This was written when I was a teenager at an SDA boarding Academy. I was 15-16ish and needed a Christmas present for my friends.
I kind of want to hunt said friends down now and murder them because THIS IS BAD.
For commentary on this chapter, imagine me screaming THIS IS SO BAD! After every single sentence.
“Another day, another death.” I say, 2 months later, throwing the news paper onto the coffee table in our living room. I open the candy bar I baught for myself and savor the chocolate. Mom picks up the paper, looking at it with dull eyes.
“Wars and rumors of wars…..” Her voice trails off. “Uh-oh.”
“Mom…. please, I don’t like the sound of, ‘uh-oh’, I’m in a good mood!” Jaimie says as she plops down on a couch and opens a bag of chips.
“Oh come on Jaimie, its probably just another suicide bomber in –”
“Even if it was it would still be terrible, Holly.” Jaimie shoots back at me. “mom?”
Our mother’s face has gone white. Jaimie pulls the paper from her hands, “oh no.”
“What? Whats wrong with you two! Its just 50 dead people we don’t even–”
Jaimie shoves the paper under my nose.
Pope and President unite for new World wide religion Declaring Sunday as National Day of Worship.
For a while no one says anything.
“Don’t you get it Holly?” Jaimie asks excitedly, “its the mark of the beast! The end is finally coming!”
“You’ve never studied prophecy, have you?” Jaimie asks. I shake my head. All this time mom hasn’t‘ said a word. I put my arm around her. She pulls me close and hugs me tight. She puts one arm around me and one around Jaimie, who reaches for a bible and begins to read to me about prophecy.
We study long into the hours of the night, and I still don’t understand much of it.
“So….basically the sabbath is God’s day of rest. Ok, fine. And its his so called ‘seal’ because it has all the parts of a seal, so in the end times, there gonna make a law that says all must worship on Sunday or die, and thats the mark of the beast?”
“So…. how does this work again??”
Jaimie sighs, “Holly, think about credit cards. Most stores actually require to use them nowadays, they could easily refuse to let you buy stuff just because you worship on Saturday if they can figure out who you are.”
“Thats only if we won’t be in jail though.” Mom whispers.
Suddenly, I’m scared. Whenever I looked to the future, the last days, I either was afraid Jesus would come and I would die, or I was afraid that it would happen too soon, before I got to really do anything. I always thought I could handle the trials and tribulations I would go through, I just never thought I would be able to handle the precise moment Jesus arrived. But now, I am scared. Scared of what I know I will have to go through. And what about my baby??? If it dies before its born, will God be merciful enough to restore it to me?? questions race through my brain.
“We have to get out of here.”
She pauses for a moment. “Well, this law’s only been passed in America so far, and the bible says that when they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another. I think we should all go somewhere on the pretense of being missionaries.”
“Sounds nice mom,” Jaimie said, “but where? And are they even gonna let us out of the country without killing us first?”
Mom thinks for a moment, then turns to me, “Holly, which foreign language are you most comfortable speaking?”
“Spanish.” I reply, without hesitation. I’m actually fluent in more languages than that, and Spanish is not my favorite language to speak (there are prettier languages out there) but its the first one I ever learned and besides, its my favorite language I know that would be likely to be needed over in a country where missionaries were needed.
“How about the Dominican Republic?”
“Sounds fine mom, how are we gonna get out of the country?”
Mom bites her lip. “I don’t know Holly, let me pray about it.”
I rest my head on mom’s chest and close my eyes. We’ve spent all day studying, and I still don’t understand much. I need to go to bed.
“Dear Jesus, please,” mom prays, “if its your will, we need a way to leave the country Lord, if its your will, please provide.” she breaths in deeply, sobs catching her throat.
“Amen.” we chorus.
“How about we all go to bed and we’ll figure something out in the morning.” Mom yawns.
“Just then the phone rings. Mom picks it up.”
“Hello?……yes, hi…..yeah, were going on a mission trip to Dominican Republic…..tonight?? how are we going to??……..ok. Thank you so much.” mom hangs up the phone. “Guess what? A friend of mine who owns his own private air plane is going to take us to Dominican Republic!”
I blink, “what about customs?”
“John tipped me off that sabbath keeper’s passports aren’t being recalled until tomorrow morning, meaning that we have to leave and get through customs tonight.”
“Mom,” Jaimie says urgently, “we don’t even have passports!”
“Don’t worry about it.” mom says.
“Are we going to get them?” I ask
Mom glares at me, “Leave it Holly!” she snaps.
Jaimie and I go upstairs to pack.
“Funny thing,” I say as I look out over my room, at all my treasures, “I’ve worked hard and risked so much to steal all this stuff and now….. it all seems so…. worthless!” Jaimie slips an arm around my shoulders and together we work to pack up all the important stuff.
We have all our stuff packed and ready to go when there is a knock at the door. I run to the window and peak through the curtains. I gasp, “Police! Mom, Jaimie! Police! Were gonna die were gonna die were gonna die I’m gonna die I’m gonna die! My baby! Mom! My baby!”
I collapse onto the couch in a heap of sobs. I’m so scared, God, I’m so scared!!!
“Holly, shut up!”
“Jaimie, take her upstairs, go to your room, and lock the door. Jaimie grabs my arm and we run upstairs. I hear mom answering the door. Jaimie pushes me into the room, then shuts and locks the door, I throw myself on the bed, sobbing.
Jaimie picks me up by the shoulders and shakes me, “Holly, get a grip on yourself!”
I try. I really really try. I just can’t stop shaking! We wait for only ten minutes, but it seems like an hour before there is a knock on the door.
“Girls, its me, mom.”
Jaimie moves from the bed to open the door for her.
“You guys can relax; the police were just accompanying an ambulance to the hospital; it seems our neighbor, Mr. Catrina, has come down with the HHYGD virus!”
We gasp. The HHYGD virus (short for Ha Ha Your Gonna Die!, ok, not really, theres some really long scientific name for it, but most of just call it the ha ha your gonna die disease) is a deadly Virus that was developed in a laboratory when experiments with cancer and AIDS got out of control. I’m not sure how it works, but its kind of like AIDS+Cancer+Mad cow disease. And theres no cure. Its been spreading around our neighborhood lately, which is another reason to get out of here as fast as lightening.
We run downstairs, load our stuff in the van, and zoom for the airport. On the way there, we are flagged down my a cop.
“I’m not speeding.” mom sighs as she pulls over. The cops climb out of their car. I am scared. I cling to Jaimie and bury my face in her chest. She puts her arm around me and we wait there, trembling. Mom rolls down the window.
“Where are you going?”
“At this time of night?”
“It’s the only time my pilot is available.”
“You are seventh day adventists, are you not?”
“Step out of the car.”
“What warrant do you have for our arrest?”
“Step out of the car! Now! All of you!”
“Wait girls.” mom says as Jaimie reaches for the door handle. “I want to see a warrant.”
The officer grunts, hands her a piece of paper and explains, “we have warrants to arrest all SDA church members. We pulled up the lists, your name was on them, and your license plate number is on the records. Now I want you all out of the car right now with your hands up!”
Jaimie pushes me up. “come on Holly,” she says, “pray for strength!” we get out of the car. The officer has us line up by the car.
“Names!” he barks.
The officer checks something off, then some other officers move toward my mom with handcuffs.
She turns to face me as the officers cuff her and drag her away.
“I love you Holly!” she shouts, “KTF!!” the officers throw her into the car and slam the door.
“Jaimie Jacaranda.” the officers handcuff Jaimie, who tells me she loves me, and KTF.
KTF? What in the world….
The officer looks at his clipboard. “your not on here.” he says, puzzled.
Another female officer strides up, “of course she’s not on there, genius! Thats the one we apprehended 2 weeks ago for being truant. She left the SDA church a long time ago. And she can’t have come back because she just got kicked out of the church for being pregnant, see?” She jabs a finger at my abdomen.
Hush a quiet voice says inside me, Its all happening for a reason, trust me.
I fall silent.
“Mom!” I choke out.
“Look, kid,” the female officer says, “I’m sorry about your mom and your sister, but they broke the law, and you know that there are consequences.”
“Whats gonna happen to me?!” I burst into tears.
“We’ve arranged for you to stay with a family somewhere who has offered to take in kids like you who belong to adventist families but aren’t adventist themselves. Get your stuff, put it in my car, and lets go.”
The male officer gets into the car with my mom and sister and they drive away. I go to the car and start pulling out my duffle bags and load them into the female officers’ car. I sit in the front seat, and we drive away, leaving the car for a tow truck to find.
KTF??? what does that mean? God, where are they taking me? God, please, help me!
We drive through unfamiliar towns and cities for what seams tome like 5 hours, but really is only a half hour. Then we turn onto a long, winding dirt road. At the end of this road is a large white house with a huge porch dotted with flower pots. The officer takes me up to the front door and knocks. An old woman with gray hair answers the door.
“Yes Mrs. Gladstone.”
“Welcome, my daughter.” she smothers me in a hug. I like the woman. She doesn’t seem so bad.
The police officer dumps my suitcases on the porch, nods at Mrs. Gladstone, then gets into her car and drives away.
The woman picks up 2 of my bags and I grab 4. she leads me upstairs to a room with another girl already sleeping in one of the beds.
“Here.” she whispers, “get some sleep, you can unpack in the morning. I’ll bring up the rest of your stuff.” and she tiptoed back and closed the door. I sit on the bed for a few minutes. The nightmare thats just happened keeps running through my mind.
KTF, what does that mean?? my mind flashes back to a year ago when Tori is moving away. I have just told her about my dabbling with the Satanist church. We are sitting in my bedroom on the bed. Tori is speaking;
“I guess, what I’m offering you is, keep the faith.”
something clicked. Keep the faith. A tear slides down my cheeks. I love you mom.
Keep the Faith.