TITLE: The Fan Gene
GENRE: YA Contemporary
What happens when a 16-year-old superfan and the actor she’s obsessed with meet in New York City psychiatrist’s office? He's there as a patient. She's the afternoon receptionist…a job she has because her mother is the psychiatrist.
It was 3:15 and the 3:00 still hadn’t showed - a woman in her thirties who’s been Mom’s patient for over a year to deal with her chronic lateness. Personally, I think she should get her money back.
I looked at the white door just past my desk with the large DR. FOX: NOT IN SESSION sign. Those words mean that Mom can wander out at any moment, looking to chat or spy. I’d already collated a stack of insurance forms, put a new toner cartridge in the printer, rinsed out all the coffee mugs, and thrown away the four Snickers wrappers that the daytime receptionist, Ann Marie, had somehow managed to wedge between the cabinet and the trash can. Guess she’s cheating on her diet again. Nothing Mom-approved left to do.
I missed the old days, the pre-Leia-watches-too-much-TV-and-spends-too-much-time-chatting-online days. As soon as Mom got it in her head that I needed to be more productive, I was drafted into service. It isn’t the worst job in the world – she pays well and it can be fun to try to figure out what’s going on in her sessions, to make up stories behind the red eyes and nervous fidgets.
But there is also a severe lack of privacy. I never know when Mom is going to suddenly be standing over my shoulder. Luckily, I’m smart enough to keep my real online life secret, only bringing it out when she’s safely in session. So, all she ever sees is whatever I need to Google for homework. Whenever that happens, she gets this proud, kind of smug smile, like she’s saved me from myself.