Brooke leaned forward, taking care to avoid the eye of Mrs. Stephenson, her algebra teacher. “Rachel,” she whispered. “Hey!”
Rachel shook herself awake. “Huh? What?”
“You’re about to fall asleep.”
“Thanks. Man, math is sooo boring.”
Brooke moved closer and pretended to study her algebra book. “Do you see the new guy up front?” she asked in a low voice. “I bet you my new pair of Lucky jeans he’s a vampire.”
Rachel snorted. “You have seen Twilight way too many times.”
“You can never see Twilight too many times. Besides, just look at him.”
Rachel peered around the 9th grader in front of her. “Yeah, I’d go out with him, “ she said, yawning. “He’s hot, but he’s not a vampire. They don’t exist.”
“Of course they do. Look, he’s pale and quiet, and he’s doing that thing. What do they call it? Oh yeah, brooding.”
“Right, he’s a member of the undead. Or he’s pale because he’s been living in England for the last few years where his dad was a missionary. And he’s quiet and brooding because he’s been homeschooled since birth, speaks five languages, and is ahead of this class by about three grades.”
Brooke frowned. “So basically he’s a homeschooled, Christian freak? Great.”
“You’re disappointed he’s not a vampire? You are weird.”
“Class,” Mrs. Stephenson droned from the front. “I’m going to the office for a moment. Please review page 118.”
Rachel, Brooke and most of the class stopped all pretense of studying once Mrs. Stephenson cleared the door.
“I’m not weird, I’m completely normal,” Brooke said, moving to sit on top of Rachel’s desk. “Books and movies about vampires have grossed billions of dollars over the last few years, dollars paid primarily by teenagers like me. Nobody ever camped out overnight to see a Christian movie.”
“So, what you’re saying,” Rachel said, “is that Christian’s are freaks and vampires are cool?”
“That’s insane. Actually, a Christian is a lot like a vampire only without the gross factor.”
“Seriously, think about it. A vampire has special powers like superior strength and reading minds, and Christians go around healing people and casting out demons.”
Brooke rolled her eyes. “Technically, they’re not the ones doing the healing; they’re only a conduit to the good stuff.”
Rachel paused. “Okay, but vampires act like it’s some big deal that they’re immortal, yet one wooden stake in the heart and they’re goners. Christians are raised from the dead, get to hang in heaven, and don’t have to worry about being seen in bright sunlight.”
Brooke glanced at the new student again. “What’s his name? Something stupid I bet, like Emmanuel or Jedediah?”
“Whatever. I still think vampires are cooler.”
“Hello? They suck blood.” Rachel shivered. “That’s disgusting. Christians run around talking about blood too, ‘blood of the lamb’, ‘saved by the blood’, but they don’t suck it from people.”
Brooke frowned. “I admit that seeing some guy slurping blood would be gross. What about werewolves? They don’t suck blood; they just change into large, furry creatures. I could live with that, and it’s way cooler than sitting in church all day chanting Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”
“Yeah, that’s what we do at my church, night and day, just chanting. Are you ever going to give church a chance?”
“I went once. It was so bad it made algebra look exciting.”
Rachel laid her head on her desk. “You were what, five? Christian boys are much better than werewolves. They change too, into new creatures. It’s the same, only without the excess body hair.”
“I keep telling you to come with me one Sunday. The bible is pretty cool when you think about it. The whole Jacob, Rachel and Leah thing is way better than Twilight’s Bella, vampire/werewolf triangle. And true.”
“He is kinda dreamy,” Brooke sighed.
“David, the Missionary Boy.”
“He is.” Rachel smirked. “And no oversized incisors to worry about.”
Mrs. Stephenson returned and Brooke scrambled to sit down.
“Okay,” she whispered. “I have to meet him. Should I go with the lost homework approach or orchestrate some lab partnership scenario?”
“Those might work. Or you could just come to church with me Sunday. He’s been coming for the last two weeks.”
Brooke stared. “You’ve been holding out on me? If you weren’t my BFF, I’d never speak to you again.”
“So, the early service or late?”
“I’m flexible,” Brooke said. “Whichever Missionary Boy attends will be fine.”
Rachel grinned. “Christians 1, Vampires 0.”
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