The Adventures of Lilly
Book One – The Beauty Pageant
The next morning, Lilly was awakened by someone banging on the other door to the bathroom leading to the next room. It took her a few minutes to reorient her mind before she realized where she was. Looking at the clock, she saw it was 6:45. She figured out what may have happened. Either Gwynet or Cathy had forgotten to leave the bathroom door unlocked, so the other girls could use it when they needed to. Lilly climbed out of bed to unlock the door. She could not believe who she saw when she opened the door.
“Lilly, what are you doing here?”
“I didn’t know you were going to be here,” Lilly said quite surprised.
“I didn’t know you were going to be here, either,” said Casey equally surprised.
Casey attended the same school as Lilly. Both were in the same grade. Casey did not care much for Lilly and called her ‘Ms. Goody Two-Shoes’, simply because Lilly never joined in their pranks and foolish talk and gossip about others. She often tried to make things difficult for Lilly – hiding her gym bag, hiding her pencils, “accidentally” knocking her papers off her desk, and the list could go on and on. But as her dad told her, “Treat her as Jesus would – with love. Just be kind to her.”
Casey looked her up and down with some disdain. “It’s funny seeing you here. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have business to take care of.”
Lilly moved out of her way and returned to her room. Seeing it was almost 7:00, she went ahead and had her morning devotions. She did not forget to pray for Casey and she looked forward to a great second day at The Dionne.
The alarm went off promptly at 7:00. Gwynet stirred out of her slumber. It took some prodding to get Cathy out of the bed. “Ughhhhh, do I have to get up now? It’s summer break. Remember?”
Gwynet and Lilly started laughing as they each took both of her arms and pulled her to a sitting position. “We’re at the pageant,” Lilly said. “And we do not want to be late for breakfast. Come on, let’s hurry.”
Lilly told them about her classmate, Casey, who was staying next door. “I hope you get a chance to meet her.”
Casey took a longer time in the bathroom than was necessary. The nerve of Lilly taking part in a beauty pageant, thought Casey. I sure hope she does not expect to win – not when I’m one of the contestants. Casey stared at herself in the mirror. A mischievous smile spread across her face. She was going to make the next three weeks miserable for Lilly. Her dorm mates were already up when she returned to the room.
“Hey, guys, do you really want to have some fun while we’re here?” she asked.
“Casey,” Samantha said, “we are already going to have lots of fun. Haven’t you seen the schedule?”
“Oh, not that kind of fun,” Casey replied, still smiling.
“What kind of fun are you talking about?” asked Kwanza, a quiet girl of thirteen. She was of Ethiopian descent and had a slight accent.
“You know – play some pranks and things like that.”
Samantha’s eyes opened wide. “I don’t know, Casey. This is the Dream Girlz Pageant, we’re here to learn how to be little ladies.”
“We can still be little ladies, but we can be little ladies who have fun. A prank or two won’t hurt,” said Casey.
“Who are you going to play the pranks on? We all just met,” Samantha said.
“A classmate of mine named Lillian is in the room next door. I play tricks on her all the time at school. She won’t mind at all, in fact, she’s a Ms. Goody Two-Shoes.”
“Oh, one of them,” Samantha replied.
“So, are you in?” Casey asked.
“Sure,” said Samantha. “This will be fun.”
“How about you?” Casey asked as she turned to Kwanza. Up until this time, Kwanza had been quiet, listening to the conversation. “I-I don’t know. I-I, I mean, that’s an unkind thing to do, you know, playing tricks on people.”
“Are you going to be chicken about it? This is all innocent fun,” said Casey.
“Well, you see, my mom told me to be kind to all people and to act right while I am here,” Kwanza said meekly.
“Our parents aren’t here. Plus, no one will ever know. And we three have to do things as a team. So are you game?”
Kwanza did not answer. “Think about it,” said Casey. “Let’s go before we miss breakfast.”
On the way out their door, they met Lilly and her room-mates who were exiting there dorm-room. Casey kept walking pretending not to see them.
“Excuse me, Casey, I want you to meet my room-mates,” Lilly said. “I was telling them about you.”
“Yeah, what about?”
Lilly ignored her comment. “Gwynet and Cathy, this is Casey. We go to the same school and we’re in the same class. This is Gwynet. She is Spanish. This is Cathy. She’s from Oregon.”
“Hi,” said Casey dryly. She turned to continue their trek to the dining room.
“Aah, Casey,” said Samantha in a sing-song way, “aren’t you going to introduce us to your friend?”
“Alright,” said Casey with a sigh. “This is Samantha and this is Kwanza. C’mon, let’s go before breakfast gets cold.”
Casey and Samantha took off. Kwanza walked a little behind them obviously with some reluctance.
“Wow!” said Cathy. “That’s a girl with an attitude. I can’t believe she’s your friend. You’re too nice to have a friend like that.” Gwynet nodded in agreement.
Breakfast time was pleasant. There was much chatter as names and personal information were shared at each table seating twelve girls a piece. Breakfast as was all other meals was served buffet style. Each person was responsible for cleaning up after themselves. After breakfast, the girls went to their first session where they learned the proper way to cleanse their faces and were taught how to apply make-up. Lilly and a few others were excited at this because it was their first time using makeup. Lilly’s mother had always told her, “Every girl has a natural God-given inner beauty.”
Cathy was already used to wearing a lot of makeup. Gwynet did not wear make-up at all. “You really don’t need any,” whispered Lilly to her. Gwynet smiled her shy smile.
“Don’t be afraid to try it,” said Ms. Bolder. “You may not feel comfortable with make-up on, but have fun experimenting with it.” The girls sat on stools at little round tables with enough space to seat three. They each had their own mirrors and make-up kit. The kit was theirs to take to their rooms for extra practice. There was lots of laughter around the room. Lilly, Cathy, and Gwynet did each others’ faces. When Cathy was about to put on Lilly’s mascara, up popped Casey who in an unusually sweet voice offered to put it on for her. “You have to apply it with an upward sweep,” said Casey who at fourteen years old was already wearing make-up. After a few seconds, Samantha happened to stop by their table, and she just happened to bump into Casey, who just happened to bump into Lilly, which sent her sprawling off her seat and on to the floor. Her mirror sailed out of her hand and crashed to the floor.
“Sorry,” said Casey nonchalantly. She turned to put the mascara tube on the table and stifling a laugh turned to leave. Cathy and Gwynet reached down to help Lilly to her feet. Most of the room was filled with stifled giggles.
“She did that on purpose,” said Cathy. Gwynet nodded in agreement.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Lilly. “Accidents happen.” She said this more to convince herself than Cathy and Gwynet. Taking a quick glance in Casey’s direction, she saw her and Samantha high-five each other. Kwanza had a look of innocence on her face.