Here's a brief excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Olivia's Gift. Look for it in November, or pre-order your autographed copy here.
“Should we see what’s on TV?” Hayley glanced at the bedside clock. “It’s nearly 8:00. The New Clique will be coming on.”
Olivia, who was lying on the bed doing a crossword puzzle, frowned slightly. She wasn’t allowed to watch The New Clique, a teenage show about a high school’s popular group. The characters kissed a lot, skipped school, and were disrespectful to adults. She had begged her parents to let her watch it a few months ago, since so many people she knew watched it and talked about it at school. Not knowing much about the show, her parents agreed to preview it first, without her there. After a few minutes of watching immodestly dressed teens making fun of their teachers and using bad language on The New Clique, her mom and dad had turned off the TV, looked at each other, and said, “Not gonna happen.”
Olivia had to admit that she wasn’t surprised when they told her no and discussed with her their reasons why not. Deep down, she wasn’t interested in watching teenagers kiss and be sassy, but watching The New Clique was the “in” thing to do. Every Wednesday morning, some of the kids would gather together and discuss the show from the night before: who went out with who, who was the cutest character, etc. She, Jenna, and Chad usually felt left out during that time. It was something she just had to deal with, she figured, since her parents had been absolutely firm on their decision.
“Um, how about the cooking channel? There’s that show where they take you on tours of potato-chip factories and stuff like that. That’s always fun to watch.”
“Instead of The New Clique? No way,” said Hayley, towel-drying her long hair. Then, in a lower voice, she said, “Olivia, if we close the door and keep the volume low, your parents won’t even hear us watching it.”
Olivia was tempted. She’d always been curious about the show. She’d heard so much about the characters that she wondered what they looked like. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to watch the show just once. Just one episode, just so she could say she’d seen it. How much harm could that do, just once?
Hayley took Olivia’s silence as the go-ahead she was seeking. She walked over to the adjoining hotel-room door, closing it quietly. Olivia reached over to the nightstand where the TV listing card was and picked it up, checking the channels. She grabbed the remote, glancing around the room. Just then she caught sight of her pajamas sticking out of her suitcase on the floor, the pajamas with red roses all over them, reminding her of St. Therese. Oh St. Therese, she said inside her head, you always know when I need your help. You always seem to know when it’s time to step in to keep me from doing something stupid, something I’ll regret.
copyright 2010 by Nancy Carabio Belanger