These past few weeks were literally like a dream come true. Living with THE Jenny Sanderson was exactly like I’d envisioned: late night popcorn fights, gigglefests over the latest Starlight Shores gossip, makeovers, braiding hair chains, the list went on and on. I was so girlied-up that I thought my female meter might go off the charts and explode into cute chibi stuffed animals.
As Jenny painted my toenails, I gazed at her perfectly upturned nose and clear skin. She was breathtaking just to look at. I felt a twinge inside. Like a connection to a person I knew I’d be friends with for all my life. “Why are you so nice to me?” I asked.
“What’s that, honey?” she sang, not looking up.
I shrugged. “I don’t know…you’ve just treated me like a true friend when you never knew me from a hole in the wall before. Most people wouldn’t try so hard, but you…you’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met.”
She chuckled nervously. “I-I’m not that nice. Just take a look at your walls, sweetheart. If I was a saint, I’d put Charlie back for you.”
I smiled. “I don’t mind them anymore.”
“Ah HA!” She waved the nailpolish brush around. “So you WILL go out with my brother.”
Shaking my head, I said, “Nope. Just because I like you doesn’t mean I’ll like him. He’s too much of a diva. Sorry…I don’t want to be mean…”
“That’s what the tabloids say about him. It’s so not true, babycakes. Take a chance! Just one date and I’ll stop pestering you.”
A twinge of guilt nagged at me. I tried to think about going out with James. Girls cried in his presence and he couldn’t give them the time of day. He was notorious for not handing out autographs when all the other guys in the band did–especially Charlie. Now HE was someone I wanted to date. Not just because he was easy on the eyes, but because he was so good to his fans, too. He cared about them. Anyone who could be that unselfish was tops in my comic book. But I was wrong about getting access to him through Jenny. She said she didn’t have much contact with the band even though her brother headlined. I’d heard that about famous people not really letting in their family. Another strike against James. Too bad he wasn’t like his sister–I’d date him in a heartthrob heartbeat.
“My God, would you look at those hangnails. Girl, when was the last time you had a decent manicure?”
“Since never,” I confessed. “Seems like a big waste of time and money. I’m not famous and rich like you.”
She blew on my nails to help them dry. “I’m not famous. That’s my brother. Thank God, too, or I wouldn’t be able to function.”
“You’re famous to me,” I said, “I fangirled hard when I saw you at my door.” I still got out of body moments when looking at Jenny holding my hand. This was so surreal. I went from her biggest fan to her best friend in a few weeks.
In the end, I hated my nails any color but natural so I wiped off all the nail polish. Jenny shook her head at me, “What did you do, pretty kitten? I spent all that time painting those.”
“I’m sorry, Jenny…it’s just not me. I’m not gorgeous like you are. I can’t pull off nail polish and make up and fluffy hair.”
She grazed her hands over my cheeks. “Are you kidding? You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve seen. I like that you’re not all made up. You don’t need anything. You have natural beauty.”
“You’re such a little liar!” I said, trying to hide a smile. “You’re always nagging me to do my hair or go out with make up on or wear my contacts.”
She put her hand up. “Did I say such things? No…that couldn’t be me. I’d never want you to change. Now as for my twin brother, though, he might like a more sophisticated style for you…”
I took a pillow and acted huffy. “If you say something about your brother one more time…”
“Are you threatening me, honeybee? With…a pillow?”
“It’s cocked and fully loaded.”
“Go out with my brother and you wouldn’t have to resort to such violence.”
“Ugh!” I cried, trying to cover her mouth.
“No. More. James!” I yelled.
“All right, all right, I’ll stop!” she said, giggling. “But right after you go to the movies with… JAMES!”
“Now you’ve done it!” I said, putting my weight on top of the pillow.
I dove after her as we wrestled around on the bed. Then we collapsed after my sides pinched I’d been laughing so hard.
In a few moments, our eyes locked, and I felt a bit uncomfortable and comfortable all at the same time.
“Thanks for letting me stay with you, Lexie. I’d never said that. You’ve…you’ve really helped me get through one of the lowest times of my life.”
I wanted to ask her what happened to make her feel badly, but I didn’t want to pry. I figured she’d tell me when she wanted to. It made sense why she’d answered my ad and allowed herself to share a room with a stranger. She needed a break, I guessed, from stress. Probably a bad break up. Who knew? But I was glad things happened the way they did.
I reached for her hand and squeezed. “Of course. I’m always here for you, Jenny, if you need a friend.”
“How about a sister-in-law?”
I laughed. “You never give up!”
She kissed my forehead, smiling gently. “Goodnight, sweetpeeps.” Then she closed her eyes to go to sleep.
I shut out the lights and followed, not minding sharing my bed. It was like I’d gained a sister, something I’d never had before.
Next chapter Monday, July 2nd