~An AG Series by MarieGrace & PrincessAG~
Saige straightened the front of her InnerStarU jacket and stepped though the double doors of Star Student Center. She had just arrived that afternoon, and after dinner, an InnerStarU Guide named Shelby had offered to show her her new room. "
"I hope it's pretty", she thought. "And that it has plenty of room for my horse posters and framed picture of Georgia." Her very own horse, Georgia, had had to be left behind at her grandmother, Mimi's farm. Inside the Star Student Center, the walls were decorated with inspiring phrases, like 'Be yourself'.
"Helpful", Saige thought. "That's the same thing Mimi told me before I left." Saige felt like she heard titters around the room as she made her way to the dinner buffet. In truth, all the girls were talking about the big riding meet at Rising Star Stables in a month, but to Saige they sounded like 'New girl, new girl'. She selected her favorites from the line, fried chicken and corn, but she couldn't eat a bite. Already she missed her best friends, Gabi, Tessa, and Dylan, who hadn't enrolled. After dinner, she found Shelby in the throng of girls, who led her down a quiet path to Brightstar House, which was where all the girls stayed.
"This is your room", Shelby said, pushing open the door to a large room. "The bedroom is up there, and there's your closet. Well, I'd best be going", she added. "I'll see you in the morning!" Shelby closed the door, and Saige sat down on a poofy chair with a sigh. Too tired to unpack, she instead dug out her pajamas and climbed under the covers. The bed had a pretty canopy, but Saige didn't notice. She was so tired, she drifted right off to sleep, dreaming of having new friends.
As I walked down the hallways of InnerStarU university, I thought about the new girl of the year. My friend, Jess, had told me her name was Saige and she was coming sometime this week. I wasn't really happy about the new GOTY, because she had replaced ME! Whenever the new GOTY comes in, the GOTY of last year becomes less popular. So I was NOT looking forward to meeting Saige. But, the Principal had said to be friendly to her, and I did not like to make a bad impresson on the principal.
As I trudged down the hallways, Jess ran up to me. "McKenna! Guess what?" she cried. "What?" I said in a moody tone. "Saige is here!" I stopped. Great! I thought. "Where are you going?" Jess asked me. "Sparkle Studios," I replied, "gymnastics." "Oh, okay," said Jess, "well, you know how we were going to get ice cream afterwards?" I nodded. "Well, I invited Saige, too!" "WHAT?" I cried. "Look, I know you think she's "stolen" your year, but she can't help it!" I stomped off, holding my head high. Sometimes friends could be so annoying sometimes!
Saige woke up early the next morning and plodded down from her bedroom. She had to find a nice outfit to wear for breakfast. She picked out a nice cream colored blouse and a red skirt and slipped on her favorite brown boots to complete the outfit. Then she raced over to Star Student Center for breakfast.
"Maybe I'll find someone at breakfast to hang out with for the day", she thought. Jess had already invited her to ice cream later, but she wasn't sure if she was a true friend yet. Saige wasn't looking where she was going, and about halfway down the path, just as she got to the bridge over the river, she bumped into a girl with shoulder length red hair and blue eyes. The impact sent them both flying, and the girl's folder that she had been carrying sailed over their heads and landed in the river.
"Wow!" Saige said, once she got her breath back. "I'm really sorry!"
"It's okay", the other girl said. "I know you didn't mean it. But there went all my hard work for the horse meet!" Saige's ears immediately pricked up.
"Horse meet?" She asked.
"Yeah. It's at the Rising Star Stables in a month and I'm on the committee to hold it. I was supposed to be in charge of matching up girls with horses and figuring out the cost of the prizes, all of which I wrote down on those papers. It took a really long time!" She sighed. Saige felt terrible.
"Maybe I can help you do it over." She said. "I used to ride horses all the time at home."
"Really?" The girl with red hair looked relieved. "That's great! We were short a rider for the competition. Do you think you could do it?"
"Sure! Why don't we meet later this afternoon, around four? See, Jess invited me to ice cream, and I don't want to back out."
"Okay, sure. By the way, Im Anna-Lynn. Lets walk together to breakfast." The two girls arrived at the Star Student Center and got in line. Somehow or other, Anna-Lynn got out of line first and lost sight of Saige. She sat down, hoping Saige would find her. Meanwhile, Saige frantically searched for Anna-Lynn. In the process, she lightly bumped a girl with long caramel colored hair, who gave her the worst glare she'd ever seen.
"Watch where you're going!" She exclaimed, in a tone of voice Saige didn't like. Then the girl flounced off. Saige saw Anna-Lynn hurrying towards her.
"I saw what happened." Anna-Lynn said. "Don't worry about it. Every GOTY feels like that for a while about the new GOTY. It'll wear off after she meets you." But Saige wasn't so sure. Even with Anna-Lynn's arm around her shoulders, she shivered and couldn't eat a bite. "What if all the other girls are like that?" She wondered.
I was on my way to the ice cream parlor (I was only going because Jess would be there). I thought about how I had been a bit mean to Saige at breakfast. But then again, it was HER fault! Besides, she was probably stuck-up and mean herself!
When I got there, I saw Saige sitting at a table with Jess next to her, talking and laughing. I scowled at them and walked inside. Jess saw me and ran over to me.
"Hi Kenna! I'm glad you're here, Kenna, meet Saige. Saige, McKenna." When Saige got up from the table and saw me she glared. "You invited HER?" she cried, staring at me. "Uh, yeah, she is my best friend," Jess replied, giving us a weird look, "have you met before?" "Yes," I said, my teeth clenched. "Great! Lets go order, we wanted to wait for you!" Jess cried. "SHE did," I heard Saige mumble. "What are you getting, Saige?" Jess asked her. "Um, I think-". "Aren't you going to ask me?" I cried, interrupting Saige. "Well, I was asking Saige-" Jess began as Saige gave me a look of triumph. Jess sighed. "But what are you both getting?" Jess said. "Mint chip," I replied. "Coconut!" said Saige. "Cool, I'm getting coconut, too!" Said Jess. Saige grinned. I scowled at Saige. "Uh, I just changed my mind! I'm getting coconut, too!!" I said, walking to the counter. Jess gave me a weird look.
I plodded towards Brightstar House with a lump in my throat and my chest. I had a feeling I hadn't started off very well with McKenna. She hadn't been very nice, but then, I hadn't been very nice back, either. I remembered what Anna-Lynn had said about new GOTYs. Anna-Lynn! I thought with a start. I was supposed to meet her in the main hall of Brightstar House at four! I glanced at my watch. It was already five past. Great! I thought. I took off a run, and burst into Brightstar House's lobby just as Anna-Lynn was getting ready to go back upstairs.
"Anna-Lynn! I'm so sorry I'm late! Things didn't go well at the ice cream parlor and I wasn't thinking." A smile lit up Anna-Lynn's face.
"Oh, I don't mind that you are late. I was just afraid that you had jilted me on purpose."
"Oh, no! Lets get started with the papers."
"Ok. Lets go up to my room." Anna-Lynn's room was a collage of animals. Everywhere I looked, a new animal poster greeted me. And all different kinds, too! There were raccoons, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, actual pigs, and horses! And that was just the beginning. For the next two hours, Anna-Lynn and I worked steadily at the pile of work that confronted us. Finally, Anna-Lynn said something really fun!
"Ok, since you're going to be riding in the show, I'll need to pair you up with a horse. Why don't we go over to the stables and you can see which one responds to you best?"
"Yes!!!" We raced over to the stables, where rows of horses greeted me. All of them neither a hello, but one gray dappled mare rubbed my arm affectionately. When I continued down the aisle, her eyes followed me. I knew she was the one.
"What is her name?" I asked, going back over to the mare.
"Oh, that's Angel. Do you want to ride her?"
"Yes!" As Anna-Lynn wrote that down in our notes, I realized that at least two things had gone right at ISU so far: I had two new friends; one a human and one a horse!
I walked into my dorm, I was just getting back from breakfast. I had gymnastics practice, I was supposed to have lunch with Jess (WITHOUT Saige) at a hamburger place, and then, unfourantley, I had tutoring. I opened my closet door, and looked for my gymnastics outfits. I put on my sparkly leotrard with my purple sweater, and I grabbed my gymnastics bag, which held my water bottle and my gym ID card.
After getting ready and putting sweats on over it, I stepped out of my dorm and rushed down the hall. I passed Saige, who looked tired. I scowled at her, and she frowned back. I rushed out Brightstar House, running to Sparkle Studios.
I had just finished gymnastics, and I was on my way to eat with Jess. When I FINALLY got there, I gasped. In there, SITTING WITH JESS, was SAIGE!! I groaned. Jess knew I hated Saige (well, acutally not) BUT WHY DID SHE INVITE HER? I was really mad now. But I couldn't upset Jess. If I did, she'd probablly dump me and be friends with Saige! I walked in, still frowning (but trying to smile), and Jess ran up to me. "Hi, Saige, we already ordered-um, Saige was hungry. But--what's the matter?" "Nothing," I mumbled. "Okay," she said, "well if you want to order?" "Yeah," I said, angry that Jess had ordered without me. I ordered a cheeseburger and fries, and sat down. "So, since your new Saige, why don't you tell us about yourself, what do you like to do?" "Paint," replied Saige, picking at her fries. "Painting's boring," I replied, trying to sound bored. "Horses." I made a snoring sound. Saige frowned. "What do YOU like McKenna?" she asked. "Gymnastics," I said. Saige frowned. "Gymnastics?" she said, snorting. "I also like poetry," I said. Saige sighed. I checked my watch. "Got to go now," I said. "Bye, Kenna, have fun!" Jess said. "Like I will," I mumbled. "Where are you going?" Saige asked. "Um, nowhere," I replied. Jess gave me a funny look. "You're going to tutuoring!" Jess said, "right?" "Jess!" I cried, "you aren't supposed to tell people!" "Tutuoring?" Saige said, "ummm.." My face turned red as I started cry, and I rushed out as quickly as possible.
I walked aimlessly around campus. How could I have been so uncaring? McKenna had looked pretty upset. What could I do to fix it? Then, a lightbulb in my head went on. I rushed to Rising Star Stables in search of Jess and Anna-Lynn. I found them both petting the horses.
"Anna-Lynn, Jess!" I exclaimed. I could tell from Anna-Lynn's face that Jess had told her about lunch. "I have an idea on how to make McKenna feel better!"
"What is it?" they both exclaimed in one voice, looking excited.
"It's a 'you're special' party! We could have it at Sparkle Studios, and I want to paint McKenna a picture and write her a poem to go with it!"
"I think that's a great idea!" Said Jess. Anna-Lynn nodded her agreement.
"It'll show McKenna how much we really care!" Added Anna-Lynn.
"I'll take care of the food." Jess said. "I'll have it brought over from Star Student Center."
"And I'll deliver invitations." Anna-Lynn said. "Will you make and especially decorate them, Saige? I've noticed how good you are at art. Oh, and maybe the three of us can work on making a big, sparkly 'We love you, McKenna!' banner, too!"
"Sure, I'll do the invitations." I said. I had a feeling this would be party no one would forget, and that it would patch up me and McKenna's arguments.
As I walked home from tutoring, I cried. I couldn't believe Jess had told my secret! I was humiliated! I had wanted Saige to think I was cool and a better friend, and when Jess had told, she had LAUGHED. I couldn't believe Saige LAUGHED! It makes me feel so.....dumb.
A spring breeze swept across me, and it made me pull my jacket over more. I saw Saige and Jess walk out of Starlight Library, but luckily they didn't see me. I had gone inside Brightstar House before. They were probably laughing about me and the tutor thing.
Tears started to come out more, but I wiped them back. I headed to the dinner hall, but I didn't know who to eat with. I walked over and saw a a girl sitting by at a table beside herself. When I sat there, she smiled. "Hello," she said in a strange voice, "I'm Teressa, a JLY." She had light skin with freckles, and wavy blond hair with fierce brown eyes, covered by blue glasses. "Cool, I'm McKenna" I said. "Why are you crying?" she said in a nosy way. "Um, bff troubles," I said. She smilied strangley. "I could be your BFF now. Who did you break up with?" I suddenly got angry again. "Jess! She told a secret to me about Saige, the stuck-up GOTY of this year," I said. She smilied again. After dinner, I walked up to my room and climbed on my loft bed. I didn't want a replacement of Jess! I wanted HER!
I hugged my dog, Cooper, and cried.
Jess, Anna-Lynn, and I planned all week. Jess arranged with Star Student Center to have food brought over to Sparkle Studios the day of the party, just like she promised. We ordered McKenna's favorites: vanilla steamers, sugar cookies, pepperoni pizzas, and ice cream: vanilla! I borrowed lots of art supplies from Sparkle Studios and brought them to my room, so I could work on the invitations without worrying about McKenna seeing them. Getting the supplies there wasn't so easy, however. Several times I saw McKenns and had to duck behind something. We still couldn't work out how to get McKenna to Sparkle Studios the day of the party without sounding conspicuous. One day, we sat in Sparkle Studios, putting the finishing touches on the banner while we talked about this problem.
"I could tell McKenna that I wanted to do an art project with her, but it probably wouldn't work", Jess said. "I don't think she likes me much right now and she isn't into art anyway." At that moment, McKenna walked in. We all gasped and spread our arms over the table so she couldn't see the banner.
"What are you doing?" She asked. She looked like she'd been crying.
"Umm.. Just something." I managed to say. The other girls nodded. I think McKenna took it the wrong way, though, like we were doing something to make fun of her, because her face crumpled again and she ran out of the studios.
"Whew!" Anna-Lynn said. "At least she didn't see the banner, but I don't think that our excuse didn't go over very well." I had a feeling that she was right. What if McKenna wouldn't come to the party?
I ran back to my dorm, crying. So Jess and Saige were hanging out without me with another girl!! They were hiding something from me!! I needed new friends!
When I got there, Teressa was STANDING in my dorm. How had she even gotten in? "Hi," she said. "Um, how'd you get in here?" I asked. "Jess let me in, she has a key," Teressa said. "Jess LET YOU IN?" I cried. "Yup," Teressa said, "If I remember right her exact words were, 'Oh, what do I care if you trash Kenna's room? In fact, do it, she's a horrible friend.' " I started crying again. Jess and Saige had probably did this on purpose! They were HORRIBLE friends!! "Teressa, please leave, I need to have time." I said. Teressa ran off. I shut the door.
I settled on my loft bed, with Cooper beside me, and started reading one of my favorite book series-Judy Moody. It helped me get my mind off things!
But I couldn't get my mind off things! I was so mad at Saige and Jess! I looked at my watch and realizied it was a time for my yoga class at Real Spirit Center.
When I got there, I saw a new girl had joined the class. Her name was Caroline, and she had long, blond, curly hair and really pretty blue eyes. "Hi," she said to me, "you are McKenna, right?" "Yes," I replied, "want to be friends? I don't have any." "Sure," she said, "what do you like to do?" "Well, I like gymnastics," I said, "and poetry! You?" "I like sailing," said Caroline, "as well as reading." I smilied as we hand in hand walked into class.
Uncovering a Plot
As we left Sparkle Studios, I worried that I had hurt McKenna's feelings worse. Jess wanted to go shopping and Anna-Lynn had to go to Good Sports Center, so I continued on to the stables by myself. I wanted to talk to Angel about my problems; she might not have a solution, but at least she'd listen. I was almost to the stables when I heard whispering in the trees.
"You mean it's really working?" I heard a high-pitched voice say.
"Yeah!" Said another voice. I didn't like the looks of this, so I crept closer where I could hear better (and see too!). What I saw boggled my mind. There were two girls (both MAGs) sitting in the small cluster of trees, hidden from the trail. I knew I'd seem one of them before. As she spoke again, I knew which girl it was! Teressa! The girl who'd been following McKenna around!
"Uh, oh!" I thought. "This doesn't sound good." The girls continued talking, not knowing I was there.
"I've been doing things that McKenna wouldn't like, and then I said that Jess told or let me to do them!" Teressa said with a giggle.
"Like what?" The other girl asked.
"Well, earlier today I sneaked into McKenna's dorm room. She'd left it unlocked. I told her Jess let me in, Stacey!" The two girls laughed. Stacey and Teressa, of all people! My hands clenched into fists, but I wanted to get more incriminating evidence, so I tried not to make any noise.
"By the way, Teressa", Stacey said. "Why exactly a we doing this?"
"Because its funny!" Teressa answered. "Saige, Anna-Lynn, Jess, and McKenna's reactions are hilarious!" Hilarious! I wanted to scream. How could anyone be so mean or uncaring?
"Plus", Teressa added, "we'll have a new person in the game soon! McKenna has been hanging out with the new girl Caroline today! Now we can mess their friendship up!"
I was mad! No, I was beyond mad! How dare they? I was glad McKenna had found someone to hang out with till the party; then all of us, including Caroline, could be friends. But now, I had to tell Jess and Anna-Lynn. And I had to stop Teressa and Stacey from ruining Caroline and McKenna's friendship. I jumped up and sprinted down the trail towards Shopping Square. I ducked into Glittering Gowns, Jess' favorite store, first and sure enough, there she was, looking at the new dresses. I pulled her hand and she saw the urgency in my eyes. I explained in between breaths on the way to Good Sports Center, where we could tell Anna-Lynn. We must not be too late to save all of us' friendship!
For some reason, whenever I hung out with Caroline, that Teressa girl followed me around. When I looked back and saw her once, she was with this other girl. They acted like they were just normally there, not following us.
I hadn't talked to Jess in almost a week. I was really sad because Jess had been a great friend, but at least I had Caroline. She was really funny, and she even rented a boat at Starfire Boathouse once!
I was on my way home, from another gymnastics practice, when I noticed Jess and Saige inside Glittering Gowns, in a deep conversation. I almost went in there and apoligized, but then I realized they were probably over me. I kept walking down Shopping Square, when I noticed Caroline outside of Twinkly Toes, talking to Teressa. What is that girl up to? I thought.
Standing up for Ourselves
Me, Anna-Lynn, and Jess were on our way back to Brightstar House to discuss this newest, huge problem. On the way, we cut through Shopping Square so Jess could pick up her 'on-hold' things from Glittering Gown. Right next to the doorway were Teressa and Caroline, arguing hotly. Wait a minute! Teressa and Caroline! Don't tell me they're in cahoots too! But as we drew closer, I saw that Caroline certainly wasn't.
"How dare you tell me to do that!" I heard her exclaim at Teressa. Both girls' voices were rising, and soon, we could hear everything they said. The three of us backed behind a tree where we could hear, and right into McKenna!
"McKenna!" I exclaimed. "I've been looking everywhere for you! I'm really sorry about how unfriendly I've been."
"So am I." She said. "But let's talk later! I want to hear the rest of what Caroline and Teressa are saying." It wasn't hard, either. By now, the girls were almost yelling.
"How dare you tell me to sneak into McKenna's room and take her favorite leotard!" Caroline yelled. "That's the meanest thing ever! And you know what, Teressa? I bet you had something to do with all the problems that McKenna, Jess, and Saige have had!" McKenna looked at all three of us in bewilderment, and I nodded.
"I heard Teressa and Stacey talking along the trail to Rising Star Stables. They've been trying to ruin our friendships on purpose! They thought it was funny! Earlier, when Teressa was in your room?" I said. McKenna nodded, shooting a glance at Jess. "Well", I continued. "She got in on her own. You left your door unlocked." McKenna's hand flew to her mouth.
"Come on!" I said. "We're going to stand up for ourselves!" The other girls nodded, and we all marched out towards Caroline and Teressa. Both of them looked startled. Teressa started to rib Caroline, again, though.
"Save it, Teressa!" McKenna said. "I know what you've been doing. And if you don't stop right now, I'm reporting you to the principal!" Teressa's mouth hung open in shock, and she stomped off, but not before promising to stop all her devious schemes.
"It's not what you think, McKenna!" Caroline said worriedly. "I wasn't in cahoots with her."
"We know." I said. "We heard most of your conversation." A smile lit of Caroline's face and all of us smiled. We were all together again, as friends. And not a moment too soon, either! Tomorrow was the party for McKenna, and I couldn't wait to see how it turned out.
An Old Friend and A New Friend
I was SO glad my fight with Jess and Saige was over. In fact, right now we were on our way to the principal to report what had happened. (Luckily, the Principal really liked Jess and I, so maybe he would believe us.....)
After telling the principal what happened he said, "Thanks, girls, Teressa's always been in some kind of trouble. She will be punished, and thank you for telling me. And now, maybe Saige, you and McKenna can be come friends." We both looked at eachother and smilied. Maybe Saige wasn't so stuck-up, after all. And, she hadn't told anyone about my secret (the tutoring....). We stood up and left, and Saige said, "Hey, McKenna, would you like to come see my horse at Rising Star Stables?" "Sure," I agreed, "and after that, want to watch my gymnastics class?" We both smilied and walked out of Brightstar House, hand in hand.
After watching McKenna's gymnastics class, I had to hurry over to Star Student Center to make sure the food was all ready for the next day. It was. The invitations had been sent out a few days ago, and almost everyone had accepted. I only had one more idea to make this the perfect party for McKenna. I rushed back into the center and told the food director. She nodded and smiled. I couldn't wait until tomorrow!
The next day, I woke up early at 6 o'clock. I hurriedly threw on some clothes, and tip toed across the hallway to Anna-Lynn's room where Jess already was. We had to clear everything ready for the party.
"Good morning!" I said cheerily. They returned the greeting.
"Is everything ready?" Asked Anna-Lynn.
"My part is done." Jess said.
"Me too!" I echoed.
"Me three!" Anna-Lynn said and we all collapsed into giggles. We decided to use our original plan to get McKenna to Sparkle Studios: Jess would tell her she wanted to work on an art project. After yesterday afternoon, McKenna had a sudden interest in art, and so we thought it would work. Anna-Lynn and I left Brightstar House and hurried to Sparkle Studios, her carrying the banner we had created and me carrying my special painting and poem I had done. The food had already been delivered when we got there, and Anna-Lynn noticed that there was one extra covered plate.
"What is that?" She asked.
"Oh, it's a special surprise for McKenna that I had Star Student Center create last night." I said breezily. I lifted the cover, and Anna-Lynn gasped. It was a cake! But not just any cake. It was a work of art. The cooks had made a gymnastics floor out of frosting and a gymnast (who, coincidentally, looked a lot like McKenna) was standing tall in the middle with her leg in an arabesque, proud and graceful. The cake was perfect, even better than I'd imagined it, and I knew McKenna would love it. All the girls began to arrive, and within fifteen minutes, they were all there. Caroline helped Anna-Lynn and I hang up the beautiful banner in the very middle of the room, above the food table. I propped up my painting of a gymnast on the balance beam on my easel in another corner of the room. I set my poem, written out on paper, beside it. A big hush fell over the room as Caroline saw Jess and McKenna approaching on the path through the window. The look on McKenna's face when she came in was something I'll never forget. She was surprised, happier than words,and crying all at the same time.
"You did this all for me?" She asked.
"Yes!" We all chorused together. She pulled Anna-Lynn, Caroline, Jess, and I into one big hug and I knew we'd forever be friends.
Look out for our sequel coming soon!! And our prequel!