1: The Intern (first chapter)

Posted: August 9, 2010 in 1: The Intern (Lust)
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* Book #1 (Lust) in Jess C Scott’s Sins07 “seven deadly sins” series—a teenage version of Dirty Dancing meets Punk’d.

One-line summary: A 17-year-old intern must choose between trusting an irresistibly suave dance instructor—or her instincts.

Summary: Suzie Quinn, smart kid and closet dance enthusiast, travels with a classmate to a world-class city for an internship program. She finds herself undeniably attracted to the suave hip-hop instructor, Jo.Zee, who recruits her into a dance fitness DVD he is producing. When Suzie sees (or thinks she sees) the real Jo.Zee, she has to decide if she will trust him…or her instincts.

Genre: Young Adult / Humor / Contemporary / 65,000 words.

***

1: THE INTERN: First Chapter

“Hey—check out the first song on the list.”

I glance at the catalog Chester Taylor Adamski, my internship partner, is showing me. The page lists the radio channels provided by the airline. There’s the Top 40s channel, Adult Rock, Blues/Swing channel, and so on. The one he’s pointing at is Classic Rock, and “Suzy Q” is the first song.

“Your all-time favorite?” I wink.

“Right on,” Chester says with a mighty grin.

His chin rests on his hand that’s propped up on the armrest between our seats. A couple of fingerprint marks smear the lenses of his black, plastic-framed glasses. His dusty blond hair is neat as usual, and pretty much unstyled.

I smile. I’ve gone with “Suzie Q” after Chester introduced me to that rock song. It has more flavor than “Suzie Quinn” anyhow. Chester told me about the song when we were thirteen or fourteen. I was surprised he listened to hard rock. I thought he’d be more into something like classical music.

Once in a while, in moments like this, I almost think Chester might be the one.

But then I get real. Not Chester. He’s more like a brother to me.

“Oh, and take a look at this.” He points to a small image—a close-up shot of a woman’s mouth with bright red lips, with the caption: Devil or Angel.

“What’s that?” I enquire.

He speed-reads the rest of it, then turns the page.

“Nothing important?”

“Yep,” he concludes. “Just another bunch of silly people, brought to you by yet another brainless reality TV show.”

We both laugh. I’ve always had a love-hate kind of relationship with reality shows. There’s something addictive and entertaining about even the worst of them.

The kid behind starts kicking the back of my seat, adding more distress to the slight migraine and blocked ears I’m experiencing during my maiden flight.

“Are you excited about the internship?” Chester asks suddenly, rubbing his chin lightly. He does that sometimes, when he’s deep in thought.

“Are you?” I ask in turn.

“Sure, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” I lie. “It’s a privilege we made the cut for the Spring Break internship.” While the internship is the highlight of Nova Academy’s junior year, I was half-hoping I’d be thrown into an exotic location, like India or Japan. I’ve lived all my life in Essex, Vermont, a quiet and scenic region in the northeast.

“We’re Nova Academy’s finest.”

“Wear your t-shirts with pride,” I reply, imitating the shrill voice of our advisor, Mrs. De Sousa.

Chester’s wearing the shirt right now, and he points to it. The t-shirts have our school crest and school name emblazoned on the front.

“You are the crème de la crème, the best of the best!” Chester raises his chin up slightly, the exact way Mrs. De Sousa does when she’s drilling it into our heads that we’re from a super school.

I hate it when they say such things. I think it’s too elitist. But Nova Academy is one of the finest high schools in the country. It’s a school for gifted and talented students, and has spawned some prodigies and now famous people.

“I still remember Pixel Wallace.” Chester continues flipping through the pages of the catalog. “Accepted into Harvard at the age of fourteen.”

Stuff like that makes me wonder what I’m doing at Nova.

Pixel and I had some classes together. She was discussing “projective geometry” with the teacher, at the speed of a bullet, while the rest of us worked on some algebra. Math whizzes like Chester T. (a.k.a. “Chas-ti-ty”) understood “projective geometry,” but not me. I tested into Nova’s program because of my high score on Languages and Linguistics. It’s probably due to my interest in cultural studies.

“Did you get a chance to check out The Lysistrata online?”

“A little bit. It looks posh.” I am halfhearted about the fact that we won’t be getting paid as interns though, as with many other interns…

“It does look posh. It’s about the number one museum around!” Chester must have sensed my lack of enthusiasm. “Come on, I know you like history. It’s going to be fun.”

Suddenly, the seatbelt signals above start to flash. My ears hurt. The pilot’s voice comes on. There is some audio static before anyone can hear what he’s saying.

“Ladies…and gentlemen…”

But the static takes over again. I feel like lurching. My hands are freezing.

“You look stressed,” says Chester. He’s right about that.

“I’ve heard about horror stories, where passengers’ cups and saucers went flying,” I mutter to him.

“During turbulence?”

“Yeah.”

The plane jerks. A baby starts to cry somewhere. I stare out the window at the surrounding dusky, gray skies. We will be landing at night.

“Maybe it’s the wind,” Chester says flatly. He gazes out the small square box of a window. “Unless a bird got in the engine.”

I wish he had not said that. I stare at the motion sickness bag in front of me.

Then, Chester holds my hand. “It’ll be okay in a bit.”

My other hand clutches the edge of the seat. I think he notices.

“Think happy thoughts…” he says, taking a look out of the window too. He lets go of my hand to put his seatbelt on.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

I’d like to rest my head against his shoulder, just to feel safe, but I don’t. I think it might give him the wrong idea. Everyone already thinks we’re a couple but we’re just good friends. Of course people will believe what they want to believe.

I recollect some fun incidents with Chester over the years. Way back in the fourth grade, he got me a lime green pencil box for my birthday, while I got him a giant chocolate bar (our birthdays are a few days apart). I remember being taller than him until around eighth grade when he suddenly shot up, and now he’s a lot taller than me. He’s also been working out these last couple of years, so his name has popped up in “girl talk.”

We’ve been on group dates but never just the two of us, so I don’t know why people think of us as an item. I never give that impression. Like I said: you can’t stop people from believing what they want to.

The plane shakes a little again and I am jolted out of my memories. As I try to think about more “happy thoughts,” I realize how much of a life I am lacking, and how much I am missing out on. Apart from maintaining good grades, reading lots, and going on the once-in-a-blue-moon “date,” what else have I actually been up to? Yes, I’ll be in the world-class city of Roxeth for a fortnight—and work starts on Monday, tomorrow, oh joy—but two weeks isn’t going to make a magical difference. Besides, cities are busy, crowded, and noisy. And I hear public transport in Roxeth is expensive, so I’ve brought extra money for that. If not, there’s always the good old plastic card (thanks, Dad).

I start to fantasize. Something straight out of a romantic novel or movie, with me in the starring role, of course. I dream of someone sweeping me off my feet, someone that would show me something “new,” something that I never knew existed…I will melt in his arms and he will show me what passionate love can be.

Ah…happy thoughts.

The plane lands smoothly. I didn’t know we had been so close to landing.

Chester hits his head when we stand up to get our bags from the overhead compartment. I laugh because he looks cute when he cringes.

It is nighttime now. Everyone’s standing up and getting ready to step out of the airplane. Everyone seems to be in a big rush.

I look outside, and see the bus waiting for us. It’ll take the passengers from the plane to the airport, which is a short distance away.

“Thank you for flying with us,” the poised stewardess at the exit says. Chester and I smile politely. We must look disheveled next to the cabin crew. I’m just about to point out Chester’s dark rings under his eyes to him, when I notice something else when we step out of the plane.

The temperature.

It is a little warm. The air isn’t frosty, and doesn’t bite at your fingertips.

It’s nice and humid.

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Comments
  1. […] 1: The Intern (first chapter) […]

  2. […] Yep, directly as a result of listening to “Suzy Q” on repeat — I like the song, I like the beat, I like the guitar licks. I just wanted the girl’s name to be musically/lyrically linked to a rock-n-roll song :) [it'll make more sense once you link the lyrics to the first page in the book]. […]

  3. […] most recent publication is a YA novel titled, 1: The Intern, part of a SINS07 “seven deadly sins” series. While my first book also focused on the theme of […]

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