Freedom Into Slavery...
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My parents set up a separate phone line for the kids of the house. I think they got sick of answering the phone from my sister’s “suitors” and so they set up a phone line that they were never responsible for answering. If it rang, it could ring all day, they were not taking messages for the kids. “ Ya’ll pick up the phone!”. That’s all they had to do. I picked up that phone and immediately yelled, “Heather, its for you!”

“Who is it?!” she’d ask.

“ Eric!… no, Robbie! Wait, who is this again?… It’s Jeremy!” and she’d rush to pick up the phone… happened all the time.

The phone rang. Only this time, it wasn’t for Heather. It was for me. Jordan had been calling for a few weeks now. We were “ a thing”. I had no idea what exactly we were because I was 14 and I wasn’t allowed an official “thing” until I was 16, so we were just friends… who talked on the phone… and knew we liked each other. He’d even held my hand, so we were definitely “ a thing”.  I didn’t care what you called us. I just cared that Jordan was calling my house and asking to speak to me!

We talked pretty often and conversations were usually awkward, but long. Again, I didn’t care if nothing was said. We would just talk about the day, music, movies, church, our friends.. anything. It was awesome.

Schusty would very often make fun of my juvenile relationship, but Schusty kind of made fun of everything. You always knew she was joking. She was just a really funny person and fun to be around, but she would make fun of us a lot.

One time, we had taken a group up to Orlando to see Jordan. It was getting late and most of the group was watching TV in the living room and Jordan asked me to go into the dining room with him. I was so nervous. Was he going to hold my hand or try to kiss me? Or was he going to tell me he didn’t like me anymore?? Any option was possible.

I followed him down the small hallway of their tiny condo into the front room and sat at the table with him.  We made small talk for a while, not really talking about anything in particular. It was really dark in the living room and hallway but after a while, we swore we heard something in the hallway. Jordan walked around the corner and flipped on the hallway light to find Schusty crawling like an Army Ranger on the ground inching her way back to the living room.

“Nothing to see here. I was just looking for my contact lens.”

“ In the dark?” said Jordan

“ Well, I didn’t want to disrupt the movie for those guys. You know what? It’s fine. I’ll just wear my glasses. They’re stylish.” she said as she reverse-crawled back toward the living room.

Jordan chuckled and rolled his eyes as he made his way back to the table.

Realizing we were not going to have any privacy at the moment, we headed back to join the group. And soon headed home.

Jordan and I kept talking about twice a week or so and I could not have been happier. I couldn’t believe after so long he was finally paying attention to me. Since I was very often spending the night over at Jaime’s house, I would get to talk to him even more than that sometimes. His mom, Sandy, would call to talk to her twin sister, Momma Sue, every day. If Jordan was there when she did and I was there, we’d usually take the phone from the sisters for a while to catch up.

One night, Schusty and I were both spending the night over at Jaime’s house. Schusty decided that she should call Jordan and find out exactly why he liked me.

“Please don’t Schusty! It’ll be so embarrassing!”

“It’ll be fine, K. Just go take your shower. You don’t even have to be here.” There was no convincing her. I left the room. At least I didn’t have to be present when I was being humiliated. Schusty dialed the number and waited for him to pick up.


“Hey, Jordan! It’s Schusty. How ya doing?”

“ Hey. I’m fine. What’s going on?”

They made small talk for a while and then Schusty went in for a conversation that would completely humiliate me.

“ Sooo as one of Kayla’s best friends, I think I should know exactly why you like Kayla. You know, I think it’s important that I hear it from you,” she said with a slight chuckle.

“ Uhh…. oh really?” he laughed. “Ok. umm well, I like that she’s chill and I like talking to her. We have a good time together.”

“aaaand she’s pretty,” Schusty said, feeding Jordan an appropriate line.

Jordan chuckled, “ Yes, and she’s pretty. That helps too. I like how strong she is in her faith and how well Susie talks about her…”

well Susie talks about her,” Schusty said mindlessly as she dictated his words on a piece of paper.

“ Is she there with you?”

“ Oh no. Absolutely not.” Schusty said innocently.

“ Are you writing this down??”

Schusty immediately looked up from her paper and made a disgusted face. “Nooooo! How creepy would that be??” she said as Jaime fell on the bed in laughter. “You know? I think I got to get going now. I’ll tell Kayla what you said. I mean I’ll tell her you said hi.” she said as she clicked the phone off and tossed it on the bed beside her. Jaime and Schusty bellied over in laughter as I came around the corner.

“What’s so funny? What happened?” my hair wrapped in a towel.

“ Ask Kayla. She wrote the whole conversation down for you!” Jaime said.

Schusty made a guilty face and said, “Yeah, we may need to make sure your boyfriend knows you didn’t hire me as a stenographer on purpose. I may have creeped him out a bit.”

“ Schusty!”

“But, on the upside, he does think you’re pretty!”

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We are a family of four just trying to figure out what our "new normal" looks like in Manhattan! I'm Kayla, a 29-year-old creative with a passion for theater and writing. Jordan is a musician and experience pastor with a heart that loves people. And we have two awesome little girls, Jozlyn and Kendall. Our house is crazy...always full of energy and laughter.... and we have no idea what we're doing! Help us figure it out as we go!

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I'm Kayla. Mom of two, wife of one and new New York transplant. We're a family of four fumbling our way through our new normal in Manhattan! We're excited to learn as we go... we can't mess this up too bad, right? :)

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