Be Not Afraid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   She heard about it months in advance. She could handle it. She did it all the time in school among her friends. It was second nature to her. Yet this time she was nervous and worried. She was well-prepared, but that did not matter. What would they think? Would they laugh, clap, yell, boo, cheer? These were things she could not predict. Still, she thought and thought about it all the time. Why? Because they did not know her. She was different. She was doing something no one had ever thought of. Her parents, family and friends all assured her and supported her. That did not matter. What mattered most was feeling sure of herself. Questions flew, "Why me? Why did you volunteer? How will they act?" So many questions, yet the answers seemed so distant. Then she realized, "Who cares what they think! This is me. Like me for me, or don't like me. The freedom and power is mine."

The day came: she could handle it. Evening followed; she couldn't handle it. She arrived early to become familiar with her surroundings. They began to arrive. More came than had been expected. For every unfamiliar face a pang of uncertainty hit her, like the sting of a bee, quick and sharp. They sat and she sat, to listen how the event that would change the community. Would they understand?

Her time came. Slowly yet comfortably, she stood, walked to the altar and began to speak, "I'm a Catholic Confirmation Candidate like all of you. For me confirmation is far more than becoming a young adult in the Catholic church ..." She spoke and they listened. All was quiet for what seemed like an eternity. Her fear and apprehension left her. She was free. She spoke without error; it flowed like a waterfall. She finished and they clapped, yelled and cheered. What she said touched the class. Why be afraid? That's why I no longer fear to speak what I believe. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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