Olivia Amazonia

This Teen Series delves into personal growth for teens. Olivia was
sixteen years old and bored. Her parents were rich and boring, her
father was a diamond dealer and her mother was a doctor in Sao Paulo,
Brazil. But both her parents were so busy with their careers that they
hardly noticed her anymore, except to tell her to brush her teeth, do
her homework or come home early from her dates. They had failed to see
how unhappy she had become. Her life was one big chore, with endless
schoolwork, boring, immature boys and girlfriends that blabbed on
about useless dramas they could not live without. Whenever she would
suggest that her life was useless they would come up with suggestions
to take up a new hobby, like horseback riding or swimming lessons…or
worse yet, shopping.

Olivia took refuge in her room surrounded by her teddy bears, her
computer and her cell phone. She was doing research on the changing
environment of The Amazon.

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1. Olivia Amazonia

Olivia was sixteen years old and bored. Her parents were rich and boring, her father was a diamond dealer and her mother was a doctor in Sao Paulo, Brazil. But both her parents were so busy with their careers that they hardly noticed her anymore, except to tell her to brush her teeth, do her homework or come home early from her dates. They had failed to see how unhappy she had become. Her life was one big chore, with endless schoolwork, boring, immature boys and girlfriends that blabbed on about useless dramas they could not live without. Whenever she would suggest that her life was useless they would come up with suggestions to take up a new hobby, like horseback riding or swimming lessons…or worse yet, shopping.

 

Olivia took refuge in her room surrounded by her teddy bears, her computer and her cell phone. She was doing research on the changing environment of The Amazon. This intrigued her more than horses or boys or shopping or going to the beach. She longed to go there and see The Amazon for herself.

 

“Olivia, come to breakfast dear.” Her mother called.

 

She hopped down the stairs and walked into the gourmet kitchen with clean white cabinets and a marble floor. Her father was reading the newspaper and eating a burrito.

 

“Good morning love.”

 

“Hi Dad.”

 

“I want to leave you some cash this week. I’m off to New York for a jewellery show and your mother is off to Paris for a medical convention there.” he said

 

He handed her five hundred dollars. She looked at it.

 

“Now promise me you will behave yourself. We trust in you that you can take care of yourself and of course Annette will be here to take care of all your meals and do the wash. Use the money if you need it, buy yourself something from me.” He winked at her and patted her on her behind.

 

She smiled. A light went off in her head.

 

“Ok Dad, thanks. I’ll be alright, please don’t worry.”

 

“We’re off to the airport now darling. See you.”

 

Her parents kissed her and she watched them drive away.

Up in her room Olivia packed some clothes and her cell phone and her laptop computer. She went into her fathers’ office and took a gun out of his drawer. It was loaded, that she knew. She wrote a note for Annette and left it on the kitchen counter. Her adrenaline was pumping and her heart was beating fast.

 

Her cell phone rang.

 

“Hello?” she answered breathlessly.

 

It was Richard, her friend from school.

 

“I’m outside. Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.

 

“Yes, of course, I’ll be out in one minute.”

 

Richard was waiting in his BMW outside the gates. She hopped in the car.

 

“Lets go!”

 

They sped off through the streets of Brazil and headed up the mountain towards the rainforest. Olivia felt free and alive, glad to be away from the confines of her home and parents. She was finally going to the jungle…

 

“Why are you doing this?” Richard asked.

 

“Because it’s in my soul, I want to see God’s work, I want to see the trees and the birds and the animals. I need it for my heart. I feel as though I am starving for nature.”

 

“I understand.” He said solemnly.

 

They drove for about one hour and approached the massive trees of the rainforest. Once inside they found a clearing and Richard began to make a hut for Olivia from tree branches and an old tarp they had in the car. Once the hut was complete they sat down and rested.

 

“Look, its so magical here….So peaceful.”

 

“Yes, it is a wonderful place but it could be dangerous. I should stay here with you.”

 

“No Richard, you don’t have to stay. I’ll be fine…really.”

 

“I don’t know Olivia….It’s not right to leave you alone in the forest. You are just a girl.”

 

“I have this.” She showed him the gun.

 

“Where did you get that?” he asked

 

“It’s my fathers….Nothing will happen to me. Really.”

 

“OK, call me if you need me and I will be back to get you in two days.”

 

“Alright.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek and watched as he drove away, leaving her alone in the forest. She sat back and listened to the sounds of all the strange birds in the forest. She felt her old life slipping away as she luxuriated in nature. The sky turned to night and the night colors gave a spectacular show of pinks and blues and purples. The forest was settling down to sleep.

 

She crept inside her little tent and opened a bottle of wine and ate some grapes. She felt so grown up. She was living life her way, away from her parent’s rule and their silly materialistic world. She lit a candle and opened up her laptop to write.

 

“Today is the most incredible day of my life. I built my home in the jungle, I fished for my dinner and tonight I will lay down listening to the sounds of the crickets chirping. I feel as though I have found my place on earth at last.”

 

She got up and looked outside. She could see a campfire burning in the forest. She wondered who else was there. Tomorrow morning she would find out. She fell asleep on her air mattress and dreamed she was waking in a field of white flowers that had an incredible scent. She was not scared.

 

Morning came by the way of birds chirping and Olivia awoke. She was thirsty and hungry. There were some oranges on the tress and she squeezed herself a glass of juice. She made some eggs from some chickens and cooked them in a metal pan. After breakfast she went to investigate the other camp she had seen last night.

 

She went walking in the jungle and soon came upon a village of huts and mud homes. A young man appeared in the clearing wearing a red checked lumberjack shirt and blue jeans. He was very handsome, with dark curly black hair and was suntanned with a bit of stubble on his face.

 

He looked surprised to see Olivia in her thin cotton dress and sandals. He stared at her curiously.

 

“Hello there. I’m Ben.”

 

“Hi, Olivia. I saw your smoke from last nights fire.” He said.

 

“Really? Are you here camping?” she asked

 

“Sort of…and you?”

 

“Yes. I am from Sao Paulo….. I’m just here for a few days. I’ve never been in the jungle before.”

 

“Welcome to the Amazon.” He smiled a dazzling smile. She liked him right away.

 

“What are you doing here in this village?”

 

“We’re environmentalists, exploring the habitat of animals here in the jungle. I document them for my research.

 

Olivia was intrigued. So there were others like herself that cared for the trees and the animals in The Amazon.

 

“That’s incredible!!!” she said.

 

“Would you like to see our camp?”

 

“Yes!! I would love to.”

 

They wandered into one of the huts. Inside there were computers and a wall of thousands of photographs of animals in the jungle.

 

“This is where we collect our data”. Ben said.

 

“It’s awesome….I can hardly believe this is real. This is my dream. This is what I want to do with my life.” said Olivia.

 

“Why don’t you come on trek with us this afternoon, we’re going to photograph a family of monkeys we’ve had our eye on for a few weeks.”

 

“Oh, that would be so great! I have a camera back in my tent.”

 

Olivia felt so excited and felt her cheeks burning at being alone with Ben. He was so handsome and so nice. She felt lucky. Suddenly her adventure had purpose.

 

Olivia went back to her tent to get her camera and her laptop, She stopped along the way to pick some pineapples that were growing in a sunny patch.

 

She opened the door to her tent and fetched her laptop. She opened it to read her emails. There was an email from her mother. It read:

Where are you? We tried to call you and you were not at home. Call me immediately, mother.

 

She typed back….Don’t worry Mother. I am in the jungle with a group of environmentalists. I am fine and living my dream, Olivia.

 

She hoped her mother would stop treating her like a child. She loved her parents but thought they could be so selfish. They didn’t realize what an independent spirit she was and didn’t want to be a rich, spoiled child, coddled every second of her life. She longed to be grown up. This was her first foray into independence and she was loving it.

 

Olivia fetched her camera and put her notebook in her backpack. She put on a pair of walking boots and some thick socks and bug repellant. Olivia walked back to Bens’ hut where he was rounding up the expedition. There were about 10 people, girls and guys of all ages.

 

“This is Olivia everyone, she will be joining us today” said Ben

 

They jumped into a convoy of Jeeps and rode into the depths of the forest. It stared to rain slightly and soon there was a rainbow over the trees at the bas of the valley. They reached some trees and stopped. They hiked for a while until they got to the monkeys nest. Olivia was excited and took pictures of the first monkeys they saw.

 

“Wait, wait until you see the family” warned Ben.

 

She would post all these pictures on her website later. They watched in the trees and soon the whole family of monkeys had come to see them. Some were babies, some were older monkeys, and they looked curious.

 

“Take them now.” whispered Ben

 

Olivia shot the monkeys, getting valuable shots on the babies with their mother.

 

“Fantastic” he said

 

They spent several hours documenting the monkeys.

 

“You see, poachers are coming here and destroying this forest, which is the last home these animals will have. We must fight to save them, to show the world how precious they are and how they need this forest to live.”

 

“I know. It concerns me that if we destroy the forest these creatures will die. We must protect it. This is not about man, this is for the animals and the plants…..”
 

The sky began to get dark and the group gathered their gear and walked back to the Jeeps. Ben sat next to Olivia on the way home. His thigh was next to hers and once again she felt her cheeks burning.

 

“Thanks for inviting me on your trip.” she said

 

“Oh please! We are happy you are here. Will you stay for dinner at our camp? Please say you will.”

 

Yes. I would live to stay.”

 

Olivia looked at the river and watched the exotic birds flying in the branches. It was heaven here.

 

They got back to the camp and the men got to work on building a fire. Olivia helped the women out in the kitchen prepare the fish for dinner.

 

Outside Ben gave her a beer and they sat down to talk.

 

“So why is a beautiful girl like you here alone in the forest?”

 

“I feel like I was called here, I don’t know how to explain it.”

 

“I understand. There’s no place else I would rather be than right here, right now.”

 

He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the lips. His lips were soft and sweet.

 

Olivia felt truly happy. At last she had made a decision in her life. Life was happening now………She was very glad that God had called her to the forest…….She would deal with her parents later. Right now she had Ben to deal with and a family of monkeys that needed her. There was no turning back now.

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