Worship Chapter 2 – DeterminationPosted: March 6, 2016
This is the second chapter. To read the first and see what makes Abigail the person she is – and some distressing insight into Mark, go here.
Humans are curious beings. They can all experience the same challenge and yet each has their own response. Some are defeated by the hint of adversity, fearful and beaten before the battle has even begun. Some cover their fear with bluster. Some have no fear – as Abigail will eventually discover.
Abigail, despite her frail and innocuous appearance, responded to adversity with determination. Not to prove to others she was strong, but to prove to herself. She sat in her next two classes pondering her fate. “I must fix this” she said to herself, willing courage.
After class was lunch. Lunch always gave Abigail anxiety. She had no one to sit with and ended up at “The Table of Misfits”. The table where anyone who is no one would relegate themselves. They did not talk. They did not laugh.
To avoid the anxiety, Abigail had decided in her Freshman year she would bring her lunch and eat in the band hall. She would sit fetally against the wall, head down and eat her peanut butter and crackers. Able only to see the feet of the occasional hall wanderer.
Today Abigail conjured the courage to go to the cafeteria. Mark would see her and sit with her. When the bell rang, she hurried to her locker with a deliberate walk, tunnel visioned on her goal, dropped her books, grabbed her lunch and rushed to the sterile white cafeteria, hoping to beat Mark there. Hoping he would see her and choose to sit with her.
When she arrived, there were only a few dozen students seated. Her heart sank. There was Mark, already seated with his friends from the Future Farmers of America club. A rush of panic shot through her and she fought the desire to turn and head to the band hall. In a fight of will, she walked to a still empty table across from him and sat down. She mentally willed him to her side.
She sat, hands limp in her lap, staring down at her unopened bag, contemplating her next move. She needed to look at him. Smile. All the other girls who wanted boys to notice them did. Without looking up, she practiced her smile. It felt unnatural. Forced. She would look silly. He would laugh at her.
“No.” she internally chastised herself. “I can do this. I will do this.” Dimming her smile a bit, she slowly raised her head. Mark was looking at her. He smiled. She quickly ducked her head. Now, though, her smile was genuine. When she looked up again, he was walking over.
“Hey” his voice was soft, not like the eruptions from his friends at the next table. She lifted her head to look at him, averting her gaze from his table.
“Hey,” her voice was a whisper.
“What’s for lunch?” Mark’s voice was anxious, though Abigail didn’t notice. Her own fear drowned out any subtle detection. He opened the top of her bag, which would have normally felt a violation, but for some reason his brashness flattered her.
“Just peanut butter and jelly.”
“And crackers” added Mark, poking into the bag.
“Yeah,” said Abigail in a thin voice.
“So you’re busy Saturday, huh?” asked Mark, gaining more confidence.
“No…I mean…I was…but I can change plans. It wasn’t important anyway. I mean, if you want to do something….” Her breath and heart were fast as she formed the words.
“Well…yeah…you know…I heard that movie was pretty good…and stuff…I have a truck.”
He relinquished claim on Abigail’s lunch and she took her hands out of her lap to remove her sandwich. She stared down at the bag as if performing a delicate surgery.
“I’d like to do that…if you really want to” she spoke to the bag.
“OK then, Saturday. Can I get your number?” He tore off a piece of the bag, took a pen out of his pocket and wrote “Abby” on it. As she recited her number, he wrote it down beneath. The act gave her a thrill. Abigail had never considered a boy would want to call her, talk to her. Maybe he would truly see her.
“So…I’ll call you.” Mark stood up.
“Yeah.” Abigail still looked down.
Mark returned to his table. Abigail sat there stunned. Her heart raced and she wanted to run away. She could feel the warm blush in her cheeks. She felt naked in front of the entire school.
She got up, placed her sandwich back in the bag, and fled to the safety of the band hall. There she huddled, not eating, a jumble of joy and fear. “Yes!”
Though no one saw it through the hood of her hair, she beamed the rest of the day.
A BIG THANK YOU to my beta readers who have given me valuable input on this chapter. If you would like to give your input and get the chapters before they come out, send me an email at FictionalKevin@Gmail.com.