It was a beautiful Wednesday evening in February and Holly Kay found herself staring longingly out the window and wishing for spring, anything to get out of the confinements of these four walls. She sighed gently to herself and tried to smile but it was always harder when there was no one around.
In a couple hours the youth room where she stood would be filled with laughing and smiling people. The silence would be shattered and the act would begin.
A bird flew past the window and she watched as it flew to a telephone line that was filled with numerous other birds. It tried to land but was chased off. Finally, giving up, it flew away in search of its own place. “I hope you find it little bird,” she whispered into the silence, “God knows I wish I could.”
Voices floated down the hallway and she knew the rest of the team was beginning to arrive. She took one last baleful look out the window not wanting the end of her silence and sent a quick prayer up to God that this week would be better.
The door opened and there stood her youth pastor. He smiled at her and she forced a smile, “Hey Holly, I didn’t realize you were here already. Why didn’t you come in and say ‘hi’?”
Holly shrugged and crossed to the stage changing the subject to anything that didn’t involve people questioning her personal life. “So what are we singing tonight, Pastor Greg?”
He handed a list to her and then disappeared behind the sound booth. Holly pulled out the large binder, absorbing herself in finding the music and needlessly fiddling with the mike and music stand. Others from the team began floating in but Holly pretended not to notice, deciding instead to alphabetize the binder.
“Hey Holly, what’s up?” Holly looked up from where she sat to see Reia, the guitarist, looking down at her as she hooked up her guitar. Reia was a pretty girl who loved everything rock. From her love of the guitar to the Mohawk on her head all the way down to the way she talked.
Holly shrugged, “Just putting this music back in order, I swear no one knows how to alphabetize in this place. How ‘bout you?”
“Just the normal: School, guitar lessons, trying not to mix my brother up with the dog.”
Holly laughed. It had been a long time since she had had a good, genuine laugh and it just figured that Reia would be the one to cause it. Holly admired Reia she only wished the relationship went deeper than small talk and running jokes. She wished she could talk to her about the important stuff, the stuff that was really below the surface, but like everyone else Reia just didn’t listen.
“Alright team,” Pastor Greg said as he came out from behind the sound booth and hopped up onto the stage, “are we ready for practice?”
Holly closed the binder and stood up as Reia turned her attention back on her guitar.
As they began the first song Holly felt the burden release, the way it always did when she sang. Singing lifted her spirits, like very few things could, and it made her never want to stop. She had a beautiful voice or so many people had told her and she loved lifting it up to glorify God.
All too quickly the practice was over and the group came together to pray. Youth group would be starting soon and the act would be stronger than ever.
Holly found a chair by the window and sat down observing those around her. A guy sat down on a seat next to her, “Hey Holly, how’s it going?”
“Pretty good, Jay, how bout you?” Once again, changing the subject to something other than herself was her best ally.
“One word: Football.”
“Been pretty crazy huh?”
“You better believe it. It takes a lot out of you to be a quarter back.”
“I can’t even imagine.”
Jay noticed someone on the other side of the room and waved, “Hey Mike’s here want to go say hi.”
Holly glanced across the room to see Mike standing next to his girl Liz and her best friend Mandy. Her heart flopped at the sight of them. “Yeah sure, Jay.” She stood and followed her friend across the room. Time for the acting to begin.