Celebrity Student
Rachel, Age 12, Easton, CT

Jenna walked into math class to see someone’s things on her desk. She asked her best friend Sara who’s stuff it was. Sara shrugged and scanned the room. She saw a student that she didn’t recognize, talking with the teacher, Mrs. Richman. Mrs. Richman was smiling, which was an unusual expression for the soft-spoken teacher. When the student turned around, Sara’s jaw dropped.

“What?” Jenna asked. Sara just stood there with her mouth open so wide that her chin might as well have just fallen to the floor. Jenna snapped her fingers in front of her friend’s wide eyes, but Sara swatted Jenna’s wrist down before she could snap twice. Jenna crinkled her eyebrows in confusion and followed Sara's gaze. Jenna couldn’t believe her eyes. There in front of her was Stephanie Larson, who played the gorgeous, popular schoolgirl on Back to Reality, the show almost the entire student body watched. Jenna tried to say something but nothing came out. Who else would I let take my seat other than Stephanie Larson? she thought. Sara squealed and pinched Jenna's arm.

“If we’re fast we can take the seats next to her seat,” Sara instructed. Jenna snapped out of her state of shock and practically catapulted herself from where she was standing to a seat next to Stephanie's. She smiled to herself and exhaled. Is this seriously happening?

“Excuse me.” Someone tapped her on the shoulder. It was Stephanie Larson. This was really happening. “Mrs., um, Richman said that you could tell me what we’re doing in class now. I'm Stephanie by the way.” Jenna wondered if she really thought she had to introduce herself, or she was just being polite.

“Jenna,” she blurted out, offering her hand. “I’m Jenna.” Stephanie shook it, obviously trying not to laugh. She and Jenna went to the table in the back of the room and told her what they'd been doing during the first month of school. All day long, Jenna thought about hanging out with Stephanie Larson. Having Friday-night sleepovers, laughing at each other’s stupid jokes, and going to award ceremonies premieres, and interviews for teen magazines.

At the end of the day, Jenna was waiting for her mom’s red mini-van to come and pick her up. She saw Stephanie with someone. He was tall and looked about 16. He couldn’t be a brother because, he looked nothing like her. Anyway, how could Jenna’s favorite actress have a brother that Jenna did not know about. Maybe he was  a bodyguard. Jenna started to walk towards her, but Stephanie saw her first. She half smiled.

“Jenna, right?” she asked. Jenna raised her eyebrows as if to say ‘Me?’ Stephanie nodded.

“Mm-hmm.” Jenna said to her feet.

“Thanks for helping me today. The producers said the show wouldn’t survive without you and the other kids who helped me.”

“You’re wel—,” she stopped mid-word. “the what?” Stephanie went on to explain how she had pretended to be an actual school student so that the show would be up to date on what real school was like.

“Plus,” she said, “ I got in some acting practice.” Jenna winced. A black Range Rover pulled up and she got in. Stephanie opened the window and said ‘thanks’ again. Then she handed Jenna an autographed picture of Back to Reality’s cast. She rode off in the Range Rover, leaving Jenna and her autograph waiting for her mom with the most dumbstruck look on her face. So much for a celebrity best friend.

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