Chapter Nine, Decisions..., of A Love From Above, Free Christian E-Novel

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DECISIONS...

Chapter 9


Denise awakened, lazily, and looked around her room. It was bright from the curtain filtered sunlight. Everything looked the same as when she had left to go to the graduation services. But so much had happened since then!

The birds chirped loudly outside her window and she could hear the sounds of Mom busying around in the kitchen, the washer and dryer going, and the sound of cartoons on the living room television.

Amazing, Denise thought, that after a day like yesterday, and a night like last night, it seemed to be just another Saturday morning. She must have slept quite late, Denise realized, suprised that Mom had not awakened her to get started with her chores. Then, with full realization of all that had happened last night, she jumped out of bed, and rushed to her window.

There it was! Jons' car was at home, all in one piece too! Relieved, she thought of Mr. Thompson, Rogers', prayer. Did God really hear, and answer that prayer, or was it as Mom had said in the past, "Probably just coincidence." How could anyone know? Denise wondered. But she was so glad Jon was safe.

Of course, after last night, things would never be the same. How could she ever trust Jon again, after the way he had left her stranded, in the middle of nowhere, and in the darkness! She remembered the desolation she had felt, out there all alone, with the lightening flashing, and the coyotes howling! And the fear that had overtaken her as she realized the approaching vehicle was not Jons'!

But, that wasn't really Jon! Not her Jon! That was all that beer he had drank, Denise reasoned to herself. Jon would never have acted like that, or talked to her that way, if he hadn't been drunk! But, now that the celebrating was over, she wouldn't have to worry about that anymore, she decided.

But what about that girl with the beige slippers? The redhead? Could there have been any truth in what she had overheard? Surely not! Jon just wasn't that type - or was he? Who was she anyway?

Quietly, Denise got out of bed again, and found her yearbook. Thumbing throught the pages, she found Jon's class pictures, and after a few moments located the girl's picture- Jessie Arnold. Yes, that was her! But was she the one who had been doing the bragging? Or the one listening? Denise couldn't be sure, since she didn't get close enough at the party to hear her voice. Well, somehow, she'd have to find out, Denise concluded. Not that she didn't trust Jon, she reasoned, she just didn't want anyone spreading rumors. Of course, thats what it was - just an envious girl, bragging about something that never happened! That had to be it!

Denise put on her robe and house slippers, brushed through her hair and headed to the kitchen. Mom was mixing something in a large bowl. Denise poured a glass of milk and sat down at the table.

"Good morning, Mom."

Doris looked up. "Morning, Denise. Did you and Jon have a good time last night? You were sleeping restlessly when I looked in on you this morning. I didn't have the heart to wake you up since you were out late last night, anyway."

"Uh, yeah, the party was, uh, real interesting." Denise smiled, looking away, wondering what Mom would say if she knew all the details! "Thanks for letting me sleep late." But there was no reason for her to know, Denise decided. Mom and Dad trusted Jon, and there was no reason to spoil it! Especially, since it had all worked out alright.

Denise noticed that Mom gave her a strange look after her reply, but said nothing about it. Well, she made it through that, at least for now, she thought, gratefully.

It was late in the afternoon when the phone rang. Todd answered the call, then handed it to Denise.

"Its Jo-on", Todd said teasingly.

Denise hastily took the phone. She had been anxious to hear from him. "Hello." Denise said into the mouthpiece, without the emotional turmoil she was feeling inside. Just play it cool, she told herself.

"Hi, Denise. Are you O.K.?" Jon asked, sounding very humble, unsure of himself, for once, Denise thought sarcastically. "I wasn't sure you would even accept a call from me after last night. But, I'm glad you did."

"Sure, I'm fine. How about you?" she asked casually. Her heart was racing, but she dared not let him know.

"Well, I'm not feeling too good, right now, but I guess that's from too much celebratin*. huh!" Jon said, trying to make light of the situation. Then seriously, "Uh, Denise, I don't remember too much about what happened last night. But I think I treated you pretty bad. I was really worried about you when I woke up this morning. How did you get home?"

He sounded very repentant, Denise thought, which was very unusual for him! But, she knew he wasn't really like that monster she had been with last night. To prevent the information reaching Mom or Toads' ears, she cupped her hand around her mouth, directing her quiet voice into the receiver.

"It was OK. My Sunday School teacher picked me up and brought me home. He was real nice to me." There was no use in making Jon feel worse by telling him how upset and frightened she had been, she decided. She loved him too much! And he had suffered enough already.

"Well, I've got a really bad headache, and now that I know you're O.K., I'm gonna see what I can do for my head. You know, if anything had happened to you last night, I'd never be able to forgive myself. But, if you're sure you're OK, then I'll call you later, alright?"

"Sure, Jon. Bye." Denise replied sweetly, thinking Nancy would never have let Mark off the hook that easily. But then, Nancy wasn't really in love with Mark! This was different, she thought, as she sorted her feelings. She remembered a scripture she had learned once in Vacation Bible School. "Love covers a multitude of sins." Yes, love could take care of anything, she thought, happily, as she went back to her chores. Jon would call later, when he was feeling better, she told herself, and he would make up for last night and everything would be good again.

She smiled as she put the iron to her jeans, leaving a sharp crease in the leg of the pants. Denise let her mind wander as she did her weekend chores. It was summer, already, the sun was starting to shine bright, a pleasant sight after all the rain and storms they had been having. Jon would soon be going off to college for the summer, and then again for the fall. What was she going to do while he was gone? It sure looked like it was going to be a boring summer.

Completing her assigned tasks, she decided to give Nancy a call. Having been so busy with Jon the last few weeks, she had had little time for her other friends. Of course, they had been busy, too, she knew. Perhaps this summer would give them time to get together and have some fun. That could be something to look forward to.

"Nancy! This is Denise. Were you busy?"

"Oh, no. Haven't been out of bed very long," Nancy replied, stifling a yawn. "What have you been up to? Did you and Jon go to the graduation party? I'll bet you had fun! I can't wait to go to Mark's graduation party next year. That is, if we're still seeing each other by then."

"Oh, sure. We went to the other party, you know, out at Gloria Benson's house. It was wild! I'll have to tell you about it sometime! But, what about you and Mark? Having problems?"

"Oh, you know, just the same old thing. Mark has to work at the gas station all the time, it seems, and all hours. Doesn't leave much time for fun. It gets really boring going places by myself or with Angela and some of the other girls. But, we've been seeing each other nearly six months, now. I don't know what's gonna happen. I really think the world of Mark, but Kevin Dixon has been really friendly to me , lately, and you know what a hunk he is! If he ever asked me out, I'd just have to go, you know? Anyway, that's probably not likely to happen. I'm just daydreaming, huh."

"Who knows. It could happen. But, I know it would break Mark's heart if you broke up with him. I think he really loves you. And he's such a nice guy. I'd hate to see him hurt. But, Kevin is really cool. And he is so funny!"

"Yeah, I know! Oh, have you heard that Angela's engaged to Rick Summers? They're supposed to get married next June. She's already planning the wedding. I'll bet she asks you to be a bridesmaid or something. Don't you think?"

"Hey, that'll be neat. I heard she was dating him, but I didn't know it was serious. I'll have to give her a call. I've sure got a lot to catch up on, since I've been so busy with Jon, lately. I've really missed all y'all. But Jon's leaving for college in two weeks, so we'll have plenty of time to catch up then. I've really been dreading spending this summer alone, but maybe it won't be so bad. And Jon will be coming home every weekend, anyway."

"Gosh, I didn't know he was going to summer school. How come? Why doesn't he wait for the fall semester?" Nancy questioned.

"Well, he wasn't really wanting to go to college, but his parents are really crazy about it, so he decided the sooner he went, the sooner he would get out. You know how guys are. It doesn't really make sense to me, but that's what he's planning to do. And he's already enrolled and everything. Oh, Nancy, Todd's standing here having a fit to use the phone, so I guess I'd better go. I'll talk to you later, O.K.? Call me sometime. Bye.

Hanging up the phone, and giving Todd a dirty look, Denise headed for her room. Putting a favorite cassette tape in the stereo, she began thinking about Angela. Getting married! That would be so neat. Wondering if she would indeed be asked to be in the wedding party, she let her mind go even further to thoughts of her wedding day. Would she and Jon be married, someday? After he finished college, perhaps? Denise Rivers. That name had a strange ring to it. But, she could get used to it, she decided.



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