Taylor started the day in her usual routine; with sat her laptop and a cup of coffee. After updating her blog, she silently asked God to give her words to point readers toward Jesus. She found it a constant struggle writing inspirational material about her personal life versus being an introverted recluse. Her life hadn’t been easy as she’d made many controversial decisions that neither the church nor society understood. But it was her life, and she had no one on earth to live for, so she kept to herself. Problem was, she felt led to disclose her life, -the secret, painful parts – so people would know how a relationship with Christ changes a person. Being a Christian isn’t about following a bunch of rules, trying to be perfect and feeling constant condemnation. Instead, it’s about relationship, spending time learning who Jesus is, studying the Bible, praying and believing He is the Son of God. Taylor survived each day because of her relationship with Jesus because he gives her the power, joy, and will to get out of bed each day.
She found people expected her to be naïve, innocent, even sheltered concerning the real world. Oh, how she wished that was so! Taylor had a colorful past that would surprise even those who knew her best. The men, many men, the secrets, the drugs… not exactly things people associated with Taylor. Instead, she was known for her love for Bible study, reading, writing and solitude. She was hard to be friends with because of her mental illness, yet Taylor didn’t mind. She learned a long time ago friendships are rarely worth the investment that is required.
The vibration of her phone interrupted Taylor’s thoughts. Her friend, Sommer, was calling to invite her to a movie. “C’mon, Sommer! Me? Go to a movie? Don’t you know me at all?!”
“I don’t want to go by myself. You stay home too much! You need to go out and get some fresh air!
“Fresh air? At a movie theater?”
“Then let’s go for a walk. You need exercise.”
“I just rode my stationary bike for 30 minutes. If you need to talk, just tell me. Otherwise, I have writing to do.”
Sommer let out a sigh of disgust. “Fine. Do your writing! I don’t get you, Taylor, but do what you want.”
“Okay, okay! I’ll go. Tell me when and where…” Taylor felt like a bad friend whenever she declined invitations, so as usual, she agreed to go as bitterness and resentment welt up inside her.
That afternoon, Taylor stood outside the Cineplex waiting for Sommer when a familiar voice called her name. He was coming up behind her, putting his hand on her shoulder before she could turn to face him. He leaned into her ear, saying in almost a whisper, “Well, well, well… look who it is…”
As the plane took off from the runway, Kate laid her head back to rest her eyes. She had been averaging three hours of sleep per night and it was catching up to her. Oh, I need to check on Dad… and I must get to the doctor for my annual physical (which she hasn’t had the past two years)… She couldn’t get her mind to slow down and her chest felt like her heart was about to shoot out. Check on Dad… call Dr. Reeves…
“Excuse me – Ms. Richards? We’ve landed…” The attendant gently nudged her arm. “You have slept the entire flight…”
And so she was up again, headed to another studio. She read up on the latest news updates from her iPhone, checked her email for any schedule changes, and made a note to call the doctor for an appointment. A quick call to her dad reminded her she needed to go see him soon. She promised him she’d visit this weekend and made a mental note to add it to her calendar… right after she called Dr. Reeves.
The limo driver’s face lit up when he saw her approaching. “Good day, Ms. Richards. Wiley Studios as usual? Or is it one of your other stations?”
“Wiley– thanks.” She slipped into the long back seat with her designer sun glasses dimming the brightness of the mid-day sun.” Kate felt a headache coming on when she awoke from her short nap and was reflecting on her phone conversation with her father. She really needed to visit him more. He was so lonely since her mother passed away a decade ago. He had told her she was working too hard again and Kate wondered if there was an undercurrent of him wanting her to visit, thus take a few days to stay at his beach house. When? Maybe she could arrange for a family visit when the kids were on Spring Break.
“Ms. Richards? Are you listening?” The driver’s eyes were peering at her in the rear view mirror.
“I’m sorry, Bennet… what was that?”
“I asked if you had been in the sun lately. You look radiant, I mean, more than usual…”
“Oh, thank you…” She refrained from answering with details as she had too many things on her mind to engage in small talk, yet she made certain she smiled graciously back in the mirror.
“You know, all the drivers drool when we see you get off your jet… you’re one sexy…”
“Bennet – there’s my stop. It was good seeing you and say hello to Mrs. Bennett for me…” She interrupted his complimented. It wasn’t that she didn’t like being complimented, rather she wished men would see and compliment her inner qualities. Besides, her stomach turned whenever she sensed a married man was fantasizing about her in a sexual way. No one took marriage vows seriously anymore. Kate knew that first hand. Sydney made that very clear when he brought his women ‘friends’ around her during their marriage.
He had told Kate if she would spend more time at home, he wouldn’t need to look outside the marriage. That is when she took on the next step in her career, demanding even more of her time in the office. A few weeks later, the rumors started trickling…
Rachel giddily danced around her apartment as she told her friend about her afternoon. “I’m telling you, Misty… we’re a couple… Brian just hasn’t said it out loud.”
Misty had heard all about Brian over the past year and was often curious as to whether he even existed. He never came around, never called Rachel during the times when the two girls hung out. Yet Rachel referred to him as her “boyfriend”, claiming she would not even look at another man out of faithfulness to Brian.
“Why haven’t I met him if you two are exclusively dating? He hasn’t even held your hand, Rachel, much less kiss you!”
Rachel became defensive. “But he spends time with me and invites me to his house.”
“I spend time with you and invite you to my house!”
“Why are you trying to ruin this for me? Why don’t you want me to be happy?” Rachel quickly became irritated. “I’m going to prove to you I am his girlfriend!”
Rachel grabbed her cell phone, dialed Brian’s number, and tapped the ‘speaker’ button with Misty listening.