Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SAG Awards!

I have been exploring some sites, and stumbled across.....the SAG awards! So...you get another fashion post like my Golden Globes one! :) Here we go....

Here's Miss January Jones sporting a Prabal Gurung gown. For the dress, I give her....3/10. Her neck looks much too restrained in this gown, almost as if she's wearing a neck brace. The draping around the hips calls attention to them, which is not terribly flattering. And, it looks as if it cinches around her neck!

Anne Hathaway wearing a Giambattista Vali gown...poor dear! The sheer top is not attractive, neither are the sequins...the whole gown makes her look slightly wide through the middle. And the deflated black layers of tulle at the bottom? Almost looks like a Halloween decoration gone wrong. 2/10 here.

Michelle Dockery in a Chado Ralph Rucci dress. Oh...dear. The slits at the top are not attractive, and even though black is (supposedly) a slimming color, this makes her middle look frumpy. And...I thought snake bracelets were SO out of style. 3/10 for her.

Claire Danes in a Givenchy gown. Two words. UG. LY. Off the shoulder draping is never flattering, and with the extra fabric hanging off the arm, it looks like she put the sleeve on wrong. And the geometric pattern down the bottom? Ick! 1/10.

If I had to wear this, I would be frowning too. I think this Valentino gown should be called...."Shower Curtain Chic."The ruffles on the side make her figure look wider than it is, and the colors do not match. The sleeves that stick out on the sides at the top are just TOO much. 1/10. Poor Rose Byrne.

Oh no! Jane Lynch's gown makes me shudder. The faux leather with studs is horrific. This gown accentuates every bit of her middle aged-ness. 1/10. (If a 0 were possible, it would be give.)

Lea Michele's Pepto-Bismol pink dress is not...horrible like the past 6 gowns! The pink ruffle at the bottom is actually kind of cute! Also, it is not a hip-hugging, curve-baring, fat-showing dress. The flare after the waist is a nice change. This earns her a 5/10.

Sigourney Weaver in a black satin apron gown. This hiked up dress with the apron ruffles at the top is...well...terrifying with a capital "T"! She is a....solidly built woman at 63, and this dress definitely shows that. 1/10!

Nina Dobrev's pink crepe gown is not bad! The T-shirt top is entirely modest except for the slits in the front. I could go without those. The slender drape of the dress is elegant and feminine. That color is also good on her! 7/10!

Freida Pinto is showing a "Pepto Princess" gown here. Sunglasses anyone? 1/10.

Kiernan Shipka....may I borrow your dress? This totally vintage cute dress is perfect for her age. I am glad to see she went with a modest, age appropriate gown. She looks 13, not 27! Many young stars are made up to look too old...Light pink is a good accent blend with her pale, rosy skin! 9/10!

Oh dear...Julianna Margulies. Color block black and white. Why is there a random leg sticking out? Eesh. 2/10.

Sally Field looks good for her age. And this wisteria pleated gown? Awesome...just wish it came with a camisole up top! 5/10.

Mayim Bialik in an electric blue lace gown. What a pretty dress! It is a little snug on the hips, but I like the soft drape after the thighs. That belt adds a touch of country to it also! 7/10 for her.

There you have it!

Our Best Dressed Award goes to....Kiernan Shipka! :)

And the Worst Dressed Award goes to.......Freida Pinto, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Lynch,Rose Byrne, and Claire Danes!

See you next time with our "Celebrity Magnifique, and Celebrity Horrif-ique!"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boarding School!

As my readers of my old blog know, I am working on a story right now. It's still in progress, and I've had writer's block (blech!) lately, so it hasn't been worked on in a while...but I realized that I have so much of it that I have not posted!! I posted a few chapters on my old blog, but I have 9 chapters! So, I've decided to post the chapters I put over there here.........plus one new installment for y'all! :) If you  would like to skip past the old stuff if you have already read it and remember it, scroll down and I have marked where the new installment is! Enjoy!

Chapter 1-Troublemaker
I’m Piper. I’m a 13 year old girl with a…spunky personality. Mom calls it attitude, but I call it personality. I mean, I wouldn’t sink to the level of attitude! Personality is much more up my alley. I go to Pine Middle School. Well, I did…until something happened. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning…

I walk down the halls of Pine Middle School. My best friend, Cassie, looks at me.

“Ugh…” she groans, “Here comes the queen of the hill.”

That’s the name we use for the bossiest most popular girl at this school. Her real name is Paige. She has perfect blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and the prettiest smile you’ve ever seen. But that’s just one of the things that drives me crazy about her. The other thing is that she is perfect. Or so I’m told. Well, she’s not really perfect, I mean no one is. But in the teacher’s eyes, she is the epitome of perfect. The teachers all fawn over her. It pretty much disgusts me.

“Yeah Cass, looks like she is feeling extra pink today,” I sneer.

And I am totally right. She’s decked out in a pink plaid skirt, pink leggings, a pink cardigan, and a pink tank top. Oh, and pink flats. She kind of looks like a Pepto-Bismol bottle.

Now you would think that I wouldn’t really care about her pinkness. But I do. I look down at my clothes…the total opposite of hers. I’m wearing faded jeans and an old T-shirt of my dad’s. I hate everything pink. Makes me want to gag! Cassie and I are part of the anti-pink crowd. We are not the most girly girls.

“Looks like trouble is coming!” whispers Cassie.

“Nah. Miss Preppy Pink is too busy to talk to us today,” I whisper back.

But that was wishful thinking. Paige struts over here and looks menacingly at my old T-shirt.

“Ooh, where did that come from? The dump?” she cackles.

I almost bare my teeth at her.

“I happen to like my shirt, thank you very much! It’s from one of my dad’s rock concerts that he went to. I think it’s classy.”
“Well I think it’s,” she begins, until Mrs. Raymond, our vice principal comes down the hall.
“I think it is absolutely beautiful, Piper! You should wear it more often! Totally vintage,” she finishes.

Mrs. Raymond beams at the way Paige is associating with me. Tossing her hair over her shoulder, Paige walks over to Cassie.

“Love the cargo pants, Cassie. And that grungy old sweater you have on matches them perfectly!”
I notice that Cassie’s muscles tighten, like she wants to hit Paige. But I know she won’t do it. Cassie is just too weak to stand up to Paige.

“Hey Paige,” I yell as she walks away. Her hair flips and lands perfectly as she turns around. Paige crosses her arms and looks down at her dainty watch, as if she has a schedule to keep.

“Next time you want to torture us, we’ll be in the gym at 3:00. See ya around!” I say.

In an attempt to be like Paige, I flip my hair around, but it just lands limply on my back. As I walk back toward Cassie, I can hear Paige giggling.

“Hmmph,” I say to Cassie.

“Don’t let the queen bee get to you. Just because your hair isn’t quite as…..flippy as hers doesn’t mean you are less cool.”

Cassie’s just being nice. Not only is my hair stringy and black, but I am also a social outcast. No lie. Really my only friend is Cassie. Even though I know her comment isn’t true, I feel a little better.

“Thanks Cass. Where would I be without you?”

We continue on toward our first class of the day. Math. My least favorite. Why? Oh…only that my brain was not built for numbers. And I have the meanest teacher ever. His name is Mr. Gruden. He lives to pick on kids like me.

I sit down in my chair and begin to work my math problems, until Cassie passes me a note.
Why did you tell Paige we would be in the gym at 3? Now she’s just going to pick on us!

I snicker as I read her note. I, Piper Riley Weber, have a plan. I scribble a quick note back to Cassie before Mr. Gruden sees me. Her face lights up when she reads it, and I can tell she is excited. All we have to do is wait until 3:00.

I stare anxiously at my watch. It’s 2:57, and Paige isn’t here yet. I decide to pass the time until she gets here by checking over my plan.

“Cassie, did you get the paint bucket?”

She nods mischievously and points toward the basketball hoop.

“It’s all rigged up. But how are we going to make sure she makes the first basket?”
Cassie should know by now that I always have a plan. I wouldn’t have come up with this idea if I hadn’t thought it through thoroughly.

“Well,” I begin, “gym class doesn’t start until 3:15, and she’s coming here at 3:00, so she will be the first to make a basket! And no one will be around to stop her.”

We both snicker, but stop as Paige comes into the room. She’s traded her pink skirt for a pair of baby blue gym shorts, and the cardigan for a simple white tank top. Even though her clothes are what Cassie and are wearing, she still looks way better in them.

“Hey girls,” she crows as she goes to pick up a basketball. Expertly, she twirls it around her finger.

“Show off,” Cassie whispers to me.

I walk over to the big tub of balls and pick up my own. I dribble it and then throw it through my leg and pick it up again. I’m not very athletic, but this is a move I taught myself last summer.  Paige smirks and then goes toward the hoop. Quickly, I run toward Cassie, and we wait with bated breath. Paige picks the
ball up, she raises her hands above her head and….she shoots!

Cassie and I cheer as a big bucket of blue paint falls off the basketball hoop and lands right on top of Paige. Her white tank is splattered with dark blue, and her gym shorts are hopelessly ruined. But the best part is, her hair is sopping with paint! Cassie turns toward me and gives me a high-five. We did it without getting caught! She and I turn around and start to book it out of the gym, until Mrs. Raymond stops us.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she says sternly.

Cassie looks at me with horror in her eyes. Busted, I think. Mrs. Raymond’s eyes are positively flashing with anger when Paige comes to her side.

“I don’t know what that funny business was, but you will report straight to Mr. Dillon’s office. NOW!!”
Her voice thunders through the gym, and Cassie and I start walking away. She takes my hand and squeezes it.

“That didn’t turn out very well,” she says forlornly.

I nod my head, then say, “But at least we got Paige! She looked so funny with paint all over her!!”

Cassie looks reluctant to head to the office, but she follows me anyway. I trudge down the hall, not really sure of what will happen in Mr. Dillon’s office. He’s known to be really hard on kids who deserve it, but I really think that what Cassie and I did isn’t that bad. Our old principal, Mr. Valentino, called me a troublemaker. That’s what my mom says occasionally too. But honest, I am not a troublemaker, and I don’t have an attitude! I simply happen to like revenge, and I have spunk. That is all.

As we approach the principal’s office, my heart begins to pound and my palms grow sweaty. I’ve been sent here once or twice for minor incidents, but I’m still nervous. I look over at Cassie, and I can tell that she’s nervous too. She’s shoved her hands in her pockets, a sure sign of nervousness. Five feet, four feet, three feet, two feet, one foot…I think to myself. Mr. Dillon’s name is on a bronze sign that’s hanging on his door. The dark cherry wood of the doorframe makes me even more nervous. It looks so…official.

Before I even reach for the doorknob, Mr. Dillon’s door flies open. He looks down at us, his warm brown eyes examining our faces.

“Hello girls. Mrs. Raymond informed that you would be arriving soon. Please, do come in.”

His voice is colder than I’ve ever heard it. A little warning bell goes off inside me, saying that this is not a good sign, but I ignore it. As we step into his office, I look around. He has the same furniture as he did three weeks ago. His big cherry wood desk is sitting there, parked in front of a dark red rolling chair. In front of the desk are two wooden chairs. The walls are covered with diplomas, and pictures of the faculty in the school. This room is so un-inviting and it makes me quiver a little inside.

“Mrs. Raymond told me all about what you did to Paige. To be honest, I am very disappointed in you. Not mad, but disappointed. Now,” he pauses, “who was the ringleader here?”

I grind my teeth together, not wanting to admit that it was me. How can I tell him? I’ll get in huge trouble. I’m about to not say anything, when I look over at Cassie. Her face is pleading with me to tell the truth. Of course! I think. I can’t throw Cass under the bus. That would be mean. Her pitiful face finally pushes me over the edge.

“I was, Mr. Dillon. It was all my idea. If you’ll just let me explain myself here,” I begin, but Mr. Dillon cuts me off.

“No explanations. I understand perfectly what you were trying to do.”

I almost sigh with relief at this. He gets it! He knows what a jerk Paige is! My heart soars.

But then it plummets down when Mr. Dillon says, “You were trying to hurt Paige. That is a despicable thing to do. Paint can be potentially harmful when it gets in people’s eyes! Now you’ve ruined her good gym clothes, you’ve nearly dyed her hair blue, and you’ve stained the gym floor with dark blue paint. What do you have to say for yourself?”

I notice he doesn’t include Cassie in his reprimand. He’s staring straight at me.

“Well sir, Paige was being really rude to me and I just thought that she deserved it…I mean, she’s always rude to me! That’s not my fault! I wasn’t trying to hurt her, just give her a little taste of her own medicine! Honest, Mr. Dillon!”

“Well Piper, under no circumstances do you try and harm a student. Plus, Paige wouldn’t hurt a fly! I can’t imagine her being mean to you or anyone else. I’m afraid that I will have to call your mother about this offense. Please excuse me while a make a call. Oh, and Cassie?” He stops and looks at her. “You are free to go my dear.”

He smiles at her, and she breathes a sigh of relief. As quickly as a mouse, she scampers out of his office, never even stopping to look back at me. I push my bangs out of my eyes and hunker down in my chair. This plan really backfired. I hear Mr. Dillon talking to my mom, and I know I’ll be in trouble when I get home. After I hear them say goodbye, Mr. Dillon says, “Go home.”

The shock on my face must be obvious.

“What?” I stammer, not sure what he just said.

“I said, go home. The day is done for you Piper.”

“But…no detention? I mean…I just go home now?”

“Well, do you want to go to detention? I suppose that can be arranged.”

I shake my head vehemently and reply, “I’ll go home now. See you around, Mr. Dillon.”

As I walk out, I hear words that I do not want to hear. Under his breath, my principal says, “That girl is a troublemaker.”

“I heard that. And for your information Mr. Dillon, I am not a troublemaker. I simply have a spunky personality.”

And with that, I turn on my heel and walk out of the principal’s office.

Chapter 2-Mama’s Mad

Reluctantly, I walk home by myself. I’m not accompanied by Cassie, or anyone else. There are a few birds singing, and I feel like telling them to be quiet. I’m not really in a cheery mood right now. My scuffed Converse tennis shoes manage to drag me all the way home. As I walk up the front steps to my house, I dread going in there. I know my mother will be furious with me. I figure that I’ll end up grounded from having Cassie over. Honestly though, I wouldn’t mind not seeing her for a while. She totally left me to suffer in Mr. Dillon’s office.

I slowly open our bright red front door as quietly as possible. Anything to make sure Mom doesn’t hear me. I tiptoe up the stairs to my bedroom. I’m almost in the clear and free! Just as I reach for my doorknob, Mom grabs the back of my shirt.

“Where do you think you’re going, young lady?”

I stop dead in my tracks. “My room?” I reply casually.

She stares me down. “You wouldn’t be avoiding me would you?”

I hate Mom’s way of getting something out of me. She asks questions that you can’t answer without revealing something.

“Yes Mom, I am. I know you’re going to be mad at me, but I had a good reason!”

“Good reason? Just because a girl says a mean thing to you does not entitle you to dump a bucket of paint on her head! Seriously, Piper, this is your third offense this month! First you put a frog in Paige’s desk. Then you tripped her in the hall. And now you dump paint in her hair? Piper! You may say you have a spunky personality, but you are a troublemaker. I don’t use that term lightly. This can’t go on! I am tired of dealing with you! Now go to your room and don’t come out until I discuss your punishment with your father.”

This is bad news. Normally, when I’m just in a little bit of trouble, Mom will just give me my punishment. But when she has to talk it over with dad, I know I am in huge trouble. I like it better when she comes up with her own punishment.

I open my door slowly, and set my backpack down. My room’s painted a nice dark blue because Mom wouldn’t let me paint it black. I plop myself onto my bed and pull out my homework. Mr. Gruden decided to be extra hard on us today, because we have 7 pages of pre-algebra problems. I don’t really mind doing math, but it is not my favorite. There are other things I like better. For instance, I would rather be in computer class. That is way more interesting.

I finish all my homework and stare at the clock. 4:45. I would normally be walking home from school. It was actually kind of nice to get home early and finish my homework.

I pick up my computer and turn it on. After fiddling around with it, I go and check my e-mail. There’s a note from Cassie. Honestly, I’m not sure if I want to open it. But I do anyway.
Please please please don’t hate me!  I’m sorry I walked out of the principal’s office like that. I feel really bad about what I did. I just wanted to avoid Mr. Dillon for as long as I could. I mean, it was mainly your idea and all, but I shouldn’t have left. Now my mom doesn’t even know, and that feels weird. I hate lying to her. Do you forgive me? Friends again? ~Cassie

I have to smile a little at her pleading. Cassie has always been a little on the sensitive side. If you’re mad at her, she’ll grovel for days to get you to forgive her. I click the Reply button, and start to type an e-mail, but I’m interrupted by Mom.

“Piper? Are you in here?” she calls from the other side of the door.

Reluctantly I close my laptop and say, “Yes, Mom. I’m here. You can come in.”

She opens the door and walks into my room. Nervously, she tucks her hair behind her ear. Mom’s hair is jet black like mine, but hers is actually styled. I watch her fiddling with her fingers, and I know she is nervous to tell me my punishment.

“Well, Mom, what’ll it be? Grounding? No dinner for the next two days?”

She stares at me, then hesitantly begins.
“Your father and I’ve been thinking about this for several months, but we just never thought it was absolutely mandatory…until now. We don’t think that Cassie’s influence is good for you.”

My heart stops. Are they telling me that I can’t hang out with my best friend?

“We’ve noticed your behavior lately. I mean, you’re beating up on a girl who I’m told is sweet as pie! That is unacceptable dear!”
Her voice shakes a little, and I know that Mom is mad. This makes me a little worried. Surely they can’t ban me from Cassie, right? I mean, we go to the same school! We’ll still see each other all the time.

Mom begins again. “I really don’t want to do this, but it’s for the best. Those girls at school are not good for you. I think you need some separation from Paige and Cassie.”

I wait anxiously for the blow. Here it comes, I whisper in my head.

“We’re sending you to boarding school,” Mom says.

“What?!” I roar, not expecting this.

“Yes, Piper! It’s going to be for the best! We’ve been looking into a boarding school down in Denver that we think will be good for you.”

“But Mom! You can’t do this to me! I’m in the middle of a school year. Seventh grade is nice! And Cassie does not have a bad influence on me!”

Mom shakes her head. “No buts about it young lady. Your father and I thought this over for a long time, and we think it will be the best thing for you. Now, dinner will be ready in a few minutes, so you’d better come down.”

And with an air of finality, she prances out of my hopelessly messy room. I am going to boarding school.

Chapter 3-An Unexpected End
I go to school the next day, reluctantly. I am bursting with emotions and I need to talk to Cassie.  As I spot her near the door to the school, I start to tear up. I’m not a crier, but I just need to get this boarding school thing off my chest. She sees my face and comes running over.

“Piper, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”

I shake my head and the tears start falling down. Cassie gives me a hug and hands me a tissue.

“Start from the beginning,” she says calmly.

“Cassie! My mom is sending me to b-b-boarding school! She says I can’t hang around you and I need to get away from this school.”

Cassie nods sympathetically at my blubbering, then a shocked look comes over her face.

“You can’t leave me here! I’ll miss you Piper! When are you going?”

“Tomorrow is my last day here. I don’t know why she’s doing this so suddenly! Oh Cassie, I can’t leave! I just can’t!”

We comfort each other as we walk to our first class. We’re almost to the door undetected, when Miss Prissy Pants Paige comes up to us.

“Hey, Piper. Ooh…why’s your face so red? Looks like you’ve been crying!” Her condescending tone grates on my nerves. “Well, you’ll really be crying when you see what I have planned this afternoon! See ya!”

She twirls and her purple dress spins gracefully with her. Cassie and I stand there, dumbfounded.
Suddenly, we hear the bell ring.

“Oh no! We’re late!” Cassie cries. Hurriedly, we rush to class.

The clock is ticking, and Cassie and I haven’t come up with anything good. We’re trying to come up with a plan to escape boarding school.

“Ooh! How about you call the school and cancel your reservations?”

I shake my head at Cassie. “No good. Mom’s already signed all the paperwork.”

She plops her head in her hands and think some more. I do the same, hoping some flash of inspiration will come. Suddenly, it does.

“Cassie!” I crow, sitting up suddenly. “I’ve got an idea! What if…I suddenly take ill? Then Mom would have to at least postpone boarding school!”

Cassie’s face lights up. “That’s a great scheme, Piper! And then you can say that you’ll never recover from it, and she’ll have to keep you here!”

We both smile and pick up our lunch trays. We’re heading to class, when we see Paige walking over toward us.

“So…” Paige says slyly, “I hear you’re going to boarding school. I think it’s a great idea, Piper. We’ll really miss torturing you! Toodle-oo!”

Cassie waves and then turns toward me.

“She’s planning something. You know that, right?”

I nod my head. I must admit that I am slightly nervous to see Paige again. Gym is the next class we’re in together, and I know that won’t turn out well. Cassie and I head to math class, awaiting what will happen at gym class.

I hike up my blue shorts and shudder at the color. Powder blue is not my favorite color. I trade my black Converse tennis shoes for gym socks and Nikes. Walking out of the room, I see Paige and Cassie and some other kids already in the gym. Since there are people in here, maybe Paige won’t hurt me! I leave with this thought in my head, trying to think positively.

“Hey, Piper! Look alive here! We’re playing dodge ball today!” My gym teacher, Mrs. Hardell beckons me over to the net.

I shudder at the thought of playing dodge ball with Paige. Standing there, I throw the ball at the opposing team. Thankfully, Paige is on my team today. Unfortunately, Cassie is on the other team. Our teams throw the ball back and forth a couple of times, and I start to feel relieved, hoping that Paige forgot what she was going to. But I am not so fortunate.

Slyly, she passes the ball to me and I pick it up to throw it. Just as I’m about to toss it into the air, Paige sticks her leg out and trips me. I manage to recover, but the ball flies out of my hands and lands directly in Cassie’s face. It looks like I intentionally threw it at her. Mrs. Hardell storms over to me.

“All right, Miss Weber. That is the last straw. Mrs. Raymond informed of what happened yesterday in gym class, but that was it. You are going to Mr. Dillon’s office immediately. Go!”

I scamper over to the door, and cast one glance back at Cassie. Her nose is bleeding profusely, and she’s laying there on the gym floor. I’m really worried about her. I think she’ll know that it was Paige’s fault, but then I look closer at her face. She’s glaring directly at me.

Ouch! I think. Now I’m in trouble and my best friend hates me! My day could not get any worse. Or so I thought.

I’m trudging toward the office, when I spy Cassie heading toward the nurse’s office. I kick myself inside. How could I have let this happen? Of course I didn’t do it on purpose, but this was one was partially my fault. Paige tripped me, but I did throw the ball. And now Cassie hates me. I can tell by the way she is glaring at me. I offer what I think is an apologetic look, but she just turns away. Her nose is bleeding, and I’m wondering if it’s broken.

As I reach the door to Mr. Dillon’s office, it flies open again. Man! Does this dude just wait for students to come to his door?? I think, snickering a little. He greets me with a curt nod, and ushers me into his office. Once again, I sit down in one of the wooden chairs.

“Let’s talk, Piper. For starters, I did not like what you said to me when you left my office the other day. That was disrespectful, and I didn’t appreciate it. Secondly, what you did to Cassie today shocked me. I thought you two were friends! That was absolutely unacceptable. For this, I am going to have to kick you out a day early. I know tomorrow was supposed to be your last day, but I cannot have you here anymore. You are a threat to my students. Now, go clean out your locker and don’t come back here again. Have fun at boarding school.”

Mr. Dillon shoos me out of his office, and I walk slowly toward my locker. Looking around the halls, I think about everything that has happened here. I know my plan to feign illness won’t work now, because I’m not even allowed in this school anymore. I run my hand gently over my locker, and open it for the last time.

Inside, I pick up my school books and some notebooks, some pictures, a poster, and a few other items. I’ll be sad to see this place go. I won’t be sad to say goodbye to Paige or the other mean kids, but I genuinely liked this school. Stuffing my items into my backpack, I shut my locker closed.

As I walk away, I look at the Pine Middle School sign for the last time. A little bubble of sadness rises in my chest, but I push it down. I hunch forward with my backpack on my shoulders and slowly make my way toward home. On the way, I do my best to not think about Cassie, but it’s impossible. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make some new friends at boarding school! I comfort myself with this thought, but I know Cassie can never be replaced. What a horrible, horrible day this has been.


Chapter 4-Goodbyes

“Honey, don’t forget to call every other day, okay? Keep the cell phone with you all the time, in case of an emergency. Don’t hesitate to call when it’s late, and please, do send us a letter every weekend!”

Mom is freaking out a little over this boarding school thing. I mean, she even bought me my own cell phone because of it! She’s packed every little thing I could ever need…and more. Whenever she looks at me, she starts to whimper a little. Even right now, she’s tearing up.

“Mom, seriously! It was your idea to send me to boarding school! Could you please stop crying?” I say, annoyed.

She nods and replies, “Oh, I’m sorry honey. I’m just so nervous about you going. Please, do hang out with nice people! Don’t slouch, don’t you dare mouth off to teachers, and please, find some good girls to hang out with. I don’t want a repeat of 4th grade.”

Mom always brings fourth grade up. That was before I’d met Cassie, and all the girls were ridiculously stuck up, so I hung out with boys. When I invited a friend over for dinner, Mom had a cow. That whole time she thought that I’d been hanging out with girls. It was actually kind of funny, but she doesn’t think so.

Even though Mom’s been all weepy and emotional, Dad’s been rather calm. He just handed me my favorite old t-shirts of his and said, “Be a good girl.” I personally prefer that to Mom’s emotional response.

Reluctantly, I look at my watch. It’s only 2 minutes until the bus gets here. Mom notices the time and pats me on the back.

“Time to get going, Piper,” she says, and then cries some more.

Dad comes over to me and gives me a hug.

“Be good, darling,” he whispers softly.

I can tell that he is getting emotional, in his dad way. This touches me more than Mom’s blubbering.

“All aboard the bus to Welsh Creek Boarding School! We don’t want to be late!”
I watch as the bus driver crows this, and I expect to see other kids rushing out of their houses. But no one does. It’s just me. Sighing, I pick up my suitcase and head toward the bus.

As I climb on and take my seat, Mom calls from our driveway.
“I love you darling! Be good and have fun! Don’t forget to call and write letters!”

Her voice cracks a tiny bit, and Dad pulls her closer. Surprisingly, my own eyes start to tear up.

After I get settled in, I look around on the bus. There’s a red-headed girl up in the front playing her Gameboy, and then there is a blonde girl straight across from me. In an uncharacteristic moment of friendliness, I lean over to her and say, “Hi! My name’s Piper. Are your parents forcing you to go to boarding school too?”

She flips her head around to face me, and I almost scream. This girl looks just like Paige! She is Paige! I mean…I would know that blonde hair anywhere!

“No, my parents are not forcing me to go to boarding school. I chose to. I got in on a scholarship. Oh, my name’s Melissa.”

My mouth almost drops open. Her name isn’t Paige! It’s not Paige…

“Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know a girl named Paige, would you?” I question.

Melissa cocks her head at me. “You mean my twin sister? If you’re talking about her, then yes. I do know her.”

I shake my head in disbelief. Even when my mother sends me to boarding school, I can’t get away from Paige. Absolutely ridiculous!

“Umm,” I begin stupidly, “so, why did you get a scholarship and Paige didn’t?”

Melissa turns to me with a sneer on her face as she says, “Paige was not smart enough to come here. She is stuck at your typical cookie cutter middle school. She’ll never excel in learning.”

My mouth almost drops open. Paige was always one of the smartest kids at Pine Middle School. Inside, I snicker a little. Melissa can be as mean as she wants to be to Paige. But then, I groan. If Melissa is this mean to her sister, imagine what she’ll do to me!

Melissa looks casually down at my faded jeans and then scans my sweatshirt. I hold my breath, not sure what she’s going to say. If she’s anything like Paige, I know it won’t be good.

“I really like your sweatshirt, Piper. I actually have one like that!”

I cringe then stop as I realize that she did not insult me. In fact…she complimented me! I look hesitantly over to see if she’s joking. Her eyes look honest.

“So…why were you not at Welsh Creek this week?” I ask Melissa, curious.

“I came home because we were on good student break.”

My face must have shown that I was confused, because she says, “It’s a two day break from school for all the kids who get A’s in their classes. We get it once a month.”

I light up like a Christmas tree. I don’t have bad grades! I could get in on this good student break thing. We talk a little longer, and then I look out the window for the rest of the drive. Welsh Creek is about a 2 hour drive from my house.

“Melissa,” I begin, “why is it called Welsh Creek? So far, I’ve yet to see a creek.”

She smiles her beautiful smile and then points out the window. My mouth drops open. There is a crystal blue creek running along the side of the road. It has to be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!

“Oh,” I say quietly, dumbfounded.

“Okay! Everyone gather up your stuff and get off the bus,” the driver calls from the front as we slow to a stop.

I grab my black and grey backpack and my suitcase and make my way off the bus. The weather is warm, but breezy as I step outside. There’s the fresh scent of pine in the air, and I can hear the creek as it runs by. The outdoors makes me smile a little bit. Melissa takes my hand and drags me over to a small building.

“Check in,” she whispers in my ear. I nod, not really sure what to expect. As we step inside, there are a few tables set up, and three stern looking women are standing there with clipboards.

“Here’s a sign up form. Sign your name, age, height, weight, and personal contact information,” says one of the women. She recites this as if it has been said millions of times, and she is so bored of announcing it.

Hands trembling a little, I grab the sheet of paper that she proffered to me. Melissa smiles at one of the women, and pulls a piece of paper from her backpack.

“Here you are, Miss Heidi,” Melissa says as she hands to small paper to the woman. Miss Heidi looks it over for a few seconds, then states, “All right. You can go.”

Melissa flashes me a reassuring smile as she walks out of the building. I smile weakly back at her, then begin to fill out my paperwork. The woman standing next to Miss Heidi leans over and whispers something to her. I can only make out every few words, but I get the main gist of what she is saying. “….pants….ratty…hair…..dreadful….disgraceful….need…uniform…” I groan when I hear the word uniform. That will most likely consist of a polo shirt and some ridiculous khaki pants.

“I’m done Miss Heidi!” I proclaim as I hand her my finished paperwork. She reads it over, then slowly drawls, “Piper Riley Weber, 13, 4 foot 11 inches, 78 pounds, welcome to Welsh Creek. We have rules here, as does every school, I’m sure. One of our most important rules is that you must wear a skirt or dress at all times. No pants, no baggy T-shirts. Second most important is that you must look presentable at all times. In other words, comb your hair, and keep your nails clean.”

I look hesitantly down at my fingernails. They have dirt under them, and they are ragged from me biting them.

“Third most important,” Miss Heidi chatters on, “is that you remain timely, and never tardy. If you are late more than three times, you will be punished. Also, be sure that you never run, always keep your room clean and your voice low, and never talk back to anyone in authority over you.”

I sigh. This is a long list of rules. How will I ever remember them all? As if she is reading my thoughts,
Miss Heidi hands me a light blue folder with my name printed on it.

“Inside is your class schedule, a list of all the rules, and guidelines for dress. Also, Miss Rebekah,” she gestures to the woman who whispered in her ear earlier, “will bring a box up to your room later that has your class uniform in it, and a lovely selection of skirts and dresses. You may go, Miss Weber.”

I turn on my heel, causing my sneakers to squeak against the floor. Miss Rebekah looks down at my muddy Converses and clicks her tongue. Cringing, I walk out of the little office and back into the summer air.

Paging through the folder I was given, I look for the number of the room I’ll be staying in.

“22B,” I sigh as I begin to head in the direction toward the main building. It is built out of red bricks, and somewhat resembles a castle.

“At least I can go to my room at nights, and be all alone. I don’t think I’ll be able to stand being with insufferable girls all day! It will be kind of like having my own hotel room!”

With that thought, I trod slowly off to Welsh Creek’s main building.