Prologue / Changes
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Copyright © 2016 by Khristina Atkinson

Genevieve learned the hard way her name alone could provide sufficient ammunition to make her an outcast in school. Her mother insisted that being her great-grandmother’s namesake was an honor. She wore the moniker proudly until her third year in elementary school when Chip Starcher teased her by yelling out “Genna Bean” across the playground. Young boys and girls that age can be terribly cruel, and soon everyone was calling her the horrible nickname. She detested the constant ridicule, which forced her to shorten Genevieve to Genny.

A few months after the incident, most of the children at her school did not even remember her name was Genevieve. Everyone except Henry. He had asked her middle name at the beginning of second grade when he moved to Carolina Bay. After she replied “Grace,” he came up with a special nickname of his very own. At least, he never let any of their other classmates overhear him refer to her as GG. She hated it.


While many of the children were claiming their future profession as a policeman or a teacher when they grew up, Genny was positive she would become a psychiatrist. She needed to know what made people tick. When she was six years old, she questioned Randy Autin about why he wanted to be a fireman. He stated pragmatically, “Because they get to drive that cool red truck.”

Most little girls enjoyed playing with dolls, but not Genny. In elementary school, her favorite pastime was going to the local library to absorb information about men such as Freud and Pavlov. Her thirst for knowledge encompassed every journal and article she could possibly read about psychology and all the great men and women who contributed to the science of behavior and mind. She even started carrying around a composition book to enable her to write down her observations on the other students. 


All through middle school and even into high school, the girls would confer about how cute their boyfriends were and declare their undying love for them. Genny noted they seemed to change their minds an awful lot. Her conclusions were either love never existed in the first place, or it did not last very long.

Genny only found the boys’ brains attractive. She strived to know what they were thinking and why they were thinking it. Her investigation concluded that most males only cogitated on two particular subjects—sports and girls.


Genny never had many friends, because her nose was always stuck in a book. All the teachers and students recognized her as being the top student in her class at Andrew Jackson High School from freshman to junior year. Her constant studying would surely win her the prize she coveted more than anything—the distinguished honor of valedictorian.

She had recently added one new goal for her senior year. After overhearing some of the girls discussing there would only ever be one senior prom in a girl’s life, she mulled over their declaration. She determined their opinion may indeed be valid and not attending in the future may end up as a regret later in life. Her desire was for a handsome boy to ask her, but she factored in her lack of popularity. She would willingly settle for a decent-looking guy. With her recent transformation, she hoped to at least lure a bookworm who frequented the school library into being her date.


During her summer vacation, Genny elicited the help of her father’s assistant in obtaining a complete transformation in her appearance. She initially resisted Alice Preston’s kind efforts to hand out advice when she confused the guidance for an attempt to replace her mother. Ava died suddenly of a brain aneurysm shortly before her twelfth birthday.

Alice may be fifty-two years old, but Genny still considered her one of the most stylish ladies she had ever seen. She showed off her slender figure by wearing elegant suits to work at Hodges, Montgomery, and Roth Law Offices, where Genny’s father was a partner. Charles’ trusted employee often gave her magazines with the latest fashions and hairstyles, but she refused to take the hint. An expression of sheer delight spread across the woman’s face when she finally came to her for assistance.

Genny stood five foot ten inches tall with the figure of a model. You simply could not observe her curves as she hid them underneath the clothes she wore. Her shirts all hung loose, because comfort was more important to her than attracting a boy. Her hair had loose curls and cascaded almost down to her waist. When she brushed her thick mane, it would become a frizzy mess that she kept pulled back into a ponytail or bun. Large, plastic frame glasses covered her eyes. Her classmates perceived her as the epitome of the nerdy, smart girl.

The first item on Alice’s agenda was setting up an appointment with a cosmetologist. Twelve inches were removed from Genny’s long tresses with layers added throughout. They purchased products to accentuate and tame her waves when she wanted a natural look, and the accessories needed to straighten her locks if the mood struck her.

Alice persuaded Genny to purchase contact lenses to replace her glasses. Finally, they were off on a fun-filled day of shopping for a new wardrobe. She had perused the latest magazines her mentor gave her, and they found clothing that flattered her shape.

Next: Chapter One / Girl Falls for Boy

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