Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chapter One

Meg could not believe her luck. In most cases she would consider herself very unlucky, but right now she was on a flight to England with a group from school. Had things not transpired as they did she would still be at home trying to find a summer job that would most likely entail wearing a ridiculous outfit, or buttons, or smelling like a deep fryer.

“A job can wait. At least for a few weeks anyway.” she thought as she looked out the window.

Meg winced at the thought and her mood changed. She knew she would have to find some way to make up the money.

All she had in her life was her mom and her brother. They had been on their own for 5 years since her dad had been killed in an accident. He didn’t leave them in the best of circumstances and without an education beyond high school her mother relied on a housekeeping job to keep them afloat. When Meg was old enough she began babysitting and then moved on to other jobs to help make ends meet. Somehow they always seemed to get by.

“Why won’t she sell the ring?” Meg thought. It seemed so stupid.

“And why am I even thinking about that dumb thing?”

The only thing her father had left behind was an ugly, gawdy ring that no normal man would be caught dead with. Her mother had had it appraised after Meg’s dad died and it would fetch a nice sum if, and that is a big if, they could find someone who wanted to buy it. It wouldn’t be enough to get them out of their current situation, but they could put it away for a rainy day.

Meg thought of the bald tires on her mom’s car, the broken window that had been taped in the bathroom and the dishwasher that sat useless in the kitchen.

She remembered her last conversation about it with her mom.

“This is the only thing I have left of him Meg. He gave it to me and asked me to keep it safe, always.” Her mother looked into Meg’s face as a tear rolled down her cheek. “I am not selling it. Ever. Please don’t ask me again.”

Her train of thought was interrupted by a ding on the intercom system and a message from the captain.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. We are coming upon some turbulance. For your safety remain seated until further instructions. Estimated time of arrival is 4 hours and 23 minutes.”

“I totally CANNOT wait to get there!” Meg heard the voice coming from a few rows behind her. It was Ashley Paxton. Meg rolled her eyes and waited for the rest.

“All of the guys will be so hot with their cute accents! I wonder if I will be there long enough to pick one up.”

“An accent?” asked Ashley’s best friend Tara.

Meg started to laugh to herself.

“No, I am so sure!” Ashley rolled her eyes “A boy!”

Meg’s mood improved greatly while she listened to the ridiculous banter between the two girls. She was grinning and thinking about Ashley.

They had been friends once. That is until Ashley’s mother remarried and it was into some money. Things changed after that.

With earbuds and an ipod, Meg tuned the girls out.

“Excuse me, you need to raise your seat and put your tray up please.” The flight attendant tapped on Meg’s shoulder.

Meg looked up and saw very red lips, very blonde hair, and very thick eyelashes.

“Huh?” she pulled the earbuds out. She glanced around and realized they were getting ready to land. “Oh.”

Her chin seemed unusually cold and when she touched it she felt the slobber.

“Nice.” Meg’s felt her face flush with emberassment.

“S’okay. No one really saw.”

Meg turned to Anna who was sitting next to her.

“Oh, nice of you to say so now! You could have told me I was slobbering before everyone was looking at me!” said Meg, not really mad. “And it’s nice to finally have someone to talk to now that we are landing!” Meg smiled and jabbed at Anna’s shoulder.

Anna and Meg have been friends for the last two years. Anna moved from Pleasanton, California and was blessed with everything associated with a California girl. Blonde hair, blue eyes, long legs, athletic ability, instant popularity and none of the arrogance to go along with it. Anna navigates through life with a lot more ease than Meg, but somehow, the two of them became fast friends.

Meg looked at Anna and wondered what it would feel like to be so beautiful. Anna never really seemed to notice the attention that always came her way.

Meg reached up and felt her own nose. It wasn’t a bad nose, it could be worse, but it definitely did not have the cute little upturn like Anna’s. Meg had what she considered skinny lips. Her chin was ok, her cheekbones were average and her thick brown hair was always a mess. It wasn’t a mess on purpose though. When you are born with hair that in its natural state looks like you have been electrocuted, it poses a daily challenge. The only thing that Meg really liked about her looks were her eyes. People have often commented on how blue her eyes are.

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