|1.||A Very British Sort of Bliss - One Celebrity Spawn's Search for Sanity and a Dad||Read it Now|
|2.||Chapter2 - A Very British Sort of Bliss||Read it Now|
|3.||Chapters 3 & 4!||Read it Now|
|4.||Chapter 5||Read it Now|
|5.||Chapters 6 and 7||See below|
|6.||Chapter 8||Read it Now|
|7.||Chapters 9 & 10||Read it Now|
|8.||Chapters 11 & 12||Read it Now|
|9.||Chapters 13 & 14||Read it Now|
|10.||Chapters 15 & 16||Read it Now|
|11.||Chapters 17 & 18||Read it Now|
|12.||Chapter 19||Read it Now|
|13.||Chapters 20 & 21||Read it Now|
|14.||Chapters 22 & 23||Read it Now|
|15.||Chapter 24||Read it Now|
|16.||Chapter 25||Read it Now|
|17.||Chapters 26 & 27||Read it Now|
|Chapters 6 and 7|
Two words sprang to mind the first time that I saw Marnie Bradshaw – bad haircut. Her curly brown locks looked as though they had been styled with the assistance of a bowl. The effect was anything but flattering. But her wild hair was only my first clue that Marnie was also an outsider in a classroom of sleekly-straightened identikit ‘young ladies’. Then there were the shoes… Rich kids will always find a way to display clues to their inappropriately large allowances and overindulgent parents. And when faced with the restrictions of St Saviours’ uniform policy, the girls in my new class had obviously opted to invest in accessories. There were some seriously expensive bags and some shockingly expensive shoes (even though they were restricted to the colour black). It was all too depressingly familiar.
So it was a relief to be sat next to Marnie. With her bad hair and cheap shoes she was obviously the most interesting girl in the class. Not that I had any plans to make friends, you understand.
But if there is one thing that I hate more than anything in the world (even more than I hate gossip sheets and photographers), it is a bully. So what was I supposed to do when I saw Christine Smythe deliberately drop her maths textbook for the second time when it was Marnie’s job to gather them after class had finished?
‘I’ve seen preschoolers with better co-ordination than that,’ I said from my seat at the front of the class.
Marnie smiled as she picked up Christine’s book for the second time.
‘It’s no problem,’ Marnie said, obviously keen to avoid an argument.
‘Well if it isn’t our new American friend – Plain Jayne isn’t it? Daddy send you over here for a proper education did he?’ said Christine.
Like popular girls everywhere Christine Smythe sat surrounded by a posse of mindless followers, that were now all staring in my direction. Was I actually supposed to be intimidated or something? I mean, please….. I had seen girls like Christine before, and I was not about to cave into her scare tactics.
‘Well I guess it’s just lucky that he didn’t send me here for an education in manners,’ I said.
Christine smiled and stared at me in mock horror as she proceeded to toss at least five more textbooks from Marnie’s arms with a swift flick of her hand.
‘In my experience it’s usually only dogs who have trouble in clearing up their own mess,’ I said, ‘and bitches, of course.’
A loud and anonymous sniggering from the back of the classroom wiped the smile from Christine Smythe’s face. The popular posse froze and Marnie left the textbooks where they had fallen. It was a high noon sort of moment. Somebody was bound to lose and I had no plans to back down.
But we were interrupted by the loud and late arrival of Miss Moore. It was time for the English lesson. The flurry of activity from the class was only a temporary relief from the war that was bound to follow.
Marnie came and sat next to me during lunch break. And even though I had hidden myself in the darkest corner of the huge old dining hall to avoid interruption, I was grateful for the company.
‘I see you’ve decided to skip the school dinner,’ she said pointing to my tray of uneaten food.
‘I make it a rule never to eat anything that I cannot identify,’ I said. ‘But you’re obviously prepared to live life on the edge.’
Marnie was hoovering up a plateful of an unidentifiable yellow goo.
‘When you’re a scholarship girl you learn to eat whatever you are given,’ she said smiling, ‘anyway the trick is to recognise the difference between the custard and the macaroni cheese. You really do not want to try the custard.’
‘By the way, my name is Marnie, Marnie Bradshaw.’
‘I’m Jayne Drew,’ I said, noticing how easily that that first lie just rolled off my tongue.
‘Thanks for standing up for me in class,’ she said, ‘but I should warn you that Christine’s family packs a pretty powerful punch in this school – in fact you’re now sitting in the Smythe dining hall.’
I looked around the huge, dark expanse of panelled wood and shrugged my shoulders.
‘Don’t worry,’ I said, ‘I’ve met her type before.’
‘What type’s that then?’ asked Marnie, sitting next to me.
‘Oh, you know,’ I said shrugging, ‘the Popular Girl – the sort who’s only happy when she’s worshipped by an army of sad Wannabes. Rich Daddies generally go with the turf.’
‘I think you’ll find that just about everyone in this school has a rich Daddy lurking about somewhere,’ said Marnie. ‘Don’t you?’
‘I’m not entirely sure,’ I said as I thought about the video that was stashed in my bag. ‘How about you?’
‘No Daddy at all, I’m afraid. He died before I was born,’ she said, ‘not that he was ever rich.’
There was no witty comeback to an answer like that. I wanted to say that I was sorry, but I didn’t want to sound like I was commiserating with her for being poor or something.
But Marnie was quick to rescue me once she saw me squirm.
‘Was that too much information?’ she asked brightly.
‘Please,’ I said, ‘I’m from California – personal boundaries there are as rare as the rain. And I’m sorry about your Dad. I just thought that the English were more reserved, you know, the whole stiff-upper-lip thing?’
‘Well I prefer to tell it like it is,’ said Marnie. ‘There’s no point in dancing around the truth is there? It only ever comes back to bite you in the bum.’
And then she smiled a huge gap-toothed smile that clearly demonstrated the fact that the Universe had never intended for Marnie Bradshaw to blend into any background.
For the second time in a single day I couldn’t help but smile.
The Power of the Popular Girl
(or 5 reasons why evil little power-mongers like Christine Smythe tend to rule in school)
1 Genetic Inheritence – a depressingly high number of students will always think that beautiful people are somehow better people
2 Intimidation – most students would rather be dishing the dirt than eating it
3 Gathering of Wannabes – PGs cannot exist without followers; PG posses are always formed by second-rate clones with an unhealthy need to be liked
4 General spinelessness – most students are just too scared to tell the popular girl (and her posse) to get lost
5 Inevitability – somebody’s got to wear the crown (or at least think that they do)
I wasn’t exactly surprised to find that our huge mansion lacked a VCR. Mom’s style was modern. She loved all of the latest gizmos and gadgets. And being a 21st century kind of Mom, she had replaced her huge video collection with an even more enormous collection of dvds.
Where would I find a VCR without arousing any suspicion?
Only one answer sprang to mind. I would have to ask Peter…
I ditched the uniform and changed into some comfortable old jeans before I crossed the back yard and headed for Peter’s small apartment. The video was hidden inside my school bag.
This time I knocked on the door, and as I stood waiting for a response I tried to think of a convincing cover story for my bizarre request. Nothing sprang to mind.
Peter opened the door with a piece of toast in his hand. He did not look surprised to see me. Without saying a word, he ushered me inside. It was kind of distracting to notice that despite the fact that he was still wearing his uniform, he somehow managed to make it look good…
Oh no, was I staring?
‘Can I help you with something?’ he asked.
‘What makes you think that I want anything?’ I replied.
‘This is a social visit then,’ he said sarcastically. ‘You couldn’t resist the smell of my cooking.’
He pointed towards the pot of baked beans that was bubbling away on the small stove. Was I blushing? How was it that Peter Worthing seemed to have a knack for making me feel uncomfortable?
I forced myself to look him in the eye and to hold his gaze.
‘I was wondering if you had a VCR that I could use?’ I asked.
‘Sure,’ he said, ‘I can drop it up to you after football practice.’
‘No, no,’ I said, too quickly. ‘I just need to get some information off this old video. It will only take a couple of minutes.’
‘Help yourself,’ said Peter, pointing towards the video player in the corner of the room.
I set the player onto fast-forward as Peter examined the empty ‘Starship Survivors’ box. As soon as the credits began to roll I freeze-framed the pages that I needed and quickly copied the names into my notebook.
‘What’s this for?’ asked Peter suspiciously.
‘School project,’ I lied, as I packed the precious names into my purse.
‘Wow,’ said Peter, ‘I didn’t know that St Saviour’s Academy for Young Ladies ran classes in obscure sci-fi flicks.’
‘It’s more of a surprise for my Mom,’ I said, aware that I was a very bad liar.
Peter returned the box to me.
‘I don’t know what you’re up to,’ he said, ‘but I don’t want to be involved.’
My first impression of Peter Worthing had been correct. He was a very rude boy.
‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I won’t be bothering you again.’
Six Reasons Why I Should Quit Thinking About Peter Worthing
1 I have never approved of any form of boy-craziness
2 He’s rude
3 Teenage hormones cloud good judgement
4 He thinks I am nothing but a spoilt brat
5 Like most cute boys – he probably knows he’s cute
6 He is too attached to his soccer ball - clearly sports obsessed
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