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Mary-Kate & Ashley Sweet 16 #7: Playing Games(Playing Games)
By Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
All right reserved.
"Mary-Kate Olsen -- photojournalist!" Lauren declared. "These pictures look so professional!"
"Thanks," I said. "It's easy when I have great subjects like you three."
I was wandering through the annual Bayside High Art Show with my twin sister, Ashley, and our best friends, Lauren Glazer and Brittany Bowen. Lauren loomed over us, pale and freckle-faced, with wavy brown hair. Brittany was tall, too, and long-legged, with smooth brown skin, dark brown eyes, and short curly hair.
I'd entered some of my photos in the art show -- just casual shots taken of Ashley and my friends -- and won first place!
Brittany laughed and pointed at a picture of Ashley. "That's got to be my favorite," she said.
The photo showed Ashley in her pajamas, bleary-eyed, her wavy blond hair mussed up, having just woken up one morning. I thought she looked adorable. I don't think Ashley agreed with me, though.
Ashley gasped when she saw it. "Mary-Kate!" she cried. "I can't believe you used that one! Now the whole school has seen me in my pajamas!"
"Get over it, Ashley," Brittany said. "Look what she did to me." She nodded at a group shot ofthe four of us, taken with the timer device on my camera. Lauren, Ashley, and I were smiling normally, but Brittany was making a funny, cross-eyed face. "That little joke has come back to haunt me -- big time," she added.
"But I love that one!" Lauren exclaimed. "It's so funny!"
"And it's so us," Ashley added. "Kind of cool, kind of goofy. . ."
"That's what I was going for," I explained. "The real us, warts and all."
"Speak for yourself, Mary-Kate," Brittany joked. "I don't have warts!"
"Congratulations, Mary-Kate." Someone tapped my shoulder. I turned and found myself face-to-face with my ex-boyfriend, Jake Impenna.
"Hi, Jake," I said. I hadn't spoken to him in a while, not since we broke up. I was so mad at him! He thought I was spending too much time with a friend of mine, Sam McHugh, and got jealous. I couldn't convince him that Sam and I were just friends. I saw a side of Jake I didn't know was there before -- and I didn't like it. So we fought about it and broke up. But now that I had cooled off a little, I had to admit I missed him.
"Your pictures are fantastic," Jake said. "Really amazing. "Thanks," I said.
"You're really talented," he added. "Your photos are the best thing in the art show. Everyone is talking about them."
I melted into a smile. I didn't know what to say. I wanted to tell him I missed him. But I didn't.
"Well -- I just wanted to say congratulations." Jake nodded at me and walked away. Ashley studied my face. "Are you okay?" "Yeah," I said. "That was nice of him."
"He wasn't just being nice," Ashley insisted. "Everything he said was true. Your pictures are the best thing in the art show."
"Well, they did bring me some good luck," I admitted. "What do you mean?" Lauren asked.
"Ms. Barbour saw my photos when I was hanging them this morning -- " I began. Ms. Barbour was a new English teacher.
"What was she like?" Brittany interrupted me. "She's so chic, I'm almost afraid to talk to her. Did you know she used to work for a fashion magazine in New York?"
I nodded. None of us had Ms. Barbour for English, but we'd all noticed her. She didn't really look like a teacher. She was tall and thin, with short, glossy dark hair, funky red glasses, and a closet full of fashionable clothes. "What did she say?" Lauren asked.
"She's starting up a new school Website," I said. "And she wants me to work on it!"
"That's great!" Brittany exclaimed.
"Excellent!" Ashley slapped me five. "This calls for a celebration. Anybody up for an iced mocha at Click?"
"Let's go," Lauren said.
"Four tall iced mochas," I ordered.
"With extra cocoa on mine," Mary-Kate put in.
"And whipped cream on mine," Lauren said.
Malcolm, who worked behind the counter at Click Cafe, looked up from the book he was reading. I couldn't help peeking at the title -- Down the Bunny Trail: The Meaning of Rabbits in British Literature. He was always reading some kind of weird book or journal -- everything from cooking magazines to carpentry guides to Roman history. "I have wide interests," he told me once. No kidding.
"Urn, I'm sorry Ashley," Malcolm drawled in his slow, lazy voice. "I totally did not hear what you said.
We repeated our orders. Malcolm swiped his lank brown hair out of his eyes and went to make the coffees. He was skinny and pale, with sleepy eyes.
Mary-Kate, Lauren, Brittany, and I settled at a table near the window. Click Cafe was my favorite hangout. It was a coffeehouse for teens, and it felt like a private clubhouse for me and my friends.
Malcolm delivered four tall iced mochas to our table. "If you need anything else just yell," he said. "But only if it's really important, okay?"
"Here's to Mary-Kate," Lauren said, clinking her glass against Mary-Kate's.
"All right," Brittany cheered, lifting her glass. "Congrats on your success at the art show!"
"Thanks, you guys." Mary-Kate grinned and sipped her drink.
"So what is this new Website about?" Lauren asked Mary-Kate.
"Ms. Barbour wants it to be like an alternative to the school newspaper," Mary-Kate explained. "I'll help design the Web pages, choose photos, and write captions for them -- and maybe write some articles, too."
"Sounds fun," Brittany said.
"And it will look great on your record when you apply to colleges," Lauren added.
"The cool thing is, we're starting it from scratch, Mary-Kate said. We can make it anything we want it to be! I'm thinking of starting a feature called 'Sixteen' -- stuff about what it's like to be sixteen, the fun parts and the hard parts, what different sixteen-year-olds are thinking about. . ."
Excerpted from Mary-Kate & Ashley Sweet 16 #7: Playing Games by Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Copyright © 2006 by Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen. Excerpted by permission.
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