be super excited for this project and proud that she’d chosen this topic. Lynn wasn’t sure if she saw correctly, but she thought she saw a nervous flicker in her dad’s eyes. When she looked again, it was gone and his eyes looked kind and welcoming like they always did.
They arrived at the Science Research Center building. “Text me when you want me to pick you up, okay?”
“ Okay. Bye dad.” Lynn waved and started walking towards the big building. She made her way inside and saw the familiar help desk. She’d been here twice before, when her dad needed to get something from here for his work. Both times she had to wait in the waiting room with Carly.
“Hi, Lynn,” Carly waved.
“Hey, Carly,” Lynn grinned.
“You’ve grown so much taller!” Carly exclaimed. “So, what brings you here today, I see your dad hasn’t come.”
“Well, actually, I’m doing a research assignment on DNA and genetics. I was wondering if I could do my research in one of your labs?” Lynn asked hopefully. She wasn’t sure if they would allow her to use the lab, but she wanted to at least try. She hoped that this would bring her science grade up to an A.
“Sure, I think Ethan’s here today. I’ll tell him to help you out.” Carly responded.
Lynn followed Carly through the many hallways in the maze-like building while she nodded and smiled, pretending to listen to her talk about how she once got lost in a filing cabinet here. Finally, they approached a dusty blue door and pushed it open. The room beyond was twice the size of her science classroom, and there were big desks, swivel chairs, microscopes, and shelves of all sorts of fancy breakable equipment everywhere. There was a projector screen near one wall, and there were several college students chatting and others working by themselves. Carly walked towards a dark hair guy who was staring intently at one of the computer screens.
“Hi, Ethan,” Carly introduced, “This is Lynn. She has to do a research assignment on DNA and genetics, so can you show her around and help her out.”
Ethan looked up and their eyes locked for a second, he had gorgeous grayish-blue eyes and ruffled dark hair, he was wearing a lab coat and gloves like everyone else. He grinned, “Okay, but first you need your lab coat and gloves.” They walked side by side while Ethan asked her about her assignment. He led her to a rack with lab coats stacked neatly on top of each other. She picked up the top one and looked at it, it looked too big for her and there was a large stain near the bottom left.
Her nose wrinkled up, “Do I have to wear this?” she asked expectantly, “Don’t you have, like, a smaller size or something?”
Ethan laughed, “You have to wear this.”
“Please,” she begged.
“Fine,” he grinned. “You have to wear the gloves though.”
“Okay,” Lynn said smiling. She was thinking she might actually have fun at this science lab as bizarre as that might sound.
“So what is this for?” Lynn asked. Ethan had been showing her around and telling her what everything was used for.
“This,” he explained, “has records of who is biologically related to who. It has your DNA pattern information and all sorts of other important stuff.”
“Does it really work?” Lynn questioned.
“Yes, it does,” he promised, “do you want to test it?”
“Ok,” Lynn said, “Check if Lynn Meyer and Elizabeth Meyer match.” Ethan typed in the two names and a bunch of lines and patterns showed up.
He analyzed it for a second and came to the conclusion that, “These don’t match.” he said.
“See I told you it didn’t work, Elizabeth Meyer is my mom,” Lynn said immediately.
“No, I’m not joking,” Ethan replied, his face was super serious. “Fine, give me your dad’s name.”
“Richard Meyer,” Lynn answered confidently.
She watched as Ethan typed in Lynn Meyer into one box and Richard Meyer into another. He stared at it for what seemed like hours to Lynn, and said, “These don’t match either. You are not biologically related to Elizabeth Meyer or Richard Meyer.”
“WHAT?!? No this isn-”
“You were adopted, Lynn.”
Skylar was on the couch, curled up in a blanket with Max in her lap, watching The Vampire Diaries. It was at a particularly sad scene when her Yorkie started barking. “What is it, Max?” she asked. She looked beside her and noticed that someone was calling her, the screen showed a picture of Lynn with her hair curled from a dance last year. “Hey Lynn -”
“I was adopted,” Lynn said into the phone. Sky could hear her sniffles, she’d probably been crying this whole time.
“WHAT?” Skylar yelled into the phone.
“I was at the Research Center at the community college and-and the guy said my parents aren’t my actual biological parents. They never told me anything, but I-I was adopted, Sky. I don’t-”
“know what to do. I can’t think straight right now. Like, my whole life literally was a lie. I asked him to search up my birth mom, and her name is Rosalie Westerveldt. What am I supposed to do? I mean she lives in Nevada! She has another daughter who’s a year older than me named Amber!”
“Lynn, where are you right now?”
“ I’m outside the research building,” Lynn sobbed.
“Stay there. I’m coming to pick you up.” Skylar demanded.
The next morning the two girls had their bags packed, and they were hauling them into Brittany’s Mercedes Benz’s trunk. After Skylar had finally managed to find Lynn the previous day, Lynn had been a wreck. Her makeup was all ruined, and her eyes were red from crying. Lynn decided she wanted to stay over at Sky’s, so she called her parents and told her what happened. Lynn was on the phone for two hours, and her parents had arranged for her to meet with her biological mom the next day, and Skylar had agreed to go along with her. So, there they were the next day, getting into Brittany’s battered old car, for a four hour road trip to Nevada.
They didn’t talk much the whole drive. “Whoa, they’re the rich type,” Brittany exclaimed. They had arrived at a big white Mediterranean style house with a large driveway. There were large windows with arches, and each of the rooms had balconies! Skylar had never seen a house like this in real life! It looked like one of those houses that would be on a reality TV show like Million Dollar Listing. She couldn’t believe she was actually going to stay in it for a night.
They rang the doorbell, and she heard chiming noises echo through the house. There were footsteps, and then Rosalie Westerveldt opened the door. She had hazel eyes, like Lynn, and the same shade of dark brown hair except without the reddish tint. She was wearing jeans and a plain striped tee.
“Hi, I’m your daughter, Lynn.”
Lynn knew it was stupid to say “Hi, I’m your daughter,” but she honestly couldn’t think of anything else to say; Hey, mom who abandoned me for fourteen years. Nice to finally meet you. Right after Rosalie welcomed them in, Lynn asked where the bathroom was. She went inside and looked at herself in the mirror, she’d noticed that Rose, what she asked to be called, had the same eyes, hair color, and the same nose as her, the nose that Lynn always got compliments on. She touched up her makeup, and stared at herself for a few more seconds. Then she let herself out of the bathroom, and looked around at the mansion. In the living room, there was a large TV, and a fireplace, big cream colored couches, and plants everywhere. There was a giant staircase, and on the couches Skylar sat uncomfortably with Rose, and another girl, probably Amber, who was about the same height as Lynn, although that was probably where the similarities ended. Amber had black hair down to her bellybutton with the last few inches dip dyed a vibrant purple, she had amber eyes, and perfectly arched eyebrows. She was wearing sweatpants and a black crop top. The older sisters are always prettier, Lynn thought.
“Hi,” Amber said, “You must be my long lost sister.”
The next morning, they were putting all their luggage back into Brittany’s car. At first they had been hesitant, but later the girls got along well. They had eaten pasta for dinner which was apparently Amber’s favorite dish too. They had all watched Mean Girls, and chatted the whole night. After they said their last goodbyes, and they both hugged Amber. The two girls got into the car, and Brittany pulled out of the driveway. When they could no longer see Rose or Amber, Skylar asked, “So do you like them? Are you going to stay with them for a while or…?”
“I really like them. Amber is like the coolest big sister ever and everything, and Rose makes the best pasta ever. But, I can’t. I already have a younger sister, Em, and I can’t leave her. My parents too, they’ve taken care of me all these years, and I still think of them as my real parents. I’ll visit Rose and Amber during breaks, though.”
Skylar was so happy her best friend wasn’t leaving that she just abruptly hugged her. Lynn’s life seemed perfect to her now. “I think I deserve an A on my science assignment,” Lynn said smiling. All the stress for the past few days was lifted of her chest now. Everything was back to normal, except for a few changes here and there.