I'm like a little kid in a candy store. I'm not good with things that require patience. I realize that I'll probably be this way throughout the entire process, since I'm releasing it in the serial format. Meaning, each time I post a chapter, I'm just going to want to post more chapters. But I can rein it in. I want to do this right, whatever that means.
So, while I'm waiting impatiently, here is the first of three teasers. This one features Penny, my favorite. I'm not supposed to say that because I'm a professional, but it's okay, because they're all my favorites.
“Penny, how are you doing?” Ms. Miller asked.
For a second, Penny was tempted to tell the truth: she was breaking. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could hold on. Her own house was choking the life out of her. Being there, knowing that Richie would never walk through the front door again, was torture. Her parents only made it worse. Her mother barely spoke, and when she did, she made no sense. Her father was always at work. But she said none of these things. If she did, she would cry. If she cried now, she might never stop. She smiled. “I’m fine.”
It was clear from the expression on Ms. Miller’s face that she wasn’t buying it, but Penny didn’t care. She didn’t want to talk anymore. “Can I go? Eighth period’s already ten minutes in.”
“Not yet. I didn’t call you here just to talk about Richie. I never got the chance to congratulate you on your summer internship.”
Penny felt warmth enter her cheeks. “Oh, thanks.” She’d done a six-week science internship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder over the summer.
“The PRECIP program is nothing to scoff over.”
The warmth stretched to her ears. “Well, yeah, but they were looking for more girls to give spots to.”
“Stop playing it down, especially considering everything you’ve been through. Not to mention how you got in. Or should I say, how you didn’t get in?”
Uh-oh. “What are you talking about?”
“You used your aunt’s last name and address on the application. I’m assuming you didn’t want your parents’ status to influence the decision.”
Penny shook her head so hard that her braid flew back and forth. “No, that was just a mix-up. The program doesn’t provide housing, so I needed to stay at my aunt’s house. They got our last names and addresses confused was all. I straightened it out once I got there,” Penny said, feeling the heat creep down her neck. She hated lying, even when it was for a good reason.
There was the faintest of smiles on Ms. Miller’s face. “Penny, I know you. You’ve always hated getting special privileges because of your mother’s fame and your father’s power.”Penny sighed; she knew she was caught.