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Valentine Princess

Meg Cabot


  VALENTINE Princess


  “You don’t know that you are saying these things to a princess, and that if I chose I could wave my hand and order you to execution. I only spare you because I am a princess.”


  Frances Hodgson Burnett



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  About the Author

  Books about PRINCESS MIA



  About the Publisher

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  June 5, 7 p.m., private jet to Genovia


  A Screenplay by Mia Thermopolis

  (first draft)

  Scene 44

  INT/DAY—The extremely messy bedroom of a teenage girl, with virtually floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over a fire escape and inner courtyard. A large yellow CAT sits on top of the radiator, his tail swishing. A girl (sixteen-year-old MIA THERMOPOLIS), trembling on the verge of womanhood, is frantically looking for something. Her mother (HELEN THERMOPOLIS), a strikingly attractive woman in her late thirties, appears in the doorway.


  Mia! The limo’s waiting! Hurry up!


  I can’t find my journal! How can I go to Genovia for the summer if I don’t have my journal?

  HELEN leans down and pulls a black-and-white Mead composition notebook from where it’s gotten wedged between MIA’s bed and the wall.


  Isn’t this it?


  (taking notebook and flipping through it)

  No, Mom. This is an old one. This one is from—Hey! This one is from way back in my freshman year, a year and a half ago! I’ve been looking all over for this! Gosh, I feel like it was a DECADE ago that the stuff in this journal went on. I mean, so much has happened since then. I’ll be starting my junior year when I get back from Genovia at the end of this summer. God, it’s like I’m a totally different person now, you know? I mean, I’m writing actual PLAYS now instead of novels. I’m so much older and more sophisticated and—OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE JOURNAL IN WHICH I WROTE ABOUT MY FIRST VALENTINE’S DAY WITH MICHAEL AS A COUPLE!!!!! OH MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE I LOST THIS!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

  Tuesday, February 11, 6 p.m., the limo on the way home from princess lessons

  Today when I walked into my princess lessons with Grandmère after school, there was this totally creepy-looking guy occupying the pink brocade settee where I normally sit (because it’s nearest the bowl of sugared almonds that I sneak whenever Grandmère isn’t looking, even though they aren’t actually that good, like not candy- or chocolate-coated or anything, but beggars can’t be choosers, and why do old people always have such sucky candy, anyway?), and I was all, “Who are you?” because this dude had on one of those monochromatic tie-and-shirt thingies, like a TV talk show host or mafioso might wear, and that is not the kind of person you’d expect to see sitting in a dowager princess’s living room suite at the Plaza. I mean, not to be pejorative. But it’s true.

  Then Grandmère came out in a blue feather-trimmed wrap, like she was the Queen Mum and not the princess’s grandmum, and was all, “Oh, good, Amelia, I’m so glad you’re here. Meet Dr. Steve,” and I was like, “Whaty who?” and she was all, “HOW DARE YOU SPEAK THAT WAY TO MY ASTROLOGIST???”

  So yeah. Grandmère has an astrologist.

  I will admit, I’m pretty worried because, of course, I thought of Rasputin—you know, that guy who was, like, “spiritual advisor” (aka mystic oracle) to the Russian royal family, before they all ended up getting shot by their angry populace. Not necessarily because of Rasputin, but the czar’s subjects did kind of lose respect for him because he and his wife were listening to the advice of a dude who collected hair from virgins as a hobby.

  Obviously, this didn’t happen with Nancy Reagan, who was getting advice from astrologist Jeane Dixon, but that’s just because Jeane Dixon’s hobby was playing golf.

  Anyway, I guess Dr. Steve isn’t like Rasputin. I mean, he doesn’t have a beard—in fact, he barely had any hair at all, being mostly bald. And he was wearing a suit, not monk’s robes.

  Still, I didn’t like it much when he pointed at me and went, “Don’t tell me! Let me guess! This is Her Royal Highness, Princess Amelia!”

  Which made Grandmère clap her hands and do a jig, practically.

  “Yes!” she cried. “You’re right! He’s amazing! Isn’t he amazing, Amelia?”

  I don’t see what’s so amazing about it, since he’d heard Grandmère say my name when I walked in.

  Plus, it’s not like a picture of my face isn’t plastered all over the cover of Teen People every month. But whatever.

  “Tell us what you’ve learned about Amelia, Doctor,” Grandmère said, plopping herself down on one of the matching pink brocade chairs and snapping her fingers at me in her time-honored signal for Fix me a Sidecar. Now. “I gave him your birth date and time yesterday, Amelia, and Dr. Steve promised to read the results this afternoon, when you could be here to hear them.”

  “Um, that’s okay,” I said, as I headed for the bar. “I’m good. I don’t need my fortune told.” Particularly by someone named Dr. Steve.

  “Dr. Steve doesn’t tell fortunes, Amelia,” Grandmère said, all scornfully. “He examines the positions of celestial bodies in the heavens at the time of someone’s birth, and interprets the meaning of that placement to come up with an educated prediction about the future course of events in the subject’s life. For instance, Dr. Steve believes I myself am currently in grave danger of incurring grievous bodily harm—”

  “Assassination attempt?” I asked hopefully, as I mixed her brandy and Cointreau. Maybe there was more to this Rasputin thing than I thought.

  But Grandmère just ignored me. “And will soon be pursued by an ardent suitor. Isn’t that correct, Dr. Steve?”

  “I definitely see danger for you, Your Highness,” Dr. Steve said, looking gravely at my grandmother. “As well as a marriage proposal.”

  “I’m quite positive it’s that odious Lord Crenshaw,” Grandmère said, as I handed her her drink. “He’s been quite persistent in asking to escort me to the charity ball the contessa is hosting for the American Heart Association on Valentine’s Day. Now, Dr. Steve. About Amelia—”

  “I don’t want to know!” I yelled. Because, seriously, who wants to know their future? Not that I believe in astrology, but, you know, SOME of it is accurate. I mean, like the part about how Capricorns and Tauruses get along so well. Because how else can you explain why Michael Moscovitz, who is the most intelligent and gorgeous senior in the whole school (well, unless you’re blind, like everyone who thinks JOSH RICHTER is the most intelligent and gorgeous senior in the whole school), would be going out with a lowly, flat-chested freshman like me? It would be like if Josh Hartnett suddenly started dating Little Debbie, of snack cake fame.

  Mmmm, Little Debbies.

  But Dr. Steve had already pulled out my chart, and was saying things like, “Her Royal Highness, the princess Mia, is gifted with uncanny insight and takes great pleasure in nature and all living things—”

  “Ah!” I cried, trying to get away, only to trip over Rommel, who was cowering in his fur-lined basket by Grandmère’s magazine rack. “No! Don’t tell me!”

  “She is tremendously persistent, particularly with her affections—”

  “Don’t say another word!” I was trying to untangle myself from Rommel, but it was hard because he kept darting from one side of his basket to the other. It’s a very big basket.

  “And that’s w
hy her longest-lasting partnership will be with a generous, caring Leo—”

  Suddenly, I froze.

  “A LEO?” I screamed from the floor. “That’s not possible! Michael is a Capricorn!”

  “Well, obviously, Amelia,” Grandmère said, all primly, taking a sip of her Sidecar, “Michael isn’t who you’re meant to end up with. What else, Dr. Steve?”

  But I stopped listening after that. Because I knew then that Dr. Steve was a charlatan. Oh, he may not dress in monk’s robes or have a beard or collect the hair of virgins, but he’s no more a mystic oracle than Rasputin ever was.

  Because any astrologer who can’t interpret from my star chart that Michael Moscovitz and I are meant to be together forever is a hack.

  Or possibly, receiving a kickback from my grandmother, who can’t stand Michael because he’s not a royal or, even worse, super rich, and so therefore, in her eyes, not a worthy consort for her granddaughter.

  I did thank Dr. Steve politely for letting me know I’m destined to do great things when I take over the throne of Genovia, just to be polite. But the truth is, any palm reader off the street could have predicted that. I mean, what with my plan to convert the palace into a giant animal shelter, and all.


  I wonder how much money Grandmère has given this fraud. Maybe I should call my dad. I mean, the last thing we need right now is a coup attempt by a populace alienated by Grandmère’s profligate spending. Dad’s still having a hard enough time calming parliament down about the parking meter controversy I inadvertently started over winter break.

  Who knew a bunch of cabinet members could be so touchy? You’d think they’d be a little more grateful. It’s only a matter of time until the constant barrage of tourists from U.S. cruise ships completely destroys Genovia’s fragile infrastructure. We’ve got to start seeking revenue elsewhere, and phase out the cruise ships, or Genovia’s going to start sinking, just like Venice.

  God, being a princess is hard.

  Tuesday, February 11, 10 p.m., the loft

  Okay, so it was a mistake to IM Tina Hakim Baba and tell her what Dr. Steve said. I mean, I only told her because I thought it was funny, and Tina needs cheering up these days because Valentine’s is only three days away and she still doesn’t have anyone to exchange cards and Whitman’s Samplers with, let alone someone to give her a genuine simulated ruby-encrusted heart pendant from Kay Jewelers (Every Kiss Begins with Kay), since Dave Farouq El-Abar dumped her for a girl named Jasmine, who has turquoise braces (and they didn’t even last. Tina said she saw him at Serendipity 3 last weekend sharing a frozen hot chocolate with some girl with no braces and a blow-out).

  Anyway, I expected her to be all, “Don’t listen to Dr. Steve! He’s wrong!” Only that’s not how she reacted.

  ILUVROMANCE: Seriously, Mia, you have to DO something. Dr. Steve is one of America’s premier astrologists! He correctly predicted that ’NSync would break up!

  FTLOUIE: Well, if he’s that good, I guess there’s nothing I can do, is there? Except lie back and accept my fate.

  I was totally joking. I forgot that sarcasm is usually totally lost on Tina.

  ILUVROMANCE: No!!! That’s the WORST thing you could do!!!! What is wrong with you, Mia? You’ve got to FIGHT!!! FIGHT FOR THE MAN YOU LOVE.

  FTLOUIE: Tina, how can I fight for the man I love when I don’t even know what I’m fighting against? I mean, not that I believe anything Dr. Steve said has any merit. Don’t forget, he says someone’s going to propose to Grandmère. Who’d be stupid enough to do THAT?

  ILUVROMANCE: Your grandfather, for one. Listen, all this means is that you have to be REALLY careful. Don’t give Michael any reason to dump you—the way I did with Dave.

  FTLOUIE: Tina! You did not give Dave a reason to dump you! He just dumped you because he’s an immature jerk!

  ILUVROMANCE: No, Mia. Enough time has passed since our breakup for me to see now where I went wrong. I let Dave slip through my fingers by trying to play it cool, since he was so afraid of commitment. But I see now what I should have done was give him a REASON to WANT TO COMMIT to me.

  FTLOUIE: You mean like…SLEEP WITH HIM???? But, Tina, you promised you and I would be the last virgins at AEHS! I thought we were saving ourselves until the night of our senior prom!!!!

  ILUVROMANCE: Of course that’s not what I mean, Mia! There are lots of ways to get a boy to want to commit to you without having to resort to THAT. I mean by showing him that you care in OTHER ways. Like, well, for instance, what are you and Michael doing for Valentine’s Day?

  FTLOUIE: Um. I don’t know. We haven’t talked about it.


  FTLOUIE: No. I guess that’s bad, huh? Maybe I should get him a card….

  ILUVROMANCE: Not just a card, Mia. Don’t you see? This Valentine’s Day has special meaning for the both of you, because it’s your first as a couple. If you don’t plan it exactly right—a romantic dinner, exchange of Valentine’s Day gifts, a kiss—Dr. Steve’s prediction will come true FOR SURE, and you’ll end up with some Leo Boy.

  FTLOUIE: VALENTINE’S GIFT???? I just got done being grounded for stealing those moon rocks for Michael’s birthday. What am I going to come up with to give him for VALENTINE’S DAY???? What do girls even GIVE guys for Valentine’s Day???? Aren’t THEY the ones who are supposed to give US stuff?

  ILUVROMANCE: For your first Valentine’s Day as a couple, you should give him SOMETHING. Like a book. Or a sweater.

  FTLOUIE: A SWEATER??? DOES IT HAVE TO BE CASHMERE???? Because I’m totally broke. I spent all my allowance on new vegan Doc lookalikes from Pangea.

  ILUVROMANCE: I was just using a sweater as an example. What about a CD?

  FTLOUIE: Tina, he’s a MUSICIAN. When he wants a CD, he goes out and buys it. There’s nothing Michael wants that he doesn’t have. Except moon rocks. And I already got him those.

  ILUVROMANCE: Well, there has to be SOMETHING. Look, I’ll think about it and get back to you. But I can’t stress enough to you how important this is, Mia. Especially in light of what Dr. Steve said. You have to make this first Valentine’s Day with Michael perfect, or you’ll end up with Leo Boy. Whoever he is. Or, worse, you’ll end up alone. Like me.

  FTLOUIE: Tina! Don’t worry! Your Valentine is out there somewhere! We just have to find him for you.

  ILUVROMANCE: No, Mia, it’s all right. All the best guys are taken. I’m all right, really. I’m going to use this Valentine’s Day to celebrate my romance with ME. Because you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else.

  FTLOUIE: True!

  Poor Tina. I HATE that stupid Dave. He better hope he doesn’t run into me anytime soon. Lars got a new taser for Christmas, and he’s been itching to try it out on someone.

  God. Why does everything have to be so COMPLICATED? Just when I thought things were starting to go fine for a change, some stupid psychic has to come around and ruin it.

  That is just so my luck.

  And as usual, it’s all Grandmère’s fault. Why’d she have to go and hire a stupid astrologist anyway? Why can’t she hire a chiropractor, like a normal grandma?

  Wednesday, February 12, Algebra

  So I tried to be all subtle in the car on the way to school. You know, about the whole Valentine’s Day thing? After Michael and Lilly got into the limo—and I got over how cute Michael looked with his neck all newly shaved and pink and gorgeous…God, it is totally UNFAIR that anyone should look that good in the morning—I was all, “So, Lilly. What are you and Boris doing for Valentine’s Day?” You know, super casually, and everything.

  And Lilly was like, “Valentine’s Day? Are you on crack?”

  “Um.” I wish Lilly wouldn’t ask me if I’m on crack in front of her brother. I mean, I know Michael knows I don’t use drugs
. But it’s, like, totally rude. “No. It’s coming up, you know. Friday.”

  I thought this was kind of sly, how I threw in that Valentine’s Day was on Friday, to kind of remind Michael? Only I didn’t say it TO Michael. I said it to Lilly. So that was cool.

  “I know when the fourteenth day of February falls, Mia,” Lilly said, all sarcastically. “What I meant was, since when do you celebrate a holiday that is essentially an invention of the greeting card and floral industries, who got together one day and decided to devise yet another holiday to make the loveless feel bad?”

  “Um,” I said again. “Actually, Saint Valentine was a real priest who kept marrying soldiers even after the Roman emperor instructed him not to, because the emperor felt single men made better fighters. So the emperor had Valentine thrown in jail, where he fell in love with the prison keeper’s daughter, and wrote her love notes signed ‘Your Valentine,’ which is why today we send Valentines to our loved ones.”

  “Um,” Lilly said, imitating me—and not in a very nice way—“actually, Valentine was just a man who helped hide Christians from the Romans, a crime for which he was discovered and then clubbed to death on February fourteenth.”

  “Actually, you’re both wrong,” Michael said, looking amused. “Ancient Romans celebrated the goddess Juno on February fourteenth, and Lupercalia—a popular feast starting in the third century that honored the god Lupercus, protector of sheep from wolves—the next day. On the eve of the fifteenth, the names of boys and girls would be drawn, and they were supposed to be linked for the year.”