Part 1 can be found here.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mortified, Gail escaped to the girls’ locker room, intending on getting changed for gym before anyone else arrived for class.
She was already kicking herself for her immature reaction to Natalie’s taunts. She should have stood her ground, should have denied the other girl’s claims.
But she couldn’t. Not honestly.
She did have a crush on Brian.
And now he knew it.
She moaned as she pressed shaking fingers to her hot cheeks.
“Father, I know this is trivial in the long view of things; but can You help me with this? Give me the strength to get through this?”
The prayer was met immediately as an inner peace and strength settled deep inside.
“Thank You,” she whispered.
The sounds of laughter reached her seconds before Natalie’s voice rang out.
“You should have seen her run from the cafeteria like a scalded cat!”
The girls turned the corner and stopped, en masse, to stare at Gail.
“What’s the matter, Gail, didn’t you want Brian to know you liked him?”
They all giggled at Natalie’s question. “Did you really think you would stand a chance with someone like Brian?”
All the heads in the group bobbed in unison, as if some unseen puppet master was pulling their strings.
“Well, he certainly doesn’t seem interested in you, Nat.”
Becky’s voice cut through the laughter and silenced them as they turned to look at the newcomer.
“You need to get hold of your pride, girlfriend,” Becky continued, “and stop throwing yourself at someone that is clearing not into you. At least Gail has the sense to not make a fool of herself.”
Natalie’s creamy skin flushed purple as she flounced away, muttering under her breath.
Gail looked at her friend and rolled her eyes as the group followed their leader through the locker room. Listening to Becky’s angry monologue, she tied her sneakers, then stood up to run her fingers through her short blonde hair.
She did her best to ignore Natalie and her angry glares while the coach outlined the basketball drill they would be practicing during class, praying that they would be on opposite sides of the gym that day.
She sighed as they divided into two groups, each group forming into two lines, at opposite sides of the gym. She guessed she was going to have to rely on God’s strength a little bit longer.
When it was her turn to accept the pass from the front of the other line, she didn’t even have time to register the fact that Natalie was holding the basketball.
Suddenly, the large orange ball was sailing through the air and slamming against her nose. Pain exploded behind her eyes and she could only stare as Natalie and her group of friends burst into laughter.
The ball dropped to the floor as Gail reached up to press a hand against her face.
“Natalie! What are you doing?” Coach Nancy ran across the wood floor and wrapped a hand around Gail’s arm. “Gail, are you … ?”
The question trailed away as blood began to gush from Gail’s nose.
Next Friday, part 3
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2014