Those of you who read fanfiction.net might have already read it but I decided to post it here too
Nothing belongs to me, nor the characters nor the songs.
Enjoy. And feel free to review
The Summer Princess
'I can't believe Mum just gave me a permission to go visit Michael. That's right, the woman who drags her two-month old son to a war protest and keeps stuffing the bills into a salad bowl, says I can go to Japan if I want.' Set after Book 9.
June 2nd, Loft, 7 pm
Summer vacation. Another school year done. No more homework for next three months, two of which will be spent in Genovia. It is 500 years since one of my famous and important relatives died (I can't think of their name right now – I better hide this diary well so that a certain living relative of mine doesn't find out about this little slip) so big festivals will be held in Genovia this August. Grandmere is freakishly excited already – she got Sebastiano to create a whole collection of dresses just for me. She hired world's best designers so that they could create outfits for her in the shade of purple unseen before. I feel sorry for the person that will be sacrificed to tell her that such shade does not exist.
Ah … I should probably be excited that holidays are here. I am, of course, who likes school anyway? Numbers and equations and symbols and … well, they might be a pain but studying, especially when you are not so good at it, is time consuming. And it deserves a lot of attention. It gives your mind little time to wander.
And this year I didn't need any excessive free time.
I am not sure that I am ready to have it already. I would actually prefer to have another month of studying to do. Or two. Or three.
Yep, I am a Geek, as Lana would say.
But honestly, not having anything to do usually means I start to think. I wish I could daydream, wander aimlessly across my dream lands, but unfortunately, my thoughts are usually only focused on one thing.
Something I would love to forget and something that keeps coming back to haunt me.
I can't believe it is June already. It feels like just yesterday that September started.
It's been nine months since he left and it still feels like yesterday.
And it still hurts as much as it did.
I have been terrible with diary this year, I know. But what's the point of writing if every day feels like a simple rewrite of the previous one? I got up; went to school (it ached as hell that we didn't stop in front of a certain building, picking a certain person up); greeted my friends; laughed at jokes that were funny and pretended to laugh at the ones that weren't; made notes during class; tried my best to understand Calculus and be a good lab partner to Kenny who, honestly, still had to do most of the work; left for Plaza after school and spent two to three hours having Princess Lessons with Grandmere. I went home, did homework, asked Mr G (yeah, I still can't call him Frank) for help where numbers appeared, IMed with Tina, spent time with my cat, tried to expand Rocky's vocabulary, work on my … senior project.
Then I went to bed and repeated everything the next day.
I occasionally modeled for Sebastiano's latest collection - there were quite few of them. The guy is like a firework. Like a half-English-speaking firework. He gets 'good id' and everything is sparkling and energetic till … he gets a 'bet id' and the sparks disappear, only to be replaced by new colored ones. Again, a few sketches, a few outfits and the history repeats.
I wonder when the Fashion Week will finally get to see Sebastiano's line of Halloween Costumes (inspired by his and Rene's trip to Las Vegas) or his 'traditional outfits of the world in 21st century version' or however he called it – somehow he got the idea that I would be a perfect model for his 'Greek Goddess' dress. Only that in his opinion the goddesses do not have short blond hair of a weird shape – so Paolo was super psyched to give me a Total Makeover. Now I have medium length, brownish, wavy hair and, yeah, I am super psyched too as it has been over two months and the media still hasn't figured it out that I didn't die but simply got a new hairstyle. And a new hair color.
When Rene was in town, I took him sightseeing – though, we only saw the inside of the nearest Starbucks. Since Rene created a profile on one of those dating sites and actually got lots of female attention, he prefers to spend his time logged on. And because he is currently too broke to afford a new cell (he lost his previous one somewhere in Italy) and since he is too afraid of my Dad to ask him for a new one AND since Grandmere finally realized he would make a very, very bad Prince Consort, he totally depends on cafes with free Wi-Fi.
Every once in a while I played hide and seek with paparazzi, accompanied by Prince Harry. Yeah … THE Harry. To my immense surprise we remarkably bonded in November after being stuck at the same table at some formal dinner organized by our dear grandmothers who thought our countries should improve relations or something. We discovered we both share mutual feelings towards being royal and somewhere towards the end of the dinner he managed to convince me to sneak into the kitchen to check on the desserts. I swear, I was not drunk when we ended up playing badminton in the backyard. How were we supposed to know that there were reporters behind the fence? It enraged Grandmere so much she cancelled Princess Lessons for a while month. I would totally go YIPPEE! if at the same time Dad didn't take away my cell and limited my access to internet for two months. But, it was totally fine since half of the punishment was spent in Genovia.
Oh, I still have therapy with Dr K. Every Friday I rant and he listens and instead of prescribing me pills or at least giving me some useful advice, he just goes on and on about his horses.
Friday and Saturday nights … I sometimes have a sleepover at Tina's. Or we go to see a movie or bowling. One time, Lana totally dragged me to some night club, pretending we were only going 'dancing'. Yeah, right. It ended with me being stuck in ER, with a deep cut on my forehead and Lana's barf all over my shirt. Good person as I of course pathologically am, I offered to take her home after she got so drunk that she barely managed to stand. As we were ascending stairs to her flat she tripped and fell onto the stairs, pulling me down with her, my head hit the edge of the step and voila, the blood was all over the face. As of Lana's condition … the drunks always walk away.
Up until March or something I spent every other Friday evening on a date. Tina and Lana, in their attempt to get me out of my room, set up blind dates for me but kind of gave in when it finally hit them that the only thing I got out of them was … well, free dinner. And schizophrenia. because throughout dinner I kept seeing a face that was not there. And heard a voice that was not anywhere near me.
I did try but … I guess there just aren't that many guys who love Buffy and Star Wars. Who are totally willing to come over at 10 pm to help you with your Geometry homework. Who hate musicals and are immensely musically talented. Who are computer geniuses. Who give you snowflake necklace for your birthday.
And who build something that will change the heart surgery forever just to prove they are worthy of you.
Kudos to you, Mia, really.
I really did try to make it work with JP. He was so good to me after … that. We went out for a few weeks but then … I realized I prefer to be alone than date just for the sake of dating. I have enough of other problems already – I am a princess and it is rather time consuming. I have a cat that I adore. I have a little brother whose only rational care taker I am. I have my… senior project to finish (I got a head start, blame me). I have great friends. I write for school's newspaper.
Really. I do not need a boyfriend.
Not if he isn't the one I want.
JP and I are just friends now. Great friends – we have so much in common. We are both writers, we both love musicals … I could love him. I can totally imagine me being with him. Well, my mind does. My heart … my heart is still too broken, still too caught up in the past.
I wish I could say I have my best friend back but … it is not as bad as it was. Lilly didn't update that website since her outburst in cafeteria that day. We do talk. You know, the 'hello', 'how are you', 'the weather sucks today', 'this class is so boring'. She is dating Kenny now (yeah … life is the strangest thing) and she seems happy. I am glad. She deserves to be.
I miss her but I guess the abyss between us is just too great. Our friendship is just too broken to be fixed. Kind of like that vase Grandmere got as a gift from some Jordan guy that I broke at Christmas while trying to catch Rommel who stole my hair brush. She threw a fit (it must have had some sentimental value to her. Because it certainly wasn't pretty. And it was most definitely fake) and despite staff's best attempts to put the vase back together, the shards ended in the trash bin.
The words said between Lilly and I and the images witnessed and the moments experienced still ache me terribly. It is not something I will ever be totally over.
Just like the thing with Michael.
He said that Sunday when he broke up with me that we should go back to what we were before we started going out – friends. So now we are – friends. And indeed things are just like before the non-denominational Winter Dance. I haven't seen him for almost a year yet … I am completely and utterly and crazily and insanely and totally in love with him. Sometimes I hear a song that is so totally us or I see something on the street that I know will make him laugh and instantly I wanna grab a phone, call him and tell him. Then I feel like throwing up when I realize he is in Japan.
And there is no 'us' anymore.
And he doesn't care anymore.
We email each other a few times per months. Every time I check my email I hold my breath, hoping there would be something from him … I am disappointed most of the time. And when there is something …Our emails are rather impersonal, more of a polite greeting, an acknowledgment of each other's existence than … well, friendly notes. Back in February we had a lengthy discussion about weather in Somalia. I totally consider myself to be an expert now.
That's how pathetic I am. I am talking about weather in Somalia with the love of my life.
But what else should we talk about?
Lilly? Yeah … right.
School? Thank you very much, I am already living with a teacher who is super concerned about my GPA (though, I gotta give Mr G some credit – if he hadn't been so persistent in making me study I would probably have way bigger problems in Chemistry and Calculus. Actually, this has been my best school year so far. Guess which reason Grandmere found?).
Shopping with Lana? No. First of all, it's shopping, Michael is really not the kind of a guy who would be interested in new shirts I bought and what of a bargain they were (I have Sebastiano now for that). Second of all … well, it's Lana. I still haven't completely wrapped my head around this – Lana Weinberger is my friend and we often go shopping together. Oh, and Grandmere totally loves her (well …. She loves anyone who shares the love for her favorite hobby).
Speaking of Grandmere … now that I have long hair I apparently look more of a princess than ever before (even magazines agree. I was totally voted as the hottest young royal under 20 – Dad almost ended up suing the magazine – after choking on his Martini) which makes her indescribably happy. Seriously, she actually looks younger without having to have Botox injected into her face. You would think Dowager Princess Clarisse in a good mood is a blessing but honestly, I preferred when she was moody. Not that there was any love lost between her and Michael … I guess I at least still had Michael then and it made her complaining totally bearable. Now that Michael is in Japan and Grandmere mentions it every chance she gets … I'll just say that Greenpeace now gets 350 dollars every day.
My family? Right. I already complained about how dysfunctional they are when we were still an item. I don't want to come off as a whining friend. The one who is completely incapable of dealing with her own problems. Sure, he asks about my family from time to time … I say they are fine … I mean, if he wants to know anything else, he should just Google Grandmere. Her romance with a banker from Norway was well documented. Along with my appendicitis that followed the next day. I mean, really, what was my PR team thinking? I got literally thousands of Get Well Soon cards (Michael's included) after they said that was why I was unable to attend any royal events. I felt so bad! So many people worried about me when I was … well, not ill.
When in reality I was sitting in an internet café in Italy where I ran off to with Rene, Sebastiano and Harry because I was totally fed up with Grandmere's crazy schemes in order to get the Norwegian banker to fall in love with her (yes. My grandmother is the one that has sex life. Way to hit a girl when she's down). Surprisingly, I wasn't grounded for that. Dad was remarkably understanding. Probably because no paparazzi had taken any pics of Princess Amelia's road trip across Tuscany.
Princess stuff? Certainly they are way more interesting than back then when they included only dress fittings, saying 'can I get butter' in two dozen languages and knowing which fork I should use for which kind of fish. I mean, now I totally skip formal dinners from time to time and I even ran away once! Not that I am proud … though it was super fun. But I know it is wrong and it's not like I would do it over and over again, like Harry encourages me to (seriously. I thought I hated being royal … he's worse. It is totally cool to have someone who doesn't yell if you wake them up at 3 am to complain about tiaras and protocols). But I guess it doesn't hurt to put Grandmere in her place from time to time.
But still … after that badminton incident every magazine reported on 'newly sprung royal romance'. I don't want Michael to think there was any truth in that with talking about Harry in our email exchange.
His robotic arm? I do ask him about it … hmmm, I guess in pretty much every email. And the response is always pretty much the same – 'ok'. I guess it is not really going that well. Or maybe he just doesn't want to talk about it after working on it all the time. Or he knows I would not have any clue what he's talking about if he indeed ended up talking about it so he spares me. I don't know.
Really. What else but the world news do we have to talk about? Talking about Buffy or Star Wars hurts so much … almost as much as his signature. No more 'love, Michael' like it was back then. Now it is just 'Michael'. It breaks my heart every time.
Here I am, loving him with every fiber of my being and there he is, in Japan, chatting with me about environmental changes because he feels sorry for me.
That must be it. The reason why he's still in contact with me.
This totally cracks Rene up. Don't really understand why. He keeps telling me how dense I am (I think he would totally get along well with Lilly. Shame she isn't my friend anymore and I can't hook them up. Plus, she has Kenny now). Apparently 'guys' do not talk about African weather with their 'female friends'. Yeah, like he would know. I don't think he spends enough time with any of his girlfriends to actually get their email address.
The weird thing is … Michael said that we should date other people. He said he thought expecting me to wait for him isn't fair since I am so young … even I thought so for a short time. Yet now … I do not want to date anyone else. I do want to wait. Going out with someone else would be like looking for a new cat while Louie is still kicking. You know what I mean? He thought it wouldn't be fair for me not to go on with my life. I think it is unfair to move on when … when I am still glued onto the past.
I don't know. I don't think anyone understands. Grandmere – I seriously think she wants to declare the day Michael left for Japan as Genovia's national holiday. Mum – she rolls her eyes at me every time I eat all the ice cream from the fridge. Tina – well, at least she stopped sending me out on dates but apparently accepted that my life isn't a book and she doesn't really find anything romantic in me being cooped up in my room. I actually preferred when she lived in her Tinaland. I won't even mention Lana – she keeps telling me I need to get out, into the life and get, well, laid. I do talk to Sebastiano sometimes when he using me as his model. He appears to listen and nods regularly but I doubt he gets much. Especially since every time I take a breath he asks which shade of blue I prefer. Rene, as mentioned, finds me utterly amusing (well, thank you, shame I am a princess. Otherwise I would totally go into stand-up.), while Harry … he just stares at me for a long time and tries to hide a smile. Dr K doesn't count – though even he seems to be bored with me talking about Michael. Somehow he always interrupts me with his endless tales of horses. Did you know he had a horse named Sky who wanted nothing else but to run free on the pastures but was too afraid to actually jump over the fence like the rest of Doc's horses? Yeah, I didn't either. And to be honest, I could totally live without this immensely useful information.
So, yeah, everyone around me would rather see me going into bars picking up random strangers than sitting in my room, working on my senior project and waiting for … ok, I see their point. It is totally like Waiting for Godot. If Michael and I hadn't broken up, then I would be waiting for … well, him. But since we are apart … I am waiting for … quite possibly nothing. Well, totally nothing since he doesn't care about me anymore.
Since he …
It takes him over a week to answer my emails. I know, I know, he is not in Japan on holidays and he is super busy and all … but don't you think he would be checking his email constantly, hoping I have replied (like I do) if he…? Don't you think he would be urging to write back ASAP just so that he could hear from me soon again (like I do) if he…? If he indeed still felt something for me?
But I guess taking a week to write your opinion on new panda sanctuary in China is what friends do. So I do it too. It kills me to write emails in my mind for days before actually sending them but … I do not want to look too desperate.
We are just friends now.
That's all we'll ever be.
And who should I thank for this?
None other than Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo of Genovia.
I hate her so much.
June 3rd; Loft; 7 am
This is what I just got:
Hey, how are you? I imagine you must be excited that school's over for the year. Best feeling ever, right? When are you leaving for Genovia? Dad feeling generous and is letting you stay in New York till July? I read on Netscape that your grandmother is planning a series of events called 'Days of Pierre' or something? You must be looking forward to that.
Things here are fine, thanks for asking.
I read this great article on disappearing tribal languages the other day. Did you know that only about 200 of the 6,800 languages in use today are spoken by more than 1 million people? About 10% of all languages spoken have fewer than 100 speakers which means they are on the verge of extinction, especially since they do not have any formal written grammar nor they are taught in schools. Of the 154 indigenous languages still spoken in the territory of the United States, 7 are spoken by only one person, another 35 by 10 or fewer. Among these are languages whose cultures were once well known, such as Osage, Wichita and Pawnee.
The BBC report from 2005 also recounts a telling story from the age of European exploration of South America. When the German explorer von Humboldt reached the Orinoco village of Maypures, roughly 200 years ago, "he heard a parrot speaking and asked the villagers what it was saying. None knew since the parrot spoke Atures and was its last native speaker."
It is sad. Due to globalization, westernization and, doubtlessly, Americanization, the major languages, mainly English, are spreading all over the world. Those with few speakers are fading away and it is such a loss for cultural diversity. It's like the world is becoming one giant global village, don't you think? Language is an important part of country's identity and with the invasion of English through music, movies, McDonald's, Starbucks and other corporations, smaller countries are losing their own individuality. When you travel abroad, the bigger cities all feel like New York and they offer no spirit of the country. Isn't the whole point of traveling experiencing foreign cultures? Well, if this trend continues, soon there will be no need to travel at all since the whole world will speak 3 or 4 major languages and eat the same food.
Well, it's getting late here, I better go.
Yes. The love of my life just wrote me half a page long dissertation about disappearing tribal languages. Definitely, it is a great problem, an issue we as a society need to solve as soon as possible but …
I don't even want to think about it. The whole thing is just too pathetic. I better go see if there are any cookies left in the fridge.
Later, still in the loft, 9 am
I didn't get to the fridge to check for cookies. Mum called my name as soon as I got out of my room. I thought she somehow sensed I wanted to stuff as many cookies as there were into my mouth but as it turned out I was wrong.
She told me Sebastiano just had a bag of his new designs delivered. They were waiting for me in the living room and Sebastiano said he 'wait for my resp'.
Let me tell you, new clothes almost did the trick. I remember back in the day I laughed when Sex and the City was on and Carrie relaxed her nerves while shopping for new shoes. I must be getting older or less feminist because now I get how she felt. Seeing a bunch of new shirts made me feel better. A bit, but still.
I finally managed to spread my love for Britney. After hearing some of her songs on my iPod while we were in Italy Sebastiano totally fell in love with her. She is, in his words, 'a true Amer'. So he decided to honor her in his new(est) collection – he decided to make a line of black shirts in about 100 versions, each having a few lines from Britney's songs on front. It is actually utterly cool.
I totally love the sleeveless one that has an open back and these lines written on:
'Everybody's talking all this stuff about me
Why don't they just let me live?
I don't need permission, make my own decisions
That's my prerogative'
My cousin is a fashion designer. And I get to wear his stuff before they hit the stores.
I guess my life is not that bad.
Later, Tina's place, 2 pm
Really. Screaming loud feminist songs is totally helping you deal with your love's rant about disappearing tribal languages. If it includes some cursing, putting on bright lipstick and reading out loud the sex horoscope in Cosmo, you are bound to feel better. Lots of Coke and chocolate cake have nothing to do with that.
Anyway, in honor of Shameeka's upcoming birthday we are having a Beyoncé Appreciation Day. We are watching her movies and listening to her records. Girls (Tina, Shameeka and Lana – Trish couldn't make it due to tanning appointment) just made a list of her best songs.
Interestingly, they didn't include that many love songs. I didn't tell them about Michael's email but I guess they can sense something is up.
1. Run the World
3. Survivor & Bootylicious (they can't decide)
4. Independent Woman
They are still arguing about number 5. Probably because it is rather hard to find a song that isn't about love.
Anyway, I'll make my own list.
Mia's List of Saddest Beyoncé Songs
- Flaws And All
- My First Time
Actually, I changed my mind, I love Beyoncé too much to link her to my heart break.
MIA'S LIST OF GREATEST SONGS
- Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles
It's always times like these
When I think of you
And I wonder
If you ever
Think of me
- Taylor Swift – I Almost Do (just delete that 'almost' in the fifth verse)
I bet this time of night you're still up.
I bet you're tired from a long hard week.
I bet you're sitting in your chair by the window looking out at the city.
And I hope sometimes you wonder about me.
- Taylor Swift – Back To December (except that Michael isn't tanned. At all)
So this is me swallowing my pride,
Standing in front of you saying, "I'm sorry for that night,"
And I go back to December all the time.
It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you.
Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine.
I'd go back to December, turn around and make it all right.
I go back to December all the time.
- Kelly Clarkson – Cry
If anyone asks
I'll tell them we just grew apart
What do I care if they believe me or not
Whenever I feel your memory is breaking my heart
I'll pretend I'm okay with it all
Act like there's nothing wrong
- Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
In another life
I would be your girl
We'd keep all our promises
Be us against the world
In another life
I would make you stay
So I don't have to say
You were the one that got away
- Britney Spears – Everytime
I may have made it rain
Please forgive me
My weakness caused you pain
And this song is my sorry
- Paramore – All I Wanted
All I wanted was you
All I wanted was you
All I wanted was you
All I wanted was you
- Dido – White Flag
I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be
I know I left too much mess and
destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't talk to me again
- Shania Twain – Don't
Don't fight, don't argue
Give me the chance to say that I'm sorry
Just let me love you
Don't turn me away
Don't tell me to go
- Dido – Here With Me
I won't go
I won't sleep
I can't breathe
Until you're resting here with me
I won't leave
I can't hide
I cannot be
Until you're resting here with me
I think I get it now why Mum was so worried when I asked for all Dido CDs for Christmas.
What on Earth will I do with Michael's email?
How about …
Yes, Michael, I know it is just terrible, isn't it? It is like Darwin's survival of the fittest is happening right in front of our eyes. Where are the Darwinists, they could totally monitor the process in detail. Imagine the new knowledge we could get out of this! Sadly, I do not think many of those Darwinists care whether a language somewhere in central Papua New Guinea disappears. I guess they are too worried about losing their homes since they cannot afford the mortgage any more. You know, paychecks ain't what they used to be and our health system is falling apart. In the times of economic crisis only the most driven linguists are worried about some word collection known by 4-7 individuals; others are terrified of how they'll live without food stamps. So, yeah, survival of the fittest indeed. And cultural diversity is what we can live without. Food … not so much.
I kind of think you are overreacting. Just like I overreacted over the Judith thing which, as I now realize, was totally me projecting my ideals onto you and denying your individuality. And, of course, my conviction that you would end up dumping me anyway so I beat you to it, because, let's face it, you are totally gonna be a famous and successful inventor saving millions of lives with your robotic arm thing and I will forever be a princess of a small, barely existing country and my biggest and only accomplishment in life worth mentioning will be establishing democracy. Which, by the way, totally tore my family apart as my grandmother stopped talking to me for weeks, and those special occasions when she graced me with her linguistic skills, were spent in Dr K's office (oh, yeah, did I mention? I am totally depressed and I go to therapy regularly) and I had to endure hours of her yelling whether we would still get to live in palace. I am utterly incapable of doing anything right.
I mean, really, of course I had no reason to think you would dump me. You could do sooo much better than me. You could marry a girl who clones fruit flies in her bedroom and have children who would send people to Mars AND bring them back. Guys like you marry girls like Judith.
And you lost your virginity to her.
See, I had no reason not to feel terribly threatened. And I guess this means there is some rational explanation behind my outburst that night. Fear, despair, insecurities and just … anger. Yeah, I was angry, totally mad that you were going to Japan. And yeah, I do get your point of view better now and I know this year was supposed to be repaid with a lifetime of you and me, together but where did I get a say in this? We were together and decisions regarding a yearlong separation are something we should make together - you took that right away from me. No, wait, I am denying your individuality again. I just don't understand how you thought I would just suck it up and be ok with that? Yeah … you were going to Japan for me and I threw the snowflake necklace into your face. I am a cow. I am a crab. No amount of saying I was going through emotional trauma can excuse what I did. I get it now. And I get why you talk about tribal languages in your emails. Such random subject takes your mind off … well, me. And how much you hate me. And you are totally right, by the way. I deserve to be hated. By you, especially.
And I am sorry. There are no words that could express how sorry I am. And I love you. Did I tell you that already?
I do not think this is the version I should send him.
Oops, they're looking at me …
Later, on my way to Plaza
Have I ever mentioned how lucky Tina is for having such a sweet guy as her boyfriend?
Thank god she is not the queen of overreacting like me and she sees and appreciates it.
As I was leaving after lunch since Grandmere wants me for … well, I don't really know what she's up to this time, Boris stopped me as I was opening the door.
"Hey, Mia," he said.
"Yeah?" I smiled. I stopped binge eating a few months back and my breast growth is back to normal (non-existing level, that is) so I stopped dreading that every guy who approaches me will end up saying he loves me.
"Are you … are you ok?" he asked.
I raised my eyebrows.
"OK? Why would I not be ok?"
"I just thought … are you? OK, I mean?"
"Why are you asking?"
"Just wondering … you had it rough these last few months … and you started writing in your diary again …"
I do not know what is happening with Boris. He became so attentive this year. Boris is the only person who at least remotely understands that I do not want to date. He was on my side in March when I tried to tell Tina, as politely as I managed, that I was not interested in her set ups. Boris had to endure his girlfriend's anger for the next few days since she didn't take well him siding with me.
Yeah, Boris is a really good person. I am tattooing this into my mind so that I won't end up hurting him too, just like I do everyone I care about.
"I am fine, Boris, do not worry about me, really," I smiled. Thank god for my magnificent lying skills. And that I spent half of October in front of the mirror, trying to stop my nostrils from fluttering when I lie. It distracted me but shortly I mastered the skills way too soon. Then I started working on my Senior Project.
Boris just stared straight into me, with his eyes wide open as if … well, as if he was figuring out if I was lying or not.
YES, BORIS, I WAS.
I do not think he got it.
"Well, alright then," he started blinking again normally, "have fun with your grandmother."
It totally cracked me up.
What's up with Lars, by the way? He's being all weird lately. He keeps his eyes glued on his cell (ok, that's not really the news but he looks way more into it than ever before, go figure) and keeps making sure that I do not catch a glimpse of what he's doing. Oh, great, Lars is getting a Wife Number 5. He totally beat Gibbs' score.
Even a guy whose job is to spend 15 hours a day with a home wrecker like moi, give or take a few hours.
He could tell me, though. Just because I am unhappily single, it does not mean that I cannot be happy for others. I am getting tired of being treated like a fragile little girl who should be tiptoed around so that she does not get upset. Hello? I have to live in my head. Trust me, I am far from fragile.
Oh, great, we're here already. I hope Sebastiano has brought some new designs to Grandmere. Or that Rene needs a tourist guide. I am kind of not in the mood to spend the whole afternoon alone with Grandmere.
Later, on my way home from Plaza
Grandmere can thank her lucky stars. If she wasn't a princess, I am sure somebody would have offed her a long time ago. I wonder how much her chauffeurs, chefs, servants and maids get paid for putting up for her. I am thinking 350 $ per day simply isn't worth the trouble anymore.
Take deep breaths, Mia, think of all the baby seals you're helping …
I am so upset I am hardly feeling any kind of sorry for poor little babies.
As it turned out, no one chose the day as a perfect one to pay a visit to Dowager Princess of Genovia. It was just the two of us. Grandmere was in her top form from the get-go. Whoever was changing the curtains in her bedroom, put on the ones in the, wait for it, the wrong shade of purple. How can purple be in the wrong shade? Oh, and more importantly, who the hell even cares about that?
Then she noticed the lipstick on my lips. It was entirely my fault, of course. I don't know how I managed to forget to wash it off before I left Tina's. She started screaming I looked like a 'poulet' (what else is new?) and nearly sacrificed her Sidecar for getting the lipstick off me.
I started rubbing my temples. I know Dad said that I need to be 'patient' with her since she is going through a very difficult time. What he actually meant was that it is my fault anyway so I need to suck it up. If I hadn't found Amelie's diary and decided to share it with the world, Genovia wouldn't have democracy and Grandmere would not be having a fit regarding her residence in the palace.
The nerve of this woman. She's having a difficult time? I mean, look at the number of staff she has! We are talking about a woman who has never in her life even done laundry or prepared a meal for herself! What about people like orphans in Africa who are dying of diseases that could be prevented with a couple of dollars? What about people who lose their homes in natural disasters? I am not trying to say that my situation can be compared to theirs but I am certainly having a way more difficult time than Grandmere.
I mean, we are talking about a woman here who, when I was having the worst time of my whole life, came marching into my room, telling me I need to go to some fancy dinner just so that SHE could get an invitation to Domina Rei.
But the curtains are not really what I wanna talk about.
After her second Sidecar (she shouldn't be drinking so much. And I should tell her that. But her screaming sometimes awakens homicidal tendencies in me) she finally sat in the chair facing me. Rommel was sitting in her lap, staring into me as if it was my fault that he was not allowed to lick his hair off.
"Well, Amelia, we shall have a lovely time in Genovia this summer," she said.
I thought she was about to go over the calendar of events again, but no, the malice in her eyes indicated way more.
"We'll be celebrating all great things about Genovia. There will be great fests all over the country, we are trying to get as many people involved as possible … everyday people, that is … we need to remind them why your Dad should win the elections next year."
"That sounds great, Grandmere."
"Well, it better turn out alright. Do you know how many traditional summer dinners I had to cancel in order to have time to attend these city fests? Goodbye dinner with Saudi royals, the one with my dear friends from Jordan …"
She narrowed her eyes. As if she was saying 'guess whose fault is that, mademoiselle'.
"And since I have to make these great sacrifices in order to fix your mistake, young lady, I do expect you too will help us solve this mess."
I raised my eyebrows. Hello? I am totally compromising my Vegetarianism because of her and her stupid formal events. I no longer demand a vegetarian course; now I eat everything put in front of me in order to be polite.
I also ate that pudding made of rabbit brain, prepared in honor of her great Norwegian friend. It ended up in one of the bushes in the royal garden but still.
What else does she want of me?
"This year especially we have to make great impression, Amelia, I hope you are aware of this. I am stressing this due to your … little slips in the past. We are royals; we have to act like royals. For instance, young princesses like yourself do not attend formal events by themselves, like you have been doing for the past few months,"
Alarms started to go off in my head.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, we have to find you an adequate consort for the summer."
"No problem, I'll just ask Harry," I shrugged
Grandmere's eyes nearly popped out of their eye sockets. Since she has her eyeliner tattooed, trust me, it looked creepier than that scene in Ring when that little girl crawls out of the TV. Even Rommel let out a noise of clear distress.
"No! You are not bringing That…" Grandmere paused as my heart sank. Though Michael made her immensely happy by going to Japan, she still has the name 'That Boy' reserved for him. As if whoever I date next, it cannot be worse than him.
I am seriously thinking of picking up some random homeless guy off the street. Maybe it will turn out Grandmere has an aneurysm.
"Him to these events!" she went on. "I cannot afford you sneaking off playing tennis or something again! Do you know what losing the palace would mean for us?"
"Grandmere, we are not losing…"
Why do I bother again?
"Fine, if you don't like Harry, Rene can come, right?"
"I certainly enjoy having Rene around … but you are rather reckless when you are around him, Amelia. No; I found you someone better."
I nearly choked on the peace of kiwi I was eating.
"I am not going to…"
"Oh, please, Amelia, you are seventeen years old. It is high time you started looking for your future consort. And I am sorry to inform you but you are not going to find them in your room."
"Amelia, how many times do I need to tell you? World will not stop just because your paramour has gone off to Korea. Thank god you finally realized he wasn't right for you, Amelia. It could be much worse … you could get engaged to him or something, like Contessa Trevanni's niece, Bella, who is engaged to that waiter from Belgium," Grandmere shivered as if a lightening hit her. Well, obviously something burnt her brain – she didn't just compare Michael to some random waiter, did she? Did she forget why Michael left in the first place? "At least you had enough common sense to break it off before That Boy could get the wrong idea. That would be the final nail in our coffin … a resentful former paramour ... I really don't see any need why you should be feeling so sorry about your situation. You have so many possible consorts who would be much more suitable for the position than That Boy."
I stuffed the kiwi into my mouth just so that I would not be able to talk. She didn't notice. She started petting Rommel who trembled with terror and continued with a mad smile on her face.
"Andrew is a great man from a well-respected English family, Amelia. He knows how to behave in these kind of situations … comparing to some other people … and he has an elegance to him and a proper haircut, thank god … last thing we need is you being seen in a company of a hippie-looking boy … a hippie-looking boy … I like that … anyway, Amelia, you shall have a very pleasant time with Andrew. And he has kindly agreed to spend the summer with our family in Genovia. Of course, it will only do us great good as far as relations with his country are concerned."
"Why can't I take a feminist stand instead, Grandmere? It's nothing wrong for women in 21st century to be single and happy, you know? And what kind of a message would setting me up with some random guy send to the girls of my age? You are not complete without a man fulfilling you? No, Grandmere, I will…"
"Now listen to me, young lady. You are what got us into this mess in the first place. And don't you talk to me about feminism. Getting into therapy because you break up with your boyfriend is not exactly feminist, don't you agree?"
"I didn't get into therapy just because Michael left," I whispered.
"Oh, then why?" she laughed. "You are crying over a boy who made you slip into depression, Amelia. Please, do not start the 'strong woman' nonsense again."
And then she wonders why I'm in therapy? And I'm the dense one?
Yeah, she is just too selfish and self-centered to see herself anything else than the queen of purple.
"Dad won't let you hook me up with some guy, Grandmere."
"Thanks to you, Amelia, your father has greater problems than your love life. And he too will take great liking in Andrew, you'll see. He's a remarkable young man. He doesn't play with robots or indulge in that noise young people call music … and he's certainly not the kind of man that would make you, Amelia, steal things from your own country for him."
I could stuff the kiwi that would not start growing for another 200 years into my mouth but it would not stop tears from gathering in my eyes.
How we could get voted as #2 on best royal Grandparent-Grandchild relationship, I have no idea.
"Well, it doesn't matter anymore, I guess, since he is out of your life forever," shrugged Grandmere and an angelic smile spread across her face. "Oh, look at the time, Amelia! Time flies by so quickly nowadays! I have to get ready for an interview with a couple of reporters from Genovia. See you tomorrow."
And she got up, not before throwing Rommel onto the floor. She just walked off, putting her empty Sidecar glass onto the closest table.
Really. How did she survive this long? The most violent thing I ever did was breaking one's phone (and one's heart but I don't think that counts as a legal offense) and even I want to kill her sometimes.
Those bodyguards of hers better get paid in gold.
Later, still on my way home
You know how when a crack appears, it just grows bigger and bigger until everything falls apart?
Well, I think I am very close to my breaking point.
On my way home from Plaza I stopped in a store to get some Ben & Jerry's since my blood sugar had dangerously dropped. Some protein from meat might also do the trick but ice cream just makes me feel way better.
Yes, I am aware it will go straight into my thighs but believe me, I paid the price.
I saw Lilly.
I was picking the Ben & Jerry's flavors when a shadow fell upon me. I looked over my shoulder and Lilly was standing right behind me. The shock almost made me dropped the ice cream I held.
I mean, we might not scream at each other in the middle of cafeteria anymore but we are still a long way from being friends.
"I still think Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge is the best," she said and tried to smile. Her smile was a bit off, though. She almost looked ... nervous? Right, I had known Lilly since we were 6 – the word nervous was not something she had in her behavioral dictionary.
It must have been my emotional state playing games with me.
It took me a while to process her words. When I finally did, I had to smile. Lilly definitely knew what she was talking about. Years ago, that November in our Freshmen year we filmed a special episode of her show, Lilly Tells It Like It Is in which we bought all Ben & Jerry's flavors, tasted them and tried to rank them from best to worst.
I'm not sure if you can OD on ice cream, but that night we certainly did. Lilly ate too much of it simply because it was good and I found a wicked comfort in it since that afternoon I had been on one of those dreadful Kenny dates. Anyway, it ended with both of us hurling in the middle of the night. And Lilly's parents forbidding her from taping the show for two weeks. And ... after Lilly finally fell asleep very early in the morning, Michael sneaked into our room to check on me. Back then, I was his Tall Drink of Water after all. Even though I was officially dating Kenny.
"Yeah …" I felt tears in my eyes again just remembering his tall figure, his dark eyes and the concern in his eyes from that night, "it is."
Does he ever ask about me? I know we email each other but … does he ever ask about me?
"No offense but … whatever is up with you, Mia, you don't look like simple ice cream will make it better."
"I had Princess Lessons."
"I'd take a double portion if I were you."
How I miss those silly moments from where we were just two clueless freshmen who thought they knew what problems were. I remember totally flipping out when Mum told me she was going up with Mr G, my then-algebra teacher. Or how upset my height made me. Back when we thought the best feeling in the world was getting a fraction of Josh Richter's attention …
We were just kids back then thinking we could control the world. We didn't have the slightest idea that our 'forever' friendship was more of a 100 meters sprint.
"I saw your show yesterday. It was good," I quickly said and swallowed hard.
"Thanks," she smiled and looked like she was about to continue but something stopped her. She bit her lip. "Actually … I am in talks with some broadcasters from South Korea."
My jaw dropped and for the first time in a while I actually didn't fake a smile. I know how much the show means to Lilly, how hard she works on it and I witness first hand numerous attempts to get it on some 'real' channel. We might not be best friend forever anymore but she still means so much to me.
"That's amazing, Lilly! Congrats!" I laughed.
Her eyes sparkled.
"Yeah … don't congratulate me yet. Nothing is final …"
"You deserve it, Lilly," I said.
She appeared to be eager to change the subject.
"So when are you going to Genovia?"
"I bet you'll be having fun," she smirked but I knew she wasn't making fun of me.
"Yeah … are you guys going to Albany?"
She paused before answering.
"For a while, yeah … We're staying in New York for majority of July, though …"
I felt my heart sinking again. How many times per day can this happen without suffering any permanent damage?
Michael was coming home in July.
He said, that night when he told me he was leaving in less than 3 days, that he would be probably coming home this summer.
And he was, in July.
July, when I'll be dancing at formal events with some Andrew from England, trying to make up for the only good thing I did whole year.
I knew this was the wound no Ben & Jerry's could ever heal.
I managed a weak smile, hoping she didn't see how hurt I was.
"That sounds nice. Well, I should be going," I said. "Say hi to your parents for me, will you?"
"Sure," she nodded and stepped back, so that I could leave. I prayed she didn't see my legs trembling. I made two shaky steps when she screamed out again. "Wait!"
I turned around again, fighting to hide tears.
Her mouth hung open but no words were spoken, she just stared at me with …. What almost looked like an expression of sadness. Was this hurting her as much as it ached me? No, I am projecting again. Lilly has nothing to be sorry for; not even for that website. I shattered his brother's heart; I definitely deserved more than one hater website.
"It was nice seeing you, Mia," she finally said but I do not think it was what she had intended to say.
I smiled anyway.
"Yeah, you too, Lilly."
And then I walked away.
Later, on a swing in the Hudson River Park Playground
It's ironic how the place where this mess started is now one of the few places where I actually feel calm.
I watch the children play. I hear them laughing and enjoying every minute of it. I guess I appreciate the innocence of it all. It is so completely intact; they do not look back and let the past break them apart.
I think this place reminds me of cycle of life. One completely random place somewhere on Earth can mean so many different things, depending on whose eyes we look at it.
The children see it as a place of momentary joy. Nothing more, nothing less. They are having fun with friends or begging their mothers to buy them some ice cream (mine, by the way, was given to Hans since I realized I like the skinny jeans I bought last month too much). It's a right here right now thing and it holds no deeper significance.
And then there's me.
I see this swing as a reminder of a moment when everything started falling apart – or, I guess, in some way, falling into a new place since I landed on hard ground, completely broken, forced to get up again, somehow. Being down, so utterly, desperately down I guess looking up you see things in a new light. You see sides you were missing and whether you want it or not, getting back on your feet changes you. We are shaped by our experience and maybe Michael's phone call that Sunday was just what I needed. It made me grow up. I am not seeing the world as black and white anymore. I now realize it is just grey. Nothing is purely good and there is no pure bad either – it all depends on the angle at which you look at it.
I don't think I would let go of being a little girl had Michael still been here.
Grandmere is wrong about 99% of things when it comes to Michael and me, but she is right about one thing – I did depend on him too much. I saw Michael as the person who would always, well, save me. He was my sanity, my savior. That one constant in my life I could always turn to. If I didn't know how to do a math equation for homework, he would come over, even though it was 9 in the evening. Of course, after he was so abruptly gone, I could not deal with losing him, moreover the way he left. Sleeping, eating and not leaving my room was the only thing I could do.
Along with him I also lost Lilly. I knew her since I was six and she was with me (well, at least sort of sometimes) in every turmoil in my life. No matter how much my life had changed, she was always there, completely unchanged, keeping me grounded. Besides Michael and my family, she was the person who meant the most to me. She was like a sister I never had.
Losing two people who are such a big part of your life is bound to bring you down. As much as it still hurts and although the pain will never go away completely, I do think it was one of the best things that could ever happen to me. I learnt that even though it is important to have people around you who you can always count on, the person who should always be your number one constant, the one you should never down, is you. You and no one else. As romantic as it might sound it is actually wrong to count on a person you love to lead you through your own battles; to be the safety net when you fall; to pull you up when you are down. The one you love should be with you, yes, support you but you have be the one saving yourself. Love is not about finding your life in someone; it is sharing your life with them.
As cruel as it might be, at the end of the day, we all still have our own life. We have to be the ones in control otherwise we will succumb when we lose our prince in shining armor.
I felt, for a long time after Michael broke up with me, that I could never reach that happiness again. I was right, I still think the happiness I felt when I was with him, is something I will never feel again – not in that way, at least. But happiness comes in many shapes and forms – you just need to want to find it, feel it. The night I ran away with Rene and the gang to Italy I spent hours walking up and down the sandy beach barefoot and the recklessness of my act, the freedom I felt and the carefreeness of the moment made me realize that … that I should not judge my life by what is missing; instead I decided to judge it by what I do have. And I have so much! One aspect of my collage of happiness might be gone forever but it does not mean the rest of them are too.
So, I am happy. I am, just in a different way.
Lars sat down on a swing next to mine.
"Ready to go home, Princess?"
"Tell me something, is heart break at 16 supposed to hurt this much?"
"No, I don't think so," he said and paused before continuing. "But then again … I do not think a lot of sixteen-year-olds have the kind of relationship you did, Princess."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean there are not many boyfriends who go off to Japan to build revolutionary medical equipment," Lars said with serious tone.
"Is this supposed to make me feel better, Lars?" I said skeptically.
I raised my eyebrows. I was dating and acted like a total byotch to a guy who will change the medical history. Really, some girls would die to be recognized as famous inventor's ex flames but I have enough of my own publicity, thank you.
"I am happy for him. And proud of him. I always knew he'd do great things," I nodded. Although I mean every word the bitterness still crept into my voice.
Lars frowned and looked slightly annoyed. Yeah, it must be hard to be witnessing my breakdowns over and over. I am trying to hide them from people around me but since Lars is basically always with me, he sees a vast majority of them.
I wonder why he didn't ask to be reassigned yet.
"Yeah, that too," he said and got up, "your mother won't be happy if you'll be late for dinner, Princess."
Which, of course, was true.
Later, the Loft, 11 pm
I can't believe she …
I think the Earth has just shaken. I really do. I think somewhere on the other side of the world a terrible earthquake happened. I feel so sorry for the people affected.
Because, I mean, it must be a natural disaster of some kind. That's the only possible explanation. The wheels in her head got misplaced or maybe started going in the wrong direction. Why would Mum otherwise let me…
This cannot be happening. This can totally not be happening!
Except … I am pretty sure it is.
To Be Continued.