Are you ready for this? Book 27 is nearly here! Make sure you’ve signed up for the newsletter so you don’t miss anything.
Friday night (September 20, 6-11 pm central time) is Trivia Night on the Bellingwood Facebook page. It’s also Polly’s birthday, so I have an extra giveaway. I can’t wait!”
Until then … I have a short vignette for you.
As You Wish
Rebecca threw herself face down on Cilla’s bed. “Why does it have to be so difficult?”
“Because they’re idiots,” Cilla said. “What did you expect?”
“A little respect. Not a lot of respect. Just a little. But no.” Rebecca turned over, sat up, then flung herself back down. “All I did was ask if we were working on the float this weekend and suddenly … drama! It was a simple question!”
“Evidently, it wasn’t quite as simple as you thought.”
“Who knew? She called me a despot. I can’t believe she even knows what that word means. And then, all day long, every time one of her petty little girlfriends saw me, they chanted ‘despot, despot, despot.’ How did they learn that word?”
Cilla laughed. “World History.”
“Oh, thank goodness. I thought maybe they actually read a book.”
“Anything past The Little Engine That Could would tax their little brains. Did Pammy-poo tell you why they couldn’t work on the class float this weekend?”
Rebecca tossed one of Cilla’s pillows in the air. “Duh. They have to go shopping for their Homecoming dresses.”
“Well, there are the shoes and then they have to test their up-dos and scope out where they’re going to have dinner and ….”
“I get it,” Cilla said. She propped the stray pillow back in its place on her bed. “They’re too busy. Why doesn’t everyone just get together without them?”
Rolling her eyes, Rebecca sat up and blew out a loud, dramatic breath. “Because Shannon is bringing her father’s flatbed and Jules’s father is bringing the hay bales and … do they just want to do it by themselves?”
“Probably.” Cilla laughed. “But we all know that once it comes down to the real work, they won’t want anything to do with it. We’re marching in the band, anyway. Why do we care?”
“I guess I don’t anymore,” Rebecca said. “I thought it would be fun to get involved in something that I don’t usually do. How hard is it to take a breath and let someone new participate? You’re busy with the Thespians float. You don’t have to think about this. At least you’re part of that clique.”
“You could be too. You’re in Thespians.”
“Yeah, but I wanted to meet someone new. Get involved with the class stuff.”
“You fool,” Cilla said, picking up the lisping tempo of Vizzini from The Princess Bride, “you fell victim to one of the classic blunders.”
“The most famous of which is ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia,'” Rebecca replied with a laugh.
Cilla grinned. “But only slightly less well known is this: ‘Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!’”
Rebecca got up and wandered over to Cilla’s bookcase, then pulled out the Princess Bride DVD. “We haven’t watched this in forever. Let’s take it over to Kayla’s tomorrow night.”
“We are men of action,” Cilla replied. “Lies do not become us.”
“Why do you still have all the DVDs in your room?”
“Haven’t taken them downstairs yet. I figure about the time I’m ready to go off to college, we’ll finally have this house in order. At least Mom and Dad’s new room is done. That gave us a ton more space, but we jammed things wherever there was an extra inch. I still haven’t found my old Paramore CDs.”
Rebecca turned to look at her. “You still listen to CDs?”
“No, but one of them was signed. I think Justin stole it.”
“Probably one of your sisters. I swear, if Polly didn’t make it a criminal offense, those boys would be in my room all the time. It’s like everything that I own is interesting to them. Seriously, boys, it’s just Spongebob.”
“But it’s a big Spongebob,” Cilla said with a laugh.
“One time they took it out of my room and Han was dragging it around by the foot. I nearly came unglued. It’s one thing for me to ask Noah to take care of the cats when I can’t get home on time, but the rest of them have no reason to be in there. What is so stinking interesting?”
“Do you hide love notes from Andrew?” Cilla asked.
“Well, yeah, but not in my bedroom. I’m not dumb.”
“Wait, seriously? You have love notes from Andrew that you’ve hidden in your house? Where?”
Rebecca laughed. “Like I’ll tell you.”
“Oh, come on. He writes you love notes?”
“Like lovey-dovey stuff or sweet, romantic sonnets?” Cilla put her hand over her heart. “Oh, my love is like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June. My love is like the melody that’s sweetly played in tune.”
“You have to tell me what he says to you.”
Rebecca frowned. “No, I don’t.”
“Really?” Cilla asked. “He gives you poems and love letters? Do you write those things to him?”
“Yeah. What’s wrong with that?”
“And they’re cogent and poetic and make sense and use big words? Not like ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, that’s what I said, I do love you’ stuff?”
“You’re very bad at this.”
“Tell me what he writes to you.”
“Tell me who you’re going to the Homecoming Dance with?” So far, Cilla had been taciturn about her date to the dance. Yeah, Rebecca like that word. One of her best friends refused to tell her something that would be revealed in just a few weeks anyway.
“I don’t have a date,” Cilla protested. “There’s no one.”
“You have to find someone. Barrett is asking Kayla.”
“I know, I know. It’s just not that big of a deal. So what if I don’t go with anyone? Maybe I’ll go with Deirdre and we’ll make it a girl’s night.”
“Deirdre isn’t going, remember? She’s doing a protest about societal norms and gender issues.”
“Maybe I’ll protest with her.”
Rebecca shrugged. “She’d love that. Maybe we should all protest.”
“Andrew would kill you.”
“He doesn’t care what we do. I think Kayla would kill me, though. She finally has a great date and you should see the cute dress she and Stephanie bought. Just come with us, date or no date. You know that all you’d have to do is smile at Kev and he’d fawn at your feet.” Kevin Larchmont was part of the theater crowd and adored Cilla. He did his best to remain aloof around her, but it was obvious to everyone that all she would have to do is crook her little finger and he’d be there to do her bidding.
“Kev is another high school boy,” Cilla said.
“So, they’re just boys. No maturity, no common sense, no interests other than video games and …” Cilla shook her head in disgust. “They’re just boys. I want to meet a man.
“Andrew is just a boy?” Rebecca raised her eyebrows.
“You have him well-trained. But you’ve put in years of work with that one. I don’t have that much time left. I want a man who knows how to woo a woman, how to figure out a tip in his head, how to read a whole book. I want someone who understands that Broadway is more than just musicals; that theater is serious business. I want someone who sees the world through a bigger lens than what football team is playing on Friday night or how far they can spit a wad of paper.”
“I know. High school boys are gross. Heck, some of them are barely showering on a regular basis. Why would you not take a shower after gym class? Ewww.”
“Kev is clean and I’ve never seen him spit. He’s smart and he knows about actual plays on Broadway. If you’d give him a chance, he’d woo your socks off. And he reads everything. I’ve known him for years. He’d be great for you.”
“He doesn’t even drive yet.”
“Because his parents can’t afford a car for him. He has his license. Why are you resisting this so hard? He’d be a great date to Homecoming.”
“Why? Why? Because if I go to Homecoming with him, he’ll think that we’re in a relationship and then he’ll never go away. If I don’t start with him, I won’t have to break up with him.”
“What if you like him? Give the guy a chance.”
“I don’t want to start a relationship with a boy here in Bellingwood. What if we fall in love? Then I have to base my decisions on where to go to college on whether I can live without him. I don’t want to go to school in Iowa. Will Kev follow me wherever I go? How difficult will a long-distance relationship be? I don’t need that when I’m trying to focus on my career. I don’t need the distraction.”
Cilla stood up and paced around her room. “What? Why are you laughing at me?”
“What do you want, Cilla? Is it because he’s just a high school boy and not mature enough for you, or is it because you might fall for him and then have to figure out how to manage your future?”
“I don’t know.” Cilla sat down hard on her bed and punched her pillow. “I want someone to tell me what to do.”
“No, you don’t.”
“No, I don’t. But I hate having to figure it out by myself. You’re so lucky. You have Andrew and Kayla, and you have Polly.” She nodded. “You even have Mrs. Watson. I don’t have anyone.”
“Do you even hear yourself?” Rebecca asked.
“What do you mean?”
“You have your mom.”
“She’s too busy worrying about Dad.”
“You know better than that. The two of you are tight. And you have me and Kayla. You love your job at the quilt shop. Mrs. Dykstra is like a second mom to you. You have her. And Polly would talk to you.”
“Henry thinks I’m a moron.”
“He does not.”
“Yes, he does. I’m always doing some silly, dramatic thing whenever he walks into the room. He has to think I’m a fool.”
“Hate to tell you, Cilla, but he probably doesn’t even notice you.”
Cilla looked at her in horrified shock. “Not notice me?”
“Yeah. He’s thinking about a million other things. My friends are only important to him because they’re my friends.”
“I’m not working hard enough,” Cilla muttered.
“Because he doesn’t notice you?”
“You are a moron. You want it both ways.”
“Yeah, so, life isn’t like that.”
Cilla nodded. “I know. Have I distracted you from asking about my date to Homecoming?”
“You’re a sneaky one. Seriously, you should go with Kev. Andrew likes him.”
“He’s still really young.”
“He’s our age.”
“That means he’s like four years younger than us when it comes to maturity.”
“Give the boy a break, Cilla. You don’t have to make a lifetime commitment. It’s just a dance.”
“We’ll see. So, do you want to come out and work on the Thespian float with me this weekend?”
“Will Kev be there?”
Cilla shot her a look. “Don’t push it, toots.”
Rebecca sat down beside her and gave her friend a small push in the shoulder. “I’m pushing, I’m pushing. Because I’m pushy like that. You never know, this could be the best thing that ever happened to you.”
“One thing you know when you’re ten,” Cilla said, flipping the Princess Bride DVD out of Rebecca’s hands, “is that no matter what, there’s gonna be a happy ending.”
“As you wish,” Rebecca replied with a smile.