Horses, Heels, and Camera Reels

*ON HOLD* If the word 'girly-girl' was in the dictionary, Della McAffrey's name would be right next to it. As the daughter of a millionaire single mom, she's got everything a girl like her could ever want - a perfectly designed bedroom, a huge wardrobe, and a stylish apartment in a city square. So when Della's mom decides to send her to her father's ranch in a small town across the country for the summer, she's less than enthusiastic about it. But life away from all the fancy houses and expensive coffee shops might prove itself to be kind of exciting - especially when you throw in a cute next-door neighbor. (Cover by the fabulous @Raven711)

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1. Summer

Ten minutes left.

Della McAffrey tapped her pencil impatiently and stared at the clock above Ms. Whitman's desk. She knew the hands were ticking at exactly the same speed they had been at the beginning of class, but it felt like now they were moving slower than a turtle. The time it took the minute hand to steadily shift over to the next notch seemed like an eternity, as if a heavy weight had been attached to it.

She turned to look out the window, which was conveniently close to her desk. The middle school parking lot across the street was completely empty, as expected. Their summer vacation had started half an hour ago. Most of those students were probably already headed to the neighborhood pool to celebrate. Some of the wealthier ones might have gone to the river to swim, or even tried the country club pool.

Eight minutes left.

A piece of paper hit Della's arm, bringing her back to reality. She immediately snatched it up and unfolded the crumpled piece of ripped notebook paper. 

What are your plans for the summer?

She recognized her friend Kaylee's handwriting right away and smiled. They weren't really what she would call "close friends"; they talked only because they had been seated next to each other in world history for the entire year. But Della liked having someone to talk to through the monotony of their teacher's lectures and book work. It made a painfully boring class a little more exciting.

idk probably just hanging around the apartment and going swimming a lot. hbu?

She tossed the paper back to Kaylee, who was drawing on her notebook. Kaylee was a really good artist; she had won art competitions at school, and she was always drawing during class.

I'm going to England for two weeks to visit family ^-^ was the response.

TAKE ME WITH YOU OMG

haha maybe...I'll smuggle you onto the plane xD

"That's a heavy suitcase you have there ma'am"

Ohhh yeah I forgot about security...lol oops

are you going to see big ben and all that?

probably not, they live in the northern part of the country and that's all near London

aaw that sucks :/

Well, I've been there before so it's not like I'm missing it or anything

oh lol

I'm sure you'll get to see London one day. It's a beautiful city, you'd love it

Della took another glance at the clock. Two minutes left.

The classroom door flung open, and all of the twenty-five sophomores in the room turned to see who was invading their space. Ms. Ross, one of the assistant principals, stood at the entrance and looked right back at everyone.

"You guys are free to leave campus. Have a great summer," she said with absolutely no sign of excitement or friendliness in her voice.

As soon as she turned her back, all of Della's classmates leaped up and started cheering. It was pure chaos as students grabbed their bags, dashed out of the room, and started running to catch up with their friends. Della stretched her legs and pulled herself out of her desk. It felt so good to be standing after a day of sitting and taking exams.

Kaylee took a moment to pack her bag. Della felt it would be polite to stay and wait for her, so she leaned back on the wall and watched as her friend shoved various sketches and pencils into her bag.

"So you're going to England, huh?" she asked.

"Yep! I'm so excited," Kaylee said. "We leave next week."

"Oh, cool." 

"Have you ever been out of the country?" Kaylee dropped the last notebook into her bag and flung it over her shoulder. She motioned for Della to follow her out the door and down the hallway. Della took a moment to adjust her hot pink miniskirt before she stepped out of the classroom with a click of her nude heels.

"I haven't, but my mom has. You know, for business trips and stuff," Della replied.

"Oh. I thought you had."

"I'd like to someday," Della said with a dramatic sigh. "I want to see what's outside of Katchin City."

There was a pause as they got to the end of the hallway where they usually parted ways.

"Well, you have my number, right?" Della asked.

"Of course." Kaylee smiled. "Have a good summer, Della. I'll see you next year!"

"You too!" she answered before turning on her heel and heading towards the bus exit. She hoped she would have classes with Kaylee next year. Maybe they could become close friends, too...sort of like the three girls sashaying towards her right now.

Della only needed to see Sera's perfectly-styled brunette curls, Gabrielle's favorite white lacy dress, and Victoria's pink cupcake earrings before she ran towards her best friends as fast as her four-inch heels would allow.

"Hey, Della!" Sera said with a giggle. "Happy summer!"

"Hi guys," Della said. "I'm so glad we're finally done for the year."

Gabrielle nodded. "I would kill myself if we had to stay any longer! Della, I'm taking everyone home today. Do you wanna ride with us instead of taking the bus?"

"Yeah, that'd be awesome. Thanks!" 

-o-

"You know, we should all go on a vacation this year," Victoria said as she leaned back in the passenger seat. All of the windows were rolled down, and Della could feel her own dirty blonde hair fluttering with the wind. The air felt so fresh on her face after a whole day of sitting in a hot school taking exams; it was like the wind was blowing all of her stress away. Della let her eyes close, and she leaned her head against the side door.

"I'm going to New Jersey in August," Sera piped up. "We're going to go see my uncle."

"No, I meant...like, just the four of us go somewhere. Escape the world for a little while." Victoria pulled her oversized sunglasses up and looked into the rearview mirror at Sera and Della. "We could leave tomorrow if we really wanted to."

That sounds like fun, Della thought. She lived in a small apartment, so it would be really great to get out of her place for awhile. There were so many places they could all go, and they could just hang out and experience what the world had to offer four sixteen-year-old girls.

"Well, that's great, but where would we go?" Gabrielle asked. "If we go, I'd have to drive, and I'm not paying for gas for any long-ass road trip y'all want to take."

"Well, we could keep it local and just go to New York City," Della suggested. "That's only two and a half hours away."

"Are you kidding me? That place is expensive!" Victoria exclaimed. "No, I was thinking we could go to the beach. We could just get a hotel and spend a week or so playing on the beach."

"You do realize that the one decent beach we have near here is five hours away, right?" Della pointed out. "All of those beach hotels won't be cheap."

"Well, the beach wouldn't be bad," Sera said. "But Della's right, those hotels would be really expensive. We'd have to stay in a hotel further away from the beach. And I can't really leave tomorrow; I have work all this month."

Victoria sighed. "Alright, that's fair. How about first- no, second week in July?"

Della opened her eyes and sat up straight. "I'm probably good for that. Second week in July...that would be from the ninth to the fifteenth, right?"

"Yuperdoodles," Gabrielle said, making everyone in the little white Chevrolet giggle. "I can do that."

"Sounds like a plan," Sera added.

This summer was going to be awesome.

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