Based on the song by Avril Lavigne, the story follows teenager and star ballet dancer Penelope on a journey of discovery and finding out how true love isn't always forever.
Penelope Anderson laughed. She tossed her soft blonde curls and smiled, showing all her pearly white teeth. She was perched on a wall in the school playground, legs dangling and bag dumped on the floor at her feet. Her friends were crowded around her, gossiping and chattering, flicking their hair and swigging down Coke from the vending machine in the lobby.
One of her friends turned to her, grinning. ‘Who are you taking to the end of year ball Penny?’ Penelope blushed and looked at her perfectly manicured hands, suddenly coy.
‘Aw, come on Pen!’ begged her friends desperately, eager for the latest news.
‘Well…’ Penelope hesitated, taking in the crowds that had lapsed into silence around her, waiting tensely for her answer. ‘Well, I’m not too sure.’ She sensed the disappointment around her.
‘Pen, we know you better than that. All the boys in the city are drooling after you girl! At least give us a clue!’ someone called. This made everyone begin jabbering, blurting out questions about this mystery date.
‘Does he go to St. Dominic’s?’ ‘Does he have a car?’ ‘How long have you been going out with him, Penny?’ ‘Is he blonde or dark? I bet he’s blonde, you always go for the blonde types!’ ‘Come on Penny tell us! Please Pen!’
Penelope raised her hands and everyone hushed. ‘I might give you guys a few teeny tiny details.’ The girls leaned in close.
It was such a varied audience that Penelope wondered if half of the crowd of girls even knew her name. She shrugged, and continued. ‘Well, he’s dark, he’s got lovely green eyes and he has this hair that is sort browny black, you know.’
Everyone let out their breath. This guy seemed suitable enough for Penny- possibly the coolest girl at St. Fredericks School for Ladies. Before Penelope could continue, however, the bell rang. The girls all jumped and began to move. In seconds Penny was alone with her two best friends, Monique and Aimee. They were touching up their lippy and mascara and chatting quietly. Penny shouldered her bag and led them off into the school.
St. Fredericks was perhaps the most posh school in the country. Its reputation for schooling the meanest, cleverest and most beautiful girls in the country outdid the likes of Cheltenham Ladies and other immensely posh academies. The girls wore old fashioned pleated purple skirts with purple and yellow blazers and straw hats that were itchy and uncomfortable.
Penelope was the dancing superstar of the school. She sprang so lightly when in ballet shoes, almost flying round the dance studios, having teacher after teacher marvelling over her talents.
The only thing she really had trouble with was her friends. She always felt that her friends, in a way, ruled her life, telling her what to wear, what to eat and what to say. Monique was a maths genius, but she didn’t look it at all, plus she didn’t act like it ruled her life, but she was horribly bossy and in your face.
Aimee was, if possible, even cleverer and even meaner. When Penny excelled in the Arts and Monique in Maths, Aimee excelled at sport. She was never seen out of her trainers, however many thousands of pounds they cost. Her hair was always tied in a ponytail with a white Alice band, tennis racket slung over her shoulder, or hockey sticks, or her netball, football, rugby ball, golf clubs, swimming kit, whatever.
She was loud and showy and lived in a million dollar mansion with her supermodel mother and diamond business dealer father and heaps of staff. She had everything and knew everyone. She had lunched with the Queen to McFly; she had been everywhere from New Zealand to Barbados.
Penelope sighed as she watched her friends slouch in their seats, chat up boys and giggle loudly.
Penny couldn’t help thinking that her description of this boy she had met had been a little, well, brief. She certainly hadn’t told them about his earring, his baggy combats and tattered cap.
She also couldn’t recall mentioning his foster parents, the council estate were he lived and the claptrap rusty old car he drove round everywhere.