Into the Unknown
Part X: Having Faith
I woke up early and snuck out of bed, careful not to wake Charlie up. Even though I had slept a half-decent amount of hours, I felt like absolute garbage. I grabbed some clothes and took a shower. Since it was Sunday, the Lord’s day, I made sure to dress proper; a long dress, only the most conservative makeup and braiding my hair simply.
When I went downstairs, my mom was already up, a given since she never slept, sitting in the living room portion of the house with a giant mug of coffee. When she saw me she waved at me before getting up.
“Let me make you some noms.” She said going behind the counter. “What are you in the mood for?”
I just shrugged. “Whatever’s fine.” I sat down at the table not far from the kitchen area.
“Caroline, is everything alright?”
“Charlie and I had an argument last night…” I sighed. “Our first.”
She made a ‘tsk’ nose with her mouth, went toward me and drew me closer, kissing the top of my head.
“I’m sure it’ll all sort itself out soon. Do you want to talk about it?”
“I don’t know… Maybe…”
She pushed me up and toward the stove. I leaned against the kitchen counter and let her work. It only took a moment to realize she was making Campbell-family style pancakes.
“It’s just that she has this best friend she never talked to me about who I just met yesterday and Charlie says that there’s never been anything between them but Jenna and her were flirting last night and I don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to think and I’m also worried that maybe I’m thinking way too much about this and should just trust Charlie but at the same time my brain’s all like super scared and —”
“Breathe peanut.” My mom said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“I’m probably just being silly and unfair to Charlie?”
“Maybe, but nothing is going to come from ruminating about it.” She put up the first batch of pancakes on the counter and shoved a fork in my hand. “Eat, mama’s orders.” I didn’t protest. “About Charlie, I think you need to take a moment to let the heat of the argument cool down a little.”
I nodded and kept eating. A few minutes later Charlie came down.
“Pancakes?” My mom asked.
Charlie came to the counter and sat down at a stool on the opposite side of it that I was.
“Hey.” She said quietly.
“Last night I asked Marian to hang out with me today…” Charlie said, clearly uncomfortable. “Is that alright?”
I nodded. “Yeah. I’ll be in church most of the morning anyway.”
That was the extent of our conversation that morning as I focused on helping my mom make breakfast for the whole house before flopping on the couch and focusing my attention on Grump. When it came time to go to church, all us Campbells packed into the car. None of Charlie’s family were believers though. Charlie would usually accompany me just to spend time with me but not that day.
“Can you pass by Ravenhold?” I asked.
“Sure, just be quick? I don’t want to be late.”
She drove to Ravenhold and I went into the school grounds, first going back to our house. I knocked on Sage and Allen’s room but got no answers. So Instead I left and went for the chapel of Ravenhold, located at the back of the administration building. Just as I’d guessed, Allen was there, sitting quietly on a pew. Despite being alone, he’d dressed up all nice and proper. The chapel wasn’t used much by christians as there were a variety of local churches so we had the room almost to ourselves. I walked up to him and sat down on the seat beside him.
“I knew I’d find you here.” I whispered. He didn’t answer, staying quiet. “Where are your parents?”
“They went back home. They said they had urgent business there.” His tone clearly wasn’t convinced.
“Why did you lie to my father about us going to church?”
“Because your parents needed reassurance that you haven’t gone astray or whatever they think is happening. Their world’s just been shaken and I can see they’re struggling to accept it. And beside, I intend to retroactively make it the truth.” I said with a smile. “Come with me to church.”
“After everything I’ve done, I really don’t think I can…”
“And I can?” I said, repressing a chuckle. “I’m dating a girl, I’m trans, I’m a mutant.”
“But you’re a good person… I’ve sinned so much these last few days…”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9” I quoted
“You know your bible.”
“Of course I do. God also said to us; Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.”
He smirked. I got up and offered him a hand.
“Come on, time to repent for our mistakes.” I said.
He took my hand and got up from the pew.
“So, Charlie’s not coming?” Allen asked, looking around. “You two are usually inseparable.”
“No, she’s with her friend Marian today…”
“Caroline?” His voice was clearly worried. “Are you alright?”
“We argued last night…”
“Oh.” He muttered. “Can I give you a hug?”
He wrapped his arms around me and I returned the hug gently. We stayed close for a few seconds before he let go.
“Thank you.” I said.
“You’re welcome. And thank you for not giving up on me like everyone else did…”
“It’s the Christian thing to do.” I said with a smile.
“Guess we’ve had different experiences on that front.”
“Faith doesn’t have to be all fire and brimstone, Allen. God teaches us to be kind, to forgive each other for our mistakes and to love one another. In my church, that’s the message we choose to focus on.”
I kept holding his hand as we made our way to the gate. We hopped into my mom’s car and I introduced Allen to my little family who welcomed him eagerly.