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STONED IN CENTRAL PARK
Actually, my new favorite topic is the Waspoid—the elite version of the wasteoid, or stoner boy. Unlike the average stoner wasteoid, the Waspoid isn’t into metal or online dungeon games or skateboarding or eating vegan. He gets cute haircuts and has good skin. He smells nice, he wears the cashmere sweaters his girlfriend buys for him, he gets decent grades, and he’s sweet to his mom. He sails and plays soccer. He knows how to tie a necktie. He knows how to dance. He’s sexy! But the Waspoid never fully invests himself in anything or anyone. He isn’t a go-getter and he never says what’s on his mind. He doesn’t take risks, which is what makes it so risky to fall in love with him.
You might have noticed that I’m just the opposite—I never know when to shut up! And I seriously believe that opposites attract. I have to confess, I’m becoming a Waspoid groupie.
Apparently I’m not the only one.
Dear Gossip Girl, i hooked up majorly with Non a blanket in central park. at least, i think it’s the same N. he’s all freckley, right? does he smell like suntan lotion and weed? —blanketbaby
Dear blanketbaby, Hmmm. I bet he does. —GG
Bbuying condoms at Zitomer Pharmacy. Lifestyles Extra-Long Super-Ribbed! What I want to know is how she knew what size to get. I guess they’ve done everything but. Afterwards, Bmade a beeline (no pun intended!) to the J. Sisters salon for her first Brazilian bikini wax. Ouch. But believe me, it’s worth it. Also caught Sat the post office, mailing a big package. Barneys baby clothes for her little French tot, maybe? Caught Iand Kin the 3 Guys Coffee Shop, eating fries and hot cocoa again. They’d just returned those cute little dresses they bought at Bendel’s the other day—oh dear, are they getting too fat?—and were discussing other options for what to wear to the Kiss on the Lips party. Too bad it’s not a toga party.
Since so many of you have been asking, I’m going to answer the big question that’s been baffling you since you found out about the party for the peregrine falcons.
Okay. According to my handy unabridged dictionary:
Falcon, n. 1. any of several birds of prey of the family Falconidae, esp. of the genus Falco, usually distinguished by long, pointed wings, a hooked beak with a tooth-like notch on each side of the upper bill, and swift agile flight, typically diving to seize prey: some falcon species are close to extinction. Peregrinefalcon, a globally distributed falcon, Falco perigrinus, much used in falconry because of its swift flight.
I’m sure I had you on the edge of your seat about that one. But I’m just trying to keep you in the know—that’s my job.
See you in the park!
You know you love me,
stries to improve herself
“Well, it’s wonderful to have you back, dear,” Ms. Glos, Constance’s college advisor, told Serena. She picked her glasses up from where they were hanging around her neck on a gold chain and slid them onto her nose so she could examine Serena’s schedule, which was lying on her desk. “Let’s see, now. Mmmm. Yes. Right,” she muttered, reading the schedule over.
Serena sat in front of Ms. Glos, with her legs crossed, waiting patiently. There were no diplomas on Ms. Glos’s wall, no evidence of any accreditations at all, just pictures of her grandchildren. Serena wondered if Ms. Glos had even gone to college. You would have thought that if she were going to dish out advice on the subject, she could have at least tried it.
Ms. Glos cleared her throat. “Yes, well, your schedule is perfectly acceptable. Not stellar, mind you, but adequate. I imagine you’re making up for it with extracurriculars, yes?”
Serena shrugged her shoulders. If you can call drinking Pernod and dancing naked on a beach in Cannes an extracurricular. “Not really,” she said. “I mean, I’m not actually signed up for any extracurriculars at the moment.”
Ms. Glos let her glasses drop. Her nostrils were turning very red and Serena wondered if she was about to have a bloody nose. Ms. Glos was famous for her bloody noses. Her skin was very pale, with a yellowish tinge. All the girls thought she had some terrible contagious disease.
“No extracurriculars? But what are you doing to improve yourself?”
Serena gave Ms. Glos a polite, blank look.
Who said she needed improving?
“I see. Well, we’ll have to get you involved in something, won’t we?” Ms. Glos said. “I’m afraid the colleges aren’t going to even look at you without any extracurriculars.” She bent over and pulled a big looseleaf binder out of a drawer in her desk and began flipping through pages and pages of flyers printed on colored paper. “Here’s something that starts this week. ‘Feng Shui Flowers, the Art of Floral Design.’ ”
She looked up at Serena, who was frowning doubtfully. “No, you’re right. That’s not going to get you into Harvard, is it?” Ms. Glos said with a little laugh.
She pushed up the sleeves of her blouse and frowned at the binder as she flipped briskly through the pages. She wasn’t about to give up after only one try. She was very good at her job.
Serena gnawed on her thumbnail. She hadn’t thought about this. That colleges would actually need her to be anything more than she already was. And she definitely wanted to go to college. A good one. Her parents certainly expected her to go to one of the best schools. Not that they put any pressure on her—but it went without saying. And the more Serena thought about it, the more she realized she really didn’t have anything going for her. She’d been kicked out of boarding school, her grades had fallen, she had no idea what was going on in any of her classes, and she had no hobbies or cool after-school activities. Her SAT scores sucked because her mind always wandered during those stupid fill-in-the-bubble tests. And when she took them again, they would probably suck even worse. Basically, she was screwed.
“What about drama? Your English grades are quite good, you must like drama,” Ms. Glos suggested. “They’ve only been rehearsing this one for a little over a week. It’s the Interschool Drama Club doing a modern version of Gone With the Wind.” She looked up again. “How ’bout it?”
Serena jiggled her foot up and down and chewed on her pinky nail. She tried to imagine herself alone on stage playing Scarlett O’Hara. She would have to cry on cue, and pretend to faint, and wear huge dresses with corsets and hoop skirts. Maybe even a wig.
I’ll never go hungry again! she’d cry dramatically, in her best Southern-belle voice. It might be kind of fun.
Serena took the flyer from Ms. Glos’s hand, careful not to touch the paper where Ms. Glos had touched it.
“Sure, why not?” she said. “It sounds like fun.”
Serena left Ms. Glos’s office as the final class of the day was getting out. Gone With the Wind rehearsal was in the auditorium, but it didn’t begin until six so that the students who did sports right after school could still be in the play. Serena walked up Constance’s wide central stairwell to the fourth floor to retrieve her coat from her locker and see if anyone wanted to hang out until six. All around her, girls were flying past, a blur of end-of-the-day energy, rushing to their next meeting, practice, rehearsal, or club. Out of habit, they paused for half a second to say hello to Serena, because ever since they could remember, to be seen talking to Serena van der Woodsen was to be seen.
“Hey Serena,” Laura Salmon yelled before diving down the stairs for Glee Club in the basement music room.
“Later, Serena,” Rain Hoffstetter said, as she slipped past in her gym shorts, heading for soccer practice.
“See you tomorrow, Serena,” Lily Reed said softly, blushing because she was wearing her riding breeches, which always embarrassed her.
“Bye,” Carmen Fortier said, chewing gum in her leather jacket and jeans. She was one of the few scholarship girls in the junior class and lived in the Bronx. She claimed she couldn’t wear her uniform home or she’d get beaten up. Carmen was headed to the Art of Floral Design Club, although she always lied to her friends in her neighborhood and said she took karate.
Suddenly the hallway was empty. Serena opened her locker, pulled her Burberry coat off the hook, and put it on. Then she slammed her locker shut and trotted downstairs and out the school doors, turning left down Ninety-third Street toward Central Park.
There was a box of orange Tic Tacs in her pocket with only one Tic Tac left. Serena fished the Tic Tac out and put it on her tongue, but she was so worried about her future, she could barely taste it.
She crossed Fifth Avenue, walking along the sidewalk that bordered the park. Fallen leaves scattered the pavement. Down the block, two little Sacred Heart girls in their cute red-and-white checked pinafores were walking an enormous black Rottweiler. Serena thought about entering the park at Eighty-ninth Street and sitting down for a while to kill time before the play rehearsal. But alone? What would she do, people-watch? She had always been one of those people everyone else watches.
So she went home.
Home was 994 Fifth Avenue, a ritzy, white-glove building next to the Stanhope Hotel and directly across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The van der Woodsens owned half of the top floor. Their apartment had fourteen rooms, including five bedrooms with private bathrooms, a maid’s apartment, a ballroom-sized living room, and two seriously cool lounges with wet bars and huge entertainment systems.
When Serena got home the enormous apartment was empty. Her parents were rarely home. Her father ran the same Dutch shipping firm his great-great-grandfather had founded in the 1700s. Both her parents were on the boards of all the big charities and arts organizations in the city and always had meetings or lunches or fundraisers to go to. Deidre, the maid, was out shopping, but the place was spotless and there were vases of fresh cut flowers in every room, including the bathrooms.
Serena slid open the door to the smaller of the lounges and flopped down on her favorite blue velvet armchair. She picked up the remote control and pressed the buttons to open the TV cabinet and turn on the flat-screen TV. She flipped through the channels impatiently, unable to focus on anything she saw, finally settling on TRL, even though she thought Carson Daly was the most annoying man alive. She hadn’t been watching much TV lately. At boarding school, her dormmates would make popcorn and hot chocolate and watch Saturday Night Live or Jackass in their pajamas, but Serena preferred to slip away to drink peach schnapps and smoke cigars with the boys in the chapel basement.
But what bothered her most now was not Carson Daly or even the fact that she was sitting alone in her house with nothing to do, but the thought that she might spend the rest of her life doing just that—watching TV alone in her parents’ apartment—if she didn’t get her act together and get into college! Why was she so stupid? Everyone else seemed to have their shit together. Had she missed the all-important “it’s time to get your shit together” talk? Why hadn’t anyone warned her?
Well, there was no point in freaking out. She still had time. And she could still have fun. She didn’t have to become a nun just because she was joining the Interschool Drama Club, or whatever.
Serena clicked the TV off and wandered into the kitchen. The van der Woodsens’ kitchen was massive. Glass cabinets lined the walls above gleaming, stainless-steel counter tops. There were two restaurant stoves and three Sub-Zero refrigerators. An enormous butcher-block table stood in the center of the kitchen, and on the table was today’s pile of mail.
Serena picked up the mail and sifted through it. Mostly, there were invitations for her parents—white square envelopes printed with old-fashioned typefaces—to balls, benefit dinners, fundraisers, and auctions. Then there were the art openings—postcards with a picture of the artist’s work on one side and the details of the opening on the back. One of these caught Serena’s eye. It had obviously been lost in the mail for a little while, because it looked beaten up, and the opening it announced was beginning at 4 P.M. on Wednesday, which was . . . right now. Serena flipped the card over and looked at the picture of the artist’s work. It looked like a close-up black-and-white photograph of an eye, tinted with pink. The title of the work was Kate Moss. And the name of the show was “Behind the Scene.” Serena squinted at the picture. There was something innocent and beautiful about it, and at the same time it was a little gross. Maybe it wasn’t an eye. She wasn’t sure what it was. It was definitely cool, though. There was no question about it; Serena knew what she was doing for the next two hours.
She flew into her bedroom, whipped off her maroon uniform, and pulled on her favorite pair of black leather jeans. Then she grabbed her coat and called the elevator. Within minutes she was stepping out of a taxi in front of the Whitehot Gallery downtown in Chelsea.
The minute she got there, Serena grabbed a free gin martini and signed the guest list. The gallery was full of twenty-something hipsters in cool clothes, drinking free martinis and admiring the photographs hanging on the walls. Each picture was similar to the one on the postcard, that same close-up black-and-white eye, blown up, all in different shapes and sizes and tinted with different colors. Under each one was a label, and on every label was the name of a celebrity: Kate Moss, Kate Hudson, Joaquin Phoenix, Jude Law, Gisele Bundchen, Cher, Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Elton John.
French pop music bubbled out of invisible speakers. The photo-artists themselves, the Remi brothers, identical twin sons of a French model and an English duke, were being interviewed and photographed for Art Forum, Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New York Times.
Serena studied each photograph carefully. They weren’t eyes, she decided, now that she was looking at them blown up. But what were they? Belly buttons?
Suddenly Serena felt an arm around her waist.
“Hello, ma chèrie. Beautiful girl. What is your name?”
It was one of the Remi brothers. He was twenty-six years old and five foot seven, the same height as Serena. He had curly black hair and brilliant blue eyes. He spoke with a French and British accent. He was dressed head to toe in navy blue, and his lips were dark red and curved foxily up at the corners. He was absolutely gorgeous, and so was his twin brother.
Serena didn’t resist when he pulled her into a photograph with him and his brother for the New York Times Sunday Styles section. One brother stood behind Serena and kissed her neck while the other knelt in front of her and hugged her knees. Around them, people watched greedily, eager to catch a glimpse of the new “it” girl.
Everyone in New York wants to be famous. Or at least see someone who is so they can brag about it later.
The New York Times society reporter recognized Serena from parties a year or so back, but he had to be sure it was her. “Serena van der Woodsen, right?” he said, looking up from his notepad.
Serena blushed and nodded. She was used to being recognized.
“You must model for us,” one of the Remi brothers gasped, kissing Serena’s hand.
“You must,” the other one agreed, feeding her an olive.
Serena laughed. “Sure,” she said. “Why not?” Although she had no idea what she was agreeing to.
One of the Remi brothers pointed to a door marked Private across the gallery. “We’ll meet you in there,” he said. “Don’t be nervous. We’re both gay.”
Serena giggled and took a big gulp of her drink. Were they kidding?
The other brother patted her on the bottom. “It’s all right darling. You’re absolutely stunning, so you’ve got nothing to worry about. Go on. We’ll be there in a minute.”
Serena hesitated, but only for a second. She could keep up with the likes of Christina Aguilera and Joaquin Phoenix. No problem. Chin up, she headed for the door marked Private.
Just then, a guy from the Public Arts League and a woman from the New York Transit Authority came over to talk to the Remi brothers about a new avant-garde public art program. They wanted to put a Remi brothers’ photograph on the sides of buses, in subways, and in the advertising boxes on top of taxis all over town.
“Yes, of course,” the Remis agreed. “If you can wait a moment, we’ll have a brand new one. We can give it to you exclusively!”
“What’s this one called?” the Transit Authority woman asked eagerly.
“Serena,” the Remi boys said in unison.
social awareness is next to godliness
“I found a printer who will do it by tomorrow afternoon and hand deliver each of the invitations so they get there by Friday morning,” Isabel said, looking pleased with herself for being so efficient.
“But look how expensive it is. If we use them, then we’re going to have to cut costs on other things. See how much Takashimaya is charging us for the flowers?”
As soon as they were finished with their Wednesday after-school activities, the Kiss on the Lips organizing committee had convened over French fries and hot chocolate in a booth at the 3 Guys Coffee Shop—Blair, Isabel, Kati, and Tina Ford, from the Seaton Arms School—to deal with the last-minute preparations for the party.
The crisis at hand was the fact that the party was only nine days away, and no one had received an invitation yet. The invitations had been ordered weeks ago, but due to a mix-up the location of the party had to be changed from The Park—a hot new restaurant in lower Chelsea—to the old Barneys building on Seventeenth Street and Seventh Avenue, rendering the invitations useless. The girls were in a tight spot. They had to get a new set of invitations out, and fast, or there wasn’t going to be a party at all.
“But Takashimaya is the only place to get flowers. And it really doesn’t cost much. Oh, come on, Blair, think how cool they’ll be,” Tina whined.
“Yes, it does,” Blair insisted. “And there are plenty of other places to get flowers.”
“Well, maybe we can ask the peregrine falcon people to pitch in,” Isabel suggested. She reached for a French fry, dunked it in ketchup, and popped it into her mouth. “They’ve barely done anything.”
Blair rolled her eyes, and blew into her hot chocolate. “That’s the whole point. We’re raising money for them. It’s a cause.”
Kati wound a lock of her frizzy blond hair around her finger. “What is a peregrine falcon anyway?” she said. “Is it like a woodpecker?”
“No, I think they’re bigger,” Tina said. “And they eat other animals, you know, like rabbits and mice and stuff.”
“Gross,” Kati said.
“I just read a definition of what one was the other day,” Isabel mused. “I can’t remember where I saw it.”
“They’re almost extinct,” Blair added. She thumbed through the list of people they were inviting to the party. There were three hundred and sixteen all together. All young people—no parents, thank God.
Blair’s eyes were automatically drawn to a name toward the bottom of the list: Serena van der Woodsen. The address given was her dorm room at Hanover Academy, in New Hampshire. Blair put the list back down on the table without correcting Serena’s address.
“We’re going to have to spend the extra money on the printer and cut corners where we can,” she said quickly. “I can tell Takashimaya to use lilies instead of orchids and forget about the peacock feathers around the rims of the vases.”
“I can do the invitations,” a small, clear voice said from behind them. “For free.”
The four girls turned around to see who it was.
Oh look, it’s that little Ginny girl, Blair thought. The ninth grader who did the calligraphy in our school hymnals.
“I can do them all by hand tonight and put them in the mail. The materials are the only cost, but I know where to get good quality paper cheap,” Jenny Humphrey said.
“She did all our hymnals at school,” Kati whispered to Tina. “They look really good.”
“Yeah,” Isabel agreed. “They’re pretty cool.”
Jenny blushed and stared at the shiny linoleum floor of the coffee shop, waiting for Blair to make up her mind. She knew Blair was the one who mattered.
“And you’ll do it all for free?” Blair said, suspiciously.
Jenny raised her eyes. “I was kind of hoping that if I did the invites, maybe I could come to the party?” she said.
Blair weighed the pros and cons in her mind. Pros: The invitations would be unique and best of all, free, so they wouldn’t have to skimp on the flowers. Cons: There really weren’t any.
Blair looked the Ginny girl up and down. Their cute little ninth-grade helper with the huge chest. She was a total glutton for punishment, and she’d be totally out of place at the party . . . but who cared?
“Sure, you can make yourself an invitation. Make one for one of your friends, too,” Blair said, handing the guest list over to Jenny.
Blair gave Jenny all the necessary information, and Jenny dashed out of the coffee shop breathlessly. The stores would be closing soon, and she didn’t have much time. The guest list was longer than she’d anticipated, and she’d have to stay up all night working on the invitations, but she was going to the party; that was all that mattered.
Just wait until she told Dan. He was going to freak. And she was going to make him come with her to the party, whether he liked it or not.
gone with the wind gone awry
Two martinis and three rolls of Remi brothers’ film later, Serena jumped out of a cab in front of Constance and ran up the stairs to the auditorium, where the interschool play rehearsal had already begun. As always, she was half an hour late.
The sound of a Talking Heads song being played jauntily on the piano drifted down the hallway. Serena pushed open the auditorium door to find her old friend, Ralph Bottoms III, singing Burning Down the South, to the tune of Burning Down the House, with a completely straight face. He was dressed as Rhett Butler, complete with fake mustache and brass buttons. Ralph had gained weight in the last two years, and his face was ruddy, as if he’d been eating too much rare steak. He was holding hands with a stocky girl with curly brown hair and a heart-shaped face—Scarlett O’Hara. She was singing too, belting out the words in a thick Brooklyn accent.
Serena leaned against the wall to watch, with a mixture of horror and fascination. The scene at the art gallery hadn’t fazed her, but this—this was scary.
When the song ended, the rest of the Interschool Drama Club clapped and cheered, and then the drama teacher, an aged English woman, began to direct the next scene.
“Put your hands on your hips, Scarlett,” she instructed. “Show me, show me. That’s it. Imagine you’re the teen sensation of the Civil War South. You’re breaking all the rules!”
Serena turned to gaze out the window and saw three girls get out of a cab together on the corner of Ninety-third and Madison. She squinted, recognizing Blair, Kati, and Isabel. Serena hugged herself, warding off the strange feeling that had been stalking her since she’d come back to the city. For the first time in her entire life, she felt left out.
Without a word to anyone in the drama club—Hello? Goodbye!—Serena slipped out of the auditorium and into the hallway outside. The wall was littered with flyers and notices and she stopped to read them. One of the flyers was for Vanessa Abrams’s film tryout.
Knowing Vanessa, the film was going to be very serious and obscure, but it was better than shouting goofy songs and doing the Hokey-Pokey with fat, red-faced Ralph Bottoms III. Vanessa’s tryout had started an hour ago, on a bench in Madison Square Park, but maybe it was still going on. Once again, Serena found herself running for a cab, headed downtown.
“This is how I want you to do it,” Vanessa told Marjorie Jaffe, a sophomore at Constance and the only girl who had shown up to try out for the role of Natasha in Vanessa’s film. Marjorie had curly red hair and freckles, a little pug nose, and no neck. She chewed gum incessantly, and she was completely, nightmarishly, wrong for the part.
The sun was setting, and Madison Square Park was basked in a pretty pink glow. The air had the distinct smell of New York in autumn, a mixture of smoking fireplaces, dried leaves, steaming hot dogs, dog pee, and bus exhaust.
Daniel was lying on his back on the park bench the way Vanessa had told him to, a wounded soldier, with his limbs sprawled out pathetically. Wounded in war and in love, he was tragically pale and thin and rumpled-looking. A little glass crack pipe lay on his chest. Lucky Vanessa had found it on the street in Williamsburg that weekend. It was the perfect prop for her sexily damaged prince.
“I’m going to read Natasha’s lines. Watch carefully,” she told Marjorie. “Okay Dan, let’s go.”
“Haven’t you been asleep?” Vanessa-as-Natasha said, peering at Dan-as-Prince Andrei.
“No, I have been looking at you for a long time. I knew by instinct that you were here. No one except you gives me such a sense of gentle restfulness . . . such light! I feel like weeping from very joy,” Dan-as-Prince Andrei said quietly.
Vanessa knelt at his head, her face radiant with solemn delight.
“Natasha, I love you too dearly! More than all the world!” Dan gasped, trying to sit up and then sinking back on the bench as if in pain.
He said he loved her! Vanessa grabbed his hand, her face flushed red at the thrill of it. She was completely caught up in the moment. Then she remembered herself, let go of Dan’s hand, and stood up.
“Now your turn,” she told Marjorie.
“ ’Kay,” Marjorie said, chewing her gum with her mouth open. She pulled the scrunchy out of her wiry red hair and fluffed it up with her hand. Then she knelt down by Dan’s bench and held up the script. “Ready?” she asked him.
“Haven’t you been asleep?” Marjorie said, batting her eyes flirtatiously and cracking her gum.
Dan closed his eyes and said his line. He could get through this without laughing if he kept his eyes closed.
Halfway through the scene, Marjorie put on a fake Russian accent. It was unbelievably bad.
Vanessa suffered in silence, wondering what she was going to do without a Natasha. For a moment she imagined buying a wig and playing the part herself, getting someone else to shoot it for her. But it was her project; she had to film it.
Just then, someone nudged her arm and whispered, “Do you mind if I try when she’s done?”
Vanessa turned to find Serena van der Woodsen standing beside her, a little breathless from running across the park. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were as dark as the twilit sky. Serena was her Natasha, if ever there was one.
Daniel bolted upright, forgetting his injuries and his line. The crack pipe rolled to the ground.
“Wait, we’re not done,” Marjorie said. She prodded Dan in the arm. “You’re supposed to kiss my hand.”
Dan stared at her blankly.
“Sure,” Vanessa told Serena. “Marjorie, do you mind giving Serena your script?”
Serena and Marjorie traded places. Dan had his eyes open now. He didn’t dare blink.
They began to read.
“I have been looking at you for a long time,” Dan said, meaning every word.
Serena knelt down beside him and took his hand. Dan felt faint, and he was grateful he was lying down.
Whoa. Easy boy.
He had been in lots of plays, but he had never felt that thing called “chemistry” before with anyone. And to be feeling it with Serena van der Woodsen was like dying an exquisite death. It felt like he and Serena were sharing the same breath. He was inhale and she was exhale. He was quiet and still, while she exploded around him like fireworks.
Serena was enjoying herself too. The script was beautiful and passionate, and this scruffy Dan guy was a really good actor.
I could get into this, she thought with a little thrill. She had never really thought about what she wanted to do with her life, but maybe acting was her thing.
They kept reading beyond the given stopping point. It was as though they’d forgotten they were acting. Vanessa frowned. Serena was great—they were great together—but Dan was swooning. It was totally nauseating.
Boys are so predictable, Vanessa thought and cleared her throat noisily. “Thanks, Serena. Thanks, Dan.” She pretended to scribble comments in her notebook. “I’ll let you know tomorrow, okay?” she told Serena. In your dreams, she wrote.
“That was fun!” Serena said, smiling at Dan.
Dan gazed up at her dreamily from the bench, still hungover from the moment.
“Marjorie, I’ll let you know tomorrow, too. Okay?” Vanessa told the redhead.
“ ’Kay,” Marjorie said. “Thanks.”
Dan sat up, blinking.
“Thanks so much for letting me try out,” Serena said sweetly, turning to go.
“See you later,” Dan said, sounding drugged.
“Bye,” Marjorie said, waving at him, and then rushing after Serena.
“Let’s practice your monologue, Dan,” Vanessa said sharply. “I want to shoot that first.”
“Which subway are you taking?” Marjorie asked Serena, as they walked out of the park.
“Um,” Serena said. She never took the subway, but it wouldn’t kill her to ride with Marjorie. “The 6, I guess,” she said.
“Hey, me too,” Marjorie said happily. “We can ride together.”
It was rush hour, and the subway was packed. Serena found herself jammed between a woman with a huge Daffy’s bag and a fat little boy with nothing to hold onto but Serena’s coat, which he kept grabbing every time the train lurched forward. Marjorie was holding onto the rail above their heads, but only her fingertips could reach it, and she kept staggering backwards, stepping on people’s feet.
“Don’t you think Dan is majorly cute?” Marjorie asked Serena. “I can’t wait until we start filming. I’ll get to hang out with him every day!”
Serena smiled. Obviously Marjorie thought she’d gotten the part, which was a little sad, because Serena was absolutely sure that she had the part. She had totally nailed it.
Serena imagined getting to know Dan. She wondered which school he went to. He had dark, haunting eyes, and he said his lines like he meant them. She liked that. They’d have to practice quite a bit together after school. She wondered if he liked to go out, and what he liked to drink.
The train came to a sudden stop at Fifty-ninth Street and Lexington—Bloomingdale’s. Serena fell forward onto the little boy.
“Ouch,” he said, glaring up at her.
“This is my stop,” Marjorie said, pushing her way to the door. “Sorry if you didn’t get the part. I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”
“Good luck!” Serena called. The subway car emptied out and she slid into a seat, her mind still on Dan.
She imagined drinking Irish coffees with him in dark cafés and discussing Russian literature. Dan looked like he read a lot. He could give her books to read and help her with her acting. Maybe they’d even become friends. She could use some new ones.
Disclaimer: All the real names of places, people, and events have been altered or abbreviated to protect the innocent. Namely, me.
I was in an interschool play once. I had one great line: “Iceberg!” Guess which play I was in and what I was dressed as? The one hundredth person to get it right will win a free Remi brothers poster.
But enough about me.
Äàòà äîáàâëåíèÿ: 2015-09-15; ïðîñìîòðîâ: 7; Íàðóøåíèå àâòîðñêèõ ïðàâ