Sundays we went to church…every Sunday. Not unusual for a pastor’s kid and I rarely minded. That’s where all of my friends were. I mean, I had friends at school and all and I felt comfortable and at home in the chorus room, but because last year, I found myself hiding in the bathroom more often. I knew everyone thought I was being ridiculous about the show. They obviously thought I didn’t deserve the role anyway. My singing was ok…probably above average for our program, but I was bigger and not as pretty as some other girls who could’ve done it. Maybe if I was skinnier I could eliminate one problem. I can’t do anything about the face I have…that is what it is. And I didn’t want to do anything onstage to compromise my faith, but I could lose some weight. I mean, I was never going to be as thin as Heather unless I donated half of my vital organs… and a leg, but if I could just lose about 15 pounds, I really think the other stuff would be easier to deal with. I would see if I could go without a couple meals to jumpstart some loss. I was starting to love that feeling when your stomach rumbles telling you it was time to eat. I could just choose to refuse it…and I knew it was working.
Dad went to church early on Sundays to study and get ready to preach his two services, but he’d come home to pick us up, so we could ride together. I think initially that started out of necessity as mom’s health got pretty bad. We’d wake up and get dressed and go downstairs to see if it was a good day or not for mom. Usually, we’d find her lying in the dark with a washcloth covering her forehead and eyes. Poor Mom. Then Heather and I would run upstairs and finish fighting over mirror time in the bathroom. After a few minutes, we’d hear dad yell, “5 more minutes everybody!!!”. He always gave us a countdown for when we needed to head out, but he was notorious for telling us 5 minutes when we really had about 20 minutes until we really had to leave. For instance, I remember him telling us a story about getting ready to go pick someone up from the airport and saying it took 45 minutes to get there so we needed to get going or we would be late!! The only problem was it actually took no more than 15 minutes to get to the airport. We would make fun of him incessantly about his “slight” exaggerations. However, he was dad, so we got in the car when he said to.
When we parked in dad’s spot, I hopped out of the car and started toward the youth Sunday School area. We met in classrooms that were off of the gym. I walked into the room and gave a quick scan to see if I could find Alexa and Kenzie. My eyes wandered around the room as I said hey to the teachers waiting just inside the door to greet everybody until I froze. I didn’t see Lex or Kenz, but I did see Jordan. What was he doing here?Jaime didn’t tell me he was coming. I guess then again, I hadn’t talked to Jaime in a while. We kind of drifted apart when I started going to public high school. I think she was actually kind of mad at me for the distance that had grown between us. It wasn’t intentional, we had just grown apart since middle school. Still, a heads up would’ve been nice. Why didn’t I wear a better outfit? Why didn’t I do my nails? Am I even wearing lip gloss right now?? A million thoughts and doubts whirled around in my head. Wait a minute! Who cares!? This guy said he didn’t want me, so you know what? That’s fine. I could show up in sweatpants and a messy bun and I don’t have to care what he thinks about it. Who cares if he thinks I’m fat or not as pretty as his new girlfriend, Natalia?! He is not my problem anymore. I have great friends, am popular, and am not a hideous beast just because Jordan Grizzard doesn’t want to be my boyfriend! I don’t care if he’s here. This is my class. These are my friends and I’m going to go on as if everything is completely normal….because it is….or should be anyway.
“Oh, hey, Jordan,” I said as I sauntered up to him confidently.
“ Hey, Kay. How are you?” and there it went. All of my confident defenses melted away when he looked at me with those gray eyes.
“ Um..” Dial it up, Kay. “ Doing pretty good. Have tons of friends, loving my new show, and just really never felt better about myself”. Ok, dial it back, Kay. “ I mean about school and stuff, ya know?” Jordan looked confused.
“ Great. That’s great.”
“ So how have you been? How’s college going?”
“ Good. It’s going good.”
“ You’re at West Palm right?” As I was asking the question I saw a girl approaching behind Jordan.
“ Yeah, I like it. I mean, you can’t beat the campus, ya know? It’s right on the beach.” He turned and noticed the girl, too. “ Oh, hey. Kayla, this is Natalia. Natalia…Kayla.” My heart sank. Stay cool, Kay. This is not a big deal. You knew he had a girlfriend and that’s fine. You don’t care. Good for him. I mean, it sucks that she’s gorgeous… and tan… and has a cool name like “Natalia”. Seriously, Mom and Dad… “Kayla”!? That’s what you gave me? How am I supposed to compete with girls named “Natalia” when you give me “Kayla” to work with!?
“Hey. Nice to meet you.” I said with the most genuine tone I could muster. See my words said “nice to meet you”, but my head said, “go take a solo walk through Alligator Alley without a boat and a hand full of raw meat”.
“ You too. I like your dress. Isn’t your dad the pastor here?”
“ uh yeah, he is,” I said.
“ Oh cool. I look forward to hearing him later,” She looked at Jordan, “ I think they’re about to get started. Want to sit?”
“Yeah, sure,” he said as she turned to go. “ Good to see you,” he said as he followed her away.
“Yeah. You too,” I said almost to myself. Where are Lex and Kenz?
One of these days I’ll be able to either open this notebook and laugh or shut it forever…I can’t do either tonight. I saw him today. Perfect, as usual, alongside one of the sweetest girl I’ve ever met…Natalia. I’m not jealous of her because I don’t want him back. Well, my heart tells me I do, but that’s just the little girl coming out in me. I’m jealous that I no longer feel about anyone the way I felt about Jordan.
I’ll see a cute movie with friends and think about him simply because there’s no one else to think about. I want that feeling again. I want a guy to see a picture of me and say “that’s my girl” again.
I’m not angry because he has a girlfriend. I’m angry because of eight words…”We’ll do it better than others did”.
I don’t know whether he tried and failed or just lied. He’s happy and I’m happy for him. Lord, give me peace and fulfillment in you! I need you, Father.