CHAPTER 1 – DARING TO HOPE

It was a warm and sunny day in May, as Rachel headed off to work once again.  The birds chirped and fluttered about, and they seemed to be filled with a joy that tried to permeate her hardened heart.  Rachel glanced angrily at them as she passed by, wanting the world around her to be silent to reflect the numbness she felt inside her broken heart.  “Why can’t there be a guy who will treat me with respect and like me for who I am,”  was her heart’s cry.

It was nearly lunchtime at the Rainbow Cafe’ where she worked, and her regular customers would soon be coming in to place their orders that she always tried to have ready for them.  Even though she didn’t know them each by name, she always remembered what they wanted.  There was the little Italian man, who always happily greeted her by saying,  “Hi, dolly dolly!”  He always wanted a double cheeseburger, fried, and a cola.  There was the handsome truck driver who always had time for a quick,  “Hi,” and a warm smile; He always wanted two hamburgers, fries, and a vanilla shake, and then he was off on his route again, to deliver his customers their packages.  There was the young man with curly red hair, who spoke slowly, trying not to stutter but always did.  She would patiently wait as he gave his order, no matter how busy it became in the cafe’.  Her heart went out to him, knowing he probably wasn’t always treated so nicely, because of his speech impediment.  His order was usually different each time he came in, so she had to listen very carefully so she could figure out what he was trying to say.  Rachel would always repeat it back to him, just to make sure she got it right to avoid embarrassing him.  By the look on his face, she could tell he appreciated the kindness that she tried to show him, and he thanked her and smiled warmly at her when he paid.  And as she gave him his order, she thanked him with a smile in return.

As the afternoon rush was coming to an end, in walked two young men whom she hadn’t seen before.  One was Italian in appearance; dark skin, curly brown hair, brown eyes, and a dimple that made him more cute than handsome.  “Hey sweetheart, how are you doing?”  he said to Rachel.  She knew his type too well, and didn’t let his charming looks and words grab a hold of her emotions as she took his order.

The other young man looked a few years older.  He had dark brown hair and blue eyes that were made even more so, by the blue tinted glasses that he wore.  He was very good looking, and seemed more of the silent type, and she was drawn to him.  He wanted a hamburger with no onions, fries, and a cola.  When his order was ready, she assured him it was made just as he wanted.  He thanked her and both men sat down to eat their lunch.

Moments later, the young man with the blue tinted glasses walked over to the counter, and with concern in her voice, Rachel said,  “I’m sorry.  Did you find some onions on your burger??”  He smiled and laughed a little, and said,  “No.  I’m on spring break, and I was wondering if I could have your address so I could write to you.”  There was something in his eyes that made her feel he was different, so she gave it to him, and he gave her his address.  He smiled and said,  “Oh, by the way.  My name is David.”  “I’m Rachel,”  she said with a shy smile.  He quickly said,  ‘good bye,’ and both of the young men went out to their car.  She watched David as he drove away, seeing him glance back into the cafe’ with a smile brightening his face.  “Maybe he’s different,” Rachel said in her mind, trying to assure herself.

That weekend, with pen and paper in hand, Rachel sat out on her family’s deck, and as the wind gently blew through her long blond hair, she reflected upon the day that David walked into the Rainbow Cafe.’  She remembered seeing he had a dimple when he came over to the counter to give her his address.  She hadn’t noticed it the first time she saw him.  Maybe because he didn’t really smile very much, or maybe it was because she was more focused on his blue eyes.

As Rachel twirled a strand of hair around her finger that the wind had blown into her face, she paused and wondered,  “What do you write to someone that you don’t even know?”  She began by saying she hoped he was doing well, and how nice it was to have met him the day he came into the cafe.’  Then she began to tell him about her family, and that she is the second oldest of six.  She told him about school, saying she would be a senior next year at St. Mary of the Roses High School For Girls.  She shared stories with him about things that had happened that she thought David might find interesting.  Rachel ended it by saying,  “Take care, and I hope one day I’ll see you again.”  Rachel sealed the envelope, laid it on the counter in the kitchen, and asked her dad if he could please mail it for her on the way to work in the morning.  “Sure, honey.  I’ll be glad to,”  he replied. 

A week later, with the thought of having only one more week of school left until summer vacation began, Rachel came home from school filled with excitement.  Her mom greeted her warmly at the door, and with an envelope in her hand and a song in her voice, she said,  “You have a letter.”  Rachel gave her mom a quick kiss on the cheek, and said,  “Thanks, mom!”  As she grabbed the envelope she ran to her room, tearing opened the envelope as she ran.  She flung herself on her bed and began to read David’s letter.  “I received your letter today and I was elated to hear from you!”  Rachel was intimidated by his use of $10.00 words, when her only focus for the last three years was the guys she met at the high school dances she went to.  The A’s and B’s she was used to receiving on her report card in grammar school, had now become ‘history,’ because now she received mostly C’s and a couple of D’s.  One time when she actually studied for a Biology test she got a B, but mainly for the past three years her mind was on everything but school.

Rachel continued reading David’s letter…”I will be coming back home the first weekend in July, for my brother’s wedding, and would really like to see you, if you don’t have any other plans.”  Rachel didn’t have to check her social calendar; besides hanging out with her friends, she knew she didn’t have any major plans.  David asked for her phone number, and said he would call her when he got back home.

He also mentioned in his letter that he would be 21 in January, and that made Rachel feel slightly frightened; she would only be 17 in August.  She wondered how many girlfriends he had in his past, and if he had treated them with respect.  She pushed those thoughts aside for the moment, and reflected upon her wardrobe that was lacking style to say the least!  “Pay day is coming, and so is a day of shopping for a few new outfits,”  Rachel realized.

Finally school was out, and the time passed quickly with Rachel working four days a week.  Rachel received more letters from David, and she in turn, would write one back.  Soon it was July and the long awaited day was here.  The phone rang, and when she heard her mom’s voice with that familiar song to it say,  “Rachel, you have a phone call,”  she knew it was David.  With excitement, her feet raced down the stairs, and her heart joined in the race, as it began to beat wildly with anticipation.  Eagerly she said,  “Hello?”  “Hi, Rachel, it’s David.”  With a big smile on her face that put joy in her voice, she said,  “Hi David!  How are you?”  He said he was fine, and asked how she was doing, and then asked her,  “Would you like to go to the new amusement park, ‘Thrills and Chills’?  “Sure!  I’d love to!”  He asked for directions to her house and said he’d pick her up at 6:00p.m.  They talked for a little longer, and then David ended their conversation by saying,  “Okay, I’ll look forward to seeing you soon.”  Rachel replied,  “I’m looking forward to seeing you too!”  Rachel had already decided on wearing the brown peasant top and brown pants that she just bought.  She knew she looked good in brown, and Rachel wanted to look her best, so she’d feel more confident and less nervous when she was with David.  Rachel hurried off to get ready, so she would be finished and able to greet David when he got  to her house.

David arrived promptly at 6:00p.m., and was dressed nicely in a dark blue shirt and jeans.  She introduced him to her family, and had already warned her 10 and 8 year old brothers, Matt and Mark, not to say anything they’d live to regret.  When her little 6 year old sister Molly saw David, she giggled and quietly said,  “He’s cute!”  Matt and Mark laughed and ran outside to play baseball.

Soon David and Rachel were on their way to the amusement park.  There was no awkward silence during their drive; the letters they had written to each other over the past month made them feel as if they had known each other for a long time.  They walked, and talked, and laughed during their evening together, and when they were on the ferris wheel at the highest point, he kissed her for the first time.  Even though it was the 4th of July weekend, and in the sky right above them there was a colorful display in evidence of that, she was sure there were fireworks going off in her heart as well.

Copyright©2011 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved.

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A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIFE OF LIVING4HISGLORY – INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE

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