"Leeeennaaaa! Lenny lenny Leehhnnaaahhh!" shouted Sarah as she jumped up and down on a massive bed.
Lena bit back her reprimand, and smiled instead.
"We're going to meet One Direction Lenny!" screamed Sarah. Lena covered her ears and winced.
"Sarah," Lena said gently, "make sure you remember your manners."
Sarah stopped bouncing and plopped onto her back with a huff.
"I know, I know."
Lena smiled again.
"I know you know."
So far, the hotel had been like the ones you'd see in the movies, like Pretty Woman or Maid in Manhattan. A vast, spacious room with a tub that could fit her entire body. A gorgeous view from the window. A pool. The front desk had given her a massive itinerary and a list of all things that were paid for, minibar included. Of course, Sarah had gone wild stuffing her face with chocolates. But Lena had been relieved.
All their meals were accounted for. For two whole weeks! That would save them so much money. When the radio host had said all expenses paid, he'd meant it. Their meals were free as long as they ate at the hotel, with the exception of the dinners with One Direction. And they also had a maximum thousand pound stipend for shopping with the boyband later in the week.
Lena had asked if they didn't use the thousand pounds, if they could keep it. The lady at the desk had said no, that if they didn't use it for shopping then they couldn't use it at all, pointing to the list of terms and agreements.
She was disappointed, then remembered that both Sarah and her could use a new wardrobe. They'd been going to consignment shops for the past three years and wearing clothes and shoes until holes bore into them from the stress of everyday living. She tugged at her limp, faded summer dress. Oh well. So much for a good impression. At least she still had the expensive makeup her parents had given her at the last Christmas.
Lena checked the itinerary again while Sarah flipped through TV channels.
9:00 AM - Meet One Direction, hang out at the hotel
12:00 AM - Lunch with One Direction
Hang out at the hotel? What was she going to say to them? Not that she cared too much. After all, she wasn't a fan. She was just here for Sarah. She checked her watch. 8:45. Why was she so nervous? Catching a glimpse of the bathroom mirror, she frowned. Her face, though less drawn and pale, still seemed tired. Her eyes still looked too big for her visage. She always ate less, so that Sarah could eat more. Sarah was growing after all. She was done. Done with things like silly romances and useless things. What was important was survival.
She checked her makeup to make sure it wasn't smeared, shook out the wrinkles on her sundress, then looked back at Sarah. Sarah seemed less nervous than her, now sitting on her back watching a re-run of Zack and Cody on the UK Disney Channel.
Her palms were sweating. How ridiculous! She applied an extra layer of deodorant and sprayed on a little perfume. Finally satisfied with her primping, she called out to Sarah.
"Hey, honey, let's go down. It's time to meet them!"
Sarah suddenly became really quiet. She straightened up and noticing her mussed dress, tried to smooth it to an acceptable state.
"How does my hair look?" Lena had french braided it, and put just a dab of clear lip gloss on her sister's lips to perfect the look.
"You look adorable!"
"Leeenaahhhhhh," whined Sarah, "I don't want to be adorable, I want to be pretty!"
"Well you are," said Lena with a smile. "Now, let's get going, we don't want them to wait!"
The elevator ride seemed to last a century. Lena kept wiping her palms on her dress in the silence. She could hear every breath her sister took. Suddenly, Sarah grabbed her hand. Startled, Lena looked down, and Sarah smiled with the familiar snaggle toothed grin.
With a DING the elevator opened and the moment ended.
Scanning the lobby, she couldn't find any sign of celebrities.
"Can I help you?" asked the receptionist in a crisp British accent.
"Hi, yes, we're supposed to be meeting One Direction at nine today, unfortunately the itinerary didn't specify where we should be meeting them...?"
The receptionist checked her computer.
"OK, what's your room number?"
"Alright, you're going to want to go to the private dining hall on the fifth floor, Room 509. Coffee and refreshments will be served periodically."
"All right!" yelled Sarah.
Lena glared at her with a gaze that could freeze hot springs.
"Sorry," squeaked Sarah. Lena squeezed her hand slightly, a silent it's ok.
After a short ride in the elevators and wandering around the fifth floor, they reached the doors to Room 509. Lena took a deep breath...and pushed it open.