Read Life as We Knew It Online

Authors: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #General

Life as We Knew It

Table of Contents

When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer in orbit

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer in orbit

to the earth, nothing will ever be the same.

Worldwide tidal waves.

Earthquakes.

Volcanic Eruptions.

And that's just the beginning

Life As We Knew It

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Chapter One

May 7

Lisa is pregnant.

Dad called around 11 o'clock to let us know. Only Mom had already taken Jonny to his baseball practice and of course Matt isn't home from college yet, so I was alone to get the big news.

"The baby is due in December," Dad crowed, like he was the first guy in the history of the world with a younger second wife about to have a baby. "Isn't that great! You're going to have a little brother or sister. Of course it's too soon to tell what it's going to be, but as soon as we know, we'll tell you. I wouldn't mind another daughter myself. The first one I had turned out so wonderfully. How'd you like a baby sister?"

I had no idea. "When did you find out?" I asked.

"Yesterday afternoon," Dad said. "I would have called you right away but, well, we celebrated. You can understand that, can't you, honey? A little private time for Lisa and me before letting the world know."

"Of course, Daddy," I said. "Has Lisa told her family?"

"First thing this morning," he replied. "Her parents are thrilled. Their first grandchild. They're coming for a couple of weeks in July, before you and Jonny visit."

"Are you going to call Matt and tell him?" I asked. "Or do you want me to?"

"Oh no, I'll call," Dad said. "He's busy studying for his finals. He'll be glad for the interruption."

"It's great news, Dad," I said, because I knew I was supposed to. "Be sure to tell Lisa how happy I am for her. And you, too. For both of you."

"You tell her yourself," Dad said. "Here she is.

Dad muffled the phone for a second so he could whisper something to Lisa and then she took the phone.

"Miranda," she said. "Isn't it exciting!"

"Very," I said. "It's wonderful news. I'm really happy for you and Dad."

"I was thinking," she said. "Well, I know it's way too soon and I haven't even discussed this with your father yet, but would you like to be the baby's godmother? You don't have to answer right away, but do think about it, all right?"

That's the problem I have with Lisa. Whenever I want to get mad at her, or just irritated because she really can be immensely irritating, she goes and does something nice. And then I can understand why Daddy married her

"Of course I'll think about it," I said. "You and Daddy think about it also."

"We don't have to give it any more thought, she said. You should see the glow on your father's face. I don't think he could be any happier."

"I couldn't," Dad said, and I could tell from his laughter that he'd grabbed the phone away from Lisa.

"Miranda, please say yes. It would mean so much to us for you to be the baby's godmother."

So I said yes. I couldn't exactly say no.

After that we chatted for a while. I told Dad about my last swim meet and how I was doing in school. Mom still hadn't come back by the time I finally got off the phone, so I went online to see what's new with figure skating. The hot topic at Brandon Erlich's fan site is how good his chances are to win Olympic gold. Most people think not very, but a lot of us think he has a real shot at medaling and ice is slippery and you never know.

I think I'd like to take skating lessons again. I've missed it the past couple of years and besides, it'll give me a chance to pick up news about Brandon. He isn't being coached by Mrs. Daley anymore, but I bet she still hears stuff. And maybe Brandon's mother would show up at the rink.

When Mom got in, I had to tell her about Lisa. She just said that was nice and that she knew the two of them wanted children. She and Dad have worked really hard on making it a "good divorce." Matt says if they'd worked half as hard on their marriage, they'd still be married. I didn't tell her about how I'm going to be the godmother (assuming Lisa doesn't change her mind, which she's more than capable of doing). I feel kind of bad that I'm going to be the godmother but no one said anything about Matt or Jonny being godfathers. Of course Lisa and Matt don't get along very well, and maybe 13 is too young to be a godfather.

I hope Lisa changes her mind and I won't have to deal with it.

May 8

Not the greatest Mother's Day ever.

I'd told Mom a while ago that I'd make dinner and she decided to invite Mrs. Nesbitt. I can't say I was surprised, but I figured if Mom was having Mrs. Nesbitt over I could ask Megan and her mom, too. Only when Jonny found out it was going to be me and Mom and Mrs. Nesbitt and Megan and Mrs. Wayne, he said that was too many females in one room for him and he was going to have dinner at Tim's instead.

Mom always thinks it's a good idea for Jonny to spend time with Tim and his family because there are three boys and Tim's father is around a lot. She said if it was okay with Tim's folks it was okay with her.

I called Megan and told her to bring her history notes with her and we'd study for the test together, and she agreed.

Which is why I'm so mad at her. If she hadn't said yes, it would be one thing. But she did and I made enough meatloaf for five and salad and then right before I started setting the table, Megan called and said she had decided to stay on at her church and do something with the youth group. She'd gotten the dates mixed up. And her mother didn't feel like coming without her, so it was going to be two less for Sunday dinner and she hoped I didn't mind.

Well, I do mind I mind because I'd been looking forward to all of us having dinner together and to studying with Megan. I also figured Mrs. Nesbitt and Mrs. Wayne would be good people for Mom to talk to about Lisa's baby. Mom may not be best friends with Mrs. Wayne, but she's funny and she would have gotten Mom laughing.

Megan is spending so much time at her church. She goes to services every Sunday and she never used to and she does stuff with the youth group at least twice a week and sometimes more and for all her talking about how she's found God, I think all she's found is Reverend Marshall. She talks about him like he's a movie star. I even told her that once and she said that's how I talk about Brandon, like it was the same thing, which it isn't at all. Lots of people think Brandon is the best skater in the U.S. right now and besides it isn't like I talk about him all the time and act like he's my salvation.

Dinner was okay except I overcooked the meatloaf so it was a little dry. But Mrs. Nesbitt's never been shy with the ketchup bottle. After a while I left her and Mom alone and I guess they talked about Lisa and the baby.

I wish it was summer already. I can't wait to get my driver's license.

I also wish I was through studying for my history exam. BORING!

But I'd better get back to it. Bad grades, no license. The Rules According to Mom.

May 11

Got a 92 on the history test. I should have done better.

Mom took Horton to the vet. He's fine. I worry a little bit about him now that he's ten. How long do cats live?

Sammi told me she's going to the prom with Bob Patterson. I know I shouldn't be jealous but I am, not because I like Bob (actually I think he's kind of creepy), but because nobody asked me. Sometimes I think no one ever will. I'll spend the rest of my life sitting in front of my computer, posting messages about Brandon Erlich and his future in figure skating.

I told Megan about Sammi and how she always gets dates and she said, "Well, the reason is there's always a man in Samantha," and after I got over being shocked I laughed. But then Megan spoiled it by becoming that new preachy Megan and she went on about how sex before marriage is a sin and how you shouldn't date just to go out with guys but because you were serious about making a lifetime commitment.

I'm 16 years old. Let me get my learner's permit first. Then I'll worry about lifetime commitments.

May 12

I went to bed in a bad mood and today everything just went worse.

At lunch today, Megan told Sammi she was going to go to hell if she didn't repent soon and Sammi got real mad (I don't blame her) and yelled at Megan that she was a very spiritual person and didn't need any lessons from Megan about what God wanted because she knew God wanted her to be happy and if God hadn't wanted people to have sex He'd have made everybody amoebas.

I thought that was pretty funny, but Megan didn't and the two of them really went at it.

I can't remember the last time the three of us had lunch together and enjoyed ourselves. When Becky was still healthy the four of us did everything together, and then after Becky got sick, we grew even closer.

Megan or Sammi or I visited Becky at home or at the hospital almost every day, and called or e-mailed the others to say how Becky was doing. I don't think I could have made it through Becky's funeral without them. But ever since then Sammi and Megan both changed. Sammi started dating all kinds of guys and Megan got involved with her church. They've both changed so much over the past year and I seem to be staying who I always was.

Here I am going into my junior year of high school and these are supposed to be the best years of my life and I'm just stuck.

But the real reason why I'm in a bad mood is because I got into a big fight with Mom.

It started after supper. Jonny had gone into his room to finish his homework and Mom and I were loading the dishwasher, and Mom told me she and Dr. Elliott were going out for dinner tomorrow night.

There was this quick moment when I was jealous of Mom because even she has a social life, but it passed pretty fast. I like Dr. Elliott and Mom hasn't been involved with anybody in a while. Besides, it's always smart to ask favors of Mom when she's in a good mood. So I did.

"Mom, can I take skating lessons?"

"Just for the summer?" she asked.

"And next year, too," I said. "If I feel like continuing."

"After your ankle healed, you said you didn't want to skate again," Mom said.

"The doctor said I shouldn't even try jumping for three months," I said. "And by then there wasn't any point competing. So I stopped. But now I'd like to skate just for fun. I thought you like it that I do sports."

"I do like it," Mom said, but the way she slammed the dishwasher closed let me know she didn't like it nearly as much as I thought she did. "But you have swimming and you were planning on trying out for the volleyball team in the fall. You can't handle three sports. Two's probably a stretch, especially if you want to work on the school paper."

"So I'll skate instead of volleyball," I said. "Mom, I know my limitations. But I loved skating. I don't understand why you don't want me to."

"If I thought the only reason was because you loved it, then we'd talk about it," Mom said. "But skating lessons are very expensive and I can't help thinking you only want them so you can gossip about Brandon Erlich on the message boards."

"Mom, Brandon doesn't even skate here anymore!" I cried. "He trains in California now."

"But his parents still live here," Mom said. "And you'd want to be coached by Mrs. Daley."

"I don't know if she'd even take me on," I said. "It's about the money, isn't it? There's 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 isn't true, but Mom wasn't right about me not understanding about money and responsibilities) and we got so loud Jonny left his bedroom to see what was going on.

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AHMM, December 2009 by Dell Magazine Authors