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"You needn't get so excited," replied Kendra, "I was only joking!"

"Only 'fools make a mock at sin,'" quoted Charlie.

Choosing to pass over that last remark, Kendra continued, for the real reason she stopped Charlie was because she wanted some information.

"So, where have you been?" exclaimed Kendra, linking arms with Charlie.

"I accidentally slept in," explained Charlie.

"I didn't mean this morning, silly! I was talking about the weekend!" laughed Kendra. "You missed two days of school! Is it true you went to North Carolina?"

"Where did you hear that?" asked Charlie, surprised that her classmate already knew.

"Oh, simply everyone is talking about it," informed Kendra. "When my Mom heard it, she said it was utterly indecent!"

"It isn't either!" rejoined Charlie, pulling her arm free from Kendra. "Adam and I love each other! How many times do I have to tell people that, before they'll believe me!"

Almost as soon as Charlie said the words, she was sorry she had opened her mouth. Kendra's eyes grew as wide as saucers. Her Mom had made that remark in reference to Charlie's missing school. This was the first she had ever heard about Adam!

"CHARLIE!?" exclaimed Kendra, soon flooding Charlie with a torrent of questions. "You and Adam? Does your Grandma know? How long has this been going on? Does Adam really love you? Have you two had sex?"

"Get your mind out of the gutter," scolded Charlie, reproaching herself for letting out the news sooner than she had wanted to. She had hoped to first tell Maggie, but it was too late to turn back, now. The breakneck speed at which gossip traveled in Twin Yucca was alarming. Charlie knew she had to tell the truth, or the gossip would become even worse. "We're not married, so no, we haven't had sex," she explained. "Yes, Grandma knows about us, and yes, she approves. Since you now know this much, you might as well hear the rest: Adam and I are engaged to be married next summer."

Kendra looked as though she would burst with the news.

"Wait until everyone hears about this!!" she cried, running to her friends and blurting everything she had just heard.

"Oh, well," sighed Charlie, walking to class. "They were going to find out when the Christmas special aired, anyway."

The hardships of the day were not over yet. Halfway through her second class, Charlie was unexpectedly summoned to the principal's office.

"A student has been spreading a story," began Principal Strickland, "that you and Adam Clark are engaged to be married. Before I send that student to detention for telling a falsehood, I want you to deny the accusation."

Charlie hesitated.

"Well?" pressed Principal Strickland.

"It's true," answered Charlie.

The principal's face grew angry.

"It's a sin to tell a lie!" he rebuked her. "It looks as though I have two liars to discipline!"

"Call my grandmother, and she'll verify it," replied Charlie.

Disturbed to see how far this student was going to defend a lie, Principal Strickland wrinkled his brow and promptly called Vera. From the shocked look on his face, Charlie could see that he was finally believing the truth.

"I see," he said, hanging up the receiver. "You may return to class now, Charlie."

Thinking the issue had been dropped, Charlie did as she was told. For the rest of the day, the other students pointed, whispered, and stared at Charlie. During lunch, one girl who Charlie knew was not a professing Christian, approached her and said,

"Congratulations on your coming marriage, Charlie."
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