Chapter 23:  Sacrifice

Alex’s mouth almost dropped to the floor when she and Olivia came into her room to find Mrs. Cabot sitting on Alex’s bed with her legs crossed.


“Mom, what are you doing in my room?” Alex asked, dropping her purse on the floor.


“Alexandra, I received a call today from school.  I was informed that you were not present.”  She switched her gaze to Olivia.  “Olivia, could you please leave?  I’d like to talk to Alexandra alone.”


“Is Alex in any trouble?” Olivia asked, putting the rest of Alex’s things down.


Madeline glared at her.  “I’m really not sure how that’s any of your concern.”


Olivia took a deep breath and mustered up all the courage she had inside.  “Well, I care a lot about Alex.”


“I’m sure you do,” Madeline commented dryly.


“I don’t want her in any trouble over what’s probably just a misunderstanding,” Olivia continued.


“Oh really?  And just what would this little misunderstanding entail?” Madeline inquired.


“Mom, I told you we were spending the night at Serena’s,” Alex argued.


“You were still expected to go to school the next day.  Serena certainly did,” Madeline responded.


Alex sighed.  “We had a party.  I’ll admit there was alcohol.  I ate too many chocolates coupled with a few drinks, and I was really sick this morning.  Since Serena was going to school, I couldn’t stay there so Olivia took care of me at her place.”


Madeline looked at Olivia again.  “How noble of you.  But Janice would have been more than able to tend to Alex’s needs.”


“Mrs. Cabot, Alex was in very good hands with me.  She always is,” Olivia explained.


“Your job is to attend school and get an education, not to take care of my daughter,” Madeline responded tersely.  “Now will you please leave.”


“Mom, you have no right!” Alex screamed, bawling up her fists.  “No right at all!”


Olivia looked at Alex and put her hand on her back.  “It’s ok.  I’ll see you tomorrow, ok?”


“Ok,” Alex responded, giving Olivia a quick hug.  Olivia returned her embrace and then exited her room.


“Mom, you cannot just tell my friends to leave!” Alex shouted, almost to the point of tears.


“I can tell anyone to leave my house that I wish,” her mother retorted.  “Olivia has no business interfering in matters between a mother and daughter.”


“I can’t fucking believe you,” Alex muttered, looking down and shaking her head.


“Watch your language, young lady!”


“Well you should watch your manners!” Alex retorted hotly.


“Silence, child!  Now let’s get down to business.  Alexandra, I’ve heard some rumors at school concerning your friendship with Olivia.  People are saying that the two of you are in a lesbian relationship, that they’ve seen you kissing.”


Alex gave a sardonic laugh.  “Oh, really?  Do you always believe rumors you hear about me?”


Her mother pursed her lips.  “Although the information comes from a reputable source, I use my own discretion.”


“What ‘source’?” Alex asked, doing finger quotes.   


“That information is privileged.”


Alex rolled her eyes.  “Mom, so what?  In the past centuries, girls used to kiss all the time and it wasn’t a problem.  That was just the culture then.  Now this culture has returned.  It doesn’t have to mean anything!  If you can’t trust your own daughter, then that says something about you.  Now will you please leave my room?  I have homework to do.”


Her mother stood up and walked over to her.  “Don’t you dare defy me in my own house, Alexandra!”


“It’s my house, too!” Alex yelled.


“You are very close to getting grounded for the next month,” her mother threatened.  “And as I recall, someone wants to plan quite a grand sweet 16 that requires quite a lot of Mom and Dad’s money…”


Alex felt a tear roll down her cheek.  “Mom, you wouldn’t!”


“If you keep disrespecting me I will.”  Her eyes burned into her daughter’s.  “You’re lucky I’m letting you off easy this time.  The next time, you won’t be so lucky.”  And with that, she walked out the room and closed the door.


Alex sat down on her bed and dialed Olivia.  “Is everything ok?” Olivia asked.


“Yeah.  But I think my mom is catching on.  She said someone at school told her that we were dating because they saw us kissing.”


Olivia’s heart started racing.  “Who?”


“She wouldn’t say.  But I told her that didn’t mean anything because girls in the past used to kiss each other and girls today do the same.  I yelled at her about the way she treated you and she got all pissed off about me defying her and shit.  She even threatened to ground me and cancel my birthday party!”


Olivia shook her head.  “Wow.  What a bitch.”


“Tell me about it.  She didn’t punish me, though.  She told me I was lucky she was letting me get off easy this time.”


Olivia let out a sigh of relief.  “Well, that’s good.”


“What are we gonna do, Liv?  And who do you think told?”


“Geez, babe.  I don’t know.  It could have been a teacher.  But Olivet promised she wouldn’t tell.”


“Maybe it wasn’t her.”  Suddenly, the blood drained from Alex’s face and a sour taste hit the back of her throat.


“Abbie,” she and Olivia said in unison.


“What a stupid fucking bitch,” Olivia muttered.


“Mom said the info came from a ‘reputable’ source, but how do we know it wasn’t Abbie posing as someone Mom knew from school?  After all, Mom did say it was a phone call.”


“She’s gone too far this time,” Olivia threatened.


“Boy.  I knew she was a bitch, but I didn’t know she was this vindictive.”


“She’s gonna regret it.  Trust me on that one, babe,” Olivia vowed.


“No, Liv.  Don’t do anything to her.  The last thing I want is you in any kind of trouble.”


Olivia sighed.  “I guess you’re right.  But I’d love nothing more than to slap that stupid smirk clear off her face.”


“I wish you were still here.  I miss you.  I miss you a lot,” Alex said softly.


“I miss you too, pookie.  But everything’s gonna be ok, you got that?  You don’t have anything to worry about.  We’ll get through this, even if the whole world is against us.”


Alex smiled brightly at the confidence and fearlessness in her voice.  Olivia’s strength helped boost hers as well.  “Everything would be so much easier if we were adults.”


“Well, I don’t have much longer,” Olivia responded.  “But our age is irrelevant.  We’re young adults.  Our parents can’t treat us like little kids.”


“That’s right.  It pisses me off that they are trying to control us.  And Liv, I’m sorry about my mom’s behavior toward you tonight.  That was totally uncalled for.  Also, thanks for sticking up for me like that and saying you cared about me.  That really meant a lot to me.”


Olivia smiled on her side of the phone.  “No problem, sweetie.  Don’t worry about your mom.  I’m sure I can handle her.”


“Ha!” Alex scoffed.  “I need to make sure I can.  I don’t like when she waves idle threats around like that.”


“Sweetie, don’t let her dangle her money over your head.  So what if you don’t have some huge birthday bash?  I’ll throw you a party, invite our closest friends, and make you feel more special than she ever could.”


Alex smiled.  “Aww, Liv.  You’re so sweet.”


“Hey well, it gets me a hot date every now and again,” Olivia joked.


Alex giggled.  “Only every now and again?”


“Ok, all the time.  Alexandra Cabot is the hottest date I could ever have.”


“Oh, Liv.  You silly girl.”


“I’m serious, sweetie.”


“I wish you were holding me right now,” Alex replied.


“I wish I was, too.  But I’ll hold you soon.”


Alex smiled, taking comfort in Olivia’s words.  “Well, I guess I better call Serena to let her know she can come over.  I hate quizzes.”


“Me, too.  Don’t study too hard now.”


Alex laughed.  “Don’t worry.  When I need a break, you’ll be the first person I call.”


“I’ll be waiting by the phone.  Love you.”


“Love you, too,” Alex replied.  “Bye.”


“Bye, baby.”  Olivia closed her phone and sighed happily.  Fingering the gold pendant Alex gave her for Christmas and staring down at her ring, she was determined to never let their parents tear them apart. 




Meanwhile, Alex was sitting on her bed clutching a framed photograph of her and Olivia.  She knew it was only a matter of time before their parents found out the truth, but like Olivia, she vowed to never let their parents tear them apart.  For Olivia, she knew she would make the ultimate sacrifice, even if it cost her her parents’ trust, money, respect, and love.  She could live without all of those, but she knew she could never live without Olivia.  Thinking of the perfect song for her mood, she picked up her iPod, scrolled down to t.A.T.u.’s Sacrifice,” and hit the play button.


Can you tell me softly

How you always haunt me?

Can you help me?  Hold me

Come to me now, slowly


You caress me smoothly

Calm my fears and soothe me

Move your hands across me

Take my worries from me


I will sacrifice

I will sacrifice

All I have in life

To clear my conscience


I will sacrifice

I will sacrifice

All I have in life

Sacrifice, sacrifice


Can you fill me solely

Deeper still and wholly?

With your understanding

And your arms around me?


Can you help me?  Hold me

Whisper to me softly

Move your hands across me

Take my worries from me


I will sacrifice

I will sacrifice

All I have in life

To clear my conscience


I will sacrifice

I will sacrifice

All I have in life

Sacrifice, sacrifice