“Whatever Emma, I don’t care. Just...” Valerie let her voice trail off for a moment until she found the words she was searching for, “Just, please don’t talk to me for the next week. At least.”
Emma was cut off with a curt click, indicating the end of the conversation. The phone, still held against her ear, screamed the painful tone of an empty line; a friendless life. Get over it, Emma. You have other friends, she told herself, hoping to end the mental image of tomorrow.
I don’t understand! No one knew but me! Realizing that, she couldn’t blame Valerie for assuming the obvious—that Emma had betrayed the confidence. It still doesn’t make it true. I didn’t tell anyone.
“Well, that’s not how it looks to the rest of the world.”
She twisted in pain as her inner voice responded. You know, I really don’t need to hear from you right now.
“You never want to hear from me.”
Well, I was trying to be nice by saying ‘right now’.
“Well, guess what, I’m not going away.”
Figures, she groaned. She opened her door and walked across the hallway to put the phone back in her parent’s bedroom.
“Emma, is that you?” She heard her dad call.
“Yeah, Dad, it’s me.”
“Are you busy, or do you have a minute?” He asked.
“Well, um, I have a minute. Sure.” She clomped down the stairs and turned into her dad’s office. “What’s up?”
“Your mom told me that you think you’re going somewhere tomorrow.”
Emma caught the anger beneath the seemingly calm tone. “Oh yeah, Karen asked if I wanted to go to a movie tomorrow.”
“I didn’t hear anything about it.” The frustration rose and Emma winced inwardly, not letting him see it.
“I forgot,” she admitted.
“Then I guess you didn’t really want to go,” he shrugged.
“That’s not true,” Emma countered, panic rising in her.
“You didn’t tell me, so obviously it wasn’t important enough for you to go, otherwise you would have told me.”
“Dad, I’ve been busy!”
“You had time to make plans. Unless you heard about this yesterday, I think this conversation is over.”
“No buts, you can go now.”
He turned back to his finances and Emma knew that the conversation was over. She looked up at her mom, who looked sympathetic.
She turned and muttered to no one in particular, “I’m going for a walk.” Grabbing her I-pod, she stomped out the door. Her dad was already mad at her, so what if she let her anger show too.
The nearly summer, air was stuffy, even though it was evening. He’s being unreasonable! I don’t understand. Just because I have a slip of the mind and forget to tell him, he won’t even consider letting me go! Emma growled as she stormed down the quiet street towards the beach.
God, I don’t get it!
That seemed to be her line a lot lately.
She sighed and, convicted of disrespect, she continued, I’m sorry, I know I should be a bit more polite to the Creator of the universe, but it just seems like everything’s going wrong lately. Her heart cracked as the scenes of the past month flashed through her mind—Jared breaking up with her, Valerie’s secret getting out, two of her best friends suddenly hating each other. Finally, the one she’d just played out with her dad.
Reaching the beach, Emma kicked off her flip-flops and ran towards the water. She splashed the shallow waves with her feet, disturbing the sand on the bottom.
“God, why don’t you help me?” She murmured aloud.
She stared out at the water, and whispered, “Why now, when I’m at my lowest, are you abandoning me?”
She felt a warmth enter her heart, slowly mending it together and heard Him whisper the answer into her heart.
“I am always with you. What hurts you, hurts me. I will carry you through it, because I’ve already overcome it.”
Emma swallowed and looked around. “Time to start over. God, here’s a new genesis.”
John 16:33 -- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)