Suddenly Starlet--Chapter One

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Chapter One

            “So Shelby’s totally going around telling everyone that you get all your clothes at the One Stop Shop,” Kat said.

            The two girls talked as they walked down Main Street on their way to the coffee shop. It was an oddly warm day for September, and Laney and Kat were planning on cooling off with iced coffees before heading back home.

            “I’ve never even been in the One Stop Shop! I mean, doesn’t anyone have an appreciation for vintage clothes anymore?” Laney mumbled, as she tugged at her thrift store shirt.

            “Seriously, Lane, don’t even give it a second thought. You know that Shelby’s just jealous,” said Kat.

            “Yeah right,” Laney snorted and glanced sideways at her friend. “Why would she be jealous of me?”

            “Hello?! You’re captain of the cheerleading squad, you’ve got this perfect little body and—”

            “First of all, Shelby’s on the soccer team and doesn’t care about cheerleading,” Laney interrupted. “And second, my body is nowhere near perfect.”

            Laney Herman caught her reflection in a store window and privately scrutinized what she saw. She noticed how her fitted pants clung to her in all the right areas and her Scooby Doo inspired T-shirt showed off her tiny waist and fit arms. My body might not be perfect, but it’s not that bad either, Laney thought.

            They continued down the street, occasionally stopping to glance in shop windows along the way. They walked through the door of the Coffee Beanery ten minutes later, thankful for the cool blast of air coming from the shop.

            “Do you think they can just shoot the caffeine straight into my veins?” Laney whispered to Kat as they waited in line to order. “Mom’s still freaking about me drinking her coffee in the morning. She’s all like, ‘you’re only fourteen. You shouldn’t start drinking coffee, till you’re at least twenty,’ blah, blah, blah. It’s like she doesn’t remember what it’s like to be fourteen anymore.”

            “My mom figures that if coffee’s all I’m addicted to at my age, then she’s lucky,” said Kat, grinning.

            They ordered grande iced mochas, Laney’s with extra whipped cream, and sat down at a table near the window. As Kat started to go on about her science project that was due the next day, Laney turned to people-watch out the window.

            It wasn’t until she felt a tap on her shoulder that Laney realized she had been tuning everything out around her, including her friend.

            “Excuse me, miss?”

            Laney turned to see an older man standing near their table.

            “Uh, yeah?” Laney asked, raising one of her eyebrows as she glanced up at the man.

            He looked somewhere around the age of her math teacher, Mr. Ratch, but this guy had blonde hair whereas Mr. Ratch had gray hair. He was also much more tan than Mr. Ratch. Really tan. As Laney studied him, she began to wonder if the tan was painted on or whether he had really spent that much time in the sun.

            “Hi. My name is Donald Hyperman. I’m an agent in Los Angeles and I handle all sorts of talent. Have you ever considered acting before?” the older man asked Laney.

            Laney looked at Kat and then back at the man.

            “Not really,” Laney responded. Who was this guy anyway, Laney thought to herself.

            “Well, I’m usually pretty good at spotting talent when I see it, and I think you’ve got that je ne sais quoi, miss—I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name,” the tan man said holding out his hand.

            “Um, Laney Herman. And jenny say what?” she asked, as she shook his hand. Laney heard Kat stifle a giggle and kicked her hard in the shin under the table.

            “Jen e sais quoi. It means that certain something. And you, my dear, have it,” he said.

            “I do?”

            “Of course you do. Now, I’m going to leave you my card. Tell your parents to give me a call and we can get into more detail about all this later.”

            Laney hesitantly took the card the man was extending to her and before she could say “thanks,” he was already heading for the door.

            “Ciao,” the man said, slipping on his sunglasses and nodding in the girls’ direction.

            The two watched the tan man slide behind the wheel of a white convertible and disappear around the corner. When Laney finally turned her attention back to the table, she noticed Kat making faces into her compact mirror as if she were posing for invisible cameras.

            “You want to make me a star?” Kat asked the mirror in her most sweet and innocent voice.

            Laney stuck her tongue out at her friend and grabbed her iced coffee.

            “Oh, shut up.”