Mirror Mirror: Chapter 15

By JD Rockel


Chapter Fifteen

“Rosa, I am not coming up with a good double date. I need help.”

You need help? From me?”

“Yes, I confess. I need your help.”

“What ideas do you have, Ella?”

“Let me look at my list… roller skating, bowling, mall shopping, eating anywhere, hiking, drive-in movie, regular movie… I’m out of ideas.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with those ideas, except maybe the drive-in movie. Do any of those still exist?”

“There’s one way south in Franklin. I know that’s not a good idea.”

“Lots of regular movies though. There should be something good to watch.”

“That’s so predictable, Rosa. I want something adventurous.”

“Any Lasertag around? I think Kevin and Lorri talked about it at youth group once. Wait a minute. Why not take the guys to youth group sometime?”

“Really? OMG! That would be sooo exciting, Rosa.” Ella exaggerated her sarcasm just a little too much.

“OK, but we should at least take them to church with us. I found out that John has been to Orchard Hill and wants to go with me. You should invite Jerry and it would be sort of a double date. Maybe Mom and Dad can drop us off for lunch somewhere.”

“Hmm, sounds dull but… since we have to go anyway, this could make it more interesting.”

“I would agree with you wholeheartedly, but you shouldn’t be thinking of church as dull. We are rejoicing with our friends that God has saved us from hell.”

“Well since you put it that way.” Ella couldn’t hold back the sarcasm. “Come on, Rosa, don’t you find it a waste of time?”

“No, I don’t Ella. And I think we need to talk real soon about what you believe. Don’t you understand what God has done for us? No, don’t answer that now. We need to take serious time to talk about it.”

“Church as a double date, huh? Maybe followed by lunch and a movie. Or lunch and mall shopping. Or lunch and bowling. Or…”

“Dad, you got a minute?” Rosa had found her dad in the garage working at his workbench on a small project. Tony’s projects were never very manly. He didn’t even change the oil in the lawnmower. Rosa knew simple maintenance jobs were important to keep machines running. It helped her understand why they got a new lawn mower every few years.

“Sure, honey. What’s up?”

“John has been coming to Orchard Hill, though I don’t remember ever seeing him there. He wants to come and sit together with us this Sunday.”

“That would be great. What about Jerry?”

“Well, I’m trying to get Ella to drag him along. And I do use the word drag intentionally. Jerry hasn’t been to church since his mom died.”

“Right, that was back in 2018. I know Harold went through a very tough time back then.”

“Jerry, too. Neither one is in any way religious now. But whether Ella convinces Jerry to come with her or not, I was wondering if you could invite Mr. Weston to come.”

“That’s a great idea. I feel bad I haven’t already asked him. I absolutely should have.”

“I know we won’t all fit in one car, Dad. While John can drive some of us, it would be nice if Mr. Weston drove us two couples. And yes, I use the word couples intentionally, too. I’m sure Liam would understand if he rode with you, Mom, and the twins.”

“What a frightening thought. My two sweet daughters are dating now. Wow, my old brain is working more slowly.”

“Frightening? Certainly sudden.”

“To be honest again, the idea of Ella being in a romantic relationship needs more time to sink in. And you and John, did you say he’s a believer?”

“Yes! We have talked about it, and I’m convinced. Dad, John has been so wonderful to me the few times we have been together talking. And no, we haven’t been together when our time wasn’t spent talking.”

Tony and Rosa laughed together. “I trust you, sweetheart. It’s John I need to know better. But if you say he’s trustworthy, I will accept that. At least for now. I will call Harold in just a couple of minutes. Thanks for the great idea.”

“How do you plan to prepare him for the morning?” Plans in the past hadn’t always gone smoothly.

“As you suggested, I’ll suggest we drop you two girls off. I’ll explain to Harold how to get to Orchard Hill but with you girls in the car, there won’t be any issues if he gets confused.”

“Plus, John knows where Orchard Hill is. I don’t think there will be any problem.”

“Good. And just to be super safe, I will offer to let Harold follow me.”

“That sounds like a great plan, Dad. Thank you so much.”

The girls weren’t able to spend time with Jerry and John on Saturday. It was a day for cross-country driving practice. Like earlier practice sessions, Liam came along to take notes for his sisters and himself. He kept track of driving times, places, and miles.

As the girls ended the day and were getting ready for bed, Rosa checked on the status for Sunday. “Ella, is Jerry coming with us tomorrow morning?”

“It was a hard sell, but yes, he is coming. He also said Dad talked to Mr. Weston and convinced him to drive us there. Jerry was amazed. Dad must have been very persuasive.”

“I don’t know what Dad might have said but I’m glad the whole family is coming. Any plans for afterward?”

“Just lunch. That’s probably the best for the first time going to church. They will probably be exhausted from all the people greeting them.”

“True enough. Ella, I appreciate you asking Jerry to come. I would feel awkward being there with John when you are alone. After all, it was because of you I met John. What a night that was on the bus ride home. Jerry looked like a terrified puppy. Then he mentioned his brother and you bludgeoned the truth out of him. And then at mini golf, my brain was overwhelmed by each wonderful moment with John. I always expected Mom to be the matchmaker of the family.”

The sisters laughed until they cried. They finished getting ready for bed and turned off the lights.

Rosa was deeply touched that they were going through this part of life together. She knew the future was uncertain and high school romances seldom last, but she hoped this one would be different. As she lay there in the dark, she considered her life with Ella so far. She prayed in her thoughts to Jesus. 

Lord, the future is in your hands. I’m glad Ella and I can go through this together. You have been so kind and generous to let us have such a wonderful time growing up. I know Your plans are for us to prosper. And Jerry and John may just be a rehearsal for whomever you have selected for us. Give us the wisdom to act wisely as we wait to learn your ultimate plan for us. And if I may be so bold to ask, let us have fun along the way