The Adventures of Lilly
Book One – The Beauty Pageant
After the makeup session, the girls moved on to aerobics. While there, they would engage in a number of physical exercises to stay physically and mentally fit for the competition.
“OK girls, let’s get in shape! Let’s get huffing and puffing and get the blood flowing,” said Mrs. Juniper.
She put on some slow, classical music while demonstrating some warm-up exercises to start the session off. After fifteen minutes of warm-up stretches, Mrs. Juniper switched the music to several upbeat rock songs. She had the girls doing some of every movement they could imagine. It was a very fun time for them. Lilly forgot the accident in the makeup room. Gwynet was full of laughter. Cathy did some movements of her own. The girls could hardly control their laughter as they viewed themselves in the full mirror that lined the whole wall in front of them.
The company supplied some of the clothing from their clothing stores: leggings, leotards, t-shirts, sweat pants and skirts.
Lilly chose a pink skirt matching it with a white t-shirt and gray colored leggings. Casey walked by her with an “Oh, Lilly, pink is not your color” look on her face. Cathy, just to spite Casey chose the exact same outfit as Lilly. Gwynet, chose to wear blue sweat pants and a sparkly tank top. All the shirts had the words ‘Dionne’ printed on some part of it.
Except for Kwanza, Casey and her gang all chose leotards with leggings. Having an assertive, out-going personality, Casey already had four other girls looking up to her. Kwanza chose a red sweatsuit with green and gold stripes. She later told Lilly it was the native colors of her country, Ethiopia, after Lilly and her crew complimented her on how beautiful it was.
Mrs. Juniper was a professional ballet teacher and dancer as well. She offered classes to anyone who was interested for the three weeks they would be there.
After the aerobics class was over with, the girls moved on to their next activity–quiet time in their rooms before lunch. Each was given a package with contestant rules, a history of the beauty pageant and pictures of former winners of the Dream Girlz Pageant. Each section of the pageant was broken down for them with a description of what was required:
Talent: contestants will perform in an area they are naturally talented in: singing, playing an instrument, ballet, dancing, acting, poetry recitation, etc.
Modeling: 2 parts: evening or formal wear and sportswear/casual
Swimsuit: a one piece bathing suit was required; may or may not wear a swim skirt over it
Hair Style: each contestant free to choose style (hair style book available in make-up room)
Make-Up: each contestant free to choose amount and type of make-up, if any. (Be careful! You are naturally beautiful).
Accessories: will be provided and will include: jewelry, scarves, hats, barrettes, head wraps, tights, purses, shoes
Interview: a series of six impromptu questions covering various issues: one’s faith, education, friends, ideas on solving world problems as well as personal problems, fun stuff (judges judge on self assurance, confidence, proper voice projection, poise, pleasantness, genuine smile, etc.)
When Lilly, Gwynet, and Cathy were walking toward their room, they saw Casey and her crew of five in front of their dorm room door laughing and giving each other high fives. They stopped talking when they saw Lilly approaching. Some tried not to glance up; others could not help but to glance. It was as though they had some kind of secret among them. The sneaky looks on their faces told they were probably up to no good.
“That was a nice move,” one girl said to Casey.
“You should have seen the look on her face,” said another.
Casey said with a sarcastic tone, “Well, how are you doing since your accidental fall, Ms. Lillian?”
“Hi, Casey,” said Lilly as she reached for her door knob.
“Ms. Goody-Two Shoes,” someone said. Laughter followed.
Once inside their room, each settled on Lilly’s bed to view the contents of their packages. “Lilly, I do not know how you take it,” said Cathy.
“Take what?” asked Lilly looking puzzled.
“Casey. First she has a bad attitude towards you. Then she so-called accidentally falls into you causing you to fall off your stool. Did you hear the others laughing at you? I would have been embarrassed. And just now, she had the girls laughing at you, again.” Cathy looked at her with a puzzled look.
Lilly shrugged. “That’s Casey. She’s been playing pranks on me all year long.”
“If I were you, I would have clawed her and punched her a long time ago,” said Cathy. “What do you think, Gwynet?”
Gwynet shrugged. “She seems mean and she made you fall off the stool on purpose. But some girls are like that.”
“My Mom told me she must be hurting for her to pick on me and just to be kind and pray for her,” said Lilly.
“Pray for her? Be kind to her? I thought the Bible says if someone hits you on one cheek to hit them on their cheek,” said Cathy.
Lilly chuckled. “No, Cathy. It says if someone hits you on one cheek to turn to them the other cheek.”
“What? So he can hit you again? No, not me,” said Cathy. “If someone hits me, I’m going to hit them back, and hit them hard.”
Gwynet and Lilly laughed as Cathy sprang up and did some punching moves. “How about this fight,” said Lilly grabbing up her pillow to hit Cathy with. Gwynet and Cathy grabbed their pillows and all three had a friendly pillow fight lasting for about ten minutes. They fell out on their beds exhausted.
Casey, leading the way, entered her room followed by her new friends. “She is the classic Ms. Goody-Two Shoes,” she said referring to Lilly. “Make yourselves at home so we can get to know each other,” she said to her new friends she had invited into her room:
Joslyn was from San Diego. She, too, was fourteen and was here because it gave her something to do for the summer.
Rebecca looked smart in her glasses. She was from a single parent home. Rather than go to her father’s for these first weeks, she chose to be a part of the pageant.
Dominique was fifteen and of African American descent. She was from Brooklyn, New York. Her and Kwanza hit it off immediately. Both settled on Kwanza’s bed and listened to the others talk.
“We’re going to have some fun,” said Casey.
“Depends on what fun you’re talking about,” said Samantha with a knowing wink.
“If it’s fun we had in the make-up room, I’m all game,” said Rebecca.
“Is it at the expense of Ms. Goody-Two Shoes?” asked Joslyn.
Casey nodded. “She takes anything.”
“Um, Casey, don’t you think we are moving in too soon? Shouldn’t we get settled in first for a few days more?” suggested Joslyn.
“I thought about that but I already know Lilly. I mess with her all the time at school and she never tells anyone. Plus, we’re only going to be here for three weeks.”
The girls thought about it but all voted to wait a couple days before doing anything — all the girls that is, except Kwanza and Dominique. Dominique’s attitude was ‘whatever.’ Kwanza did not answer.
“It’s almost time for lunch. Let’s quickly look through these papers,” suggested Samantha opening her package. There was a rather hurried knock on their door. “Just ignore it,” said Casey. “I know who it is.” They continued going through their packages taking turns to read each page. The knock, however, persisted. Kwanza, against Casey’s command, finally went and opened the door.
“Hi, Cathy,” she said.
“Hi, Kwanza. Someone forgot to unlock the bathroom door. Could you please unlock it for us?”
“Sure. I’ll do it right away.”
Samantha looked at Casey with a knowing look. “I’m sure I left it unlocked this morning. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about it, would you?” Casey shrugged her shoulders with a half smile.
On Wednesday evening, Lilly spoke with her parents who encouraged her to have a prayer time with Cathy and Gwynet, and reminded her that her purpose was to be a shining light to the girls there. Gwynet did not mind praying and she listened as Lilly read a Psalm. Cathy declined and listened to her music on her iPod but she watched them out of the corner of her eyes.
An unexpected surprise awaited the girls on Friday when they turned up for their facial class. Most of the stools were overturned, a few mirrors were smashed and a few tables had lipstick and mascara marks on them.
“Does anyone know anything about this?” asked Mrs. Bolder.
The girls shook their heads, no. “Well,” said Mrs. Bolder, “Let’s all get to work. Start cleaning up. And as you have probably figured out, there will not be a class today. Pick up the make-up tubes and the stools, and we will provide cloths to clean the tables.”
“Oh, no” and other groans could be heard throughout the room.
“Who do you think did it?” whispered Cathy to Lilly and Gwynet as they bent down with basket in hand to begin picking up the make-up that was scattered all over the floor.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Lilly. Gwynet shook her head with an “I don’t know.” All three worked hard alongside the other girls to make the room presentable once again. The cleaning crew would come behind them to vacuum.
The smashed room was the center of conversation throughout lunch. “That’s weird,” said Dominique. “Here you all were planning on playing pranks but it seems like someone beat you to it.”
“You wouldn’t know anything about this,” said Rebecca jokingly to Casey.
“You can’t top that one,” said Joslyn lightly.
Casey and Samantha both rolled their eyes and blew.
“Did you see me do it?” snapped Casey.
“Can’t you take a joke? No one said you did anything,” replied Rebecca.
“Well, I hope whoever did it is quite happy. We missed make-up class today. That stinks,” said Joslyn.
At supper that evening, Mrs. Roqueville, the owner and director of The Dionne and the Dream Girlz Pageant, spoke with the girls. She expressed how disappointed she was at what took place in the facial room. “We have noticed some mishaps in the pageant schedules and are sorry for any inconvenience this is causing because we want all of you to have fun and enjoy your time here. As you all know, the makeup room was vandalized last night and we currently have no idea who did it, but if anyone knows anything about this, we would appreciate it if you would come forward and tell us. If things like this continue in a more serious way, we will be forced to cancel the pageant. Thank you.”
Looks of disappointment flooded each face as she left the stage.