A Friend I Didn’t Know I Had
A novel by
Pastor Brian is a youth pastor with a mission; to educate people on the hazards of
bullying, especially for children. Having lost his own daughter to suicide brought on by
bullying, he has a unique perspective on the problem, and a calling to end bullying and
Set in Midwestern suburbia, Pastor Brian actively guides youth to Christ and Christ-like
behavior by praying with them in front of the high school every morning, as well as
holding a weekly Bible study. His wife is a teacher at the school, and his two remaining
children attend classes there.
Johnny is an outcast among the students. He watches from afar as they gather to pray
each morning. He is taunted and bullied in school in the hallways, and is tormented
at lunchtime in the cafeteria. He is fixated on the most popular girl in school,
Patricia, captain of the cheerleading squad and homecoming queen, who happens to
be going steady with Alan, quarterback of the football team. Each attempt at asking her
out results in more ridicule for Johnny.
One morning, Johnny is so despondent he joins the students at the flagpole for prayer.
He pulls out a gun. He tells Pastor Brian that he wanted to kill himself, but after the few
Christian youth who reached out to him, and the hope that an anti-bullying campaign
in the school just might work, Johnny wants to turn in his gun. Of course, this causes
a major school lockdown, and the police are summoned. Johnny is arrested.
Pastor Brian helps Johnny get into a six-month program which, upon completion, could
result in Johnny’s criminal record being cleared. The program is rigid, but Johnny
completes it and returns home. His mother has divorced his abusive father and plans
to marry a policeman.
After the homecoming football game, Patricia and Alan are at a drinking party.
There are no adults present, and Alan has had too much to drink. Patricia’s best
friend Christine tries to get Alan to stay and sleep it off, but he and Patricia leave
in his car.
A few hours later, Pastor Brian gets a call from Patricia’s parents. She has been
in an accident caused by Alan’s drunk driving. She may never walk again. Alan
dies from internal injuries.
Johnny and Christine visit Patricia at the hospital nearly every day. After seeing
how caring Johnny is, Christine falls in love with him. When Patricia is well
enough they tell her that they’re dating, and she is happy for them. She considers
them her two best friends.
After graduation, Johnny and Christine marry and start a family. Patricia asks
them to join her on speaking engagements in schools to demonstrate what can
happen due to misbehavior; Johnny went to jail over bullying, and Patricia is
confined to a wheelchair due to drinking and driving. They make a strong impact
with the students, and hopefully will save many lives by sharing the story that Pastor