Read-Your-Own Romance - The Big Day Off! Originally published in 2002 by BlueCatBooks This e-book version © Adam Deverell 2010 email@example.com
Read-Your-Own Romance Series © BlueCatBooks
Have you ever had to make a decision? Not something really important. Just a simple decision. Like, which jeans to wear out Saturday night. Or what TV show you’ll watch tonight.
But every decision you make can lead you down different paths.
Some paths are golden and syrupy.
Some are rocky and treacherous.
This series is about decisions such as these.
‘I love you,’ says Kyle, as he cups his hands gently around your face and draws your lips to his.
You’re going to kiss Kyle Kissmore! Is there anything in the universe more beautiful, more cosmically delicious, than this?
Ever since you became a famous actor in Spunky Hunks, one of the world’s most popular soaps, there has never been a dull moment. You’ve had glossy photographs in Teen-Zeen Magazine and an economy brand of perfume named after you. And, of course, you get to kiss heart-throbs like Kyle Kissmore.
You have such a wonderful life!
Oh Kyle!’ you sigh. But before your eager lips can touch his, he suddenly grasps you by the shoulders and begins to shake you.
‘Do I have to drag you out of bed?’ he shouts.
Kyle, what are you doing?’
‘Getting you out of bed, lazy.’
Why is Kyle treating you this way? ‘But I want to kiss you,’ you cry.
You open your eyes.
Instead of the smooth adoring face of Kyle, you’re staring at . . . your mother.
She shakes her head and mutters, ‘I don’t think I can cope with much more of this.’
You lie despondently under the covers. It should have been the perfect ending to the greatest dream ever. But now the dream has ended and reality awaits. And that means school!
Worse still it’s Monday morning. So it’s Calculus and Science. Another day of thinking up reasons for not having done your home-work. Then on to dissect innocent little frogs. Is there anything worse than Mondays?
‘Morning, ugly!’ yells your brother, barging into your room.
‘Get out you little centipede!’ you scream diplomatically.
‘What’re you doing today?’ he demands.
Boy, what a totally zero-head question!
Reluctantly you answer him.‘I’m going to school.’
He’s getting dumber by the day. ‘Because it’s Monday and on Mondays I go to school. Weird, isn’t it?’
‘But it’s Curriculum Day.’
Curriculum Day! C-Day is for teachers from your school, Lower Heights College, to sit in their staffrooms, complain, and dream up more tortures for innocent students.
You’d completely forgotten. It’s C-Day! There’s no school. THERE’S NO SCHOOL!
‘I love you!’ you cry, giving your shocked brother a kiss. ‘THERE’S NO SCHOOL!’
You collapse back into bed feeling almost as happy as if you’d found your special shade of super-brill lipgloss on sale for half price.
You lie in bed feeling great. It’s C-Day. What to do with an entire day alone? It doesn’t get any better than this. Your mother and father at work, and your brother, as always, playing video games with his zero-head friends.
Right, when your family is gone, the fun begins.
Meantime, your dad’s having his usual early morning panic attack. ‘Has anyone seen my tie? It’s disappeared off the face of the earth!’
‘Are you wearing it?’ your mother asks helpfully.
‘Thanks dear, I’m not that stupid. I’m sure if I was wearing my tie I’d notice . . . ’ his voice trails off as he looks down at his tie.
Several hectic minutes later they’re ready to leave. As usual, everyone takes turns giving you advice.
‘Keep the house tidy and the door locked.’
‘Have a constructive day doing homework.’
‘If you look in my drawers, I’ll kill you.’
Today nothing can spoil your mood. ‘See you all tonight,’ you chirp.
Now, how to spend a glorious day alone?
What a pity your best friend Petula Silver has the measles, or together you would take C-Day apart.
You’re on your own and right now you feel like doing two things, both requiring low levels of brain power and energy – sleep and TV!
If you want to stay in bed and continue your affair with fame, fortune and Kyle Kissmore, slip under the covers on
11 Dream On
Your bedroom cupboard looms ominously over you. You reach out to tug the door open, feeling like an explorer ready to begin a journey of awesome discovery.
But the cupboard door won’t move.
You pull a little harder, and then you tug with all your might.
It’s no good. The door is stuck fast.
Maybe, if you wedge your metal ruler between the cracks, you could pry it loose. You slide the ruler in and give it a good shake.
You hear the wood screech angrily as it resists. Slowly, very slowly, the door is opening. Your hand shakes nervously. What lies waiting to be found within these dark inner recesses?
You grasp the handle and with several violent jerks the door opens at last.
Clothes, school folders, shoes, sport equip-ment, dolls and old CDs come tumbling down like a huge wave. It dumps you onto the ground with force and fury.
You scream and flay your arms around trying to keep afloat, but it’s no good. This thing is bigger than you.
Beneath the sea of debris it is dark, and you fear you may drown. After a quick bout of hysterics you settle down. You can’t move your arms or legs. You can only lie still, hope and wait.
Six desperate hours pass and you have almost lost any hope of rescue.
Where are your parents when you need them? They’re probably on a coffee break at work, fighting over triple-layered chocolate cookies.
Finally the door opens and you hear the welcome sound of footsteps.
‘Boy, is your sister’s room messy!’
It’s Ronald, your brother’s best friend. You desperately try to cry out, but your voice is just a muffled squeak.
Your brother is with him. ‘Yeah, she’s a real pig. Wow, this is really messy, even for her. Dad’s gonna kill her. C’mon Ronny, let’s go look at my basketball cards.’
Your longed-for rescuers hurry away down the hall.
‘Get back here you little creeps,’ you wheeze.
It’s too late, they’re gone. An entire C-Day spent under a mound of rubbish. What a waste.
Still, you’ve learned a valuable lesson. Some things in life are better left unopened.
Dean reluctantly pulls away. You may have ruined your chance of kissing one of the most gorgeous guys on the planet.
‘Sorry dude. I drive in the fast lane, looks like you’re stuck in first gear.’
‘I beg your pardon?’
‘You’re a babe, don’t get me wrong. But you’re a ba-by as well. Know what I’m sayin’?’
You know what Dean is saying, and it’s absolute rubbish. You’re not going to put up with this, even from a Surf-God. ‘Are you calling me immature just because I don’t want to get with a pizza boy I hardly know?’
‘Hey dude,’ says Dean, ‘sorry for upsetting ya. I’m out of here.’
He jumps from the sofa and makes for the door. Wow, does he have the best set of legs ever. How can you let a pair of legs like his walk out of your life?
‘Um.’ (Think, girl, think. You’ve got to make Dean see you’re not a baby, but you’re not one of his beach bimbos either.) ‘Have you ever had a girlfriend you really liked?’ You’re not really sure where you’re going with this. At least it stops Dean before he leaves.
He thinks this over. ‘You mean really like?’
You nod your head.
‘Man, that’s a tough one. Um, there’ve been a few girls I liked a lot, but not really, really liked.’
‘So you’ve never been in love?’
‘Yeah, I’m in love right at this moment. I’m in love with my board and my jeep.’
‘I meant with a girl.’
‘Oh,’ says Dean getting your drift, ‘right, with a chick. Nope, I haven’t. Weird, hey?’
Now you have him. ‘Do you know why you’ve never been in love?’
‘Cause I haven’t met a supermodel yet?’ he replies seriously.
‘No,’ you sigh. (Dean is as shallow as a rock pool when the tide’s out. )‘It’s because you go for looks and not the person. And you’re too fast. You should get to know the girl first. No one can fall in love with somebody just because they’re a great kisser.’
You expect him to say, ‘Well, I could.’ Instead he shakes his shaggy dog hair. ‘Yeah, I see what you’re sayin’. Cool idea.’
‘Then you can kiss them.’ You still haven’t forgotten Dean’s luscious lips so close to yours.
‘Gnarly idea. I’m gonna try it. Thanks dude!’
You’re disappointed to see him leave. Still, sorting out Dean’s love life gives you a feeling of satisfaction. Maybe you could be a relationship therapist when you’re older? Not as good as a surfie-chick, but worth thinking about.
You can feel the cogs slowly grinding inside your brain. You never thought that it could be so difficult writing about happy and joyful feelings. Why is it you can’t think of one good thing in your life?
There must be something!
How about –
shooting three-pointers in basketball
gossiping about cute boys
getting full marks in an Algebra test.
No, that’s silly.
Real poetry is about love, leaves falling upon wet grass and the rising moon. The only problem is you don’t care about trees or the sky. You want to write about something that interests you.
How about puppy dogs? They’re so cute and cuddly, you’re sure you could write a poem about puppy dogs.
We had a beautiful pup named Jip,
But the back of the sofa he loved to rip. Also Dad’s paper and his shoes,
The morning papers and a computer fuse. Finally when he smashed our best china dish We had to settle for a boring goldfish.
You like this poem, though it makes you sad to think about Jip being sent away to Uncle Derick’s farm and replaced with a goldfish. Your dad said he’d be happier rolling in cow manure than stuck inside sleeping by your brother’s feet. You can’t see why. Your brother’s feet would be just as smelly.
Oh, what’s the use? If the most interesting thing you can write about is Jip, you must lead a boring life. Why can’t you write about Hawaii in summer, or travelling down the Nile in a bark canoe?
Because you’re just a schoolgirl and only grown-ups get to do anything remotely exciting. But all that’s ages away, and you don’t want to wait that long.
And why should you?
You can look like a sophisticated woman if you want to! In fact you’re going to begin dressing and behaving like one today. Then you’ll be able to write truly wonderful poetry.
‘Here goes nothing,’ you shout and jam down the accelerator.
Your go-kart surges towards a tight corner.
Vic slows to a crawl as he negotiates the tricky turn giving you your chance. With
You’re going to pass him on the curve. What a fantastic manoeuvre, and against the National Champion.
You are too confident. You come out of the corner sharply. The kart spins out of control, hits the barrier at high speed and strikes a safety tyre.
You crash out of the track and soar into the air. All you can do is hold on.
You might be okay, if it wasn’t for the concrete wall ahead. You strike it hard and somebody turns off the lights.
‘Yes, it’s a miracle she’s not seriously injured. But what I’m worried about is whose car she’ll be learning to drive in.’
‘She can’t drive my little car. It couldn’t take a knock like that go-kart received.’
‘Well, she certainly isn’t driving mine. It took eleven years of overtime to save for that car. I’m not having her smash it into some great concrete pole.’
‘It’s your fault she drives like a maniac, she takes after you!’
You struggle to shake off the pile of bricks that seems to be strapped to your head. Where are you? Who are you? And who are these two loud, vulgar people arguing by your bed?
‘Go away, I want to get some sleep. My head hurts,’ you cry.
‘Thank goodness you’re okay. We were so worried,’ says the woman with a nose like a toucan bird.
‘Did you hit your head?’ asks the man with a bad hairstyle.
‘Of course I hit my head you silly baboon, what do you think this bump is? A mosquito bite?’
‘Why you cheeky little . . . ’ says the baboon crossly.
‘Dear, remember she’s had a nasty accident. She’s not herself.’
‘Yeah, listen to what granny is saying, pops.’
‘Granny!’ the toucan bird screams. ‘I’m not even fifty.’
‘Calm down,’ says the baboon. ‘Remember, she’s not herself.’
‘Of course I’m myself, who else would I be?’ you cry. What a ridiculous thing to say. Everybody knows who you are – the most famous racing driver ever who’s just about to win your fifth race in a row.
If you could only get back to the race . . .
‘Will you two go and check the engine’s air pressure and change the oil in the car? Wet slicks would be best for the next big race.’
Now, where are the brakes and steering wheel in this bed?
The kitchen cupboard is like a display centre of the food groups. Sorted in neat rows are apples, wholemeal pasta, muesli, health bread and free-range eggs.
Just the sort of food for a growing girl watching her figure and facial blemishes.
Then why do you have such a craving for gooey, oily hamburgers and a can of Passion-Pop?
Face it, today is the perfect chance to guts out. You’re ready to whack together something high in calories and sugar, while incredibly low in nutritional value.
You have the entire day, so why not make a meal of it? But, what to make?
In cooking classes you blitzed with sweet pancakes. Your mouth waters as you imagine a stack of golden pancakes dripping with syrup and melted ice cream.
Then again pancakes means cooking and cooking means work. Slaving over a hotplate surrounded by messy bowls and leftover ingredients tends to spoil things.
Now home-delivered pizza, that’s different. There’s nothing like a Super Eater Beater from Big Tony’s Pizza, especially with extra garlic bread and a free bottle of Passion-Pop.
You have to decide fast. Your stomach tells you to hurry up. It wants food and it wants food now.
Discarded school reports, old birthday cards and bent photographs and the like are thrown onto the floor, as you begin to sift through what amounts to the treasures of your life.
It’s a sad story.
Your life has been one of third placings in swimming carnivals and the odd achievement award for grade six spelling tests. But hey, you are happy enough dog paddling in the pool of averageness.
The few kids you know who can whiz through algebra problems in less time it takes you to eat a bowl of cornflakes can’t even dribble a basketball. And those who play basketball as if they play for the National Team think calculus is an old-fashioned calculator.
Maybe it’s a good thing to be middle of the road.
As you hastily sort your dubious collection, you find a bag full of love notes written to you by admiring boys. You don’t know why you’ve kept them. They’re really lame. They’re not even real love notes! Just things like –
Boys don’t get much better with age. Now they just write crude jokes that make you groan. Still, a note of silly scribbling is better than no note at all. You’ll just have to wait until the guys in your class grow up, which admittedly may be a long time.
On top of your drawers is just as untidy. You sweep away the tissues and sort out the CDs into their containers. You find two junk mail offers you’ve only glanced at before. One has a picture of a go-kart and screams at you:DRIVE LIKE THE WIND AT NEW CENTURY MOTORWAY! 5 FREE LAPS!! Your brother would love go-karting. You make a mental note not to give it to him. The second is a 25% discount at any shop in the new Sunnyworth Shoppingtown.
Great! Your babysitting money never lasts long there.
Going out for the day would be a lot better than sifting through your junk. Go-karting
sounds exciting and you’re a sucker for a shopping bargain.
Go-karting could be the perfect chance to start learning for your drivers test. If you want to drive like your father (fast with a lot of rude signs at the driver in the slow lane), grab the bus on18 Life in the Fast Lane
‘You only go out with Virgo chicks? Hey, what a coincidence. Guess what? I was born on September the . . . ’ (What month are Virgos born? It’s around August or September.) Taking a lucky stab you say, ‘Um, 1st?’
‘Hey, you are a Virgo Chick!’ Dean says. (You sigh with relief.) ‘I knew you were, I could feel the vibes.’
Dean moves closer, which immediately sends you into a spin. You’ve never sat so close to a Surf-God before.
He leans over and whispers in your ear, ‘I love Virgos. They’re so, tuned in. I met some real hot Virgos last summer. They do it for me, you know what I’m sayin’?’ (You’re not sure if you do.) ‘And you know what I really like about Virgos?’ Dean asks.
You shake your head and gulp.
His mouth is close to your ear now. ‘They’re the greatest kissers ever.’
‘Are they?’ you stammer.
Dean places a strong hand on your leg and his other arm slides snake-like across your shoulder.
‘Dean, would you like another slice of pizza? There’s a load left,’ you say desperately.
It’s silly really. When you see a cool guy at school you think how great it would to be alone with him. Now you’re sitting next to a surf-god and you’re scared.
Hey, you hardly know each other!
Dean kisses your earlobe and slowly lets his mouth wander across your cheek. In a few more seconds he’ll have reached your lips and what then? You’re out of your depth. You could stop now, but do you really want to?
If you want to sail the raging seas of love, cast off on
48 Kiss & Miss
You gargle with peppermint mouthwash, and try to rid yourself of the terrible aftertaste from Dean’s Super Eater Beater kiss.
You’ll think twice before ordering pizza next time!
Dean comes back carrying a guitar. The shoulder strap is embroidered with tepees and buffaloes. ‘I bought it in Nebraska at a totally cool Indian reservation. They reckoned it was blessed by the spirits,’ says Dean proudly.
‘That’s nice,’ you reply.
You wonder if you can have homework blessed? You’d love to see Mr Pirak’s face when you hand him a 10/10 algebra assignment six weeks in a row.
Dean sits the guitar on his knee and strokes it affectionately. You see a gentle side of him you didn’t guess was there.
‘These tunes are gonna go off. You wanna rap along?’he asks.
‘No, I’m not much of a singer,’ you say.
Dean strums a chord.
He’s wonderful. The guitar really must be blessed! From it comes a dreamy, melodic smoothness, which reminds you of caramel chocolate. Smooth notes, blissfully surrounding by a sweet cream.
‘I’ve searched for the right girl for so many years, and now I’ve found her,’ Dean sings in an angelic voice that gives you the shivers. ‘But she don’t love me, she’d rather eat a pizza from a pizza place.’
He breaks into a wistful and heartfelt instrumental break.
‘Beautiful,’ you sigh as Dean finishes. ‘I’ve never heard music like that before. You could be a professional.’
‘Yeah, I guess I could. Not that I want to.’
‘Why not? With the truckloads of money rock stars make you could buy your own beach.’
‘It’d be a drag. I’d be hassled everywhere I went. And all those chicks! They’d be swarming around me even more than they do now!’ (And if your head got any bigger it’d burst into a million pieces, you think.) ‘I’m happy surfin’, travellin’ and deliverin’ pizzas.’
‘Don’t you want to be famous?’ you gasp.
‘Nah, I don’t. I just wanna spend my life shootin’ the breeze and playin’ tunes to chicks like you.’
Dean certainly has a way with words.
You could get to really like him, even if he does kiss like an elephant. He begins a fresh tune and you lean back on the couch and let yourself drift along the sweetflowing river of love.
You rummage through your mother’s cosmetics bag which is filled with bottles of dried up nail gloss and mascara.
When was the last time she bought some new gear – the late seventies?!
The solitary bottle of perfume looks suspiciously like last year’s Christmas present from your father. When your mother opened it she said sarcastically, ‘Thank you dear. And such a bargain too.’ (Your dad had left the price on the bottle.)
What a disappointment. You may not have a load of great cosmetics, but you have more than your mother!
How can you become a succulent beauty, whose smile brings cameras to life, without the right make-up? And it could have been so much fun modelling in front of the mirror.
Still, you can’t blame your mother. What more can you expect from a middle-aged woman who wears last century fashions?
Tanya Markworthy listens to your moaning with sympathy. There’s nothing better than having a good complain on the phone. And since your best friend Petula is sick, a phone call to Tanya is the next best thing.
‘And I know with the right shade of lipgloss and eye shadow I could look really great,’ you say to Tanya.
‘You’d look abso-terrific in pastels,’ Tanya replies.
‘And if I dyed my hair . . . ’
‘I think your hair is wonderful as it is, it’s really natural.’
‘And if I had better clothes and became more confident . . . ’
‘The guys like you already. You’re really popular.’
You’ve always wondered why you like Tanya. Now you know. She sucks up to you and says all the right things.
‘Tanya, I just feel like a little kid. I want to be a sophisticated, sexy woman.’
‘Hey, I know. Why don’t you come around to my place and I’ll give you a make over. I’ve got the Teen-Zeen Make-Me-Up special and I bet my sister would let me use her curling gear.’
‘That’d be great Tan, but the olds will be home soon. Besides, I should be getting my homework done.’
‘Come on, it’ll be cool. Forget about homework, it’s C-Day. You’re supposed to be having fun!’
Hugging Sunny, the fluffy bunny, you slide back into the misty world of dreams. Kyle Kissmore materialises before your bewitched eyes wearing a suit as white as frosted marzipan. He sips a cocktail and stares at the tropical paradise of palm trees and rolling surf beyond your luxury home.
You’ve just come back from the Starwell Casino where you’ve lost millions on the roulette wheel and you don’t even care – there’s plenty more where that came from. How will you spend the rest of the night? You shiver in anticipation.
As you approach Dream Boy you see someone at his side. Strange, you could have sworn he was by himself. Then you see his companion. It’s Petula Silver!
She looks like a 50s movie star in a fabulous low-cut red cocktail dress, diamond necklace and frizzy perm. She cuddles up to your beloved Kyle.
‘Honey bungle, when’s the Beastie coming back?’ she purrs.
‘Don’t remind me,’ Kyle snarls. ‘I curse the day I met her on Spunky Hunks!’ ‘At least you have me.’ Petula rubs her hands up and down Kyle’s back.
‘Stop crying, I have a question for you.’
You look up. Mr Pirak, your Algebra teacher, stands in front of you.