“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

~*~Ecclesiastes 9:11~*~

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chapter Fourteen, Part Two

May 11

            Aimee’s been on my mind for the last two days.  I can’t help but think that I was almost exactly like her only five months ago.  Savannah told Sandra that she’s been bringing Aimee to things for the last couple weeks.  She thinks that Aimee only needs a little bit more convincing before she’ll be ready to be baptized.  I can’t wrap my head around the fact that if I’m able to convert Aimee completely I’ll be a Rose Angel.

            “Elizabeth, for the love of all things good in the world, put your journal away!” Sandra cried for at least the third time on the car trip.  Elizabeth had honestly not heard her the first two times, she had been so deep in her own thoughts.

            They were driving to pick up Aimee for dinner.  Elizabeth knew that somewhere, not too far away, Morgan and Delia were picking up Kristen—Morgan’s new charge.  The whole group of them would be converging on some restaurant that Elizabeth hadn’t even heard of before—apparently it was new, she wasn’t really sure about the goings on in town since she had been baptized.

            “Don’t let her see that journal.  That’s a piece of conversation that we don’t want to get started with when she hasn’t even been fully converted yet,” Sandra said.  In response, Elizabeth tucked the journal safely into her bag, out of sight.

            The car stopped in front of a rather plain house.  Aimee was sitting quietly outside, waiting for her new friends to pick her up for dinner.  She was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, an outfit that Elizabeth hadn’t even considered wearing in months.  Sandra gave Elizabeth a slight shove, forcing her to open the door and step outside of the car.

            Once outside, Elizabeth quickly approached where Aimee was sitting.  She looked up, noticing Elizabeth’s presence. 

            “Hey, Aimee, it’s good to see you again!” Elizabeth said with a forced smile.

            “Hi, Elizabeth,” Aimee said, returning the smile.

            “You ready to go?” asked Elizabeth, reaching out her hand to Aimee, who took it.

            “Most definitely,” Aimee said.  Elizabeth began leading her to the car.  “My mom is so excited that I have friends.  Savannah was the first friend I made…she lives right down the street from me.  My mom and I moved here a month or so ago, after my parents got a divorce.  I’ve been miserable ever since.  I don’t have any friends…until now…”

            Aimee didn’t stop talking until they reached the restaurant, where they met up with Delia, Morgan, and Kristen.  After an elaborate round of introductions (these were starting to get confusing, Elizabeth noticed, since the group of friends was constantly multiplying), all six girls settled down at a large round table.  This was a much nicer restaurant than Elizabeth had been to in a long time—usually they all got fast food or ate at food courts in the mall.  There were white linen tablecloths and plastic-covered menus.  Of course, as soon as she opened the menu, Elizabeth skipped immediately to the salads section, mostly by habit now.  To her right, she saw Aimee looking over the list of steak and chicken dishes.  The mere thought of eating meat now made Elizabeth feel ill.

            “So, Kristen is a junior at my school,” Morgan began.

            “And Aimee’s a junior at my school,” Elizabeth added.

            “It’s like fate!” Sandra said with great enthusiasm.  “Kristen, Aimee, you two might not know this, but Morgan and Elizabeth have been great friends ever since they came to their first worship service at Children of the Rose.  Maybe you two will end up just as close.”

            “That would be great,” Aimee said.

            “It really would,” Kristen agreed.

            Sandra gave Elizabeth a sharp kick and a meaningful look that Elizabeth translated as she was supposed to say something encouraging to the two visitors.

            “You know, the Children of the Rose is like a really close family,” she said, smiling.  “Everywhere you turn there’s someone to love.  It’s a great church—it’s not boring or anything.  And everyone is so firm in their beliefs…it’s so refreshing when compared to what a mess it can be outside.”
            Morgan nodded vigorously.  “I honestly think both of you two would make excellent additions to the family.”

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