“I ought to laugh at the thought of you reading.” I grin at him. There is worry in his eyes. “Oh come on, it can’t be that bad.” I haven’t looked at the book yet. I weighed it in my hand as he studied me. “It’s defiantly not a graphic novel.” I made a play of feeling the cover. “Hard cover too, with a nice embossed jacket, so it’s not smut.” Jeff sighed and tried one last time to swipe it. But I turn and look at the cover. “Rainbow Island?” I turned back to face him as I held up a first edition hard cover of my mother’s novel. “You’re kidding.”
“Yeah, light reading to balance my heavy course work. Go ahead laugh.” Jeff heaved a big sigh as he turned on the car and proceeded to back out into the street.
“Laugh?” I’m as far from laughing as I could be from crying. “I was fricking named after the damn Princess.” That book was the bane of my life; ever since it came out while I was in third grade. Taunts of Oh Princess Cristalina found any unicorns lately and other such stupid nonsense.
The car moved us out on to the street as Jeff drove. “Unless you’re a lot younger than I think you are. It came out after you were born. There’s no way.”
“Oh please, my mom started writing that story when she was ten. It’s been around way longer than me. She just finally got it published that year.”
We stop at a stop sign and Jeff grabs the book from me to look at the cover. He hands it back as he moves us forward again. “Your mom is Harriet Leigh?”
“Uh, yeah?” My mind boggles that he doesn’t know this stuff. “Did you not go to the same school as me?”
Jeff flashes me a grin. “I transferred in freshman year when my parents ran out of funding for private school.”
“Well, that would explain it I suppose.” I look at the book on my lap. The dust jacket has been kept neat, though the pages look well read. Some one had written in the front cover. I read it aloud. “For you’re thirteenth birthday, may it be as wondrous as hers.” I snorted. Jeff glanced at me sideways. “I hope your thirteenth birthday was better than mine.”
“I got that book didn’t I?”
I had to laugh. Truth was I liked the book myself, but would never admit it, because of the hell it had created for me. But I also appreciated why my mother had written it. “Oh please, you can’t tell me that a book about an ordinary princess was the highlight of a thirteen year old boy’s birthday.”
Jeff laughed, “no, honestly is wasn’t, but my mom insisted I read it, since my aunt had put so much thought in picking it out for me. I’m afraid I got hooked when Princess Christa took Mathew out to the stables and insisted Tom teach him to ride.” He parked the car.