|A Brief Look at the Life of Tiffany Hasely
Author: Kimberly Sims PM
Tiffany Hasely is a pretty average girl. She's surrounded by friends she's known since forever, and life seems to be going along, just like it always has. But all too quickly she begins realizing that she's been missing the obvious signs and the problems in her friends' lives, and it isn't long before everyone is splitting. Throw a guy in the mix and everything gets worse.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Spiritual - Chapters: 4 - Words: 12,181 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 10-01-12 - Published: 09-15-12 - id: 3058452
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Hope you enjoy :)
Chapter 3 – Unheard Words
Tiffany stared at the ceiling in her room. The familiar scene ceased its comfort. They had been friends since third grade. They had shared everything. They always hung out.
How had she not seen it coming? How had she not known?
Tiffany rolled over onto her stomach. Why did she have to say that? She fought the tears that begged to fall from her eyes. Her fingers were tearing a piece of blank paper to pieces in her frustration.
Was she really self-righteous? Did she look down on others? Had she hurt her own best friend so badly that she'd do a 180 change?
After one in the morning, Tiffany's eyes slowly closed and she finally drifted off to sleep.
"Tiffany! You're it!" Tiffany grinned and jumped forward, just barely touching the other young girl's shoulder.
"Now you are!" Tiffany ran the other way as fast as she could, her long brown hair flying. The other girl came after her, similarly long hair in a ponytail as it bounced around. The young Emily grabbed at Tiffany's hair.
"Got you!" Tiffany yelled, spinning around and grabbing Emily's arm.
"Hair doesn't count! And that hurts!" Emily's face immediately turned to one of hurt.
"I'm sorry..." Tiffany smiled brightly at her.
"It's okay! Don't worry about it, just don't pull my hair next time, okay?" Emily looked up and nodded. The moment Tiffany let go of her arm, Emily reached forward and quickly tapped Tiffany's arm.
"Get up!" Tiffany tried to ignore her mother as she shook her back and forth. "Your alarm has already been shut off, get up." Her mom repeated. Tiffany frowned.
"I'm not going anywhere." She muttered, then covered her face with her pillow. Her mom ripped the pillow from her hands.
"Yes, you are. Get up! You have to go to school. Don't be lazy." Tiffany turned over and hid her face in the mattress.
"Emily hates me. I'm not going." Her mom paused for a moment.
"You and Emily had a fight?" Tiffany nodded into her bed. Her mom sighed.
"You still have to go. Face your fears. Be brave. Pray and God will help you. Now get up." Tiffany slowly weaseled her way from the bed and her mother left with mild satisfaction. As Tiffany made her way to the shower, she wondered why her mother would say that all the time. She'd tell her to pray, but she just wanted someone to fix it. What good would praying do? Tiffany knew leaders at her church would get answers that way, but she wasn't that close to God. She couldn't just pray and hear an answer like they could. Why did her mom insist on pretending that she could?
The bus lurched to a stop, pushing Tiffany's head forward along with the rest of her upper body. She stared at the seat blankly. Samantha once again plopped down next to her.
"Good morning!" Tiffany didn't respond. Samantha waved her hand in front of the other girl's face.
"Morning." Tiffany mumbled to appease her. Samantha frowned.
"What's wrong with you?" Tiffany shook her head and closed her eyes. Samantha let out a small 'humph'. Tiffany resorted to staring out the window. She'd somehow get through today. Somehow.
Within a few minutes, Cassandra joined them, once again talking over the seat. "Hey, Tiffany." Tiffany didn't say anything. Samantha looked from Tiffany to Cassandra and back.
"She's tired." Samantha said. Cassandra nodded.
"I heard something happened... yesterday." Cassandra said slowly. Samantha shrugged.
"People were just stressed out, you know. It wasn't really that big of a deal." Cassandra nodded again, obviously not satisfied with the answer.
The three of them remained silent until they got inside the school. The first thing that Tiffany noticed was that the normal seat order was different. Emily was sitting next to Kelly on the end. Todd was across from Kelly and Greg was across from Emily next to Todd. Bryant was sitting next to Todd. Tiffany could feel the fear build up inside of her as she approached the table. Cassandra was behind her. Samantha moved ahead of them and took the empty seat across from Bryant and next to Kelly. Her action caused a mild relief to Tiffany's anxiety.
Cassandra moved second and sat next to Samantha. Tiffany took in a breath and sat next to Bryant. The table fell into silence. Greg looked over at Samantha and smiled.
"Good morning." She smiled back.
"Good morning." The rest of the table was deadly quiet. Bryant turned his head and looked at Tiffany.
"Hi." Tiffany smiled back weakly.
"Hi..." Kelly frowned. Emily seemed to be fascinated by the food on her plate, and soon Tiffany joined her in the event of plate-staring.
The rest of the day went on rather uneventfully as Tiffany tried to avoid people as much as possible. At lunch, she sat at another table with some people she recognized from class. She didn't really enter into the conversation,but it was nice not to feel like people were waiting for a bomb to explode. By the end of the school day, she was completely ready to go to sleep on the bus when Cassandra sat next to her.
"Hey, Tiffany..." Tiffany opened her eyes that she had closed in hopes of reaching into the dreamworld. "I heard that... people were saying things about me. And that you stood up to them. Is that why you're so down today? Did they get mad at you? You didn't have to stand up for me or anything... I know people make those sorts of comments and stuff all the time. It... doesn't bother me anymore." Cassandra looked at her hair that she was nervously threading through her hands. Tiffany shook her head.
"They didn't really get mad at me for that. Don't worry about me, I'm just tired." Cassandra looked up at her, looking at her in a way that made Tiffany think she could see past her completely.
"I... Well, thank you. For standing up for me. It was really great of you to do that." She said, seeming to avoid whatever was actually about to come out of her mouth. Tiffany smiled nonetheless.
"You're welcome. It wasn't that big of a deal. So are you excited for church tonight?" Cassandra shrugged.
"I guess. It's not like we're going to do anything really exciting. The last three weeks we haven't had any snacks, either." Cassandra made a face at her last sentence and Tiffany giggled.
"You act like a little kid sometimes..." Cassandra pouted.
"You complained last time, too! You were whining about how you were hungry and you had to wait until you got home." Tiffany looked away, a faint blush on her face.
"I wasn't whining!"
"Thanks for the help as always, Cassandra!" Tiffany waited for the youth pastor to stop discussing media information with her friend. She watched as the dark-haired girl began doing some random stuff on the computer, not even looking up at her.
"So... who exactly did you hear from? About the stuff that happened?" Cassandra's fingers paused at the keyboard, then continued without incident.
"A friend of mine works there." Tiffany's eyes widened. It wouldn't be that guy that Kelly was talking about, right? Tiffany scratched at her neck, feeling awkward for asking the question. Cassandra looked up at the projector screen, then to Tiffany. "The countdown started, so you might want to start finding a seat." Tiffany nodded, glad to find a reason to get out of there. Cassandra didn't seem to want to talk about it as much as she hadn't earlier.
Tiffany loved these songs. Whoever had been directly in charge of picking them had done well. But somehow she couldn't get into it. She knew that was wrong – that she should praise God beyond what she felt. But even as the praise songs left her lips they seemed dead. Her clapping hands couldn't seem to keep the beat. She couldn't help but wonder if it was all worth it. In the least, God would forgive her for a day she slacked during praise and worship, right? She couldn't help but look at the others around her, most of which weren't even clapping or singing. A group of girls to her left were looking at something on one of their phones. Two guys up ahead seemed to be having a discussion that was apparently really funny because they kept laughing as quietly as they seemed to be capable of. Some random people she didn't recognize were just sitting there blankly looking forward. There were a few people in the very front who seemed to be really getting into the Spirit. But they slacked a few times, too. So it wouldn't be bad, right? Just once.
Soon, she was lazily clapping her hands and only mouthing the words, thinking back to everything
that had happened. They were all good friends, so why did this have to happen now? Especially between her and Emily. When they were little, they would always go play at the park or on rainy days they'd play with Barbies at Emily's house. Once they got older, they started just hanging out at public places, only sometimes Tiffany's and rarely Emily's. By that time, their circle of friends had joined together and they all enjoyed hanging out. Everyone often ended up at Kelly's house because it was huge and her family had no problem keeping her personal fridge full of refreshments.
Loud clapping broke Tiffany out of her thoughts as the song ended and everyone was clapping in a final praise to the Lord. Everyone took their seats and the youth pastor came up to the pulpit, grabbing a microphone in the process.
"So does anyone know one of the most effective ways of getting God's attention?" No one raised their hand. Tiffany began to notice the trend recently. Just let the youth pastor answer his own questions. "No one?" Tiffany looked down at her Bible while the man's eyes swept the group of teens. "How about you, Tiffany?" Tiffany froze, feeling utter despair creep up inside her. Why her? There were tons of other youth in this room, tons more who grabbed attention by what they wore or what they did. All she was doing was minding her own business!
She looked at him with a hopeless stare, trying to think of an answer. A simple answer. Wouldn't the answer to this usually be... prayer? That was talking to God, after all. Everyone liked to stress the power of prayer and all that.
"Prayer?" She said, her voice heightening a little bit toward the end, creating a question. He smiled.
"Exactly!" Tiffany breathed a small sigh of relief. Why did people like picking on her so much recently?
"Now, how many of you in here know what the Holy Spirit is?" Almost everyone, including Tiffany, raised their hand. "Okay, and how many of you are filled with the Holy Spirit?" The same people continued holding their hand in the air. "So those of you who do have the Holy Spirit must know that God talks often, right? Those of you who don't still can hear the voice of God, but being filled with His Spirit gives us the ability to talk with Him at all times. I'll talk more with you guys about that later if you want to know." He directed his words at the people Tiffany noticed sitting there earlier. They still didn't react.
"So when we pray, we talk with God. God likes to talk with us, but we have to listen." Tiffany tried to keep her expression neutral. She was plenty used to praying to God. Asking for peace. Asking for good dreams. Repenting for sins. Asking for help on the math test that she never quite understood. Recently, asking for help with her friends. But for her, she hardly ever heard Him talk back. Sure, during huge outpourings of the Holy Spirit she might hear something... like maybe once or twice. The other times people had prophesied over her with words that could only be known by God. But she wasn't like them. They were close to God, they were older and had all the experience. She had just turned sixteen. For her, talking with God like having a conversation didn't seem realistic. It seemed like something taught to kids and obtained by adults.
"...God is always talking, He's just looking for someone to listen. We're His precious children and if we'd have a real relationship with Him, we'd see our lives get a thousand times better. He might have words of wisdom and direction to give you in situations that you're in. He can comfort you when you're hurt, heal you when you're sick. He'd do anything for you. But you have to have a real relationship with Him." Tiffany sighed softly, inaudible to anyone else. After a few minutes, the youth pastor wrapped it up and everyone stood up.
"If anyone in here is looking for a closer relationship with God, to be able to hear Him clearly and to obey His words, come up to the front." A few people slowly edged from their seats to the front. Tiffany looked at them, wondering how brave they must be to do that. She knew it wasn't a shameful thing to go to the altar. She never looked down on anyone for doing that. But she didn't want to have to take that walk. She was supposed to be close to God as it was.
"If your heart is right, He won't deny you Himself. No one is too young to be close with Him. It's not just for the holiest people. This altar is not just for the heathen. Anyone, if any one of you wants a closer relationship with Him, come up here now. He won't let you down." Tiffany felt something inside twist. It was as if he had heard her thoughts and was speaking to her. But by the looks of it, she wasn't the only one. A few people were fidgeting nervously, and one or two extra people began making their way up to the front. Tiffany took a deep breath, clenched her fist, and began to walk up front.
She did. She did want what everyone called a real relationship with God. She wanted to be able to hear Him like the leaders did. She wanted to be able to depend on Him all the time, to feel Him even when they weren't in church. Tiffany joined the line of people and lifted her hands, beginning to pray in tongues quietly under the mask of the prayer music playing in the background. After several people, the youth pastor made it to her. He paused and looked at her with a soft smile.
"God loves you very much. It pleases Him that you want to be close with Him like He wants to be close to you. You're not too young. You're not inadequate. You're not incapable of hearing." He then placed his hand on her head. Tears began to fall from Tiffany's eyes, the words spoken driving right into her own spirit. "God, I thank You for Tiffany. I thank You that she serves You with a right heart, Lord. I thank You that she loves You with all that she has and she desires to be closer to You." He put his hands over her ears. "Lord, I ask that you open her ears that she may hear You when You speak with her. I ask that she gets so close to You, God, that she never turns back."
His hands left her head as he moved on to the next teenager. Tiffany continued praying for a few minutes, feeling like something heavy had been lifted off of her shoulders and something on the inside was much lighter. It was almost like something had come in and poured water all over her dehydrated state. She felt the Holy Spirit begin to lift and found her way back to her seat as did the other teenagers. Many of them were wiping away tears as well, and she stopped to give one girl a hug.
After a brief time for announcements, everyone was roaming around the room. Tiffany finally found Cassandra near the table that actually contained snacks. Cassandra grinned.
"They have pretzels and M&Ms!" She said, holding some up before eating them. Tiffany grabbed a plastic bowl for herself as well.
"This is awesome, but I bet we won't have these ever again." Tiffany commented, looking over at a group that were throwing M&Ms at each other, apparently attempting to actually get it in the other person's mouth. Cassandra followed her gaze.
"Yeah... that doesn't look like it's going to end well..." Just then, one of the flying snacks hit someone in the eye and the whole group burst into laughter. Cassandra winced. "Somehow, that didn't look too funny." Tiffany nodded.
"Oh well, no one's severely hurt from the looks of it. So what are you planning on doing for the science project in Mrs. Stanton's?" Cassandra shrugged.
"Probably something really dumb. I think I'll just do something on plant growing, since my mom is obsessed with gardening this year. She's taken pictures of every plant she'd planted for three weeks now. I think I might have an easy project this time around. As long as I can convince her to part with her precious pictures." The two girls laughed.