This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Lydia Wyley, an eleven-year-old girl, strolled out of her house onto the front porch. Her golden hair in a loose ponytail swinging behind her and dressed in a clean pressed outfit while carrying a plastic suitcase. The palm trees swayed slightly in the cool breeze that floated through the air from the beach that Sunday afternoon in the small town of Santa Cruz, California. She could hear the tourists’ excited chatter while enjoying the view of the tiny boats floating far out to sea.
“Another dull day!” she thought to herself while plopping down onto the top porch step, it creaking familiarly as she got comfortable.
Resting her head on her hands she gave a sigh of dissatisfaction as she watched a few of the neighborhood kids skateboarding up and down the street. They waved over to her and she waved hello back.
Now, this girl happened to know a lot of kids in her town; however, she saw them more as future customers rather than actual friends. She watched two boys attempting skating tricks at the bus stop bench across the street. There were plenty of fun activities to occupy her time, but she was uninterested in after school sports, surfing or going to the mall. Unlike most kids her age, she preferred to do business over play and it was difficult to find friends with the same goals. What she truly longed for was a best friend she could share her hobbies with.
Lydia Wyley’s father is a successful entrepreneur who owned multiple retail stores in San Jose, the town over the hill. Her mother worked from home as a freelance graphic designer and usually kept Lydia company during her free time. As a born saleswoman and go-getter, Lydia was always ready to sell on something she’d got at a discount or as a sample from one of her father’s many stores, easily turning a profit. Every so often, in her early years as a child, her family would throw a yard sale after spring cleaning. Lydia began her hobby when she was only four years old by selling fancy unicorn and glittering cat stickers which were far too pretty waste and were just piling up anyways. At fifty cents a sticker, she made out with over twelve dollars by the end of the day! From that moment on, she knew she was going to follow in her father’s footsteps.
That day, Lydia decided to brainstorm ideas for attracting a potential best friend. While attempting to come up with a plan, she opened the suitcase to view her wares.
One of the boys skated closer to the house and called over to her.
“Hey Lydia! You got any of those candies for sale?”
Lydia lit up with joy, “Of course! I’ll even give you a deal since I’m feeling a little generous today. Three gummy snakes, for the price of two!” She wiggled her eyebrows to emphasize how great the deal was.
“Alright!” They fist bumped to solidify the sale of goods and he handed over the two dollars to receive his cheap and chewy snack.
Lydia chuckled while pocketing the money; she could always count on Carlos to buy the gummy snakes whenever she had them in stock. Once he was back at the bus stop sharing the treats with his buddy, her delight dimmed slightly as she found herself alone again. It had never bothered her much in the past, but today she felt a tinge of jealousy watching the kids laughing and pulling apart the gummy snakes to share.
“There has to be other kids my age that want to make some extra cash while we hang out… but how can I find them?”
Stroking her imaginary beard, Lydia found she couldn’t come up with any ideas besides physically forcing or bribing someone to be her best friend and business partner. Of course, she knew that was not the way to make lifelong friendships, so she decided that asking an experienced person for advice would probably be best.
Slamming the suitcase shut, she jumped up like a rocket and retreated into the house while calling out, “Mom! Mooooooooooom! Mother!”
She peeked her head into various rooms until she ended at the dining room table where her mom was enjoying a piece of pie with her usual afternoon coffee.
“Oh my goodness Lydia, what is so urgent!?” She set her plate aside leaning forward with her eyebrows raised as she listened to Lydia explain the dilemma of not being able to find a best friend and wanting to know how to find other girls like her.
“Hmmmmm…” her mother mused. “Why don’t you start a club for young entrepreneurs like yourself? Your father was sort of in one when he was about your age; they wanted to raise money to go on a trip and he ended up loving it so much that he opened his first business when he was 18. Maybe he can give you some guidance when he gets home tonight.”
Lydia was ecstatic with the idea her mom offered. Clapping her hands together in satisfaction, she dashed off to her room to keep busy while she waited for her father’s return. Lydia’s mother smiled to herself; then went back to enjoying her piece of pie.
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