If . . .
Everyone Knew Your Name
Homebodies make for
nobodies, unless you live
where the boys are.
. . . In the days that followed, the movers
came and the Millers unpacked. Haley seemed to be settling
in swimmingly until the morning of her first day of school.
Convinced that everyone’s first
impression of her would determine what her life would be like
for the remainder of her high school career, Haley spent hours
running between her closet and her mother’s full-length
mirror, trying to find something suitable to wear.
Every article of clothing she owned was
systematically rejected as too something. “Too West
Coast.” “Too last year.” “Too unflattering.”
Joan called from the kitchen, before Haley was fully dressed.
With not another second to spare, Haley
grabbed a pair of khaki pants and a pink sweater, in fact
the first outfit she had tried on nearly two hours earlier.
“You don’t want to be
late,” Joan said from the bottom of the stairs.
“I’m coming!” Haley replied,
grabbing the blue book bag off her chair. She was still putting
her hair up in a ponytail when she arrived in the kitchen,
walking right into the shot her father had set up with his
“So Haley, thoughts? Impressions?”
he called out from behind the equipment. “It’s
your first day as a sophomore at Hillsdale High. What are
you looking forward to this year?”
That was the thing about growing up with
a documentary filmmaker for a father. You lived your life
in front of a vintage Super 8 camera. Every awkward stage,
every embarrassing moment, the bad haircuts, the braces, it
was all captured on film.
“I’m looking forward
to being one year closer to getting out of this house,”
Haley said, faking a smile before swallowing her vitamins
in a single gulp of freshly squeezed orange juice.
her mom pressed.
“Sorry, Mom, gotta run,”
Haley said, dashing out the door as Freckles snatched her
buttered bagel off the table.
Outside, Haley checked herself out in
her mirrored pencil case. Not bad, she thought. Her sunburn,
thankfully, had faded to a tan, and miraculously, there wasn’t
a sign of a breakout in sight.
As Haley walked down the driveway toward
the street, Perry loaded Mitchell into the station wagon.
“You sure you don’t need a
ride, sweetie?” he called out to Haley as Mitchell stared
at her blankly from the backseat.
“No, I’m fine, Dad.
Really,” she said. The last thing she needed was to
be dropped off at school by her dad on her very first day.
Besides, she had just spotted Reese standing at the end of
the driveway, and she wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity
to share a seat with him on the bus.
“Really. Go ahead,”
she said, waving.
“Okay. Suit yourself,”
her father said. He honked the horn and waved to Reese as
he pulled out onto the street.
Haley took her time walking to the curb,
forcing herself not to look in Reese’s direction. Don’t
seem eager, she thought. She was just about to casually glance
up, feign surprise and say hello when a white convertible
full of girls peeled around the corner and screeched to a
halt in front of Reese’s house.
“Morning, handsome. Need a
lift?” a pretty brunette with perfect skin and intense
green eyes asked from the passenger seat.
“Hey, Coco,” Reese said
in a familiar tone. “Ali, don’t you ever get sick
of carting your little sister’s friends around?”
“As if I have a choice,”
Ali said. “Why do you think my parents gave me the new
car?” Meanwhile, a perky blond in the backseat was dismissively
eyeing Haley’s khaki pants and pink sweater. “Who’s
your friend?” she asked Reese. “Or is this another
one of your charity cases?”
“Whitney, you know you really
shouldn’t frown so much,” Reese said. “You’ll
get wrinkles.” “Shut up!” Whitney cried,
reaching for her compact. “That’s it, I’m
asking my father for Botox this Christmas.”
“Whitney, you’re Jewish,”
the driver said coolly from behind a pair of silver shades.
“Actually, Ali, the Kleins
celebrate everything these days,” Coco said with a snide
glance. “My soon-to-be-stepmonster is Catholic,”
Whitney said, staring at her reflection. “Am I really
getting laugh lines?”
“Maybe if you didn’t
spend forty-five minutes a week in your tanning bed, you’d
have less to worry about,” Coco replied. “So are
you coming or not?” she asked Reese.
“Guess I’ll see you
later, Haley,” Reese said, smiling and winking at her
as he jumped into the backseat next to Whitney.
“Haley. That’s so cute,”
said Whitney, exaggerating her words. “Like the star.”
“You mean comet, stupid,” Alison said, her foot
already on the gas. As the convertible disappeared around
the bend, Haley was left standing dumbstruck on the sidewalk,
plagued by the nagging suspicion that Reese Highland was way
more than just friends with one of the girls in the car.
• • •
• • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • •
Boy, does Haley ever have
a lot to learn. She’s about to be thrown to the wolves
of the New Jersey public school system. And if she’s
not careful, they’re going to tear her apart.
It was sort of cute, though, wasn’t
it? Haley thinking someone like Reese Highland would have
to ride the bus to school? And speaking of Reese, will he
come to think of Haley as more than just the girl next door
this year? Or will he fall under the spell of the wicked Coco
Haley is about to face the toughest
choices of her young life. And guess what, she’s all
yours. What if Haley becomes the most popular girl in school?
What if she falls flat on her face? Or . . . what if no one
notices her at all? Who will Haley Miller become in your hands?
It’s time for you to make the
first move. To have Haley call her dad’s cell phone
and beg him to come pick her up, [click
here]. To make her brave the bus alone, [click
It’s a brand-new year at Hillsdale
High, and for Haley Miller, it’s a brand-new life. Her
grades, her friends, her love life, her future—it’s
all up to you. So get ready to change the fate of the girl
with the most potential at Hillsdale High.
TAKE THE BUS
CALL DAD FOR