Jaime dropped her backpack and bag by her bed, enjoying the big THUMP.
“Jaime!” Her mom called from the kitchen, “Supper in 30 minutes!”
“OK, mom!” She called back. 30 minutes…No homework. She could do that Sabbath night and Sunday. No chores, either. She smiled. Walking over to her closet, she pulled out one of very few boxes that wasn’t covered in nine inches of dust (that is to say it had been untouched since her family moved there 14 years ago), turned on her favorite Chris August album on her iPhone, sat down at her desk, and began to paint.
One of the first things you should know about Jaime is that she is extremely artistic. Yeah, she likes doing all the stuff your average teen would, but most of the time, instead of trying to figure out what to wear so ‘this cute guy’ will like you, or instead of spending a million hours on some sort of media, she’ll down and…well, do whatever she feels like doing. Painting, drawing, sketching, (yes, drawing and sketching are different things!) pastels, you name it. Tonight, her heart yearned to paint.
She stared into the box. It was way to late to start an oil painting. Maybe acrylics would do…Her hand reached in and pulled out her watercolors. It made her think of Hailey. She had painted her a card using watercolors for her 15th birthday. Her mind wandered to the conversation they had had only about 10 minutes earlier.
“God really does love you Hal. He loves all of us.”
“We’ll see about that.”
A worn out sigh confirmed Jaime’s need to watercolor. She took out a watercolor pad and a bowl of water from the last time she had painted (what…like, yesterday?), sat there for a moment, then let her mind and heart take over.
“Poor Hailey.” A combination of both the crack in her voice and the surprise that she said it out loud startled her from her reverie. Ever since she’d been friends with Hailey (which was forever) she had tried to get her to love God as much as she did. But the older Hailey got, it seemed, the more she pushed away the idea that there was some ‘big man in the sky’ that ‘magically’ started the world and loved everyone so much his Son came and died. She remembered one conversation she had with Hailey.
“…He loved us so much, he came out of the glories of heaven to live the poor, painful life of a human being, and died the most horrible death, so that we wouldn’t have too. I mean, we still die, but not forever. Someday, Jesus and His angels will come back, and all who love and follow Him will go with him to heaven, where we’ll live forever, with no more pain, sorrow, or death. Hailey, can you just imagine how wonderful that will be?”
“But why would ‘The big, loving, powerful Father’ have to die in order for us to somehow live forever in this golden city in space? If He’s really as powerful as you make him out to be, seems like He’d be able to do something like that without dying. And, really, if it were me, and I had to do something as drastic as dying to save horrible people, I’d just forget it.”
“But Jesus rose again, came back to life, after three days of being in the grave. Just like He said He would.”
“What’s the point of dying if you just come back to life again?”
Jaime hadn’t really known what to say after that. Now she knew that it wasn’t staying dead that saved the world, but living a perfect life and dying at the cross that had really won the war, and Jesus would have done it even if he didn’t come back to life. Jaime wished she knew that then. But after that, it seemed like Hailey thought Christians didn’t really know what they were talking about. Jaime wished she could do it over again. And then there was that incident with her dad. What would happen if MY dad was shot, and I watched him die? Holding him, RIGHT THERE, not able to do a thing, watching him die…
That did it. Tears splashed on her painting. Poor, poor Hailey! Her best friend. No wonder she didn’t think it possible for God to love her at all, let alone enough to allow His only Son to die for her. Would she ever be able to turn her heart?
Jaime jumped about 8 feet in the air, leaving her three little brothers rolling around on the floor with laughter. When she finally came back down, Mason picked himself off the floor. “You are SO easy!” Being 12, he was the oldest of the mofia, meaning the most daring, meaning he usually came up with ideas and did them himself if it was a one-person job, meaning he got in the most trouble.
“Yeah! Even easier than mom! Oh…” Derek, 9, got in the most mischief, but Jaime’s parents forgave him most of the time because ‘he was only 9.’ However, he usually didn’t do the same wrong thing twice, thanks to a good conscience. And when his eyes fell on Jaime’s painting, he looked like he wanted to crawl in a hole, yet he knew he needed to say sorry. When they had scared Jaime, her hand holding the paintbrush jerked, leaving a big zig-zag in the blend of the beautiful colors. Plus there were the teardrops. Jaime’s hand had also brushed against it, smudging a section into a gray-brown sort of color. “I-I, I uh, didn’t…” Derek liked to watch Jaime work sometimes, and knew how much work it took to create each painting and drawing. Even though he often knew he should, apologizing never came easy for him.
Jaime’s 4 year old brother, Benjamin, or Ben-Ben, didn’t notice the teardrops on her painting, but the ones on her face. “Day-mee kye?”
She wiped her face. “No, no, Day-mee’s fine. It’s okay. Day-mee’s not crying.” Satisfied, Ben-Ben ran out of the room with Mason, looking for the next troublesome thing they could do. Derek stayed behind.
Jaime felt like yelling at him. Like shoving the piece of paper in his face and telling him what he had done, even though he kind of knew already. She wanted to tell him the important reason for this painting. But she couldn’t. Or she wouldn’t.
After about 2 minutes of silence, Derek spoke up. “I’m sorry.”
“Why did you do it? I can’t count the number of times I’ve told you to not bother me while I’m working.”
“Well, mom told us to come get you for supper cause she called you and you didn’t answer, and when we came in you were really focused and didn’t even notice us, and Mason made the quiet sign and pointed to you, and at the time it seemed really funny and…” At this point he was sniffling, and Jaime wrapped him up in a hug. “You can fix it, can’t you?”
Jaime looked over her shoulder. Nope. Not a chance, kiddo. “Yeah, of course I can. I’m the big sis that can do anything. Remember?”
“Oh, good. But, Jaime, why were you crying?”
“Oh, uh, nothing. I mean, just, I was…” I mean really, what can I say? ‘I’ve spent my whole life trying to get my best friend to love the Lord, and things keep getting worse and worse for her, and it’s no wonder she kind of hates Him…’ “
“It really was nothing. I mean, it used to be something, but it’s fixed and everything’s fine now.” Derek looked at her for a minute.
“Ok. But it’s time to eat. Haystacks are my favorite!”
Jaime laughed. “Ok, little bro. I’ll be right there.” Derek bounded out the door. Jaime picked up the ruined picture of a lilly and threw it away. Before she, too, went out the door, she stopped and tucked a piece of blonde hair behind her ear.
“Oh, Jesus, please help me.”
FINALLY I got it done. Sorry it took forever, but seriously. There is such thing as school and writers block. But spring break is sorta coming up I guess, and I have more ideas, so the next part is coming.
Thanks for reading! If I get a red reader’s favorite, then this will be worth it and I will write more stories after this is finished!
Love you all and Jesus is awesome,
oh and btw not all my parts will be as long as this one lol