Jesus Freaks: The Prodigal (Jesus Freaks #2)
Author:Andrea Randall

Jesus Freaks: The Prodigal (Jesus Freaks #2)

 

Andrea Randall

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

God asked me to write this series, and I don’t know why. I’m dedicating this book to myself in hopes that maybe I can figure it out.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Scream and Shout

 

 

 

 

My name is Kennedy Sawyer, and I am Roland Abbot’s daughter.

 

Words I never thought I’d say in front of people I never thought I’d address. Me, a liberal Episcopalian from Connecticut, acknowledging televangelist Roland Abbot as my birth father while standing in front of my classmates at the über-Christian Carter University.

 

The applause from my fellow students amidst their standing ovation is deafening, drowning out everything else I thought I’d say. Instead, I swallow back my tears and lean into Roland’s side when he reaches the podium and puts his arm around my shoulders. I’m too paralyzed with anxiety, fear, and relief to worry about whether or not he’s going to want to hug me for much longer, or kiss the top of my head, or anything like that.

 

“Did you want to say anything else?” he whispers into my ear with an uncharacteristic tremble.

 

All I can do is shake my head. Shake my head and look up into his eyes. The ones that are identical to mine—grey and brimming with tears. His smile is anything but sad. My eyes dart in an instant to where my mother is sitting, clapping politely along with the crowd, her eyes shedding tears by the second.

 

Is she mad at me?

 

Sad?

 

Relieved?

 

I didn’t run my plans for this morning by her because I knew her opinions might get in the way of my resolve. After the three days I just endured—trying to clear mine and Roland’s names from rumors of an affair, because no one knew we were related—I needed to take this stand.

 

My eyes settle on Matt, and the rest of the friends I’ve managed to accumulate so far despite myself. But, mostly I focus on Matt. It was just recently that I learned he is a PK—a preacher’s kid. An identity he seemed unwilling to accept. Until, that is, he admitted he knew who I was all along, and that he would help me in this crazy new life I’ve found myself. And, he asked in urgent return that I help him.

 

Them.

 

All of the PK’s who don’t feel they have a real voice. A tribute, if you will. Like The Hunger Games. And, honestly, that’s exactly what it feels like I’m stepping into, and CU is the cornucopia. Supposedly safe, but in practice it’s surrounded by enemies. Like Joy. If there was one here, there’s likely more.

 

The applause dies down and everyone who was standing settles into their seats. I, too, make my way to mine. Moving like a robot on the outside, feeling what it might feel like to be drunk on the inside. Every muscle bends and swirls like Jell-O that’s been left in the sun, but I manage to get to my seat with relative dignity. Taking a deep breath, I look to the front-row once more and receive smiles and a few thumbs-up from my roommates—Eden and Bridgette—as well as from Jonah, Silas, and even Asher—my boss from the coffee shop where I work, Word.

 

“Let us pray.” The crowd’s murmurs morph into thick silence as Roland takes the podium.

 

It’s the most formal petition to prayer I’ve heard from his lips. Normally he settles for let’s. But, then again, normally his long-lost daughter doesn’t take the stage and identify herself as such in front of eleventy billion people.

 

What have I done?

 

Three days ago I was artfully navigating the dual life of a Carter University student and a “regular person”. I went to class, work, and Bible study just like everyone else, and saw my televangelist father on the side. Okay, so I don’t know how long I planned to keep the second part a secret, but I certainly hadn’t planned on my spiteful floor mate, Joy Martinez, outing my “relationship” with the beloved Pastor Roland.

 

An affair, of all things. That’s what she printed on the posters she handed out in the dining hall. That Roland and I were having an affair. After all, that was the only reasonable explanation for how much time the charismatic church leader was spending with the girl from Connecticut with a questionable salvation status.

 

Taking a deep breath, I lift my head in search of Joy. I begged for her to not be suspended or expelled. I need to have a chance to speak with her, to figure out why in the world she would do such a thing. I likely won’t be afforded such a chance if she gets expelled and is sent to live the rest of her days in shame.