Friday, March 14, 2014
Worth the Wait
Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.
Ellie grumbled at the English syllabus in front of her. “Homework on the first day of school. Group projects. Are you kidding me? I thought senior year was for goofing off.”
“Perhaps you shouldn’t have signed up for AP classes, Lansing.”
Ellie turned. Joshua Martin had taken a seat next to her. Of course he’d be in the one class where she didn’t have any other friends.
“My bad.” Ellie faced the front. The pit of her stomach clenched up.
“Come on, Lansing, you can’t let anyone see you without a smile. That wouldn’t be very rah-rah of you.” While Cara had bright blue eyes that made a striking contrast to her dark hair, her twin brother’s brooding brown eyes often caught Ellie off guard. They seemed to see past her perky attitude to the feelings hidden behind the smile.
Glaring, Ellie faced him again. “What’s your problem, Joshua?”
“No problem on my end, nothing at all. I just thought, now that it’s our last year in this fishbowl, we could have a clean slate.” Josh’s glance darted around, never quite meeting hers.
“So, you start in on the cheerleading jokes to break the ice? After being one of my best friends for years, you humiliated me, didn’t apologize, and then refused to talk to me about it. What did I ever do to deserve all that?”
“Nothing, Lansing. You did nothing at all. That’s the point.” Josh looked down at his paper and started doodling, ending the conversation.
“Whatever. That doesn’t make any sense.” After moving to a different seat, she spent the entire period resisting the urge to glare at him. The memory of Josh abandoning her on the stage near the end of their performance of Romeo and Juliet prevented her from hearing anything the teacher said.
The bell sounded. Good thing the syllabus has the homework since I didn’t hear a thing Ms. Hensley said. Grabbing her notebook, she raced into the hallway, away from Josh. A few yards down the hall, she looked back. He leaned against the lockers, an odd expression on his face. The same one he had on stage when, as Romeo, he was supposed to confess his love for Juliet and kiss her. Instead, he’d said, “I can’t do this, Lansing,” and darted off, leaving Ellie alone under the bright stage lights, as red as the curtain that finally, mercifully closed.
Shaking her head, Ellie headed to the cafeteria to find Dylan, who would surely greet her with open arms and a ready kiss. Who needed a fictitious Romeo when a real one waited for her?
Laura Jackson loves books---reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.