Short Story: Not Fair

Hullo, friends! This is another short story that’s a little different from what I usually write, since it’s historical fiction. It was really interesting for me to try a new genre with a time period that I don’t write in often (late 1700s). This is a little more on the serious side, too. Hope you enjoy!

I thought I knew what loneliness was, but as I watched my closest friend get into her father’s carriage, I realized I had no idea. I felt a surge of sadness overcome me, and I pressed my face against the glass, gazing after the carriage as it bumped into the distance along the road leading away from my family’s plantation. I was glad she had come to say goodbye, but now I was left staring out at the cotton fields that stretched in every direction, big and lonely. Tears pricked at the corners of my eyes. My dearest friend was leaving her family’s nearby plantation and moving all the way to Philadelphia, and I was alone.

“Phoebe, dear, don’t get smudges on the window.” The voice was distant and distracted, and I turned to see my mother starting a new row on her stitching, hardly glancing at me. I huffed and sat on the sofa, slumping backward. I was only 10, the youngest child of five siblings, and as the only one condemned to a life indoors and the only one still living at home, I often felt forgotten.

“Posture, Phoebe,” my mother reprimanded, and I begrudgingly forced myself to sit up straight.

“Mother,” I said hesitantly, glancing sideways. Mother didn’t look up from her stitching. How did she even manage to sew with her pregnant belly in the way? “Can I go outside today?”

Mother looked up and gave me a sharp look. “You know you can’t. It’s too hot outside, we don’t want you fainting.”

I sighed. It was always either too hot or too cold for me to go out. From the time I was a baby, I had breathing problems when I get too active or stay outside too long, and my parents decided I should stay in the house, except on especially nice days. Since my mom had been dealing with all of my older sisters and their marriages, I had always had to find my own entertainment indoors.

I stood and excused myself from the room, walking out in the dignified manner of a young lady, just as my mother had taught me. Once I was in the hall and out of view, though, I skipped off towards the kitchen. I peeked into the open doorway and caught sight of Hanna pulling pastries out of the oven.

I slipped into the kitchen, and Hanna looked in my direction. A sympathetic look crossed her face, and she wiped her dark, work-worn hands on her apron before stretching her arms out to me. I leaned into the embrace, burying my face in her flour-dusted apron. I finally let the tears come, and my shoulders shook as I sobbed. Hanna just whispered soothingly into my ear, gently stroking my hair.

Finally, I ran out of tears, and I pulled back. Hanna handed me a dishcloth, giving me a gentle smile. A spot of flour on her cheek stands out against her dark skin. “It’s alright, miss.”

I wiped my sleeve across my face, unsuccessfully trying to clear away my tears. “But my closest friend just left me forever. How am I ever going to find another friend if I can’t even leave the house?” I sniffed, my nose starting to run from the tears. “Why do people have to move away and leave?”

Hanna smiled at me, but it was a smile with lots of sadness behind it. “I don’t know, miss. I wish I did. But most of the time, it’s out of our control.” She turned away and started to take the pastries off of the baking sheet.

I moved over and stood next to her, looking up at her face. Her eyes were watering. “Hanna, why are you so sad?”

Hanna smiled down at me and wiped her hand across her eyes. “Oh, no, miss, don’t worry about me.” She turned and handed me one of the pastries. “I made them with raspberry, your favorite. Now run along. I know you have that book you were wanting to read.”

I obeyed and scampered off down the hall. I spent most of the rest of the day reading until my mother made me work on my embroidery. I didn’t mind embroidery, but my mind longed for the outdoors, and it was easy to miss a stitch when your mind was wandering through the cotton fields or to a big city like Philadelphia. The odd thing was that I also found myself wondering why Hanna was so sad, too. That alone took my mind off of my own problems.

The good news was that I only stabbed myself in the finger twice. My mom lectured me on paying attention and not getting blood on my embroidery, but I barely listened. I waited for her to take a breath during the lecture and jumped in with my own question.

“Mother, why is Hanna so sad?” I asked, looking up slightly from my embroidery.

Mother hesitated in her pacing. “Phoebe, darling, you needn’t concern yourself with the slaves.” She turned and I felt her eyes on me, although I pretended to be absorbed in my embroidery. “You may be the mistress of this house someday, if you do not find a husband, and if so, you need to have the proper attitude towards the slaves.”

I finally looked up at her. “So you don’t care why Hanna is sad?”

Her eyes turned fierce and felt like they were boring a hole in me. “Phoebe, it is not your place. They are your father’s property, nothing more.”

I almost said She’s my friend, but something in my mother’s look makes me hold back. “Yes, Mother,” I said instead and turned my eyes back to my stitching.

Later that night, I lie in bed in my room upstairs, simply trying to go to sleep, but what my mother said nagged at my mind. Why couldn’t Hanna be my friend? Finally, my thoughts overwhelmed me, and I decided to sneak down and get another pastry from the kitchen. I slid out of bed, the hem of my nightgown brushing against the floor. I stepped carefully across the wooden floorboards, making sure to avoid the spots that I knew would creak. I left my door slightly cracked to avoid making too much noise.

The house was fairly quiet as I snuck to the stairs. I could hear doors closing somewhere else in the house, and golden candlelight flickered from my father’s study. The murmur of my parents’ voices barely reached my ears. I hesitated on the top stair, not sure if I should chance going past my parents to get my pastry. Finally, though, my craving won out over my fear of getting in trouble, and I crept quietly down the stairs. Being inside all the time had helped me learn where all of the creaky spots were on the stairs, too, so I managed to sneak downstairs without a sound.

At the bottom of the stairs, I paused again. My parents’ voices were clear enough now that I could make out what they were saying, and I heard my own name. I knew it was wrong to listen, but I couldn’t help but move closer to the doorway to my father’s study.

“She was bordering on disrespect, Elias.” My mother’s light footsteps betrayed her pacing. “Do you think we’ve been too soft with her, letting her interact with the slaves?”

“Possibly.” Father’s deep voice sounded like he was only halfway paying attention to my mother. “But she does have a lack of companionship.”

A chair creaked as my mom sat in it. “Elias. I’m afraid that when the time comes for her to take charge of the household, if that occurs, she won’t have the proper attitude towards the slaves.”

The sound of Father’s chair scraping back from his desk made me jump. “Perhaps you’re right, Amelia. What do you propose we do about it?”

Mother sighed. “We need to find her some kind of companionship. I don’t know how, though.” She paused. “Do you think Hanna could be putting ideas in her head, ones about slaves that shouldn’t be there?”

Father’s voice grew serious. “Do you believe that could be possible?”

“I don’t know.” Mother’s voice was shaky. “We’ve always trusted Hanna, but what if she has misused that trust?”

My stomach churned, and I couldn’t bear to listen any longer. I crept towards the stairs quietly, unsure of what to think any more. These were all new and confusing things to think about. I was so absorbed in trying to decipher what “ideas” my parents were talking about that I forgot to watch where I was walking. I stepped directly on a creaky spot, and the sound echoed through the house.

I froze. My parents had gone completely silent behind me. For a second that felt like a minute, I thought I might be able to get away with it. But my father’s footsteps echoed as he hurried into the hall.

“Phoebe.” My name was said with a combination of sternness and surprise. I turned slowly around to face him.

“Father, I—” My mother appeared behind him, looking at me in disbelief, and I couldn’t finish my sentence.

“Young lady, you will go right to bed this instant.” Father’s voice was firm and unyielding, and I ducked my head. “We will discuss the consequences of your eavesdropping in the morning.”

My mother walked me up to my room and made sure I got into bed. I tried to explain to her that I just wanted to get a pastry, but she shook her head at me. “You listened in on a conversation that was not meant for your ears. That is certainly not becoming of a young lady.” She left me alone in my room, and I felt tears slip down my cheeks for the second time that day. I was afraid of what my punishment might be, and I longed to find Hanna and get a comforting hug from her.

Somehow I managed to fall asleep, and the next morning I went downstairs, making a beeline straight for the kitchen. To my surprise, a different woman was in the kitchen. I vaguely remembered her name being Betsey.

“Where’s Hanna?” I asked, looking around in confusion. She rarely let anyone work in the kitchen without her supervision.

The other woman looked up from peeling potatoes. Sadness dripped from her gaze, the same sadness I’d seen in Hanna’s eyes the day before. “Go talk to your parents, miss. They should be in the dinin’ room.”

I backed out of the kitchen and fled down the hall towards the dining room. A sinking feeling of dread sat in my stomach like a rock. What terrible thing had my parents done? I found them at the table, eating their breakfast as if nothing had happened. I walked slowly into the room, slightly afraid that if I entered, things wouldn’t be the same.

Father noticed me first and motioned for me to sit down. “How did you sleep last night, Phoebe?”

“Where’s Hanna?” I asked, hesitating next to my chair.

My parents exchanged glances, but my father was the one to speak. “Phoebe, we decided that you were getting too attached to Hanna. We sent her off to auction this morning.”

My hands started to shake, and I gripped the chair to keep myself upright. “Bu-but… last night, that was my fault! I shouldn’t have eavesdropped and snuck downstairs, but those were my own actions. Why are you punishing Hanna?”

My mother set down her teacup. “Phoebe, dear, your father is right. You’ve been getting too attached to Hanna. It’s not proper. She is our property to do with as we please, as are the rest of the slaves.” She paused and looked at me. “As were her son and her husband.”

The rock in my stomach tightened, changing to a fist that clenched my stomach and wouldn’t let go, and I slumped into the chair. My parents looked at me, a mix of sympathy and sternness on their faces. “It’s not fair,” I whispered.

It’s not fair.

So there’s my historical fiction story! What did you think? Comment below with your thoughts, and what other posts you’d like to see. I love talking with you guys!

Twinepathy (Part 19): Two People In My Head

Hullo, everyone! I know, it’s a Wednesday, and usually if I post an extra part, I do it on Friday or Saturday. But while I wanted to do an extra post this week, I wouldn’t be able to post again until Monday… unless I did it today. So I present you with an extra part, my friends! New? Check out Part One.

The darkness slowly clears, leaving pain as I press my hands to my eyes. “Sorry about that,” Blaze’s voice says from next to me. “I didn’t have time to adjust the light waves so they wouldn’t hit your eyes.”

I blink as my vision returns, leaving me with just a massive headache. I’m shocked to see that we’re in the middle of IDIA headquarters. Blaze is next to me and Brooklyn’s on the ground next to us. “Data!” Blaze yells, kneeling down and scooping Brooklyn up. He carries her towards Jen’s office, and I follow in a daze.

Jen comes out as we approach, her eyes taking in the situation. Immediately she grows serious and ducks back in, motioning for us to follow. I vaguely see Maddie peeking out, her eyes widening when she sees Brooklyn. Blaze lays her down on a couch that Jen pulls out of who knows where. Or maybe it was there before and I just didn’t notice it. I kneel down next to the couch.

“What happened, Jazz?” Jen asks gently.

It takes me a second to realize she’s talking to me. Code names are going to be very hard to get used to. I shrug helplessly. “I-I don’t know. I felt our connection snap, and then she screamed. When I got to her, she was already unconscious.”

Jen places a gentle hand on my arm, and I look at her, confused. A few seconds later she removes her hand, nodding in satisfaction.

“Do you…” My voice cracks. “Do you think she got amnesia, too?”

Jen frowns. “Maybe. This is different, though. So far, everyone’s just passed out, without any warning. Nobody’s screamed or anything. And you said you felt your connection snap…” She trails off, lost in thought. Then she snaps back. “Blaze, go grab some smelling salts or a wet towel.”

Blaze immediately disappears, and Maddie comes over to me, a solemn look on her face. “Will Brooklyn be okay?”

I take her hand and squeeze it. “I hope so, Maddie.”

“Squirt,” Jen says with a huff of annoyance.

“Squirt?” I look over at her, remembering the note from Blaze. “Who’s that?”

“Maddie,” Jen explains. “That’s the code name Blaze came up with for her.” She rolls her eyes. “We’ll work on it.”

Blaze reappears with two wet towels and some smelling salts. He hands them to Jen and then hands me a small bottle of ibuprofen. “I thought that might help your headache,” he says apologetically.

“Why did you do that light thing, anyway?” I ask grumpily, shifting closer to Brooklyn.

“It’ll help people forget about us, and confuse them,” Blaze explains. “And it also disguised our exit.”

Jen waves the smelling salts under Brooklyn’s nose. A few seconds later, her eyes open and focus on my face.

“Albany?” she croaks.

I squeeze her hand and laugh in relief. “You remember! No amnesia, oh, thank goodness.”

She tries to sit up, but falls back, exhausted. “What… happened?”

“We’re not sure,” I tell her. “You passed out at school. Do you remember?”

She closes her eyes, concentrating. Blaze appears next to me and offers Brooklyn a glass of water. Her eyes open and she accepts it. “I…” She stops and gulps down a little water. She turns to me, brow wrinkled in pain and concentration. “There were… two people. In my head… fighting.”

What? Who could be in her head? What’s going on, anyway? At least she doesn’t have amnesia…

Next Part –>

Twinepathy (Part 18): Through A Crowd

Hullo, everyone! Did you know it was Monday? I didn’t know it was Monday. Thank goodness for my sister posting her Music Monday post! Otherwise, I would have left you guys hanging miserably after that last part until I realized I missed it… But never fear, the part is here! If you’re new, check out part one here.

BROOKLYN!!!

My scream echoes down the hallway as my sister’s scream fades. I take off down the hallway, panic overtaking my thoughts. It’s hard to know which directions her scream came from. But I know I went in the right direction when I see a huge crowd of people.

“MOVE!” I scream again. Heads lift and the crowd parts, because I’m running and not stopping, and no one wants to get hurt. A senior guy, I think he’s a football player, grabs me and forces me to a stop, but I struggle. “Let go!” I use a martial arts move – one I’ve never used on a real person before – on him, and he drops me instantly. Nothing’s keeping me from my sister. I slide to a stop next to Brooklyn’s unconscious form, sprawled on the cold hard ground of the high school hallway.

“Brooklyn, Brookie, it’s me,” I murmur, stroking her hair. Her frozen expression is terrified and furious at the same time. What happened? I grab for her hand, but there’s something in it. Teachers are trying to disperse the crowd and get through. I peel her clenched fingers away from the object. It’s the mini volleyball. It looks like she already pressed the button, but I frantically press it several times before slipping it in my pocket.

A teacher finally makes it through. “Move back!” he orders the other students in a deep voice, working crowd control. I’m dazed, but I’m pretty sure he’s the gym teacher’s assistant. “Does anyone know what happened?”

There’s a clamor of voices, all trying to explain at the same time. I spot someone sauntering casually out of a nearby hallway, but he freezes as he takes in the scene. Then Blaze is shoving his way through the crowd and kneeling next to me.

“What happened?” he says, his face worried as he looks down at Brooklyn.

“I. Don’t. Know.” I say through clenched teeth. Not angry – well, kind of angry – but mostly trying not to cry and to hold in my fear. The school nurse, a pretty, young lady, kneels next to Brooklyn. She feels her pulse, then calls for a wet paper towel.

Blaze grabs my arm. “We need to get her to Data,” he says, quiet and firm.

The nurse looks over at me. “You’re family, correct?” She then gets a look on her face that says she just asked a dumb question. “Can you call her parents? We’ll only call 911 if she doesn’t regain consciousness soon.”

I glance over at Blaze, then reach towards my phone. His eyes get big, but for some reason I think he’s faking it, as he reaches for my arm. “Wait! Stop!” My hand touches my phone, and a burst of white, blinding light fills the entire hallway, with everyone’s screams echoing, then fading to darkness.

What an ending… at least it’s nowhere near as bad as the last one, right? Right? 😉 What think you?

Next Part –>

Twinepathy (Part 16): Normal

Hullo, everyone! Is it Monday? I guess it is. I nearly forgot about a post today! Whoops… but, luckily, I remembered… and I also remembered to post Jen’s interview! Click here to check it out, and if you’re new to Twinepathy, check out Part 1! Enjoy, my friends!

Antarctica.

What. In. The. World.

“What?” Brooklyn squeaks. She’s about as shocked as I am, but when she’s shocked, she can speak. Or… squeak.

Blaze grins. “Antarctica. You know, that giant continent at the bottom of the earth that’s ruled by penguins and seals?”

Sarcasm helps me recover from shock, I know from experience. I glare at him and gaze up at the ceiling. “How?” I ask Jen.

She nods. “We have a guy here with powers that fit the climate.”

“Frosty,” Blaze says, holding in a laugh.

“He keeps the place from melting or shifting or anything like that. He also made it so we could keep it heated and not freeze.” Jen gives us a wry smile.

“Why here, though?” Brooklyn asks, blinking.

“The privacy.” Jen motions around. “It’s – mostly – a secret organization. This makes it even more secret. We have enough teleporters that it’s easy for us to get in and out. And the only things we have to deal with are the research stations and the penguins.”

Makes perfect sense. Not really.

Jen takes Maddie’s hand. “Well, let’s get started on our projects. Blaze, you can take them to school. Remember, land in an isolated spot.” She gives him a pointed look.

Blaze nods. “Yes, ma’am.” He looks passive and obedient. But of course that doesn’t last long. He turns to us with a grin. “Well, let’s go, girls.” He grabs our hands, and the next instant we’re in the middle of a shady, deserted alley.

Brooklyn shivers from the creepy atmosphere, and even I feel uncomfortable here, but Blaze leads us through several alleys and out onto the street, right next to our school. “Have a good day,” he says, smiling. “Contact me when you’re ready to pick up Maddie, and I’ll come get you.”

“What will you be doing?” Brooklyn asks curiously.

He tilts his head with a hint of a smile. “I’ve got school, too, you know.” He ducks down the street, and I have a feeling that if we headed that direction, we wouldn’t see him. I look at the school, then at Brooklyn. I open my mouth to say something, but then her eyes widen.

“Our homework!” she yelps.

I moan. “Great. Do you have the contact thingy?”

Brooklyn shakes her head. “It’s at home.”

Perfect. Brooklyn’s an amazing student and pretty much every teacher’s favorite, but while I’m good, I’m not that good. They might let her get away with no homework, but they won’t be letting me, I’ll bet. With this and everything else that’s happened, how are we supposed to act normal?

Well, that might be trouble. How are they going to get out of this? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out… And yes, we’re building up to something BIG. Next part… 😉

Next Part –>

Twinepathy (Part 15): IDIA Headquarters

Hullo, everyone! As one of you so wisely predicted… yes, I am leading up to something big. And it has a terrible cliffhanger, as well, so… *prepares Captain America’s shield* And Vision’s on my side, too… he’s a big fan, and he’ll be laughing maniacally with me after the cliffhanger… Just kidding. 😉 But that’s in Part 17, so you must wait in suspense until then… New? Check out part one!

After we finish setting up Maddie’s sleeping bag, I coach her in some of the questions Mom and Dad will probably ask. She quickly catches on, so we go ahead and head downstairs.

Our parents quickly grow comfortable with Maddie. It’s still a little weird, of course, but they’re definitely making an effort to make her feel welcome. Denver’s not home when the three of us go upstairs to go to bed, but that’s typical. He and Ezra spend a lot of time together. He’ll probably be back around eleven.

Brooklyn falls asleep instantly – she’s a knock-out sleeper: once she’s out, she’s out. Maddie takes a while, but soon she falls asleep too, cuddling one of Brooklyn’s old stuffed animals. But I can’t fall asleep. It’s understandable, I guess, after everything that’s happened. My brain’s on overload, trying to figure things out. Not only is this the weirdest and most unusual day I’ve ever had, it’s a real-life mystery, too.

I’m still awake when Denver gets home. I can hear him come in, and Mom and Dad start talking to him, probably explaining about Maddie. Soon, doors close and I guess everyone goes to sleep. But I’m too busy trying to figure out how we can solve this mystery.

Tomorrow’s Monday, a school day. Obviously we can’t skip… and what’s going to happen with Maddie? Mom and Dad might try to get her into school, but we only have a couple months left. Then again, I don’t think we should leave her here by herself. Maybe she can go to IDIA Headquarters. I guess we can contact them and ask about that tomorrow… And I should probably try to find some information online about the others with amnesia…

Before I know it, it’s morning. I know it’s morning because Brooklyn and Maddie both jump on my bed, laughing. I would sleep forever if I could, but Brooklyn won’t let me. Stubborn. I certainly don’t need as long as she does to get ready in the mornings, so why won’t she just let me sleep in? After I finish getting ready, I help Maddie pick her outfit. When Brooklyn finally finishes, we all head downstairs. Mom already has a buffet of steaming bacon, eggs, and sausage out, along with some fresh, fluffy pancakes. She usually sets the food out like this since we all get up at different times. Mom and Dad get up at six, Brooklyn and I usually wake up around seven, and Denver… well, who knows when he gets up. His classes at the local college don’t start until eleven, and he usually stays up late working on who knows what.

The three of us eat quickly, and when we finish, Brooklyn notices a note from Mom on the fridge. Mom’s the co-owner of a small café close to our house, and she usually goes to help out at least every other day. Today’s one of her days, so the note asks us to take Maddie to the daycare facility owned by our friend Felicity’s mom.

The problem is that “our friend” Felicity was our friend about ten years ago. We haven’t talked to her in ages… and we have no idea where the “daycare facility” is. Plus, Maddie’s ten! She doesn’t need daycare.

So the only solution is to contact Blaze. He appears in our room only two minutes after I push the button. “Whaddya need?” he asks, scanning the room.

Brooklyn points at Maddie. “We have to go to school, and she needs somewhere safe to stay. We were thinking you could take her to IDIA headquarters.”

Blaze nods. “Sure.” A slow grin spreads across his face. “Why don’t you guys come, too? It’ll be quick and fun and you don’t have to worry about being late to school.”

I’m pretty sure my grin lights up my face. Brooklyn’s shaking her head, but I jump in first. “Definitely.” Curiosity killed the cat, and Brooklyn always says it’ll be my demise, too… but really, I can’t help it.

Brooklyn rolls her eyes, but Blaze grabs all of our hands before we can say anything else, and the next second, we’re in the middle of a completely different room. The walls are whitish, an odd texture that I can’t distinguish, and it’s a pretty large room. Jen is sitting at a huge desk, but leaps up when we appear. She relaxes and smiles when she sees who it is. “Hello, girls. Are you here for a tour?”

Brooklyn shakes her head firmly. “We’re just dropping off Maddie before we go to school.” She gives me and Blaze a pointed glare.

Jen nods. “Of course. Maddie, would you like to stay and help me?”

Maddie looks around cautiously, then at Brooklyn, then turns back to Jen and nods. “Sure.” She goes over to the desk.

“Come on,” Blaze says, grabbing our wrists. “I’ll show you the main room, and then we can go back.”

Jen walks around her desk and takes Maddie’s hand. “We’ll come, too.” She seems to be hiding a grin. Why?

Blaze leads us out a door and into a huge, huge, huge room. It’s like Kohl’s… except three of them laid out in a row. And the ceiling! It’s so high… and walls and ceiling are made of the same weird white texture. I’ve never seen any building, not even in pictures, that looks like it could be shaped like this. It certainly doesn’t look like any government building I’ve ever been to. Where are we?

“Where are we?” Brooklyn asks in amazement. Twin-ness, I tell you.

Jen grins. “Girls, welcome to Antarctica.”

Antarctica! Woo-hoo!!! I may like Antarctica… a lot… And if anyone thought that Jen doesn’t have a sense of humor… you’re wrong. 😉 What thoughts do you have, my friends?

Stay tuned this week for a special character interview with Jen! If you have any questions you’d like to ask her, comment below!

Next Part –>

Ditched – Part Two

The second part of Ditched. Click for Part One. Let me know what you think!

The sounds of bouncing basketballs and shoes squeaking on the court caused Crystal to lift her head. She stared dully at the players as they warmed up. She didn’t really have any interest in the game now, but she couldn’t help hoping that Valerie would come back to sit with her. She glanced around the bleachers and saw Valerie sitting a couple of rows down from her and two rows to the left. She was all by herself, but she had her headphones in and was absorbed with the movie on her phone. As the start of the game neared and the stands started to fill up, Crystal glanced more and more frequently at Valerie.

Everyone stood for the national anthem, and Crystal forced herself to stop looking at Valerie and to turn to the flag. Even so, she couldn’t help wondering if Valerie was looking at her.

More people filed in after the anthem. Crystal soon realized that Valerie probably wasn’t coming back. Many of Valerie’s other friends had found her, and they were chattering away. Crystal stared down at the basketball court, not seeing the game, just thinking.

“Is this seat taken?” a male voice asked from right next to her. She looked up at him vaguely and shook her head. She turned back to the court, still unseeing, although she felt him sit down in the seat that was formerly Valerie’s. She was unconscious of the boy sitting there, watching her as the people around them leapt to their feet, cheering wildly.

“You’re not really paying attention to the game, are you?” the boy asked, breaking into her thoughts. She looked away from the court, and, for the first time, noticed his red hair and sparkling green eyes.

“No,” she admitted, laughing a little nervously. “I guess not.”

He smiled gently. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Crystal started her story hesitatingly, but she soon found herself pouring out the entire story. After she finished, she studied him. A look of compassion and indignation filled his eyes.

“That stinks,” he told her. “But it doesn’t sound like she was a very good friend. I mean, she didn’t listen to you, and she was pretty quick to ditch you.”

Crystal sighed, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. “Yeah, I know, but I don’t really have any friends. She was one of the few people who actually hung out with me,” she admitted.

“You deserve better,” the boy said, looking at her seriously.

Crystal gawked at him, lost for words. “Wh-what?” she finally stammered.

He gave her an awkward smile. “I don’t know you very well, but I still think you deserve better friends than Valerie. You’re God’s special child.”

She gave him an odd look. “You’re a Christian?”

He laughed. “Yes, I am. Don’t look at me like that.”

Crystal frowned. “You really believe all that Bible stuff?”

“Yes,” he told her seriously. “I believe every word of it.”

She looked at him curiously. “You’re really passionate about it, aren’t you?” she asked.

He nodded. “It’s my dream to become a youth pastor, if God wills.”

Crystal looked down at her hands shyly. “Do you think that you could tell me more about all this?”

The smile that nearly split his face made her heart leap. “Of course.”

“Thanks, uh,” Crystal hesitated.

“Zachary,” he finished, still smiling warmly at her. “You can call me Zach.”

Crystal smiled. “Nice to meet you, Zach.”

“You, too, Crystal.”

Weeks passed. Crystal hung out with Zach a lot, and even started going to his church with him, not just on Sundays, but on Wednesday nights, too. They didn’t go to the same school, but they often met up at games and hung out on the weekends. Crystal often saw Valerie in the halls at school, but her old friend completely ignored her.

Crystal slammed her locker shut at school one Wednesday and glanced over at Valerie’s locker. Zach had suggested that she invite Valerie to church with them that night, but she was nervous. She took a deep breath and headed over to her old friend’s locker.

Valerie was rummaging in her locker and didn’t see Crystal approach. Crystal waited awkwardly next to Valerie’s locker. Finally, she cleared her throat.

Valerie pulled her head out of her locker and looked at Crystal. When she saw who it was, she turned to go back to her task. Crystal grabbed her friend’s arm before she could start ignoring her again. “Please, Val,” she begged.

Valerie turned to her, her eyes flashing. “Forget it. We can’t be friends anymore.”

“Hear me out,” Crystal began, speaking fast so that Valerie would hear everything she had to say. “I want to say that I’m sorry. I should’ve listened to you. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

Valerie rolled her eyes. “Is that all?” she demanded, attempting to extract her arm from Crystal’s grip.

“No,” Crystal told her. She hesitated. “I was wondering if you want to come with me to church tonight.”

Valerie snorted. “No.”

“Why not?” Crystal asked.

“Why not?” Valerie repeated, sneering. “Because church is stupid, all that Jesus stuff is stupid, and you’re stupid.” She yanked her arm out of Crystal’s grasp and stomped away.

Crystal choked back tears as she turned back to her locker and gathered her books in her arms. As she went to class, she silently prayed, asking God to change Valerie’s heart. And she made a decision. She wouldn’t stop asking.

Apologies, Dear Readers

Hey, everyone! I must apologize for the lack of posts lately. What with the beginning of school and such, I have not had much time for posting, and my blog has gotten pushed towards the back burner, in a way. Since school is definitely more important than blogging (sorry, folks!) I probably won’t be posting much during the week, except for pre-scheduled posts. But on the weekends… Watch out! Actually, I’ll try not to go overboard. 😉 I hope everyone has a wonderful day/night, and that you have not gotten tired by my ramblings. Again, apologies.