I walked slowly down the hallway. Everyone was happily chatting with each other. They had mentioned during some announcements that snacks are available at the back counter. Having nothing better to do, I wandered over and picked up one of the bowls of Cheez-Its. The servers had not noticed me.
I remembered what McKenzie, my school’s resident “God-boy”, said to me. He invited me to visit a local church of my race. He was African-American and I was Asian. We got along quite well, despite his religion, so out of respect I did what he suggested.
McKenzie was so open and devout in his faith. He said he enjoyed school, but his church was a place where he can worship God peacefully with other believers. He wanted me to see what I was missing, so he sent me off. It was nothing like he described. The English ministry in this church has people ranging from 12 years of age to young adults. It could be imagined as a school, with the teens wearing street clothes and conversing with their respective gender peers. Only the adults dressed formally.
As I munched on the snack, I thought, “Is this really where Christians meet? First, they listen to some guy preach the Bible and they sing songs, and then start acting as if they were at school! How come McKenzie acts so different from these people? I’m not even noticed!”
I heard a guy laugh, and I turned to the noise—my heart dropping. As I did that, the voice’s owner caught a fleeting glance of me, and he seemingly returned to the conversation a group of boys my age were having. I hung my head, feeling rejected and alone. By now, I would have left. But out of respect for McKenzie, I will stay until the end.