The Adventures of Lilly
Book One – The Beauty Pageant
Rehearsal time for the talent competition was always a blast. There were so many bloopers and blunders. Some who thought they could sing found out they could not. One girl had taken piano lessons a while back only to find out that playing piano was not her talent. Another girl wanted to learn to play the violin overnight. “My talent is sewing” and “Mine is swimming,” insisted two girls, even after the rehearsal coordinator repeated for the umpteenth time that their talent had to be an on-stage performance.
Lilly’s talent was singing. She was blessed to be able to sing even without music accompaniment. Her dilemma was, which song to sing. Lilly finally decided that she would sing ‘Amazing Grace.’
Gwynet’s talent was singing as well. She settled on a Spanish lullaby—one her mother would often sing to her before the separation. She decided to sing it in Spanish first and then in English.
Cathy was quite skilled in playing the piano. She had taken lessons from a young age and could play just about any piece given to her. She played some funny music such as “Ragtime”, “O Susanna” and others. The girls joined in singing lustily except for Casey. Casey liked to be the center of attention and hated it when she had to take second place. She had developed a following of girls even though she had only been there a short time. None of these girls were paying her any attention now, though.
While Cathy played the piano, Casey started banging on the drum/cymbal set. “How does this sound?” she yelled. “Nice try, but no,” said one of the girls. “Come off of it, Casey, and join us here,” said Samantha who was a little afraid of her, but mustered up the courage because they were with the other girls. When Casey saw that no one was going to pay her any attention she quietly sneaked out the door. She would get someone’s attention somehow.
Casey went into the facial room and stole some red lipstick. She went next to four girls’ rooms and smeared “L.H. Was Here” on the outside of the doors seeing she had no way of entering the rooms. She went inside her own room, and going inside the bathroom she shared with Lilly and her room-mates, she used her fingernail file to pick the lock open. Upon entering their room she turned over the chairs and threw everything out of Cathy’s and Lilly’s drawers. She pulled the covers off their beds. She did not touch anything that belonged to Gwynet. Her dislike was towards Lilly and now Cathy. Locking the bathroom door she exited the room satisfied with her work of art. Thank goodness for her, the girls were having so much fun they practiced right into some of their quiet time. She was able to sneak back into the music room where she had left them, and without heart, listened to Trinity perform her poetry piece.
“Where did you disappear to?” asked Samantha on their way out to the lunchroom.
“Oh, I just needed some fresh air. I stepped outside for a few minutes.”
“A few minutes! You were gone for about twenty-five minutes,” said Samantha. “Anyway what are you going to do for the talent show. Everyone is pretty settled on what they are going to do.”
“I’m still not sure. I think I’ll do a dance piece—to Christina Aguilera or Michael Jackson or somebody. I’ll see what music they have tomorrow.”
After lunch it was game time. They took turns playing tennis, badminton, or jogging on the indoor tracks. After an exhaustive round of tennis and badminton, Lilly, Gwynet, and Cathy went for a stroll outside to get in some sun and to catch their breath. The warmth from the sun felt good against their skin. You can imagine the surprise on their faces when they returned to their room expecting to find everything in place.
As they walked down the hallway they noticed girls in small groups were gathered around four of the dorm room doors. Curious as to what was going on, Cathy asked one of the girls at the second door.
“Take a look,” she said stepping aside for them to see. They read “L.H. Was Here.” The same thing was on the other doors.
“Now who could do such a thing?” wondered Lilly out loud. As they moved on pass the third door, someone said quietly, but loud enough for them to hear, “There she is.” All the girls at the door turned to look at them. Casey was part of the group, as was Samantha, Kwanza, and Dominique. One girl was brave enough to ask, “Isn’t your initials L.H. – Lilly Hill?”
Lilly stopped in her tracks. “Yes, my initials are L. H., and if you are trying to say I did it, I did not write those words on the doors.”
“Come on,” said Gwynet. “Let’s go.” After all Lilly had done for her, Gwynet was going to stand by her friend at all costs. She had no doubt that someone was setting Lilly up. She tried not to think it was Casey even though Casey had it out for Lilly ever since they got there. Everyone saw how she would cut in line before Lilly. She always spoke snappishly to Lilly and made fun of her. Her so-called accident knocked Lilly over into the swimming pool. Thank goodness, Lilly could swim like a fish, and being the goodhearted person that she is, Lilly laughed it off. This Jesus that Lilly loved was certainly helping her to handle these negativities in her life.
Lilly stopped so suddenly in her tracks upon entering their dorm room that Cathy and Gwynet could not help stumbling into her. “What’s up, Lilly?” asked Cathy. “So that’s what’s up,” she said upon seeing the room. “Who in the world would do such a thing and how did they enter our room? The door is on automatic lock from the outside.”
“I don’t know,” said Lilly.
“You and I have some enemies here, Lilly,” said Cathy. “They did not even touch Gwynet’s stuff.”
“I’ll help you clean up,” said Gwynet quietly. She was watching Lilly’s reaction to all this and was amazed she did not get upset at all. After everything was back in place, each sat on their beds to think. Who would do such an awful thing?
Lilly pulled out a book and read herself to sleep. “I can’t believe she is sleeping at a time like this,” said Cathy.
“I can,” said Gwynet. “I remember when we used to go to church my Mom would often talk about the peace of God. I believe that’s what Lilly has.”
“How do you know?” asked Cathy.
“I’ve been watching her closely. She does not get upset when Casey plays tricks on her. And they just accused her of painting the lipstick on the doors. You and I know she could not have done it because we have been with her every waking hour. She has not gotten angry at all. Now she’s sleeping peacefully.”
Cathy thought about it. “You’re right. I sure wish I could be as calm as she is. To tell the truth, I’m ready to punch whoever did this.” Cathy chuckled a little.
Gwynet smiled. “I’m going to ask her to show me how to get that peace. That is what I need now—peace that everything is going to work out here as well as in my family.”
Cathy and Gwynet went off for what they thought would be a short nap. But their sleep stretched into the dinner hour. They were awakened to the sound of keys. Someone was unlocking their door. They waited in their beds not knowing what to expect. Each breathed a sigh of relief when they realized it was Ms. Jameson. “Oh, excuse me. I didn’t know you girls were still here. Everyone’s already gone for supper. In fact, you are all about ten minutes late.”
Lilly looked at the clock. “Goodness, we must have overslept. Thank you, Ms. Jameson.” She called over to Gwynet who arose immediately. Cathy had to be shaken; she was a deep sleeper.
“Don’t worry about me. I’m just checking in on the rooms to make sure everything is in place. Run along. I’ll make sure everything is locked up,” said Ms. Jameson.
The girls hurried off to the dining room. “Do you think she knows anything about our room being trashed?” asked Cathy.
“I don’t think so. If she does she sure did not show it,” said Lilly.
“I didn’t know they checked our rooms,” said Gwynet. “I would think they would do it when we are in there so as not to look suspicious.”
Lilly remembered the conversation she had overheard in Ms. Jameson’s office. She still had not told anyone. With Ms. Jameson coming to their room not expecting any one to be there pretty much solidified all she overheard. Maybe she was getting ready to hide some jewels. She would pray about it some more and talk to her Dad.
Lilly ate her dinner quietly, lost in her own thoughts. She was very much aware of the stares and glances that came her way. On the way out the dining room, Lilly said to her two friends, “I think we should tell Ms. Jameson about our room being ransacked.”
“Yes, we should,” agreed Cathy and Gwynet.
“And I think I need to say something about the lipstick on the doors.”
“But why? You didn’t do anything,” insisted Cathy.
“Well, my Dad says it’s best to come clean up front before you are confronted. I’ll let her know I did not do it.”
“OK, if you think so. We’ll come with you,” said Cathy to which Gwynet nodded.
“Thanks guys. You are true friends.”
Once in Ms. Jameson’s office, Lilly told her about the room being ransacked. She also told her about the lipstick incident and how she believed someone was setting her up.
“Who do you think it may be?” asked Ms. Jameson.
Cathy jumped in after she saw that Lilly hesitated. She and Gwynet told her about all the tricks Casey had played on her and how she had a negative attitude toward Lilly ever since they have been there. “By the way,” said Cathy, “Casey goes to the same school as Lilly. They are in the same class. Casey plays tricks on Lilly even at school.”
“Is that so?” said Ms. Jameson with a thoughtful voice.
“Thank you for telling us about what’s happening. I’ll be sure to look into it and don’t you worry about a thing. You girls have some great qualities that will work for you in life.”
After saying goodbye, they retired to their room for the night. They talked over the contest rules and practiced the proper way to walk down the walkway.
Later, as Lilly pulled out her Bible to read her chapter, Gwynet asked her directly, “Lilly, how do you get the peace of God? You seem so peaceful in spite of all that is happening to you.”
Lilly was happy. She had been praying hard for Gwynet and Cathy to ask Jesus to save them. “Let me show you,” she said waving for them to join her on her bed. She turned to Romans 10:9, 11 and 13 which read:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For the Scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
“After you ask Jesus to save you then you’ll have the peace of God. Do you want to ask Him?” Gwynet nodded yes. “How about you, Cathy?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m ready.”
“Well, I’ll pray with Gwynet.”
Lilly and Gwynet prayed and Gwynet asked Jesus to save her and live with her. She was all smiles when she opened her eyes. “Do you think Jesus will bring my father back?” asked Gwynet.
“We can pray for him to get saved and to come back. We can pray for your mother too,” said Lilly.
“Thank you so much, Lilly,” said Gwynet giving her a hug. That night was the first peaceful night of sleep Gwynet had had since her father left them.
Cathy was up most of the night thinking about what had happened that evening. She knew the high life her family was living did not fully satisfy her. Maybe Jesus was who she needed.
The following morning, she asked Lilly to pray with her as she asked Jesus to save her. The threesome was one happy team. Lilly called her parents and gave them the good news. She asked them to bring two Bibles—one for Gwynet and the other for Cathy—when they visited the following weekend. Lilly was looking forward to a tremendous third and last week with her two new friends.