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Authors: Eileen Boggess

Mia the Melodramatic

BOOK: Mia the Melodramatic
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The Mia

Fullerton

Series

Eileen Boggess

Copyright 2008 by Eileen Boggess

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by electronic means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote passages in a review.

All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Published by Bancroft Press (“Books that enlighten”)

P.O. Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209

800-637-7377

410-764-1967 (fax)

www.bancroftpress.com

Cover and interior design: Tammy Sneath Grimes, Crescent Communications

www.tsgcrescent.com
• 814.941.7447

Author photo: Cassie Heaton

ISBN: 1890862568 (cloth); 978-1-890862-56-5

ISBN: 1890862576 (trade paperback): 978-1-890862-57-2

LCCN: (hardcover): 2007942758

Printed in the United States of America

First Edition

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

To my parents, Pat and Bonnie Burke, who had to live through my melodramatic younger years, and to Todd, Erin, and Nolan, who have to live through my melodramatic middle years

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Chapter
One

“I
f you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
Clap clap.
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
Clap clap.
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
Clap clap.”

I rolled over in my bed and looked at the clock: 8:03 a.m. It was way too early for this.

“If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet.
Stomp stomp.”

There was another verse?

“If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet.
Stomp stomp.”

I put the pillow over my ears, trying either to block out the sound of my mom’s voice or to suffocate myself, whichever came first.

“If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it. If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet.
Stomp stomp.”

Blessed silence. Was the torture over? I tentatively lifted the pillow from my head.
“If you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray.
Hooray!”

I threw the pillow back over my head and shoved my fingers in my ears as she bellowed,
“If you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray.
Hooray!
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it. If you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray.
Hooray!”

Hooray, it was over. I closed my eyes and scooted further under my covers. It was the first Saturday of summer vacation and I wasn’t going to let Mrs. Sunshine ruin one of my many planned marathon
sleep sessions. I’d just gotten comfortable in my cocoon when I heard,
“If you’re happy and you know it, do all three.
Clap clap. Stomp stomp. Hooray!
If you’re happy...

I threw off my blanket. “Mom! I’m trying to sleep!”

Her voice grew closer. “...
and you know it, do all three.
Clap clap, stomp stomp, hooray!” I hid back under my covers, but it didn’t help. She was growing closer, louder, and more shrill with every syllable.
“If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.”
The covers flew off my bed and Mom leaned over me, booming,
“If you’re happy and you know it, do all three.
Clap clap, stomp stomp, hooray!”

I opened my eyes. “Are you finished?”

“Are you happy?”

I scowled at her. “Doesn’t my face show it?”

“It’s time to get up. What are you trying to do? Sleep your life away?”

“Yes.” I threw my blanket back over my head. “Now, leave me alone. I’m on summer vacation.”

“So am I, but you don’t see me lollygagging my day away.” She sat on the edge of my bed. “Besides, I have some great news. You know how you were looking for a summer job?”

From under my blanket, I replied, “And remember how I can’t get one because you won’t let me get my learner’s permit even though I’m already fifteen?”

“You’re not getting a permit until you take driver’s ed next fall.”

I pulled the blanket off my face. “But—”

She held up her hand. “Forget about it—it isn’t happening. But before you crawl back under your covers, hear me out. What would you say if I told you I found you a job that pays minimum wage, lets you work with other teenagers, and is close enough you can ride your bike there?”

“I’d say there has to be a catch.”

“There’s no catch. Last night, Nancy White called while you were
out. You remember Nancy, right?”

I nodded. My parents used to haul my younger brother Chris and me out to Bill and Nancy’s farm for some “fresh country air” when we were little. While forcing us to spend the day outside in the broiling sun being eaten alive by horseflies, our parents sat in the air-conditioned farmhouse chatting with the Whites.

The last time I’d been out to the farm was when I was twelve. Nancy had offered to give me some horse-riding lessons, and because
Black Beauty
was one of my favorite books, I jumped at the chance. In no time at all, I was positive Trixie (the horse) and I would be two souls joined as one as we flew through fields of flowers and conquered mountains together. Unfortunately, Trixie had a very different view of our impending relationship. The first time I approached her, she deliberately moved over and stepped on my foot, breaking three of my toes. Right after that, due to my new phobia of being squashed by large farm animals, my parents and Nancy made the mutual decision not to have me take any more horse-riding lessons.

I instinctively massaged my foot while Mom continued, “Nancy’s the director of the Little Tyke’s Theatre and she called because they need someone to help with their summer program.”

“Isn’t Little Tyke’s the place where kids put on a bunch of plays?”

“That’s why I was singing ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It.’ It’s Little Tyke’s theme song.” She started in again. “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
Clap
—”

I grabbed her hands mid-clap. “I don’t know anything about acting. Why would Nancy ask me to work there?”

“During the summer, Little Tyke’s takes their plays around to the different parks in the city. Nancy thought you’d be perfect to watch the kids backstage.”

“I wouldn’t have to dress up as Playhouse Pal, would I?” Playhouse Pal was a clown dressed in a red and white polka dot suit
who introduced the plays. Her big red smile and painted white face totally creeped me out.

“Heavens, no. I’m sure they have someone trained to do that. Nancy said they just needed someone to manage the kids between shows.”

“I don’t know...”

“Think about how much fun you’ll have working with the other teenagers on the crew. With Lisa going away for the summer, you’re going to need to make some new friends.”

Lisa, my best friend since the beginning of time, had taken a job as a counselor-in-training at the MENSA Camp she attended last year. She’d already told me she wouldn’t be able to have any contact with me over the summer because she was going to immerse herself in the camp culture. She was planning to do a sociological study comparing and contrasting her personality in the two settings—or something like that. She thought if we communicated in any way, it would taint her findings. Sometimes being best friends with a genius can really suck.

“I have other friends,” I replied defensively. “Besides, how much fun can hanging out with a clown be?”

“Think how much money you can earn working full-time.”

Chewing on a hangnail, I thought about how that money could go toward a car for me next year—assuming I could ever convince my parents to let me drive one. But still, Little Tyke’s Theatre?

“And if you take this job,” Mom added, “you won’t have to hang around the house with Chris all summer.”

I smiled. “You have a deal.”

BOOK: Mia the Melodramatic
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