Olive Branches Chapter 3

This chapter was written by, um, the younger version of me. I’ve only altered a bit of the ending because it was inconclusive, but left most of it as-is to preserve the history.

Monday, September 7 – Debrah-Kay Laurier (aka D.K) 

“This year, I’ve picked some different icebreakers,” Davi’s said, pacing the classroom.

I prop my elbows on my desk. “That sounds intriguing.” 

“Ahh . . . I hope you all enjoy them. The first is called Interrogation,” He declares.

Hannah gives me an exaggerated scared face. 

“Scary,” Maelynn murmurs.

Davi grins. “Don’t worry. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ll fire questions at each of you. Your job is to answer them as quickly as you can and remember your classmates’ answers.

Got it?” 

Blank silence.

“Aww, c’mon kids. It’s not that bad.”

I half-grin, hoping I don’t get a brain freeze and say something stupid like “Squirrels are primates.” I actually did that once in fourth grade. It was not fun, though my classmates seemed to think it was hilarious.

“Hannah! You’re up. Favourite car?”

“Uhh… um… a Volkswagen Buggy,” she falters.

“Really?” I whisper.

She shrugs. “It was the first car I could think of.”

“Mae! Favourite colour?”

Mae looks around helplessly. “I… I think ..”

Davi gives her an encouraging smile. “Go on.”


“Atta girl. D.K! Favourite food?”

I don’t miss a beat as I say, “Cream-of-mushroom soup.”

Hannah and Davi’s eyebrows sky-rocket simultaneously. I grin. I tasted cream-of-mushroom-soup for the first time last week (courtesy of my big bro Sean). I liked it so much I had it for breakfast today.Then again, I usually like anything Sean makes.

           “Interesting. Timmy! If animals were superheroes, which animal would be the best one?”

            “Hard question. Uhh . . . I’d have to say an eagle, ‘cause they can fly, and they’re super strong.” Tim grins.

            “Excellent answer. Ayesha! Which are better, dogs or cats?”

“Dogs. And Dobermans are my favourite breed,” Ayesha says.

“Nice. Omari! Best mode of transportation?”

Omari studies his desk for a while. “I guess bikes.”

“I agree. Avalon! Favourite experience?”

“Pass,” she mumbles.

I tilt my head. That’s not a hard question, is it? I can think of many awesome experiences I’ve had. There was one time Dad took me to work (he’s a forest ranger) and we spotted a cougar. I was terrified, but Dad just snapped a picture of it. His picture even won a place in the local talent calendar. That was awesome. And, in hindsight, I think it was pretty amazing to meet a real life cougar. And there was also the time when . . . 

  Davi’s voice cuts into my reflection. “Hmm . . . I don’t usually like skipping over people, but since it’s the first day, I’ll make an exception. Zane. Most ridiculous fact you know?” 

Zane smirks, tilting his chair back. “Most people around here don’t lock their cars.”

Davi frowns. “Now, I wonder where you learned that. Thaddeus! Greatest wish?”

“Justice,” Thad states. 


“Care to explain?” Davi asks.

Thad shrugs.

“Uhh… if you don’t mind me asking… I heard from the grapevine that your sister had a severe asthma attack while teaching a bible study in Kenya. Landed her in the ICU. Is that true?” I ask all in one breath.

Thad laughs mirthlessly. “No.”

“Never trust the grapevine,” I mutter.

“Haven’t I always told you that?” Hannah teases.

“She’s dead.”

I gasp. Hannah pales. Davi instantly sobers. “So sorry to hear that, Thad. She was a missionary, wasn’t she?”

Thad frowns. “She went because of me. I told her I wanted to be a missionary, so when a mission trip opportunity came up, she went to watch out for me. And then—” He abruptly stops, scowling fiercely. “Turns out she was the one who needed protection. Why didn’t God save her? Why didn’t He stop the landslide?”

More silence. My brain goes static-y. If I was a computer, I’d be displaying that scrolling circle icon. 

Davi leans against his desk, eyes drooping at the corners. He drags a hand across his face. “I’m so sorry, Thaddeus—”

Thad laughs bitterly. “Yeah, you said that already. I want answers, not useless apologies.”

“Only God can give you all the answers. But I can tell you this: death isn’t the end. From what you’ve said about your sister, she’s in good hands. She was committed to God–”

Thad crosses his arms. “He was supposed to protect her.” 

“And maybe His protection could be taking her out of this messed-up earth, just like Enoch.”

“That was different. Enoch didn’t die. He wasn’t crushed by tons of dirt and boulders–” His voice cracks.

 Sadness lines Davi’s face as he moves toward Thad and rests a hand on his shoulder. Thad’s scowl gets deeper, but he doesn’t back away. 

“I don’t know why God allowed this, but looking at the Bible I know that He wants to bring good out of tragedies. He doesn’t enjoy suffering, but sometimes it’s necessary to bring about His perfect plan.”  

The silence is stifling. I squirm in my chair. 

Thad jerks away and bangs out the classroom door. 

Davi sighs, running a hand through his hair. “What do you say we go for an early recess? I think we all need it.”

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Olive Branches Chapter 3

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