Short Story Tuesdays: This Crazy Teenage Life

Bethany Bell’s Journal

June 16th 2004

This is outrageous! Why would they want to move? Our whole life is set here. My friends, my school. Kate and I’ve been besties since kindergarten; now we’re going to live miles apart. This is not fair!

June 28th 2004

The moving truck arrives in two weeks. We’re slowly packing everything. My wall is stripped of all the memories that once hung there—the pictures, the postcards, the gifts from years ago. So many steps of my life happened in this house . . . in this community. Next year I would’ve started High School—I guess I still will, but in a different school. Without my best friend. Kate and I spent hours dreaming about our youth years together. We even planned our college life together at Eastern Mennonite University. We had it all figured out, High School, University, our weddings, babysitting each other’s children—the whole nine yards. We’re both dreamers you know.

July 3rd 2004

I stood in the doorway of my room, taking in one last look. A single tear fell from my eye while I scanned the naked walls. I turned and strolled through the house as the memories become vivid. I gave the house one final look and closed the door. Everyone waited for me to say my goodbyes. I worked hard to keep my tears from shedding. I feared if I would look everyone in the eye I would burst into tears, so I quickly gave everyone a hug, never looking up. Until I faced Kate. I felt the tears rolling down my face as I gave her a hug and stepped back. She said, “Don’t forget me Beth”. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I told her to call me often, then I ran into the pickup.

Shortly afterwards the gray clouds gave away a lasting shower. I stared out the window while the farms and dairies zipped by. I heard the pounding drops on the window; I watched them roll down, while the rest of the world became silent.

Two years later

May 13th 2006

Spring is around the corner. The snow is slowly melting. I’ve gotten use to the longer winters. Dad really enjoys his new job.  Mom helps out with the church activities regularly, she’s made a lot of new friends. She never was shy. One would think my brothers lived here their whole life, the boys at school took them in from day one.

I often wonder what Kate’s up to. After a year we stopped calling, now I hear from her every other month at the most. I hang out with the youth group and often with girlfriends on weekends. I guess with school and friends we don’t find time to call so often any more.

A year later

Mary Kate’s Journal

August 17th 2007

Three years since I last saw Beth and her family. We live only seven hours apart, yet never visit each other. I miss her at times; I think about the special friendship we had and how I barely talk to her now.

I met a guy named Steven. His family moved here a couple months ago. He hangs out with our youth group sometimes; he seems like a good guy—his family does too. They came over for Sunday dinner yesterday and I don’t know what it is about him that makes my belly do a little flip-flop. Not in the bad way though. I admire how caring he is and his relationship with his ten-year-old sister, Emily. I suppose he’ll be in the senior class with me this year . . .

October 20th 2007

My dad and Steven talked after Dinner today, while Emily and I played Dutch Blitz. I wonder what they talked about. Perhaps Steven was interested in what Dad had to say about him asking me out. Not that I’m eager, I’m simply stating what might have happened. Not very many guys do that though. But it would be sweet of him, don’t you think?  I won’t sugarcoat it—I’ve fallen for him. I wonder though . . . he doesn’t seem to like talking about the Bible–or God. And he never really speaks up at Bible study either.

October 31st 2007

Friday Steven and I went rollerblading, and for coffee afterwards. I had a good time and I believe he did too. I didn’t know if I should or not, but I asked about his relationship with God. I felt we needed to be clear of that before we went into a serious relationship. Hey, it could’ve happened!

He said he once had a strong relationship with the Lord, until his friend passed away in a car crash. Driving home from a ball game, they didn’t see the semi turning on to the highway in front of them. They dove full speed onto the semi. He barely survived; he said he’d rather have died than live through losing his best friend. Not knowing what to say I stayed silent, so he continued. He said after that he grew angry with God, not knowing why God would take a seventeen-year-old’s life away. He said his anger vanished by now, but he still never understood why God would do that. He said he doesn’t see why trusting in a God, who lets innocent people die like that, can be so rewarding.

After hearing his story, I wanted to make him see somehow that that was God’s will for his friend, now his friend didn’t have to suffer with life’s sorrows. His friend fulfilled his duty and now he was with Jesus in heaven. And that life with Jesus in our hearts truly was rewarding. I tried saying a few things, but he got angry right away. I know getting him to see the light in Jesus will be a slow process.

Until he see’s the truth in his past, and becomes straight with God, I’m afraid I can’t build a relationship with him.

February 1st 2008

Steven’s new enthusiasm makes its mark all around school. He’s defiantly happier lately and more interactive at the Bible studies. I wonder if he’s found his peace with the Lord? Our families still hang out regularly. After I said I couldn’t go out with him anymore he didn’t come with for a while. Then he started again and often asked me about forgiveness and such. He started hinting for stuff like where to read certain topics in the Bible. I noticed at times the little wheels in his head were spinning really fast. I hope he finally found his peace.

May 14th 2008

Up on the tree branches birds chirped. The tall grass waved around me, while I laid there looking up at the clear blue sky.

Spring is a perfect time for love don’t you think? I certainly do. Steven asked me out at the beginning of this month and with my parent’s approval, we went rollerblading and stopped at a coffee shop afterwards, just like we did last time. Now that Steven found his peace with the Lord I feel like our relationship could defiantly mean something. I wouldn’t date him if it didn’t. That would simply be wrong.

I received a letter in the mail today. I haven’t gotten time to open it though . . . it’s from Beth.

Bethany Bell’s Journal

May 23rd 2008

My graduation came and went, like all days. Except that day I got to see Kate and her family.

After my graduation party, when everyone else left, Kate and I talked for hours. After not talking for two years and not seeing each other for four, you can bet there’s lots to talk about!

After we moved we both asked why we had to separate, but now, after four years, we both realized that’s how God planned it. If I wouldn’t have moved Kate might have never met Steven. Steven needed her and God knew that. It’s only a matter of time until we find our best friends.

Moving made it easier for Kate to find time for Steven, without me feeling neglected. And after hearing Steven’s story I realize that if he hadn’t lost his best friend, he might have never known Kate. God knows what’s best for us in this crazy, sometimes confusing, teenage life.

Looking outside the kitchen window this morning, the sun glistened through an oak tree, shining on the May flowers. I took a sip of my orange juice and smiled to myself.

I wonder if Kate will marry young or go to college . . .

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