Paul regrets making Gigi sad, and he is hurt that his friendship has ended so abruptly, but he comforts himself with the fact that he did try and only got the reaction he knew was coming anyway.  As far as he’s concerned, he got off lucky that she ran away crying instead of blowing up in his face.  Besides, if she’s the kind, compassionate Christian she pretends to be, then the two should be able to restore the relationship.  As far as Paul is concerned, she’s not worth chasing.  She’s never shown any genuine effort to be his friend without the goading of others, so he doesn’t really feel like he’s lost a relationship.  Instead, he makes his way back to the others, slightly paranoid that someone saw, or even heard, the grievous exchange, but makes himself forget it by talking and joking with whoever will laugh with him.

    As far as laughing and forgetting are concerning, this involves time and a lot of it soon passes until it’s time to get back to the school.  In fact, this family gathering only reaches the point of goodbye hugs two hours after sunrise.  Now, that’s a lot of talking, joking and food!  How Kammy didn’t fit in a game of chancing with Paul is…oh…no, wait.  They played two games.  How’d I miss that?  Guess it goes to show just how much you can overlook with hundreds of System Guards to keep up with over a full day of activities, and how much I know about chancing.  Alright, kiddos, it’s time to learn some responsibility and actually go home now.

    With everyone back together, the group prepares for takeoff as adoring eyes of respect and renewed friendship pass from friend to friend to friend.  Even Owan, who was mainly concerned with bettering himself as a fighter, feels closer to his pals.  The only two not to share such a kind look are Paul and Grace with Elfie being aware by now of what was said.  Sure, he’s hurt that Paul said mean things to his sister, but he knows Paul, and he knows Gigi.  Ent did tactfully remind Gigi that she was hard on Paul, as they all can be sometimes.  It doesn’t excuse his anger, but as they wait for things to cool down, Ent encourages Gigi to approach Paul the same way he’s been approaching a lovely young lady for the past few years.

    “A life is precious, and the main goal of any life is to run after Jesus Christ with all your heart.  Not everyone runs as fast as we’d like them to.  Some people run the opposite direction.  Sometimes, what a person needs most isn’t to be told what they should or shouldn’t do.  Yeah, there’s definitely a time for that, but sometimes you have to be patient and let them grow on their own.  I know that Paul is trying to follow Christ, and he’s hurting right now.  Let’s love him like the brother he is and be patient.  Mercy is not getting what we deserve, and grace is getting what we don’t deserve.  Sure, it’s hard enough to not give people the grief we think they need, but I feel like I’m learning the greater strength is showing the love of Christ in grace, showing a kindness and compassion that those who hurt us don’t deserve.  I’m sure there are people in my life who are patiently waiting for me to grow up and be the servant of Christ I’m supposed to be, so I’ll try to show that same compassion for others, too.”

    As these words spoken earlier in the day come to Grace’s mind, she smiles in comfort, which in turn give her a brief moment of courage to look at the one who surely hates her now.  She gives him the warmest smile she can and timidly says, “No disguises, no masks, only Grace.”

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