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"Our parents send us here for mainly three reasons: firstly, because we are already saved, and they want to encourage our faith; secondly, if we aren't saved, they're hoping we will become saved; or thirdly, because Galilee has such good academics. You don't have to feel awkward, Charlie. I'm not saved, either," Kendra informed her.

"You're not?" asked Charlie.

"My Mom said she was baptized when she was eighteen, so I figure I'll do it then."

"Kendra, is Scottie Zimmerman a Christian?"

"I think so. Oh, here's my ride! See you Monday, Charlie!" called out Kendra as she and Jenna climbed into their mother's car.

The teenager was confused. How could this be? How could a Christian do something that was against their own faith?

Resigning herself to an unanswered question, Charlie looked about the parking lot to see who was still left. To her surprise, the only other person left was Chad Garner, who seemed to be deeply engrossed with a lizard he had trapped between his hands.

"Hi, Chad," called out Charlie, not wanting to wait by herself. She had been waiting in the dusty parking lot for over half an hour, and no one had come for her.

"Heya!" cried Chad, setting his small prisoner free. "I didn't know you went to Galilee!" Charlie walked over to where the nine-year old stood.

"I started, just today," explained Charlie.

"Oh," replied Chad. "Is your Dad coming for you?"

"Daddy doesn't drive, anymore," replied Charlie.

"You mean ever since he got sick?" asked Chad. Charlie nodded. She was glad the Hanna twins weren't around to hear her talk about Chuck. If they were repulsed by 'Mad' Maggie, how would they treat her father?

"You know what?" asked Chad.


"On hot nights, sometimes Uncle Adam takes me down to Dairy Cream and we get two hot fudge sundaes, and we just sit around and talk. Do you and your Dad ever do that?" asked Chad.

"Once, when I was twelve, Daddy bought some fried chicken at a drive through, and we went to the airport. We ate chicken and watched the airplanes take off and land. Sometimes, we'd guess where they were going, or where they had just come from. That night was special," remembered Charlie.

"It's nice to have someone like that, isn't it?" observed Chad.

"Yes, it is," replied Charlie. Suddenly, Chad noticed a cloud of dirt in the distance. "Someone's coming," he announced, shielding his eyes from the hot desert sun to get a better look.

"Who is it?" asked Charlie, hoping it was Uncle Jerome's car.

"It's our van," replied Chad, picking up his backpack.

The old white Clark Plumbing Service and Supply van pulled up to where Chad and Charlie stood.

"Hi, Mike," greeted Chad, opening the passenger door and climbing inside. Just then, Chad remembered his friend. "Want to ride with us?" he asked, turning to Charlie. Charlie looked around. There wasn't a living soul left.

"Thanks," accepted Charlie, getting in beside Chad. "I guess something's holding up my ride."

"We're glad to have you," smiled Mike, pulling out of the parking lot. "Well, kiddo, how'd school go, today?"

"I got a B on my history quiz, and Mr. Hatcher didn't give me any homework, so I guess it went O.K.," Chad replied.

"And how'd your day go, Charlie?" asked Mike, pleasantly.

"Fine," replied Charlie.
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