“Chad, I can’t believe you actually came,” I finally said, after we’d stared at each other for a full minute. He grinned.
“You already said that,” he reminded me. “Besides, what was I supposed to do? I couldn’t sit inside while my new friend was out here crying, and I didn’t think I could help much. I didn’t have a choice to make, really, so I came out here and sat with you. It kind of reminds me of Job, you know.”
“Job?” I stared at him blankly. “Is he one of your friends?”
He smiled again. “I wish he were. I know I sure could learn an awful lot from him. He would have even known what to say to you to help. No, he was in the Bible.”
Immediately, my esteem for Chad did a strange drop and jump at the same time, ending up just about level. I mean, seriously, this guy was a Christian? And he would just blurt out something about the Bible? That had to take courage! I just said, “Oh,” but I think he saw my thoughts.
“Hey, it doesn’t bother me,” he teased me. “Why should it bother you?”
Since I couldn’t answer that, he suggested that we get on with the lessons, which was a relief to me, although I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t as if he were any different now, right? I mean, he was just a Christian. It’s not like religion is contagious.
That proved how wrong I was.
By the end of the next hour, he had managed to annoy me to death with his constant Christianity comparisons to every move I made. If you breathed around this guy, he’d tell you that it was a gift from a God who wanted to be a better Father to me than my own was. It made me mad, but I wasn’t about to endanger our friendship by acknowledging that fact.
As it turned out, I did end up saying goodbye to him and stomping into my house, making sure I slammed the door behind me. He had not stopped talking about how I needed to trust my life to God, and I had stopped listening. He thought he had the answer for everything, so I had to explain to him how wrong he was. He couldn’t have had an answer for my leaving like that, could he?
I marched to my room, slamming the door again for my own benefit, and it made me so happy that I slammed my fist into my pillow. It wasn’t quite the same hollowly satisfying “bang” sound, so I starting throwing my fists and feet into the wall. Thankfully, the wall was built for that sort of thing, so no terrible side effects, like the wall falling down, followed. I was soon bored of inflicting near injury on myself, though, so I started throwing my bracelets at the wall as hard as I could. I ripped the blankets off my bed, threw my dresser drawers open, and tore the curtains from my window.
That’s when my little temper tantrum ended. Chad was sitting patiently across the street, his skateboard beside him, watching my window. I froze and looked around me at the mess I’d made over being mad at this kid, then I decided to put of cleaning it up and ran back outside.
I smiled ruefully at him, and apologized for having run off like I did. He had that smile on his face again, and I knew that he was going to make another comparison, so I just waited. Sure enough, he came back with, “It’s okay. I think I know how God must feel now. After all he did for me, there are times I run off and slam the door in his face. He’s always there when I get back, though.”
I was almost in tears, so I told him, “We can talk about this later. Right now, I want to learn to skateboard better.”
He shrugged. “When’s later?”
I shrugged back. “After my lesson.”
“Then we’d better get on with the lesson, huh?” he offered, that grin back on his face.
It wasn’t what I’d meant, but I just smiled back. What had I gotten myself into?
*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious. And resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*
Next part next Friday! Title suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.
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