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This is the Writing Challenge I inted to submit for 'Sharp', but I used up my 4 entries. All red ink is encouraged.
He awoke abruptly and turned toward the alarm clock. The soft yellow glow whispered 4:00 am. He perceived her warmth next to him and lay quietly so as not to wake her. He closed his eyes and silently traced the soft curves of her body in his mind. Her rhythmic breathing soothed him like the waves of the ocean. After several minutes he rose silently and reached for his clothes. He left a quick note on the nightstand before slipping out the door; had to go, see ya tonight. Love Mac.
“Good morning Pastor,” said Kathryn, Mac’s secretary of ten years.
“Morning, Katie,” said Mac. Slim, blonde and efficient, Mac had grown to depend on her over the years. “Please don’t forget to remind me about my 10 o’clock. I’ve also got two counseling appointments after lunch and a budget proposal meeting. And call my wife and tell her I’ll be late this evening. I’ve got to meet with some contractors about the new classroom wing.”
MacDonald Stanton closed his office door and poured himself some fresh brewed coffee. Admiring his crisp, tailored suit, Mac reflected on his life. He was a blessed man. He had a beautiful family, a secure job that paid well, and the respect and admiration of the community. His position at Family Life Center had afforded him an extraordinary life. He had everything but peace of mind.
“Pastor, don’t forget your 10 o’clock….”
Mac drove up the driveway just before sundown, past the knife edged, manicured lawn and parked. Without knocking, he entered and placed his keys in the dish on the credenza.
“Hey,” Mac announced. Hearing no answer, he headed to the bed room, removed his jacket and lay down on the bed. He closed his eyes, and exhaled deeply, and realized the shower was running. Glancing at the clock, he saw the note; had to go, see ya tonight. Love Mac.
“Hey stranger,” her voice jerked Mac out of his daze. She was radiant in a silk, oriental gown, her skin shining. Mac inhaled her scented body wash as she reached to embrace him. “Miss me?”
“Terribly,” he lied. Mac was torn between his desires and his morality. Physically he ached for her, but the stab of guilt he felt was overwhelming. She felt the hesitation in his kiss and turned toward the bathroom.
“So, when did she get back?”
“This morning, just before I left.” Mac sat down in the corner of the room.
Arms crossed, she drew down on him with a pointed stare. “So, when are you going to tell her?”
Mac could feel his blood beginning to boil. “Listen, Katie, I love you, but this is a delicate situation. We’ve been married 20 years. There’s a lot to consider here – if the board were to find out about this…Well, let’s just say my future, our future, would be very much up in the air.” He got up and began to pace the room. “No, we’ve got to be smart about this. “We’ve got to plan things carefully.”
“No, Mac. Either you love me or you don’t. I don’t want your careful research, and I sure don’t want you to preach me some phony sermon.”
Her words cut Mac deep, leaving him speechless.
She picked up his coat and tossed it to him. “Make a decision Mac, or I will.”
The worship was rousing and the people were filled with expectation as Pastor Mac approached the pulpit. Mac loved to preach when the anointing filled the house.
“If you will, take your Bibles and turn to…”
“Pastor Mac and I are in love!”
Mac looked up from his Bible to see Katie standing in the center aisle. She was pointing at him and shouting. The blood drained from his face and he buckled for a moment before clutching his chest and falling on the platform. Everything was hazy, and he saw his life flash like a movie before him. People, places, websites, habits; even the thoughts and intentions of his heart came into focus. He gasped for air as everything turned black around him…
“Honey, are you alright?”
Drenched in sweat, bolt upright, Mac looked at his wife, then around the room.
The clocked glowed 4:22 am.
“I’m fine.” Mac lay down and silently prayed for forgiveness. He would end his infatuation with Katie now before anything began. And he would get things right with God. Mac realized just how close to destruction he had been.
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