I’m not sure what to do with the Story Sunday Series: Elle… therefore, when I figure that out, she will be back and then her story will be completed.
For now, get ready for ID SYNTHESIS. A dystopian, sci-fi story anyone can sink their teeth into!
Thanks for stopping by and reading. Not sure what to look at, check out my personal favorite Story Sunday Series: Bussing It.
It is senior year of high school for Asher Lucas. His family moved to the Fort Apache Reservation the year before. They move into a cozy, three bedroom townhouse in Teacher Housing in Whiteriver, Arizona. His mother teaches second grade and his father serves as the Associate Pastor at a church nearby their new home. He’s the big brother of two sisters, 15-year-old Abbey, and baby Annika.
Asher grew up in a Christian home. He’s known Christ Jesus personally since he was a little boy, but in his last year of high school his faith has never been tested more, when he starts a journey to share the love of Christ with Melody Gartner, a senior girl at his school, who goes from Miss Popular to Nobody after breaking up with the school QB, Jon. Melody is a sweet, bubbly, vibrant girl whose dad is the Pinetop-Lakeside’s best vet and her mom is the queen of charity events. And she goes to church too– the Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ. Melody once embodied everything a Mormon Teen should be, but rumors spread she’s a cheating whore and she struggles to deal with the social fallout.
Abbey has a crush on Tenor Gartner, Melody’s brother, and Asher being the protective big brother he is, wards Tenor often at every opportunity presented. Tenor doesn’t like Asher’s religious influence over his sister Melody, so Tenor tries to make Asher’s life difficult.
As his he grows closer to Melody, Asher desires to save Melody from her world of mess but he knows he can’t. Therefore, Asher battles to allow Christ Jesus to step in and be her Savior. Along the way, he gets a little closer to Christ.
MEET THE CHARACTERS (Drawn by Me)
[I sketched these beauties on SketchBook, on my SurfacePro 3, using a PAC DOT S PEN. I used Canva to lay them out for a blog title template.]
[I sketched this too on SketchBook… I drew it to scale of the space I had, so some petals are incomplete. This is a simple PNG File.]
Originally, the story was called “Everloving”. Yes, I was trying to coin a new word like Shakespeare. I wanted to create a word to describe the EVERLASTING LOVE of GOD and I came up with EVERLOVING because HIS love is continuous in action towards us!
I remember feeling like a genius when I came up with this title. I sat in my living room, pretending I was being interviewed on The View, along with Kirk Cameron about “Everloving” the Movie. Kirk Cameron was the executive producer and played Asher’s dad. While I was the writer and director of the film. I imagined being asked what it was like when Angelina Jolie stopped by on set to watch her daughter’s performance. That’s right, I envisioned Shiloh Jolie-Pitt playing Melody when she’s old enough.
And we discuss how controversial everything is because not only are we saying a popular religion is wrong, we get a girl who is a hardcore tomboy to be a girly-girl in a film. The big kicker is the Shiloh gives her life to Christ onset and it rattles Hollywood.
Yes, clearly, I’m a dreamer, but you never know, it might happen.
Every Monday for the foreseeable future, I will post a chapter from TWAR77. I encourage you to share the posts with your friends and family. PLEASE, bombard me with constructive feedback in the comments. This means even if you catch a typo or super awful grammar mistake. I do ask that you’re respectful in your feedback, otherwise, you will be ignored.
I truly you hope you visit weekly for Manuscript Monday. I can’t put fully into words how I feel about this project. I do plan on publishing this book. Will I self publish it? I don’t know. I’d rather not.
I wrote this story for a few reasons. When I got the idea, I was unexplainably driven to write it. I think part of it is was I live in a region where being a Mormon/LDS was the same as being a Christian. I even went to church with people who didn’t understand that Mormonism doesn’t follow the Bible alone and founded by a con artist Joseph Smith.
I know a lot about Mormonism because I had a friend that became Mormon, but through fervent prayer and staying in touch, she came back to Christ Jesus within a year. I thought if I could understand the religion I could understand why she converted… but it didn’t help.
The Holy Spirit once told me to just love my friend when I was with her. I’m an intellectual, so I thought using apologetics for faith was loving, but I was missing the mark. It didn’t matter how well I debunked the LDS Church with history, science, and scripture from the Bible. When I realized my words were futile, and I recognized loving her was hanging out with her and just being us together, there would be moments she would ask what I thought about some Mormon practices. That’s when I was able to answer with what the Bible had to say, or history, or science… There were times I didn’t have an answer, but then I could pray with her for her to receive an answer. The loving approach was better and way easier than trying to be her savior.
I also know some really great people, who are Mormon, well LDS members (using the M-word is a no-no now according to HQ) and part of me hopes they read this one day and they make the decision to follow Christ Jesus through the Bible and the Holy Spirit alone as an ex-member of the LDS Church.
Melody’s dad is Adam in the story and many of things he says or experiences he has are from actual accounts I’ve heard LDS members share online in YouTube or in person. And Asher Lucas is my display of how I think a teen today should aim to carry out their faith. These people are fictional but there is truth in their interactions.
To be clear, I wrote this story because I was inspired to, I want to reach the lost, and I want people to connect with God and embark in a real relationship with Him. God is my DAD and I’m beyond blessed to be His Daughter, and I’m so grateful I don’t have to buy or earn His love. He gives it because He is LOVE and all He does is done because of His love for US.
THIS MONDAY – 12/03/2018 – VISIT HERE TO READ CHAPTER 1
…10 Years Forward…
I’m honored to do Genie’s hair. Brings back memories of doing hair while Derek and I were both in college. He was finishing up his Bachelor’s in Religious Studies and I was getting my Master’s in Education. I worked at a high end salon, so I was racking in a lot of dough. Derek was working two jobs on top of going to school. And when I wasn’t at the salon, I was taking care of our girls… we barely saw each other.
But now, I work at Brink as a Math Teacher and Derek works at a Christian School as a Chaplain. He still works at warehouse some nights and on the weekends, but we’re not crazy busy like we used to be. He’s currently working on his Masters and wants to get his Doctorate eventually. I’m amazed at where we are!
“Wha-la!” I say spritzing her tight, pulled back bun with hairspray to hold it in place all night. I really didn’t do anything fancy.
She stands up and gives me the mightiest hug for the skinniest girl. Then she holds my shoulders and looks me in the eye, “I had a dream you and Derek had a baby boy.”
With an eye roll, “Derek and I are happy with both our girls… we don’t need anymore kids.”
We really couldn’t afford that right now.
“I’m just saying… he’s adorable! He looks like Papa Trick.”
Julie is pasty white with straight black hair and hazel eyes. Priscilla has straight red hair and ice blue eyes with freckles. She’s trying to tell me Derek and I are going to have a kid with brown skin and curly hair? HA!
“What are you smoking?” I joke.
“I know this is hard to accept but accept it!” She says keeping her cheery smile. She takes her navy-blue ball gown off its rack that helped it hang on the door of her closet. The bell of the gown embellished with faux diamonds and pearly-looking jewels. The sleeves of the gown matching blue but also see-through.
“I’ll wait for you downstairs with everyone else.” I say as I leave.
I was prepared to go through the whole safe sex talk. I know that makes me a little hypocritical as a Christian… but I think it’s better to have that conversation, but Genie’s pretty on fire for God… which I know we’re all prone to falling and sinning at times, but her heart desires what God wants for her life. At least I’m pretty sure, if her heart isn’t in that place, she is a GREAT actress.
In the foyer, Bobby lectures Oliver, Genie’s date, about when to be back and all the things father’s lecture their daughter’s date about. I picture Derek doing the same thing in like seven years when Julie goes to her first school dance. O my God! That’s only seven years away… I feel OLD. Okay, I’m only 26, but I have a 9-year-old! All my friends are just getting married and starting to have kids…
Xzavia, Bobby’s wife, has Albany on the home video-chat system. She’s away at college in Columbus, OH… That’s so far away from us, but we’ll see her at Christmas.
I purposely step in the line of sight to steal the attention.
Me: Hey Al!
Albany: I miss you.
Me: I miss you more! I can’t wait for Christmas… why aren’t you coming home for Thanksgiving again?
Albany: I’m going to spend it with Philip’s family. They’re right here in town.
Me: Aw… I forgot you have a serious boyfriend. Stop growing up! Just stop!!!
Albany: Whatever! You can take it.
Me: No, I can’t… (I get all teary-eyed.)
Albany: Are you crying? Are you finally pregnant again?
Me: Did Genie tell you about her dream?
Albany: No, we were praying for our families in class last month and I had a vision of you having a boy. He looks like your dad, just a lighter version. His curls are so gorgeous. You’ll finally have a kid that looks like you.
Me: (Trying not to be offended I say🙂 Julie and Priscilla look like me! We have the same eyes and noses.
Albany: Whatever, your son is gorgeous! I can’t wait until you find out your pregnant.
Me: D and I are done having kids!
From the top of the stairs, Genie yells, “No, you’re not!”
Looking at Albany on the hand held video-chat sphere, Xzavia comes to my rescue, “Stop pestering her. Prophecy can change according to obedience, are you sure you were released to share that with Savvy right now?”
Albany: (wincing from shame) Oops. Sorry Savvy. I love you.
Clearing her throat loudly and theatrically fake, Genie directs everyone’s attention to her. We applaud her and tell her how beautiful she is as she descends the stairs. She walks up to Oliver, who nervously tells her how pretty she is. He puts the red rose corsage he brought on her right wrist.
In front of the door, she stands locking elbows with Oliver. Oliver’s black bowl-cut hair is slicked with a lot of moose to stay in place. He wears a gray suit with a navy-blue bow tie and a burgundy dress shirt. They smile for photos. I don’t get why Genie died her beautiful blonde hair jet black, but she wanted a different look. I never pictured Genie dating a Native American, but they look cute together. I for sure thought she would date a Mexican with her love of Mexican culture.
I remember when she was tiny playing princess in Bobby’s living room! I can’t handle this!!!
After pictures, I swoop in and hug her not wanting to let her leave. I whisper in her ear, “Guard your heart…” She totally knows what I mean by that.
Derek is the youth pastor at church, that we all go to together, and he preached a sermon about sexuality and purity. He preached when we guard our hearts we’re holding dear all the promises of God, and when we trust God and follow in His precepts, when we receive God’s promises it gives glory to God and prevents us from damaging our souls or hurting others. He emphasized sex out of marriage compromises our relationship with God. Because we’re designed for marriage and only meant to have sex within marriage, doing it outside of marriage damages our heart, but within marriage sex ignites our hearts and helps us build healthy concepts of commitment, love, and intimacy. I wish I heard a sermon like that as a teenager… Even though Derek and I didn’t have sex until our wedding night, this night ten years ago, which was like 4 months after Julie was born… I think Derek and I would have just had a smoother first year of marriage, if we heard the message he preached on “Guarding Our Hearts” at Genie’s age…
“Can you let go now? I don’t want to show up after all the fun is over.” She says loudly.
I release her drying my tears on my sleeve.
“Oh, Happy Anniversary! Why are you hear and not with your husband?” Genie wonders.
“He had to work… we’re gonna celebrate next weekend. Thank you.”
Bobby embraces me on the left and Xzavia embraces me on the right, as we stand outside by the door and watch the young couple get in Oliver’s mustang and drive away to one of the best nights of their high school career.
“Belated Happy Anniversary”
Half awake I feel a warm light appear in front of my face. The smell of pine firewood hits my nose and I perk up suddenly opening my eyes. To my wonderful surprise, it’s Derek holding a new candle of my favorite sent to my nose. I look at the alarm clock and it’s 4:13 am. He must have just gotten in.
“Happy Anniversary… Have I told you lately… I love you so much.” He set the candle down on my night stand and kisses me.
He breaks away and goes to stand up, but I hold him by the head, “Are you coming to bed?”
“I’m all sweaty and musky from lifting packages all night. Don’t you want me to shower first?”
“You can shower afterwards.” I kiss him back.
He pulls away to gain clarity, “You mean I’m actually getting lucky tonight?”
“So, you don’t want to then?” I tease.
Quickly, he stands up and whips off his shirt and then leaps over me and lands on his side of the bed. His long locks cover his face like a curtain. I turn over and I hover his head. I wipe the hair out of his eyes, strand by strand. For a good while, we just smile and stare at each other. He doesn’t look that different than he did 10 years ago. He’s a little thicker. I remember after military school for two years he had a six pack but now it’s a pouch… I’m very grateful he isn’t going bald like his dad…
But beyond his looks, I’m so in love with who he is on the inside now. I love the man of God he is. I love the father he is to our girls. I love the type of son he is to his parents. The type of brother he is to his siblings and to mine. I love the kind of neighbor he is to everyone around us. I love how he treats me like I’m his queen, but he leads me like a king. I love him more than I did yesterday. And yesterday, I loved him a lot because he picked up an extra shift at work to earn more money for our family vacation next June.
He lifts his head to kiss me, but I back up.
“What? You changed your mind?”
“Genie, Albany, and Xzavia have had visions of us having another baby… and I know we can’t really afford that right now?”
“Well, I wasn’t planning on going unprotected tonight.”
Yeah, we’re that couple that still uses condemns… Birth control makes me sick… we tried many different kinds but I’m one of the women in the world that gets terribly sick under hormone manipulation… and neither one of us like the idea of getting fixed… I’m usually pretty good about tracking my ovulation and make sure we avoid making love on the days I ovulate to be extra safe, but I don’t know… I kind of want another baby.
“You don’t have to tonight… if you think we can manage the expenses as they come up…”
“Oh, we can handle anything together. Are you sure?”
“Yeah…” I say right as I kiss him.
Tyler Swipe, who some how transformed into a pop star after rising to fame as a teen country star, announces who the New Artist of the Year is, “Kaylie Johnson!”
Julie and Priscilla leap off the couch and start jumping radically all over the floor. Julie does a somersault in between the coffee table and the TV yelling, “SHE DID IT!”
“Aunt Kaylie won! Aunt Kaylie FREAKING WON!” Cillie shouts exuberantly.
I’m like crying… This is the moment she’s been working for the past ten years. She moved to Nashville after high school. She would call me after every rejection, every fallen-through deal, and every disappointment for encouragement and prayer. When she took the huge risk to transition from a Christian artist to a Secular artist, she got a lot of criticism from our circle of Christian friends. But last September, her album dropped and beat out some of the top artists in the country. Her single “Love & Freedom” still sits at number one. Her album is the most downloaded across all platforms. Over half the songs on her album have been featured on TV shows, and in films…
Kaylie wears a stunning red dress, he long hair in a fancy fishtail braid, with sparkles and jewels woven in. She hugs the songtress Tyler Swipe and accepts her AMA.
Crying joyfully, she wipes her tears, “O dear Jesus my Messiah… I don’t have any words… but… Thank you! Thank you God, thank you to my producers Lauren and Ed, to all the musicians who played on this album… thank you to Neill, my husband… I love you honey… Oh, and I have to thank my bestie- Savvy! I’m so grateful for this and I would not be hear today if I did not trust the path God sent me down. My glory is God’s glory. Oh- and thank you Julie and Cillie, your prayers got me through- now go to bed!”
The girls freak out they got mentioned on national TV.
God’s goodness can be overwhelmingly beautiful.
“Cash Moneymaker, Future NBA ALL-STAR”
“Let’s go defense!” I blare at the top of my lungs.
“Cash Money!” Trick hollers.
It’s nice that we’re all here. Derek, my girls, Bobby, Genie, and Xzavia, Netty, and Deshaun, and Arnie and Jessica. Trick too, my dad, who is the best. I still can’t bring myself to call him dad like Netty and Arnie, but he’s cool with me calling him Trick. So… after Julie was born, I did start writing him letters, but even after he got out of prison we didn’t connect until my grandma, his mom, got sick. Julie was five and Priscilla was three. Julie has always been close to my grandma since she was born, so over the last week of her life we camped out at the hospital and Julie bonded with my dad right away. I knew there was no way to avoid him anymore.
Cash takes after his dad. He has a beautiful set of curls and yet, he shaves them all off to sport a bald look… He’s so tall for 13… 6’0”! College scouts are already recruiting him. He plays varsity for the high school he’ll be attending next year as point guard. Last week an analyst on ESPN brought him up and says he’s the second coming of Kobe Bryant…
Watching him on the court dazzles us.
One-minute left in the 4th quarter, we’re down by two points, and the other team has the ball. Cash didn’t play most of the game because he hasn’t been listening to the coach. He’s in right now, because he’s the best player defensively and offensively. He’s also the number one stealer in the region right now.
Sure enough, Cash steals the ball from the opposite team’s point guard. He drives to the hoop. On his way up for a lay-up he gets fouled, but he still makes the basket. He makes the extra point putting the team ahead by one.
The clock slowly whines down, between the fouls and the time outs and the free throw shots, from both sides.
Ten seconds to go, we’re down by two, our ball. Full court pressure after the ball gets passed in to Cash. Cash spins around his defenders and rushes to the top of the key at the three-point line, he pops his shot off and it goes in putting us up by one!!! Yes.
They put full court pressure on the other team and the clock runs out before they cross over to their side of the court. We WON!
The whole family high-fives and hugs as we cheer about the victory. Cash leaves his teammates to join in our family hug. We don’t care that he smells and is drenched in sweat. We put him in the center of us and smother him with love!
This is one portrait of family I never pictured. I wanted a close family like this my entire life, since I was a little girl. We are far from perfect. We fight a lot and get on each other nerves, but there’s no doubt any of us love each other. We are all alcohol and drug free. We spend every holiday together. We get together once a month and we take giant family vacations together. We attend the same church. We live in the same city, and whether we’re blood or not, because we’re family, we’re there for each other, no matter what… All things are possible with God.
And my nephew will make it to the NBA if my prayers have anything to with it!
As we release Cash to go back to his team, Trick announces, “Pizza on me at Mama’s EVERYBODY!”
Trick does really well financially. He wrote a book about his life and his conversion to Christ while he was prison. He goes around the world sharing his testimony and preaching the gospel. And last month he just sold his book’s rights to Pureflix so they can make a movie about his life. Makes me wonder if I should write a story about my life… no one would believe I’m not on drugs, not a smoker, and not an alcoholic. That I’m a teen mom that lives in upper-middle class with a Master’s Degree. That I’m married to my childhood sweetheart. That I survived rape, kept and raised my rapist’s baby, and put my rapist behind bars… No one would believe my story.
“I Miss You”
Ten years ago today, a time of tremendous gloom
I sat in your hospital room
I witnessed you rededicate your soul to the One
Who bled, died, and rose again for you- the Son
Messiah Jesus- our glorious savior
Who won your heart through a painful cross labor
I’m at peace knowing you’re in paradise
I can’t imagine the glory you know and the size
Of the smile on your face
In that wonderful place
I have so many unfulfilled wishes really
I wish you got to hold Julie and Cillie
I wish you were there when Derek and I said I do
I wish I could hold you and kiss you and tell you I love you
I don’t really remember telling you that
And even though you put me through a lot of crap
I’m so grateful we had that best time together
For your finale in life, that it was better
Than our ugly beginning
I know you know in life now I’m winning
But with all my blessings- it doesn’t change this fact
I MISS YOU. I MISS YOU. I MISS YOU.
I stare at the letter from Kurt. He got sentenced for 15 years but he’s up for parole due to good behavior. He claims to have found Christ and his letter is filled with a long-winded apology. He wants me to be a character witness for him at his hearing! I believe he’s changed, but I don’t want to help him get out sooner. He wants to meet Julie too.
Now, we’ve told Julie that Derek isn’t her birth father. We told her that Kurt was and that he wasn’t a very good man and he was in prison for something bad that he did. We did not tell her about the horrendous act that led to her conception. We’re waiting until she’s older and more mature to handle that reality. We’re not lying to her, we’re just withholding part of the truth.
For the past year, I’ve allowed Julie and Kurt to exchange letters, but Julie’s never expressed she wants to meet him. She’s never referred to Kurt as her father. She tells her best friend Stacey that Kurt her is sperm donor dad. She came up with that take all on her own, after she watched a PBS special about IVF and egg and sperm donating in America, and how laxed our restrictions are on how often people can donate their genetic material. She may be 9, but at times she’s like 30.
I don’t know what to do… I don’t think I can handle this right now. Christmas is coming up, Derek and I just found out we’re pregnant for a third time- I really don’t why I let my sisters manipulate me into this pregnancy, and I have the classrooms from hell this year!
God, what do I do?
Julie walks past me and sits down at the kitchen table, and she set her backpack on the tabletop. Cillie follows her lead and sits next to her. They pull their school iPads out and log in to start their homework.
I snap out of it and put the letter in the junk drawer.
“What do you both want for a snack, before dinner?”
“A peanut butter and banana sandwich.” Julie asks.
“That’s weird!” Cillie says sassily to her big sis. “I just want PB&J mommy,” in a sweet girl tone to me.
That was Kurt’s favorite snack…
“Have you ever had a peanut butter and banana sandwich, Julie?”
“No, but Daddy Kurt says it’s is favorite snack and he misses it.”
“How come Julie has two daddies and I just have one? Paulie has two daddies too, but they live together, but he doesn’t have a mommy… that must suck.”
“Cillie, watch your mouth.”
I try to process Julie calling Kurt dad and wanting to eat a snack like him as I gather the ingredients. It’s so much easier to talk about forgiveness and moving forward when you don’t have to face the person who hurt you… I mean, I know I don’t have to worry. He has to register as a sex offender and he can never be alone with Julie, but I can’t stop my heart from racing with panic…
DON’T BE AFRAID.
Yeah, I don’t have to be afraid.
“Ooo! There are beautiful angels surrounding you mommy!” Cillie exclaims. She’s a seer. She sees angels all the time and she’s been getting visions about her baby brother like crazy. She told us his name the other day, Rodney, which before then we couldn’t choose between that name or River for a boy and Delany or Laney for another girl. We’re very private when discussing baby names not revealing the name until the seven month, but with prophetic kids and family members you can’t keep anything secret.
“Yeah, mom, God sent His messengers to help you be okay with Daddy Kurt’s letter. So are you okay with going to see him?” Julie wonders…
The mail was in the house, waiting on the kitchen island counter when I got in the door… The girls came in after me and there’s no way Julie could know about the letter let alone know what it was about…
Okay God… I will go… I’ll speak on his behalf but God… just keep me sane and my girls safe…
Both my girls get up and race over to me. They hug me as I start crying.
“It’s okay mommy.” Cillie says.
“You don’t have to go if it’s too hard.” Julie says.
Laughter tickles our hearts and as I crouch low we just keep laughing in the Holy Ghost. They smother me in kisses on my cheeks. Then Julie hands me the kitchen hand towel to wipe my tears.
“I’m okay… How did I get blessed with the best girls?!”
“Because God is too good!” They shout in sync.
…Back to the Present…
“God is Too Good”
I want to write a poem but I can’t really settle on rhyme and meter… But just thinking about God’s goodness, blows my mind… I went to church with Derek and Kaylie last week and I learned why awful things happen to people.
We live in a fallen world and we all have free will, because God loves everyone unconditionally, He will not override anyone’s freewill. Unless we submit our will to pursue after His will, is when He’ll interfere in our affairs and impact the earth because He gave authority of the Earth to us.
When we have relationship with God and we live our lives for Him, we build the Kingdom on the Earth. Through loving people like He loves us is how we change our world and bring people to Him. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to listen and to trust Him and have faith everything we go through has a purpose that will make God’s Kingdom bigger. As believers we are one big family and our job is to add to the family God has designed and to build a home for God on the earth.
I have to forgive the jerk, Kurt- I have to forgive Kurt… Because Jesus died for all of us, he deserves forgiveness. I have no idea how I can forgive him… but I know with God… anything is possible.
I think last night I had like a vision of my future… Ten years from now… I don’t remember anything but the names of my kids… I think… nope… I don’t remember. I have immense peace! Whatever life throws at me, God is with me, and He will never leave me or forsake me!
Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.
And I must be this way because Netty’s been praying for me… probably Derek’s prayers too… And well Kaylie’s as well… who cares! Jesus is the best friend I’ve ever had… greater than Derek and Kaylie put together.
I don’t hate my life anymore. I’m sad my mother is dying. I’m sad I don’t know my dad. But I got this hope, knowing everything is going to get better. I have a purpose now. And that purpose is living life with God, after all He made humanity because He wanted to enjoy community with us (Rev. 4:11).
I think I’m going to write a book about my life… or at least blog about it… so if anyone suffered like I did or do… they know there’s real hope. Not the kind of hope where you wish for things to be better, but with hope that confidently knows something better is COMING!
Originally, “Bussing It” was going to be 12 parts. But I cut it short, when I incorporated the flash-forward, I felt like it offered enough to showcase the direction Savvy was going to take with her life.
I was seriously thinking about Savvy putting her first child in adoption, but I decided against that. I felt like a stronger story of forgiveness prevailing that way. But I’m pro-adoption…
This story is the first Story Sunday where I have campaigned like crazy on social media and the first series where I was very adamant about being consistent. I only broke once by failing to post a part one week, but life happened and I didn’t plan enough to make up for it.
I’ve had this idea since 2012. There’s many different versions on my flash drives. The only part I used from those other versions are the characters and the stories that Savvy told her little sisters. In one version, I was going to have Savvy grow up to be a famous children’s author and I think based on this version, we can see she definitely followed some path of writing in life, but I left it very open-ended as to where that goes.
In all the other versions but this one, Savvy and Derek were going to break up and he was going to die in a car accident and or a drug overdose. But I really fell in love with this idea of the two of them forever and never separating until death from a ripe old age.
Originally, she was going to be pregnant by Derek and not Kurt. Originally Kurt was really sweet and Bobby was the child molester, but somehow those roles changed and I’m okay with that.
As usual I have people getting saved in my story because salvation is the best and I love seeing the power of that even in a fictional context. I think I’ve used the power of conversion too much. For the next one, we’ll have a series with already saved people!
Thank you so much for reading this serious. If you loved reading it, feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy reading it!
If you have any questions for me, drop them in the comments section, and I will respond as soon as I can.
I know Disney uses the slogan “Dare to Dream”… and I don’t know how long they’ve been using that, but I thought of the for story title back in 2013/2014, and I feel like I came up with it first… but I have no proof and I very well could be wrong. But I dare you to dream and to never give up on your dream, you have that dream for a reason, and you are meant to fulfill it. God will show you how to do it the best way! And if God crushes your dream, he has something better in mind because He knows you the best!
Since I was 11 years old, I’ve dreamt of publishing a book for an entire generation to enjoy- okay, obsess over. But I didn’t want this story to be vain and simply pure entertainment. I wanted to restore that sense of awe and wonder kids today get robbed of too early. One of the biggest ways children lose their sense of innocence is through film, or at least this is how I felt. Therefore, my dream was to write this book that I extend into a series and the series becomes a movie franchise.
So with just a notebook and a pen, I began writing this story about a boy who became a shark (this is before Shark Boy and Lava Girl), and later on, my father became my illustrator. My father finished the first rough draft, doing all the writing and drawing himself, because were living apart. He showed it to a children’s author he knew through a friend and the author said to contact her when we were finished with the project.
I battled low self-esteem. I struggled to grow as a writer, and I believed this lie that I would never be good enough to be a published author. Every time I went to write a chapter to that story, I was convinced every word, every sentence, and every paragraph wasn’t good enough. For the longest time, I was convinced I could not write a version better than what my father wrote alone, using my concept, my characters, and my vision.
I friended people who aspired to be published authors like me and that motivated me to pick the task up again. I finished the second draft in high school. Unfortunately, my dad and I lost touch with the author my dad built a connection with and I didn’t bother to reach out to literary agents to get it published.
I finished the third draft when I was 22, exactly 11 years later from when I started, and I did show it to some self-publishing companies that kindly gave me a bunch of tips on how to improve it.
I’m now undergoing a fourth draft, co-writing it with my father with him as the illustrator, and I’m going to do my part and trust God with the rest that the work becomes published…
What does that book-in-the-making have to do with this blog? That’s the very first story I ever took seriously to write and had the nerve to re-write again and again, making it more perfect than before. With that catalyst story, what I do on my blog today wouldn’t be a thing.
About a over a year ago, in July 2017, the blog went live with a story I wrote, basing the main character off a friend and her dreams. I placed her and her dreams in a setting of my choosing. I chose the end times and the rapture. I posted it on the blog, because I wanted my blog to be a place where shared all these imaginative stories I developed. I figured while I practiced my writing skills, enhancing them, I could build an audience and having a blog with lots of follows would give a publisher confidence to publish my book…
I may not have many followers but I’m grateful for the ones that do I have… If one thing I write can inspire someone or help someone connect to Jesus the Messiah, then it is worth to me. Yes, I want to influence a bunch of people… thousands or perhaps even millions, but above all those things I want to live the life my Maker designed for me. Not just for my own sake and my own personal fulfillment, but for others who are not known by the Savior may become known.
I figured with this blog, I could do just that… I could write my weird, unconventional stories with Christ at the center and people would be provoked to examine their own worldview and decide if they can afford to keep their current life the same or does some part of it need to change.
A year later, my blog is nowhere where I dreamt it to be, but I’m not giving up because it doesn’t look like what I envisioned. Trust me, I have done all the things hip, popular bloggers say to do, and they all agree it takes time. My faith, however, is not in this blog alone, or at all really. My faith is in God and I know in due season, I will step into each and every promise He has for me, and along the way my family Heaven is just going to get bigger and bigger because more and more souls are connecting with Christ Jesus the purpose God has for their lives.
There you have it readers, this blog is to stretch and grow me as a writer, build an audience to impress a traditional publisher, and to connect people with the heart of God and the truth of Word, in a out of the box kind of way. I’m not on wattpadd because I didn’t think of that, but I may be in the future. We’ll see.
Thank you so much stopping by the blog today. If you don’t know Jesus the Messiah as Savior, friend, and brother… then I don’t believe it’s by chance you discovered my blog. Feel free to comment if you want to know how to know Jesus and to be known by Him today. Or if you’re not ready yet, start by reading the Gospel of Mark… it’s short, it’s simple, and it’s all about Jesus! You can read the Bible at Biblegateway.com. I highly recommend the New Living Translation, God’s Word Translation, or the English Standard Version. The Passion Translation is growing in popularity but I haven’t checked it out personally yet, so I can’t recommend it personally, but people I trust love it, therefore, I think it would be okay to give it a whirl!
Love is a strong word. Well, it’s supposed to be a strong word. In many languages, there’s more than one word for love, because love between lovers entails a different meaning—a deeper meaning. Day three of being friends with Derek, I loved him. Not quite like a brother so I guess like a best friend.
We were 4 years old, at a daycare ran out of some old lady’s house. I forgot her name. I remember that the house had brown shaggy carpet, faded yellow flower wall paper, and the house smelled like old person and peppermint. There were 7 of us that stay consistent until we went to real school. I was there before Derek showed up.
I remember when Alexis dropped him off. She wore pink scrubs but I thought they were pajamas. As a kid Derek’s hair was bright, children of the corn blonde—so like platinum blonde— and long down to his butt like a girl. I kept thinking he was a girl for the first few hours we played together. I kept asking, “Why are you dressed like a boy? You’re so pretty.” And he’d snap back, “I’m a boy!”
I got put in time out for bullying him for his long hair. I had a reputation as a little rebel, so the old lady didn’t believe I was genuinely confused. At snack time, I was liberated from the prison of the boring corner, and she made me sit across from him. I gave him my banana as an olive branch hoping to establish peace. As we reached across the table, we locked eyes and he was the first person with blue eyes I didn’t hate or wasn’t afraid of because he was so sweet.
By day three at daycare together, we were playing together nonstop and begging our moms to go to Mickey D’s together. And I loved him. I didn’t get why, but I loved him.
We didn’t go to the same school until 5th grade. My mom moved us right next to an elementary school, which luckily for me was Derek’s school.
And of course, no one understood our friendship. They thought we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Sometimes we pranked new students and said we were siblings, and they would wonder, “Is Savvy adopted?” Like a mixed girl couldn’t be his fraternal twin sister? No one fell for the lie. My curly, maroon-ish brown hair and nearly black eyes and dark olive skin never tricked them. I found it funny, because I had two half-siblings that looked white and I really had two half-siblings that were fully white. No one believes I’m related to them either.
Derek’s parents went through a nasty divorce over the summer through middle school and Derek’s dad moved to California. The school year, Thanksgiving, and Easter he spent in Tucson, with his mom. The Summer and Christmas with his dad. And maybe it was a little ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ of us, but we talked on the phone all the time, we texted each other, and we messaged each other via direct messages.
It wasn’t until 8th grade, when we kissed… that we became boyfriend and girlfriend… And he is the love of my life. I will not live without him.
“WHO the FLUFF do you think you are?” Jewel questioned me. “What kind of SNIFF is this?” She rhetorically asked throwing a bundle of condemns on the coffee table. All the pretty colors too, blue, purple, red, green… all the colors of the rainbow and a couple of dental dams too. You would think a mother like her would be so proud I’m so cautious with my sex life.
SMACK… across the face… Which stings bitterly… If figures a mother like her isn’t proud. Angrily, I choose to lie. It doesn’t matter at this point. She’ll treat me like she wants to treat from here.
“So my secret stash is not so secret anymore… oops…” I say with so much attitude I piss myself off.
SMACK… across the other cheek… She’s so caring to even out the pain of her punishment.
“Genie found that when that little SNIFF was helping put away your FLUFFING laundry little BLICK… She thought they were slimy balloons…”
I start laughing as Jewel proceeds to tell me Genie and Albany took some out of the package and blew them up like balloons… HOW HILARIOUS! Derek and I do that for fun sometimes after we get a fresh bundle from school. They pass them out on Fridays before every weekend after school. And we’re always allowed to stop by the counselors’ offices and ask for more. Our school is progressive. Then again, they have to be. Most of us are high school rejects: flunkies, addicts, juvenile delinquents, LBGTQ, or teen parents… some of us are more than one. There are a select few who are elites: home-school-sheltered, or chose-to-be-there… but they are the FEW.
“SHUT UP!” Jewel barked. I tried but I couldn’t.
For that she smacked me full force from every direction. In the face, on the head, in the throat, on my bare legs, with the front and back of her hand. The only thing that stopped her from using two hands was the cigarette in her writing hand.
Outraged I wouldn’t be quiet, she pulled me by the neckline of my grateful dead t-shirt and pulled down the collar, stretching it out to expose my shoulder. She threatened to burn me for the fourth time there, if I didn’t be quiet. Immediately, I stopped laughing, I STOPPED breathing, holding my breath to prevent myself from laughing.
She threw me up against the back of our black pleather couch. The coolness of the material soothed my stinging skin. She paced the living room floor, taking a drag of her cigarette here and there. For once in a long time, she didn’t know what else to say to me. Maybe she forgot why she woke me up at 3 am in the morning to discipline me.
This happened before I got home from my night class at the community college. The girls showed me their condemn balloons and I panicked she was going to beat the snot out of me there, right in front of everyone because I figured they were from my unused stash because I really am NOT sexually active. I don’t even masturbate like a normal teenager. I know… I sound like a total fiction character. I’m just not crazy about sex and I’ve seen so many pictures of STIs… I don’t want to take any chances.
But she let me eat my dinner. She let me watch TV with the girls. She let me get them ready and put them to bed. She let me do my homework in the kitchen. She let me get ready for bed. She let me say goodnight and go to sleep like there would no punishment for me.
Not until 3 AM came, after I had to hear her and the jerk screw on the other side of our paper-thin walls. After I heard them share some drinks in the living room and get high and screw again… I hope not on the couch where I’m sitting now. The girls sleep like bricks and can sleep threw a monsoon and/or a microburst. I’m the light sleeper. My sisters slept peacefully on our queen bed while I was awake for most the night. I had just fallen asleep because the all ruckus stopped and then I was woken up by a very angry Jewel.
She just yanked me out of bed, well, the half-naked jerk was ordered to sit me up, throw me over his shoulder, and carry me to the living room… He’s still in really good shape for an ex-marine. He went off to bed because he’s never apart of any disciplinary meetings and actions. She grabbed a fresh pack of cigarettes off the coffee table. Took a new one out, lit it with a match from her “Deus Dive Bar” matchbook, and threw both packages in the décor glass bowl in the center of the black, glossy coffee table. She pulled the condemns and dental dams out of her bra and tossed them on the coffee table toward me. Then she began her interrogation filled with physical torture.
She could just be pacing to psychologically mess with me. To confuse me or to keep me in a panic so I can’t anticipate her next move.
She stopped and faced me. She cocked her hip to the side and she crossed one arm underneath her chest, and she propped her smoking hand up via that elbow perpendicular to her free hand. She took a quick drag then she bent low and tapped her excess ash into the ash tray on the coffee table.
“I was 15 when I had you Savannah. FLUFFING 15 and I’ll be FLUFFED to have history FLUFFING repeat itself, you hear me?” Putting her cigarette in her mouth, only allowing the corner of her lips to lock it in, she walked away saying, “Find a better place for your MOD-SAMMED FLUFFING FLUFF STASH.”
Every day. To school- bussing it. To college- bussing it. To work- bussing it. To home bussing it. On the weekend- bus it to Derek’s- bus it to the mall- bus it to the game shop- skate shop- anywhere I want to go- bus it. PUBLIC TRANSIT SUCKS. Majority of the time it smells like sweat, urine, and unbathed hobo. Early in the morning, afternoon when high schools let out, and on the weekend during waking hours- the bus is FULL. Ugh?! And my 16th birthday is like not that far away… but will I get a car? No! I’m too poor for that😊 Will I get to drive occasionally- ha! I wish😊
I’m old enough for a learner’s permit and Jewel won’t take me to the DMV to get one. If I want one, I have to bus it there to get one… And who will teach me how to drive? Not Jewel, she has no time. Not the jerk, he has no car. Not Netty or Arnie because I like never get to see them. If Jewel knew I still talked to them I’m pretty sure she’d give me hell.
The real kicker is… Jewel hates lugging Genie and Albany all over the place and she doesn’t trust me to take them anywhere on the bus… so Jewel makes the statement like, “Sav you need to FLUFFING be 16 already so you can drive these little SNIFFs all over the place.”
What does that mean? She’ll teach me how to drive when I’m 16, or I’m just supposed to know how by then?”
I should be used to riding the bus. Both my life and riding the bus are very much the same in terms how I feel about them. I HATE THEM.
Tonight is the night! Jewel went to Vegas with the jerk for the weekend. The girls are going to bed at 9 pm and Derek is coming over. His mom is working the night shift at the hospital, so she’ll never know he’s not at home and because it’s our anniversary… we agreed it’s time to have sex…
Like, I don’t really want to completely. I mean I want to… I love him… everyone says you should be in love when you do it for the first time… but I don’t feel like I’m ready… This is huge! I show him like every day that I love him. I help him in class. I give him extra cash for the bus. I go with him to the skate park to watch him skate even though I think it’s totally boring. I pull him out of his funk when he’s depressed. I got a tattoo of his name that mom doesn’t know about for him… I go to parties with him and get high with him, and drink with him, and go down on him… because I would do anything for him. He’s my soulmate. And all I asked of him were two things, let me get good grades in school and let me not have sex all the way until I’m ready.
We were at a party last weekend. I told Jewel I went to Kaylie’s for the weekend, which was true, but we snuck out to go to Hayley’s party. She lives out in the Foothills. Her parents are loaded and she should go to private school, but the only high school that would take her was Brink, ours… She’s got a huge rap sheet. Her parents are gone so much they’re never around to even care when she adds to it.
A group of us were sharing some seriously good KGB via Hayley’s favorite bong… and some how the guys were talking about how gifted they were in their manhood. Everyone teased Derek saying he was the tiniest amongst the men and Derek got all defensive and pants’d himself to show the whole group how well-endowed he was… After that… all the girls from that group, even Hayley were flirty with him all night… Then it got around the entire school, and all day, everyday I have to watch girls flirt with Derek… in the hallways with small talk, in P.E. with their bodies, and in class by passing notes. Derek’s smart… he ignores it all as best he can and he shows me the notes so we can laugh about the girls… but I’m scared. If I don’t do more. I’ll lose him and he’s always been there. He can’t just stop being there.
So we were bussing it, after school, heading to my place and he told me to stop worrying about all the attention he was getting from girls at school. He reminded me that I’m his one true love. That we will be together forever. He reminded me our anniversary was Friday night and after being together for 3 years and knowing each other for 12 years… it was time… it was time to celebrate by making love. This was on Wednesday, I think… And originally we were going to do it at his house because his mom would be working, and I was going to use Kaylie as a cover and she was down with it as long as I promised to use protection, but when I went to ask Jewel to stay the night at Kaylie’s, Jewel announced her and the jerk were going to Vegas for the weekend.
“Tell us a story!” Genie yells from the hallway.
Genie and Albany come rushing around the corner, in their pajamas, all ready for bed. They climb on the couch, Genie to my left, Albany to my right.
Genie screams, “Tell us a story!”
“No, let’s just jump on the couch.” Albany says smiling. She faintly laughs as she stands up taking position. “We never get to when mom is here.”
Genie nods her hand and goes to stand up too. Expect, I fold her in my arms and sit her in my lap. Then I grab her by her arm pits and use all my strength and lift her in the air as I rise to my feet. “Let’s go jump on the bed.
As I rush to our bedroom, Genie spreads out her arms and yells, “I can fly!”
Albany chases after us and then passes us around the corner to the hallway to get to the bed first. When Genie and I get to the room, Albany is quite the gymnast doing back flips on the bed.
“Hey! No flips, just jumps!” I remind her to stay safe.
I toss Genie on the bed but I stay on the ground. I let the two of them jump their hearts out. Again and again they asked me to join them, but I stay firm and decline. If we break the bed, we’ll all get knocked around and burned for sure.
When they tired out, which was like two minutes later, they got under the covers. I tucked them in… and gave both those blue-eyed blondies a kiss on the lips goodnight. The light was off and the night light was on. I was halfway out the door when—
“Story!” Genie yells.
“No!” Albany shouts back.
Genie and Albany enter a verbal fighting contest to see who could be the loudest and get their way. I flip the light back on and take a seat at the foot of the bed and yell, “SHUT UP!”
Albany jolts up and says, “That was creepy, you sounded just like mom.”
Genie adds, “Don’t do that again… please…” Covering half her face with the blue comforter. Then she chants in a loud whisper, “Story! Story! Story!”
“It’s time for bed.” I say.
“Can you please tell us a story?” Genie asks with a gentle voice sitting up.
Albany rolls her eyes as she plops back down, “Fine…” she sighs. “Tell a stupid story. Just not the one about the cowgirls… That’s really stupid.” Albany covers her face like she’s a corpse.
“Which story should I tell Genie?”
“The Yellow Butterfly,” Genie says.
Albany jabs the air with her legs below the covers as she moans from frustration.
I rip the covers off Albany’s face and see Albany smiling. Albany is just giving us a hard time. She doesn’t want to go bed. She likes the idea of staying up all night just because mom isn’t here. I stick my tongue out at Albany as I throw the cover back over Albany’s face. I tell her to be quiet.
“You be quiet.” Albany sasses back.
“Stop it!” Genie shrieks.
“Both of you shut up or we all go to bed now.” I say firmly.
As if my words are law, neither speaks another phrase.
“Millicent, a beautiful Darlin of the Darlinquex Tribe, wanted to pick fresh wild flowers…” I tell the story of the Yellow Butterfly. It’s a story I made up myself since Jewel never buys the girls books. I don’t always remember it word for word, or even from plot point to the next, but Genie knows it well. Any time I spiral out of control off course, Genie gets the story back on track, nice and steady.
Before I find opportunity to tell the good part, where Millicent follows the Yellow Butterfly home, the roar of Genie’s snoring hits my ear, and Albany appears too quiet. Both of my sisters are sleeping. I’m free to wait for Derek.
Something is wrong. It’s 11 pm and I text Derek a bunch of times but I haven’t heard back from him. This was his idea… If he road his bike over, what if he got hit by a car or worse a bus. Maybe I should start calling hospitals? Or maybe his phone is dead… He never charges it… He always forgets. He’s like the only teenager on the planet not addicted to his phone… It’s weird. I bring my charger everywhere with me and I like never turn off my phone. I put it on silent. I never TURN. IT. OFF. NEVER.
Finally, at 11:13 pm there’s a knock on my door. Relief cools my nerves as I open the door to Derek, who steps into the living room fuming!
“It’s fluffing bark-sniff!” He yells.
I take his hands and put them on my waist, and I cup his face in my hands. Staring him straight in the eye, I ask what’s going.
We take a deep breath together and he rests his forehead against mine. He breaks into to tears and through his muffled groaning he explains… His mom didn’t go to work tonight. He was getting ready to come over and his dad and stepmom and half-brother were in the living room… waiting for him to come out of his room… They confronted him about some drugs his mom found… Weed and prescriptions pills Trevor gave to him… They found the condemns and his mother read his journal… about him wanting to commit suicide. All the drafts of letters he wrote to his family. All the ways he planned to kill himself… His journal had more disturbing things. Drawings and doodles of the creatures that tormented him at night. The confessions that he sometimes heard voices telling him to kill himself. His mom showed his journal to a clinical psychiatrist at the hospital.
Tomorrow his family is taking him to a really expensive mental facility in California. If he tests looney, he’ll be staying until he’s better. If he just needs anti-depressants and is not a threat to himself or to anyone… he’s going to military school…
I can’t stop crying. I feel like the floor got ripped from underneath me. We collapse to the ground and holding each other we cry.
Once we were all cried out. I move as he moved and we sit in the silence with our backs against each other. For some reason the warmth we generate is soothing… sort of…
“We could runaway.” I suggest.
“No… you’re going to college and high school at the same time… don’t run from that…”
“I don’t care. I don’t need school like I need you.”
“They’re just worried I’m going to be like Laney.”
Laney or Delaney was Derek’s older sister. His parents got divorced because she killed herself. They don’t admit that, but they were happy together when Delaney was alive and then they hated each other after she died. At first, they thought it was because of bullying, but then it turned out she had schizophrenia- which is incredibly rare in teenagers, especially teenage girls… but all her journals and some of her YouTube videos showed all the signs.
“But you’re not… You’re perfectly sane! You go to counseling…”
“Yeah… but I don’t tell that shrink SNIFF…” He confesses.
We both knew that. We were both afraid if he told his shrink all that he experiences, he would get sent away. Now our fear has come true.
I turn to his back… For some reason… I want to do it now. If we have sex, he’ll know that I’ll be waiting for him and we’ll be bound to each other in a closer way than ever before. I rise on my knees and begin to rub his shoulders. He looks up at me and says, “We shouldn’t make love… it will hurt more when I go…”
Like that really old Spidey Movie, I kiss Derek upside down… which is hard… but not bad…
As we break for air and Derek faces me and he asks again, “Are you sure?”
I nod. I’ve never been more sure than now. We continue, not even moving to the couch. I lean down on my back as he leans forward staying on top of me. But as things get intensified between us… I’m scared… I know this is different. I love him and he loves me. I just don’t think I’m ready for this.
Derek breaks up our make out session. He notices the tears streaming down my face. He sits up sighing. I jolt up wiping my eyes.
“It’s okay… It’s not what it seems like… I’m ready for this…” I reassure him. I run my fingers through his long, light brown hair as I go to kiss him again, but he turns his head making my lips land on his cheek.
“No… I think we should wait…”
I put my hand on his thigh, and I mentally prepare to satisfy him the second best way, but he brushes my hand away. He looks at me and stares at me straight in the eye, “I love you, Sav… Let’s just wait until we’re both ready.”
“Really?” I ask to make sure.
Kissing me softly as he rubs my back… “Yeah baby… Waiting for you will be worth it.”
All I can do is hug him. I’m so grateful for him. I don’t deserve him. I know I should have given him this one thing, but I’m glad he wants to wait until I’m ready. Not a lot of guys are like that…
“Promise me we’ll talk as much as we can?” I beg.
He kisses me on the forehead, then he goes back to holding me in a hug, “I promise.”
Thank you for reading “Bussing It” and tune in next Sunday for another fresh installment!
Pretty soon I’ll be launching #ManuscriptMonday, where I’ll be posting a chapter a week, every Monday, to a book I want to publish. I’ll give you a hint: it’s a little sci-fi-ish… maybe it will be seen as dystopian but I can’t say that for sure. If you enjoy #StorySunday, I think you’ll enjoy Mondays more.
Right now, every Thursday you can experience some #StorySundayThrowbacks. Every Thursday until the stories run out! It’s the 1 year anniversary since I began “+Positively Unexpected”, which is about Tasha living in a future wear getting an abortion is really complicated. Yes, I’m a pro-lifer, but I wanted to address the topic of abortion a little outside the box. Check it out if you’re interested. Part One is already back up!
I’m excited to share my writing journey with you, and if you like what you read or think a friend would enjoy it, I’m asking that you share it, but you don’t have to… it’s up to you.