Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Chelsea reached to pick up the ringing phone.
“Hello' Oh, hi, Raven. How’s the date going'”
On the other end of the line, Raven was in a panic. “Girl, don’t talk,” she said breathlessly. “Just listen. I had a vision. Whatever you do, do not pick up the phone.”
Beep-beep went the receiver in Chelsea’s ear.
“Ah, wait, wait, wait, hold on,” she told Raven, “There’s call-waiting.”
Raven freaked when she heard Chelsea picking up the incoming call. “Chelsea! No!” she cried. But it was too late.
“Hello'” said Chelsea, “Oh, hi, Mrs Baxter. Hang on.”
Chelsea clicked back to Raven’s call.
“Rae, it’s your mom. She wants to know where you are.”
Raven held her breath. Okay, she thought, this is not a disaster — yet. “Um . . . tell her I’m on my way to the bathroom.”
“Oh, good one,” said Chelsea. She grinned in relief as she clicked the line back to Raven’s mother. “Uh, Mrs Baxter' Raven’s on her way to the bathroom. . . .”
After Mrs Baxter responded, Chelsea said, “Okay,” then she clicked back to Raven’s call. “Rae, she told me to tell you that you look really nice tonight.” Chelsea was still grinning, but a second later her face fell. “How would she know that'”
Suddenly, Raven felt a prickly sensation on the back of her neck. Slowly, she turned around.
Standing there, with her own cell phone plastered to her ear, was Raven’s mother. And she did not look happy.
“Trust me, girl,” Raven informed Chelsea, “She ain’t psychic.”
Wincing under her mother’s intense glare, Raven said good-bye to Chelsea and turned to face Judge Judy.
“Hey, Mom,” she said with a tense smile.
Her mother just stood there, her furious expression saying, “You are so going to pay for this.”
“That was kind of funny, you know,” Raven began to babble nervously. “I was on the phone, and you were on the phone, right' And, you know, not really that funny right at this moment. But when we look back on it in a couple of years, we’ll be like, that was funny — ”
Her mother hadn’t chilled in the least. And Raven’s “We’ll laugh about this later” strategy wasn’t helping — at all.
“Okay,” Raven finally said, biting her lip with dread. “I’m going to shut up and let you talk.”
“What is going on'” snapped her mother.
“I’m on a date,” Raven admitted with a pained grimace.
“With whom'” asked her mother.
“A guy named Matthew. . . . You don’t exactly know him.”
“Well, that’s one point against you,” said Mrs Baxter. “Keep going.”
“Actually, I really didn’t know him all that well, either. I mean, if I knew he was so dis-gusting, I would have never gone out with him in the first place.
I mean, this was the worst date of my life.
I thought older guys were supposed to be cool.”
“So,” snapped her mother, “You went out with an older boy you don’t know' Two points. Keep going.”
Her mother’s little mental scorecard was freaking Raven out, but she had no choice.
She continued, “Well, after you guys left, he picked me up to go out to dinner.”
Continues next week: Based on the popular TV series created by Michael Poryes and Susan Sherman.
Illustrations: Uday Deb