The Changing Seasons

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Autumn is constantly being teased by her classmates for her appearance. She will show them all though by performing in the school talent show. And she does show them. Her life turns around and she has friends. But maybe these are not the friends she was really looking for. Lookout, the seasons are changing!

Submitted: October 11, 2014

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Submitted: October 11, 2014

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Chapter 1

 

As I entered the house, I slammed the door.

My mom sighed when she saw that I was crying. “Do you want to talk about it, Autumn?”

“It’s not like you haven’t heard this all before!”

I went up to my room and turned my music on loudly. Music was about the only thing that helped me forget about my problems. Music gave me a purpose for life and hope for the future.

My mom knocked on the door. “Are you sure you are all right, Autumn?” she asked loudly over the music.

Many people say that in order to get respect, you have to give respect. I don’t know what I ever did to get this. I only got constant disrespect.

I may not be a supermodel, but is that my fault? I may have long, wavy, frizzy brown hair. I am a little overweight. I also don’t care a lot about fashion. I wear sweatshirts, t-shirts, and black pants with colorful stripes down the side. I don’t wear makeup.

I can blame part of my appearance on not having a lot of money. My mom doesn’t make very much as a waitress so we get a lot of our clothes secondhand.

I don’t see why my appearance should be the reason behind all the disrespect. The only other reason that can possibly be causing all my problems is my intelligence.

I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I am the smartest person in my class by a long shot. I don’t make a big deal about it but I can tell that there is resentment in my classmates towards me.

“Don’t think about your classmates anymore, Autumn,” my mom begged through my closed door.

I put on my favorite song from Wicked and started singing.

“Hands touch, eyes meet, sudden silence, sudden heat.” I felt like I’m Not That Girl really fit for the situation.

 

Chapter 2

 

“Are you sure you are going to be all right?” my mom asked as she dropped me off in front of the school.

“I’ll be fine. I have dealt with it this long.”

“I just wish there was something I could do.”

“Well, you can’t,” I said as I got out of the car.

I went into the school and headed to my locker. Before I got there, I could see that someone had hung something on it. Since I didn’t participate in sports or music or theatre, I had no idea what it could be.

A couple girls laughed as I passed them.

As I got to my locker, I could see that someone had hung a pig on my locker.

I angrily ripped the picture off my locker. Some people giggled as they passed me.

What was their problem? I knew I was a little overweight but I wasn’t the heaviest at the school. I didn’t see any other pig pictures on the lockers.

I opened my locker, grabbed my things for English, and then slammed the door.

“Easy,” Kayla said before she started laughing.

Even though it was still early, I went to English and opened my notes and looked over what we had discussed last time. It was better than sitting here, being stared at until class began.

All around me, I could hear people coming into the room, whispering. I knew they were talking about the picture someone had put on my locker.

“Quiet down, everyone,” Mrs. King said as the bell rang. “Who can give me an example of symbolism that you read about in yesterday’s reading assignment?”

I raised my hand.

“Hermione,” someone behind me said quietly enough that Mrs. King couldn’t hear but loud enough that everyone in the vicinity could.

Everyone started laughing.

I had read the Harry Potter books and I knew they were making fun of me because Hermione has bushy hair, just like me, and is also really smart.

“What is so funny?” Mrs. King asked impatiently. “Autumn has the floor right now.”

“And she is taking up more than her fair share,” someone said and there was another round of laughter.

“Do you have something you want to say, Carly?”

“No,” Carly answered.

“So, anyway, what symbolism did you notice, Autumn?” Mrs. King continued.

Tears were starting to threaten from all the cruel jokes. I knew everyone would love to see me cry though and I refused to give them the satisfaction.

I took a deep breath and calmly answered the question.

“Ten points to Gryffindor,” someone said when I had finished.

Mrs. King asked another question and called on someone else. While she was turned away from me, I felt something hit my back.

I turned around and found Alex wetting some pieces of paper and spitting them at me.

I couldn’t wait to get out of this class. Better yet, I couldn’t wait to graduate in two years. I wished there was a way to make high school a better place for me for the next two years.

“Can I have your attention for the morning announcements?” a voice asked over the intercom.

Finally, there was peace in the classroom as everyone waited for the announcements.

“Any student interested in participating in the talent show needs to sign up in the office. There will be a pep rally during eighth period today. All students need to attend.

Finally, remember to order your basketball t-shirts by Friday.”

Again, the announcements really didn’t apply to me. Yeah, I did have to attend the pep rally but it wasn’t voluntarily. I looked at pep rallies as another pointless opportunity to worship the already bigheaded athletes.

“Let’s get back to symbolism,” Mrs. King called over the loud voices of everyone discussing the announcements.

 

Chapter 3

 

By lunch time, I had already had enough. I couldn’t wait to go home.

Before I went to get my lunch, I stopped at my locker and got my algebra book. I would work on my assignment after I was done eating.

I put my stuff down at my usual table and got in line. Since I had stopped at my locker first, the line was short and it didn’t take me very long to get my food.

“Hi, Autumn,” Kylie said as I sat down.

“Hi,” I said.

“Kylie isn’t exactly my friend. I sit with her and her friends Julie, Martha, and Melanie because there aren’t enough tables for me to sit by myself. These girls aren’t bad though. I mean, they pretty much ignore me. There are times though that other people are making jokes and they don’t try to stop them. They just laugh along with everyone else.

“You know,” Julie said as I opened my algebra book and stared working, “Josh said he would like you if you wore better clothes, straightened your hair, and got contacts.”

Was this supposed to be a compliment? Nobody can stand Josh because he is annoying.

“Why don’t you tell him that he can buy the contacts, the clothes, and the straightner,” I said bitterly.

“You are such a nerd!” Melanie said to me. “Nobody does their homework at lunch. We have study hall next period.”

I didn’t have to put up with this. I didn’t need to be criticized for who I was. I was worth something after all, even if no one else could see it.

I got up and emptied my tray and then went back to grab my books before going to the office.

“Where is the signup sheet for the talent show?” I asked.

“Right here,” the secretary said. She handed me a pen.

I wrote my name down on the short list and wrote that I would be singing.

“Thank you,” I said.

The bell rang for study hall so I went to my locker and grabbed my history and English books and added it with my algebra book.

“Got enough books?” Josh asked as I set the heavy pile on my desk.

“I either do it now or at home,” I replied.

Josh only had a history book at his desk. I figured he probably wouldn’t get very far either because he would be busy talking to everyone around him.

I sat down at my desk and immediately got started.

“You sure work hard, Autumn,” Josh said a few minutes later. “Maybe you should take a break.”

“If I take a break than I would just have to take all this home,” I said sarcastically.

“I am just saying that school isn’t everything,” Josh said casually.

I ignored him and went back to my homework. I did have a life outside school. I had my music. I just devoted so much time to school because I had no friends.

 

 

Chapter 4

 

“Anything good happen at school?” my mom asked after I had slammed the door.

“I signed up for the talent show,” I answered.

“Why? What are you planning on doing?”

“I’m going to sing.”

“Autumn, singing isn’t going to make anyone like you. You don’t have anything to prove!”

“Mom, what do I have to lose?”

My mom thought for a moment. “I guess nothing,” she said at last.

“I’m not trying to prove anything. I just want to do this.”

“Why?” My mom sounded like she desperately didn’t want me to do this and I couldn’t understand why.

“Mom, you know I can sing. It isn’t like I am going on stage to make a food of myself.”

“I guess you are right,” my mom said. “That will be one thing the kids at school won’t be able to laugh about.”

“Exactly. But maybe after the talent show, the kids will see that I am more than a scholar; more than a bookworm.”

“So what are you going to sing?”

“I was thinking The Coolest Girl. You know, the song Hermione sings in the second Harry Potter musical.

“Oh, so you want to give the kids another reason to call you Hermione? Why don’t you sing something more familiar? Something by a popular artist?”

“Mom, since the musical is only on YouTube, there is a good chance that nobody has ever heard the song and knows that Hermione sings it. And even if they have, let’s hope they don’t know the song.”

“Of all the songs that you could have picked, why does it have to be this one?”

“That song really speaks to me.”

“I know you want the kids to hear that you can sing, but I just don’t think this song is going to get them to see you differently.”

“I already said I’m not out to do anything but sing. I am going to sing this song because whether I like it or not, I am able to relate to Hermione. This song is as much about her as it is about me.”

“Are you sure I can’t persuade you to sing another song?” my mom asked hopefully.

“Like I said, I have nothing to lose.”

“You also have everything to gain.”

“Do you really think that singing one song, any song, at a talent show is really going to make people like me?”

“I guess not.”

“People who like me after singing a song at a talent show are clearly only hanging around because of my talent.”

“I guess you are right. Go ahead, Autumn, do what you want. Be happy.”

“Thanks, Mom.

 

Chapter 5

 

“So you think you can beat me in the talent show, Autumn?” Carly asked before English the next morning.

Carly is known as a singer throughout the entire town. She had the lead in the musical both last year and this year. She won the talent show last year. Her success has gone to her head. She feels like she is in control of the high school choir.

I had no intention of winning the talent show. In fact, I had completely forgotten about Carly when I signed up. I couldn’t believe Carly found me a threat. I haven’t participated in a school music class since sixth grade.

“I’m just doing this for fun, Carly,” I answered.

“Oh, my gosh!” Molly exclaimed. “You are entering the talent show, Autumn? What are you planning on doing?”

“She is probably going to do pig imitations!” Kelsey said loudly.

“Oink! Oink! Oink!” several people in the room said.

“She is singing!” Carly said. This was followed by laughter.

“Nobody can sing better than you, Carly,” Margo said. “Why would anyone, especially Autumn, even try?”

“How do you even know what I am capable of doing?” I asked angrily. “None of you ever let me do anything without laughing at me.”

“That’s enough,” Mrs. King said as she entered the room. “Everyone, take a seat.”

Well, I guess it was time to go back to the usual Hermiones, spitballs, and pig jokes. I was going to show them though. I was going to win the talent show. I was going to show everyone what I can do.

I couldn’t wait to get home to practice.

 

Chapter 6

 

“My heart will go on and on,” Carly sang.

Everyone applauded and Carly took a bow.

I had to admit, Carly did sound very good. Would it be enough for her to win the talent show? I guess I would leave that up to the judges to decide.

I watched from backstage as a group of people went out and started performing a short play.

I was really supposed to be waiting for my turn to perform in the music room. I had left right after Carly had teased me for my clothes and tried to talk me out of performing. Thankfully, the teacher who was backstage didn’t seem to care about me.

The play ended and the audience applauded. It was my turn.

“Please welcome, Autumn!” the announcer said. “She will be singing The Coolest Girl.”

I slowly walked on stage and blinked from the bright lights. I couldn’t see anyone in the audience because of the glare but I guess I really didn’t want to see if anyone had tomatoes waiting for me.

The accompaniment began for my song and I started singing.

“All my dreams, I’m chasing after. They don’t mean all this laughter. I take a grain of salt, a stiff upper lip. It’s not their fault I’m not as hip. Wake up kid; you know you’re more than this. I’m the smartest person that I’ve ever met. So why do I allow myself to possibly forget? There’s so much I know how to do. So much more than all of you. The only thing I wish I knew was how to make them see the girl that I can be. I am the coolest girl in the whole wide world. I know it but can’t show it at all. I am sick and tired of low not higher. This is where I should belong. It’s about time I proved them wrong. Give me a shot to show what I got. I’m a heck of a whole lot more. With this frizzy hair, these frumpy clothes I wear, though I rock ‘em like nobody you’ve seen before. Cause I am the coolest girl in the whole wide world. I know it below it all. I am done with losin,’ on with choosin,’ the coolest girl on the face of the planet. The coolest girl on earth, God planned it. The coolest chick you’ve ever seen or heard. So you can try to bring me down, but sorry guys, I’m stickin’ around. I thought about it and I’ve found that I am the coolest girl! Yeah!”

Everyone started clapping. My eyes had adjusted to the bright lights and I could see some people were giving me a standing ovation. I could see some students who had their mouths open in shock.

I bowed and then ran off the stage.

There were two more acts after me and then all of the performers gathered for a final bow. Then, we all went backstage while the judges deliberated with each other.

“Let Carly be closest to the stage,” Faith ordered.

I saw a couple people give Carly disgusted looks but let her through.

“We have a winner!” the announcer said as he returned to the stage with an envelope. He slowly tore open the envelope. “And the winner is…………Autumn!”

Me? Did the judges really like me better than Carly?

I felt someone shove me. I knew they were telling me to go onstage.

Everyone was applauding again as I took the trophy and the bouquet of flowers.

“Thank you,” I said to the audience. I took another bow and then quickly exited the stage. I was afraid there might be some people who thought Carly should have won. They could have been saving their tomatoes.

“I am so proud of you, Autumn,” my mom said as she met me in the hall. “I’m so glad you decided to go ahead with this.”

“Let’s get out of here!” I said.

“Why? What’s wrong?”

“Carly is going to be furious that she lost. Singing is her territory and I took it away from her.”

My mom looked like she really wanted to argue with me but she waited until we were in the car before she said anything.

“Carly is a very talented singer, just like you. Carly sounded like she was trying too hard though. You sounded very natural.”

“Did people say anything about me before or after I sang?”

“All I heard from the people around me were comments about how amazing you were and that they hoped you won.”

“You must not have been surrounded by my classmates than.”

“Oh, Autumn, I am so proud of you. You were the only performer that got a standing ovation.”

A part of me was proud that I had won. That is what I wanted. But a part of me wished that somebody else had won, because tomorrow, I was going to have to deal with Carly’s wrath. I should have thought this through.

 

Chapter 7

 

I was nervous as I went to English class. Who knew what Carly would decide to do?

I peeked into the room and saw several students but not Carly. Even though these students picked on me too, I would rather take them over Carly.

I took my usual seat and got out my notes.

“You were amazing last night, Autumn,” Claire said. “I didn’t know you could sing.

“Thank you?” I said questionly. I wasn’t sure where this was going to go.

“Why don’t you join the school choir?” Misty asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. I had been part of the school’s choir until sixth grade because it was required. After that, I decided I no longer wanted to be a part of it because of the way people were treating me.

“You should check it out,” Misty said. “We meet during study hall. We could really use a voice like yours.”

“Thanks. I just might.” I wasn’t really planning on joining. I knew these girls were just being nice to me because I could sing.

Carly walked into the room and headed towards me.

I looked around anxiously for Mrs. King but she wasn’t in the room.

“Congratulations, Autumn,” Carly said. “You were awesome last night.”

Where were the insults? Why was Carly being nice?

“Thanks, Carly. You were amazing last night as well.”

Mrs. King came into the room just as the bell rang. Everyone suddenly got into their seats.

The niceness didn’t stop there though. No insults were said throughout the entire English class or any other class.

“Why don’t you sit with me and my friends?” Carly asked at lunch time.

Since the girls I normally sit with aren’t really my friends, I didn’t hesitate at all to sit with Carly.

“Congratulations on winning the talent show, Autumn,” Faith said the second I sat down.

“Thank you.”

“I didn’t know you could sing,” Carly said. “You pretty much keep to yourself. Nobody knows that much about you.”

Why would people know much about me? They don’t exactly show me that they are friendly.

“So, are you doing anything tonight?” Carly asked.

“No.” Anybody would think that doing nothing on a Friday night is kind of lame. I had never been asked that question before though.

“Would you like to hang out with us? We are going to have a girl’s night. We are going to give each other makeovers and then maybe watch a movie. It will be fun.”

It did sound kind of fun. I had never attended a girls’ night before. And yeah, I knew that they were just being nice to me because I won the talent show, but maybe now people would realize there is more to me than just my appearance and start treating me differently.

“I would love to come,” I said. “Do I need to bring anything?”

“No.”

The girls all giggled.

“Just bring yourself,” Lauren said. “We’ll take care of the rest.”

 

Chapter 8

 

“I’m going to hang out with Carly, Faith, and Lauren tonight,” I told my mom after school.

“What are you going to be doing?”

“Makeovers and maybe watch a movie.”

“What sparked this? I didn’t think you were close to any of the girls at school.”

“People were treating me differently today. I suppose it has a lot to do with winning the talent show. Since people are being nice to me, I figure I should take advantage of it. Maybe than people will realize I am a nice person.”

“Well, I hope you have a good time.”

I quickly finished my homework and then helped my mom with dinner. A little before seven, my mom drove me to Carly’s house.

“Come on in, Autumn,” Carly’s mom said after she answered the door. “Congratulations on winning the talent show. I didn’t know you could sing. You should really consider joining the school choir.”

“Thank you.” I said. Maybe I would have to join the choir once people realized I was a nice person.

“Go ahead and go upstairs. The other girls are waiting for you.”

I was a little nervous as I walked up the stairs. It had been a long time since I had had the opportunity to hang out with a friend.

“Autumn is here!” Carly said. “Now the party can get started!”

I didn’t realize that I was the most important guest.

“Have a set,” Faith said as she pulled the desk chair out.

I sat down and looked around me. The desk was covered with hair products and nail polish and makeup. I was starting to get the feeling that the other girls would not be getting makeovers tonight. I was going to be the only one they would be working on.

Immediately, Faith started putting something in my hair and straightening it. Lauren started working on my nails and Carly was doing my makeup.

“Do you own a straightner?” Faith asked as she worked.

“No. I don’t have much time for that kind of thing.”

“You should just get up a little earlier,” Carly suggested. “It really doesn’t take that long.

I really didn’t want to get up any earlier than I had to. I liked my sleep.

“Look how straight her hair is!” Faith exclaimed.

“You are going to look fantastic when we get done with you, Autumn.”

“Is there anywhere we can take her tomorrow to show her off?”

“Aren’t a lot of people planning on going to the mall tomorrow afternoon? We should take her there!”

Tears were starting to threaten. These girls weren’t really interested in being a friend. They were more interested in my appearance.

“I don’t think I can go to the mall,” I said. “I have something going on tomorrow.”

The girls weren’t listening. They were excitedly making plans for tomorrow. It sounded like they wanted to take me to get some clothes and makeup.

I let the girls continue making me over. I didn’t like it but I knew if I stopped them than they would say more mean things at school. And then I would be right back to where I was before the talent show.

“We’re done!” the girls exclaimed at last.

Faith handed me a mirror and I looked at myself.

I couldn’t find Autumn in the mirror. The girl staring back at me had heavy blue eye shadow and very straight hair. This girl had silver nail polish and red lipstick. The girl was pretty but it wasn’t me.

“We’ll what do you think?” Carly asked.

“I look amazing,” I lied. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.

“Great. Let’s go watch a movie.”

“I think I should probably go home,” I said. I wanted to get away from these girls.

“Don’t be ridiculous. My mom is going to call your mom and ask it you can spend the night.”

“Sounds fun,” I said. I really, really didn’t think it would be fun to spend the night with these girls.

 

Chapter 8

 

I awoke early the next morning. I should have been able to sleep much longer since all the girls had stayed up late talking. They had finally drifted to sleep at about four thirty.

I had been the subject of most of the conversations. All of the girls had spent the night giving me advice on diet, hair, and clothes. Frankly, I had had enough.

I got up and grabbed my purse. I went into the restroom and used a washcloth to get the makeup off my face. Then, I wetted my hair and ran my brush through it repeatedly until I looked more like myself.

Then, quietly, so that no one of the girls would wake up, I snuck out of the house and started walking home.

It wasn’t exactly warm and it was kind of a long walk so when I passed a church, I decided I would go inside and take a short break.

Inside, there were some couches and chairs. I decided to rest there.

“I thought I heard someone come in,” an older guy said.

“I’m sorry,” I said as I quickly stood up. “I was just warming up. I will leave.”

“Please, stay awhile.”

I sat back down and the guy joined me.

“I am Pastor Steven,” he said.

“I am Autumn.”

“Say, aren’t you the girl that one the talent show?”

“Unfortunately.”

“Why aren’t you happy you won? You were amazing.”

“Yeah, well, winning only complicated my life even more.”

“What do you mean?” the pastor asked curiously.

“Let’s just say that I am not very popular because of my looks. That song I sang was a true reflection of me. Then, I won and these mean girls started being nice to me. I was invited to their slumber party last night. It was horrible though. They gave me a makeover and then gave me advice all night. I hated the way I looked because I didn’t look like me. The thing is, I thought this is what I wanted. I thought I wanted to look better and to have friends.”

“Real friends only look at your heart, Autumn. They like you just the way you are. God is the same way. He cares about what is on the inside.”

“Yeah, well, nobody looks at my heart first. And God and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms because of how awful my life is right now.”

“Maybe you should focus on what God has blessed you with. He has given you an amazing singing voice. You could go far with a voice like yours.”

“Nobody would want to listen to a singer that looked like me. I quit choir because I was being bullied.”

“Why don’t you come to youth group tomorrow night? You might actually like it. It is a group of high school students that are very accepting. Plus, you will get to sing.”

“I don’t know,” I said hesitantly.

“What do you have to lose, Autumn? You say you don’t have any friends and that you don’t fit into the world. But God wants you and the youth group is very friendly.”

“What I don’t understand though, is why God didn’t make me pretty.”

“He did make you beautiful. He made you in His image. He made you special.”

“Fine, I will go, but no promises that I will come again.”

“That’s all I am asking,” Pastor Steven said excitedly.

“Look, I need to get home. I will see you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow, Autumn.”

 

Chapter 9

 

“I am glad to see you here, Autumn,” Pastor Steven said as I walked through the church doors.

“I said I would come,” I reminded him.

“Go ahead and take a seat and we will get started shortly.”

I walked into a room filled with tables and chairs. I had no idea where to sit. I recognized a few people from school but I really didn’t know them that well.

I finally sat down at an empty table and hoped that someone would join me; either because they felt sorry for me sitting alone or because every other table was full.

“Mind if we join you?” a girl asked.

“Go ahead.”

“My name is Jill,” I said. “And this is Savannah and Bethany.”

“I am Autumn.”

Quickly, two other girls named Harmony and Quinn that I recognized from school joined our table, making it full.

I was glad that I wouldn’t have to endure youth group by myself. I also had a feeling that these girls weren’t about to say cruel comments to me. Maybe youth group would actually be fun.

“All right, everyone,” Pastor Steven said loudly. “I know I said that we were going to talk about Christian dating today but last week was the talent show at North Jefferson so I thought we should talk about our talents this week.

“Sometimes, we don’t realize that God has blessed us with a certain gift. Not all talents are going to be something that can be performed on stage though. At your tables, I want you to discuss your gifts and talents and how you can use them for God. Then, I want you to pray for each other to use their talents for God.”

“Well, Autumn,” Quinn said, “we all know what your talent is. Congratulations on winning the talent show. I really liked the song you sang.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled.

“Have you ever considered singing at church?”

“I have never actually been to church,” I admitted. “I do not have a relationship with God.”

“God has blessed you with an amazing voice though, Autumn. You should share it with the world.”

“I will think about it,” I promised.

“And what is your gift, Jill?”

Jill talked about how she was really friendly which was useful in getting conversations started about Jesus. Savannah liked to sew and made blankets for the mission. Bethany was a good listener and was always there for when people needed to talk. Harmony and Quinn’s gifts surprised me. They both suffered from depression and started a Christian depression support group.

“Well, shall we pray?” Jill asked after everyone had shared their gifts.

“I’ll pray,” Savannah said.

I awkwardly folded my hands, bowed my head, and closed my eyes.

“Lord, I thank You for this diverse group of girls and the unique gifts you have given each of us. I pray for Your help in using these gifts for You. Amen.”

“Amen,” the rest of the girls repeated.

As soon as the rest of the groups finished, Pastor Steven played a few songs on his guitar while we sang from lyrics on the screen in front of us. I didn’t know the songs but since I loved to sing, I joined in.

“Will we see you back next week, Autumn?” Pastor Steven asked before I left.

“There is a good chance,” I admitted. “For once, I actually felt like I belonged. Besides, using my singing ability for someone other than me is kind of intriguing.”

“Feel free to let me know if you want to talk before next week.”

“I will.”

For once in my life, I was happy. I may not have friends, but I wasn’t being teased for my looks and I felt like I belonged. I would most likely be coming back.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 10

 

I had just gotten my lunch tray and was about to head to my usual table when I heard someone call my name. I didn’t turn around because I didn’t want to hear any cruel comments.

“Autumn!” they called again.

I turned and looked around. Jill, Harmony, and Quinn were waving to me.

“Do you want to eat with us?” Quinn asked.

I had never had a lunch date before. “I would love to,” I said as I sat down.

“So are you going to come back to youth group next week?” Jill asked.

“I am considering it,” I answered.

“You said last night that you don’t have a relationship with God. Can I ask you why?” I could tell that Jill was going to try to convince me to see a need for God in my life. I guess I could listen to what she had to say since she was being friendly.

“What has God ever done for me? My life is full of misery. I am constantly getting made fun of for who I am.”

“God has done something so amazing for all of us, Autumn. He gave us a gift so wonderful but we don’t deserve it.”

“You mean talents?” I asked.

“No, forgiveness.”

“Forgiveness? Didn’t He send His Son Jesus to die for our sins?” I knew a little about religion despite never going to church.

“Exactly. We are all sinners and that is what separates us from God. If we accept Jesus’ forgiveness and surrender our lives to Him, we will one day spend eternity in Heaven.”

“You mean you can’t just be a good person?”

“That is common misconception.”

“So that means that I am not going to Heaven when I die? Does that mean even though Carly is really mean to me, if she is a Christian, she is going to Heaven and I am not, even though I am nicer?”

“Hopefully Christians don’t act like that, Autumn, but yeah, you must surrender your life to Christ and accept His forgiveness.”

“When you say surrender, does that mean living your life completely for God?”

“Yes. That is why Harmony and I started a Christian depression support group. We wanted to use our depression for God.”

“Autumn,” Harmony said, “I know most of what we are saying right now is fairly new to you. But I ask that you not delay making a decision to having a relationship with Christ. Life is too short and your afterlife is dependent on this decision.”

“Will my life still be as bad as it is right now after I become a Christian?” I asked.

“Your life is going to be one hundred percent better, Autumn!” Jill said. “Yeah, you are still going to have problems, but God is going to help you with those problems. And in the end, you will be spending eternity in Heaven.”

“I promise I will think about it,” I said. “I want a better life. I also want an even better afterlife.”

“We will be praying for you, Autumn.”

“Thanks.”

Chapter 11

 

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t slam the door after getting home from school.

“How was school?” my mom asked with an edge of surprise in her voice.

“It was pretty good. I am going to go to my room now.”

“Is everything ok?” my mom asked.

“Everything is fine. I just have some work to do.”

My mom still looked concerned but let me go to my room without any more questions.

I had some serious thinking to do about God. According to Quinn, Harmony, and Jill, God gave me my singing ability and that I should use it for God. They also said that God sent His Son Jesus to die for my sins. If I chose to accept this forgiveness, I would eventually live forever in Heaven. The girls said my life would be better with God.

I guess if Quinn and Harmony could have a relationship despite having depression, than I could have a relationship despite being bullied. It wasn’t going to be an easy life. I had a feeling that Carly and her friends would laugh even more when they found out that I was a Christian. They already weren’t happy about me leaving early from the slumber party.

The only thing different though, was that I wasn’t going to care what they said or did. God made me special. He made me in His image. He also gave me a singing voice and I was going to use it for Him. Besides, God was the one friend I could count on no matter what.

“Lord,” I prayed, “I am ready for a relationship with You. I am ready to accept the forgiveness given for all my sins. I am ready to live my life for You. I ask that I can sing for You and that You would help me not care about the mean things others say and do to me. Amen.”

I felt like a whole new person. I felt happy.

I picked up the phone and called Pastor Steven.

“What’s up, Autumn?” he asked when I told him who was calling.

“Do you have a few minutes to talk?” I asked.

“Of course.”

I walked the several blocks to the church and then entered Pastor Steven’s office.

“So what is going on?” Pastor Steven asked.

“I decided I am ready for a relationship with God. I accepted His forgiveness and have decided that I am ready to live my life for Him!”

“Congratulations, Autumn!”

“I decided I don’t care what the others think of me.”

“That’s great, Autumn. Do you know what comes next?”

“No; what?”

“Baptism.”

“What is that?”

“A person is baptized after they surrender their life to Christ. This means that their sins are symbolically washed away when they are immersed in water.”

“Sign me up. Can I do it in church on Sunday?”

“Of course. Would you also be willing to sing?”

“Absolutely.”

“Great. I will let the music director know so that you can get started.”

 

Chapter 12

 

My life took a dramatic turn over the next few days and I couldn’t be happier. Everyday, I ate lunch with Harmony, Quinn, and Jill. I was also very busy with church music practice Tuesday and Thursday evening. And on Wednesday night, there was a Bible study at the church that Jill, Harmony, and Quinn went to and invited me to go with them.

Carly still laughed because my new friends are very devoted Christians but I didn’t care what she said anymore.

When I had told Pastor Steven on Monday that I wanted to be baptized on Sunday, I thought the week would drag on but because I was so busy, it didn’t. Suddenly, it was Sunday morning and I was about to enter through a door that led to a stage in front of the church with the rest of the worship band.

“Lord,” Kevin, the music director prayed, “let the music all be for You. Please also help Autumn relax and sing for You. Amen.”

“Amen,” we repeated and then went through the doors that led to the stage up front.


© Copyright 2019 Kimberly Adams. All rights reserved.

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