Beverly Hills Prep Academy—home to the rich, famous, and spoiled brats.
Twelve eighth graders, under the supervision of their two Art teachers, embarked on a two-day, fun filled educational trip to New York City, home to world-class galleries.
The group checked into their reserved rooms at the famous Majestic Inn Hotel. The students were randomly divided into four groups of three and were assigned their rooms. The teachers shared the last room. However, six of the students, attractive, super rich, mean girls, thinking they were above all other cliques, refused to share a room with anyone.
In an angry fit, the teachers put them in one room—all six of them. The teens protested, not liking the idea of sharing, but the teachers were firm that they stay together or sleep in the lobby, an idea so disgusting the teens shuddered at the thought. Since apparently, they had no choice, they agreed to share a room.
Amazingly, the teens discovered they had similarities and differences, and as they stayed in the same room, surprisingly, the bonds they made were incredible. They formed friendships overnight as if they had known one another in another life. Vanessa Florence Grandeville, Stephanie Elaine Lee, Rachel Ann Franchesca Davenport, Alexandra Jane Moore, Samantha Isabella St. James, and Jennifer Clarice Stevens, promised to remain friends forever and eventually called the SBPs, also known as Spoiled Brats Princesses of Beverly Hills.
It was a dark, cold, and stormy night. Thunder rattled the windowpane, and powerful gusts of wind pounded on the roof. Tom put down his newly opened book, removed his glasses, and rubbed his irritated and tired eyes. It was the second book he picked up from the table, but it was hard to keep up as he couldn’t comprehend a word he read. He found himself gazing out the window, wondering where his daughter might be. He felt his mind had split, and he was thinking of many things at the same time. He waited all night long, worrying, and waiting for the phone to ring. He slumped back in his chair, yawned, and rubbed his eyes again with the palm of his hands. Several minutes later, he again pacing and patiently waited for his daughter to come home.
As he allowed his feelings to emerge, he began having flashbacks spanning from his early childhood to the recent past. His parents were small farm owners growing crops and selling them to local markets. They worked day and night to put food on the table. He was only ten when he worked on a farm raising cows and pigs to help his family.
Tom was a smart thinker, sharp, and a dreamer. He used his talent to tap into anything he thought would help him: educational opportunities, scholarships, and grants. He even worked various odd jobs, including waiting tables and washing cars, as he worked his way through school. It wasn’t the only tenacity that helped him become successful—he never let circumstances get in the way of achieving his American dream. With courage, hard work, and determination, he eventually became one of the most successful and wealthiest businessmen in the country, but Tom had never forgotten he was still a small-town kid.
And then he met his future wife, Martha, one of the most prominent women in the advertising business, at a cocktail party in Hawaii. After a short time of dating, they got married and had twins. They did an excellent job raising their sons; Jason and TJ, whom they sent to a private school in Beverly Hills, California. And no matter how busy Tom was building his business empire, he always had time for his kids and was involved and present in their school activities, praising their talents and abilities.
Tom remembered the day when his wife revealed she was pregnant with their third child. It was the morning of the twin’s graduation from middle school. Martha wasn’t feeling well and had a doctor’s appointment for a check-up. Tom dropped her off in front of the clinic and sat in the car until she went inside. He drove around to the back of the building and parked. He walked into the room and the receptionist, a short dark-haired woman with glasses, greeted him with a smile. She told him his wife should be out shortly. Tom nodded as he looked at his watch. It was only eight-thirty; still plenty of time to get ready for the twin’s graduation at 2 o’clock. Trying to kill time, he picked up a magazine and casually flipped through the pages without reading one line.
Twenty minutes crawled past before the door opened. An older man with scrappy looking gray hair and drooping eyebrows came out filling out a report.
“Mr. Grandeville!” the doctor exclaimed when he recognized Tom. “How have you been?” he asked, smiling. Then his smile changed to a wide grin and shook his hand more vigorously.
Tom was a little surprised by the way the doctor greeted him. An expression mixed with confusion and curiosity crossed his face.
“Dr. Resnick, is everything all right? How is my wife?” he asked anxiously with a concerned look in his eyes.
“Mr. Grandeville, your wife is fine. Don’t worry,” the doctor said, a big smile broke out across his face.
There’s that smile again, Tom muttered uneasily.
When Martha came out of the room, he noticed there was a certain glow to her cheeks and a sparkle in her eye. Tom had always thought her wife was beautiful. She was vibrating with life as always, but there was indeed different about her this time. He was intrigued by her behavior. Was he exaggerating? He couldn’t be sure. Although it was odd, he brushed off the idea and thought Martha was probably demonstrating true happiness only since it was a special day for both of them. After all, how often do you experience double victory when in a few hours both of their children would graduate with honors?
At the graduation ceremony, Tom noticed his wife seemed distracted and could not sit still as if she were on pins the way she kept moving around in her seat. She also appeared to be obsessed with time by the way she kept looking at her watch. Martha was acting strangely. Tom suspected something was amiss when his wife sent him and the twins on an errand across town after the ceremony ended. He couldn’t quite decide how he felt and nodded absently, giving her a doubtful look and flinched slightly, frowning as he looked at her again. Before he or the twins could ask or say anything, Martha hurriedly jumped into a waiting taxi on the curb and waved at them as they sped off. They were still standing where she had left them, a puzzled look on their faces.
Tom became annoyed and suspicious, but he didn’t want the twins to know how he felt. He rubbed his chin and chuckled ruefully. “Your mom is planning an elaborate party for you two. It’s obvious she’s trying to get rid of us.”
“What’s with all the secrecy, anyway? It’s not like we don’t know about our party,” said Jason, scratching his head in bewilderment.
“Well, um, you know your mother. She loves planning things out, and she can be secretive.” He faked a laugh.
TJ smiled wryly. “Why not tell us instead of sending us away. She never even let us take the time to change our clothes. We’re still wearing our cap and gown for goodness sake.”
“This is important to your mother. Otherwise, she wouldn’t ask us to do this. Let’s leave it at that, okay?” said Tom, putting on a fake smile. The truth of the matter was that he was worried. Something serious was happening to his wife, but he didn’t know what to do about it. He decided to talk to her after the party when everyone’s gone home. For now, he had to put on a happy face in front of the twins.
“Okay, Dad, but how long we’re supposed to be out of the house?” TJ asked.
“Your mother would not go through all this trouble for us to return right away. Let’s go to the store. You can help me buy a new fishing rod.”
Father and sons spent a long time at the mall and ended up buying things they didn’t need. Hours later, they were back on the road, heading toward home. They were surprised with the number of cars parked in the driveway. It was full.
“Wow! Did Mom invite the whole neighborhood?” asked the twins laughing.
They entered the house and were offered warm hugs and greetings from their guests. Tom looked around and wondered what in God’s name possessed his wife to decorate the house with such bright colors that were not appropriate for their children’s graduation party.
What the heck? What was she thinking? he muttered. He was slow to catch on and tried to decipher the big clue Martha spread around the house. “Pink and Blue motif; my goodness!” he said, exasperation close enough to hear.
Meanwhile, the twins stood dumbfounded at the sight before them. They thought their mother had lost her usual knack for creativity. Jason was so shocked, he tripped over his own feet, and fell flat on his face. The guests, who were busy drinking champagne and chatting, mouthed their fears all at once. A look of surprise shot across their face.
“What happened, Jason? Are you all right?” the guests asked as they grabbed his outstretched hands to get him into a standing position.
Jason was in too much shock. He didn’t expect to humiliate himself in front of everyone, especially at his graduation party. However, charming as he was, he managed to stand up on his own and flashed everyone a big smile; his expression was a little forced.
“I’m fine. Nothing to worry about,” Jason said, as he began brushing dirt and dust off his clothes.
The father and sons had the right to be shocked. Besides having a ‘Congratulations on Your Graduation’ banner hanging on the wall, Martha created a glowing party atmosphere. There were origami rainbow cubes and multi-colored crepe paper streamers floating down from the ceiling all around the house, and a pink and blue balloon backdrop with matching tablecloths and coordinating napkins and plates on the table. The highlight was a giant strawberry vanilla cake with pink and blue frosting with ‘Will we celebrate in pink, or will it be in blue,’ writing on it.
“Mom, what’s going on?” the twins asked in confusion.
“Yeah, Martha, what in God’s name is going on?” Tom remonstrated. “What has gotten into you?”
Laughing and smiling, Martha, in her peach floral dress, looked radiant. She was glowing as she took center stage, and all of Tom’s suspicion turned into a surprise when his wife finally spoke.
“Thank you for joining us tonight for this wonderful occasion. Joy like this is meant to be shared with friends and family, especially when we are celebrating not one occasion, but two. Guess what? I’m pregnant!”
A great cheer echoed through the house, and the rumble of voices filled every corner of the room as they congratulated Martha. They raised their glasses in a toast, and the wine flowed freely. It was such a perfect event, and everyone had an amazing time. It was the best night they had ever had!
Tom snapped back to the present when he felt his wife’s arms around him. Martha had come into the study room without him even hearing her.
“Tom!” Martha beamed, staring straight at him.
“I’m sorry, dear, did you say something?” he asked, trying to regain his composure.
“Why don’t you go up to our room? Don’t worry. I still have knitting to finish. Go ahead. I’ll wait for our daughter,” Martha said, smiling as she sat in her favorite chair by the window.
Tom looked at his beautiful wife’s face for a moment before nodding. “Yes, dear,” he crooned, as he leaned down and kissed his wife’s cheek softly before saying goodnight and going upstairs to rest.
Martha was left alone sitting on the comfortable chair, beginning to knit when she felt uneasy as she heard a low rumble of thunder. She anxiously looked out the window, but all she could see was lightning flashing constantly. She sat down thinking how inconsiderate of her daughter for not calling them. Rain pelted the window from the storm outside. Martha waited all night long, worrying and watching out the window for her daughter to come home.
As the minutes passed by, she allowed her feelings to emerge and now it was her turn to had a flashback of the day she found out she was pregnant with her daughter. It was the happiest day of her life. It was the morning of the twin’s graduation. She went to see her family doctor as she had been feeling a little under the weather. They did the blood work several days earlier. When her test came back, and her doctor told her she was six weeks pregnant, she could not believe it. She was speechless. She didn’t know what to think. From the time when the twins were five, she and Tom wanted to have another child, but it never happened. They were disappointed at first, but soon decided to have faith, and knew it would happen when the time was right.
Now, it had finally happened. Martha didn’t want to tell her family she was pregnant casually because they had also waited for a long time to have another baby in the household. She asked Dr. Resnick not to tell her husband as she wanted to surprise her family and the perfect place and time to make the announcement were at the twins’ graduation party. All their friends, family, and business associates would be there. She decided to be creative and make it a memorable party for everyone.
Martha was a little nervous and could not sit still in her seat during the graduation ceremony. She kept excusing herself to go to the bathroom, but, in actuality, she was making phone calls planning and arranging the party. As soon as the ceremony ended, she sent Tom and the boys on an errand to keep them out of the house for several hours. She hopped into a waiting taxi she had called earlier and waved her hand at them.
The party planner and her crews worked steadily to put up the decorations, setting up food table and party favors at different stations. She didn’t believe she could pull it off with such short notice, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish when money was never an issue.
The guests arrived. With a sharp intake of breath, they recovered from the initial shock and took in the unexpected sight of the strange decorations around the house. Even Tom and the twins were speechless as they walked into the room.
When she finally announced her pregnancy, Jason and TJ were the first to react. They let out a deafening scream while jumping up and down. Everyone was clapping, cheering, and congratulating them while Tom was stunned into silence. It took him a minute to realize what it all meant, and he tried to calm down, his eyes beaming with joy, until he could not contain his happiness and screamed at the top of his lungs, “Yahoo!”
Martha sighed as she snapped back to the present. “What have I done?”
She admitted she spoiled her daughter and had pampered her since she was born. Every time she would whimper or cry, she and Tom were always there to pick her up. When their schedule became hectic, they hired an excellent nanny to take care of little Vanessa. Unfortunately, their daughter became worse when she learned to crawl, leaving destruction wherever she went. Poor Nanny Maureen had to follow her around all day long. She lasted only a year with the Grandevilles before she resigned to work for another wealthy family.
When Vanessa turned four, she became a little monster and had gotten away with horrible things for too long. She played roughly and knocked over a few priceless vases around the house. Her parents had to employ two nannies to keep up with her.
As Vanessa grew up, Martha slowly began indulging her every wish to avoid her inevitable tantrums, especially if they were at the store, visiting friends, or even at the park. If Vanessa wanted something she had to have it, or she would whine or scream. Martha blamed herself for not putting her foot down occasionally.
Instead of letting her experience disappointment, I cleared the path for her to make her life easy, she told herself.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a car pull into the driveway. She rose from the chair, walked to the window, and looked out. Peeking through the blinds, she exhaled a breath of relief when she saw her daughter’s Mercedes-Benz come to a stop. Moments later, Vanessa emerged carrying a few Gucci shopping bags.
“Hi, mom! I’m going to bed. I’ll see you in the morning,” said Vanessa tonelessly, as she went upstairs to her room, leaving her poor mother shaking her head with disappointment in raising an immature and selfish daughter.