This So-Called Life - Book 1: New Girl

When Taylor Maxwell and her mom moves to a new city, Wilmington, a surprise is hiding behind every corner. Taylor has to adjust to the whole new approach to life in her school. Taylor's mom, Alice, has to adjust to her new life as a rather special and notorious mom. But the one thing they both have to adjust to is living a few feet away from someone they both despise. This So-Called Life is a new, charming, witty and bright comedy novel that portraits the life of a girl and her mom on a whole new level. Read as the rather unusual bond between them develops and turns into real family love. This So-Called Life is loosely based on my upbringing in a new town.


4. Chapter 1: New Girl

Taylor Maxwell and her mom, Alice Maxwell, was sitting in their white 2014 Volkswagen Touareg. They were driving to their new home in Wilmington, North Carolina, a city which was gonna change their lives drastically. 

Taylor Maxwell was sitting on the right front seat with her legs splashed on the dashboard. A rather new iPad was in her hands. Taylor was scrolling through the books on the Kindle App, looking for something to read on the toilet in case she got stuck. 

"What are you doing?" Alice asked. She didn't turn her head to look, she kept her eyes at the road, staring at it like she was a hawk and the road was a mouse. 

"Shopping, what about you?" Taylor asked with sarcasm. She turned to look out the tinted windows. All she saw was some random farms with ugly horses and cows, all sprinting around like they were retarded. 

"Just casually driving," Alice answered with an unpleasant giggle that sounded more like a burp. "What are you looking for?" 

Taylor grunted, clearly annoyed by her mom's sudden interest in her. "Mom, why do you care what I am shopping for?" She kept swiping, this time more aggressively. 

"Look Taylor, I'm just trying to make this family work..." she began. 

"Oh my gosh, not another monologue, just get to the dang morale or point or whatever, just get it over with, please." Taylor almost begged. "Our relationship is fine as long as we don't talk to each other. That's how teenagers and their parents work."

Alice printed her fingernails in the steering wheels rough leather. "You know, I'm tired of our constant fighting." She said, obviously mad and hurt. "I don't want you to end up in a bad place just because your dad left you. And for your information, your dad's departure has been the best thing that has ever happened to you. To us.

Taylor groaned angrily. "Our lives are not one big soap opera," she almost screamed. "We live a normal life. As normal as it can get. I don't want you to dwell on the past. I'm not sad because dad left us. I'm disappointed in you because you don't see anything valuable or important in me." A couple of tears were marching down her cheeks. Taylor heard a soft sob from her mom and then a louder one.

"I'm sorry that I've made you feel like that, but as a parent..." Alice trailed off. "You gotta understand that being a lone mom is hard enough, can you please just cut me some slack and help me once in a while? All you did in New York was to hide in your room and be 'social' online." She quickly removed her hands to make a gesture when she said social, indicating that Taylor was not actually being social.

"Mom, I'm fine," Taylor moaned. "I'm more worried about you." She shook her head and looked out the window once again. This time she saw a skyscraper and quickly widened her eyes. She opened the window to have a better view. She quickly took her iPad to get a picture of it. 


The camera sound sounded when Taylor took a picture. Taylor leaned a bit out of the car to get a better panorama picture, but when Alice drove over a bump, Taylor dropped the black iPad on the ground. "Oh my God, mom, stop!" she yelled. Alice quickly hit the brakes, looking confused. Her face was basically one big question mark. 

"What happened?" she asked worriedly. 

"I dropped my iPad out the window." Taylor ushered before rushing out to get it. 

"Why did you even lean out to take pictures?" Alice asked. "That's the second most stupid thing one can do, right after ruining the Frozen DVD." Alice looked down at her feet. Alice absolutely loved Frozen. When Taylor accidentally snapped the CD, Alice was 'depressed' for two days, ordering Taylor around. 

"But mom, you'll just have to Let It Go." Taylor had said jokingly. 

Taylor just gave her mom the 'go-to-Starbucks'-look. Taylor hated Starbucks, but she'd put on a show if she had to blend in with the girls at school. They were probably all hyper on coffee. 

Well Taylor, they're hyper, but on coffee? Not exactly. No one knows what it is. 

When Taylor finally got to the iPad, she saw two giant cracks in the screen. She clicked on the power button and sighed in relief when it turned on. "Oh my God I've missed you so much."

"Get back in the car!" Alice yelled 8 feet away. 

"Shut up, I'm having a moment of my life over here and you're ruining it!" Taylor snapped at her. 


When Taylor finally arrived at the car, Alice revved the engine again. "Are you ready to go home, princess?" Alice snapped, sounding like Mr Petrachelli from That's So Raven, who spat at all of his students.

"Just stop, mom." 


Later that day, the Maxwell's finally arrived at their new home and had started unpacking their huge load of junk that Alice insisted they'd bring.

"Yeah, because a rotten fence is so worth keeping." Taylor said again. 

"Stop saying that, that's the third time you've said it!" Alice said. 

"I'll go pick a room." Taylor said. "Is there a cellar? Wait, I'll go look myself." Taylor went inside the big villa. She quickly opened the door and asked her mom how she had afforded it. 

"Oh, I got a great deal from someone in the area," she said excitedly. "He was really sweet and told me all about the house, the property, the neighbors, the..."

While Alice was reciting all the stuff the real estate agent had given her, Taylor silently wandered into the villa. 

", the... hey Taylor, where'd you go?" 

Taylor walked up the mahogany stairs. A golden chandelier hung over her. "How did my mom even afford this place?" As she reached the last step, she looked at the walls. They were white-painted bricks. "We'll have to do something about that..." 

"Taylor?" Alice called from the porch.

"What?" Taylor grunted. 

"I need you to come down here," Alice demanded. "I need your help." 

"Can't you ask a neighbor?" Taylor asked. She walked towards one of the halls. It had a bright vibe about it. There was an archway-like entrance. "Mom, is this house Victorian?" 

Alice laughed. Her laugh sounded like a dog whimpering. "No, this house is an Italian styled villa." She walked inside and looked around the interior. "Impressive, right?" 

"We'll have to do something about these ugly walls, okay?" Taylor begged. "They're even more hideous than hospital walls." She turned to look at her mom. "How'd you afford this place?"

Alice looked away. "I got a deal from someone." She turned back and looked at her daughter with a come-help-me-look in her eyes. 

"That sounds shady," Taylor replied. "Maybe someone was killed here?" She burst out laughing. Alice, on the other hand, didn't seem entertained.

"I think we'll wait with those boxes," she said. "I'm gonna greet the neighbors. Care to join in?"

"Do I have a choice?" Taylor asked.

"No." Alice simply replied.


As they walked up the porch to the neighbor on their right, Alice pleaded for Taylor to behave. "Mom, I always behave." Alice simply rolled her eyes when Taylor said that. "It's true, I'll give you proof." Taylor stuck up her nose, made sure her hair looked exemplary and rang the doorbell. When someone finally came to open the door, Taylor walked behind her mom. 

"Hi, we're your new neighbors." Alice said awkwardly. The elderly man in the door didn't seem convinced.

"You're from Jehovah's Witness, aren't you?" he mumbled. 

"No, we're your new neighbors, the Maxwell's." Alice pointed to their house. "We just wanted to say hi." 

"Mission accomplished." The man said. He closed the door immediately after. 

"Can we go home now?" Taylor begged. "This is probably some granddad street. That's why you got a deal." 

Alice looked at Taylor with a harsh look in her eyes. "No! We're going to say hi to all the neighbors, regardless of how they greet us." She strutted toward the next house. 

"Mom, please don't strut."


They greeted even grumpier neighbors, each worse than the previous. They eventually got to the last house, the house that was across the street from their house. Alice knocked on the door and out came a young, beautiful woman with big breasts, curly blond hair, crystal blue eyes, a pointy nose, perfectly plucked eyebrows, high cheekbones and cute ears that hid behind her hair. She was too perfect.

"Hello there!" she said with a voice that sounded like an angel's. "Can I help you?" She looked at them with a broad smile.

"Finally someone cheery!" Alice said in relief. "Sorry, we've been greeting these grumpy people on this street and it is just such a relief to meet someone that isn't grumpy." 

The woman giggled. Even her laugh was perfect. "Yeah, the people on this street aren't exactly what you call sweet." She looked at Taylor. "What's your name?"

Taylor shot up. "M-me?" she asked nervously.

"Yes, silly." The woman said. Her eyes glinted in the setting sun. 

"I'm Taylor," Taylor answered. "What's your name?" 

The woman was playing with a beautiful ring on her fingers. More perfection. "I'm Sabrina," she said. "I'd introduce you to my husband, but he's in China for the month. He's a real estate agent. His boss wanted him to try something new, so he's selling houses in China now." 

"I'm Alice," Alice quickly said before she asked if it could be Sabrina's husband that had lead them to this street. 

"It might have been, I'm not sure, actually." 

Behind Sabrina, a girl walked. She stood behind Sabrina and peeked out between her fingers. 

"This is my daughter, Samantha," Sabrina said. "Say hi, Sammy." She bend over to kiss Samantha's forehead. She took Samantha up in her arms. "She's 5 years old." 

Samantha had dirty-blonde hair, not curly like her mother's, though. "H-hi," she said nervously and waved. "Want to play?" She looked at Taylor with her cute eyes. The whole family is perfect.

"Oh sweetheart, she can't," Sabrina said. "She has to go unpack. Maybe some other time?" She looked at both Samantha and Taylor.

"Sure!" Taylor said quickly. "Of course!" 

Sabrina smiled. "Do you two perhaps want to have a dinner together soon?" 

Alice nodded, smiling towards Sabrina and Samantha. "Yes, of course, we'd love that!" 

"I'll visit your house sometime this week and then we can perhaps plan something?" Sabrina asked Alice.

Alice nodded tentatively. "Yes, of course, come soon!" 

"Mom, you're too desperate..." Taylor whispered. 

"Don't worry, Taylor." Sabrina said. "It's alright." She put Samantha down again. Samantha quickly ran inside again. 

"Well, see you then." Alice said. 

"Goodbye, you two!" Sabrina said with a big smile. "Have fun in Wilmington."

"I'll try." Taylor said.



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