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Authors: Nicole O'Dell

Dare to Be Different

BOOK: Dare to Be Different
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Other books by Nicole O’Dell

Risky Business
Swept Away

Truth or Dare
© 2009 by Nicole O’Dell
All That Glitters
© 2009 by Nicole O’Dell

Print ISBN 978-1-61626-250-1

eBook Editions:
Adobe Digital Edition (.epub) 978-1-60742-283-9
Kindle and MobiPocket Edition (.prc) 978-1-60742-284-6

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes, except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without written permission of the publisher.

Scripture taken from the H
oly
B
ible
, N
ew
I
nternational
V
ersion®. niv
®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683,
www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses
.

Printed in the United States of America.
Bethany Press International, Bloomington, MN 55438; March 2011; D10002724

Table of Contents

Book 1: Truth or Dare

Chapter 1: Rule the School

Chapter 2: This Is Real Work

Chapter 3: Sleepover Party

Chapter 4: Truth or Dare

Chapter 5: Sunday School

Chapter 6: Hostess Macy

Chapter 7: Youth Group

Chapter 8: I Dare You

Chapter 9A: Daring to be Different

Chapter 10A: Out of the Club

Chapter 11A: Making Amends

Chapter 9B: I’ll Do It

Chapter 10B: Consequences

Chapter 11B: The Freedom of Forgiveness

My Decision

Book 2: All that Glitters

Chapter 1: Time for a Change

Chapter 2: Making a Mark

Chapter 3: Give Me a “Yes”

Chapter 4: Squeaky Clean

Chapter 5: Is It a Date?

Chapter 6: God’s Way

Chapter 7: Famous Last Words

Chapter 8: Pep Rally

Chapter 9: Invisible

Chapter 10: What They Don’t Know

Chapter 11A: Gone Too Far

Chapter 12A: Real Friends

Chapter 13A: Lessons, the Hard Way

Chapter 11B: Party Time

Chapter 12B: Just Not Right

Chapter 13B: Truth and Consequences

My Decision

TRUTH OR DARE

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to my mom, Carolyn, who
cried when she read it. I never understood, until
I became a mother myself, how much heartache
could come from watching a child face important,
life-altering decisions. Mom, your long-suffering
faith in God and unconditional love for me inspire
me as a mother and a writer to make the
decision-making process easier for young girls.
I love you, Mom
.

Chapter 1
RULE THE SCHOOL

The first bright yellow light of day peeked through the blinds covering her window. Lindsay Martin stretched and yawned as she slowly woke up. Having tossed and turn much of the night, she was still sleepy, so she turned over and pulled the puffy pink comforter up to her chin and allowed herself to doze off for a few more minutes, burying her face in the coolest spot on her pillow.

But wait! Lindsay sat up quickly and threw back the covers, remembering that it was the first day of school. She jumped out of bed.

She had carefully selected her clothes the night before; the khaki pants and screen-print tee were still hanging on her closet door, just waiting to be
worn. But now they seemed all wrong. Frantically plowing through her closet for something different to wear, Lindsay pushed aside last year’s jeans and T-shirts and found the perfect outfit: not too dressy, not too casual, not too anything. As an eighth grader, she wanted to look cool without looking like she was trying too hard—the fashion kiss of death. Confident that she had selected the perfect outfit, she padded off to the bathroom to get ready to face the day.

Happy with how she looked—jeans with just the right amount of fading down the front, a short-sleeved T-shirt layered over a snug long-sleeved T-shirt, and a pair of sunglasses perched atop her blond hair—she bounced down the stairs, slowing as she reached the bottom. Lindsay sighed when she recognized the smell of bacon coming from the kitchen. “Mom, I’m really not hungry, and I have to go meet the girls!”

“Now you know I’m not going to let you head off to school without breakfast, so at least take this with you.” Mom held out Lindsay’s favorite breakfast sandwich: an English muffin with fluffy scrambled eggs, cheese, and two slices of bacon.

Lindsay wrapped it up in a napkin so she
could take it with her and gave her mom a quick kiss before rushing out the door. “Thanks, Mom. You’re the best!”

Hurrying toward the school, Lindsay munched on her sandwich along the way. Nerves set in, and halfway through her sandwich, her stomach rebelled; she tossed what was left into a nearby trash can, where it fell with a thud.

After her short walk down the tree-lined streets, she arrived at the meeting spot—a large oak tree in the front yard of the school—about fifteen minutes early. Shielding her eyes from the sun and squinting, Lindsay watched the street for the first sign of her three best friends. She expected Sam and Macy to arrive by school bus—they lived too far away from the school to walk. Kelly lived close enough to walk, but her mom usually dropped her off before heading to her job as an attorney in the city. Lindsay was thankful that she lived so close to the school. She loved being the first one there to greet her friends each morning. Since her mom didn’t have to leave for work, and Lindsay didn’t need to catch the bus, she had a bit more flexibility and could save a spot for them under their favorite tree.

The bus pulled into the driveway, squealing as it slowed. It paused to wait for the crowd of students to move through the crosswalk. When it finally parked, the doors squeaked open and students began to pour off the bus just as Kelly’s mom pulled up to the curb right in front of Lindsay.

“Bye, Mom!” Kelly grabbed her new backpack out of the backseat and jumped out of the car. At almost the same time, Macy and Sam exited the bus after the sixth and seventh graders got off.

Excitedly the four girls squealed and hugged each other under their tree, never minding the fact that they had been with each other every day for the entire summer. They shrieked and jumped up and down in excitement as if they had been apart for months. They were eighth graders. This was going to be the best year yet. They each felt something more grown-up and exciting about the first day of eighth grade, and they were ready for it.

With a few minutes to spare before the bell rang, the girls stopped and leaned against their tree for a quick survey of the school yard. It was easy to identify the sixth graders. They were
nervous, furtively glancing in every direction—the most telltale sign of a sixth grader—and had new outfits and two-day-old haircuts. The girls easily but not fondly remembered how scary it was to be new to middle school and felt sorry for the new sixth graders.

The seventh graders were a little more confident but still not nearly cool enough to speak to the eighth graders. Most students, no matter their grade, carried backpacks, and some had musical instruments. Some even had new glasses or had discarded their glasses in favor of contacts.

“Look over there.” Kelly pointed across the grassy lawn to a student. A new student, obviously a sixth grader, struggled with his backpack and what appeared to be a saxophone case. Two bigger boys, eighth graders, grabbed the case out of his hands and held it over his head. They teased him mercilessly until the bell rang, forcing them to abandon their fun and head into the school. The girls shook their heads and sighed—some things never changed—as they began to walk toward the doors.

Kelly and Sam both stopped to reach into
their backpacks to turn off their new cell phones before entering the school—it would make for a horrible first day of school if they were to get their phones taken away.

“You’re so lucky,” Macy whined as she watched Kelly flip open her shiny blue phone, which was carefully decorated with sparkly gems. Sam laughed and turned off her sporty red phone, slid the top closed, and dropped it into her bag. Macy’s parents wouldn’t let her have a cell phone until high school.

“When did you guys get cell phones?” Lindsay asked.

“I got mine yesterday, and Sam got hers on Saturday,” Kelly explained. “My mom wanted to have a way to reach me in case of an emergency and for me to be able to reach her. I’m not supposed to use it just anytime I want to.”

“Same with me. I might as well not have it. I can call anyone who has the same service or use it as much as I want to on nights and weekends, but that’s it,” Sam complained.

“It’s still way more than I have. You’re so lucky,” Macy whined.

Lindsay sighed while she smeared untinted
lip gloss onto her lips. “I have no idea when I’ll ever get to have a cell phone. My mom thinks that they are bad for ‘kids.’ “ She rolled her eyes to accentuate the point that she not only thought she should have a cell phone but that she definitely disagreed with the labeling of herself and her friends as
kids
. “She won’t even let me use colored lip gloss. She thinks I’m too young.”

With their cell phones turned off, backpacks slung over their shoulders, lip gloss perfectly accenting their skin tanned by the lazy days of summer, and their arms locked, the four best friends were ready to enter the school to begin their eighth-grade year.

Seeing their reflection in the glass doors of the school as they approached it, Lindsay noticed how tall they’d all become over the summer. Four pairs of new jeans, four similar T-shirts, and four long manes of shiny hair—they were similar in so many ways but different enough to keep things interesting.

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