Dude. I had all the pictures ready to be put into this post when I realized I had accidentally saved all of them at a low JPEG quality. They looked terrible. I had to completely re-edit, resize, name, and watermark them.
Which is a lot of work. -_-
Thank goodness I remembered I had Jesus in my heart before the entire world FELT MY DEADLY WRATH because I was quite upset and stressed at the moment. XD
Nah, I wasn’t that upset for long. XD I managed to re-edit them in a decent amount of time.
From part five:
I turn toward her. Taryn cries again as she runs to me, and we both hug each other for a long, long time.
When I finally pull away, I blink back my tears and stumble back, not wanting to let her out of my sight but forcing myself to turn toward the car.
And all too soon, I’m running toward it, far, far away from her.
I realize I’m still holding the Bible under my arm, and my grip on it tightens. I’ve said nothing good about God my entire life, but I sure need Someone right now.
Would God really help me keep my head up, or would He help my sister instead? I blink my eyes, not sure if I’m trying to keep from crying or am going to close them and say my own prayer.
Please help Taryn. And I know You probably don’t like me because of what I’ve said about You, but if You have a little help left, please help me, too.
“Del! Wait! Wait!”
I halt in my tracks, swiping at my eyes as I turn around so no one can tell I’m crying. I don’t think it works, but Katy is running up to me. “I’ll go,” she says breathlessly.
Wait, what? “What do you mean?”
“I’ll go! Madison said that the girl who adopted you just wanted an American Girl doll and an American Girl doll only, right? If she doesn’t care about what kind she gets as long as it’s an American Girl doll — I can go and you can stay here!”
My jaw drops. “Katy!” I don’t know what else to say. “You can’t just — no! This is your home now.”
“But you’ve been waiting since before Christmas to be with your sister again, right?” Katy persists. She places a comforting hand on my arm. “You deserve to be here.”
“So do you!” I blurt. I harden my gaze at her. “When I say no, I mean no,” I reinforce. “You have to stay here.”
The Uber driver waves at us in what I think is impatience, and Katy grabs me by the shoulders and walks me back to where Taryn is. “It was amazing to meet you, evil mind twin,” she smiles.
“Katy!” I sputter, tears rushing to my eyes again. “Katy, no!”
Katy smiles kindly and waves, taking a few steps back before running off toward the car without so much as dashing inside to get her bag first.
All nine of us stand there at the doorstep as we watch the car drive off, and that’s when I lose it again. I drop the Bible I’m holding to the ground and clap my hands over my mouth to muffle a sob.
I realize just how much of a friendship I’ve shared with Katy Christine. K.C. has been kind, competitive with me, a great teammate for stuff, and overall amazing. She’s been by my side — even if only for the last few days — and now she’s leaving it.
She’s so courageous. So kind. So brave. So selfless. So caring, compassionate, concerned. She just risked her chance at a happy family so I could be happy.
Only I’m not.
Katy Christine was my first real friend. Besides Taryn, that is. And now — and now — and now she’s gone.
Everyone is staring at me as I stand there sobbing, and I suddenly become aware of it. I blush scarlet, hating people see me when I’m at my weakest, and run off away from them in tears.
I throw myself behind a tree and slide down until I’m sitting, burying my face in my hands and sobbing for all I’m worth.
A while later and after my heavy sobs have subsided, I feel someone slip an arm around my shoulders and slide down to sit next to me.
“It’s going to be okay, Del,” I hear Taryn’s voice promise. “You’ve got to keep your head up. You’re an overcomer.”
“Easy for you to say!” I turn my head toward her and shout to her face. “You and your stupid ‘God will give you courage’!” I mimick in the most ridiculous and angry baby voice I can muster.
“Del,” Taryn says softly. She knows the secret to keep me from shouting — talking quietly so I have to lower my voice to hear her. “We weren’t meant to live life daunted by circumstance. We’re meant to conquer.”
She slides the Bible to my lap and begins to flip it open to a location she has in mind. “God gives us the courage and authority to conquer in each situation, ruling and reigning like a queen in this life and eternity –“
“Stop!” I shout in infuriation, grabbing the Bible from her hands and ripping a page out of it.
I crumple it in fury and throw the paper ball as far as I can.
“I hate everything!” I scream. I stand up from the ground and storm off, leaving Taryn alone and in tears.
I’m running so hard and so fast down the street with no direction and tears blurring my vision that I don’t see the person walking in front of me.
SLAM! I collide with someone so hard I begin to see stars as my vision flashes black and white for a few moments.
I fall backwards and hit my head on the concrete with a sickening BANG! Hearing someone scream, I wonder who it is until I realize it’s me.
My head pulsates with pain as my vision clears enough after a minute to see someone standing over me. I blink a few times and wince at another hammer-like pounding from my head and make out the face of a young woman.
“Oh gosh,” she says. “You alright?”
I grimace again as she helps me sit up, and I force myself not to cry. I’ve shed enough tears already.
“Yeah,” I say, although the world around me is spinning and my skull feels like it’s sledgehammering. “I’m fine.”
“You were running really fast,” the lady observes. “Going somewhere?”
I shrug. “I don’t know where I was going.”
“Are you lost?” She asks.
“I’m a counselor,” she says. “My name is Sarah Moore. I can help you.”
Help? I didn’t ask for that. “I don’t want your help.”
“But you need it,” she nods. “Let’s talk.”
I snort. Whatever.
“What’s got you so upset?” She motions to my tearstained cheeks, and I blush.
“Just a friend. She left.”
“No. She had to leave. She moved.”
“Ah. Well, you know what they say. Things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
There isn’t? That’s not what Taryn has been saying. “My sister says God gives us the courage to reign and conquer over life’s situations. Something about authority.”
Sarah smiles impatiently. “Well, that’s not true. I’m an atheist, so I know.” She continues. “There’s nothing we can do about what life throws at us but grin and bear it.”
The advice she’s giving me doesn’t settle so well inside. But Taryn’s words flash to mind, and I feel a whole lot more peace and courage than I do when Sarah gives her advice.
“My sister says we weren’t meant to be daunted by circumstance. Something about the authority to rule, reign, and conquer.” The words coming out of my mouth don’t make me feel like I want to cry in desperation anymore, but Sarah laughs.
“You poor brainwashed religious fanatics.”
“It’s not religious fanaticism,” I steal Taryn’s quote. “It’s about God coming down from Heaven and touching our hearts. And if I’m going to be a Christian, I’ll be anything but poor, I’ll tell you that!”
Sarah glares at me with what I think is death. “That’s what you think.” Then she smirks. “You’re not a Christian?”
“No,” I mumble. Sarah grins. Then I quickly add, “Not yet.” I wince at my words. Am I really thinking of converting to my sister’s silly ideas about things?
“Oh?” Sarah raises an eyebrow. “You think that’s real?”
“I don’t think it’s real. I know it’s real. It’s a lot more real and fills me with a lot more peace and joy than your empty, pathetic advice does.” Sarah’s face flashes with offense, but I continue. “If God would accept me, maybe I would be a Christian.” I think I feel tears coming on, and soon one slips down my face. “He sounds so amazing and loving.”
Sarah drops her smirk and stares at me for a while. “God doesn’t exist,” she finally mumbles. “if He did, He killed my dad.”
“He did?” That doesn’t sound right. “My sister says God doesn’t do that.”
“Does He?!” Sarah’s voice rises and I think I spy tears in her eyes. “Because I prayed long and hard for him get better and instead he died!”
Oh. I stare at Sarah for a little while before kind of slipping my arm around her shoulders since she’s not any taller than me. “I don’t know why your dad died. But my sister says something like stuff like that is never God’s will.”
“What do you know?” Sarah yells. “You’re not even a corny Christian!”
“If I was a Christian, I’d be anything but corny,” I promise. Then more tears slip out. “I know I’m mean and don’t deserve God’s love but whenever my sister talks about Him I think I feel it.”
Sarah steps away from me and turns her head away, and I realize she’s crying. “I wish I felt love like that.”
I swipe my eyes. “I’d better — I’d better go home,” I mumble. I sniff and straighten my shoulders. “Thanks for the advice, but I think I’d rather conquer life then get whooped by it. I just need my sister to tell me what to do.”
Sarah says nothing to me, but I hear her sniff too. “Good luck with that,” she says.
I turn away from her, and as I do, she calls out. “Sarah Moore,” she says. “Look me up. Tell me if you find that love and courage.”
I turn around to face her. A small smile brightens my eyes as I promise her with a nod.
To be continued… in Heads Up – Part 7!
Okay — quick announcement! Heads Up is put on pause until after Hang on to Hope. I have a lot of big plans for it and things going on as well as new computer time limits, so I’m having to cut back on a lot. If you haven’t seen me commenting on your blogs as often, that’s why. I’m going to be jam-packed this month with reading and reviewing three writing books, working on some big stuff for Hang on to Hope, rewriting my first historical epic, new extra curricular activities, keeping up with both blogs the entire time and a ton of other stuff I don’t have time to explain.
I wanted to say more but I have to quickly post this before I waste all my computer time… I apologize for typos. The stress is real. ?
Have you been looking forward to season three of Hang on to Hope? Let me know in the comments below!
Much love and am praying for you! Replying to all of your lovely comments just as soon as I possibly can!