American Girl

Lee Lavingne comes to London to escape her old life,

when she meets a group of friends who might make her forget the darkness of her past.

Will she ever find out the answers for the secrets that haunt her?

Or will new issues cause her to make another disappearance?

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1. Good Thing I'm Not A Rapist...

As I stepped off the ramp from the plane into the airport, the realization hit me that I had made it here. I was finally in London. Well I guess I was somewhere in the area surrounding London, but no need for a technicality. I’d flown in from Massachusetts on a whim, so I’m still not really sure what to expect. I was kind of relying on not sticking out, but let’s be realistic: this was me we were talking about. Yes, my hair is blue, so I’ve heard it all; smurf, avatar, blueberry, Violet Beauregard, haha very funny how long have you been thinking of that one, yada yada yada. Sorry easily distracted.

I dragged my piece-of-shit-dirt-cheap carry on backpack in my hand, too exhausted and lazy to even attempt to lift it to my shoulder. After I picked up the little green bag I had checked I sat on a bench near a couple of payphones trying to wake up and assess my situation. 

Okay; My name is Lee Lavingne. True.

I am from the United States. True.

I am in an airport in England. True.

I am 19. True.

I am here because—

“So anyways, I told Maddie that she better watch out because Darren is keeping a close eye on-HARRY- did you even hear what I just said?” screeched a blonde, British, Barbie doll wannabe who only appeared tall because of the six inch platform heels she was wearing- or should I say centimeters? I don’t know how Europe works with their fancy metric system and their fancy everything. Something about this girl irritated me, and Lee Lavingne isn’t an easily irritated person (I’m lying; I get annoyed by things like talking birds). 

“Yeah, babe you were just talking about…”a tall, brown haired, British boy (I guess I don’t have to call people British now that I’m here) trailed off, quickly zoning out.

Oh hell to the no, I was not in the mood for this, I thought as I reached for my ear buds.

Music on, life off.

“Remember all the things that you and I did first?”

I glanced up quickly to see the blonde bimbo’s heels clacking closer to me and my piled up bags in the bench and I shifted uncomfortably. 

“I broke it off thinking you’d be cry-“

I heard a large crash and looked up to find all of my bags tipped on the ground and the piece-of-shit backpack I was talking about spilling its contents on to the floor. The only thing that could have made this a better start to a better day was a bowl of frosted flakes. 

Note my sarcasm.

The blonde bimbo (as she was now named in my mind) was a few feet away still walking and talked to no one. Bitch.

The boyfriend formally known as “Harry” had stopped and looked at the bimbo with confused eyes but turned and rolled his eyes as he stalked over to my bags to help the cleanup. He was pretty good looking, but I’d seen better…probabaly.

I ripped the headphones out of my ears, the music still blaring and slid onto my hands and knees to pick everything up. I looked up at the boy Harry for the first time to see him looking at me. He looked like… He was… OHHH from that boy band One Direction. Harry Miles? Gyles? Uhh, Piles? Whatever. Harry from that boy band One Direction.

Hey don’t look at me like that, I grew up in a town so small that people went to CVS to socialize and were lucky to have internet for a good 5 hours a week. I’m surprised I even slightly recognized him. Thank my best friends little sister for that one.

I looked back up and he had stopped picking my things up entirely and was staring at me. So is it me or can you almost feel the awkward? Maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t wearing my usual brown-tinted contacts I normally wore because having blue hair with blue eyes annoyed me (again with the irritation). Or maybe it was just my blue hair. Or maybe my face is just so ugly and socially unacceptable that he felt he had to stare at it to let me know to go back to the cave I came from. You never can tell with those Brits…

I looked down slowly with suspicion, waiting. Harry quietly began speaking, “Listen, I’m really sorry about that,” IT SPEAKS was my immediate reaction. “It was probably an accident and Sophie can be a bit careless and ignorant sometimes. I’m Harry by the way,” then I thought about how I very much preferred addressing her as the blonde bimbo rather than Sophie. Too bad, I used to like that name.

“It’s not your fault,” I said to Harry looking up and throwing the bimbo a small glare, but of course she wasn’t looking. “It’s nice to meet you Harry my name is…” OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP WHAT DO I SAY? I can’t give him my real name with my real face even though I will never see this mysterious stranger again, I’m trying to keep a low profile. My middle name! “SKYLAR,” I then realized people were starring because I had just yelled and made this awkward situation just a smidgen more awkward. I should work for the government with my quick thinking skills. “Nothing to see here just business as usual”. The crowd went back to their walking.

I gathered up the remainder of my dropped things and stuffed them into my backpack. “Thanks again,” I yelled without enthusiasm while dragging a small amount of bags behind me, then soon after realized I hadn’t thanked him in the first place.

Talk about triple awkward turtles. 

I walked out of the airport exit and turned my head just in time to see Harry turn back around and walk back to his little ratchet Barbie whore who was having a tantrum off in the distance. 

Ratchet Barbie Whore… I should start a new dictionary or something. ANYWAYS.

Step 1: Get to the UK-Check

Step 2: Re-dye hair-

I waited outside for taxi and loaded my bags in the trunk even though they could have fit in the back seat with me. I told the driver to take me to the nearest hair salon and we were in action.

HOLY CATS I forgot they drive on the right here! Sorry, momentarily confused. 

We pulled up to the hair salon and I pulled my bags out of the trunk with one hand and unlocked my iPhone with the other hand. I’m being serious I can hold all my bags with one hand. I walked in and a preppy twenty-something ginger girl told me it would only be a couple minutes. I thanked her and took a seat in the waiting area. 

My phone icon told me I had one new voicemail. It also told me I had 21 new text messages but I ignored them-it was probably people wondering where I was. I tapped in my voicemail password then held it up to my ear: “Good day Miss Lavingne, I regret to inform you that your reservations with Hôtel de Luxe have been canceled due to the fact that our receptionist has double booked your previous room. You have received a full refund straight to your credit card. Again we apologize for the inconvenience”. Basically I’m hotel-less. Every place in London and the surrounding towns are booked this week; I was lucky to get this place before I left.

“We’re ready for you Miss Lavingne,” on a side note why does everybody call me Miss Lavingne? I walked over to the chair the stylist was standing. She looked like a person who really didn't want to be wherever they were. “What can I do for you honey?” “Uh, actually I just want it dyed brown. Dark brown”. That was my natural color and anything else would look unnatural (blue looks unnatural on everyone so that doesn't count). 

About 45 minutes later, I walked out of the salon and looked around. Now what? I don’t have a place to stay, I was hungry, and I was tired. Coffee is good for tired people right? And there’s a Starbucks, so I guess we have a plan!

I walked in and stood in front of some shaggy haired high schooler and looked up at the menu even though I could practically recite it on demand. 

“What can I do for you?”

“I’ll have...a venti caramel macchiato please”.

“Can I have your name?”

“Uhh, Leila,” I decided to go with my full name to see if it would fit the new me more. And it is pronounced ‘Lee-la’ not ‘Lay-la’ fyi. After the cashier walked off I went to the bathroom to put my colored contacts in and change from my ugly hobo clothes into my real people clothes. 

“Lay-la,” I heard as I exited the bathroom. That’s it, I’m staying with Lee. “It’s pronounced like Lee-la,”I replied grabbing my coffee and taking a seat on a giant couch in the corner. If I was going to be here a while, we should at least be on a legitimate first name basis. I rested my head on the back of the couch and closed my eyes once again going through my options.

“Ellen,” the Starbucks guy said from the other side of the room.

So I could just walk around town all night until I can try and find a room tomorrow. All night. What are my other options?

“Excuse me?” I opened my eyes to see a petite girl about my age with hair similar to my color standing in front of me. 

“Do you mind if I sit there? On the couch next to you? All the other tables are taken,” she continued.< br >< br > “Oh, yeah of course”. I probably look like a sea elephant next to this girl.

She plopped down next to me and gave me a good look up and down. I glanced at her drink on the coffee table; Ellen.

“Ellen?” I asked. “No actually it’s Eleanor, these guys just never get it right,” she said laughing lightly.

“I know what you mean. My name is Lee,” I reached out to shake her hand and she pulled me in for a hug. So is everybody like this in Europe or is this a special case?

“It’s fantastic to meet you Lee. So did you just fly in?” You hear that? Fantastic to meet me. I had to double take before realizing I hadn’t answered her question.

“Oh yeah sorry, I just got in a couple hours ago from The States. In fact I don’t even know where I’m staying tonight because my reservations we’re cancelled.” Buffoons. Eleanor’s face suddenly lit up with inspiration. I could practically see the light bulb above her head. 

“Oh my god! This is perfect! Dani will love you and you’re stylish so that’s good. The boys will be a bit surprised but it’s not really their place so who cares! This is just what we have been looking for!” This was said all within about 5 seconds but I think I heard that I was stylish so I didn’t interrupt her.

“So are you in?” she asked, to me this time, I think.

“In what?”

“Of course, how stupid of me. You should stay with me and my friend Danielle!” she beamed at me bouncing up and down. 

What other options did I have? She seemed nice enough… “I don’t see why not,”

She squealed and hugged me like we’d know each other for more than five minutes.

“Wait, why are you doing this? I mean I could be a rapist or a serial killer or a registered sex offender, but in that case I would be legally obligated to tell you and all my neighbors, but thinking back I don’t even know if they do that in England…”

“We need a new flat mate and you seem nice and not rapist-y. You’re not a rapist right?” Eleanor said with faux suspicion.

“You got lucky. It just so happens that I am not.” I replied smiling.

Step 3: Find a place to sleep-Check

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