“Finish your drawings, class. It’s almost time for recess,” Mrs. Johnson said.
The students hurried to finish their pictures, put away the crayons, and put on their coats.
Abbey looked up from her picture as the other children ran off, then she slowly colored a few more details. There was no hurry. Nobody ever wanted to play with her anyway.
Abbey sighed, stood up, and walked to the coat rack to grab her coat. Then she slowly walked out to her favorite tree and sat down. She looked toward the playground, where the other children were laughing and having fun. Being the new girl was hard. She missed Arizona. Before she moved she had lots of friends, and she never had to sit by herself during recess.
Abbey looked down and saw a flash of silver in the grass. It was her CTR ring! She had lost it yesterday during recess. “Well, at least I have my ring back,” she said out loud as she put the ring on her finger.
Abbey noticed a girl walking her way. She had long blonde hair that swayed back and forth with every step. It was Laurel, one of the most popular girls in class. Laurel sat down beside Abbey.
“Hi, Abbey,” Laurel said. “Do you want to play with me?”
Abbey nodded her head eagerly. “Sure. What should we do first?”
“Let’s go swing,” Laurel said.
After having a contest to see who could swing the highest, the girls talked and giggled at the edge of the playground. Abbey felt so happy. She hadn’t felt this good since before she moved.
Abbey noticed Laurel eyeing the nearby gravel path that led away from the school grounds.
“Abbey, my house is only one block from here, and my mom just bought some cookies,” Laurel said. “We could run there, grab some cookies, and be back before recess is over. No one would miss us.”
Abbey was surprised. Everyone knew that leaving the school grounds during school hours was against the rules. “But what about your mom? Won’t she be there?” Abbey asked.
“Nope. She’s at work today,” Laurel said.
Abbey knew that leaving the school grounds was wrong, but Laurel was the first person in her class to pay any attention to her, and she desperately wanted to have her as a friend. If she refused to go, Abbey was afraid Laurel might make fun of her. Then she’d never have any friends.
Abbey looked down at her CTR ring. She remembered her Primary teacher saying that even though it can be hard to choose the right sometimes, Heavenly Father blesses us when we do.
“Sorry, Laurel,” Abbey said. “I can’t go with you. It’s against the rules.” Abbey looked at Laurel expectantly, waiting to see how she would react.
Instead of getting angry, Laurel just shrugged her shoulders. “Oh, well. I thought you’d probably say that,” Laurel said. “Maybe instead I could ask my mom if you could come over tomorrow after school. Then we can still have some of those cookies.”
Abbey grinned. “That sounds great,” she said. “Hey, do you want to go collect some leaves for next week’s art project?”
Laurel nodded, and the two new friends skipped back to the big tree.
“I will choose the right.”
My Gospel Standards
Illustrations by Julie F. Young