My first summer as Lauren was about to come to a close. School was only a few days away. It was really hard to believe that for three solid months I'd lived each day as a girl. And now it seems I'll be going to school as a girl. Mom had already registered me for classes and my class schedule had already been handed to me. So that was that, I had also been informed that I could attend school as Lauren and use the staff bathroom to both handle my personal business and change for P.E. And nobody would be any wiser.

So with those tiny grains of sand starting to pour through my hourglass, draining away the precious few remaining seconds, minutes, hours and days left of my freedom I was determined to do something that would make me remember this summer for the rest of my life. Or something to that effect. Instead of going out and I don't know what to do, doing something I laze around the house and spend my mornings browsing the internet, my afternoons napping, my evenings stargazing, and my nights reading Fear Street books on my kindle.

But then something happened. One Saturday morning dad was cooking breakfast. Like he normally does on weekends, you know a full spread. The kind of breakfast that sticks to your bones. Were talking about mountains of pancakes, cooked till their golden brown, warm and fluffy, topped with plenty of real cow's butter and a stream of golden syrup. Mounds of bacon, fried crispy , and crunchy. Pots of strong black coffee, so strong it will take the paint off your car.

And of course milk and juice. Dad loves to cook a big breakfast, and it normally means you're going to have a light lunch and maybe a soup or sandwich for supper that evening. Anyway I was just about to attack my stack of pancakes when mom, who loves to read the morning paper lowered it and smiled at me. I remember pausing in mid-bite as I peered toward mom. Slowly she lowered the paper.

"Lauren." She said as she reached over and took a sip of her coffee. You could really smell the creamer she put in it. I mean it was the kind of Pumpkin-spice flavored creamer they sell as soon as they possibly can. Mom loves it and I swear she'll drink the stuff straight out of the carton if she could. I bet she does, in fact I'm willing to wager two months' allowance that her mug right there is filled not with coffee but that Pumpkin-spice flavored milk, I mean that all that stuff is, milk, a little bit of flavoring and some sugar.

"Yes ma'am?" I said blinking as I drew back a little.

"The Rotary Club is going to sponsor something called 'Summer Soiree' it's going to a huge town wide celebration that suppose to kick off the end of summer. And all of the other major club's are doing something The Kiwi Club is hosting a beauty pageant. All the local Juniors and Seniors have been invited to attend. I think some girl by the name Rebecca Joanna Coleman might be crowned 'Miss. Benton' or something. The Benton Academy cheerleaders will hosting a cheer-a-thon or something. And the Elk's club will hosting a dunking booth. I was wondering since your dad and I belong to the Elk's club and since your going to attending a lot more of the social's they host at the country club. Would you like to volunteer for the dunking booth?"

I blinked and blinked again, But mom pressed the attack.

"I think this would be good for you. I mean a lot of young ladies your age will be staffing the booth. So far I know Taylor Anna Croft has volunteered. And so has Cerridwen Circe Whitethorn. And I think Jamie Sarah Potter is also going to volunteer." She paused. "I know Madeline Brewer is thinking about volunteering and that the Potter's oldest daughter Lily Elizabeth Potter would the one running the booth." Mom said as she started to think. "Also you've not been all that social this summer. I mean you did come out of your shell a little and volunteer to the pie target at the Fourth of July celebration at Brewer farms. And that totally surprised your dad and I. But for the most part you've kept your nose in your kindle or in a book and your eyes glued to the glowing screen of your desktop."

I nodded my head. And mom kept her ball rolling.

"Plus." Mom said, smiling a little. "I think you'll find a cute boy, like it or not since you started your medians you've developed quite a form. Boys are starting to take notice of you and your starting to take notice of boys. You flirt easily enough with them." Mom shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe you flirt a little too much, but then again this generation is different from mine and your fathers. So the dunking booth would be perfect for you, you can flirt with all the boys, tease them, and you'll be raising money for charity."

At this point I had to ask.

"What are we raising money for?" I inquired.

"The children's wing of King Daughters hospital. You know to buy coloring books, stuffed animals, books, and toys for the children that have to stay overnight." Mom paused. "So?"

I closed my eyes and started to think. And before I could catch myself I opened my mouth and said.

"Okay I'll volunteer." And with that my fate was sealed.

End of Prologue