Bully King by Andi Jaxon

Prologue





Dear Heavenly Father,

I know I am not worthy of Your love, or Your salvation. If You hear me, please strike me from this Earth. I am amiss. I am a sinner, unable to be forgiven. I don’t know Your plan or Your reasoning. I don’t understand why You would make me this way, but I cannot live like this anymore. Every day, I live a lie. Every day, I struggle. I’m dishonoring Your holy name, Lord Jesus.

I do not wish to live in this darkness any longer. I am bad. I am broken. I am undeserving of finesse. Please, just spare my family the shame of knowing I am unwell. That I am wrongfully gay. Allow me a quick death. I plead of You to just end my life before the town and congregation find out. My family wouldn’t survive the humiliation my tainted heart would bring down upon them. Wrap Your loving arms around them, Heavenly Father, for You are the only one to heal and save them from the pain of losing a son.

I don’t know what to do. Do I not deserve to be loved by another? To know the happiness You teach us? I have followed Your Word my entire life, tried to bury my urges, pretended to be as You command us to be, but nothing has treated me in any favor. I love my family and being excommunicated would break me, so I beg You, please spare me that by taking my life instead.

Continue to help my family through prayer and love. Do not abandon them for my unholy ways. Instead, encourage them to cherish and love one another. Show them to Your pearly gates when their time is near. Do not forsake them, Lord Jesus, for I am the one that has sinned, not them.

In Your precious Son’s name I pray,

Amen



Tears roll down my face, dripping onto my arms as I kneel next to my bed, the pain piercing my heart as I try to keep my sobs quiet. Pain that’s etched deep into my soul. Why am I so broken? What have I done to deserve this punishment?





Chapter One





Jonah





As I dig through my backpack to make sure I have everything, nerves churn in my stomach. The first day of my last year of high school. A school I’ve never attended, in a town I’ve barely settled into. New people to meet and new experiences to witness. I close my eyes, my breath hitching in my throat when I say a quick prayer.

Please, Lord, let today go well.

My bedroom door opens abruptly, disrupting my thoughts. Quickly glancing over my shoulder, I smile at my sister, Mary’s, excitement. The soft pink material of her dress swirls around her knees while the curls of her chocolate brown hair bounce swiftly with glee. She’s on the shorter side, like our mother, but we both get the hazel eyes from our father. At fifteen, she’s only two years younger than me, but she’s my best friend.

“Come on! We’re going to be late!” she says as her flats rock back and forth on the hardwood floors.

Her delight flowing through the air in that one motion. It’s almost contagious. She’s such a social butterfly; she has been counting down the days until she meets new people born in the same century as she was.

“I’m coming. Relax.” I swing my backpack over my shoulder and tuck my dark blue polo into my khakis, then walk past her down the hallway.

Grabbing two toaster waffles, I shove one in my mouth and barely escape my mother’s affectionate cheek kisses as I sneak by.

“You two need to hurry and get going, or you’re going to be late!” Mom shouts from the kitchen.

Slipping on my black Vans and opening the front door, I holler a quick “Bye!” behind my shoulder as Mary pushes me outside.

A barely audible “Jesus loves you!” follows us.

“Jeez, Mary. You know the school isn’t going anywhere, right?”

“I don’t want to be late on my first day,” she says as she rolls her eyes in that irritating way only little sisters can, and speeds up as the school comes into view.

Nerves once again strangle my insides. It’s my senior year of high school. I should be with my friends, not trying to find my way through a new school.

Taking a deep breath, I force myself to remember why we are here. God has called our family here to do His work.

Finishing the last of my waffle, I jog to keep up with my almost hysterical sister as we head to the office. The room is busy with the start of the day activities. Secretaries on computers or phones. Students hurriedly entering and exiting, brushing past as they journey to class or lockers. The hum of the copy machine running is almost soothing. Stepping up to the counter, we’re met by an older woman with big white hair.