Teen romance novels – chapter one

Teen romance novels include The Olive Tree Covering. Confrontation is the title for the first chapter in one of the teen romance novels.

My new kitten Angel mewed and brushed her furry back against my legs the moment I entered the kitchen. Taking out the bottle of milk from the refrigerator, I poured some of it into Angel’s bowl, and set the bowl down on the floor. Angel eagerly slurped her milk.

Townhouses in Woodbridge, Virginia.Tamara Sulema lives in the last townhouse in this row with her family.

“Tamara, please help me by getting the supplies we need to make the challah bread.” My mother gently tapped my left shoulder.

“I will Mom. Can I ask you a question about something that happened in school on Friday?”

I opened the refrigerator door and took out the milk, eggs, and margarine.

“What is it honey?” Mom placed the bread cutting board on the counter.

“Rachel Henkel invited me to attend her birthday party at her house this afternoon. I told her I’d call her back.”

“I think your father wants you to come with us to Ben’s first bar mitzvah practice with Rabbi Mendelsohn later today. I’ll talk to him about it during lunch.”

“I hope Dad will let me go.” I scooped up the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt from the cabinet above the sink and handed them to my mother.

“We’ll see.”

Before eating lunch my father, Aaron Sulema, recited the traditional Hebrew blessing. My heart pounded rapidly in my chest as I patiently waited for my mother to speak to my father about my attendance at Rachel’s birthday party. It was as if I was at the theater waiting for the curtain to be lifted. I wanted to fit in with Rachel’s group of friends. She wore the latest fashions and listened to the newest music. Attending Rachel’s birthday celebration would be my first step to making new friends at school.  

Does Tamara have something else in mind that explains why this chapter is included in one of many teen romance novels?

“Tamara has been invited to Rachel Henkel’s birthday party this afternoon.” My mother picked up her coffee cup.

“Tamara can’t go. I want her to come with us this afternoon.” My father bit off a large chunk of challah bread.

I finished the rest of my lunch in silence. After lunch I helped my mother clear away the lunch dishes from the table, and put them in the kitchen sink. Dad brought his large prayer book downstairs. 

The soap suds crackled and popped as the water poured over the plates, cups, and saucers.

My hands were red from the hot water while washing the dishes with a sponge filled with the fragrance of lemon dish detergent. While pulling a strand of hair behind my ear, my hand accidentally brushed against my open mouth. A bitter aftertaste remained on my tongue after swallowing some of the suds. Washing dishes gave me the time I needed to find a way to attend Rachel’s party without upsetting my parents.

Teen romance novels sometimes begin with a confrontation 

Teen romance novels often give us a glimpse of different cultural experiences. 

“Ben how many fringes are there on my tallit?” My father lifted up the edge of his prayer shawl.

“613.” Ben reached for the long strands of cord hanging down from the tallit.

“Why do all men’s prayer shawls come with 613 fringes?”

“Each one represents a law that we must follow.” Ben held up one of the fringes.

“Very good. I’m proud of the way you have mastered your lessons.” My father patted Ben’s right shoulder.

“There is no way we can obey all the laws without God’s help.” I turned off the running water.

“How does God help us?” Ben pointed his right index finger at the ceiling.

“When we accept Jesus into our heart, God guides us.” I wiped my soapy hands on a dishtowel.

“That’s enough! I don’t want to hear any more about Jesus,” my father closed the prayer book.

Angel meowed as she brushed against my leg. After I picked her up and held her against my chest, she jumped from my arms and landed in the warm soapy water splashing the front of my blouse.

“I’m soaking wet. I’d better go upstairs and change.” I wiped my hands on the dishtowel and staggered upstairs.

Teen romance novels are often filled with a variety of emotions experienced by the main character in the story.

Entering my room my stomach felt like a burning cauldron of fire waiting to erupt from a volcano. My stomach muscles tightened while clenching my right fist. I sat down on my bed trying to understand my father’s angry reaction to my comment in the kitchen. Ben knew the best way to communicate with our father to receive a more favorable response. Maybe I was too honest about expressing my own feelings and beliefs to my father. Could this be why my father paid more attention to Ben than to his own daughter?

Angel jumped onto the bed and snuggled against me. Cradling her in my arms, I stroked my kitten’s soft fur. Sad thoughts ran through my mind like a passing cloud darkening the sky on a sunny day. It was quiet and I was glad that Angel kept me company so I wouldn’t feel alone in the world without a supportive friend.

I took off the blouse and skirt I had worn to religious school and changed into jeans and a blue polo shirt. After stuffing my Bible, prayer journal, and headscarf into a large compartment in my backpack, I zipped it closed and adjusted the pack comfortably on my back. Opening my bedroom door I held Angel tightly against my chest and descended the stairs.     

Teen romance novels are able to build suspense as part of the story plot 

Why doesn’t Tamara want to go to her brother’s bar mitzvah practice in this one of many teen romance novels?

“I forgot to mention that I promised to meet Mike in the library this afternoon.”

“Who is Mike?” My father took off his tallit and folded it into a small square bag.

“He’s my study partner for my history project in school.” I couldn’t pull my arm away from my mother’s strong grip.”

“Tamara, you can meet your friend in the library another day. Please take off your backpack, carry it up to your room, and change into something more formal.” Mom pulled her hand away from my arm.

“You never objected when I studied with my friends other Sunday afternoons.” 

“Call Mike and tell him that you will meet him at the library tomorrow.” My father closed the book he held in his hands and put his tallit away.

Rushing into the kitchen, I passed the kitchen wall phone and went out the door. After removing the lock on the chain around the handle bar of my bicycle, I mounted and took one last wistful look back at my home before riding away.  

What is a bar mitzvah? Not too many teen romance novels explain what the term bar mitzvah means.

Read chapter two of The Olive Tree Covering.

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