Oh there was more to it than that, but that summed up everything about Joan's life at the moment. The end of the passage, though, about God's time for everything is what struck her most. "He sets the time for love and the time for hate, the time for war and the time for peace."
How was she supposed to go to college, focus on school, making new friends, and getting over Adam when she had to focus on just what God's intentions were throwing Ryan into the mix. It was bad enough that she had to contend with God and the errands she was sent on. Now, she had to wonder if someone was opposing her, there to thwart her efforts. Making war.
She walked to her window, her packing done. Luke and Grace were throwing a Frisbee out on the street. They looked so happy. It was strange to see Grace laugh and smile. Joan supposed she'd had her time of sorrow and was now getting some time for joy. Luke gave that to her, and for that, Joan was happy. She was happy for them even if it made her feel lonely.
They made an odd couple. Geek and hard ass, but Grace wasn't so hard. She liked to pretend, but Joan knew there was more to it then that. And she helped get Luke out of his shell. She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen him outside tossing a Frisbee around instead of inside working on some new experiment or formula.
She had no idea where Adam was going. Tears formed in her eyes, the pain still there as if it was yesterday. She knew the chances of a high school romance lasting weren't very good, but she just hadn't expected it to end as it had. She'd assumed if nothing else they'd at least be friends. Friendship with someone you felt betrayed you was difficult. Maybe one day they'd get to that point, but that day hadn't come yet. There was a hollow spot in her heart, in her life, where Adam had spent such a significant portion of her life. It was like she'd gutted out a part of her and had nothing to fill the hole in with.
And now, here she was about to embark on a new chapter in her life. She'd meet guys that weren't as patient as Adam had been with her. Was she destined to be alone? Would she endlessly push them away because she wasn't willing have sex just for sex's sake? If that had been her goal, she would have with Adam. She just wasn't there yet. Maybe it was her connection with God, or maybe it had been a part of her all along. She just didn't see what the hurry was.
There had to be a time for that, too. Didn't there?
She wasn't ready. She knew that. So her time was not here yet. There was nothing wrong with that. She rested her forehead against the glass, touching it with one hand while she watched her brother and his girlfriend.
She wondered if they were there yet. To the point she and Adam had gotten to. It bothered her to think that Luke might somehow be ready for things she wasn't. She was older, after all, shouldn't it be her first.
They stopped on the street, Luke looked up at her window almost as if he knew she was watching. He waved with a smile, which she returned. She knew the smile didn't quite reach her eyes, they never did anymore.
She had more important things than Adam and sex to worry about, even school. Something was coming, something big, and it was time that she got ready for it. She could pretend, ignore, deny all she wanted but it wasn't doing her any good. She wasn't escaping, she wasn't getting out of this. Whatever this was. A gift she supposed some would call it. She wasn't so sure. It wasn't fun having her family think she was loony.
Whatever it was, it was telling her that she had to be ready. Ryan. She knew he would be involved. Until then, all she could do was wait. She'd go to school, get to know her roommate, study, and do the things a college freshman was supposed to do.
She just wished she knew what she was supposed to do when the time came. She wasn't a superhero. She was just a girl. God expected so much of her. Really, though, He hadn't expected more of her than she was capable of doing. There were times she fought, recently that was most often the case, but the things were all within the realm of possibility as far as Joan accomplishing them.
A knock at her bedroom door came, bringing her out of her thoughts.
"You ready, honey?"
"Yup, all set to go," Joan said, gesturing to her bags. She was sure she'd get to her dorm and discover she'd forgotten something no matter how many times she checked.
"My little girl's growing up. Going off to college. I'm so proud of you, Joan."
"Thanks, Dad," she said with a smile. She wondered what he'd think if he knew. Would he protect her? Would he do whatever he could to defend her? He would. Joan didn't doubt that for an instant. Only thing was, she didn't think Dad's gun, badge, or uniform were going to be able to protect her from what was coming.
She rubbed her hands over her arms, dismissing those thoughts. It was a beautiful day. The sound of Luke and Grace's laughter carried through her open window from the street. Happy sounds. Good sounds. Joy. She was starting a new page in her life. There was no room for sorrow here. There would be time for that later.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com