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 First Chapter of my first novel... yet to be named

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APPRENTICE (6-25 posts)
APPRENTICE (6-25 posts)

Posts : 16
Join date : 2015-08-09

PostSubject: First Chapter of my first novel... yet to be named   Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:14 am

The first chapter of my first novel... still in progress and yet to be named.

Written by Kim S. Holdiman

Chapter 1
Katie walked through the door, gave her mother a kiss on the cheek and hurried off to her room. After tossing her backpack onto her bed and shrugging out of her jacket, she hurriedly pulled out her laptop, opened it up, and pushed the button to bring it to life. As soon as the screen came up her fingers lit across the keyboard, her eyes glued to the screen as she nervously chewed on her bottom lip.
          “Katie, do you want a snack?” she heard her mom ask.
          “No thanks Mom, I’m good” she replied without ever taking her eyes off of the screen.
          She suddenly heard a stifled giggle from her doorway as her mom turned to go back downstairs. Katie smiled to herself as she thought about how intense she probably looked to her mom. She couldn’t help it. There was something so special about Jeff that made her turn into a giddy school girl and her heart fluttered at the thought of seeing his face or hearing his voice.
          It’s crazy really. Never in a million years did she think she would find love through an online dating site. She’d done it more as a dare than anything else. She was about to shut down her account when Jeff’s profile came through. He’d almost seemed too perfect. He was so handsome, and those eyes… ah yes those eyes! But it was so much more than his looks. He was looking for a Christian woman who didn’t just go to church, but was truly in a relationship with Christ and who loved to serve. He was one of the youth leaders in his church and seemed to thrive off of helping them. He loved kids and family and wanted to have both someday. He enjoyed going out, but also loved to just hang out at home too. He was funny and caring. He even laughed at her goofy jokes! He seemed to be the perfect match for Katie.
          Could it be too ridiculous to believe?! Could he be too good to be true? It’s not like she’d dated a lot. Maybe she just wanted to fall in love with a Christian guy so bad that the first one to come along she let herself fall head over heels for without really knowing him. They’d been talking for a couple of months between emails, phone calls, and now video chats. He seemed to be who he presented himself as. He had only come to know Christ a couple of years before, but seemed to be so totally committed to Him. The passion in his voice when he spoke of Him left no doubt when they were talking.
          As she sat there questioning and doubting her feelings and his honesty, his face suddenly popped up on her screen and all doubts washed away. Those incredible green eyes shining back at her, his lopsided grin, that little misbehaving curl she wanted to brush back with her fingers. No doubts left, she was falling, and she was falling hard!
          Jeff had just finished working a long shift trying to figure out a bug on the software program he was developing. Maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to figure out if he wasn’t so completely distracted by one amazing, beautiful woman over half way across the country. He knew he would get to talk to her when his shift was over and it seemed to be all he could think about. Her smile, the sparkle in her eye, how she chewed on her bottom lip when she was nervous or feeling shy, the way her gentle voice soothed every part of him, yes, she was all he could think about.
          Who would have thought he would find love on a dating site? He had joined with hopes of finding a different kind of woman than he had ever dated before. And he didn’t want to find someone to date, he wanted to find someone to court and eventually marry. He was looking for “the one” God intended for him. He was looking for his missing rib.
          Funny, he’d never had any issues finding girls to date in the past. He still had many to choose from if he had wanted someone that wanted him for his looks. But something changed a couple of years ago. He had always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy, doing whatever felt good in the moment, never worrying about the future or who he might hurt along the way.
          Life growing up had been hard and he didn’t really care much about anyone, including himself, by the time he was a teenager, because nobody had much cared about him. His parents had been killed in a car accident when he was only 5. He barely remembered them. Once in a while he thought he remembered laughter, but he never trusted that memory because there was a little girl in the memory. She was around 2 and he knew there were just him and his parents. Anyway, years of foster home after foster home, floating in and out of other people’s families, yet never having one to call his own left him feeling angry, bitter, and empty. Then on his 18th birthday, there he was, completely on his own. Happy Birthday kid, now go sleep on the street! He spent so much time angry and depressed, drinking, partying, and inside the little boy in his memories crying for his Mommy and Daddy. There was a huge void, like a big black hole that could never be filled.
          Eventually he got a job, but he had done as well with jobs as he’d done with foster homes. He was never at the same one for more than about 6 months. Working during the day, partying at night, that was his life. No purpose, no love, no hope. This went on for 6 years.
Then one day, someone from his past and a little girl, changed his life forever! He ran into an old friend of his from high school. Randy had been much like Jeff. They had spent many nights and weekends partying and doing crazy, stupid pranks and daredevil moves. Taking random girls to their beds and never caring about their feelings. However, when he saw Randy again, he was a very different man. When Jeff asked him why he was so serious and what happened to the wild Randy he knew in high school. Randy told him a story that would forever change him.
          Randy had been out partying until the wee hours of the morning, drinking far more than any human should consume. At some point he passed out. He didn’t remember a good share of the night, yet somehow felt he was okay to drive when he woke up. So he hopped on his motorcycle and started down the street. Everything seemed to be okay, although he was having trouble focusing on the road ahead or anything happening around him. To this day he’s not sure what happened, but he lost control of his bike and went into a high speed skid. By the time he saw her, he was flying through the white picket fence in front of the perfectly manicured yard, headed right for her. He remembered he was screaming, or was that her screaming, maybe it was a both.  Once he and the bike stopped, all he could see was blood, all he could hear were screams and crying and eventually sirens. It was all a blur at that point.
          The next thing he knew he woke up in the hospital with a broken leg and several scrapes, bruises, and burns… oh and handcuffed to the bed. He kept asking about the girl, but nobody was telling him anything. He was overwhelmed with guilt. He’d never been much into believing in God, but as he lay in that bed he prayed. He didn’t pray for himself, but for the little girl he had hit. Finally, he did find out she was alive, but hurt badly. Tears streamed down his face, tears of relief that she had survived, and tears of heartache for the pain he had caused.
He told his court appointed attorney that he wanted to plead guilty to DUI and vehicular assault. He did and eventually ended up spending time behind bars. However, before they took him from the hospital, he did ask if he could see the little girl to say how sorry he was. Her parents had said no, but the girl wanted to see him, so they finally allowed him to come.
          When the day came, and it was the day he would be released from the hospital and taken into custody, he was so nervous, more than he’d been ever in his life. He had asked one of the nurses to buy a teddy bear from the gift shop and had brought it with him for her. He kept taking deep breaths all the way there, just to calm his nerves enough to be able to say he was sorry and that he never wanted to drink again. He finally arrived at her hospital room and reached a shaky hand to open the door unsure of what he would see when he opened it.
          He never could have imagined what was behind that door. As the door slowly opened, Randy saw light begin to flow through. He heard music and laughter, not at all what he expected. He took a step back and checked the room number, thinking perhaps he had the wrong room? Then he heard the sound of a sweet little girl say, “Mr. Kitchner? Is that you?”
          He opened the door farther and informed her he was Mr. Kitchner, but she could call him Randy. She then introduced herself as Faith. Randy then shared with Jeff what he saw in her room that day. 
          The room was full of colors and light, like a rainbow only more vibrant. Music played softly in the background, soft, beautiful music as if the angels themselves were playing it. There was warmth there that could wrap you up like a gentle hug. As crazy as it sounds, it’s all true. But even more amazing, Faith, a blond haired, blue eyed 5 year old, had burns across much of her face and arms, both of her legs had been amputated, one of her arms was broken, yet her smile was bigger than the room could hold!
          Randy wiped tears from his eyes as he thought of the physical pain he had caused that child. He couldn’t even speak for the swell of tears that were caught in his throat. How could he have been so selfish and careless? He had trouble swallowing past that lump of heartache, but he slowly went to her. He started to take her hand, but was afraid to touch her for fear of causing her more pain. He leaned down in front of her and with a single trembling hand, he just reached out toward her and she smiled encouragingly up into his eyes. Through a stifled sob, he told her how sorry he was, as tears were freely streaming down his face.
          He then told Jeff this, “As God is my witness, that sweet child wiped away my tears and told me she forgave me and that if I was really sorry, then God forgave me too. She told me God wanted to live inside my heart so He could help me do better from that point on and to help me as I live behind bars. She said I only needed to tell Him I was sorry, to say I believe in Him and invite Him into my heart. And I dropped to my knees and did just that, right there on the hospital room floor. Can you imagine, here I’ve hurt this little one so badly, yet she leads me to make the biggest and best decision of my life! It’s now been about 2 years that I’ve been living my life for Christ!”
          The story was so compelling, Jeff found himself going to church with Randy that next Sunday, as well as going on a visit to a little girl named Faith.
Her name fits her so well. All that she’s been through, all the pain and still covered with scars and missing both legs, yet this beautiful child carries a faith beyond anything Jeff had ever seen. At only 7 years-old, she knew God loved her and knew He had a purpose for her. She didn’t let what had happened to her slow her down. She used it to reach others and share God’s love with them. She shared it with Jeff that day.
Somehow she could sense what he had been through in his life. She told him that even though he’d experienced loss and he might not have had the family he wished for, he did have a Father who loved him beyond anything he could imagine. She then shared with him about the unconditional love of the Father. All this time he thought nobody loved him, now this little child who had suffered such pain was telling him that he had always been loved. It was overwhelming. He could see something in her eyes that told him it was true.
He knelt before her and asked her to show him how to have that kind of love. She smiled and prayed with him as he invited Jesus into his heart. He was never the same afterward. He became a new man that day and never looked back on the old one, except to praise God for what He had done in him! He went into a treatment program to help him stop drinking and when he finished the program, they placed him in a paid intern program to teach him computer programming and software design. He had become the top software program developer at his company and made a comfortable living.
          He walked into his apartment, turned on the computer and signed into his account and saw her beautiful face light up the screen. All was right in his world! “Hi beautiful,” Jeff smiled at the image on his monitor. “How was your day today?”
          Katie smiled back and gently chewed at the right side of her bottom lip, an old habit when she was nervous or feeling a bit shy. As she realized she was doing it, she thought about whether she was nervous and knew she was, but not in a bad way. She was nervous in a “butterflies in your belly” kind of way.
          “It was a great day and even better now that I get to see you!” she told him. “The kids were as adorable as always. Mikey was even cuter than usual today. He lost one of his front teeth and you should see that smile of his! So stinkin’ cute! He came up to me and looked at me with those big brown eyes of his and said, ‘Teather Kathie, look, I loth my tooth lath nighth! The tooth faiwy gave me a dolla!’ I just want to bring him home with me!” Katie shared.
          “I have a feeling his parents might have an issue with that.” He laughed. “They probably think he’s pretty cute too.” Jeff replied with a little chuckle. “He does sound pretty adorable.” He added. He thought about what it would be like to parent children with her and what their kids would look like. He had no doubt she’s be a great mom. He sometimes feared his childhood and lack of parenting might make him not be a good dad. He knew he would have to face those fears before he could ever plan a life with Katie.
          “As much as I love those little munchkins, I couldn’t wait to get back here so I could talk to you! I can’t believe how quickly you’ve become such a big part of my life.” She opened up to him. “It sometimes scares me a little.” She admitted.
          “I know what you mean. I feel the same way. Not that my computers have quite the same draw on my heart as your little ones do on yours, but you certainly pull on my heartstrings! As much as I’d hoped for, prayed for someone like you to come into my life, I’m not sure I thought I would ever find someone who would get me the way you do and have such a love for Christ at the same time.” Jeff said around a lump of emotion that seemed to be stuck in his throat. “I have thanked God for you every day since your profile came through. I also understand being a little afraid. I think we just need to trust God to guide us through this.”
          “Well, He’s done well so far! How awesome is it that everything just worked perfectly in His timing that we connected right as I was going to pull my profile off, and there you were, everything I was looking for. You know I almost didn’t respond though. You were too good to be true, I debated for quite some time before I decided to take a chance.” She told him. “The only real issue we’ve found is the nearly 1300 miles away from me you are.” She said with sadness in her voice.
“I know, but it’s an obstacle that can be overcome if we both want it to happen. I’ve been thinking a lot lately that it’s about time we meet so I can wrap my arms around you and give you a nice big hug.” He said.
          “I want that too, but then what? We both have lives where we are, jobs, family, friends, homes. I don’t want us to meet and then that’s it. I want to meet when we have a chance at making this work in the long run. Anything less than that, like meeting, then walking away would be too hard.” She said as she wiped a rebellious tear away that had escaped.
          It was breaking his heart watching her in pain. He wanted to be there to hold her and wipe her tears away. He had never really thought about moving so far away before, not that he had family to stop him. He did enjoy his job, and had some great friends. He had the condo, but if it didn’t sell right away he had friends that would jump at the chance to rent it, so that wouldn’t be an issue. He was good enough at his job; he could probably get something similar just about anywhere in the country. He made a good income and spent little of it, other than tithe and the various charities he gave to so he had a good amount tucked away. As for his friends, well they would always be his friends no matter where he lived. The big questions in his mind now, was he willing to change his entire life for a woman he had only seen on a computer screen?
          “I hear what you’re saying and you’re right, maybe we need to spend more time here, getting to know each other more before we jump ahead. Allow God to set the pace for us. I’m so sorry if you felt I was rushing you. I just feel so close to you already.” He replied to her.
          “I think for now that’s for the best. We shouldn’t rush in too fast. As much as I care for you, I don’t know if I can see myself moving so far from my family.” She said sadly. “I’m going to spend time in prayer about it and let God help me figure out when I’m ready.” She added.
          He reached his hand toward the computer screen to wipe away the sadness in her eyes. He changed the subject back to her classroom and she brightened up as she told him more stories of kids playing silly games and laughing. Before they knew it they were both back to laughing again.
          He loved her laugh! The way she crinkled her nose and her eyes have a little glint of a sparkle that can’t be missed. A wisp of her strawberry curls fell in front of her face and he desperately wanted to brush it away. Again he reached toward the monitor as if he could actually touch her… oh how he wished he could. They smiled sadly at each other, both wanting more.
          Katie heard her mom call from the other room, “Katie, dinner’s ready!”
          “I can’t believe we’ve been talking an hour already!” Katie said. “I have to go and eat so I can get to the church to help set up for worship practice.” She said sadly. “I hate saying goodbye!”
          “So do I,” he replied, “but it’s important you be there. I love that you’re so involved in your church and community.” He smiled proudly at her. “Call me when you get home tonight. I want to hear your voice one more time before I fall asleep.”
          She smiled and blushed a little. “I will, but it might be late your time.”
          “I don’t care how late it is; call me, even if it’s just a good night.”
          “Ok, I will. I’ll talk to you later then. I gotta get going.” She smiled sadly.
          “I’ll talk to you in a few hours.” He smiled back, touching his fingers to his lips and then reaching them to her image on the screen. She did the same just before they both logged off.
          After her face disappeared from his screen, he just sat there staring for a few moments, missing her. Then he dropped his head and prayed, “Lord, I thank You so much for bringing this amazing woman into my life! Katie is everything I want in a wife! I feel like this is the woman You have chosen for me. The only issue is the distance. I know that it can be overcome and I’m ready to go to her. I believe You are giving me that peace because she is the woman You have placed in my path at this time, when I’m finally ready for her. Lord, I just ask that You give her that same kind of peace to know that we are meant to be husband and wife by Your design. I praise Your Holy name! Amen!
          Jeff slid his chair back from his small desk and glanced around the apartment he’d called home for the past few years. It wasn’t much, a little one bedroom, but it contained many memories. His eyes swept over the small grey leather couch with duct tape over a tear in the top right corner he’d found at a yard sale because he couldn’t afford anything else. It had turned out to be incredibly comfortable and he just couldn’t part with it. Then he glanced down at the beige “fuzzy rug” as his buddies call it. That he got on clearance at a discount store. He loved to take his shoes off at the end of the day and feel the softness of it caressing the souls of his feet, but he would deny that if anyone asked.
          One of his favorite down time places was in front of his 52” big screen TV, the first big purchase he’d made when he started making the “big bucks” or at least the most money he’d ever seen in his life. It was always a fun time when the guys would come over and watch the football games on it. He would miss those times. But he’d make new friends to watch the games with.
          He walked into the kitchen to start dinner. He loved to cook and what fun it would be to cook with Katie! He hated cooking and eating alone. He pulled out a chicken breast, an array of different colored peppers, an onion, some mushrooms, and a handful of pea pods. He began to slice and chop. After a short time he added a bit of olive oil to his stir fry pan and once it was sizzling, threw in the sliced chicken, tossing it until it was browned, then adding the veggies. It wasn’t long before diner was on the table with a large glass of ice-cold milk. His buddies gave him a hard time because he always put an ice cube in his milk. He only liked milk icy cold and that was the only way to keep it that way.
          As he went to sit down in his small alcove dining room, he again glanced around. He first thought of the memories of times past. There were the many members of the youth group who had come over for dinner and game night, or who just needed to talk things out. There were leadership dinners and prayer groups. Friends coming to just hang out. Bad double date set ups. Then there were many nights just like this one, sitting here eating dinner alone. Then he thought of what it would be like if he and Katie were married, no more lonely nights, they would eat together, they would serve in the church together, they would have people over to their home together. Yes, he was ready to move to where she was to make this happen. Now to convince her that this was God’s plan… or rather wait while God showed her that this is His plan.
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First Chapter of my first novel... yet to be named
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