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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1

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Everyone seems to wonder why bad things happen, including me. My father told me that bad things happen to make us stronger, which is probably true. Stronger in faith, hope, and trust in God. Like most people, my dad figured that out the hard way, when my mom died eight years ago. I was only five when it happened, so I don't remember it very well. The only thing I can remember is Dad telling me that she had died. She died from a guy texting while driving. Now I know what it feels like for those parents who lost their kids from that... It was sad and heartbreaking I can't remember him being that upset since then and everything changed after that. Dad took me out of Pre-School at my public school and homeschooled me instead. Dad went with me to my play dates, instead of dropping me off and coming back in an hour or two even with the friends I had known forever. He had a security camera in almost every room of the house in order to know what I was doing with my baby-sitter. The only thing that changed, was when I turned eleven and I didn't need somebody to watch me any more. I learned that adults could get scared growing up.

"Rylyn? Are you ready to go?" Dad calls up the stairs to my spacious bedroom where I was sitting at my desk drawing a dancing girl.

"Yes, I'll be right down!" I respond, stroking one last mark on the girl's dress fluttering around her.

I shove my feet into my soft, fuzzy black boots and grab my purple Bible as I head down the stairs and out the front door. It's a Wednesday night, church night. The cold, early November air greets me as I'm stepping outside in my coat and gloves. Dad waits in the car.

"Got everything?" he asks once I'm settled in the passenger's seat of his navy blue truck.

I slide my hand into the pocket of my blue jeans to make sure I have my phone with me. My Bible is in my hand, so yes, I do have everything. I nod and he starts the truck. Keeping my phone with me at all times is important. I'm not trying to give the idea that I am obsessed with my phone. I just don't want to be in a life threatening situation and not have any way to contact anyone. I guess I can get scared too.

* * * * *

"Rylyn!" My friends, Kayla and Kelsey, call to me from across the teen class room. Their identical twin faces start to come toward me.

"Guess what!" Kelsey exclaims to me.

"What?" I ask.

"Our new youth minister is teaching tonight!!!" Kelsey says excitedly.

"Really? No way! Are you serious?" I say matching their excitement. Our other youth minister moved to another church to live closer to his family. That was months ago, and since then, we've had multiple substitutes. I think everyone was ready to have a steady teacher. "How do you know that?" I ask, now calming down.

Kelsey rolls her eyes.

"Ask the genius," she answers sarcastically, gesturing over to where John was sitting on a brown couch in the corner with his friend, Colin. Kelsey and John are NOT friends, more like enemies. Kayla told me that she thought that they are actually in a secret relationship that nobody knows about, but when they act like they hate each other when people are around so no one suspects anything.

"Why would they do that?" I asked when she informed me of this theory.

She just shrugged and said, "Why not?"

A couple things you need to know in order to understand Kayla and Kelsey are:

- Kayla loves romance and making up stories about anything that has to do with a "love triangle".

- Kelsey loves romance and likes to help Kayla make up stories about anything that has to do with a "love triangle".

- They are identical twins with the same sharp blue eyes, curly dark hair, and glasses (except Kayla's glasses are purple while Kelsey's are red).

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