Disclaimer: I do not own SUVs, Corn Nuts, Abercrombie and Fitch, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, or any other such thing that I have mentioned in this entry.
So…this is the last entry. I'm kind of sad, but also happy! Shia and the rest of my beloved gang finally gets their well-deserved happy ending, through deaths, parties, and dances. The comments are, as usual, on the bottom. Thank you for reading and reviewing this story! It was a lot of fun writing this!
The Fifteenth Entry:A Year Later
Somehow, Chris, Chloe, Chase, and I managed to get everyone home. For a few minutes, my whole street was clogged up with minivans, SUVs, and convertibles, driven by pestered and harassed parents, trying to get their rowdy, protesting teenagers back home.
Once the ruckus was gone, the four of us climbed upstairs into my empty room. We lay around in there, eating some Corn Nuts Chloe had brought just in case anyone got hungry.
We listened, very quietly, as the doorbell rang and my mother answered it. We'd missed our flight, and there was no way we'd get to Maine now, but I was afraid she was rescheduling our flight for tomorrow.
We listened as Mrs. Ander, Chloe's mother, came into the house. As I said before, Chloe's mother is a psychologist. She explained patiently to my parents that it was wrong to make major decisions without informing your children. Then she asked my parents if it would be okay if I, Shia, would stay with her family as long as I wanted to. My parents, after a long pause, finally agreed.
Then she asked my parents to sign some custody papers, and Mrs. Ander became my legal guardian. She then had these authorized.
I moved in with Chloe's family. Chloe and I did not share a room. Instead, I took over their guest bedroom (they had two, so it really didn't matter). When I first looked at the room, it had a pink bed with a tall canopy and things like unused toys.
My parents had given me two thousand dollars before leaving, to use on things like snacks, school supplies, clothes, and anything else. With that money, Chloe and I bought a whole room's worth of furniture from IKEA and Pottery Barn.
Now the room is very pretty to look at. The walls and ceiling are both pure white. The carpet and trim are cream-colored. The bed has crisp white blankets. Nearly everything in the room was white. Now it's kind of faded, but I still love it.
A week later, Chris held a surprise goodbye party for me. It was better than the first party Chris had, since he didn't get dunked into a pool. But a lot of girls cried because Cameron wasn't there.
Some girls told me at the party that they thought I was the luckiest girl in the world, because I was dating Chris Flagnnan, the sweetest and coolest guy, the main jock, at our school.
Personally, I think I'm the luckiest girl in the world, too, but for very different reasons.
Sometimes when I sit on the crisp white blankets of my bed, I stare out the glass window…I stare at the beautiful full moon, shining on all the people I love. Sometimes I cry, because I miss my sisters.
But mostly, I just watch the moon.
I realized something about the moon the other day. The moon is like a symbol. The moon is like a symbol about someone's life. Sometimes you're full, but sometimes you're at the bottom.
Did you know that Shakespeare thought there was a big wheel of fortune? Not the old show that Vanna White appears on, but a wheel that decides everyone's fortune. Sometimes you're at the top, and sometimes you're at the bottom, but everyone keeps going because they know that they'll eventually be at the top again, even if they're at the bottom now.
So I think about these things as I sit there, watching the moon.
Sometimes I pray for Cameron. I ask forgiveness for going out with Chris, but personally, I think Cameron understands. And whenever someone tells me that I'm a slut, I tell him or her that Cameron understands.
We were finally ninth graders. We left our old junior high school and moved into the nearby high school. We were now high school freshmen, but virtually nothing changed. I made friends with a few kids from another school, but mostly I had my normal ring of friends.
Then, Brandon and Min-Jung both left. Brandon left without a word, and Min-Jung died. It made me cry to think that Min-Jung had died. I cried for two weeks, I think, her image haunting me forever. But I called Melinda, and she came and told me that Min-Jung and Brandon were very happy up there in their heavens. And that made me stop crying.
A year has passed, and Chase has gotten more adorable.
Since we first entered high school, Ginger fell in love about half a dozen times. She and I renewed our friendship. Chloe Ander and Ginger Totten were soon my best friends again, this time in opposite order.
The best part of the days is how my gang spends Friday nights. We gather somewhere important and have triple dates, which are great. Chase, Jake, Chris, Chloe, Ginger, and I all party out.
Jake is Ginger's boyfriend for this term. I hope he lasts longer than the other ones, because I really like Jake. He's an awesome, awesome guy.
Chris and I are hardly alone, but that's okay with us.
My mother was not an American mother. American mothers show their love by their words, not deeds. Everyday, American mothers will say to their daughters and sons, "I love you," or "Have a good day." Well, I'm not sure, but that's how they seem in those happy old shows that are always on the action channel in the early morning hours to the early afternoon.
Asian mothers show their love by deeds. Some people still don't understand how you can speak with deeds, but not words. I call them shallow, stupid, and the worst kind of idiot.
I think a lot about who I was at the beginning of eighth grade. I suppose that shyness can be a good thing, sweet and cute, but I don't think I like me anymore. I mean, the way I was at the beginning of eighth grade. Now, I love myself. Maybe that's selfish and egomaniacal, but I love myself just the way I am, and so do my friends.
One thing that's changed a lot is how I go shopping.
Every third Saturday of the month, my allowance arrives. Since my dad and mom both got promoted, my monthly allowance is actually a hundred dollars, which is a pretty good sum.
Then, they send a different sum for Mrs. Ander, to pay for my other expenses, like food and field trip money.
With one hundred dollars for each of us, Chloe and I go shopping at the mall together, cruising in and out of designer stores that both of us wouldn't have dared enter at the beginning of eighth grade.
Maybe this has branded the both of us as the type of girls who read Seventeen fervently, the kind of girls whose only concerns are eyeliner and fashion, the type of girls who switch boyfriends every three days.
Believe me, that's not who I am, or Chloe is, either.
Sure, Chloe and I read Seventeen and Cosmo Girl, looking for fashion tips and makeup tips and drawing pictures on Paris Hilton's face. We do put on eyeliner when we need to, for parties, but never for school (Mrs. Ander would rip us apart if we did). We shop for the coolest trends and clothes, but we never, ever go over our budget or buy anything enormously expensive (that's Adrian's gig).
And, of course, we do not switch boyfriends every three days. After all, if there were a duet of guys more lovable and interesting and sweet and happy than Chris and Chase, we'd be living in a world without marshmallows.
And one special Saturday, before our freshman year began, Chris, Chase, Chloe, and I all visited 131 Pine Street, where Mrs. Pernice, one of my best older friends now, still lives.
When we got there, three eager Beagle puppies dashed out onto the yard, jumping up wildly onto our knees, attempting very energetically to lick our faces. They were the most adorable puppies I had ever seen, shades of tan and black and white, all mottled together. Their noses were wet and black, their eyes beautifully caramel brown, and the floppiest, most adorable ears.
Out of those three puppies, the cutest and most energetic was the one that had jumped up on Chase. Her name, as we found out, was Luna, and she was the third youngest out of four puppies. The last puppy was staying inside. When I heard that, I asked, carefully, "And are they two males and two females?"
And Mrs. Pernice answered, "No, all four are females."
And I smiled, because I knew something that Mrs. Pernice didn't. And when I looked down at Luna, she looked up at me with her eyes sparkling because of the sun, her floppy ears dangling. Her short, cute tail wagged and wagged, and she looked positively like an angel.
And that was when I adopted little Luna with part of my allowance.
Now Luna sleeps in my room, eats in my room, and basically does everything in my room except go to the bathroom, which she dos outside. And Mrs. Ander is so cool that she lets me keep Luna, who's basically the cutest being in the whole family right now—not counting Chase, but then again, is he a member of the family right now? Why not? He's Chloe's boyfriend.
Speaking of boyfriends…they are awesome. I can't believe that I was so afraid of boys at the beginning of eighth grade. I was such a wimp and an idiot, because boys are so awesome.
And I can tell you something about myself that I couldn't have told you at the very beginning of eighth grade: I've had my share of sweet kisses that should be in teen romance movies.
"Life without love is like peanut butter without jelly. Perfect."
Chase said that.
The reason is Chase has never been good at love in general. I mean, everyone loves him, because he's so adorable and everything. But he isn't good at romantic love, Chloe has confessed to me. "I've never been kissed!" she revealed to me. "Isn't that a bit too much?"
"Aw, come on, Chloe!" Chris sighed. "Chase is too short."
"Excuse me?" Chase asked in a tone of serious offense, which makes him sound so much cuter than he actually is (which is pretty cute). "I'm 5' 1". You're 5' 2". That's not much of a difference."
"5' 3"," Chris corrected.
Chase rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
"But you don't need kisses for love," I pointed out.
There are four kinds of love.
1. The love between a boy and a girl, or between a man and a woman. This kind of love exists between Chris and myself, between Chase and Chloe, and Ginger and whichever boyfriend is for this week.
2. The love between family members. This kind of love exists between myself and my three sisters, between Chris and his two older sisters and his little cousin, Maria, and Chloe and her mother.
3. The love between two men or two women—basically, gay or lesbian people. I do not think I can find an example for that; neither do I want to. But I am okay with gay and lesbian people—they're actually quite fine.
4. The love between friends. And that exists between my three best friends and myself, and my other friends, like Brandon and Min-Jung (May Sophia-Altamia bless their sweet souls).
So, the winsome foursome, as we've called ourselves, run down the high school's corridors. We're still freshmen, but when we're seniors, we've promised ourselves; we'll still be the coolest people around.
Do you remember when at the beginning of eighth grade; I was continually envying Ginger because she was the coolest girl in the whole school, the most popular? How I constantly wanted to be her?
Well, here's something that most teenagers never know, and maybe most adults, either, because once upon a time, your mothers and fathers were teenagers too, but they never knew this.
"Cool," I think—no, I know this—, has nothing to do with wearing Abercrombie & Fitch instead of made in China clothes from the neighborhood Wal-Mart. It has nothing to do with reading National Geographic Kids instead of Seventeen and Cosmo Girl! It has nothing to do with wearing voluminous amounts of makeup, either, or having a hot boyfriend instead of a nerd.
Cool is when people love you. That's all that it is.
-Comments to Reviewers-
Shefali: Yeah, I know…but I wanted to make the point! They love her! So much! I would too…we should do one when Kendoboy moves away. Except there'd be like, ten of us.
Chiney: Yeah…it's been awesome.
KikiW: Yeah…so sadly, it has to be over! :P…
Thank you to I am Meagan, Shefali, imthetree, chiney, xWhit3StaRx, Mistress Fantacy, brainymandy, OJ, KikiW, and starryeyes479 for reviewing this story. It's been great. Please read my new story if you have the time!
"I'm an angel, honest! The horns hold up my halo!"