Hey guys! This morning, I realized something. I have not posted any of my YA novel–that I’ve been desperately searching for a literary agent to fall in love with and decide to publish–since August 2013! That’s just craziness!
I posted the first chapter back then (if you haven’t read it, click here!) and I decided I was going to share Chapter Two with you right now! (This way you can see what a totally awesome book it is and reblog/re-tweet/re-Facebook this so it can go viral or whatever it is that you kids do these days. I promise to thank you in my memoirs!)
Here is Chapter Two of Couture in the Cornfields:
The sun had not yet fully risen but Morgan was already awake, gazing at her closet door. Hanging there was the most beautiful piece of clothing she owned—her prom dress.
Now, this was no ordinary prom dress. To Morgan, this dress would be the shining seal on her glittering legacy as fashion icon at Elliot Reeves School for the Elite. Morgan always wore the latest fashions and set the trend in her school. She had been voted Best Dressed in the high school yearbook for five years! She was placed as an honorary winner her eighth grade year!
Morgan was a VIP among Fashion Week attendees and worked hard to never be outshined by anyone. She had Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Valentino all on speed dial and had a seamstress on 24-hour notice for those dire fashion emergencies.
Morgan’s reign as “Queen Fashonista” was once in trouble when, in ninth grade, Cassie Adams had stolen Morgan’s top secret design for her gown to the Winter Festival Fiesta! Morgan leapt into action, quickly designing a new, original gown. One quick call to Paris, two jets, and one steamboat later: Morgan walked in victorious and gorgeous to her first high school dance.
For Senior Prom, Morgan had taken extra precautions to ensure her dress would be one-of-a-kind and completely confidential. The Millers sent Morgan and Rosa all over the world researching the newest and hottest names in couture. After an entire summer of searching, Morgan decided to enlist the talented Rafael Barino.
Rafael was an eclectic designer from Italy and had a knack for knowing the trends before they happened. He’s the one who coined the phrase: “Pink is the new black.”
Rafael was flown to New York on many occasions to meet with Morgan and design her dress. After months of planning, sleepless nights flipping through fabric swatches, and two tearful phone calls (from Rafael to his mother in Rome), the gown was finished. The Morgan Miller and Rafael Barino masterpiece was hanging like a shrine in Morgan’s bedroom.
She watched gleefully from the comfort of her silk sheets as little flecks of the morning sun glimmered off the genuine Swarovski crystals intricately placed on the bodice. She closed her eyes and dreamed about prom.
She hummed to herself and pictured walking into the room: the double-doors burst open! Everyone stops and stares. Suddenly, applause breaks out and two guys pick Morgan up and carry her on their shoulders! She waves, blows kisses, and catches flowers in the air! A crown falls from the heavens and lands softly on her perfectly coiffed hair. The room cheers: “Morgan! Morgan! Morgan! Morgan!”
She was jerked back to her bedroom by the sound of her nanny’s voice. Opening her eyes, Morgan saw Rosa, leaning over the bed, scowling.
“Mees Morgan!” Rosa yelled in her thick, Cuban accent. “You are being so lazy! You must get up! NOW!” Rosa quickly trotted to the bathroom door and Morgan heard her turn on the shower.
“Oh, Rosa,” Morgan sighed. “Tonight is going to be the best night of my life!” She skipped around the room, staring dreamily at her gown.
Rosa snorted and threw open the curtains.
“Aw, Rosa, you don’t think I’ll have fun?” Morgan asked playfully.
“I think you are too young to be wearing dresses that show your chi-chi’s and riding in the limousines with boys!”
Morgan sighed, “Oh, come on! You’re not going to get all Mary Poppins on me, are you?”
“I don’ know this Maria Pop-eens, but if she keep her chil’ at home, then she is a sain’!”
Morgan grinned and grabbed her nanny’s arms. She twirled the round woman around as best she could; Rosa was shaped like a square. Rosa squealed, “Dios mio!”
“See, Rosa! Isn’t this fun?” Morgan giggled as she grabbed Rosa’s hips, trying to shake them.
“No!” the nanny cried. “I am not J.Lo!”
Rosa stamped her foot and released herself from Morgan’s grip. She put a chubby finger in Morgan’s face.
“And you tell Meester Trent to keep his hands off your hips tonight, mija!”
Morgan flinched slightly at the sound of her date’s name. Trent Wellington was very handsome and very popular, but Morgan thought Trent was a little…dumb. He had played football since the sixth grade and Morgan seemed to think that maybe he had received a few too many tackles without a helmet.
“You don’ like Meester Trent?” Rosie asked, seeing Morgan’s reaction.
“Oh, its not that, Rosa… It’s just…” Morgan stopped herself and changed the direction of the subject. “You know, I overheard daddy saying to a client that Trent’s family comes from really old money! Like, Middle Ages. He even said that some of his ancestors were nobles!”
“Hmm…” said Rosa, noticing her charge’s aversion. “That is een-tress-ting…”
Morgan fingered her dress in her hands. “Tonight’ll be great,” she reassured herself. Rosa looked at her watch and jumped.
“Mees Morgan!” she screeched. “You need to stop playing and get in the shower! Hair and make-up will be here soon!”
Rosa gathered up towels, threw them into Morgan’s arms and herded the girl into the bathroom.
“Don’ forget,” said Rosa, pushing Morgan through the open bathroom door, “Mees Stacy and Mees Jordan will be here at seven o’clock with their dates to pick you up!” Rosa closed the door and Morgan undressed for her shower.
Stacy, Jordan, and Morgan had been inseparable since kindergarten. Stacy was one of the nicest people in the world. One of the things that made her so endearing was her ability to be confused on the simplest of things.
Her bright green eyes were always opened wide, as though she saw things for the first time, every time. She wore her emotions on her sleeve and was a compulsive worry-wart. Her red, curly hair always bounced when she walked. Sometimes, Stacy would skip slightly when she walked, just to make her curls bounce more.
Jordan was the total and complete opposite of Stacy. Jordan was tall, thin, brunette and very serious. She was competitive in everything from sports to academics and would not take “No” for an answer. She was more level-headed than the other two girls and tried to think of every situation logically. She had only cried in front of Morgan and Stacy once and that was in the third grade when she made a B on her spelling test. Jordan worked hard and volunteered for many different programs at school. Her life plan had been in place since she was in seventh grade: she wanted to be a botanist and run for a seat in Congress.
The three girls were so different, but one thing they had in common was their uncontainable excitement for prom. Stacy was going to prom with her boyfriend, Ben Nichols. The two had been “on again-off again” since second grade. Jordan’s date was Tucker Foster—strictly as friends though. Jordan refused to be tied down in any relationship before she went to college.
“Boys get in the way,” she had once said. “I should be thinking about classes next semester, not whether a boy is going to take me to the kegger at some frat party, ultimately to leave me crying in the bathroom because he was being an idiot and threw up on my shoes! Honestly, Morgan, if you worried more about your grades and less about boys, you’d be going to college this fall too!”
With Jordan leaving for college, Morgan had hoped that Stacy would stay behind in New York to keep her company; but no such luck. Stacy and Ben had already been accepted to Boston College and were invited to rush the most exclusive social clubs. So after tonight, Morgan knew her life would change. Her friends would be leaving for universities and she would still be at home.
Today, however, Morgan refused to think of college. She pushed out thoughts of applications, graduation, or what her career would be. All Morgan wanted to think about was tonight. She hummed as she stepped into the shower and, with shampoo on her head, danced around under the hot water.
Stacy and Jordan arrived, and hair and makeup went by in a blur. Before Morgan knew it, she was standing in her couture gown.
“How do I look?” asked Morgan, twirling.
“Muy bonita,” whispered Rosa, wiping tears off her cheek. Morgan grinned and went to her nanny, taking her in a soft embrace, as not to wrinkle her dress.
“I tell them you’re ready,” Rosa said, giving Morgan another look before walking out of the door.
Morgan waited a while until she knew Rosa had announced her, and then she made her way down the spiraling staircase. As she made her descent, Morgan saw Stacy, Jordan, and Morgan’s date, Trent, collectively sigh.
“You look hot,” said Trent, sliding the corsage onto Morgan’s wrist. Rosa made a sound like a low growl under her breath.
“Thank you,” Morgan replied, giggling as she saw Stacy and Jordan making kissing faces behind him. A bright light flashed and the kids looked around.
“Woah, Rosa!” Stacy whined. “You’re going to blind us.”
“Yeah, no joke,” Morgan said, blinking her eyes. “Rosie, will you go get Mom? I want her to see us before we go.”
Rosa slipped out of the room and returned a few minutes later with Mrs. Miller screaming into her phone.
“No, I don’t care if that statue was built for the victims of the bridge collapse, we own that property and the spa is going in!” she yelled into the phone.
Rosa coughed loudly, causing Mrs. Miller to look around the room.
“Well, don’t we look lovely tonight?” Mrs. Miller said, covering up the receiver. “You must be Tristan,” she said, walking toward Morgan’s date.
“It’s Trent, ma’am,” Trent replied, shaking her hand.
“Yes, well… you kids have fun,” Mrs. Miller said, and turned to the nanny. “So, we’re done here now, Rosa?” Rosa nodded and Mrs. Miller started out the room.
“Oh yeah? Well I attend the same club as the Chairman of the City Council, so we’ll see who wins this argument!” Mrs. Miller screamed louder into the phone as she left the foyer.
“Oh, Mom, I wanted to get a…” Morgan cried out after her mom who continued to walk away. “…Picture…” Morgan sighed and turned to her friends who gave her small smiles.
“Your mom’s pretty smokin’…You know, for an old chick,” said Trent, oblivious.
“Go see you father before you leaf,” Rosa said to Morgan and cast Trent an annoyed stare.
“Where is he?” Morgan asked.
“His office,” Rosa replied.
Morgan knocked softly on the door to her father’s office. “Dad?” Morgan called, opening the door slightly. Mr. Miller’s office was enormous. It was a good fifty-foot walk from the door to the desk, and Morgan’s voice slightly echoed.
Mr. Miller was sitting in his leather chair, legs up on the desk, talking on the phone and smoking a cigar.
“No, Jim! We specifically said ‘No’ to the Germans! This cannot happen! I thought you said you were on top of this!”
Morgan walked into the office and closed the door quietly behind her. She tip-toed to the bookshelf and ran her fingers over the leather books. Her father looked up.
“Hang on, just a sec, Jim. Morgan’s just walked in.”
“You look very pretty,” he said.
“You have enough money?”
Morgan nodded. “Yeah. I have the card in my purse.”
The two waited in silence.
“Hey, Dad…” Morgan’s father cut her off before she could finish.
“What? No, we will not reschedule!” Mr. Miller yelled into the phone.
“Morgan?” said a voice behind her. Morgan turned and saw Jordan poking her head into the room. “We need to go, the limo’s here.”
“Alright,” Morgan sighed, turning to tell her father good bye; but Mr. Miller had already turned his back to the door and was yelling into the phone.
The group went outside and piled into the stretch limo. The first stop was Ben’s house, which took longer than expected. Ben had insisted on dying his hair to match Stacy’s green dress, causing a yelling match to break out between him and Stacy. When the two had finally calmed down, they all loaded into the limo again and started for Tucker’s house.
“How about I just go in to get him since we’re running a little behind?” Jordan suggested as the limo stopped in front of Tucker’s house. They all agreed and Jordan left, reappearing seconds later with her date.
“Dude! Nice hair!” Tucker said to Ben, holding his hand in the air for a high-five.
“Shut up,” interrupted Ben through clenched teeth. He nodded to Stacy; and Tucker lowered his hand sheepishly back to his lap.
Though they arrived forty-five minutes later than planned, the festivities of prom had only just commenced. Morgan was rather excited that their convoy was tardy, this way everyone at the prom would see her in her gorgeous gown.
“Hold on a sec,” she whispered in Trent’s ear. “I want to go in last.” Trent nodded his head in agreement, checked his hair in the reflection of the glass doors, and waited for the rest of their party to enter.
As the duo walked into the large ballroom, Morgan could swear she heard a collective deep breath coming from the room.
“Your dress is gorgeous!” squealed a petite blonde; “It’s like she just walked out of a magazine!” she heard a boy whisper to his friend; “Wow!” came a cry from across the ballroom.
“Everyone is looking at us!” exclaimed Trent delightfully.
“I know… cool isn’t it?” Morgan replied.
The night continued on with compliments upon compliments, each one more gratifying than the last. Morgan was swelling with pride at being the best dressed at her Senior Prom.
“Excuse me,” squeaked a small, woman’s voice over the speaker system. The room was still abuzz with Morgan’s dress and the general frivolity of the evening and no one took notice.
“EXCUSE ME!” the woman’s voice called louder. Everyone on the dance floor turned their attention to the short, frazzled-looking teacher on the stage.
“Thank you, yes, I am Miss Deranger and it is now time to reveal your Senior Prom King and Queen!” announced Miss Deranger. The audience clapped loudly.
“I just know you’re going to get it, Mo!” Stacy shouted over the applause.
“Yes, yes, thank you. And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your 2008 Senior Prom King is…” Miss Deranger ripped the envelope open. “Trent Wellington!”
The room exploded with claps, cheers, and whistles. Trent winked at Morgan and walked up to the stage. He strutted over to Miss Deranger who, slightly turning pink, placed a paper mache crown on his head.
“Yes, such a handsome king,” said Miss Deranger.
Trent nodded and gave the teacher a beseeching look. Miss Deranger merely gazed at his bright, green eyes and sparkling teeth that seemed to glitter even more under the stage lights.
“And the queen?” he whispered.
“What? Oh yes, right.” If possible, the short teacher was going redder. “Your Prom Queen is…”
Miss Deranger seemed to pull at the envelope slower than with Trent’s results. When finally out of the seal, Miss Deranger read the name and frowned. “Morgan Miller,” she said flatly.
If possible, the cheers were louder than ever. Morgan glided through the crowd and pranced up the steps to accept her crown. Miss Deranger placed it upon Morgan’s head (rather roughly Morgan thought) and went back to the microphone.
“All right, everyone, now the king and queen will have their first dance,” Miss Deranger said and stalked off the stage.
A slow song started as Morgan and Trent walked hand in hand to the dance floor. Trent twirled Morgan and gave a little bow.
“Your majesty,” he whispered regally. “Might I have the pleasure of this dance?”
Morgan giggled, “Yes you may. But only if you don’t talk like that anymore.”
“Okay!” he said, smiling and took Morgan into his arms. “This is great, isn’t it?”
Morgan sighed, “It really is.”