Laurel stood at her bathroom mirror, following her typical routine after a shower, carefully replacing her contacts and making sure her hearing aid was actually working. With quickly blow drying her hair and getting ready for the party that she would be heading to in just a short while. She glanced at her phone, seeing that she still had extra time, turned up the volume on the music she had playing then glanced at the most recent art project she had been working on earlier before turning to her computer. After a short while, Laurel’s attention was finally pulled from the computer to a notification on her phone. There they were, the first tasks from Blue Royalty for her senior year of high school. As she was reading them, she didn’t even notice someone step just inside her doorway. “What’s that smirk all about?” At the sound of her voice, Laurel turned down the music volume and looked to the doorway. “Oh, mom, I didn’t see you there.” Laurel said as she closed the computer and turned in her chair to fully face her. “Its my first tasks, so senior year has officially started.” Laurel could see a soft smile on her mom’s face as she stepped closer. “Laurel, remember you don’t have to do those if you don’t want to. Winning isn’t everything.” Laurel simply gave a slight shrug in response. “Yeah mom, I know. You thought you had to win your senior year, but you and uncle Dan didn’t need to. If I don’t win its not the end of the world.” It was at that point, that Laurel felt her mother’s arms around her. “You’re a senior now… It feels like just yesterday that you were just a little girl. You’re growing up too fast on me. I love you.” Laurel returned the hug with an “I love you too, mom.” Her relationship with her mom certainly had its ups and downs, and in certain ways her mom was a complete mess, but in others, Jezebel did things right, so Laurel never had to question if her mom loved her. Laurel paused for just a second to check the time again, before bringing her gaze back to meet Jezebel’s somewhat tear filled eyes. “I know you want me to just stay here and be your little girl, but I better get going now so I can make it to the party.”
After a few more minutes, Laurel was off to the Rockefeller house, a place that held more meaning for her than most of her classmates. It had been 20 years, give or take a couple of days, since the class of 2020 had entered that same house for the party to begin their senior year. It was the place where Jezebel Sloane first spoke to Mikel Lucas, the place where they first kissed. Because of that day 20 years earlier, her parents started talking to each other, and months later Jezebel was pregnant with Laurel. That house was where her parents’ story, however short lived and problematic it was, began nearly 20 years to the day earlier, which meant in a way, it was where her story began as well. Now at 19 years old, it was Laurel’s turn.