Elizabeth had never felt so alive. She’d spent the entire morning on the internet, looking up old friends. She’d even talked to a few on the phone. It had been wonderful to talk to people like Olivia and even her old love Jeffrey again. She was sitting back in her seat for a moment’s happy rest when the phone rang.
“Elizabeth Wakefield!” she chirped.
“Liz? Hey, it’s me, Winston Egbert!”
“Winston!” cried Elizabeth. “It’s great to hear from you! How are things? I can’t believe it’s been so long.”
“Well, you kind of disappeared after graduation, Liz,” said Winston, and Elizabeth could hear the rueful smile in his voice. She bowed her head in acknowledgement of his truthful words. She had fled Sweet Valley, going to the small town where her new college was situated to work in a summer job at a hotel. Jessica, who heard that a famous movie producer had a holiday house in the area, had come along too. Apart from the odd single day, Liz hadn’t been at home since. Her family had, at her request, spent Christmas in her college dorm. Jessica hadn’t been pleased, but after the first year she had been living it up as a famous star, and for every Christmas after that the family had stayed in her luxurious New York apartment.
It had been too long since she’d seen Winston’s cheerful face.
“So how are you, Win?” she said. “How are things with you and Lila? I’m so sorry I missed your wedding.”
“That’s okay, Liz,” said the former class clown of Sweet Valley High. “And…yeah. Things are…things are good.”
Ever sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, Elizabeth noticed the hesitation. But she decided not to press it. If anything were wrong with Winston, she knew he’d tell her eventually. There was something almost magical about Elizabeth Wakefield that caused even strangers to confide their problems in her.
“I hear you’re working for her,”she said. “That must be exciting. I never saw you as a man of business.”
There was a long pause. Eventually, Winston spoke.
“Well, neither did I,” he said carefully, as if scared he would give something away. “But I didn’t call you to talk about business – I just found out that you’re planning a class reunion!”
“It’s true,” said Elizabeth. “I hope you’ll be there, Winston.”
“Not only will I be there,” said Winston, “but I’d like to offer my services as MC!”
Elizabeth gasped. Winston was the archetypical showman. He’d make a perfect host for the night.
“Oh Winston,” she cried. “I can’t wait to come home!”
Jessica Wakefield paused before closing the door of the limo. She usually ignored autograph hunters, but this was her home town. It was probably someone from school. She always liked to flaunt her fabulousness in front of old friends.
But she’d never seen this woman before. A willowy beauty with straight blonde hair stood before Jessica, stylishly clad in a batwing satin blouse and tan skirt. Still, Jessica had no time to admire the fashion sense of a stranger.
“Sorry,”she barked. “No autographs.”
“Jess,” said the woman, and now her voice sounded familiar. “It’s me. It’s Enid Rollins.”
Jessica gasped. Enid had certainly changed. In fact, she was almost unrecognisable. Even her nose was different.
Boring Enid has had a bit of work done, Jessica thought, amused.
Enid Rollins was nervous. Very nervous. Even though Jessica was a cruel and heartless she-devil, her one weak spot was her sister. Jessica may have exploited Liz at every opportunity, Enid mused, but she had also been genuinely distressed – or as near as Jessica ever came to that state – if Elizabeth was in serious trouble. Enid knew that Jessica would turn on her like a vicious python. But when?
“Oh, hi, Enid,” said Jessica. “Long time no see. Did you move away or something?”
“Yes,” Enid began, Her voice was shaking. What was Jessica’s devious game? When was she going to start shrieking like a banshee?
“Oh, right. Hey, have you been talking to Liz lately? I don’t know if you guys are still in touch.”
“Uh, no,” said Enid, bracing herself for the surely soon-to-fall axe.
“Well, she’s organizing a school reunion or something. I don’t know the details, but I know she’s going to put an ad in the Chronicle. So look at for it. Hey, I gotta go, but it was nice to see you.”
And with that, the most famous woman in America got into her limo and drove away.
Enid stood stunned for a moment. She was sure Jessica was playing a game with her, but her lack of malice had seemed totally sincere. Jessica wasn’t that good an actresss – anyone who had seen her films knew that. So that meant….
Enid turned and walked across to where Todd lurked outside their hotel.
“Todd,” she said. “Todd. She never told anyone. Liz never told anyone about us!”
“It’s true. Jess didn’t seem to know that there was any bad blood at all between me and Elizabeth. She seemed sincere. Todd, Liz never told anyone!”
Todd bowed his head.
“I didn’t deserve her,” he said softly.
“Neither of us did,” said Enid in agreement.
The glamorously dressed couple stood for a moment in silent contemplation of the girl whose life they had destroyed with their uncontrollable passion. The girl who had once meant all the world to them both.
Todd’s warm brown eyes grew moist as he remembered how Liz had made his life such a wonderful thing. She had stayed loyal when he went to snowy Vermont. She had taken him back when he returned.
Enid remembered how Elizabeth had stood by her when Enid’s crazy druggie past threatened to destroy her new life. And she wept.
“Todd,” she said in a choked voice. “We have to ask her forgiveness. We have to go to the reunion. We need to show Elizabeth how sorry we are.”
“You’re right, Enid,” said the burly man. “You’re right.”
Saturday night in the hottest venue in L.A.
The world’s hottest band on stage.
Lead singer Dana Larson took a swig from the bottle of Evian she was carrying as the band prepared to lanch into their latest hit, “The Right Girl.” Dana had always been a distinctive dresser, and she had lost none of her unique style over the years. For this special gig, she was wearing an oversized man’s striped shirt over a tight gold miniskirt. Eye-catching earrings made from guitar picks completed her outfit. Her bandmate Emily Meyer was wearing a velvet blouse and white satin pants, while Lynn Henry, the lanky honey-blonde who co-wrote a lot of the group’s songs, was wearing a blue silk jump-suit. The male contingent were wearing leather jackets, skinny ties and drainpipe jeans.
They looked cool.
Dana looked round at her bandmates and nodded, and the song began.
Someday you’ll find
The one you’re waiting for
Someone who’s kind
The girl who you’ll adore.
Maybe it’s crazy
But I think it’s true
The Right Girl
Is waiting for you…”
The crowd went wild. Dana, Lynne and Guy Chesney’s thoughtful, poetic lyrics had always been a huge part of the band’s appeal.
They finished the song, and as Dana acknowleged the crowd’s near-hysterical applause, she hear a faint ringing noise. It was her cell phone, tucked into the pocket of her shirt. Without thinking, she answered it.
“Hey, Dana? This is Elizabeth Wakefield.”
Dana nearly dropped her phone. Like everypne in Sweet Valley High, she had really liked the thoughtful Wakefield twin, and had been distraught when she disappeared ten years ago.
“Liz! How are you?”
“I’m fine, Dana. I just wanted to tell you about the class reunion I’m organising. Can you and the others in the band make it home in about two weeks?”
“You can count on it, Liz,” said Dana with a smile. “Hey guys!” she called out to the crowd. “The Droids are going to our school reunion! Go Sweet Valley!”
The band and their audience joined together in a hearty cheer.
To be continued...