Meant to Live: Chapter 1
We are so excited to introduce something new to y'all today - our very first short story written by one of our lovely readers. Each Thursday through September 17, we will publish a new chapter of the story for your enjoyment. We hope you love this summer series as much as we do!
“Girls! Girls! Please calm down!” It was Miss Martin, the Head Mistress of Rosewood Girl’s Academy, home to over thirty girls between twelve and seventeen.
As Miss Martin entered, the room was hushed. Everyone knew that Miss Martin would not hesitate to discipline an unruly girl. The girls hurried to their seats and sat quietly, awaiting Miss Martin’s rebukes.
Now, the cause of this great disturbance was a certain piece of news that had just reached the school. The Trenton Boy’s Academy had sent an invitation to the girl’s academy asking them to join them in a Spring celebration night scheduled for two weeks hence. The party would begin at six and would include refreshments, dancing, and games.
Although both schools were close in proximity, due to their own busyness, it was rare that the boys and girls interacted with each other. Indeed, it had been a few years since the schools had enjoyed a joint activity.
Upon the reading of this invitation, the girls absolutely exploded in excitement. But when Miss Martin spoke, they quickly quieted.
“It seems to me that you are all in favor of attending this special occasion, so I will send a letter confirming our acceptance. But I expect you girls to keep up with your work and not be distracted by this invitation.”
When lunch was over, the girls were dismissed. Separating into their separate classes, the rooms became quiet again. Classes took place from nine until two and included Needlework, Cooking, Housekeeping, and Gardening, besides the usual subjects.
There is one girl in particular that will occupy our attention. Christine was one of the older girls, being seventeen years old. She had been attending the academy for five years. Compared to most of the other girls in the academy, she was different. She was usually very quiet and thoughtful. She secluded herself from the rest of the girls whenever possible, preferring to spend her leisure time alone. She could often be found in her room surrounded by books. Most of the other girls laughed at her queer actions, but she did not seem to mind.
On this particular day, Christine was perhaps the only girl not excited about the invitation. The rest of the girls talked often of boys, but this chatter did not interest Christine. In fact, she was much put off by it and avoided it when possible. On this day especially, the talk of boys floated through the halls.
There was one girl in the academy that did not look down on or ignore Christine. She was new to the school, having arrived at the beginning of the school year. Geneva was fifteen years old. She was much like all the other girls, but she was not one to exclude or ignore others. She was always kind to Christine and never failed to invite her to join a game or take a walk, despite Christine’s usual refusal. But although Geneva was kind to Christine, she also sometimes thought Christine was strange.
After classes were finished, Christine retreated to her room. Once her homework was complete, she sat on her bed and pulled out her books. One was the Bible and the other a book titled The Pilgrim’s Progress. These two were perhaps her favorite books which she read and re-read, even though the school had a large library of its own.
As Christine began to read, she was interrupted by a girl entering the room. Looking up she saw that it was Connie, one of the girls she roomed with. Connie slumped onto her bed and let out a sigh.
“Can you even believe it, Christine, that I was the first to lose at a game of blind man’s bluff? It’s perfectly awful to sit out by yourself.” Connie propped herself up on her elbow and stared over at Christine who was looking back at her with a very blank expression.
“I suppose you don’t have to play if you don’t want to,” was Christine’s frank reply.
Connie laughed. “I say, Christine, you are strange. Why don’t you join us in playing games? You’re always up in your room reading.”
Christine shrugged her shoulders. “I prefer to read.”
“Well, I think you look down on us for playing games and that’s why you don’t join.” Connie stated haughtily.
“No, I don’t,” declared Christine. “I don’t care if you play or not. It’s just that I am not a fan of games.”
A short silence followed in which Christine tried to get back to her book. But Connie was not finished.
“Aren’t you awfully excited about the party? Just to think, in two weeks we are going to be dancing!”
Christine looked up again. “I’m not awfully excited, but I hope it will be a fun time.”
“Oh, you are dull!” Connie exclaimed as she stood and walked out of the room.
Perhaps you are wondering by now what made Christine so different from the other girls. To explain that, I must go back to when Christine was very young.
Up until she was seven years old, Christine was taught and raised at home by her parents. Her father was the pastor of their local church. He was a devoted man, both to God and to his family. He spent all his spare time attending to his wife and being with his children. Christine was the second child of four. Whenever he could, her father would sit with his children around him and teach them the truths of the Bible. Christine was always riveted by his words and often cried when she disobeyed. When she was just seven years old, Christine’s father died of a heart problem. The loss took quite a toll on Christine, her mother, and her siblings. But despite this new challenge of being a single mother of now five children, Christine’s mother continued the Scriptural teaching her husband had initiated.
Christine grew up to be a very tender girl. She sincerely tried her best to do what was right and abhorred herself when she did wrong. She also helped her mother as much as she could in the home and with her siblings. Her older brother took the role of the man of the house and was also a great help to his mother.
To be continued next week...
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