Chloe was happy to spend the summer flipping burgers and waiting for college to start. But then her sister Stacy, the apple of her parent’s eye, Miss Straight-A, valedictorian herself, rode out of town on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley. Suddenly a summer at home wasn’t the breeze it was supposed to be.
Chloe ran away (if having your parents fly up with you can be called running away,) arriving in Montreal three months before her freshman semester was due to start. With nerdy study partner Tal as her only company, Chloe thought she’d escaped the drama.
Then she met Seth….
“One rule about life; there’s always room for more random.”
Seth Wilks has spent his whole life with women throwing themselves at him. He was a beautiful baby, adorable in Kindergarten, and officially hot by 8th grade. By the time he graduated, (pre-med, philosophy major, magna cum laude) grown women were stopping to stare at him in the street.
While all of that attention should result in an ego the size of a small solar system, Seth rebels by being thoughtful and sincere; an all-around nice guy. This does little to reduce his reputation with the ladies. Still burned from his last break-up, Seth won’t date anyone who isn’t honest and real. As a result, Seth’s spent the last year and a half single and is in no hurry to change that status.
“Life is not a ride at Disney. You don’t just pick which story you’re living out and then let it happen to you. Life is something you choose.”
Tal is a super hero; one of the People, cosmic guardians sent to earth to maintain the balance between Connection and Disconnection. She spends her spare time fighting the forces of the Adversary in the Palace realm. Her actions in the physical world earn her fire power in the Palace. Like all of the People, Tal tells the whole truth about her mission in the name of religion, only to see the listener’s eyes glaze over at the mention of God. The People know that the truth will protect them, because no one will ever believe them.
But Tal has a secret. She wants the chance to feel like a normal girl. When the enviably cool Chloe starts studying with her, Tal does the unthinkable and hides the truth to keep her friend.
“I’m glad that watching me fight a pitched battle in a higher spiritual realm makes me seem less weird.”
Spike would never do anything as unoriginal as becoming a Goth to annoy her former beauty queen mother. Although, in the transition between her mother’s third and fourth husbands, it was a pleasant bonus. Spike got herself into Harvard and stewarded Chloe through the ‘Stacy saga’ without breaking a single blood-red, glitter-tipped nail. Now she has her work cut out for her, dispensing snark-laced advice and guiding Chloe through the perils of true love.
“Don’t give me any of that ‘would you jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if all your friends did’ crap. Sometimes all your friends are going bungee jumping.”
Jen attended three high schools in four years. But moving house didn’t keep her parents’ marriage together. Jen is happy to be away from the imploding divorce proceedings. Switching schools has taught Jen a trick or two, now she could major in social manipulation. Jen uses her powers for the forces of good, creating a vibrant social circle wherever she goes.
“Anyone can be popular as long as they have friends they don’t like.”
Bret surfs the way other people breathe. Mr. and Mrs. Lowe were worried he’d be too busy catching the waves to catch a class. School in snowy Montreal was a compromise. Snowboarding could fill his spare time as long as he made it through school. With his childhood best friend, Seth Wilks, watching his back and helping him maintain a steady 2.0, Bret was all set.
“I just can’t take it anymore. Drinking like there’s no tomorrow …. is fair enough. But this is too much.”
Things like this happened to other people. Other people ran away from home to stay with their biker boyfriend. Other people worked their way through school taking the night shift at 7/11. Stacy was prom queen and valedictorian rolled into one tanned, blond package. She was born to be in the A crowd, early acceptance to Dartmouth was a given. Until she met Rob, and discovered that true love didn’t require correctly spelled tattoos.
“What should I do? Send her a world’s best grandma magnet and hope she works it out?”