At church on a regular Wednesday night, my sister and I sat on the thick green carpet as close as we could get to the stage. While I had chosen my seat so that I could listen to our speaker, Mr. James, my sister had other motives for sitting so near to me as she had invited my ex-boyfriend, Mike, to attend youth that night. She scooted closer to me and whispered, “Why don’t you go sit with Mike?”
“Shhhh. I’m trying to listen to James,” I said looking up at James.
My sister seemed to get the message as she sat back and listened for a while as well, but soon I felt a tapping on my shoulder once more.
“Mike really wants you to go sit by him,” she told me.
“I don’t care what Mike wants,” I said. I glanced over my shoulder and could see him in the back of the crowd, staring at me. I rolled my eyes at him and turned back to listen to James, but all the while I could feel his eyes boring into the back of my head.
I felt Carrie tapping at my shoulder once again.
“What?” I groaned.
“He’s motioning for you to come and sit by him.”
“Well, I’m not moving,” I said, “If he wants me to sit by him so bad, he can come up here.”
I turned back to James again, and he called us to bow our heads for prayer. As the room quieted, I noticed how irritated my legs were by the itchy green carpet, and I uncrossed them and shook them out. A door opened quietly in the back of the room, and I lifted my head to see who it could be.
“Peter?!” I squealed, causing twenty heads to turn in my direction, “Oh my gosh!”
I sprinted across the room and into his arms. He grasped me tightly around the waist and spun me around the room. I hung from his shoulders and laughed as he smiled. He set me down, and we faced twenty gawkers. His cheeks flushed.
“Hi, guys,” he said as he grabbed my hand.
The room exploded with noise as the crowd began questioning him about his recent trip to Florida and how he had liked working at Disney World and so on. James still stood at the pulpit waving his hands and calling for attention, but he was lost in the background. Suddenly, a whistle broke through the chaos, and quieted the class. James’s wife, Vicky, stood at the base of the platform and asked that everyone please quiet down and return to their seats.
Peter and I watched the class go back and sit down. He held my hand tightly and occasionally stroked the back of it with his thumb. I smiled as I felt a warm tingling sensation travel from that point throughout the rest of my body.
“Welcome back, Peter,” James said, “Would you and Alana please take your seats now?”
“Oh yeah. Sorry,” he said placing his hand on my small of my back and guiding me back to the green carpet.
Immediately, the warmth transferred from my hand to my back, and I allowed him to lead me through the crowd of students. There were a few hushed whispers as we passed and disapproving looks from the adults seated at the tables, but my excitement cast away those shadows. But when we passed Mike, I couldn’t help but notice his gaping mouth, and it took everything within me to keep myself from pointing and laughing.
About the Author
Kayla I. Shown-Dean is the author of Muted and an avid reader, blogger, and poet. To read more of her work, visit her website at www.kideanaround.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.