Home > The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(6)

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(6)
Meg Cabot

Before I have time to feel nervous about this, however, I hear a gasp.

“Mom?” cries the girl who’s followed Rashid into my office.

Mrs. Harris pops up from my office chair.

“Kaileigh?” Mrs. Harris cries. “Oh, my goodness, it’s you! Sweetheart, you didn’t tell me you were going out.”

Kaileigh—she of the tender heart—says woodenly, “Shiraz and Nishi and Chantelle and I were going to go grab some lunch. Why are you in the hall director’s office?”

“Oh, I was just, uh, er . . .” Mrs. Harris’s face turns the color of my That’s Hot pink nail polish.

“Your mom stopped in to ask me a question about the, um . . . Parent Parting.” I rush to Mrs. Harris’s rescue, grabbing a flyer from the top of the pile on my desk. “The final farewell ceremony is Saturday at three in the Winer Sports Complex, Mrs. Harris. We highly recommend you and your husband attend. It’s going to be a beautiful way for the two of you to say good-bye to your daughter until you see her again at Parents Weekend in October.”

I’m quoting directly from the flyer. In the opinion of many of my coworkers as well as myself, the Parent Parting is a joke . . . though considering the way some parents—including Mrs. Harris—seem to think their tenderhearted darlings can’t cope without them, it’s probably not a bad idea. According to administrators at other schools, some parents have begun renting apartments near their children’s dorms so they can “help” their sons and daughters transition through their first semester.

This “help” includes showing up at their child’s instructors’ office hours and demanding that the professors give the child better grades.

So holding a candlelit “parent-parting” ceremony at the end of orientation week isn’t simply a nice thing to do. It’s becoming a necessity on many campuses.

It’s the fact that attendance is mandatory for administrative staff that I find a bit irksome. I have errands to run on the weekend, not to mention a wedding to plan. Plus, I’m not going to have any problem parting with the parents. I can’t really relate to these modern day, ultra-involved parents who want to do everything for their kids. Maybe that’s because my own parents were the exact opposite . . . they couldn’t have cared less what happened to me.

Well, except during the days when I was making tons of money for them, of course. But—at least so far as Mom was concerned—it was only the money she cared about. That’s why she took off with all of it.

If only I’d known then what I do now. I’d have had a very different kind of Parent Parting ceremony with her.

“Oh,” Mrs. Harris says, taking the flyer from me. “Thank you. Yes, this is, er, exactly what I wanted to know.”

Behind her, Gold Rolex looks perplexed. “I thought you were here for the same reason as the rest of us, to sign your daughter up for the—”

“It’s so nice that you’re going to lunch with your new friends, Kaileigh,” Mrs. Harris interrupts him hastily. “But Daddy and I were going to take you out to lunch today in Chinatown. Remember?”

A look of annoyance flashes across Kaileigh’s pretty face, which she just as quickly squelches.

“That’s okay, Mom,” she says. “You guys don’t leave until Saturday. We can grab lunch together in Chinatown another time.”

Mrs. Harris looks as hurt as if her daughter has stabbed her in the heart.

“Oh,” she says. “Well, let me call Daddy now. He and I can join you and your friends. It won’t take a minute, he’s over at Best Buy getting you that new printer you said you wanted, so he isn’t far.”

Mrs. Harris is busy digging through her purse for her phone, so she misses the eye roll her daughter shares with her suite mates.

“It’s okay, Mom,” Kaileigh says again. “Really. You and Daddy and I have had every meal this week together. Maybe we can skip this one so I can hang out with my friends.”

“No, no, it’s cool,” Rashid says, digging into the pocket of his sports coat for his own cell phone. “I’d love for Mr. and Mrs. H to join us—”

Kaileigh glares at him. “That won’t be necessary, Shiraz. The reservation you made was only for four.”

“Five,” Rashid corrects her, his thumb moving over the screen of his phone. “Don’t forget Ameera. I’ll call Drew. He can get us a bigger table.”

“So sweet,” I overhear one of the boys in line murmur with a sigh. “He’s even nice to old people!”

Sarah looks furious. She doesn’t want to find out something nice about the prince.

Kaileigh doesn’t look too happy either, but for other reasons. She’s dressed exactly like her suite mates and the girls standing in line to put themselves on the Fischer Hall Room Change Wait List—like someone who’s ready to go out, but definitely not with her parents. Her long hair has been perfectly straightened, dozens of shiny gold bangles dangle from each wrist, and her miniskirt hits at the most flattering place on her slim thighs.

Rashid is similarly well coiffed. If he’s conscious of the excited stares he’s receiving from the students in line, he doesn’t show it. He’s probably used to it, being the Prince Harry of Middle Eastern royalty.

“You have a reservation?” Mrs. Harris looks bewildered. “You’re not going to the cafeteria?”

“No, Mom,” Kaileigh says, exasperated. “Shiraz got us a table at Nobu. It’s only supposed to have, like, the best sushi in the entire world.”

Carl, up on his ladder, nods. “It really does. Try the blackened sea bass. You won’t regret it.”

“But . . .” Mrs. Harris glances from Rashid to his bodyguards then back to her daughter. “We got Kaileigh the nineteen-meals-per-week plan so she could eat in the dining halls here on campus. I’m sure all of your parents are paying for the same thing.” Mrs. Harris shoots her daughter’s friends a disapproving look. “None of those meals are refundable. Are they, Ms. Wells?”

Put on the spot, I shake my head . . . though I highly doubt the son of the crowned head of one of the wealthiest countries in the world (according to Forbes magazine) cares very much about getting his money back for any uneaten meals on his dining plan.

“Mom, it’s not going to kill anyone if we skip a meal in the cafeteria now and then.” Kaileigh grimaces at her friends, as if to say, My mom’s so embarrassing, right? “I actually only stopped in here on our way out because I can’t find my RA and there’s something wrong with my roommate.”

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