Cody met Amanda when they were college juniors. Amanda was an amazing basketball player and he attended all her games. Some of the guys teased him when he courted her like the old fashioned way. They loved each other desperately at the word “Hi.” He proposed to her during spring break. They planned their future lives. He’d be an accountant and she a journalist after her pro basketball career. Then she’d have one kid, Peter or Fran and accept freelance work. They’d buy a house near parents; a rose garden for her and a shop where he’d restore vintage cars. With the kid off to college, they’d retire in Panama.
Only if life were so simple. Behind peace lurked war. It all happened in a merciless nano second in which Cody and Amanda’s lives. Amanda was having the game of her life, sprinting up and down the court, making threes, athletic layups and causing chaos on defense. All the while, she made sure to get her teammates the ball. The other team just scored a two-pointer and Amanda took possession. Before the opponent had a chance to assume defensive positions, Amanda passed the ball to a wide-open teammate who landed a three. The crowd erupted in cheers and the band played the school’s fight song. Cody stood to applaud. Back on defense for Amanda. She pressed the girl with the ball, swatting at it. In an instant the home crowd went crazy as Amanda stole the ball and hurried down the hardwood. She made a basket. In the midst of triumph there was shocked. Amanda had collapsed mid-court. The trainers rushed to her. Cody’s heart went to his head. The band stopped and the auditorium turned eerily quiet. Everything appeared to be a movie in slow motion for Cody. He tried to get to her as something was terribly wrong. A trainer gave her cpr and then he couldn’t see anything. Players from both teams blocked his view; a few girls huddled for prayer. He pushed through the crowd to find paramedics shocking her heart. Then he heard the dreaded flat-line and the words “We lost her” echoed in his mind. “Amanda, no!” Cody cried. Amanda had an undiagnosed heart condition he found out later. All their hopes and dreams wipe away like the sweat being mopped off the basketball court.
No more peace but war in his mind. He shut out the world—all the important things, even God; Amanda witnessed to him and he accepted Christ. “Why God, why!” he yelled.
War of depression and drink became his life. He dropped out of school and lived on the street for months. A mugger stabbed Cody, which scared him. The doc said he was a lucky guy. “God why couldn’t let me go,” he prayed—then he remembered Amanda who said quoting the book of John, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” But what was the rest.
“Great verse,” said the nurse, “John 4:27 ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’”
“Do you have a bible?” he asked.
When she came back with it he was sobbing. “What is wrong?” And Cody told her his story. It was two in the morning and the hospital didn’t require her attention. After they talked and prayed, he felt comfort—no more war but peace.
“Oh what’s your name?” he asked.
Pointing to her name tag and read, “Angelica.”
An angel—a human angel—God sent to help him fight the war and in the end, peace.
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This is a heartbreaking story and you told it well. It reminds me of a similar true story a friend endured. Although he has found some peace I wish everyone could have a happy ending.
Using more dialogue and describe the story as you were watching a TV show will help with the show don't tell. For example when she fell on the court, he probably jumped to his feet and pressed his hands against his head until his knuckles turned white. Tears would have filled his eyes. Maybe he shook his head to stop the ringing in his ears.His face may have paled and he could have started shaking so violently, the stranger next to him reached out to steady him and prevent him from falling. Those are just examples to show you how to paint a picture with your words.
You did a great job drawing me in and my heart ached for the MC. Keep writing, if you have someone to proofread it that is always best, if not try to let it set overnight then read it aloud. All in all I think you did a great job with keeping it fresh and on topic.I liked the characters and the eding was nice too. I like how you didn't immediately tie it up into a neat little bow.It felt real and you made me feel the roller coaster of emotions. I'm eager to read more of your work!
The elements of romance, hope for the future then tragedy upon tragedy are all there. The story grows and reaches a satisfying conclusion.
Some editing and tightening would polish it nicely.
Example: 'Then he heard the dreaded flat-line and the words “We lost her” echoed in his mind.' Perhaps, this might be better.
'Sounds of a silent heart underscored the finality of "We lost her."
Just one idea of tightening and editing. I am always tempted to tell the reader things they will already know. Saying, "and the words",is stating the obvious. Also, it would be good to Google and read articles about telling vs showing. I am still getting my head around this. Good story with potential. Keep it up.