Molly Pinkstaff, Staff Writer

I wake up to my phone blasting Sleeping With Siren’s Do It Now and Remember It Later. I push my book off of my chest, I must’ve fallen asleep reading and dropped my book on my face. I grab my phone and hit the green answer button and hold my phone to my ear. “Hello?” “Is this Lana Starr?” I run my hand through my hair. “Yes?” “Hello. This is Clark Benetton and I work for Leevi Publishing, that is L-E-E-V-I and I am very interested in your blog.” “What? You actually read my blog? Why are you calling me?” I laugh nervously. “Yes, I read your blog Ms. Starr. I would actually like to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I would like to buy your book once it is finished. I don’t think that Leevi Publishing has a Lana Starr. Am I the only one who has contacted you?” At this point in time, I decide to play hard to get. “No, you’re not. I’ve got several offers standing, but I’m not sure which publishing company I am going to choose.” This is a total lie. I swing my feet off of my bed and into my sea-foam green Converse. While Clark Benetton rambles on unimportant information about Leevi Publishing and why I should choose them, I lace my shoes and untangle my hair. When that’s done (which untangling my hair does take a long time) I gather up my bundle of dirty clothes off of the floor and send them down the laundry shoot that my aunt had installed once her youngest child hit 5 years old and laundry became a huge burden. “Does this sound okay?” Clark Benetton asks. “Umm…Yes, actually. I think that I am going to go ahead and accept your offer.” Duh. Why wouldn’t I?!?! “Really? Wow. I’ll fax you the proper documents that you will need to sign. And-” “Wait. How did you find my blog?” Chuckles on the other end. “We had a request this morning to read it. I figured I might as well give it a whirl.” Hmm…I’m not quite sure about what to make of that.

I sit on my bed and bookmark my page in The One by Kiera Cass, the book that assaulted my face. “We’ll be in touch, Ms. Starr. Thank you for choosing Leevi Publishing.” I give a rushed bye and hang up the phone, staring at the number on my screen. What…..just…….happened? I pick up my iPod Nano with the touchscreen and put it in my pocket and stomp downstairs, alerting everyone at breakfast to my arrival. “Well, you’re late.” My uncle turns a page of his newspaper. “Sorry, I was on the phone with my publisher.” I say breezily. My aunt drops her fork. “What? Your WHAT?” Mike grins at me from across the table. Amelia spills her milk across the table and starts to cry. Jules hits her across the head with the Funnies section from the newspaper. Both girls get sent to their rooms. I clear my throat. “Yup. You’re right. I got a call from Leevi Publishing. They liked my blog and they want to get my stories out there. I’ve written like, three books.”

My uncle spits out his coffee. “That’s what you’ve been working on?” I blush and hide my face in my Pop-Tart. I’m not fully functional until I’ve had a coffee, and not only that, I’m not used to this much attention lately. “Um, yeah.” My uncle stands and hugs me. “That’s my girl!” I’m pretty sure my whole face is red. “AMELIA, LINDSEY, JULES! BUS!” My aunt dries her hands on a dish towel and puts her hands on her hips. Amelia and Jules run down the stairs in matching outfits and backpacks. Lindsey takes longer because she has to put on makeup, fine tune her outfits, and make sure everything matches. My uncle yells at her to get a move on because he’s not driving her to school again and that last time was the last time. My aunt checks her hair and runs out the door because she’s almost late for her fancy job. 1 2 3 steps take me to the sink. I rinse my plate off and then put it in the dishwasher. “I’m going out with my friends, I’ll be back around 5.” I take out my phone and tap out a text message to Maika and tell her to gather all of our friends and meet me at McDonalds. Samantha comes downstairs and throws herself on the couch sighing loudly. She has a dentist appointment. My uncle stands up and brushes crumbs from his pop-tart off of his suit and grabs his briefcase. “Mike, I’m trusting that you’re really sick and not skipping. Lana, here.” My uncle hands me a $100 bill. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how rich my aunt and uncle are. Mike and I exchange small talk while I put my bag together. Wallet, phone, laptop, I double-checked to see if I had my money, and by the time Maika pulls up in her Convertible, I’m ready to go.

Maika and Bentley walk straight into the house and make themselves at home, Bentley going straight to ice cream in the fridge. Maika jumps on my back and makes me give her a piggyback ride to the car. We drive to the mall, and stop for ice cream along the way, even though Bentley already ate some. “Do you ever wonder what will happen when we go to college?” Maika asks, keeping her eyes on the road. Bentley doesn’t answer. She’ll probably be shipped off to some fancy college in Germany, or some other foreign country. But that still doesn’t stop the wave of nostalgia that flows through me like an electric current. And right there, in that moment, talking about our life changing forever, nothing could break these bonds. But there, talking about college and moving away, all of those were life-changing scenarios. But none of those conversations could ever prepare us for what would happen next.