Nowhere

To the cross You went to die for me,
For every sin, You carried them all;
The heaviness and shame You paid the fee—
Father, forgive them, You did call.

– Nowhere will I find a friend so true.

At the cross I laid my burdens down,
For all the wrongs You heard my plea;
The trauma and burden weighed You down—
You shed Your blood for all to see.

 – Nowhere will I find a friend so real.

On the cross You took my faults,
For each and every guilt and pain;
The sadness and despair came with assaults—
This bitterness of sin, full of strain.

– Nowhere will I find a friend who loved.

From the cross you paid for it all,
For my life alone I know You would give;
The man of sorrows, a death cruel and brutal—
Your life you gave so I could live.

– Nowhere will I find a friend like You.

© Chrissy Siggee

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Comfort

Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

These are without a doubt, some of the most comforting words from Scripture I know by heart. Through all situations I have only to rest on in God for my strength.

With my husband’s employment we moved frequently. When our children were little, I dreaded those times. We often spent weeks in temporary accommodation and waiting for our personal belongings to arrive. During those transition times it was characteristic of the Department of Defence to send him away on a course.

During one of these relocations, which was a few hundred miles from our nearest extended family, our son became constantly ill with serious allergies. Three weeks into the hotel stay I had to ask the cleaning staff not to use chemicals in our rooms unless I could plan time be out of the room and have it aired before we returned.  Our son was just over eighteen-months-old at the time and his sister was three and a half. Their ages alone meant around the clock care, but the youngest slept very little. He had about two hours after his midday meal which gave me some grace and much need rest. His sister was usually dozing too or looking through a favourite picture book.

New states, new towns and new experiences were always daunting and to settle into a new normal day to day life in these situations proved to be often stressful and lonely. But I remember these verses from Psalm 46 as my source of comfort. I don’t believe it was coincidence that these verses appeared so often during my daily devotions. They became my key verses and since that particular relocation they have become part of me through many other situations over the years.

We all need words of comfort at one time or other and we can be assured that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Thank you, Lord, for your comfort in every situation. Help us to know that you are our refuge and strength and guide us through difficult times, fear and loneliness. Whatever we face in our day to day lives, teach us to lean on you for all our needs. Amen

 
© Chrissy Siggee 2012

Scripture Verses used are from the New King James Version of the Bible

Archived in Christian Devotions at Riverside Peace

Cruise time

With the floods receded and the weather beautiful, we decided to take a dolphin sighting cruise.
My dear friend, Lyn at The Call of the Pen is visiting for a few days.
To our surprise, we were the only ones on the dining room level of the boat until lunch. There were only a few small groups in other areas. At a quick count, there was probably only a dozen on board. No problem here with Social distancing.
As you can see, even zooming in we could barely see the white breasted sea hawk. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any dolphins.
Some of the debris from the floods are still coming down river.
Many of these prestige homes were under water to at least first floor just a few weeks ago.
Going over the sand bar where the river meets the ocean.

Archived in: Retirement

Carla’s Big Chance

Carla answered her mobile phone after the second line of her special ringtone “Nobody Weird like Me”, Travis’s favourite song. ‘Hi, Travis. What’s up?’

‘Not much, I just wanted to see what my baby sister was up to.’

‘Oh fine, I guess. I just wish Dad would ease up on me.’

Travis chuckled. ‘Still skipping classes?’

‘You know I hate school, Travis. Why do I need an education to be in movies? It’s…’ Carla’s voice trailed off.

‘I know, Sis. You just want to hit the big time now.’

‘Yeah, as if that’s going to happen when I’m in a stupid Math class or something. What have you been up too?’

‘I had a few minutes. Just wanted see how my kid sister was doing before I ironed my uniform, polished my buckle and shine my boots. You know how it is.’

It was Carla’s turn to chuckle. ‘OK, have fun at boot camp. Don’t let them catch you with your mobile phone.’

Carla rested back on her pillows and sighed. She missed Travis; missed his loud music and after school visits with her to the youth centre to play snooker when she was supposed to be doing homework.

Her phone buzzed. ‘Hello,’ she answered without checking the caller ID.

‘Hey, Carla, you up for some fun?’

It was Toni, a girl she’d met a few weeks ago at the youth centre. Toni wanted to be a model and Carla liked her right off.

‘What kind of fun?’ Carla answered half-heartedly.

‘Remember Kevin?’

‘Yeah, he’s the nerd that was playing chess at the youth centre. Goes to that snooty school off Main Street.’

‘Yep, that’s him.’ Toni sounded excited. ‘He’s making a video for his school. Kevin’s uncle is on the school board and has heaps of money and some neat video equipment. He likes Kevin’s script and wants to enter him in a junior filmmaker’s competition in Hollywood!’

‘So, what’s that got to do with me?’

‘Kevin needs a couple of girls to do some acting for him.’

Carla sprang from her bed. ‘You’re kidding! When?’

‘We’re meeting them at the youth centre in half an hour.”

‘I’m on my way.’ Carla ended the call. This could be the break I’m looking for. If Kevin wins the competition, Toni and I could be on our way to Hollywood.

It took less than a minute for Carla to see Toni talking to Kevin near the snooker tables. They were talking to another young guy who was leaning against a soda machine. Carla smiled at the handsome young man. He reached out to shake her hand. She was mesmerized by his presence.

‘Hi Carla.’ Kevin broke the spell. ‘My uncle is waiting for us at his home. We’re doing the video there.’

Kevin’s uncle’s house was a few blocks from the youth centre. On the way Kevin explained his script. ‘It’s a film I’m doing for my photography and visual effects class. My uncle offered to help with his equipment.’ He laughed. ‘He doesn’t trust me with his precious stuff.’

They arrived at a huge two-story house surrounded by an immaculate garden. They climbed the front stairs and Kevin unlocked the door.

Carla was elated as she stepped into the impressive entry. She looked beyond an archway where two video cameras and a still life camera were set up on tripods facing a sofa… a sofa covered with cushions and satin sheets. Toni grinned at her and winked. The boys walked on past the girls and headed to one of the cameras and began to adjust some dials.

‘What’s going on, Toni? Where’s Kevin’s Uncle?’ Carla began to panic.

‘Who needs his uncle? They have the equipment and we have the opportunity of a lifetime right here.’

Steve returned to Carla’s side and skimmed his index finger down her cheek and flicked her hair. ‘Hey Carla, don’t fret. Isn’t this what you wanted? Glamour! Fame! It’s worth a hundred bucks.’

Carla’s heart raced and her breathing quickened. With one sudden movement, she turned and ducked through the still open front door. She raced up the path and onto the street turning her head to see the three of them standing outside. They were laughing at her. Carla gasped and began to run.

When Carla was sure she hadn’t been followed, she slowed her pace. Tears and sweat streamed down her face. She drew in deep breaths and swallowed repeatedly trying to regain control before returning home. Maybe I should wait a few years before I think about Hollywood. She wiped her brow with the sleeve of her sweater and wished for some big brother advice.

‘I’m home,’ Carla called from the front room. ‘I’ve got an assignment due. I’ll be in my room.’

‘OK,’ her mother called back. ‘We’ll be eating at seven. I’m running late.’

Carla entered her bedroom and closed the door. She took her mobile phone from her pocket and hit Travis’s speed-dial. Taking a deep breath she struggled to fight back more tears.

‘Hey Sis, you just caught me. What’s up?’

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Younger Teens by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

Welcome, Thank you and Updates

I realised recently that I hadn’t updated my About Chrissy page for at least three years. I think it’s time to add and change where necessary.

I have also neglected to welcome new followers over the past few months to which I will do now.

Welcome all new followers. 🙂 You are much appreciated and I will attempt to visit your sites very soon. Long time followers…Thanks for hanging around. 🙂

Archived in: Announcements

Fire in the Sky

The heavens are ablaze with orange embers
Splinters of steel-grey clouds pierce the radiance
Wisps of haze emerge like smoky smudges
Summer’s twilight heat affects the changing light
Fiery reflections shimmer against the fading hues
Like a fire in the sky, the sun melts into the horizon.

© Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Poetry Mix by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD! – The Poem

Beaten and humiliated,
they led my Lord away
to the mount of death—
He was nailed and hung
on a wooden cross—
Naked and shamed
like a common thief.

They mocked
They cursed
They laughed

Bleeding head hung low,
nails ripped hands and feet
A body slashed and torn—
Blood flowed down
onto the rugged ground—
Pain and dread
painted on His face.

Shame
Sorrow
Shunned

Blamed and disgraced,
all purity discredited
Guilt and sin He bore—
My beautiful Jesus,
You did this for me—
You bled and died
So I could live.

They seized His clothes
They pierced His side
They crucified my Lord!

© Chrissy Siggee

Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:14-22 “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (NIV)

Christians worldwide celebrate the resurrection of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday. Christianity teaches that the author and creator of the faith is alive today. No other religion of the world makes such an amazing claim. Other religions may claim that the “spirit” of their founder lives in his religious teachings, but Christians declare that Jesus Christ lives today — bodily.

True biblical Christianity teaches that Jesus really died AND really rose from the dead – physically. Jesus rose bodily as well as spiritually from the grave. He then appeared alive to a variety of people on many different times over a period of forty days. Christianity further teaches that after these indisputable “physical” appearances, Jesus Christ “physically” left this earth and promised to return “physically” one day.

John 14:1-3 says, “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God; believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Acts 1:9-12 describes what the disciples saw on the Mount of Olives: “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.” (NIV)

If there was no foundation for the Christian faith, if Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, if He didn’t rise from the dead, then the whole basis of the Christian faith would be — empty.

Christian faith holds that Jesus was resurrected from the dead bodily, ascended into heaven bodily, lives today in glory in a body, and will someday return to this earth bodily.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

Father, thank you for dying on the cross for us that we may be saved from eternal death. We praise you this Resurrection day for the faith of the Christian church and the hope of your return. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee 2011

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

 

My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Both Matthew and Mark recorded these words cried out by Jesus on the cross. These same words occur interestingly enough in the opening verse of the Twenty Second Psalm. Yet neither Matthew nor Mark referred to them as a fulfilment of prophecy and after six hours of agony in body and soul on the cross, this cry escapes from our Saviours lips.

There were not many words spoken by Jesus while he was on the cross. The words He did say are recorded specifically.

His first words were “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”—-a prayer for pardon.

His second proclamation made was a promise of peace.

“Today you shall be with me in Paradise’

His third decree was one of kindness to and for his mother.

“Woman behold thy son….Son behold thy mother.” 

When the darkness had fallen, three last announcements where uttered. They followed in rapid succession.

“I thirst”

“It is finished

“Father into thy hands I commend my spirit”

Then, there was this cry of sorrow.

“My God, my God, why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

There is something of extraordinary power and feeling in these words of Jesus on the Cross. This is obvious from the fact that both Matthew and Mark have diligently given the words in the language our Lord used.

Eli Eli, lama Sa-bach-thani”

Nowhere else in Scripture do we find recurrence of these words except in the Twenty Second Psalm. When Jesus cried these words, he was expressing suffering that was never at any other time felt in this world and I believe, never will again.

To the historian, to the poet or to the theologian, the description and the language of these words in Psalms 22 might suggest it could have been either history or prophecy.  However, the context of Psalm 22 is not clear either way.

Matthew and Mark may not have recognised the connection.  However, Jesus, a learned scholar of the Scriptures from a very young age, would have known the Psalms well.  He said many times through out His ministry “it is written”.

To the believer, nevertheless, this cry is a revelation of the deep suffering and anguishes our Saviour bore, and a proof of His infinite love for sinners.

It challenges us, with all the saints, to be strong to understand what is:

“..the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God”…

Ephesians 3 verses 18 & 19 KJV

If the cross is the fundamental Truth of the New Testament, this cry is the heart of this truth and its inmost expression.  This is the Holy of Holys to the reverent reader of the story of the passion.

© Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

A Hill With A View

A blazing sun reaches its peak with the rising noonday heat—
The din from the emerging crowd ascends the hill like a surging tide.
The sound of mournful weeping mingles with the soldiers mocking feat
Cheers and jeers rise and fall while casting lots for his clothes to divide.

Embedded thorns gripped his brow to expose the bleeding flesh beneath
The blood-smeared stripes elongated the contorted flesh upon his back.
With all the cruelty of the day his painful bones scream out for relief—
And, his wounded body echoes with memories that won’t distract.

Darkness falls.
The crowd flees.
Fear strikes.
A voice cries out.

Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani?‘  (Matthew 27:46 NIV)

The earth shakes.
The tremor spreads.
Tombs split open.
Lives come forth.

‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46 NIV)

Head hangs low,
All strength is gone.
The weight of sin
On a cross of shame.

There was no other good enough to go through this place of shame,
He went to the cross, our sins to forgive and evil to defeat.
It was Christ’s blood alone that covered all my guilt and blame—
The scars I left will forever remain imprinted on his hands and feet.

No sight will you find as precious as my saviour saw today,
for this hill with a view revealed more than a price one man paid.
But the wonder of the sacrifice made; so lost souls can be saved—
Rejoice with me my child because this too, is the day the Lord has made.

‘Father into your hands I commit my spirit‘  (Luke 23:46 NIV)

Guards terrified
at the scene.
Surely He was
the Son of God.

© Chrissy Siggee

Based on the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 27 verses 32 to 54 (NIV)

They Parted His Garments

And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. Mark 15:24

This stripping of Jesus was so appalling that it was referred to in all four Gospels.

Matthew, who observed that this occurrence was a fulfilment of Psalm 22:18 “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”

Mark, who himself fled naked from the mob in the garden.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

John also refers to the Psalm, as Matthew did, but also gives the most detail and accurate description of the whole agony of the crucifixion.

The Christ lived in purity and dignity of manhood. Almost all pictures of the crucifixion give us the view of a dignified Jesus. But one gospel records the scene — “They stripped Him,” John said. Naked He came from His mother’s womb, and naked He hangs from a tree.

Adam experienced the shame of nakedness in Eden because of his transgression. So too, the Son of God took our sinful flesh and the shame of our nakedness upon Himself.

I believe there were two elements to the crucifixion; one of the physical and the other of the mental suffering. Jesus was despised and rejected, even by His own friends. He was oppressed by sinners, held in contempt by the soldiers, cursed by men and stripped of His garments.

His garments. His seamless robe. A garment fit for a king. His clothing wouldn’t have been a beggar’s rags.

But when I read Psalm 93:1 “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.” It puts a put a whole new perspective and horror to the story. They parted His garments and cast lots…

© Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD – The Devotion

Mark 15:25-28 “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, and he was numbered with the transgressors.”

We have read about the cruelty of inhuman treatment of Jesus by the soldiers, servants and the people, who assembled to witness his beating. Much can be said again about the unwarranted punishment our Lord received prior to His crucifixion. We have also read and heard repeatedly of the death of Christ. Many of us have seen the “Passion of the Christ” movie. Without playing down the significance of the crucifixion itself in any way, let’s move on to the mysteries of His death.

The message of the cross is indeed a mystery. The message can be learned through the Scriptures, movies and witnessing. Prophecies and teaching were recorded throughout the Old Testament; including the Psalms.

“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-10

Yet…it’s not only that we see in the death of Jesus the highest demonstration of God’s love, but also of His infinite sorrow and compassion. “But as far as the east is from the west, so shall he remove our sin”. (paraphrased) Not even an earthly father can pay the penalty of his child’s transgression, nor can any man pay the price of sin of another.

When Paul speaks of the suffering of Jesus on the cross, he deals with facts so awe-inspiring that he calls them: “the depths of God”. (1 Corinthians 2:10) These mysteries are so deep that they are unfathomable of all human thinking – even more unfathomable as the deepest, unreachable, bottomless ocean. This act of love is beyond measure. But, by His Holy Spirit, God reveals it to even the youngest of children, the simplest minded, and the uneducated. His love for us is infinite. Although we cannot understand these mysteries, we thank Him with absolute gratefulness and humility.

My hope, my strength, my redeemer, my God, my King and my all…they crucified my Lord.

© Chrissy Siggee

An Instrument of Your Peace

I stand in awe of your majestic peace;
Let your forgiveness give me release
Teach me Lord, the way I should go—
I want to be an instrument of your peace.

Never will I leave thee;
My child, you are mine.

I’ve knelt before an empty cross to pray,
But for human weakness, I’d stay all day;
How do I live in strength I do not have?
I want to be released to understand.

It was for you I lived and died;
My child, you are set free.

I’m lost in worship within your presence;
The room is filled with your fragrance,
Your Word is open upon my knee—
I want to grow in the knowledge of you.

Take my hand so I can lead;
My child, I love you.

I’ve surrendered my life into your hands!
Show me, Jesus, how to take a stand
And tell the world that you are mine—
I want to be an instrument of your peace.

Let your light shine;
My child, I will lead.

© Chrissy Siggee
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Archived in: Christian Reads

Are You Contented?

Hebrews 13: 5 says: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

My grandmother used to have some funny sayings that left me wondering. One of these sayings was: I’m as contented as an old cow put out to pasture. It was like she was trying to teach us something but I was too young to understand.

We all understand contentment in our own way just as we are all different in our own likes and dislikes. Contentment is a satisfaction or an accomplishment in something we have achieved, or in life itself. I would be surprised if my grandmother hadn’t found satisfaction in her senior years.

I’ve met people who are never contented. They always want the ‘greener pastures’ just beyond the fence. And, although striving for a better job, a better lifestyle or a better future can be a good thing, we need to be careful about how we achieve our goals.

Do we allow the temptations of cutting corners, taking advantage of others or neglecting our priorities in our attempt for a better life? Do we compromise our Christian beliefs or family’s needs? We need to take a good look at our actions and the motives behind our actions to get to where we want to be. Sometimes we need to take a step back and be contented.  If we allow God to use what we have He will take us forward into the desires of our hearts, if it’s in His plan.

1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain”

© Chrissy Siggee 2010

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

Big Brother

‘You must be kidding me! Why would you do such a thing?’

Rosy began to cry. ‘Michael, you don’t understand.’

‘No, I don’t understand. Why would my own sister tell the police a lie like that?’

‘You know I can’t tell a lie.’

‘But you DID!’

The argument continued all the way home from the police station.

Taking in a deep breath, Michael pull into the driveway of their home. ‘Why would you even think I would do something like that?’

‘I saw you.’

‘You saw me pick up a phone from a seat in the quadrangle. Right?’

‘Yes.’

‘But I didn’t steal it. Someone left it there and I picked it up to take it to the office. For Pete’s sake, Rosy, what would you have done?’

‘I wouldn’t have stolen it?’

‘I did not steal it! You know you got me into a lot of trouble today. How do I explain this to Mum?’

‘Well, it’s all your fault.’ She opened the car door and got out.

‘I did not steal it.’

The door slammed shut.

Michael rested his head on the steering wheel and groaned. ‘This is the third time this month. Why does she go out of her way to get me into trouble? Why does everyone believe her over me?’

The passenger door opened and shut again. ‘Why indeed Michael? Why do you put your sister in such situations?’

‘But…’

‘No buts about it. This time you have gone too far.’ His stepfather tossed a bag onto the back seat.

‘Don’t come back until you sort yourself out. Your mother and sister don’t need you anymore.’

Michael looked up, then at the bag on the back seat. ‘You can’t be serious.’

This man who was supposed to be a dad to him left the car and slammed the door.

This had gone too far. ‘This is madness. Why do they believe everything she says?’

He reversed out of the driveway and headed away from the only home he knew.

‘Rosy!’ He spoke into the empty car. ‘You have gone too far this time.’

He pulled into the McDonald’s car-park and took out his phone. ‘Jeremy, I need a place to sleep.’

‘Uh oh. Don’t tell me. Rosy’s flipped again.’

‘I can’t believe this. Today, I was charged with theft.’ He continued his defence and finished with an expletive.

‘OK. OK. Settle down.  I’ll come meet you for a burger before we come home.’

It was nine o’clock before Michael drove to Jeremy’s home to sleep the night. Michael hoped it was only just one night. The police interview seemed to go on and on and his argument with Rosy and their stepfather made him weary.

‘Let’s talk some more in the morning’, Jeremy said pointing to the spare room.

He just nodded and went to bed.

The following day at school was like a nightmare. Rosy had spread the word. ‘Little fink.’ Michael stayed out of everyone’s way, including the teachers.

‘Michael, come see me after school.’ This came from his English teacher, Mr Jacobs. ‘I think we should talk.’

Michael had only nodded but he showed up as requested.

‘Michael,’ I would never have thought…’

‘I didn’t.’

‘I know you didn’t steal that phone. In fact, I have left a statement at the police station this morning as soon as the rumours started.’

Michael looked up.

‘You see, I had been sitting there to tie my shoe laces earlier. It was my phone and I know it wasn’t stolen. I got distracted and forgot to pick it up. I was heading back as the bell rang and saw that you had picked it up, looked around and headed for the office. You were too far away to hear me over the bell.’

‘The office was closed.’

‘I know.’

‘Then why does everyone else believe Rosy?’

‘Ahh… Rosy. She’s been in one of my classes since she started high school. She has her problems but I have no idea what they are. She seemed like a nice kid a year ago. Are there problems at home?’

‘Only that she keeps telling our mother and our stepfather lies about me.’

‘Your stepfather?’

Michael sighed. ‘Our mother remarried a few years ago. Rosy has never accepted it.’ He paused. ‘Maybe I haven’t either. I’ve tried…’

‘Michael, are you sure Rosy is OK?’

‘Ha. I think she’s lost the plot.’

‘And your mother?’

‘She’s changed too in some ways. Quieter I think.’

‘Would you like me to talk to her? Rosy I mean.’

‘Why? She’ll only tell everyone.’

‘Leave it with me and forget about those charges. They’ll be dropped and your name cleared but do me a favour.’

‘What?’

‘Keep an eye on Rosy. I think there’s more to this resentment toward you than you realise.’

Michael was a little confused but shook the teacher’s hand and headed for home in his old but reliable car that had once belonged to their birth father. He missed his dad. Why did you have to die? As he left the car-park, he saw Rosy walking with her friends. You can walk. He continued to mumble to himself.

As he neared home, he remembered what Mr Jacobs had told him. He groaned audibly before making a U turn and drove back the way he came.

Rosy was walking alone now since her friends lived closer to school. He made another U turn and pulled up just ahead of his sister and reached over to open the door. ‘Get in.’

Rosy obeyed but sat sulkily long after they left the curb.

Michael kept glancing over at his sister who seemed smaller than usual.

‘Are you OK?’, he finally asked.

She didn’t answer so he didn’t ask again.

Later that evening, Michael sat at the dining table doing his homework. Opposite, Rosy was reading from a textbook. The room was silent except for the muffle din of the television in the next room. Their mother was in the kitchen clearing up after their evening meal.

Michael wanted to say something. He wanted to ask a question but didn’t know why or what. He wasn’t even sure if it was Rosy or his mother he wanted to speak to. So, he just remained silent.

‘Rosy’, the voice called from the other room. ‘I want you home early tomorrow.’

Their mother drew in a sharp breath and a fork clattered onto the tiled floor.

Michael leaned across the table and whispered.  ‘Why?’

‘Shush.’

Their mother wiped over the benches; head down and unmistakably whimpering quietly.

Michael rose and approached his mother. ‘What’s going on?’

‘Stay out of it’, is all she said so quietly he thought of asking her again.

The voice raised above the television. ‘Did you hear me, Rosy?’

‘Yes, Dad.’

Michael cleared his throat and looked from Rosy to his mother before speaking. ‘I don’t have classes in the afternoon so I’ll drive her home.’

Fear reflected in his mother’s eyes. Rosy was biting the corner of her textbook.

‘Don’t bother.’ His stepfather spoke as he entered the room. ‘She’s needed. Not you. You shouldn’t even be here.’ The man sharply poked Michael in the ribs before going to the refrigerator for a beer.

Silence remained long into the night. Michael knocked quietly on Rosy’s door. ‘Rosie, it’s me.’

‘Come in’, she said meekly.

He shut the door behind him and sat on the end of her bed. ‘What’s going on?’

‘Nothing. I can’t tell you.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I don’t want Mum to get hurt.’

‘What the…’ He ran his hand through his hair. ‘You’re not coming home alone.’

‘I have too.’

Michael stood. ‘No, you’re not and Mum will be OK.’

‘How can you be sure?’

‘Leave it to me.’ He left the room.

The following morning at breakfast, no one spoke. Their mother was in the laundry when their stepfather headed out the door to go to work.

Michael stood behind his sister’s chair and gently squeezed her shoulders. ‘Stay here. I’ll drive you to school but I need to talk to Mum first.’

A few minutes later, the three left together in Michael’s car. ‘I’ll drop you off Mum, and take Rosy to school and return to pick you up.’

Rosy looked confused but returned her mother’s nod as the car stopped in front of the Police station.

At school, they sought out Mr Jacobs who was in the staff room. Michael left Rosy outside in the corridor. Mr Jacobs had come out and had rushed into the Principal’s office leaving Michael with his sister. Minutes later Michael was driving both his teacher and Rosy to the Police station where they were ushered into a small office. There they re-joined their mother who was speaking to a uniformed Police woman. Introductions were made and seats offered.

‘We’ve sent two police officers to collect your stepfather. They’ll be taking him directly to the interview room so he won’t know any of you are here.’

Rosy spoke for the first time that morning. ‘But he’ll come after us later.’

‘No, you will be in a safe house until we know what charges are made and if he’ll be kept in custody. Most likely he will, even if he gets a good lawyer.’

Their mother thanked Mr Jacobs. ‘I’m very grateful. I was so stupid not to believe Michael.’ She turned to Rosy.’ And I’m sorry for not standing up for either of you.’

Rosy leaned into her mother and looked up at her brother. ‘I’m sorry I made up all those lies. I just wanted to get your attention.’

Michael gave a small smile and reached out for his sister’s hand. ‘I’m sorry too for being so caught up in myself that I missed all the signs.’ He looked over to their teacher. ‘We have Mr Jacobs to thank for taking the time to talk to me.’

‘No need to thank me. I’ve been wondering for too long why Rosy changed so quickly. I should have said something before this.’ He cleared his throat. ‘I’m so sorry, I should have realised…the signs were all there…I just didn’t want to believe it.’

Rosie sat up and look into her mother’s tear stained face. ‘Everything will be okay, Mum.’

‘Yes’, Mum and Michael said in unison.

Michael continued. ‘We have each other, and you Rosie, will never need to try and get my attention again. Big brother will be watching out for you.’

The siblings gave a stifled chuckle.

© Chrissy Siggee – 2019

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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Younger Teens by Chrissy at Riverside Peace