Prologue: London Calling
"Do you have your passport?" my mother questioned for the umpteenth time that morning, her light brown eyebrows furrowed. I often teased her that they would stay that way permanently if she didn't lighten up.
"Yes, mom," I said, waving the tiny, blue book in front of her. "And my plane tickets. And international cell phone."
"What about money?"
I raised my eyebrows—same shade as hers—in surprise. "What money? You mean I'm supposed to have money?"
My mother's mouth dropped open momentarily before she realized I was only kidding. "That's not funny, Theresa."
"Course it is. Take a deep breath, mom. This was your idea, after all." Not that I wasn't thrilled or anything to be traveling through Europe, because it was Europe, but the method in which I was traveling the world was slightly questionable.
"It'll be good for you," she said, though it sounded like she was trying to convince yourself. "Have a little fun. But not too much fun. I'd rather not have you get locked up abroad or anything. Have you seen that show? It's terrifying what the people go through. I mean, you could get stuck in a jail in Taiwan for year. Years! Don't smuggle any drugs. Or take a any bags that don't belong to you…"
"Mom," I cut her off. "I'm not even going to Taiwan. I'll be fine, really. Just relax."
"Of course you'll be fine. I trust you. Now, you better get going, security's a pain."
She gave me a brisk hug, smiling tightly. "I love you."
"Love you, too, mom," I replied, tightening the strap to my book bag. It was strange, leaving my mom for the entire summer. It was the first time we'd ever been apart for longer than a week or so. If I said I wasn't nervous, I'd be lying. But, it was a good, kind of excited nervous.
I was going to Europe.
I gave her one final wave before taking my place in the long line of security. It was always a pain, and security at Denver was the worst. But hey, this time I didn't mind, because in a few hours, I would be on my way to London.
And now, I'm sure you're wondering, what mother in their right mind would let there seventeen-year-old daughter flounce around Europe unguided? But that's the thing, I'm not going alone. No, the second I land in London, I will be greeted by my one-and-only father. My father, who quite frankly, I haven't seen all much of since the 'rents divorced when I was five. My dad's job requires him to be on the road constantly and when's he not traveling the world, he's off working 100-hour weeks across the country in New York. So, he doesn't really have the chance to make it all the way to Colorado very often.
But, this year, he decided I was old enough to tag along with him. He thought it'd be a good idea to get some quality father-daughter bonding before I went off to college next year. Don't get me wrong I miss my dad most of the time. But it's hard to miss something you don't know.
My dad is a band manager. And for a rather popular band, I might add. It's dead useful when trying to score concert tickets but it's not something I publicize. Because, if my classmates knew my dad managed Ten Lights, I'd never hear the end of it.
Yeah, The Ten Lights. You know, the current kings of all things teen, the ones whose songs you hear every time you turn on the radio and my personal nightmare. Honestly, I don't hate them. Some of their songs are surprisingly catchy. But, it's more the fact that everyone else likes them that ruins it for me.
I guess you could say I've got that "I-hate-everything-popular-because-I-want-to-be-different" syndrome. But it's just not as much fun when you realize every other teenage girl in the world is in love with the band.
And, I mean, the kids are jerks. Not that I've met them or anything. But it's hard to be in the spotlight like that and not be jerks. They are fawned over, adored, told they're brilliant every minute of their lives. It would be hard not to be obnoxious.
It's going to be a summer of running from hordes of fans, sleepless nights, boys I can't stand, and I dad I don't even know. But it's Europe.
And I'm excited as hell.