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Excerpt: Chapter 2 of Be Careful What You Wish For

It has been a while since I first gave you a taste of Be Careful What You Wish For, clear back in December. For Chapter 1, click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/12/30/excerpt-chapter-1-of-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/

Be Careful What You Wish For by Jennifer Friess

Be Careful What You Wish For by Jennifer Friess

Below you will find Chapter 2. And if you like what you read, the book is now available on Amazon.com in paperback, eBook, and free for Kindle Unlimited members. Hope you enjoy!

 

2

It was all Miley could do to crawl out of bed and drag herself and her over-stuffed luggage downstairs to meet Kiley to leave for the airport. Neither Miley nor Kiley had ever been early risers. Growing up, their mother had sometimes resorted to using a plant mister to get them out of bed on Saturdays for long-distance cheerleading competitions. She wondered how Kiley had managed to get up so early. Kiley had already been on the road for two hours, driving up to Huntington from the farm she lived on with her boyfriend in Oakley. She must have been even more excited than Miley.

After all, it was Kiley’s book being turned into a movie. Or, to make it sound more important, her debut novel was being shot for a feature film. That is how Miley phrased it to all her friends.

Miley was quite jealous of this. Miley thought she was doing good owning (OK—co-owning) a highly successful party planning business. But somehow her baby sister had shown her up. Miley hungered to be famous. How other people desired wealth enough to drive themselves to the poor house buying lottery tickets was akin to the level of her entertainment obsession. She simply hadn’t had many chances in rural Alabama to fulfill her aspirations.

Kiley’s name now showed up once in a while in the very Hollywood entertainment magazines that Miley had fantasized of being in herself someday when she was a child. Of course, usually it was a tiny blurb under the pictures of the fresh-faced unknowns starring in the movie, with a caption such as “Bobby Patterson and Christy Stevens star in the film adaption of K. Riley’s best-selling book Don’t Judge a Boy by His Shoes.”

Yes, there was no way Miley was going to miss out on this trip. She couldn’t wait to get to Tinseltown. To visit the mythical, magical Hollywoodland…

“Wake up, dork. We are at the airport. And you owe me seventy dollars for long-term parking,” Kiley grumbled.

“You are the one with the major motion picture. Why should I have to chip in?” Miley stifled a yawn. The car was now parked on some level of a massive parking garage.

“You are the successful business owner. And you know I invested most of the money I made from the sale of the rights to JT and Associates Development.”

“That is only a fancy way to say you gave several grand to your fiancé.”

“Josh is not my fiancé!” Kiley argued.

“Oh, it is only a matter of time.”

“Possibly. But that time hasn’t arrived yet. And I am fine with that.” They both got out of the car and gathered their luggage. The headlights flashed and the car’s horn echoed against the concrete walls, signaling Kiley had locked it, as they began to head for the terminal.

“Do you know how much it sucks to be twenty-five years old and have no husband and no marriage prospects? No, of course you don’t. Let me tell you, it sucks big balls.” Their suitcases rolled behind them, a steady drone of plastic wheels being worn down by the abrasive floor.

“What happened to Sandy?” Kiley asked.

“My on-again, off-again boyfriend? He is off-again. Most likely forever. He actually moved out this time.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. We are heading to California! Where I am going to find me a new man. A rich man. Maybe a star…,” Miley pondered, slipping on her sunglasses, despite the fact that it was still pre-dawn, and taking the lead ahead of Kiley.

“Mile, could you be any more shallow?” Kiley asked her sister.

“Mmm,” Miley pretended to think about it. “Probably not.”

Miley was very disappointed by the appearance of the other passengers on the airplane. She had made sure to nurture the perfect tan as preparation for her vacation. Her home manicure still looked fresh, having applied it shortly before the wedding. She also had freshened up the highlights in her long dark blond hair. It now came halfway down her back. It was wavy now, because she had left the house while it was still wet. But she had made sure she brought her flat iron as well. Was straight still the go-to look in Hollywood? Man, she hated trying to cultivate glamorous style on a tight budget.

All the other passengers simply looked like the everyday Joes she would pass at the pharmacy or the mall. She couldn’t say grocery store, because she never went there unless it was a special occasion, like if she was planning a picnic or something. Miley didn’t understand how people could take their whole family, towing grandparents and a gaggle of children, and spend hours at such an establishment. She was the kind that did all her weekly shopping in fifteen minutes at the chain pharmacy on the corner. She could walk the whole store in less than one minute. They had makeup, toilet paper, the bare necessities of food, such as granola bars. What else did a person need?

Other people painted pictures or assembled model battleships as hobbies. Miley’s hobby had always been following Hollywood. No matter what she was going through or how bad her day had been, the celebrities within her movie magazines were always smiling back at her. Her favorite movie never deviated from the same course of action, no matter how unlikely the actors in the romantic pairing or their circumstance.

Miley sometimes day-dreamed that a good-looking, famous actor would find himself in Huntington and have a need for some party-planning. Or sometimes, she would fanaticize about simply running into a celebrity on the street or in the coffee shop. Then they would have a brief courtship, where he would buy her lots of expensive gifts. Then, well, he would sweep her off her feet and out to Los Angeles to live with him happily ever after. It would be like a romantic comedy, except it would leave out the usual misunderstanding that drives the two lovers apart before they are reunited again in the final act. Miley fell asleep every night with these scenarios running through her head. She could recast a new hunk when it was convenient. She wondered if that is how everyone put themselves to sleep at night.

In her mind’s eye, she had envisioned a plane full of movie stars and models. But she guessed that was unrealistic, since she was on a Huntington to Los Angeles flight. If it had been a NYC to LA flight, maybe that would have been different. Maybe a flight like that would carry a guy who would try to flirt with her. Then she could blow him off. Then he would reveal that he was a talent agent and he had just “discovered” her. People got discovered in odd places all the time. Pamela Anderson had been discovered when she appeared on the JumboTron at a football game, wearing the right shirt. Not that Miley wanted to follow Pam’s same path to fame, but she wasn’t against using anything she had to her advantage. Miley sighed.

“What are you grinning about, you goofball?”

Kiley’s comment snapped Miley out of her daydream.

“Nothing. I was just thinking of all the different ways I have envisioned this trip in my head.”

“And let me guess. It probably involves a guy.”

Miley shrugged. “I plead the fifth.”

Miley knew that her identical twin sister Kiley thought of her as selfish. Kiley had made no secret of that since they had turned fourteen and their personalities had diverged. Kiley always told it that they both changed. Miley believed only Kiley had. Kiley had begun to make fun of the things that they had always both loved. Miley still felt an undeniable connection with her twin. But she had never forgiven Kiley for this, what Miley viewed as a betrayal.

Not only did Kiley’s tastes change at that time, but her appearance as well. Kiley cut her hair and dyed it black. She began listening to alternative music and dressing goth. At college, her clothing had gone from goth to grunge, but whatever. Miley guessed people at college must have all the style sucked out of them. She wouldn’t know. She had skipped college and worked on building a business instead.

Up until recently, Kiley had still worn her hair dyed jet black, cut into a bob with severely straight bangs. In the last year or so, she had finally grown out the bangs and let it go back to its natural light brown. It now came down to almost her shoulders, so that she could actually get it into a ponytail on occasion.

Jenny Jones, who already was running the business quite well on her own, was kind enough to take Miley on as an apprentice when she had expressed an interest. Jenny worked full-time as the librarian in Oakley, the tiny town where Miley had grown up. Jenny also had a new husband and they were trying to start a family, even though she was getting on in years. All this helped to convince Jenny that she should then take Miley on as a full partner. Miley showed such a knack for marketing and networking that soon she was probably doing more work than Jenny was. But Miley wasn’t bitter about that. Much. Miley did realize it would have taken her years to start her own company and build it up to where Jenny had hers when Miley was hired. Jenny had done all the hard start-up work and reputation-building. All Miley had to do was tweak the existing processes, spread the word about their great services to anyone who would listen, and make sure their ideas didn’t get stale.

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