They were in church. Praise and worship to kick in the new year.

Val sat next to her best friend, Tabitha. She was busy talking to the other girls about the fire works that would ensure at mid night. they were all excited by the fact that they were out of the house past seven o’clock. They were only thirteen after all.

Val looked across the room and saw Mike seated with the rest of the boys. He was fifteen, tall, lanky and in every way perfect. His voice was in that awkward phase between sounding feminine and deep. He had on braces for the longest time but boy was he perfect. He had helped her in the school hall two weeks ago. She had slipped and dropped his books. He came up to her, pulled her up, picked up her books and told her to be more careful net time. He smiled then he walked away.

From that moment he smiled at her, she knew she was sprung. Her eyes followed him every time they met. He had waved once, the rest of the times, he never knew she was around. They were in the same bible study, lived five houses apart, went to the same school, and yet, he seemed oblivious of her existence.

But he knew Zara. Everybody knew Zara, the sixteen year old cheerleader with the perfect body, perfect walk and attitude. Like all the other boys, he worshiped the ground that she walked on. And Zara, she did not care for anyone beyond herself. She did not have a boyfriend yet, but Val knew that Mike was not for her. He was too smart, too sure of himself to be with a girl like Zara. He was christian too, and perfect in every way for Val. But he didn’t see it.

The pastor’s sermon was about new beginnings, and it stuck with her. She remembered praying to God earlier, asking for their paths to meet, that if it was in His will, she would tell him, show him how much she cared. That if He grated her a chance for him to notice her, she would illuminate so bright he would have no choice but to see her.

She had to walk out and reprogram her mind. Tonight was a night of worship, and if her mother knew she was entertaining thoughts about boys, rather than God, she knew she would be in a lot of trouble.

She leaned by one of the piers, closed her eyes and sighed. Grace, grace, grace she whispered. There would be an appropriate time for this, when she is older, she said to herself.

” Tired of staying indoors too?” she heard a voice speak out to her.

She opened her eyes to find Mike standing by the pier opposite her. She smiled, but she was screaming on the inside.

“Yes,” she said trying to keep her cool. “I needed some fresh air and a more quiet place.”

” You’re Val, right?” he asked. ” I’m Mike.”

He stretched out his hand and so did she. Maybe God had decided to answer her after all.

The new year begun to look promising as they sat by the steps and got to know one another.


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