It’s Christmas. And in the midst of a regular Christmas day of gifts and family games, Natalie receives something quite unexpected: Her parents reveal that they are getting divorced. Oh, and they’ve been working through this decision and making plans for the split and division of property over the last ten months. Without telling her!
That makes this the worst Christmas ever as far as Natalie is concerned. But it drives home one other truth, too. As she stands staring blankly at her parents’ identical please-adjust-quickly-to-our-terrible-news fake smiles, Natalie realizes that all her plans for the near future are now officially upended.
She had wanted her final year in high school to be drama free … for a change. Through all of her teen years, thanks to a rough pimply complexion that turned almost overnight into deep cystic acne, Natalie had been something of a lumpy, bumpy, awkward and generally repulsive outcast at school. (That’s when she wasn’t being called gross or a freak.)
Fortunately, with lots of medication, lots of care and concealer and lots of time, she had been able to meet and gain two dear friends. And they had planned to cruise through their last year in high school and move on to university together. She and her two best friends, Lucy and Zach, would be a friendship group—three devoted-but-platonic points of a triangle—who would face the strangeness and singleness of growing up and going to college, together.
Ah, it was a great plan.
But out of the blue, Lucy and Zach became a head-over-heels-in-love couple. And now, with her parents’ announcement to sell their home and separate, Natalie is back to being kinda alone. No friendship safety group. No familiar home base. And no idea about what will happen next.
In fact, when Natalie really takes time to think about the future, she only comes up with things that are happening for her mom, her dad, for Lucy and for Zach. How will her story play out? She hasn’t got a clue.
It’s really weird not to be the lead in your own imaginary movie!