One Week - By Nikki Van De Car


It took me six days to get to New York, and one day to get back. In those six days, I starved, I stank, I hitchhiked, I broke-and-entered, I lost my virginity, I sort of found it again, and I learned that love and hate have a lot in common, really.

In that one day that it took to come back home, I learned that all that I had gone through had no point at all, except for how it meant everything to me.

Day One

“For the love of God, shut up, Bee. How many girls actually have a chance with Thom Derrek? I can't believe you're whining about this.”

I roll my eyes and hold the phone to my ear with my shoulder as I pick at a chip in my nail polish. For someone who has been my best friend since eighth grade, Julia has a wildly different outlook on things. “Thom Derrek is an asshole,” I say.

“He's a hot and famous asshole. And maybe he's not really—I bet his agent just told him to play up the bad boy thing.”

“No, Julia. Trust me, I've been on a date with the guy. He's Grade-A Genuine Dick. But you're still missing the point! Thom Derrek is older, he drinks, he's been caught doing drugs, and he's currently under investigation for being a date rapist! Skipping over the part where you think it's a good idea to date a catch like that, my father invited this guy over to my house and practically shoved me into his lap!” I pick harder at the chip and a fleck of nail polish lands on my lap.

“Okay, with the date rape thing thrown in, that is kind of messed up,” Julia admits. “But your dad probably didn't even know about that. He's a busy guy—it's not like he has time to read the tabloids. And frankly, I don't believe the accusation for a minute. I bet that bitch is just trying to get attention.”

“Julia, please. She's a teen pop star with augmented breasts that are probably not even done growing yet. She gets plenty of attention.”

“Bee, you're a child of Hollywood. Do I need to tell you there is no such thing as enough attention?”

There is for me, but I don't bother telling Julia that.

“Where are you now?” she asks. “It's not even 5:30. Do you want to come over?”

“No, I'm fine. I'm just going to drive around for a while. Cool off, you know? I'll see you at school.” I'm lying. I'm not going to cool off, and I'm not going to see her at school. Ever again, if I can help it.

As I hang up, I wonder again why I even bother talking to Julia about this stuff. She doesn't understand, and never will. And then I remember—there's no one else.

For the record, my name isn't actually Bee. I insisted on the change when I was five and started attending kindergarten and was laughed at for having a dorky name. Explaining to them that Bette Davis was anything but dorky was kind of a waste of time, especially since I'd never seen a single one of her movies and was just repeating my dad.

I realize that some might say that the name Bee isn't much of an improvement, but I was five and it got my point across. Someone messed with me, I stung them. That is, I pinched them.(I may have watched some Muhammad Ali, but not enough to have any idea how to throw a decent roundhouse).

Agreeing to have dinner with Thom Derrek was a test, and my dad failed it. I wanted to see if maybe—just maybe—I was wrong, and he loves me for me, and not as the kind of Paris Hilton successor he's been grooming me to be. Any father with any normal sense of love and responsibility for his daughter would have forbidden me from dating someone like Thom Derrek. My father invites the guy over for cocktails.

I don't even know who my dad is, and he certainly doesn't have the first clue who I am. There's no reason that we would ever have anything to do with each other, except for this bizarre accident of genetics or fate or whatever. I used to fantasize that maybe there was some sort of mix-up at the hospital or something, or my mom slept with the mailman, or the homeless guy on the street—anybody would have been better. But there's no mistaking it—I look just like him. It's the only thing