1. Chapter 1
I cracked one eye open in a pitiable, groggy attempt at waking up, but was attacked by a tidal wave of sunlight and a fat cat. The blinding light radiating from my floor to ceiling windows is not something I can control. But fat white Persian cat butt in my unsuspecting face is. And there is no way I'm letting my older sister's big lazy and very much ugly cat, Fatso, (his actual name is Gerard but he's fat so...) get away with exposing his nasty butt up in my face. So I shoved the stupid cat off me and he tumbled onto the floor and rolled away in a ball, like an armadillo, much to my amusement.
I suppose that now that I'm wide awake I have to actually get ready for school. So I grab my soft, cotton bath robe and jumped into the shower. After a quick wash, rinse, shampoo, and rinse again routine, I finished showering in less than 20 minutes, a world record in my household. I quickly threw on my uniform for Charleston Tate Preparatory School for the Elite, Charles Prep for short, grabbed my designer Kate Spade book bag, and took off down our, spiraling set of stairs.
When I reached the end I was shot with the disapproving glare of our head maid Lisa. Yes, head maid, I am very sorry to say that we are in fact that rich we have maids and butlers and all that good stuff, and it doesn't at all help with my sister's laziness. Her motto is "Why work when you can have someone else do it for you?"
My family comes from both old money and new money. My great-great-grandfather George Garner and his best friend Fredrick York were the CEO's of Garner-York Law firm, and they have passed down the firm to the younger generations, and the firm is now in possession of Louise York and my father Clark Garner. My father took his ancestors fortune and nearly tripled it, and has been featured in Forbes Magazine several times.
My father's success is very contagious. I mean look at my mother, Stacee Garner, she is the creator of Zen cosmetics. Her cosmetic line is coveted by world famous celebrities and royalty. Then there are my older sibling Xavier and Tiffany Garner, America's favorite fashion twins, they have won an outstanding amount of awards for their chic fashion line, TIX. Having anything made by them is instant acknowledgement of your great sense of fashion.
But you can't forget about me. It seems that I am immune to the successful virus that has spread throughout the Garner household. Although my mother strongly disagrees saying I have great potential and my time will come. Well I'm 17 and that time is still yet to come. And when it supposedly does I assume it is going to be like going through social puberty. But for the time being I am what people would call the black sheep in the family. I mean I'm not totally pathetic I mean I have friends and do good in school, I'm 3rd in my class, but it seems that my one small accomplishment is dust under the rug compared to theirs. In some people's eye's I'm just Romi, the success that never was.
It doesn't help that my family is extremely beautiful and they stand out wherever they go despite the fact that they are famous. I mean my father has a full head of dark, brown graying, but looks good, hair and sky blue eyes, and my brother looks just like my dad with his dark hair and blue eyes, and my mother has luscious blonde hair, sky blue eyes, perfect skin, and looks half her age, my sister has my father's beautiful brown hair and my mother's blue eyes. And I myself, am pretty fond of my looks, In fact I think they are one of my redeeming qualities that let people know, that yes I am related to these beautiful, successful people. I have long, natural, blonde hair that reaches down to half my back and icy blue eyes, my skin is a rich cream color, and my heart shaped face has a flawless complexion.
My looks have gotten me my unfair amount of 2 boyfriends. An neither lasted long, since after they found out that I'm not some ditzy blonde with a famous family, they can use to gain a little star status, but am actually intellectual, they flee. And looks can get you far but not anywhere. As you can see I'm still not world famous. But it's not like I am dying to be anyway..
When I walk into the kitchen I drop my book bag on the floor, and am greeted by my favorite person in our house, Stella, our award-winning, 5-star cook. She gives me a heartwarming smile and slides a plate covered with a tower of pancakes, crispy bacon, and steamy scrambled eggs. I lick my lips, because it's all I can do to stop myself from creating a pool of drool in our very expensive, custom made kitchen.
After I shovel my food into my mouth like a deprived dog, I kiss Stella on the check, pick up my book bag and stride over to the door, yell goodbye to whoever was awake, and step out into the breezy, autumn air. The leaves on the trees in front of our house and down our street were a rich auburn color and fell gently down from their branches, making small piles as they reached the ground.
As I take in the beautiful scenery, I faintly hear the familiar rumble of Betsy, my best friend's trusty stead, which is really just a well-used silver Volkswagen.
When Betsy rolls up I take notice that my other best friend is in the passenger seat.
My two best friends in the whole wide world are Luke Folly and Vanessa Tate. Luke is my bestest guy friend and an amazing lacrosse player. He is so good that he has a lacrosse scholarship at Charles Prep, and those are super hard to get since lacrosse is one of the main sports at Charles Prep. if it weren't for that scholarship he would have been going to the local public school, East Lake High, that's a few miles down from Charles Tate. Because you see Luke comes from a low middle class family, he doesn't really fit in with the rich kids around here. Thus making Vanessa and I his only friends. Although Luke is a little popular with the girls due to his short, messy, but cute, blond hair, intense green eyes, and strong athletic build. I mean a lot of girls think of him as hot and good boyfriend material, but his one turn off, according to them, is his family's financial and social status.
Vanessa Tate is my number one best friend I have known her since Pre-K. And we have stuck together ever since. Even though Vanessa is the great granddaughter of Charleston Tate, the founder of our school, making her super rich and giving her great potential to be the most popular girl in school, which she almost is, she chose to stick with me. I'm not saying that I'm some un-popular bottom feeder in the in the big, scary, vast ocean that Charles Prep is. I mean my family is pretty well known, making me also well known. It's just that I'm not really part of the popular crew and I am sometime used as a stepping stone for social climbers. But I am saying that Vanessa is an amazing person and isn't shallow enough to ditch me, once she took notice that of her popularity. Vanessa is very beautiful, she is mixed with black and white, her father being white, and her mother black. Her mixed genes result in her long curly, thick hair, hazel/green eyes, and full, pouty lips. She is very popular with boys, but doesn't' let it get to her head and isn't stuck up about it like some girls. And she is an amazing dancer which adds to her awesomeness.
Luke, Vanessa, and I have been the three musketeers since 3rd grade when Vanessa and I met Luke and he all instantly clicked. Our friendship with Luke started when some mean boy that, I can't remember the name of, teased Vanessa and I about our friendship, saying stuff like I only like Vanessa because she is rich and even though I am rich no one really likes me. His teasing ended up making me really self-conscious about Vanessa and I's friendship, and I am still a little self-conscious to this day. But Luke interfered with the teasing and told the boy to back off, then becoming the target of the teasing, but Luke stood up for himself and punched he boy in the jaw and all the teasing ended there. And so the boy wouldn't tell on him, Luke threatened to punch the boy again if he told the teacher. And from then on Luke joined our friendship, making us and inseparable trio.
I open the door to the car and throw my bag in and hop into the seat behind Vanessa.
"What's up Luke Fizzle" I chirp to the driver.
"Nothing much, Romi Gizzle!" Luke replies going along with the name play.
"You guys are so stupid." Says the zombie that just rose from the dead in the passenger seat.
"I love you too! And good morning Nessie, how was your daily morning nap in Luke's car?"
"Fantastic. And good morning to you too Romes."
Vanessa wakes up super early to get ready and is always super exhausted by the time Luke comes and picks her up. She even sleeps through Luke's daily coffee and doughnuts run. But always wakes up by the time they get to my house.
"Hey Romi," Luke says bringing me back from my thoughts. "I got you glazed doughnut holes instead of your regular two glazed doughnuts, they ran out of those." He says passing me my usual caramel cappuccino and doughnut holes. Every morning Luke picks up doughnuts and coffee and we return the favor with helping pay for gas, since he has to pick us both up and stop at Starbucks and Krispy Kreme, before going to school, which uses up a lot of gas.
"So how's life treating ya'll this fine morning!" I ask leaning forward.
Vanessa replies "Well, as always I work up an hour and a half earlier than most. And it took me forever to straighten my hair. And my daily stretching this morning was a bitch due to the invigorating dance practice taught by a guest instructor I slaved through last night. Other than that life's good."
I looked at Luke expectantly. "So how about you Lukie? Didn't you say you had to go to a party with your mom yesterday? Was it good? Did you meet any cute girls?"
Luke just shrugged his shoulder. "It was fun, there were a lot of drunken people doing stupid stuff and arguing without really looking at each other," he said with a smile. "And the girls there were okay, I guess."
I sighed and slumped back in my seat. Luke never talks about his love life anymore. It's like when it comes to love with him it hasn't been the same since he broke up with his serious girlfriend Luli and she suddenly moved back home to Beijing. She was a Chinese exchange student. She and Luke were pretty serious. They met at the park and instantly fell in love. Luke was so happy and smiling all the time. It was like he was 5 years old again and everyday was Christmas. She came at the end of our freshman year and they were together almost all of our sophomore year until something happened in the last months of school around the lacrosse playoff games and they broke up and she moved away. I don't know the whole story, all I know was that she was scared of something and couldn't stay here anymore, but she did still love Luke. Luke went through a moment of depression and started acting hostile towards almost everyone especially Jordan Matthews, his rival. But Vanessa and I were there for him every step of the way and helped him get back on track and get him back to the usual cool, funny, and sweet Luke. It took him 3 months to get back to normal, but he still hasn't let another girl into his heart, which I guess is fine for now.
"Well for me my morning started off horrible. I was attacked, no, mauled by fatso for the third time this week. And I am now scared because I was faced with cat butt way too early in the morning. But Stella's delicious breakfast for champions, made up for it all."
Vanessa and Luke laughed at my misery and went back and forth recalling different times when I battled with the fat cat and times when they themselves were pummeled by him. I can't help but laugh along with them and be thankful that I have such wonderful friends in my life.