Dawn Beaumont's Guide to Changing the World


It had been a sunny day something like three hundred years ago, everything was coming along normally – feed a few pigs, milk a few cows and then, of course, they went to the movies after a hard days work and watched the new Adam Sandler. Or, in their case, they started up a witch hunt that ended up with a few people getting cursed – a few people of the male persuasion, anyway.

There was a way to kill said individuals, and this way was to speak backwards a chant from ol' Mildred's book, if you killed them, you'd gain their powers – but you also gained the risk of someone doing the very same to you, and passing your 'talent' onto your children. There was a way to keep this very curse from doing any harm, and that, my friends, was to find your one true love.

How do you find your true love? Well, usually you can tell when they're the only one that sees you, even if you're invisible – it's kind of destined who you are to end up with, and with that, and the tattoo on the back (which changes when the person finally falls) are the signs you can look for. She (or he, in some cases) can either choose to love you, or leave you.

I chose to love.

"Do you think this dress is too much?" I wanted to know, pulling at the pretty Wendy Makin 'Cameron' dress, and also being careful not to break it. I knew it. It was way too much, look at the split! It goes right up my thigh! "Oh my God, you can see my garter! It IS too much! He can't even put his head up my dress to get the garter, he just has to reach over and make me lift my leg! What if I fall over when I lift my leg?"

"Do you want his head up your dress?" Kristine wanted to know, giving her hair one last primping.

"Well, no," I shrugged, unsure of my answer. "But I'd like the option of it."

"Hey, does that have a little deer on it?" Kristine wanted to know. "I think it's a little deer. Why are you wearing two?"

"I don't know. They sent me two? Hey, can you really see them? They said they were camouflage ones!" I lifted up my dress leg and peered down at it worriedly, was it really that noticeable? "Oh my God, you can see it. What's with the little deer, what is with that? Is it hunting season?"

"Dawn. Get over it." Kristine said flatly. "This is the happiest day of your life, and you look beautiful. Doesn't she, Jamila, Lisa?"

Jamila nodded. "Gorgeous." Lisa nodded in agreement. I knew this was high praise, coming from Jamila – she had actually made sense! "Do you know your lip gloss—the one the lady gave to you—is tested on animals?"

I nearly put a finger to my lips in horror when Kristine, glaring at my little sister, smacked my hand away. "It has not. Don't listen to a word she says."

"I was trying to lighten the mood." Jamila said.

"Hey, Buns, Krissie and little J, uh, way late much? Scoot!" said Lisa tapping on her (wedding appropriate) watch and glancing sideways out of the wedding net.

Kristine looked down at Lisa's watch and shrugged. "We're allowed to be late."

But she, nonetheless, pushed me out of the tent to start our trek across the field to where the wedding was, behind some mini-forest thing. The flower girl whom had been playing (carefully, as to not ruin her dress) outside of the tent jumped to her feet, all smiles. She was Torrence's little cousin, Esmeralda.

The wedding came to view and up skipped the flower girl, scattering flowers around on the grass, and I walked slowly behind her, and looked up.

"Hey," he said softly to me.

"Hey," I said back just as softly. "What are you smiling about?"

What was he smiling about? Was it my hair, did he like my dress? SHOES? I looked down at myself before the priest started clearing his throat and Torrence whispered, "I can see your garter."

I swore inwardly and straightened. Getting back at him would just have to wait.

So I waited, and waited. I waited until the priest said, "You may kiss the bride."

Torrence strode on step forward, and swept me up into his arms, and kissed me so sweetly that I contemplated against getting him back – but not quite, no way was I letting him get away with that comment! I bit down with my teeth and he jumped back as if electrified. "You bit my tongue!"

Only it came out like 'you bith my thung!'

I tossed my bouquet over my head without warning to distract everyone and the girls all rushed towards it, but Kristine one hands down – even going so far as to elbow one girl in the face, she held it up in triumph and then gave my brother, who stood by Torrence (as one of the grooms men, along with Michael, his perverted best friend and one of his cousins) a very dirty look.

"Get the garter." She said and smacked the bouquet on her thigh, a gesture which implied oh boy if you don't...

My eyes turned back to Torrence who was staring at me, incredulously, and his fingers pressing to his lips which were turned in a scowl. I smiled innocently and went over to the wedding papers were, and started signing them before he prematurely divorced me for abuse. Still frowning, but half smiling, he walked over and added his signature to the papers.

"Hey," he nudged me in the ribs with a smirk, "Mrs Bridgewater."

I tried to frown at him, and to tell him that he still wasn't forgiven for the garter comment – but I ended up smiling anyway, throwing away my feminist principles at my last name being replaced by his.

"Hey, Mr Bridgewater." I said, winking at him and glancing over our guests (some of whom were still taking pictures). Savannah's cousin, Hailey, was sitting in the grass, smiling sweetly at me with a pretty pink sundress. She was a good kid, and wasn't at all like her cousin – whom isn't so bad, now days. I even invited her to the wedding.

Speaking of which, she's over behind a tree – and wait for it – making out with Michael, perverted ol' Michael, Torrence's best friend. Surprisingly, they made a really cute couple, and oh – gag me – seemed to really like each other, as in, they were in love. I saw my mother, who was crying, and my dad, who was checking his watch – and I saw my Aunt Casey, whom was smirking. Because she knew it all, she knew it would happen from the start – she also knew we were supposed to have seven kids in the near future. Hah. As if.

"Look at my parents, my mums with your mum, she's crying." He shuddered.

"Maybe your dad and my dad should get together and watch the football sometime, look – they're both checking their watch. Don't you be like that, sweetie. Or I'll divorce you." I smiled at him cheerfully and he snorted.

"I'll be like I want." He said and before I could protest he pulled me towards him, and started kissing me some more.

"Hey," Kristine nudged me. "It's okay; just sit in that chair over there – that big pink cushioned throne-look-alike there. He'll take it off your leg, and then throw it in the crowd – make sure it goes to your brother, okay?"

"Okay." I said, and looked over to the big cushioned chair. "So do I get up? Does he take both off?"

"I don't think so. I wonder what the other one's for, anyway?" Kristine said.

"It's to take off later." Jamila said, returning with Sean's hand in hers. Isn't that cute? I can't believe they're still together, I mean, they were in primary school – who finds their soul mate in primary school? Oh and, who wants to go out with any boy from primary school?

I blinked at her. "What?"

"The first garter is taken off by the groom, throne into the crowd and the man who gets it – has to put it on the girl who caught the bouquets leg. In other words, you, Kristine." Sean added to Jamila's explanation. It was so weird sometimes talking to them. It was like talking to one of those MSN bots. "The second one is taken off in private later."

I stared at him. He didn't even blink, and nor did Jamila. She didn't even look embarrassed.

"Hey, not getting a taste for younger men, are you?" Torrence's voice came from behind me and I held my hand out, slipping my fingers into his, and looking up. He smiled at me, "Up." He elaborated when I blinked. "Up we get."

I stood up, and followed him over to the chair. I started to wonder how many people had sat in that chair, or if it was new. It didn't look old, or used, much. I guess there isn't really much use for thrones these days, seeing as even the queen wouldn't sit in this one. It's not red, or royal blue, or whatever colour she sits in. I can't remember.

I sat down in it and all the untaken boys – and my brother – stood around. "Cute deer." Torrence said, and I looked to see his head around my...

Ouch! What is he doing, he just bit me! I smacked him upside the head but he just laughed, and presented the garter in his teeth. His teeth! Was he crazy? He patted my leg (more specifically, my thigh) and tossed it to Isaac who caught it with a hoot, and then he turned back to me, smirking.

"There is another way to take the garter off, besides with your hands..." Jamila said.

Sean added. "Your husband's kinky."

"Go dissect your leftovers." I said and threw a petal, that was still on my dress from the bouquet this morning, at them. Torrence chose to ignore the comment. I yawned and flung my arms around his neck. Jamila and Sean, used to their intelligence being dismissed, walked off leaving Torrence and I to ourselves. "I'm tired." I murmured into his shoulder, watching Isaac slip the garter up Kristine's dress with a wrinkle of my nose.

"Want to go home?" he wanted to know, stroking my hair. "Because I'm feeling a little tired, too."

It wasn't all he was feeling. While one of his hands stroked at my hair, the other one stroked my um...Olsen twins. "Come on, lets go home." He said into my ear, dropping his hand from my hair. "We have a big day ahead of us."

"We have to say goodbye to our guests first." I said. We did. I knew we did. We shouldn't even be leaving, not yet. "Maybe we should stay just a bit longer? I think we should stay for a bit longer."

He kissed me. "No."

I grabbed his hand that had crept down the front of my dress and shook it. "Not in front of all these people, you don't." I sniffed and patted down my hair, annoyed at the messiness his hand was to blame for. "We will stay for a while longer, okay?"

It didn't come out quite as commanding as I wanted to, and ended up sounding like I was just suggesting it to him. So, of course, he ignored it. He wrapped an arm around my waist. "Come on, the exit door is right over there."

"The emergency exit." I said, attempting to smack away his arm. "Torrence, let go. I know you're a male, I know you have testosterone, and you do not need to prove this to me by ravishing me in public. So, just. Let. Go. Already!"

He was already dragging me over there. To the emergency exit! Really! I let him drag me as far as two metres away and then I put on the breaks. "I mean it, Torrence. Let me go. Let me go now."

But as soon as I got the word now out of my mouth, he slung me over his shoulder and dragged me out the door – and nobody even batted an eyelash! Nobody! My mum was discussing how she should clean her new dress with Mrs Bridgewater! My dad was talking about cars with Mr Bridgewater! Kristine was making out with my brother. Savannah was making out with Michael. Even Jamila, and Sean, were making out (and they were strictly against PDA, last time I checked).

Everyone else seemed to have taken too much advantage of the bar and were too drunk to do much but give me a wave as they passed out on the dining tables. Either that, or the fact that maybe they'd all consumed one too many spring rolls and were full, and very sleepy.

I'd like to say it was very romantic, him wanting me to himself and everything. But might I just say that when you are being carried upside down with all the blood rushing to your head and your significant other is ignoring the poundings on his back, not to mention the fact you said no to leaving – it is kind of hard to see the romance in it all.

"Put me down!" I said, and he did. In the backseat of the rental limo, telling the driver to drop us off at our new house. I crossed my arms and glared at him as the taxi took off. "You didn't even get our presents. I wanted to try out our new Hello Kitty toaster."

He ignored me and I huffed, but he kept at it until we arrived in front of the pretty cream, baby blue and white Victorian house. "You won't be thinking about the toaster for very long..." I was pondering at what he meant while he paid the limo driver and got out of the car, coming around the other side to open my door for me. I smiled. "Would you like a hand, milady?"

"Oh, and they say chivalry is dead!" I gushed, taking his hand and letting me help me to my feet, hearing the limo driver chuckling from inside the car. "What a gentleman! Oh, thankyou kind sir!"

"Oh but it is my pleasure, milady." He said and bowed modestly, not letting go of my hand and walking me around the car onto the front lawn, waving to the limo driver as he drove off, shaking his head with a smile. "But I'm sure you'll – or I'll – find some way of repayment..." he said not-so-modestly, leading me to the front door of our house, I felt funny in my stomach. A little bit tingly, it's just; one little word 'our' was sending shivers down my spine. It was our house; it was the new beginning, the new chapter of our lives. Lives we would be sharing, every single day.

It kind of gave me chills.

"What are you staring into space for?" he said, the door clicking open. As soon as we were inside he tossed the keys on the table outside the door and tossed his jacket off, dumping it on the floor.

Blinking at his disregard for the very expensive garment I shrugged. "Nothing much, just the house, it's so pretty, you know?"

"Yeah." He said and turned around, grabbing my hands and walking backwards, leading me. "Enough about the house, enough about the toaster – enough about anything that isn't about this."

He pulled me to him and bumped against our bedroom door, hurriedly turning the door handle and as soon as we were inside, kicking it shut behind us – all the while, kissing me passionately. I pulled my lips from his as he collapsed, tripping over the back bar of our canopy bed. "So," I breathed, "why are you so dressed up today, anything special?"

"Best day of my life." He breathed, and then started unzipping the back of my dress, his other hand trailing up my leg as he slipped his fingers over my deer garter, and then he dropped my dress to the floor and –

As if I'm telling you, Kristine. I made my babies. Go make your own.

I clicked send.

"Hey, how long have you been sitting there typing?" my loving husband had come up behind me, putting his arms around my waist and squeezing gently. "Who were you writing to?"

"My new lover." I said. "His name's Ben, he works at a cardboard box factory – very difficult business."

"Very funny." He said, and then, him and his arms disappeared. "Shit!"

I looked down to see little Amelie was standing after tackling her father, kicking him in the shins, and her twin, Hamish, crossing his arms with a frown. Amelie squealed at him, "Bad daddy! Don't swear!"

"Yes." I said, thanking God that this time it wasn't me. "Bad daddy, don't swear!"

Amelie smiled and ran up to me, jumping into my lap without warning. "Oof!"

"We are not having seven of these things." Torrence said from the floor where Hamish was wrestling with his foot. "I don't care what your aunt says."

"Who's Ben?" Amelie said, blinking up at me, her head resting in her little hands, "and what's a lover?"

"A lover is someone like your father." I said, telling the truth without actually giving her an answer. I was getting pretty good at this; it was like a game, whenever she asked stupid questions (ones which were usually brought on by the bad influence of her parents, but, whatever!) I gave her stupid answers.

"What does daddy do?" Amelie wanted to know.

"Make babies in a factory." I lied. Torrence snorted from where he lied, looking up at the ceiling and trying to ignore his son.

"Oh. So does daddy give the babies to the stalk?" Amelie wanted to know. She pouted. "Is Ben your new lover, is mummy and daddy brokened up?"

"No. I was kidding. There is no Ben." I said, pinching her cheeks. "Daddy is the only lover for me. He's not going anywhere."

She considerably brightened and jumped off my lap, going to kick Hamish and then running off out of the lounge room and out into the hallway. He chased after her and then, suddenly, disappeared in thin air. I looked after him worriedly. Torrence got to his feet, walking back over to me and kissing me softly. "Don't worry, he'll find someone. Just like I found you."

He kissed me again, and I smiled happily, wrapping my arms around his neck.

I guess maybe I have forgotten to write some of the rules down, and I learnt some pretty good lessons – but I guess, I got so caught up living, that I forgot all about it.

Note 7 when Changing The World: As a summary, and reminder, of previous notes, here we have note seven. Don't point. Don't let people trap you in closets. Don't be a skater and wear your pants low. Skipping class is hard. People confessing love is generally distracting. Last, but not least: Date hair, instead of people.

I would also like to add: Forget all that. Just be happy, do what you love, love who you love – and love who you are, because you know what? It's the one thing that works for the movies, and people in the real world. Oh, and the real world?

Sometimes it's even better than the movies say it is.

You know what is so sad? Melanie from the Saddle Club DIED! She got hit by a train, it's so tragic. I met the girl! And you just...you can't just off Melanie. I mean, it's like offing a care bear. As one of her classmates said, she was the kind of girl who went up to a new kid and started talking to him like he was her best friend, just to make him feel better about being new, to help him fit in. She was that kind of girl, the kind of girl I think we need more of this world. And I MET her, I stood before her, in front of a table – I talked to her. She complimented my top.

She was special. R.I.P. Jessica Jacobs, whose signature I have up on my wall.

Offing her was wrong.

On a lighter note, YAY! End of story. You love me. You all really, really love me. Thankyou for sticking with me! Oh, and again GEORGINA IS A COW! Cough. (and Chuck and Blair forever, they must be together, they must).

I'm sad that this story is at an end – and no, it is unlikely that there will ever, ever be any sequels. Maybe an oneshot, or something, but probably not.

But love on me, cos well, as if I'd ever give you an unhappy ending.

Tootles! I SHALL MISS YOU DAWN! You were one of my favourite babies (all of them are my favourites, but like Meg, the ones I'm writing are my favourites at the time) and always will be.

R.I.P. Jessica Jacobs, and my old Circus teacher's wife.

ps. Find the Wendy Makin dress on the wendy makin site, wendy makin section five (I think) rows from the bottom and the last one on the line. The garter? I'll link it on my profile.