Month 1~ Week 1~ Sunday
Cali hated it all she hated every fiber of every word of every page of every book of the Bible. It meant nothing to her, she wanted no part. Of course to the rest of her family this was "THE BOOK" But why? Why was it that way? Why did they blindly follow a book? She looked around her church. It was a typical Sunday and all was peaceful, or in other words (her words) boring. When things were like they are now they had nothing to them! Days are too easy, Cali wished that for once she could be like a girl in a book. A heroine, someone just plain awesome, but no Cali would never be that girl. She would always be the preaching man's daughter.
Being the daughter of the preacher she was required to do ALL the church activities, meaning mission trips. She hated missions trips. Its not like they even helped anyone. Plus she could NEVER talk her way out of it. Yest-day was the first day of summer which means that on Friday they leave for their yearly mission trip. Cali sank lower in her seat, her black hair becoming tangled with the fabric of the pew. She sighed when her father made a loud slapping sound by closing his Bible. He told the crowd to bow their heads and pray. Cali normally bowed her head and let her mind wander, but today she didn't. Why she should she? God doesn't listen to the sinners. No he just listens to the goody two shoes who brown nose him. Thats the way things work. The whole congregation said amen and the church was released. As soon as her father caught sight of Cali he made a straight arrow for her.
"I saw that you didn't bow your head when we prayed. Not that i wasn't, but anyway. Why is that?" Cali had a choice here. She could man up and tell the truth in front of the congregation or she could tell him later. There was also the option of not telling him at all. Her entire 15 years have been spent not telling him. Now was the time to get it out into the open. If the old hens knew, who cared?! Its not like she'd attend church after this conversation anyway. Cali took a deep breath and put on her biggest fake smile.
"Because, my one, my only father. I don't believe in your God any more." With that sentence Cali turned and left her father completely speechless. She was out of the church before her father could even begin to fathom her words.
She was crying, why was she crying? Why did this hurt so much? It was suppose to free her, make her happy. Cali kept walking unsure of her destination. The sidewalk is what she felt like. Constantly walked all over and ragged, but when someone finally pulls the weeds it just reveals the cracks. What would she do now. Her family would more than likely disown her and without the church she didn't really have friends.
"Its too pretty of a day to cry." Came a voice. It was from above her. Was it God? Was he already punishing her. Cali looked up, there was a boy in the tree.
"Shut up, I don't even know you!" Even the people she didn't know already disliked her.
"I can change that." the boy replied as he jumped down from the tree. He got his balance and held out his hand to Cali. She stared at him. Searching his green eyes for something, she didn't know what. Cali took the boy's hand without smiling.
His hand was cold and it sent chills down her arm. He smiled oddly too. It was a half crooked smile that when he laughed showed teeth. Who was this...friendly...person? Was he mocking because of her tears? Cali dropped cold hand and stared him in the eyes. Not fearing of his judgement. She took a deep breath and spoke, her voice not near as strong as she was hopping for.
"W-who are you?!" Why was her voice still shaking a bit? The boy did one of his odd smile and his eye lit up a bit. He annoyed Cali.
"I am Robin." With that statement in his simple looks Cali had to laugh. She NEEDED to laugh. Robin looked confused.
"Whats so funny?" Once Cali finally got a hold of herself she tried explain her thoughts.
"Your name is Robin and you were sitting in a tree. You just look so..." She was tiring to find a nice way to say simple, nothing came to mind.
Robin smiled and looked at her.
"like a simpleton? I know I'm plain, I get that a lot. I was curious though, why are you crying?" Cali's previous mood lift had evaporated. She looked at the side walk thinking of how it was like her, or she like it. Would she tell Robin, basically a stranger. COULD she even trust him? He didn't seem that...christian-y. Cali looked at him eyes wide and tear stained cheeks hesitant. Then words began spill form her mouth before she could stop them.
Cali's legs dangled aimlessly from the tree. It was a perfect kind of tree, big but not too many branches or leaves. from where she was sitting you had a perfect view of the sky. Have you ever noticed that? The sky is always perfect. Perfectly blue or perfectly gray. The sky was always reliable...She glanced at Robin he had his eyes closed, but not the sleeping kind of closed, the closed that meant you were thinking in a profound kind of way and needed to block out the word. Her tears had dried and she now head the level head to think. How would her parents react? How would she reply? Did even matter what she said? Again Cali glanced at Robin waiting for his reply. The church bell chimed meaning it was ten and church was done. She had been sitting here and hour. No more would Cali wait. In a rude sort of way she blurted
"Are you going to say anything?!"
Robin turned his head towards her and opened one eye. He gave a half hearted smile and jumped from the tree. He began to walk and for some reason this angered Cali. He was walking away after she told him part of her life's story?!
"Hey! Where are you going? You're not being very fair!" She sounded child like as she jumped from the tree. She stomped after him and caught up. She stood right behind him and spun Robin so he was facing her. Cali hadn't realized how close she had gotten till then but oh well for that. Robin smiled that awkward smile and leaned a little closer, Cali backed up a bit.
"To the tree of knowledge of course." Robin turned and kept walk. What was Robin talking about? Like the tree from the bible? This dude was loony! Despite her last thought Cali followed.
Cali looked around as she walked it was like an orchard filled with trees from a forest. They were lined up squarely like they were apple trees but then you looked closer and they turned out to big cedars and dog woods. Robin was leading her to the center of them. there stood a majestic dogwood in full bloom. They couldn't be that far from the church, this had to be someone's backyard. Robin climbed up a branch and held out his hand. Cali hesitated, she was becoming really unsure of her recent choices...Today was just filled with stupid things. Sitting in a tree with a stranger might be another one. She glanced back down the path. Who cared? Her parents would probably kill her anyway.
"Why did we have to come here?" Said Cali as she fixed herself on the branch, after adjusting her jeans (they were her nicest pair) she looked up. The two branches they were sitting on made it perfect for talking. Hers was almost straight out from the dog wood and RObin's was slightly lower and was a bit more twisted.
"The tree before was a tree for thinking, this tree is for sharing knowledge." He was just so serious Cali had to hold in a laugh but partially failed.
"Do you have a tree for everything?" She said trying to be serious. Robin hung his head a little and turned to where his backed leaned on the trunk of the winding dogwood.
"Yes, I do." His voice sounded a little sore which made Cali feel bad.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that its just..I've never actually talked to anyone like that before..Ya' know tell them things I had felt...." Robin closed his eyes and he began to slowly speak.
"My father planted this little forest, he loved nature....This is my favorite tree. Here we used to talk and laugh. You never had that eh? Then how about this." Robin straightened his back and opened one eye just like he did before. Cali was beginning to understand this was the look he had when and idea came to him.
"You and I will become the kind of friends that can do that."Robin said in his honest voice.
"Do what?" Cali said earnestly. She wasn't stupid, she was just slightly slower when it came to people, they were much harder to understand.
"Tell each other everything." Now Cali understood and this made her smile. She and Robin would be friends. She hadn't had any real friends besides the sunday school kids, they really didn't count. Cali held out her pinky and felt a bit sheepish.
"Promise you'll tell me everything?" Robin looked at her finger and the wrapped his pinky around her's.
Cali nodded and dropped her hand. She then became extremely serious.
"What should I do?" Robin closed his eye again and seemed to be contemplating his words.
"I know what you'll do." Then he began to divulge his grand plan and Cali hung on every word.
Cali stood at her doorway tears streaming down her face again. In her head she ran over the plan again and again. It was taking all she had to even think about entering. Finally she summed up enough courage to knock on the door. She heard her father's heavy steps and the door opened. He didn't hug her or cry tears of joy. He simply stared. Cali stood, wanting to be invited in, wanting her father to love her. He didn't say that she could come inn, he didn't hug her. He just stood. Fresh tears covered her cheeks.
"Don't call me that." His voice harsh and unfeeling.
"D-dad-" It was a whimpering sound...
"I said don't call me that. I am not your father, your are not my daughter." Cali's heart broke. Every fiber of her being ripped, she was beyond hurt. She backed up a few steps and didn't even think. She stared obliviously. One memory, on thing did play in her head. It was the day her dad...James took her to the park.
They played and laughed. Then worn out they laid on the grass. She looked at James...James....not dad, but James and asked a serious question.
"Do you love me?" Her honest five year old voice sounded hallow and empty at this moment.
"I do love you, I will always love no matter what." Doesn't he remember?! Doesn't he?!! Cali came back to the present and her voice came back to her.
"Daddy! Daddy don't you remember? Remember when you said no matter what? Daddy!" Her voice was ragged sobs. Cali was hugging herself, holding herself together. In reply her father just shut the door, leaving Cali in the drowning night.
Cali sat on her porch with what little energy she had and slowly after what seemed like hours she began to able to think.
"I can't go to Robin, he is at home, with his family..." The words were like swords that had been held over a fire that stabbed into her. Somehow though, Cali managed.
"I could runaway, I wouldn't get far. I have nothing. Maybe I could sneak in the house and get supplies. The family would be asleep by now. Its ten, so yeah everyone should be in bed..." Cali stood quietly as she could and with new resolution in her heart began to make a mental list.
"I hear Montana is taking runaway girls..." Cali swiftly turned to see her mother. Instinctively she backed up, fear the same words her father had said would come from her mother's mouth.
"Cali come and sit by me." Her mother walked to the edge and sat where Cali has been. Hesitating she took a seat next to her mother. Cali felt like a statue, stiffer than granite. What was going to happen. Then something odd happened. Her mother put her arm around her shoulders. This may not be odd to most people, but Cali's family was not a touchy feel-y kind of family. So when her mother touched her Cali winced just a little.
"W-won't dad-...I mean James be upset with you?" HEr voice cracked at every word and her throat seared from all the sobbing she had done.
"Honey I don't care what your father thinks of me now, but I'm your mother and I love you." After that statement Cali began to cry again, she and her mother had never been that close, she was a daddy's girl. Cali wrapped her arms around her mother's petite figure and held on for dear life. She never wanted to let go. She feel asleep holding on to her mother...