Excerpt of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
(Page 4 of 7)
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So Ill skate instead of volleyball, I said. Mom, I know my
limitations. But I loved skating. I dont understand why you dont want me
If I thought the only reason was because you loved it, then wed talk
about it, Mom said. But skating lessons are very expensive and I cant
help thinking you only want them so you can gossip about Brandon Erlich on
the message boards.
Mom, Brandon doesnt even skate here anymore! I cried. He trains in
But his parents still live here, Mom said. And youd want to be
coached by Mrs. Daley.
I dont know if shed even take me on, I said. Its about the money,
isnt it? Theres money to send Jonny to baseball camp this summer, but not
enough money for me to have skating lessons.
Mom turned 15 shades of red and then we really went at it. Mom yelled at
me about money and responsibilities and I yelled at her about favorites and
not loving me like she loves Matt and Jonny (which I know isnt true, but
Mom wasnt right about me not understanding about money and
responsibilities) and we got so loud Jonny left his bedroom to see what was
Mom came into my room about an hour later and we both apologized. Mom
said shed think about the skating lessons. She said she thought volleyball
would be better on my college applications since I could join a college
squad if I was good enough.
She didnt say Id never be good enough at swimming for a college squad,
which was actually kind of nice of her. Im never going to be good enough
for anything the way things are going.
And I dont much like either of my two best friends these days.
All that and a math test tomorrow I cant even pretend I studied enough
I wish I was in college already. I dont see how I can make it through
the next two weeks, let alone two more years of high school.
Friday the 13th. Well, things werent that bad.
The math test wasnt as hard as I thought it would be.
Mom said if I wanted, I could take skating lessons in July. August Ill
be spending with Dad, anyway. Then if I want to continue, well talk about
Megan had lunch with her church friends (I dont like any of them) and
Sammi had lunch with this weeks boyfriend, so I ended up eating with some
of the swim team, which was a lot more fun than listening to Megan and Sammi
yell about God. Dan, wholl be captain next year, told me I had a really
good crawl stroke and that if I worked at it, he could see me anchoring
relays as soon as next season.
And I like Peter (he told Jonny and me to call him that; said Dr. Elliott
was his name at the office). Some of the guys Moms dated have tried too
hard with us, but Peter seemed pretty casual. Not with Mom, though. He
actually stammered when he was talking with her and he stumbled and nearly
fell. But he laughed at himself and said he wasnt nearly that careless when
he was operating on someone.
He asked if any of us had heard about the asteroid and the moon. Mom
remembered something about it, because it was big news when the astronomers
first announced it was going to happen. Some asteroid is going to hit the
moon, and Peter heard on the radio driving over that its going to be
visible in the night sky next week. I asked Mom if we could dig out Matts
telescope and she said we should ask him, but she was sure itd be okay.
Jonny and I didnt even argue over the computer after Mom left. There was
something I wanted to watch on TV from 8 to 9 and there was something he
wanted to watch from 9 to 10, so that worked out really well. The fan board
is still fighting over whether Brandonll need two quads to win the Olympics
or whether he could win with just one.
Excerpted from Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Copyright © 2006 by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Excerpted by
permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.