Chapter One: Rich, Blonde, & Beautiful
As soon as the yellow fuzz left his racket, I knew there was no way I could return his serve. Like a bullet piercing thin air, the tennis ball zoomed over the net, entrancing me with its speed. I stuck my racket out and barely tapped the small round ball and it zoomed right back at him. He took another swing, sending it straight towards me. "Perfect," I thought to myself, as I sent a short ball. His shoes squeaked on the court as he ran up to hit, but after one wrong step, he went, racket and all, face down on the court. The yellow tennis ball, almost as if it was mocking him, bounced its third…fourth bounce and rolled right next to his sprawled out body.
"I win…again," I said, chuckling to myself. My best friend, Mark Tanner, rolled over onto his back and smiled.
"Okay, no more tennis. It's not my sport." He said, standing back up. We wandered back over to the tennis benches and sat down. I took a long sip of water and Mark continued staring at me. His brown hair was stuck to his forehead and his brown eyes kept their eyes steady on my face.
"What?" I asked, smiling and packing up my racket. Mark shrugged.
"Just trying to imagine you surfing." He said laughing. I raised my eyebrows.
"Mark Tanner! You know very well I, Mandie Akeman, cannot surf to save my life." I said, punching the side of his arm. Mark laughed.
"I dare you to try one more time to surf. I'm even offering to help you!" he said, giving me a quirky nod. I giggled and picked up my red tennis bag.
"So you're basically asking me to go to the beach with you today?" I said, leaning on one leg. Mark rolled his eyes and smiled with his perfect teeth. Did I ever mention how amazingly attractive Mark was?
"Are you implying you want to go to the beach today?" he asked.
"Maybe," I said and winked at him. Mark continued smiling and we both headed to his car.
"I don't mind going to the beach, except I need to change. So, can we stop by your place?" he asked putting the keys into his Mercedes car ignition. I nodded and cranked up his stereo once the car turned on.
Slipping on my sunglasses, I took my hair out of my pony-tail and let it fly in the wind as we sped off to my home in Mark's silver Mercedes convertible. As we traveled along the road bordering the ocean and I saw the sun high in the sky beating down on all the people set up on the beach.
I lived up in a beach house right on the beach. That's partly why it's called a "Beach House". I could easily walk twenty feet, and I'd be right on the sparkling white sand of "Golden Coral Beach". My beach house also managed to be a mansion, but I like leaving out that detail to most people. Not that I don't love having all these things, but I honestly feel like I don't deserve any of it. All I did was decide to live with my dad when my parents divorced, and all of a sudden my dad got the perfect Music Producing Job, and we ended up living in the most beautiful house in all of Los Angeles!
"So how was her serve today?" my dad asked Mark. We had finished changing and wanted a snack. Mark shrugged.
"You know same as usual. Beastly and amazing." He winked taking a bite out of an apple. Mark James Tanner was my best friend. He had been my best friend since the fifth grade when we were paired up for the science fair project. Automatically I gained ultimate popularity and friends. Without Mark, I wouldn't be the girl I am today. Of course, the only reason he had befriended me in the first place was because I was new, and he felt bad. But I never complained.
"We're going to head out to the beach. No worries, we will be home by eight," I winked at my dad and grabbed a towel from the closet next to the kitchen. My dad nodded and headed back to his office.
"Wait! One thing! Mandie!" my dad called. I headed past the large oak doors to his office. My dad had multiple platinum records hung around his office. I saw so many famous faces in this office each and every day. I loved my dad's job. Jonah Akeman, Music Producer for West Coast Records, was the ultimate producer. He could find the perfect people at the perfect time.
I noticed my reflection in a Britney Spears' record for "You Drive Me Crazy". My long platinum blonde hair (dyed of course) was the perfect straight length, and my bright blue eyes just helped my image all together. Wow, I was a pretty prideful girl.
(Note to self #5: Humble yourself.)
I made mental notes to myself. As weird as it sounds, it really gets you far in life.
"Yes dad?" I asked placing my hands on the front of his desk. My dad lowered his glasses and smiled.
"We have a new family staying with us." He said. I raised my eyebrows.
"Is this for one of your charity reasons?" I asked, laughing. My dad shook his head.
"No, I ran into them at the airport. They have two kids and the father lost his job. We have the whole east wing of our house with no one living in it. So I decided, "Why not?" It's the least I can do! They even offered to be our maids for minimum charge! It's a nice thing I've decided to do. They'll be here in a few minutes, so be sure to introduce yourself when you come home, okay?" he asked and smiled. I nodded.
"Love you daddy!" I said and blew him an air-kiss. I strutted out of his office to see Mark still standing in the kitchen.
"Ready?" I asked him and tossed my hair. Mark winked at me and we both headed out to the beach. Setting up, I noticed how many people were out on the waves today.
"I refuse to learn with all those people out there," I told Mark and gave him my best puppy-dog eyes. Mark rolled his eyes, smiled, and took off his shirt. Wow. I was not expecting the most amazing body ever. Normally Mark always wore a t-shirt. We hung out all the time, but he was so modest, it was adorable! Did I ever think about dating Mark? Sure! But not while my other best friend, Cassie, liked him! And she was on vacation, so she wouldn't have to know that I was hanging out with him alone. A little flirting wouldn't harm her would it?
I took off my tank top and shorts and laid out a towel. Mark's eyes widened. I smiled.
"What?" I asked, tossing my hair once more. Mark eyes just kept looking at me.
"Today, you just look…beautiful." He whispered in awe. I felt butterflies in my stomach and I blushed and winked.
"Have fun surfing," I said and applied sunscreen to myself. It took Mark a second to realize that I had dismissed him. He tore his gaze and grabbed his surfboard and headed out to the waves. I laughed to myself and put on my sunglasses.
"So, is that your boyfriend?" I heard a deep voice behind me. I spun around quickly to view…well… I don't even know what I saw it was so amazing. The cutest guy I had ever seen in my entire life was standing before me. I had to take off my sunglasses to see him. Beach blonde hair and dark green eyes… I think I was in love. He smiled…with perfect teeth! I shook my head super fast and smiled my best smile. He just smiled back, didn't say a word, and headed to the waves.