Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful. Leona lazily rolled over in bed and the sunlight caught her face and made her squint with its brightness. Then she suddenly remembered! Today, the Jackson family was going to church - for the first time, as a family, in years. This made her excited and she quickly jumped out of bed and headed for the shower. She didn’t take long bathing because she wanted to spend a while dolling herself up. She chose a nice, long dress that she thought wouldn’t be too fancy for church, tried to do her makeup perfectly, and pulled her hair up in a very becoming fashion. She was all jitters when she practically skipped down the stairs into the kitchen where her parents were having their morning coffee.
Yay! Church. Um, woohoo. Do new converts really feel this way about church? I suppose it's possible.
“My, my!” her mother said, upon her daughter’s entrance. “Aren’t we up and ready early!”
Leona laughed cheerily and planted a kiss on both her parents’ cheeks, then glided to the counter to prepare herself some breakfast. English muffins didn’t appeal anymore because of her pregnancy tastes, so she fixed herself a bowl of cereal and strawberries, instead.
". . . because of her pregnancy tastes"? "Laughed cheerily"? "Glided"? Miss Raquel* is convinced someone is just dying to steal her work. Perhaps she saw that Stephanie Meyer's IP address visited her blog? Also, if Leona has been in the habit of eating english muffins for breakfast, why do they have fresh strawberries for cereal and strawberries? Is it even the right time of year for that?
“How are you feeling, daughter?” her dad asked.
He calls her "daughter"? Why? I'm really starting to wonder about breakfast's at Raquel's house.
“I’m doing good,” she said. “Too excited to notice my occasional nausea.”
Sure. Because the urge to puke up your socks is something you can just ignore if you wish to.
“If you’re feeling nauseous, maybe you should stay home from church,” her mother suggested.
BWAHAHHAHAHAHA! "Nauseated" is the feeling of having to throw up. Something that is "nauseous" makes one "nauseated". I don't like Leona either, but I don't think I'd describe her as nauseous. Her own mother!
“Nope!” Leona said, cheerily. “Nothing is holding me back from church today! Especially since we’re going to Peter and Sarah’s church. I can’t wait for you both to meet them! You’ll just love them! A little Luke too. He’s a doll!”The previous night, the Jackson family had stayed up very late, talking and catching up with each other. It was almost like they hadn’t seen each other for the past several months, even though they lived in the same house. Leona had told them all about Peter and their talks together…and how much she thought of him. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were anxious to meet him.
Try to keep in mind that Leona was dumped by her baby daddy two weeks ago. Two weeks ago! Why are her parents so very happy to hear about her and yet another man, while she pregnant, no less? I also enjoy that apparently Raquel thinks that nonfundy families are like ships passing in the night, living in the same home, but never communicating. Without Christ, conversations are impossible.
The family quickly finished their breakfast and, following the directions from Peter, arrived at the little church a bit early. But a lot of the congregation was already assembled - as was Peter, Sarah, Mrs. Black and Luke.
Leona and Sarah hugged for almost a full minute. They hadn’t seen each other since that day Leona has stormed out of the Center.
Count to 60, slowly. By the time you get to 15, this hug has already gotten creepy.
"Will you please forgive me, Sarah?” Leona whispered in her friend’s ear. “For everything that I ever said to you that day.”
“Oh, Leona, yes! Yes, I do forgive you,” Sarah hugged her tighter. “All your sins are forgiven by the Creator...why shouldn’t I forgive you too?”
*headdesk* Go to any Christian message board, blog, etc. Christians get angry, Christians hold grudges, Christians are human, too. I don't even find this to be a very convincing reason to forgive someone. "Hey, I know you're having a hard time right now, don't worry about it" is one thing, "Well, if Jesus says so" is quite another.
They pulled away from each other and smiled. “You look beautiful, Leona,” Sarah said. “There’s a shine about your face that is so beautiful.”
Leona laughed. “That’s funny,” she said. “I always thought that about you.”
Jesus makes you shiny. I suggest astringent.
The song soon finished, and they all sat down. The pastor prayed and then started in on his sermon of God’s love and forgiveness. It was a wonderful sermon for Leona to hear as a new believer. It touched her heart and made her swell with unexpressible joy to know that Jesus loved her and forgave her of all her sins. It wasn’t a long sermon, but filled with so much feeling and love for God that Leona could’ve kept listening for two more hours. After service, the church had fellowship downstairs. The Jacksons hadn’t brought anything to share in the meal, but they made a mental note to remember to bring something next Sunday.
Next Sunday, Leona thought. Wasn’t it special to look forward to coming to church next week?
Did her heart grow two sizes that day?
Fellowship ended too soon, it seemed, for the Jacksons, but they were already looking forward to next Sunday. Leona hugged Mrs. Black and Sarah, and kissed Luke on his cheek before allowing Peter to help her into her parents’ car. She rolled down the window and said good-bye to him. Peter smiled and said good bye, then turned to shake her parents’ hands before they left.
“That Peter fellow is a very nice young man,” her dad remarked on their drive home.
Leona flushed, without meaning to.
“Oh yes!” Mrs. Jackson exclaimed. “He’s very sweet. And such manners too!”
“Yes,” Leona agreed. And I love him.
"And such manners, too!" Either this book is set in 1792 or we're discussing a dog. "You should totally marry him! I know you hardly know him and you just broke up with your baby daddy, but he says 'please' and 'thank you'! You can't possibly do better than that!" Leona, I don't think your mom really likes you if she thinks that's the best you can do.
Since we're not getting the official final chapter, perhaps we should write our own. I'm thinking something along the lines of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As I recall, Mrs. Black is running a child labor ring and Peter owns a brothel outside of Las Vegas. Surely we can do something with that. (denelian: you did say you were bored . . .)
*It's a bit of thing amongst a certain set of stay-at-home-daughter bloggers to call themselves "Miss So and So". Unless they are nobility, I'm calling shenanigans.