Friday, November 14, 2008

Double The Irony

It's Fiction Fridays, and Patty from Patterings is graciously allowing me to be hostess. I'm so excited! To learn more about her meme, click here.

To post your own fiction or to read others today, just go to cute lil old Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post:

Double The Irony

How ironic, I dare say. My cross necklace, which represented my newly found freedom in Christ, was tangled up in knots. I slammed the heirloom piece down on the bathroom counter and looked up at my blurry face in the mirror. Just like your life, Sandy. It’s your senior year. You’re supposed to be having the time of your life, but instead, your life’s a mess.

That was the day I decided I wouldn’t hide the truth any longer. The difficult part, though, would be convincing my friend Tamara to do the same. We'd both shared the same secret for two years, and that meant we’d shared each other’s pain as well. So it was double the knots. But I’d heard on the Christian radio that morning, “And the Truth shall set you free...” I was desperate to be free.

“No way, Sandy. I won’t tell anyone about it. And if you do, our friendship is done, ya hear?”

After an hour of heartfelt pleading, she refused to budge. I sighed with frustration. “How can you say that? After all we’ve been through? Tamara, you're my best friend. I love you. I just can’t live this way anymore.” My lips and hands were numb from trembling.

Tamara had a comeback for everything. “Well, you think you’re bad-off now, just wait until you tell. You’re going to make everything worse.”

Tamara was right. Just five days later, I wanted to kill myself. I chose to tell the truth, and all that came back at me were accusations. Wishing I could curl up as tight as the knot in my stomach, I sobbed on my bed. Alone. My foster parents didn’t believe me, and my best friend had abandoned me. Once again, I was an outcast.
And the jerk gets off the hook. Of course he does, he coaches the winning volleyball team in the state. "So much for the truth setting me free."

Over the next several months, I survived while Tamara thrived. I quit the volleyball team. Tamara became captain. My grades went down. Hers went up. I was the school freak. She was the Homecoming queen candidate. She had dared to keep the secret, while I'd opted to tell the truth, and it was obvious that her dare had trumped the truth.

It was double the pain.

My loneliness led me back to the one place where, years before, I had felt accepted: my youth group. Completely broken, I felt I had nothing to lose. “I have a prayer request,” I squeaked. There I was, asking for something when I had ignored multiple attempts by different members of the group to befriend me in the past.

They, without hesitation, surrounded me. As warm hands touched my shoulders, my arms and my sides, one of my peers prayed, “Lord, give Sandy your strength. Keep her close to You. And Lord, please untangle the mess of this whole situation.” Near strangers shed tears with me, and none of us could have been more shocked with the moments following.

“Hey everyone. Everyone, could I ask you to listen to Jaimee for a minute? She has something to say,” our youth group leader announced.

Waves of “Sure,” “Absolutely,” “Of course,” rippled through the air before thick silence consumed the room.

Jaimee, who I had always considered a self-assured person, looked horribly unsure of her decision to speak. Several brave swallows later, her words tumbled out clumsily. “I—I—Ohh.…” She looked down at her sneakers, stole a deep breath and said, “I need to tell you all that I was also harassed by Coach Daniels. I just never had the courage to tell anyone. Until now…and I know there have been several others—at least.” A bright blue mascara trail streamed down her cheeks.

I couldn’t breathe. Then the thought occurred to me.
That’s why she quit the team last year. It had nothing to do with her grades. Then, several others? Could it be true?

All of us gathered round Jaimee the same way everyone had surrounded me earlier. This time, I prayed. Right in front of her, I grabbed both of her clammy hands and prayed the best I knew how. “Oh God, thank you for Jaimee. Thank you, that even knowing how much it may cost her, she has dared to tell the truth. And Lord, may the truth bring peace—and—freedom. For both of us."
And for Tamara too, Lord, I prayed silently from the depth of love I still had for her in my heart.

As I opened my eyes after the final Amen, I couldn’t help but notice the cross necklace Jaimee wore. It didn’t have a single knot. I dare say,
how ironic.

Reference: John 8:32

In the Key of HE,

14 friends shared a comment:

Patty Wysong said...

Laura, sweetie, you've done it again. Truth shines through this piece, trumping the doubts and lies that are so easy to listen to. I love your stories--they pack a punch. A lesson wrapped up in a pretty (Lol, and sometimes funny) package. Love it!

Thanks for hosting! I'll be back in the morning to add my link even though it'll be up shortly-- I'm too lazy to go and UNschedule mine. LoL.

Mozi Esme said...

So well written and packed with truth!

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

I look forward to these every Friday. The stories just warm my heart, or that could be my coffee! I'm sorry, see I can't help it! But seriously I'm honored to call you my friend.
When are you coming to Disney? Cause I'm going to tag along when you do someday.
Hugs to you.

Lynn Squire said...

Wow, this is excellent. Such a tough situation but you proved God's grace.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I enjoyed this so much. I could never write fiction. You did a wonderful job, and what a great idea for a meme. Thanks for sharing!

Meadow said...

I put Fiction Friday on my Twitter and Facebook. Maybe you'll get more traffic. I have Colleen Coble following me on Twitter! If she comes, it would be awesome if she left a note.

Sara Harricharan said...

Wow...this was powerful. I'm so glad I got to read it. I was hoping that she would be able to come to a 'happy ending' somehow. And I love the title of "Double the Irony" that is just great, it fit so well with this piece.

Joanne Sher said...

I remember this one. Wonderful storytelling, and a poignant message. Excellent - and thanks for hosting!

Catrina Bradley said...

I love all of your writings, but this one really got me, even the 2nd time reading it.

Laurie Ann said...

I could feel her pain. I love the character development you can do in these short stories! You're amazing!

Dee Yoder said...

Laura, this is one of the issues I'm dealing with in my NaNo book since this kind of abuse happens quite frequently in Amish homes and communities. No matter the setting, it is so painful to deal with, but I'm glad you brought out that there is One who can help us handle these things better than anyone else. And He is capable of making whole hearts out of broken pieces again. Great writing, Girl!

Debra Kaye said...


Confession is the road to healing...and yet it is a difficult journey.

I love that God's Word is proven true time and time again. ((hugs)) to you my friend for writing it so beautifully!!

Sita said...

Got right into it, Laura...real, with heart...blessings...

Josh said...

The truth shall set you free...

We hear that said all of the time, but isn't it so true? I know that being open and honest about my struggles and hurts always helps me to get healing and to be able to grow in God. Suppressing truth and hiding it away stunts spiritual growth. The only path to true freedom is through being open and honest with each other and with God.

Such a good story.