Hey readers! Today I have a very special post for you: a short story written by the one, the only… Madelyn Cassens!
Madelyn has been my best friend for about a year now, and she is a super amazing writer! A few months ago, I asked her if she would like to write a short story for this blog, and the story she sent me astounded me! I love her writing style, and I knew I had to share this story with you all.
But don’t take it from me–go ahead and read the story and let me know what you think in the comments!
By Madelyn Cassens
Life. Life can be wonderful if we truly just stop and appreciate every moment of it the way God created it to be. Yet it can be stressful if we just rush through it and don’t understand it.
But it’s not always about what happens in life; rather, it’s what we feel during these times.
No matter how hard we try to deny our emotions, from time to time we’ll feel alone, sad, angry, and depressed with nothing in the world to help comfort us. At least that’s how it usually seems at first, but that can all change with just a little bit of faith.
It was 6:30 AM on a bright, sunny day with few clouds in the blue sky above. The trees were in full bloom with brilliant shades of green. The ocean water shone crystal clear, and it seemed that everyone was in a good mood on this very special day.
Well, almost everyone.
“Sabrina! Time to get up and get ready for school!” yelled Sabrina’s mom from the kitchen downstairs.
After a little pause, Sabrina sat up in her bed and let her eyes adjust to the bright sunlight streaming through her windows. “Already?” She moaned. “It’s only 6:30 in the morning!”Let me sleep just a bit longer, Mom!”
“I wish I could, sweetie, but you’re going to be late for school. Now hurry and get dressed. I already have your breakfast prepared.”
“Ahhh… fine! I’m coming!” sighed Sabrina.
Once Sabrina finished getting dressed and brushing her teeth, she headed downstairs to start, yet again, another day that was going to be like all the others.
“There’s the birthday girl! Happy 13th birthday, sweetheart!” the delighted mom expressed. “How are you?”
Wait… it’s September 13th already?! How could I forget!? “Oh, thanks, Mom,” Sabrina said, sarcastically.
“You’re welcome!” the mom replied. Not taking any notice of Sabrina’s sarcastic tone, she walked over and gave her daughter a hug. “You know, this is a very special day for you, Sabrina. It’s your golden birthday! Isn’t it wonderful? Great things are to come today… I just feel it.”
Thinking of nothing else to say without upsetting her mom, Sabrina said, again in an unenthusiastic tone, “Wow, cool.”
“Well anyway, I don’t want you to be late, so why don’t we get you some breakfast, birthday girl? I made your favorite.”
Not wanting to be rude, she sat down and said, “Sure, thanks,” even though she wasn’t the slightest bit hungry.
Once Sabrina was finally done with breakfast, she went back upstairs and got her things for school before saying goodbye to her mom.
“Alright then, kiddo. Are you all ready?” questioned the mom.
“Um… I think so.” Even though she was thinking: Of course I’m not. This day is going to be just like every other day; no one to talk to; everyone being so mean. But since she couldn’t express her concerns, she decided to stick with her previous statement.
“Good! Just remember to be yourself and have fun today,” her mom said, giving her daughter a hug and kiss on the forehead. “Okay, go on now. Love you, darling!”
“Yeah, I know, Mom,” Sabrina replied as she walked out the door and into the bright world beyond. And even though she didn’t know it yet, in just a little while her whole life was about to change forever.
Once on the sidewalk, Sabrina headed toward her school which was only about a mile and a half away. She usually walked this way every day, so she was pretty familiar with the route. Go straight for about a quarter of the way, then take two rights and then a left.
But when she got to the first intersection, she found that the road she needed to take was blocked off due to construction.
Wow, that’s just great. How am I ever going to get to school now?! She looked down at her watch and it was 7:15 AM. I only have 30 minutes to get there. This is just perfect.
Realizing there was nothing else to do, she went down the road to her left, hoping she still would be able to get to school on time.
After about twenty minutes of walking along the old, gravel road, she stopped and took in her surroundings.
Up ahead a few feet was a sign that she saw several times already this morning: East Thirty-Seventh street.
“Ahh, you’ve got to be kidding me! This can’t be happening!” she yelled aloud while sitting down with her head in her hands, crying.
After a few long seconds of doing so, she heard a faint voice coming from behind.
She lifted her head and looked around. She didn’t see anyone around, but she heard the same voice again.
“Anyone out there?” the voice called.
Sabrina didn’t know what to do. Should she respond, or just keep quiet?
Suddenly, she heard a twig snap just a few feet away. She jumped up and screamed, taken by surprise by how close this person really was.
“Hey, it’s okay! I’m not going to hurt you,” the man reassured her.
She turned around to face the mysterious voice. “Who are you?” Sabrina inquired shakily.
“I’m the priest in the church just down this road a little way. Are you okay? I heard you yell, at least I’m assuming you were the one who yelled. Is that correct?”
After a little pause, she replied, “Yes, I’m okay. Thanks for checking. I better get going now, though. I don’t want to be late for school,” she said, trying to extract herself from the situation.
“Are you sure you’re okay, though? I’m here to help,” the priest said, after a little pause.
Sabrina hesitated. “Yeah, I’m sure, but thank you again.” He did seem really nice though. Should she open up to him? No, of course not! What am I thinking? He’s a complete stranger. My parents would be so mad if they found out.
“Well, it turns out,” the man said. “that this road is actually a shortcut to the school. I’m on my way to the church now. Would you like to walk with me, at least?”
Sabrina was very torn. What would my parents want me to do? She hoped they would approve of her answer. “Actually, that would be great, thank you.”
“Of course! I’m always happy to help anyone I can.” He said with a bright smile on his face. “The church is just a little way down here.”
“Okay, cool.” She liked his cheery attitude. She didn’t see a lot of that at home.
“So, you’re probably wondering who I am, right?”
“Just a little bit.” She said with a faint smile. A smile she hadn’t used in a long time.
“Thought so,” he said, with that same bright smile. “Well, my name is Luke Storm. Pleasure to meet you, miss?”
“Sabrina. Nice to meet you, too.”
“Sabrina, that’s a great name.”
“Thanks.” She said, all of a sudden, quite happy.
They walked for a bit in the late summer morning. Suddenly, a white cross appeared above the treeline.
“Ahh, here we are! Isn’t this church beautiful? I love it.”
“Wow. It’s so pretty,” Sabrina stated, awed by how truly amazing it looked with its new, bright cedar finish, and its colorful stained glass windows.
As she studied this masterpiece, she felt this compelling urge to go in, yet she had never been to church once in all her life.
“Are you okay there, Sabrina?” Luke asked.
“Y-yeah, of course. Sorry. Umm.. do you mind if we go in really fast, I’d love to see the inside, if that’s okay.”
“Absolutely,” he said, seeing the look on Sabrina’s face.
Once they were inside, Sabrina just stopped and gazed at the beauty all around her. She could not believe all that she had missed out on over the years.
“Well, here it is. Pretty incredible, right?”
Sabrina was too busy taking in everything to notice what Luke was saying. The elaborate crucifix behind the altar, the beautiful statues, the baptismal font; everything lovingly crafted and gleaming in the morning sunlight.
Luke noticed that the baptismal font had caught Sabrina’s eye. “We actually just baptized a baby girl yesterday during mass. It was quite an incredible experience.”
“That sounds nice,” she said, not sure exactly what else to say.
“Yeah. Have you been baptized, Sabrina?”
“I haven’t, sadly. I want to, though.” As soon as she admitted this, she felt a sense of relief. “I would like to become closer to my savior, Jesus Christ.”
“Well, have you told your parents how you feel?”
“No…” she said with a sigh.
“Well, I would like to invite you and your parents to mass on Sunday. That way we can talk about you getting baptized and becoming closer to the Lord. We also have a great youth group with several kids your age. Would that be of interest to you?”
“Really?! Yes, of course!” exclaimed Sabrina.
“Wonderful! You’ll be making new friends and getting to know Jesus in no time,” Luke said with a smile.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Sabrina yelled, giving the man a big hug. “Best birthday ever!”
And as she ran out of the bright church that fate led her to, on that special, September day, she felt the promise of brighter days to come.
What did you think? What is your favorite part of Madelyn’s story? Let me know in the comments!