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Authors: Meg Cabot

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Humorous Stories, #Love & Romance, #Royalty, #Romance, #Chick-Lit, #Young Adult

Princess in Pink (18 page)

BOOK: Princess in Pink
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I don't mention the whole part about him still refusing to go to the prom and the fact that we haven't got to second base yet.

'Oh, please,' Lilly scoffs. 'Michael's gaga for you. Besides, at least you're in Gifted and Talented. You get to observe geniuses in action on a daily basis. What does Tina know about them? Why, I don't think she's even seen A Beautiful Mind. Because Russell doesn't take his shirt off enough in it, no doubt.'

'Hey,' I say harshly. I'd noticed this about A Beautiful Mind, too, and I think it's a valid criticism. 'Tina is my friend. A way better friend to me than you've been lately.'

Lilly has the grace to look guilty.

'I'm sorry about all that, Mia,' she says. 'I swear I don't know what came over me. I just saw Jangbu and I ... well, I guess

I became a slave to my own lust.'

I must say, I am very surprised to hear this. Because while Jangbu is, of course, quite hot, I never knew physical attraction

was important to Lilly. I mean, after all, she's been going out with Boris for, like, ever.

But apparently, it was all completely physical between her and Jangbu.

God. I wonder what base they got to. Would it be rude to ask? I mean, I know that, considering we aren't best friends any more, it probably isn't any of my business. But if she got to third with that guy, I'll kill her.

'But it's over between Jangbu and me,' Lilly just announced very dramatically ... so dramatically that Fat Louie, who doesn't

like Lilly very much in the first place, and usually hides in the closet among my shoes when she comes over, just tried to

burrow his way into my snow boots. 'I thought he had the heart of a proletarian. I thought, at last I had found a man who shared my passion for social causes and the advancement of the worker. But alas ... I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

I simply cannot be soul-mates with a man willing to sell his life story to the press.'

It appears that Jangbu has been approached by a number of magazines, including People and US Weekly, who are vying for the exclusive rights to the details of his run-in with the Dowager Princess of Genovia and her dog.

'Really?' I was very surprised to hear this. 'How much are they offering him?'

'Last time I talked to him, they were up to six figures.' Lilly dries her eyes on one of Grandmere's Chanel scarves. 'He won't

be needing his job back at Les Hautes Manger, that's for sure. He's planning on opening a restaurant of his own. A Taste of Tibet, he's planning on calling it.'

'Wow.' I feel for Lilly. I really do. I mean, I know how much it sucks when someone you thought was your spiritual
lifemate turns out to be sell-out. Especially when he French kisses as well as Josh - I mean Jangbu - does.

Still, just because I feel sorry for Lilly doesn't mean I'm going to forgive her for what she did. I may not be self-actualized,

but at least I have pride.

'But I want you to know,' Lilly is saying, 'that I realized I wasn't in love with Jangbu before all this stuff with the strike happened. I knew I had never stopped loving Boris when he picked up that globe and dropped it on his head for me. I mean, Mia, he was willing to get stitches for me. That's how much he loves me. No boy has ever loved me enough to risk actual, physical pain and discomfort for me ... and certainly not Jangbu. I mean, he's WAY too caught up in his own fame and celebrity. Not like Boris. I mean, Boris is a thousand times more gifted and talented than Jangbu, and HE isn't caught up in

the fame game.'

I really don't know quite how to respond to all this. I guess Lilly must realize this by the way she's narrowing her eyes at me

and going, 'Would you please stop writing in that journal for ONE MINUTE and tell me how I can win Boris back?'

Though it pained me to do it, I was forced to inform Lilly that I think the chances of her ever winning Boris back are like zero. Less than zero, even. Like in the negative polynomials.

'Tina is really crazy about him,' I told her. 'And I think he feels the same way about her. I mean, he gave her his autographed eight-by-ten glossy of Joshua Bell—'

This information caused Lilly to clutch her heart in existential pain. Or maybe not so existential, since I'm not even really sure what existential means. In any case, she clutched her heart and fell back dramatically across my bed. 'That witch!' she keeps yelling - so loudly that I'm afraid any minute Mr G is going to come busting in here, thinking we have Buffy turned up too loud. Also, she wasn't actually saying witch, but the other word that rhymes with it. 'That black-hearted, back-stabbing witch! I'll

get her for stealing my man! I'll get her!'

I had to get very severe with Lilly. I told her that under no circumstances was she going to 'get' anyone. I told her that Tina really and sincerely adored Boris, which is all he has ever wanted - to love and be loved in return, just like Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge. I told her that if she really loved Boris the way she said she did, she would leave him and Tina alone, let them enjoy the last few weeks of school together. Then if, in the autumn, Lilly still found herself wanting Boris back, she could say something. But not before.

Lilly was, I think, a little taken aback by my sage - and very direct - advice. In fact, she still appears to be digesting it. She's sitting on the end of my bed, blinking at my Princess Leia Screensaver. I am sure it must be quite a blow to a girl with an ego the size of Lilly's . . . you know, that a boy who had once loved her could learn to love again. But she will just have to get

used to it. Because after what she put Boris through this week, I for one will see to it that she never, ever dates him again. If

I have to stand in front of Boris with a big old sword, like Aragorn in front of that Frodo dude, I will totally do it. That is how determined I am that Lilly will never again mess with Boris Pelkowski's heavily bandaged, misshapen genius head.

I don't know if she could see how fiercely I was writing that, or if there was something particularly determined in my

expression, or what. But Lilly just sighed and went, 'Oh, all right.'

Now she is putting on her coat and leaving. Because even though she and Jangbu have parted ways, she is still chairperson

of SATWDOJPA and has loads to do.

None of which apparently includes apologizing to me.

Or so I thought.

At my door, Lilly turned and said, 'Listen, Mia. I'm sorry I called you weak the other day. You're not weak. In fact. . . you're one of the strongest people I know.'

Hello! So true! I have battled so many demons in my day, I make those girls on Charmed look like the ones on freaking

Full House. Really, I should get a medal, or at least the key to the city, or something.

Sadly, however, just when I thought my bravery was no longer going to be needed - Lilly and I had hugged, and she'd left,

after a few words of apology to my mom and Mr G over the whole making-out-in-our-hall-closet-with-Jangbu-the-unemployed-busboy thing, which they'd graciously accepted - the buzzer in

the vestibule went off AGAIN. I thought for SURE it had to be Michael this time. He'd promised to collect and bring over

all of my remaining assignments.

So you can imagine my horror - my absolute revulsion -when I bounded over to the intercom, hit the Talk button, went, 'Hellooo-ooooo?' and the voice that came crackling over it in response was not the deep, warm, familiar voice of my one

true love . . . but the hideous cackle of GRANDMERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 1 a.m., the futon couch in the Loft

This is a nightmare. It has to be. Somebody is going to pinch me and I'm going to wake up and it's all going to be over

and I'm going to be back snug in my own bed, not out here on this futon - how come I never noticed how HARD this

thing is? - in the living room in the middle of the night.

Except that it's NOT a nightmare. I know it's not a nightmare, because to have a nightmare, you actually have to fall

ASLEEP, something I can't do, because Grandmere is SNORING TOO LOUDLY

That's right. My grandmother snores. Some scoop for The Post, huh? I should give them a call and hold up the phone to the door to my room (you can hear her even with the door CLOSED). I can just see the headline:

DOWAGER PRINCESS

SNORES LIKE A JACKHAMMER

I can't believe this is happening. Like my life isn't bad enough. Like I don't have enough problems now my psychotic grandmother has moved in with me. I could hardly believe it when I opened the loft door and saw her standing there, her

driver right behind her with about fifty million Louis Vuitton bags. I just stared at her for a full minute, until finally Grandmere went, 'Well, Amelia? Aren't you going to ask me in?'

And then, before I even had a chance to, she just barged right by me, complaining the whole way about how we don't have an elevator and did we have any idea what a walk up three flights of stairs could do to a woman her age (I noticed
that she didn't mention what it could do to a chauffeur who had been forced to carry all of her luggage up the same aforementioned three flights of stairs)?

Then she started walking around the Loft like she always does when she comes over, picking up things and looking at them with a disapproving expression on her face before putting them down again, like Mom's Cinco de Mayo skeleton collection, and Mr. G's NCAA Final Four drink holders.

Meanwhile, my mom and Mr. G, having heard all the commotion, came out of their room and then froze - both of them - in horror as they took in the sight before them. I have to admit, it did look a bit scary . . . especially since by then Rommel had worked his way free from Grandmere's purse and was staggering around the floor on his spindly Bambi legs, sniffing things so carefully you would have thought he expected them to explode in his face at any given moment (which, when he gets around

to sniffing Fat Louie, might actually happen).

'Um, Clarisse,' my mother (brave woman!) said. 'Would you mind telling us what you're doing here? With, er, what appears

to be your entire wardrobe in tow?'

'I cannot stay at that hotel a moment longer,' Grandmere said, putting down Mr. G's lava lamp and not even glancing at my mother, whose pregnancy - At her advanced age,' Grandmere likes to say, even though Mom is actually younger than many recently pregnant starlets - she considers an embarrassment of grand proportions. 'No one works there any more! The place

is completely chaotic. You cannot get a soul to bring up a morsel of Room Service, and forget about getting someone to run your bath. And so I've come here.' She blinked at us less than fondly. 'To the bosom of my family. In times of need, I believe

it is traditional for relatives to take one another in.'

My mom totally wasn't falling for Grandmere's poor-little-me act.

'Clarisse,' she said, folding her arms over her chest (which is quite a feat, considering how big her boobs have got - I can only hope that if I ever get pregnant, my own knockers will swell to such heroic proportions). 'There is a hotel workers' strike. No one is exactly lobbing SCUD missiles at the Plaza. I think you've lost your perspective a little bit. . .'

Just then the phone rang. I, of course, thinking it was Michael, dived for it. But alas, it was not Michael. It was my father.

'Mia,' he said, sounding a trifle panicked. 'Is your grandmother there?'

'Why, yes, Dad,' I said. 'She is. Would you care to speak with her?'

'Oh, God,' my dad groaned. 'No. Let me talk to your mother.'

My dad was totally in for it, and did he ever know it. I handed the phone to my mom, who took it with the expression of long-suffering she always wears in Grandmere's presence. Just as she was putting the phone to her ear, Grandmere said to

her chauffeur, 'That will be all, Gaston. You can put the bags down in Amelia's room, then leave.'

'Stay where you are, Gaston,' my mom said, just as I yelled, 'MY room? Why MY room?'

Grandmere looked at me all acidly and went, 'Because in times of hardship, young lady, it is traditional for the youngest member of the family to sacrifice her comfort for the oldest.'

I never heard of this cockamamie tradition before. What was it, like the ten-course Genovian wedding supper, or something?

'Phillipe,' my mom was growling into the phone. 'What is going on here?'

Meanwhile, Mr. G was trying to make the best out of a bad situation. He asked Grandmere if he could get her some form of refreshment.

'Sidecar, please,' Grandmere said, not even looking at him, but at the magnetic alphabet Algebra problems on the refrigerator door. 'Easy on the ice.'

'Phillipe!' my mother was saying, in tones of mounting urgency, into the phone.

But it didn't do any good. There was nothing my father could do. He and the staff - Lars, Hans, Gaston, et al. -were OK to rough it at the Plaza under the new, Room-Service free conditions. But Grandmere just couldn't take it. She had apparently tried to ring for her nightly chamomile tea and biscotti, and when she'd found out there was no one to bring it to her, she'd

gone completely mental and stuck her foot through the glass mail chute (endangering the poor postman's fingers when he

comes to collect the mail at the bottom of the chute tomorrow).

'But, Phillipe,' my mom kept wailing. 'Why here?' But there was nowhere else for Grandmere to go. Things were just as bad,

if not worse, at all the other hotels in the city. Grandmere had finally decided to pack up and abandon ship . . . figuring, no doubt, that as she had a granddaughter fifty blocks away, why not take advantage of the free labour?

So for the moment, anyway, we're stuck with her. I even had to give her my bed, because she categorically refused to sleep

on the futon couch. She and Rommel are in my room — my safe haven, my sanctuary, my fortress of solitude, my meditation chamber, my Zen palace - where she already unplugged my computer because she didn't like my Princess Leia Screensaver 'staring' at her. Poor Fat Louie is so confused, he actually hissed at the toilet, because he had to express his disapproval of the whole situation somehow. Now he has hidden himself away in the hall closet - the same closet where, if you think about it, all

BOOK: Princess in Pink
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ads

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