Authors: R. M. Corbet
Tags: #JUV000000, #book
My Life and Other Catastrophes
The Indigo Girls
She's with the Band
The (not quite) Perfect Boyfriend
Step Up and Dance
The Sweet Life
Winter of Grace
What Supergirl Did Next
R. M. Corbet
A Letter from Luisa
R. M. CORBET
This edition published in 2009
First published in 2002
Copyright Â© Robert Corbet 2002
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. The
Australian Copyright Act 1968
(the Act) allows a maximum of one chapter or ten per cent of this book, whichever is the greater, to be photocopied by any educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational institution (or body that administers it) has given a remuneration notice to Copyright Agency Limited (
) under the Act.
Allen & Unwin
83 Alexander Street
National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:
Corbet, Robert, 1959-
Fifteen love / R. M. Corbet.
: 978 1 74237 015 6 (pbk.)
Series: Girlfriend fiction ; 15
Previous ed.: 2002.
For secondary school age.
Subjects: Dating (Social customs) â Fiction.
Teenage boys â Fiction. Teenage girls â Fiction.
Cover design by Tabitha King and Bruno Herfst
Cover photograph by Getty Images / Stuart McClymont
Text design by Bruno Herfst
by Amelia Price
Set in 12.5/15 pt Fournier by Midland Typesetters, Australia
Printed in Australia by McPherson's Printing Group
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Boys are immature. They only use one per cent of their brain. They only ever talk about cars or sport. They only ever think about sex. I read somewhere that boys think about sex â on average â once every fifteen seconds! That's four times a minute! Two hundred and forty times per hour! I checked on my calculator â it's a total of 5,760 times a day, assuming boys also dream about sex . . . If this is true, it is
a real worry
. Fifteen seconds is barely enough time to say hello. No wonder boys never make any sense when you talk to them.
There is one boy at our school who is not like the others. Will Holland definitely has something on his mind. Most lunchtimes he sits alone on the grass, wearing a tracksuit and looking very out of place. He eats his lunch, then he lies back on the grass, staring up at the sky for ages and ages. What does he see up there? What does he think about?
Is he interested in meteorology?
Is he worried about global warming?
Is he watching out for UFOs?
Will Holland is a mystery. My friends say he's either an escaped criminal or else he's suffering from some incurable, highly infectious disease. They think just because Will doesn't hang out with other boys, he must be hiding something. But I think he's interesting. I mean, boys don't
to play basketball, do they? They don't
to be the kind of nerd who lusts after computer-generated sex-goddesses with breasts made of high-density steel, and slobbers uncontrollably whenever a real girl walks past. Do they?
Will Holland isn't like that. I'm sure he has other things on his mind. I swear, even if I had a figure like Lara Croft, he wouldn't even notice me.
Mia Foley is not as pretty as she thinks she is. Without her long dark hair â which she keeps swishing around as if she's in some kind of shampoo commercial â she would be quite average-looking. Without her big brown eyes and long lashes, her smooth white skin and rosy-red lips, her beautiful smile and her perfect teeth, Mia Foley would be very ordinary.
Every lunchtime she and her friends sit together on their seat. Every lunchtime it's the exact same seat, as if there's a plaque that says
Reserved for Mia Foley and her two bimbo
, then below in small print,
Guys please line up and
wait your turn.
Every day I see new guys come along to try out. They stand there with their hands in their pockets, pretending it's all very casual, when really they're pumped up and trying to make an impression. Then the hands come out of the pockets and the circus starts:
Roll up! Roll up! Pre-senting the a-mazing, the a-stounding,
the death-defying des-per-adoes! They juggle! They swing!
They spin basketballs on their fingertips! They throw things!
They fight! Just sit back and enjoy the show, ladies, until the
tightrope-walker falls flat on his face and the clowns come to
take him away.
Mia and her friends like the attention. They smile and laugh, but they never ask the boys to sit down and join them. In the end, their eyes start to glaze over and it's time for the circus to pack up and leave.
When the guys have gone, the girls huddle together and talk in low voices.
I have no idea what they talk about.
I wish I was a fly on the wall.
I wish I had a tape recorder and a hidden microphone . . .
âThe tracksuit is watching you again,' says Renata.
âNo he isn't.'
âMia! Are you blind?' says Vanessa.
âJust short-sighted, remember?'
âDidn't you say he was kind of cute?' says Renata.
âI never said that.'
âHe's okay-looking. I'd lose the tracksuit, though,' says Vanessa.
âLose it? He lives in it. I don't think he owns any other clothes,' says Renata.
âPee-ew! Stinky!' Vanessa screws up her nose.
âGive him a break.'
âI mean, a tracksuit is for inside the house, right?' says Renata.
âI've heard some people do
play sport in them,' I say.
âSport?' says Vanessa. âHow tiresome!'
Vanessa and Renata are my two best friends. We share our lunches. We share our Tic Tacs. And we share our troubles. Mostly, our troubles are boy troubles, and mostly they're Vanessa's boy troubles, because it's Vanessa the boys are mostly interested in.
Vanessa is a big flirt, to put it politely. She wears cardigans that are three sizes too small, just to show off her pierced bellybutton and so she can push right up close to guys, as if she's trying to pop the buttons. Vanessa has this way of looking at guys that she does without thinking. She does it to the ones she's interested in, but she also does it to complete strangers â guys on the train who are ten years older, for example. Hence the boy troubles.
(My mum says I'm allowed to get my bellybutton pierced, but my dad says I'm not. He says there are âmedical reasons', and just because he's a doctor he wins. The truth is my dad thinks having a pierced bellybutton is the same as having sex. Diagnosis: AIDS and/or an unwanted pregnancy. But I don't care. One day, I'll just go out and do it anyway â get my belly-button pierced, I mean.)
Vanessa has two kinds of boy troubles. Either it's two guys fighting over her, or else one guy who's been driven to the edge and can't help making a fool of himself. Renata and I try giving Vanessa subtle hints. We tell her to tone it down if she wants guys to leave her alone, but then she gets her nose out of joint and won't talk to us. Vanessa is unpredictable when it comes to guys. She can spend weeks playing hard to get with a gorgeous boy, then suddenly go out with a serial killer.
Renata is like Vanessa in some ways, but in other ways she's the exact opposite. She's just as pretty as Vanessa and goes to the same trouble with her hair, but she's not so confident. Renata is Yugoslavian and her parents are pretty strict. She's been in Australia for ten years, but she still won't talk about the place where she was born. My dad told me Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore. It's not a real country, he said. But if anyone ever mentions Yugoslavia â or Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, any of those places â Renata goes a bit pale. I think some of her family must have got killed or something.
Renata says Vanessa is good for us. She's always telling us how nice we look and encouraging us to be more upfront with boys. Vanessa is the âit girl' at our school, so there's never any shortage of boys around. The trouble is, boys are always at their silliest whenever they're trying to impress girls. There's no limit to the shameless depths they will go to.