1

Okay, this was a bad decision. Ben thought as his family drove down the interstate, their station wagon loaded with their belongings. I mean a car? Maybe it's not worth it.

Fifteen-year-old Benjamin Hubert Horatio Humphrey Seaver, better known as Ben, was a native to New York. He was born in New York and had spent his entire life there. He was a New Yorker through and through. New York was in his blood. And now, he was stuck with moving to Washington D.C. with his parents and little sister, Chrissy.

"Chrissy, can you get your fluffy, bratty head off of me?" Ben asked his five-year-old sister, who had fallen asleep. Her head had fallen on Ben's shoulder, and her big curly hair was making him get shivers up his spine.

"Ah, come on Ben; I think it's kind of sweet." Ben's mom, Maggie, said.

"Yeah, well, you wouldn't be saying that if she were tickling you, not to mention that you had to pee?" Ben asked Maggie crossly.

"Ben, just lean back, shut your eyes, and shut-up." Jason, Ben's dad, told him. Jason was driving the family's station wagon.

Ben put his head in his hands. Okay, here he was, in a car going 70 MPH to the one place that he did not want to go. Well, he had thought he did, but now, he wasn't so sure.

It had all started out so simple; Maggie had gone out of town to giver a speech on consumer rights. And then, some woman senator who looked like s wrestler of some sort offered her a job. Ben wasn't sure exactly what it meant, but the title was' executive director of media relations'. The catch; moving to Washington D.C. Ben didn't want to go - until he and Maggie made a pact; that as soon as they got to D.C., Ben would get a new car. It sounded reasonable then, but now... A new school, a new neighborhood, a new house, a new city, new friends, new everything. Ben had to start from scratch from what he had spent his entire life trying to do – just being cool and to be allowed to date girls whose older sisters had dated his older brother, Mike.

Okay, Ben asked himself. What can I do right away to kick the move off right? I mean, no one in Washington knows me, so, ma- wait a second. No one in Washington knows me… this could be rather pleasant…

And that's when the plan first started, and Ben was content for the rest of the car ride, making plans for the first day of school, on Monday.

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Ben usually was this – close to hating his older brother, Mike, for what he had done to him in the fifteen years that Ben had been alive. During that time, Mike had managed to annoy, humiliate, and take advantage of Ben in every way possible, or so it seemed. But suddenly, Ben was getting a strong urge to get a hold of Mike, as soon as possible.

Ben had less than forty-eight hours to think of how he could impress the girls – and guys, on Monday when he started D.C. High. He had to have everyone think that he was a cool, macho guy who knew exactly what he was doing, and managed to get everything he wanted. He had to figure out how to get girls drooling behind his back every second of the day, and how to get all the guys to enjoy hanging out with him, rather than enjoying beating him up. In other words, what could he do to become the most popular guy in school?

Mike would know. Mike always knew everything about those kinds of things. As much as Ben hated to admit it, it was true. Mike had been a lean-mean, scheming machine, not to mention a professional con-artist, since birth. In 1970, when the ultrasound was done to see if Mike was a girl or boy, it said girl. Naturally Jason and Maggie were surprised to have a boy come out instead. So actually, he had been a lean-mean scheming machine and professional con-artist since fertilization, but that's getting off topic; Ben's the important one here.

So that settled it; as soon as they got to their new house, Ben would pick up the phone and call Mike, asking for advice on how to achieve a goal which could ultimately change the rest of his life.

"I claim this room! I claim this room!" Chrissy said excitedly with her hand raised in the air, jumping up and down.

"Hold it, small-fry." Ben said, pushing her arm down as he walked into the room. "I'm oldest – I get first dibs."

"But I got in here first." Chrissy pouted, sticking out her lower lip.

"It doesn't belong to either one of you." Maggie said, coming into the bedroom carrying in a small cardboard box. "It belongs to your father and I. Kids, your rooms are at the end of the hall – Chrissy on the left and Ben on the right."

"All right!" Chrissy said running down the hall, but coming straight back. "Uh, which one is left?"

"It's that room." Maggie told her youngest daughter, pointing towards the right room with a smile.

As soon as Chrissy left, Maggie turned to Ben. "Ben honey, can you help your father carry in some of the larger boxes? He says he doesn't need help, but-"

"I'm on it." Ben sighed, jogging down the stairs, meeting Jason at the foot of the stairs.

"What do you want, Ben?" Jason asked his son, wiping off perspiration from his forehead.

"Uh, Mom says you need help carrying in boxes." Ben explained.

"Well you can tell her that I'm doing just great by myself." Jason answered, saying the last part of the sentence loud enough for Maggie to hear him. He turned to Ben. "You really want to help? Go for a walk or settle down in your room – just stay out of my way."

"All right!" Ben said, clasping his hands in his joy. "See ya later, Dad."

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"Look Mike, I just need a little advice is all." Ben told his older brother over the phone, cringing at the fact that he was asking Mike, of all people, for advice.

"You're asking me for advice?" Mike asked. "Me, out of all the intelligent people in D.C.? Well, I suppose I'll take that as a compliment."

Ben rolled his eyes as a response. Mike was a pretty conceited, and shall we say obnoxious guy. Ben had only seen glimpses of signs that there was intelligent life even in Mike's body. And we're talking enney-weensy, teeny-weenie, little, itty-bitty glimpses here. Not glimpses even – more like tiny flashes. Smaller than a flash – smaller than a micro-flash.

"Yeah," Ben said. "What do I need to show that I'm cool on Monday?"

Mike scoffed. "Ben, I said I'd help you out – I didn't say I'd take on 'mission impossible'."

"Well, c'mon Mike; you know all the tricks." Ben replied. "Every Tuesday night it seems that you'd have a new girlfriend."

"Hey, Kate and I have been going steady for almost two years now." Mike warned his little brother.

"Yeah – on and off," Ben reminded Mike. "But forget about that – we're talking about me here."

"Oh, right, cool…" Mike thought a moment. "Hey, what am I getting out of this?"

"Mike!" Ben demanded.

"Okay, okay." Mike said. "I dunno – grow some facial hair and lose the zits? Oh yeah, I forgot – something possible."

Ben sighed. "What does Kate see in you anyways?"

"What?" Mike demanded.

"Nothing – so do you have any ideas or not?"

"Plenty." Mike said. "The only problem is that they won't help you. Look, I gotta go. Kate and I have a thing tonight."

"Poor Kate." Ben rolled his eyes. "Wait, are you trying to say that if you were me, you would act completely different if you moved?"

"Oh, if I were you, definitely." Mike said. "You need all of the help you can get." And with that, he hung up. Some help Mike was. It looked like he was on his own.

But wait, Ben said. When in doubt, I need to ask myself 'what would Mike do?'. And if in this situation, if Mike would act different than he really was, then he'd certainly be making a mistake, so therefore the right and correct thing to do would be me, gas, zits and all. Wow, I'm really good at this… maybe I should go into the business.

Authors Note: I started this story, intending for it to be much longer, but got too bored with it, so here you go. It's not my best, but it'll do. Thanks for reading and don't forget to let me know what you think!