“Abby! Are you ready to go?” I called for the fourth time, which I quickly decided to make the last time. It had been six months since Chad had left, and he apparently didn’t have time to text me back. I’d quit trying to text him at least three months ago. If he wanted to go off like that, it would just have to be fine with me. I refused to give him the satisfaction of having me wasting my time by asking him why he wasn’t answering.
Abby didn’t understand, and that was the only fight we’d had for six months. Granted, these teachers were absolutely cruel when it came to homework, so as soon as the school year got underway, we really didn’t have time to have an all-out argument. Instead of fighting, we were currently baffling my mother, who had been sure that as soon as we got over Chad’s abrupt removal we would go back to being enemies.
We’d had a few heated discussions over whether or not I was setting both of them up, but Mom had eventually decided to just see what happened. Of course, we both knew she was watching us, so we were careful around her. One wrong move, and there’s no telling what could go wrong.
I had just given up on Abby ever coming down the stairs when she finally showed up at the top of them.
“You called?” she asked, way too brightly for this early in the morning.
“Um, yeah. We’re sort of on our way out the door! We were supposed to leave five minutes ago.” This was the only other thing we ever got into arguments over. She was never ready for anything on time.
We dashed out the door to Tiffany’s car, which, thankfully, just pulled up then.
“Sorry I’m late,” she started, at the same time I started apologizing, I don’t know what for.
I settled for a “No, you’re fine, we just got ready ourselves, so it worked out perfectly.” Chad’s grandparents had told the youth leader about Chad leaving, and he’d arranged for someone to pick me up so I could keep coming without inconveniencing the Jensons. We found out about the arrangement when someone showed up on our doorstep one Sunday morning and told us they were driving us to Sunday school.
It usually ended up being Tiffany now. She was one of the seniors at school with an outgoing personality and a lot of influence every where she went and anywhere she happened to be. It was nice to be one of her friends. Today was no exception to an understood rule: Tiffany talked all the way to the church without taking a breath.
I laughed along with her, Abby made the appropriate, “Really?” remarks at the right places, and it all worked out. Abby and I were becoming quite a unit now. We worked together like a well-oiled machine, and a lot of people were starting to recognize that we made a good team, especially when they were picking sides for games in youth group. We were always separated now, making both of us useless because we were constantly running into each other while trying to do the same thing.
By the time we got to Sunday school, it was ten minutes past the time it started. We’d managed to get the single longest red light in the country, and there had been an accident on that one really steep curve. We had to wait for the tow truck to leave before we could get around it, and even then, there was still another car there, so they had that little “Stop” “Slow” sign out, and we got the “Stop” side first.
That being said, we slipped into the back, attracting as little attention as we could. It never managed to work out with this youth leader, though.
“Ah, Jessie, Tiffany, Abby. So glad you felt compelled to join us this morning,” he called out sarcastically as we snuck into the back row. We rolled our eyes at each other, every one having been the subject of his teasing before, and joined in with the worship service going on. He had made the comment in the middle of the guitar solo.
The lesson that day was about Daniel, and we all nodded along as Kyle talked about being trustworthy before heading home for a late lunch. Mom always complained about having lunch late for us, but she never ate early or came with us like we suggested, so we ignored it at this point.
When we got home, Abby jumped out of the car, and I was following suit when Tiffany asked, “Hey, Jess? Can I ask you a question?”
I shrugged. “Sure. What is it?”
“Is Abby a Christian?” she asked seriously.
I sat still, fingering the frayed hemline of my jeans shorts. “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask her?” I finally said.
Tiffany sat quietly. “Does that bother you?” she asked after an unendurable moment.
“Well, yeah,” I admitted, “but things have been great between us, and I really just don’t have time right now to talk to her about it. I mean, I wouldn’t want her to start antagonizing me. She acts pretty Christian, so if you have any questions about her, maybe you should take them straight to her. Isn’t this sort of talking behind her back?”
Tiffany pursed her lips. “There’s a difference, but I’m not sure how to describe it.”
“Sure,” I said, obviously not buying it. “I need to go eat. Thanks for the ride, but talk to her yourself.”
By the time I’d walked up onto the porch and opened the front door, I had talked myself into believing that Tiffany was a huge gossip and expecting way too much of me because she didn’t know what I’d dealt with before. Of course, they only knew nice Abby, so they had no idea about what she could be like.
“Tiffany just needs to stop sticking her nose into other people’s businesses,” I stated firmly, ignoring the faint pain her question had brought. The persistent, nagging question, “Is Abby a Christian?” And worse, “Are you such a coward that you won’t even ask your sister the most important question ever?”
*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*
Next part next Thursday! 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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