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"Ashley! Have you seen my purple tank top?" I shouted. I yanked open my bottom dresser drawer and emptied the entire contents onto the floor.
"No! Sorry!" Ashley shouted back, her voice muffled. She was obviously in the back of her closet, doing the same thing I was -- last-minute emergency packing for our summer away.
I sifted through the tangle of clothes, then looked around my room and sighed. The place was always a wreck, but today it was ten times messier than usual. My suitcase sat open in the middle of my bed with clothes spewing out of it. All the rejected items were strewn on the floor. My makeup case was packed to the brim and my backpack overflowed with magazines, hair products, and pictures of my friends.
The tank top, of course, was nowhere in sight.
"I can't believe we're leaving today!" Ashley gasped. She ran into my room, her big blue eyes sparkling.
"I know!" I said. "This time tomorrow, we are going to be chillin' with rock stars."
"Living on our own!" Ashley added.
"Living on our own surrounded by rock stars," I added.
Ashley perched on the edge of my bed. "I still can't believe Dad is letting us work at MusicFest."
"Yeah, tell me about it." I frowned with mock concern. "Do you think he's going senile?"
"Mary-Kate!" Ashley rolled her eyes. She picked up a piece of clothing from the floor and tossed it at me. It landed on my head, covering my face. I peeled it away. Oh, wow! My purple tank top.
"Good. I'm going to go put my stuff in the car. I'll meet you downstairs!" Ashley nearly skipped out of the room.
I went back to packing. I was totally kidding about that senile comment -- but it really had come as a shock when Dad announced that he'd found summer jobs for Ashley and me at a huge music festival.
Dad works for a record company and constantly hangs with all these way cool people, but he's never let Ashley and me within three miles of anyone famous. He makes a point of keeping his family separate from his job.
But I guess when he heard about this MusicFest opportunity, he realized it was too good to pass up. Ashley and I would be spending a month living in the dorms at Trager University, going to free concerts, meeting new people...and, oh, yeah, working a little.
Satisfied that I finally had everything, I zipped my suitcase shut, grabbed all my bags, and lugged them downstairs.
My parents were outside, leaning on the Mustang convertible they had given Ashley and me as a sweet sixteen gift. Looking at the shiny pink car still gave me goose bumps. I couldn't believe it was ours!
"Have I mentioned recently that you guys are the coolest parents ever?" I said. I struggled to lift my bags into the backseat next to Ashley's.
"No, not recently," Dad joked. He gave Mom's shoulder a little squeeze.
"I mean, first you let us throw the biggest, most amazing sweet sixteen party ever, then you get us a car, and now you're letting us go away for an entire month." I put my hands on my hips. "I really think there should be an award for this kind of behavior."
"Well, you're about to think we're even cooler," Dad said. He reached into the passenger seat of our car and pulled out two brand-new cell phones -- one was shiny silver. The other one was metallic purple. "Are you kidding me?" I exclaimed. I grabbed the silver one. I knew Ashley would totally love the purple.
"We weren't going to let you leave without a way of contacting us in an emergency," Mom said.
"Thank you, guys, so much!" I cried. "Now I can call Jake and Brittany and Lauren--"
"I said emergencies," Mom corrected me. She gave me a big bear hug. "I'm going to miss you!"
"I'm going to miss you, too!" I answered.
"Mary-Kate!" Ashley called from the house. "Telephone! It's Jake!"
My heart gave a little flop. I ran back to the house, slipping my new cell in my pocket.
Jake Impenna was this amazing, gorgeous, sensitive, athletic, soon-to-be-senior whom I started dating last spring after a ton of misunderstandings. First I invited him to our sweet sixteen party. Then I uninvited him and he thought I didn't like him. Then I invited him again.... It was a huge mess! But it ended with Jake and me totally happy together.
"Wait till you see what Mom and Dad got us!" I whispered to Ashley as I took the phone from her. She grinned and jogged outside.
"Hey," I said to Jake. I tucked my long blond hair behind my ear as I walked into the living room.
"Hey," he said quietly. The sound of his voice made my skin tingle. I could tell he was already missing me. I had to admit I was missing him, too. "I just wanted to call to say good-bye again and...you know...wish you luck."
"Thanks." I walked slowly around the couch. "I'll call you as soon as I get there."
"Cool," Jake said. "So listen, don't fall in love with any rock stars while you're there, okay?"
"I promise I won't," I answered. "Unless, of course, I meet Gavin Michaels. Then I can't be responsible for my actions."
Gavin was the eighteen-year-old lead singer of my favorite band, Glowstick, and everyone knew I had a massive crush on him.
"Ha ha," Jake said dryly. "Well, I'll miss you, Mary-Kate."
"I'll miss you, too, Jake." I squeezed my eyes shut, hard, to keep...Mary-Kate & Ashley Sweet 16 #3: The Perfect Summer. Copyright © by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.