Excerpt from CANDY APPLE #17: MISS
POPULARITY GOES CAMPING
Cassie Cyan Knight stood in front of her mirror, turning and spinning
in her favorite pair of teal capris and a classic white button-down.
But something was very wrong. The pants seemed so blah. So boring. So
humdrum. How could this be? Cassie wondered. Teal was the best color
in the galaxy.
Or was it?
She walked to her stereo, grabbed her teal iPod nano,
and clicked to the playlist that her BTF (Best Texas
Friend), Erin, had made for her. Track 1 swept out
through the speakers, coating her chocolate-and-cream
room with musical goodness. Cassie's spirits rose.
As she walked back to her mirror, Cassie looked at
all the pictures she'd stuck on its frame. She and
her parents had moved to Maine only four months ago
but already it was feeling like home. And Cassie was
grateful. Sure, she missed her old life back in Houston,
Texas—especially Erin and all of her other friends
there—but now that she'd settled in to her new
house and at Oak Grove, her new school, she was truly
Cassie smiled as she scanned the pictures. Her favorite
was the one of her and Etoile, her BMF (Best Maine
Friend) taking their bows at the Oak Grove charity
fashion show extravaganza they'd thrown the month before.
Cassie still couldn’t believe that she was lucky
enough to find a friend like Etoile, the only other
person at her musty new middle school who shared Cassie's
passion for fashion.
Cassie glanced at the picture that was right beneath
the one of her and Etoile. This one showed Cassie,
Etoile, Jonah—Etoile's BGF (Best Guy Friend)
since they were babies—and mean Mary Ellen McGinty.
Cassie did her best to keep from automatically adding "mean" in
front of "Mary Ellen" but she couldn't help it! Mary
Ellen had been rude to Cassie since Cassie's beaded
flat first stepped foot in Oak Grove's hallways. She’d
even had the nerve to be mad that Cassie’s fashion
show idea was chosen over her own tree-planting idea
for the school’s charity event. Though Mary Ellen
had eventually come to accept Cassie's idea, there
was still a tension between the two girls.
Just then, the new Beyoncé song zoomed out
of the speakers. Cassie swayed her hips, closed her
eyes, and imagined herself walking down a big crystal
staircase, on her world tour. She was going to open
her eyes and—voilà!—teal pants would
rule once again. At the count of three:
Please, please, please!
Her mother's voice startled her and she whipped around
her red curls catching in her LuLu Island lip gloss.
"Oh, hi!" she said, half laughing, half totally embarrassed.
"Honey, Etoile is on the phone for you." Cassie's
mom handed the phone to Cassie. "And what did I tell
you about the music? Let's keep it at 'six' or below
on the dial, okay, superstar?" She lowered the volume,
Cassie took the phone. "Okay, sorry. I know it was
loud, it's just, well, I was having a fashion emergency!”
Her mom walked out of Cassie's room, shaking her
"You're not going to believe this," Cassie said into
"Oh no, what?" Etoile asked back, her voice steady,
clearly ready for a crisis.
"I don't think I like my teal pants anymore!"
"What? The capris with the little drawstrings?"
"Yes, those ones!"
"Cass, you loved them this weekend. You even told
me you were excited to debut them this week, in honor
of spring. I mean, you planned the actual day to reveal
"I know. I know! It's supposed to be tomorrow!" Cassie
examined herself in the mirror. "There's just something
not right," Cassie said sadly. "I know this is going
to sound crazy, but I don't know if I...love the color." It
pained Cassie to say it.
Now Etoile was worried. "But, teal is your..."
"Signature color." Cassie sighed. She slumped down
onto her bed. What was going on?
"Relax!" Etoile said. "Just take a deep breath and
don't think about it. It's some weird lighting thing,
Cassie sighed. "You're right." She looked out the
window and sighed again. Only two sighs are ever allowed
at once, otherwise it's just drama for the sake of
drama. "So what's up?" she asked, feeling slightly
"I was going through some of the Fash Bash pics on
my laptop just now for Yearbook, and I found the cutest
one of us backstage! We have to—have to!—get
it in Yearbook."
Cassie and Etoile had just joined Yearbook together
as photo editors. It was so fun to go through all the
pictures and help decide which ones were the best.
"I can't wait to see it!" Cassie said. She stood up
then and looked out the window. The May sunlight was
a bright, yummy yellow, but there was still some snow
on the ground! But the girls in Texas had told Cassie
their hair was already frizzing from the humidity.
Yay, Maine! Cassie thought, happy that her red curls
were still frizz-free. She smiled then, overcome with
excitement for her first summer in Maine and all the
new things she'd be doing. Erin was even planning to
visit from Texas, and Cassie couldn't wait to give
her friend a tour of their beautiful mall, introduce
her to the sheer deliciousness of Maine's blueberries,
and show her the high school of performing arts. Cassie
loved driving past it. She so wanted to go there!
From Miss Popularity Goes Camping. Copyright © 2009 by Francesco
Sedita. All rights reserved.