Authors: Mary Wasowski
Table of Contents
This book is dedicated in loving memory to my big sister, Jeanie,
who departed this world, three years ago.
You are always in my heart sis, and I love, and miss you every day.
The sun was shining through my room on this Saturday morning, in Beverly Hills. I was kicking myself that I didn’t close the drapes the night before. I hit the snooze button again as I hear my mom shouting up the stairs, to wake me up. I had been awake for a while, dreading the party today. It’s been a lonely two months since I have arrived here in California. I’ve stayed close to home, so I haven’t met anyone. My parents are really excited for the party and they think it’ll be my chance to meet some new people. I hear my mom once more call out for me. That’s my cue to get up or I know she will be walking through my door at any moment.
I made my way downstairs to the smell of delicious coffee and banana muffins waiting for me to devour. My parents were already seated at the table, going over the paper and the entertainment news.
“Good morning, Daddy” wrapping my arms around his neck.
My father replied, “Good morning, princess,” and hugged me back. My mother greeted me, but with a glare.
“Did you forget what today is?”
Rolling my eyes. “How could I forget, Mother? You’ve been reminding me for over two weeks.”
“Don’t be a smart ass today, Nicolette! You know how crucial today is for your father and I.”
“Oh, yes! A party with the plastics of Beverly Hills.”
“We have been invited to Clayton St. Clair’s home for his annual Fourth of July party. We will be surrounded by musicians, movie producers, studio heads, you name it, and they will be there.”
“Why do I have to go? I’m seventeen…my days are supposed to be spent doing nothing. It’s my summer vacation. I don’t even understand why I‘m even here in sunny California? I should be back in Chicago with Uncle Jack and Aunt Sara.”
“Mason,” my mother screamed. “She’s your daughter. Please talk to her.”
It’s funny how I was always my father’s daughter when my mother and I reached an impasse in our arguments.
“Mason, I have to go down into the studio to work. Will you speak to her?” and with that, she was gone.
At least now I was able to enjoy my coffee, and eat my breakfast in peace.
“We need to talk, Nicolette,” my father said. “Sweetheart, we have had this discussion over and over again. Don’t you think we have exhausted it by now?”
“No, I don’t, Daddy. If you would have let me stay in Chicago with Uncle Jack, everything would’ve been okay. Did you ever consider how this change would affect my life? Being removed from my school, my friends, and our family by moving out here?”
“You are exaggerating once again, darling daughter. We didn’t kidnap you and bring you here against your will. Before making this decision, we did discuss it as a family.”
“Yes, but, Daddy, after all the valid reasons I gave to you and mom, it was you who made the decision for me. I wanted to finish out my senior year with my friends. You and mom have ruined everything for me.”
“Do you honestly see it that way?”
“I will be eighteen in a few months. I could have stayed with Uncle Jack!” I raised my voice higher
My father slammed his hand down on the table and just looked at me with a disappointed look only parents can manage. I had pushed too far.
“Uncle Jack is not your father, I am. I make decisions for you. You are our daughter, and we wanted you with us. We do not work as a family if we are apart.”
I know I had hurt my father by constantly bringing up his brother Jack. I loved him so much. He is my godfather and the best uncle a girl could have. He and my Aunt Sara own a bar and grill called the “Neighborhood.” Aunt Sara is the head chef, and her Rooftop Burger Buster is phenomenal.
My parents’ are both song writers and started their own independent label and began to find success with it. They struck gold last year and was presented with a chance of a lifetime opportunity.
My mother had written a song for a musician they had on their label, and it was to be performed at Uncle Jack’s restaurant for an open mic event.
My uncle held these events for my parents all the time to help promote their name and new artists. Uncle Jack was always happy to help. My parents had a few artists who were being heard throughout Chicago, and getting their fair amount of air time. The song that mom had written for Zoe Madsen exploded. A scouting rep for Dax Records happened to be in the bar one night, and got a chance to hear Zoe knock out the song that would change my parents’ lives. For Zoe, her dreams were about to come true.
Zoe finished her set, and the crowd erupted with applause. Zoe’s sound was on the lines of Norah Jones, but unique in her own right. Dax Records was a sub division of Sony Entertainment; the rep knew he struck gold after hearing Zoe sing. As they say, the rest is history. My parents were on their way to California to further build on the success they found in Chicago. My parents sold their label and focused on songwriting and producing. With the opportunity to work on a major motion picture musical score, my parents decided California was the best place to be.
“Are we clear on this matter once and for all, Nicolette?”
I rolled my eyes at my father.
He let out a long drawn out sigh that told me that I had hurt his feelings. “Uncle Jack always said that if he saved a nickel for every time you rolled your eyes, he would be an extremely rich man. Uncle Jack had shortened your name by calling you nickel in place of Nicolette. Do you remember him keeping a jar and adding a nickel every time you rolled your eyes?” Now my dad was smiling.
“I guess I tend to roll my eyes a lot.”
My father laughed at my comment.
“Daddy, I’m sorry for not being supportive with this whole move. I just don’t think I can be happy here.”
“You feel that way because you haven’t given it a chance. Please go to the party with us today? Talk to people. Many kids your age will also be there with their parents. You have to try, Nicolette, please, for me?”
“Okay, Daddy, I will. Can I wear what I want?”
“Absolutely not!” screeched my mom as she entered the kitchen.
“I am not wearing the dress you picked out for me, Mother!”
“Yes, you are wearing what I have chosen for you. You will also wear the strappy sandals that match. End of discussion!”
Why does she always seem to get her way?
I asked myself as I felt my eyes roll!
Three hours later, I was finally ready to go. I had officially been transformed into a California Barbie doll. My mom made me get a manicure and pedicure. My generally out of control waves were trimmed and styled into long layers instead of my normal bun. I actually liked the new hair, but what I didn’t like was the eye-brow waxing. Mom had chosen a Zac Posen sundress for me to wear. I have to admit, the dress was pretty. Mom completed my ensemble with a new wristlet for me to carry, she always thought of everything.
My parents had their game faces on as we arrived at the St. Clair home. We were not poor, but this was just obscene money. An assistant to the event planner greeted us, and we all received badges with our names on it and were directed to the main tent. My dad pulled me aside and asked me to mingle with the other kids that were already present. I refrained from rolling my eyes, and he just smiled and kissed my cheek. “Thank you, baby, I love you.”
“I love you too, Daddy.”
“Tell me again, why I’m here? This party is going to pale in comparison to what I had planned. I’d rather be on my boat with friends, having a better time than this. I wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July on the ocean.”
“Michael, you are here today, for one reason and one reason only. I want you to stand beside me and—”
“What, Dad? Show a united front? Me, the perfect son, and you, who we all know is not the perfect dad. I love how we have to pretend in public.”
“That’s enough out of you, son. You will work the crowd today; engage in conversations, Oh, and son—”
“Don’t forget to smile.”