The morning and evening after

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Magnolia

    I was woken up by the sound of my siblings running around my house. I let out a groan. You'd think in a house as big as mine they could find someplace to play that wouldn't disturb my sleep. But you'd be wrong. I looked at the clock and rolled my eyes. 7:30? It's a weekend, why can't I sleep in at all! I moaned and climbed out of bed. I went to the bathroom and began to wash my face. I was a bit of a skincare freak, I really rather not age, so after my many, many steps of washing my face, I slathered a lot of sunscreen on my face and chest.

    I looked at myself in the mirror and frowned. I studied my face. I had full lips, thanks to a biking accident when I was young, which filled my lips with scar tissue, basically an unintentional lip job. I had dark, full eyebrows that contrasted my strawberry/dirty blonde hair. I had large green eyes and extremely long eyelashes, once again, thanks to the fact that people in my family had a lot of hair, but I had like an extreme amount of thick hair, eyebrows, and lashes. Freckles also littered my slightly tanned face.

    "Nola!! Come eat breakfast!" my sister yelled at me from outside my door. My family calls me Nola for two reasons. The first is because it's a nickname for Magnolia, the Second is because I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. So, NOLA.

"I'm coming!" I yelled back, slightly annoyed. I am not a morning person compared to the rest of my family, who enjoyed waking up at 4:30 to go work out or at 6:30 naturally. Hard pass.

I sauntered downstairs to the kitchen, still in my pajamas. My three younger siblings aggressively eating pancakes my mom had made.

"Annie, baby, Breathe," My mom said to my sister. She gulped and then dramatically breathed, and then started eating again. My mom shook her head and looked up and saw me.

"Hey ladybug, want some pancakes?" she said, leaning back from the counter.

"Yes please!" I said excitedly. I found myself aggressively eating the pancakes just as my siblings had seconds before. And somehow, I beat them to finish. I am constantly in a state of hunger. If you feed me, I'll love you forever. Just as I was putting my dishes into the sink, my father walked in.

"Hey Silly!" He said. My mom calls me and my siblings ladybug and my dad calls me silly. There's just a lot of nicknames and terms of endearment in this household, to say the least.

"Hi! Good morning!" I perked up.

"Don't forget, we have that dinner tonight to go to, to talk about your new school."

Shit, I totally forgot about that. In a month or so, my family would be going to live in England for a semester or a year of schooling, depending on how my dad's job went, but not more. And I was being sent to some preppy Westwood Boarding School where people probably had stupid uniforms and stuff. Definitely not my cup of tea. I much preferred my current school I went to, which was the best academic school there was in the south, but somehow it was very "no rules", "anything goes" kinda school. I refuse to wear a uniform.

I simply nodded and went upstairs. I made my bed and got changed into some high waisted jean shorts and an old Bob Dylan t-shirt, which I French tucked into my jeans. I let my hair fall down as usual in its waves.

I looked down at my phone for the first time this morning and groaned when I saw texts from a few new numbers. I clicked on the first one I saw.

Hey Magnolia! It's Caspain, here are the pictures we took! Also- follow me on Instagram! I might post these! and then he sent a bunch of winking emojis. I rolled my eyes and typed back.

Huh, I'm surprised you texted me after all! I laughed to myself and followed whatever Instagram account he had. When I did I was immediately shocked. First of all, he had a couple of thousand followers, which is a lot, especially compared to mine, which was under a single thousand.

The second thing that surprised me was that he had posted those pictures. I clicked on the post and saw some of the self-timer photos with me with them. As I swiped I saw a few silly photos of the boys all over town, taking super touristy photos. The caption was "My Honky Tonk Angel". I rolled my eyes, but I couldn't help from blushing. That was so sweet, annoying and stupid, but sweet. What the heck?

While I was on his Instagram I looked at the other photos he had posted and was pleasantly surprised. He had photos of him, (shirtless) hanging from the masts of boats, and traveling all around the world, seemingly with all the other guys. I went back to my text messages and looked at the other ones.

Hi! It's Rowen... Thanks for making last night memorable! He seemed so sweet, But I had a feeling these boys were normally trouble. I should definitely keep my guard up, but then again... cute boys... I thought to myself.

I texted back, anytime!

Laurent or Matteo hadn't texted me much, except Matteo asking me for my snap. Ugh, these boys.

I had an insanely fun time the other night, but I wasn't naive enough to think I'd see them again. But I could totally tell my friends that I had an insane night with 4 hot European senior boys. I laughed to myself and shook my head at the thought. That is so unlike me.

I spent the day walking around and playing music. I love music more than anything in life. It fills me with such joy. And I love to dance, but I am so, so devastatingly bad at it. My family yells at me to stop singing all the time. "Nola, Stop singing at the table", "Nola, stop singing in the car", "Nola, stop singing" are basically all I hear. I can't help it, I love to sing.

My voice is the only way I translate my emotions to the world. Whenever I was stressed or upset or happy or anything, I would sing or dance. It felt just so good. And the best part was, I was super duper good at memorizing lyrics. My friends would text me by playing hits from years and years ago, or random songs, and I would be able to sing all the words, even then I had just denied ever knowing what the song was by its title.

When evening came and I started to get ready for dinner. I straightened my hair so it was slick and straight. I love makeup, so I did mine. Not too much, I wasn't a fan of foundation and contour, but I liked having dew skin and super dark eyelashes.

I put on a magenta, white and black, silk scarf looking wrap dress and super, low, nude, block heel Steve Maddens. I grabbed my black YSL bag and looked at myself in the mirror.

"Eh good enough," I said as I looked myself up and down.

My younger siblings were staying home, so my dad rolled out our white Porsche Targa with red leather seats he gave to my mom for her 40th birthday. I climbed into the tiny back seat behind my mom. We were going to an extremely expensive sushi restaurant in a trendier part of town.

"Oh Nola, there's gonna be some boys your age I think my friend is bringing. Be on your best behavior." He caught my eye in the rearview mirror and I promised  I would. It was a quick drive, considering I live fairly close to downtown.

When we got there, a valet took the car, obviously excited to drive it. Honestly, I would be too if I was in his position. I loved cars, especially ever since my parents taught me to drive. My own car was a sweet little Volvo because it was safe. But it was new, and most of my friends didn't get new cars for their 16th birthday. But just like everything in life, my parents adamantly remind me it's not MY car, it is my dad's car I get to drive.

A man helped me out of the backseat, and I stepped out onto the curb. The summer haze immediately hit me. You could hear people loudly chattering on the street, all the pleasant noises of the city.

We walked into the restaurant, and we followed the waiter to our table. Apparently our guests had already arrived, which was surprising because we were already earlier than planned. I looked around at the dark and modern atmosphere of the restaurant, which wreaked of wealth. I followed the waitress who was wearing a tight black dress to a table which there sitting was the biggest shock.

I saw the four boys from last night, along with possibly Rowen's father. I assumed it was them based solely on the resemblance.  All the men stood up and shook hands with my father as I just stood there dumbstruck.


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