Are You There? Part 1

Ok, so I know my ‘voice in the jungle’ didn’t go as planned, but this summer my internet hated me and then school started and I have a life you know and… anyways I’m doing a new story and I WILL stick with it and finish it so I will not keep you in anymore suspense….
16 year old Hailey breathlessly flopped onto her bed, limp with excitement, gasping for air, a HUGE smile on her face. Her BFF, Jaime, also 16, munched on a granola bar, nearly choking from laughter.
“I wonder when he’s gonna set it off.”
“Is he even coming?”
“Wait, sh…it’s him!”
The girls tiptoed to the door and cracked it just enough to peek through. Jaime held up her iPhone and started recording. Sure enough, Hailey’s 19 year old brother, Rian, opened the door, completely clueless, into the bathroom.
“AAAGGH!” Just as planned, the red plastic bucket tipped over and ice water soaked him through. His dark hair clung to his face and his green eyes were wide with surprise and the shock from the cold water.
“Thank you, Rian, for accepting the ice bucket challenge,” Jaime blurted out before hitting STOP. He whirled around, sending freezing droplets everywhere, and pointed an agitated finger at them.
“You know I’m gonna get you back. Tonight.”
The two girls roared with laughter and shut the door. Then Hailey timidly opened it again.
“Uh, what are you gonna do?”
He smiled evilly. “Oh, but that would ruin the surprise.” Quickly he turned serious. “But really now, I gotta pee…” And he shut the door behind him.
After posting the video on FaceBook, Hailey and Jaime started talking and laughing, (and talking and laughing some more) until somewhere down the line, the conversation turned to the Chester High football game that weekend.
“Not like I’m interested in football or anything, but everyone goes,” Hailey was explaining as she slurped a random packet of chocolate pudding. “And besides, Jason’s gonna be there.”
“But he’ll be busy playing in the game! He’s not gonna notice you or anything.”
“Oh, I know, but…maybe he’ll just randomly glance up at the bleachers, to wave at fans or something…his eyes will fall on me…after the game he’ll ask me to go to Steak n’ Shake with him…” They laughed some more. They did that a lot. “But really, you should go. They’re a lot of fun.”
“Nah,” Jaime flipped her perfect blonde hair over her shoulder.
“Oh, wait, Friday night is…what…your…uh…Sabbath? Or something?” Jaime nodded. “Well, what’s so bad about going to a game on the Sabbath? You’ll be having fun.”
Jaime smiled at her friend, sending a quick prayer asking for the right words. “Sabbath is my special time with God. It is fun. God loves me, and I love him. And he loves you too, Hailey.”
“Let’s not get into that weird mushy stuff Christians are all over.” Hailey took a random glance at her chewed on fingernails. “But, don’t you, like, have to sit through church for, like, an hour? Doesn’t that get boring?”
“Well, it used to be, but as I got older more of the stuff Pastor James was saying made sense to me. So now it’s interesting. You should come sometime. And God really does love you, Hal. He loves all of us.”
“I’m not so sure about that.”
Just then Mrs. Litch called from the stairs and said Jaime’s mom was here.
“I wish I could drive around myself.” Jaime complained as she lugged her two ton suitcase she packed for the sleepover they had the other night. “I can’t wait till I get my license.”
“But you just got your permit!”
“Yeah, well, I’ll…do…something…whatever. See ya later!”
After retreating to her room, Hailey chewed on a piece of her hair, a much lighter brown than her brothers, an thought about the conversation she and Jaime had before she left.
God really does love you, Hal. He loves all of us.
She glanced at her dad’s picture. Tears threatened to pour. Her throat felt clogged. She couldn’t breathe.
Sure, sure, God loves us all. He loves us so dearly, that some people he has to kill. So loving of him, isn’t it, to take away people you love? He really is a loving God. She forced her tears back. She wouldn’t cry. She had promised herself at her dad’s funeral that she wouldn’t cry about anything ever again. It made her seem weak. She hated, absolutely detested it when old ladies and aunts she never heard of where surrounding her and saying poor dear and wiping her face with their hankies that who knows where they had been. She laid down on her bed and forced her chest to relax. Sweet air once again filled her lungs. Sometimes she had to do this whenever she got stressed. Nobody knew, though. If they did they would freak and think she had lung cancer or something. But that huge, painful lump in her throat didn’t go away, no matter how many times she swallowed. Dad was the person who was laughing in every situation, even the timed it literally rained their whole camping trip. He joked that poor God just couldn’t take the heat and he was sweating. Hailey had felt like throwing up at that visual. He knew the best stories in every genre, and if he didn’t make one up and was reading one from a book, he had that voice that made even Dora sound like a thriller. He was the perfect dad. Comforting, funny, lovable, not that bad looking, athletic, able to make awesome burgers, and he understood that dad’s needed to take their daughters to the mall once in a while just cause. But God, the ever so loving God that loves everyone, made him get shot.
Yes, shot.
Just that past year, someone broke in their house. Hailey was sitting on the couch with her dad one night. The lights had been turned off for a few hours now, and they were taking turns telling the creepiest stories they could think of. Then someone opened the door. Someone armed and ready.
Hailey only remembered the scene as a big blur in slow mo with loud explosions and blood. Dad jumps up to ask the guy what he thinks his business is here, the guy points the gun and shoots without hesitation before taking off. Hailey screamed at the guy, then ran to dad. He was alive. Not for long.
Coughing blood and a big hole in his abdomen, he touched Hailey’s cheek.
“I love you, sweetie. Take care of your mom when Rian goes to college. Be sure you go finish college, get an education…”
“Dad, no!” She shook him by the shoulders. By now mom was a crying mess and Rian had dialed 911. Hailey was going mental. “No! Dad, don’t leave me! You need to stay with me! Dad! Dad!
Needless to say, her dad died in Hailey’s arms. She had to relate the story a million times it seemed to the police. She still had nightmares, and sometimes when she thought about the scene or was really stressed in some way she couldn’t breathe. Once in a while depression seemed like a possibility of what she was experiencing. She was often paranoid some guy was gonna break in their house again or shoot someone through a window. But she didn’t tell anyone what was really going on with her. Mom didn’t need anything else to worry about. She had mentioned letting her go to counseling or something, after all, she was the one who saw him die, but Hailey had insisted she was alright. She would probably just grow out of it, anyway.
Just less than an hour ago Hailey was gasping for air with laughter at Rian’s surprise ice bucket challenge. Now, she was gasping for air with sorrow. The walls seemed like they were closing in on her. Was that a guy by her window? Did he have a gun? She opened the window.
“Stop! I’ll shoot you! You…tree.” A tree. A tree. A tree? That’s it? A tree? Hailey flopped on her bed again and rubbed her tired gray eyes. Back to the walls pressing on her, squeezing her breath out feeling. She felt exhausted, and it was only 4:55. She looked back at the picture of her dad. She was standing beside him, getting squished in a hug, in her dance costume. It was at her ballet performance a few months before he died. He looked like he was holding a million bucks or a new truck, but he was holding his prized possession. His daughter. He had come to every performance, critiquing every practice at home. She had wanted to quit ballet after he died, but mom insisted that she stay since she would probably regret it.
“Hailey, supper’s ready!”
Hailey groggily opened her eyes and looked at her annoying clock that ticked and tocked all the time. 5:45. Had she really fallen asleep? She sat up and stretched. Her eyes fell again on the picture of her and dad. She shook her head as she left her room.
No. God definitely didn’t love her.
So, poor Hailey, right?! Suggestions for a better story then please comment. Even if it’s fine as is, I love to hear feedback! I’m open – don’t think you’ll hurt feelings or anything – anything you have to offer makes me a better writer in someway! Even if you think it wouldn’t do anything, I’m curious to what you think of my writings!
Love all you blooming authors,
dogluvrgirl101 (i think that’s my username…right?)

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Are You There? Part 1

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