I sat in my seat, quietly praying to myself "Lord, I know things look hopeless sometimes, but I know you're there for me. Thank you so much for sending Audrey to me. Thank you for letting me have someone who believes me and doesn't taunt me for my beliefs. Thank you. Thank you." I was jolted out of my prayer by a sharp RAP on my bare shoulder. Rubbing ruefully at the place where the hard wooden pointer had hit, I looked up to see who the hypocrite was who hit me. " Abigail! Abigail Aubrey Taylor! I want you to stop that nonsense right now!" I glared bloody daggers at Mrs. Noritz. "It's not nonsense! It's called prayer! And I have free right to pray where I please and no one can stop the free right of speech!" Mrs. Noritz had a cold, icy, voice that she only used for the trouble makers. Normally, that was reserved for me. "Ms. Taylor. I suggest you stop that right now, unless you would like a detention." I used my sharpest voice that I normally never use. "Well, I won't stop. What happened to the freedom of speech? The right to pray. I suggest you look up where it says that I can't pray in school. Only then, will I stop. Until then, I suggest you keep that bloody stupid stick away from my shoulders. Humph!" I turned back to my work sheet. Five minutes later, I heard the loud speaker groan to life. "Abigail Taylor, would you please report to the office? Thank you. That is all." Good grief! How many times do they need to call a girl into the office in one week? I stood up solemnly and left my seat for the office. "Ms. Taylor, am I correct that you not only told off the teacher, but you prayed in class again? After we told you not to?" I stood up defiantly. "Yes sir. I have." He grew solemn. "And you know that we specifically told you not to?" "Yes sir." "And you know you'd get detention for it did you not?" "Yes sir." "Even though you knew all these things, you still went ahead and did it anyway?" "Yes sir." "Why?" "Because there is a freedom of speech and I'm making the best of it. I am a Christian and I won't deny it. I keep my right to pray in school. As I told the teacher, also I will tell you. I do not remember anywhere where it says that I cannot pray in school. When you find that, then you may try me. But not until then will I bend to your will."

He gave me the you're-in-trouble-now look and said, " Then you will admit that you prayed in class, even though we told you not to?" "Yes, I will not deny it. I believe in what I believe and you can't make me believe in that incredibly STUPID theory or faith that you call 'evolution'.

I silently prayed "Lord, please protect me. They can't tell, but I'm so afraid. He's in higher power than I, but God, I believe that you could kick their butts and I believe that you will protect me in whatever I do and won't let any harm come to me. I believe in you Lord, Amen." I waited for the wave of taunting, the "How can you believe this junk about God." the jeering at what I stood for. I grew used to it, I sucked it up, I held back my tears, clenched my jaws and kept my chin up and refused to let them see the pain they has inflicted upon me.

Until, that is, I met Josh. Aside from Audrey, he's the only one who believes me.

Home wasn't much better than school. My parents(adoptive/foster) weren't Christian like I was. I was lucky to go to youth group. Thankfully, Audrey brought me. On Wednesday the first one of the month, there was a special service just to go and pray. That was my favorite. I could go and pray my heart out and no one would care, taunt, criticize, or make fun of me. I quietly sat in my seat, in a row all by myself, and prayed until I had no more worries on my mind, cares on my heart, or frets in my soul. My head was bowed, my hands folded on my thighs and my mind racing with thoughts, dreams that seemed lost, and prayers that I thought would never be prayed. "Lord, You know how much I'm going through. You've stood by me when everyone else abandoned me, you wouldn't let go, when all else failed." I sang quietly, almost silently, under my breath. " Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you, I want to see you. To see you high and lifted up! Shining in the light of your glory. Pour out your power and love, as we sing holy, holy, holy. Holy, holy, holy. Holy, holy, holy, I want to see you. I want to see you." Even though my eyes were tightly shut, could see the shadow of someone walk by me. I felt soft cloth brush against my legs, and heard someone sit quietly beside me. I paused mid-prayer. No one ever sat beside me. I was the kind of girl that they expect to be a loner. I pulled my black curly hair off of my dark tanned skin and out of my green eyes. I kept my eyes shut and continued praying. I felt a hand on my back, and heard quiet words praying for me. I though "This must be someone who thinks more of me than the rest of the school." When the words stopped, I opened my eyes and looked into the caring brown eyes of Josh. I smiled. Silver braces with blue bands glinted in the dimming sun. I threw my arms around him, and buried my face in the soft green, material of his shirt. It felt so nice, just to have his arms around me, and feel like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. "Thank you. You have no idea how much that meant to me." He smiled, and lowered his head onto his folded hands and prayed silently to himself. I to, lowered my hands onto my lap, and bowed my head and prayed, "Lord, thank you for sending Josh to me. Thank you for giving me someone who will believe in me. Thank you so much. You don't, no wait, you do know how much, but. I thank you so much for sending him. He means the world to me. It means the world to have someone believe me, and pray with me. Thank you so much. Amen."