About this book
"Okay, Amy, step back. You've handed out twice as many booklets as me," said my good friend Michiko Ohara as she leaned toward the heavyset woman who had just walked through the wide double doors. "Program?" Mitchie smiled, holding out a green booklet.
The woman lifted her eyebrows and gave the booklet in Mitchie's hand a pinched look. "Thank you, dear," she said primly. Then she floated away in a swirl of vibrant blue chiffon and glittery beads.
We were standing at the entrance to a fancy ballroom, greeting people as they arrived at the fund-raiser my mom had organized for the Save the Earth Foundation, where she works. Our friend Kiwi Adair was there, too. So was my older brother, Kirk. Our job was to hand out guidebooks to the items that people would bid on later in the live auction. Mom had really done a great job—she'd persuaded some of the coolest places in Houston to donate stuff, including a private party from La Luxe spa and a seven-night cruise up the Nile in Egypt from Livingston Travel.
"I love the color of that dress," I said as a woman in red floated past. The fabric flowed like liquid around the woman's ankles.
"How much do you think it cost?" Mitchie asked no one in particular.
"Thirteen hundred dollars retail," Kiwi answered.
I raised an eyebrow at her.
"We just got one in the store," Kiwi explained. "It still had the tags on." Kiwi's parents own the most exclusive thrift—I mean, consignment—shop in Houston. It's an awesome place to shop. In fact, it's where I scored the soft green velvet jacket I was wearing at that moment.
My older brother, Kirk watched the woman in the blue dress make her way across the room toward one of the silent auction tables, where people could write down how much they'd pay for each item. "I really like her helmet," he said, eyeing her perfectly coiffed white hairdo. I had to admit that the hair did look kind of...bulletproof.
Mitchie cracked up. "Military chic is really in this year," she shot back.
Kirk grinned at her. "Is that why so many people came in uniform?" he asked, nodding at two women who were wearing the exact same pink dress. They are both standing at a silent auction table, about to bid on a pet party from Pampered Pooch.
A few more people arrived, and we handed out programs. This was the Save the Earth Foundation's gala event, and everyone was dressed super elegantly. The Waldorf Hotel had donated the space for the auction, and Mom had decorated the tables with beautiful green tablecloths, white candles in green holders, and large green-and-white flower arrangements. The theme of the auction was "Let's Get Green," because Mom's foundation is trying to save the planet. That's why I had on a green jacket, green tights, and a vintage green sequined skirt. Naturally, Kirk had said, "Are you off to the Emerald City?" the minute he saw my outfit. But I wasn’t the only one in green—Mitchie had on a green satin shirt and black pants, and Kiwi was wearing a yellow dress with green trim.
"How's everything going?" Mom asked as she hurried over to us. Her dress was a delicate mint-green. A few tendrils had escaped from the bun at the back of her neck, and she nervously shoved her glasses farther up onto her nose. "Do you have enough programs? Does anyone need something to eat? You can take turns heading over to the buffet, if you want. The live auction should start in a few minutes."
"We're good, Mom," I told her, touching her arm gently. "Relax."
"I'm hitting the buffet," Kirk said, plopping his programs onto a nearby table. "Who wants one of those flaky cheese things?" Kirk had hit the buffet a couple of times already.
"I do," Mitchie told him. "And would you get me a few cherry tomatoes, with some of that dip? And maybe a couple of crackers with that good cheese? Oh, and I'm dying of thirst—could you get me a drink? That orange seltzer water is good."
"Do I look like I brought a wheelbarrow?" Kirk teased. "Why don't you just come with me?"
"Go ahead," I said when Mitchie glanced at me. I knew that she had to leave the party early. "Kiwi and I can handle things here for a while."
Mitchie smiled. "Cool! Be back in a few." Then she and Kirk bopped off toward the food table.
Just then, I heard Kiwi make an annoyed little clicking sound with her teeth, and when I turned around, I saw why. Fiona Von Steig had just walked in. She went to our school, Allington Academy, and thought of herself as the Queen Bee. Though Queen Bug would be more accurate.
She and her best friends were known as the League. As in, "They're out of your league." Nice, right?