Kaitlyn hated the rumors. She knew they were always about her. Too many people thought she tried too hard to fit in, she was determined to do well in school, take the test, and allow her future decided for her by a computer somewhere. And she hated it. She wanted some say in what she did. Just like her father told her to do once upon a time ago.
She chewed on her lip as she pressed through to her next class, trying to ignore the whispers and the eyes following her. Something was going to give today, it had to. Rhonda squeezed next to her through the crowd and whispered, "I got a new story about your dad."
Kaitlyn rolled her eyes and continued to chew on her lip. Rumors had it there was a rebel group setting up their own way of life in the Wilderness—all she had to do was flee and she could make it there. "Yeah, what'd you hear this time?"
"He abandoned you because he cared more about preaching than you."
Kaitlyn grit her teeth and let out a mock growl in frustration. "Really, is that it? I've heard that one several times now."
"Well, you know, word has it, if you do something crazy enough the government has no choice but to either ask you to comply or tell you to disappear."
It tempted Kaitlyn terribly. But she hated getting in front of people, because that worked against the very nature of what she’d been trying to do for the past ten years. "Crazy like how?" She whispered, and Rhonda shrugged before answering.
"I don't know. You're the one with the rebel father...though, you're nothing like him."
Kaitlyn gritted her teeth again, blowing out a puff of frustrated air. "That's funny because everyone else seems to think the opposite because I try too hard to keep my friends and family safe. Just you wait Rhonda, I'll show you..." she paused and added under her breath. "I'll show them all."
The day passed in a hurry and Kaitlyn barely heard the teachers. She was too busy planning what she was going to say. She knew she didn't have much time to put her plan into motion. And she could only anticipate being arrested on the spot.
She had one chance to do this, and she had to do it right. She glanced up at the clock and swallowed nervously. Her time was getting close. Soon, the class was dismissed for lunch and numbly, she walked through the line and received her allotted meal for the day. She kept her head high, taking pride in what she was about to do. Rhonda glanced at her quickly and frowned. There had to be something in the look in Kaitlyn's eyes that something was going to happen.
Kaitlyn took a deep breath and climbed onto the table. She could feel her legs shaking with every eye in the cafeteria on her. She cleared her voice and shouted out, "Listen up! I've had enough of the rumors about me and my family and I'd like to clear something up for everyone today."
The room fell silent and she pressed on. "People keep on telling me that I try too hard to be just like everyone else, and you know what, they're right. I'm different and I'm proud of it. In fact, I find hope in the fact that I am so different from the rest of you mindless droids.
"People have asked me why I am so different and I've always answered with a shrug—but today, I am going to tell you why I am so different. I had forgotten the Bible says to be prepared to give an answer as to my hope at all times. And here it is: my hope is found in two things. First it is found in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior."
Kaitlyn could see security starting to move closer. She didn't have time to waste now. "And secondly, I have hope my father will come back for me, just like he promised he would."
As Kaitlyn took a breath, she was tackled to the floor. The room sat in stunned silence; no one knew what to make of her now. A smirk lingered on Kaitlyn's lips as she was escorted out of the room. Now, the government would have no choice but to send her away into the Wilderness.
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