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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

By Jerry Ware


“Listen, Mike, I am not saying you’re not good. I’m just saying that you should worry more about the welfare of your family”

“I know what I am doing! And Ted, I am looking out for the welfare of my family, that is why I am doing this project.”

“Mike, are you willing to lose your family in order to try to provide for them?”

“What are you talking about? I am not going to lose them. Things are just a little hectic right now that’s all. When this project is over, then things will go back to normal as usual. They understand that I have to spend a little more time on this then with them, but it is all for the good of the family.” Mike continues to paint, with a little frustration on his face from being heckled by his best friend.

“Well, then I guess all that is left to say is good luck and I hope things work out for you.”

I started for the door and I was so hoping that he would say something, anything, but all he did was continue to paint. He has a beautiful wife, two great children, and a lovely home that is paid for, no less, and two cars that are also paid for. A life that many people only dream of having and he is throwing it all away.

“Mike, we need to talk. There is something very important that I need to talk to you about.”

“Sara, can it wait till later, I am almost done with this section of the painting? Listen, what ever it is, it can wait till later this evening when I get home, ok!”

“Mike, we won’t be home when you get home.”

“Oh, ok, well, then when you get back from wherever, we can talk then, just not right now.”

“Your not understanding, I am not coming back. The children and I are leaving. We can no longer live this way. I can no longer live this way.”

“What, after all I am doing for this family, you’re just going to walk out on me now? If it is about the money, we will have plenty after this project, I promise.”

“Then what? You’ll go back into your deep depression slumber while the kids and I watch from the sidelines as you push the world out, including us. No, thank you. For the past six years, you were either in a deep depression because you couldn’t find a good high paying painting job or when you did you were always at work. We have seen so little of you, that your own children don’t even ask where you are or when your coming home anymore. It breaks my heart to think you would rather paint or sulk more than you would like to spend time with your family.”

“I will not lose you, Sara, I can’t lose you now.”

“You have already lost me. If you did not want to lose me, you should have thought about that six years ago when I tried to get you back into the family, or four years ago, when your best friend tried to talk to you. I would have stayed even today, if you would only have listened to your friend today, but you would rather be where you are right now, then with us.

“Wait, Sara, you can’t leave. All of this I am doing for you and the children can’t you see that? All of this is for you.”

“No, no, it has always been about what you want, about your needs, about your painting career. It has never been about us, because we didn’t want all of this, we wanted you. You wanted all of this, so don’t you try to blame the kids and I for your selfishness.”

“Sara! Sara! No, don’t go!”

I went to check up on him six months later and with no surprise, he was still painting.

“I lost her. I lost her.” With no expression on his face, no emotion in his eyes he just repeated the same phrase over and over again. I spent about two hours with him just sitting, watching him paint and no other words came out of his mouth, but I lost her.

Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 01/26/07
How sad that a man could abandon his family, but it does happen both with work and with other interests. I pray he finds a way to get his life back, and then someday be reunited with his family. You wrote this sad story well.
terri tiffany01/29/07
What I like - I like the story you are telling - and I like the emotions you want to reveal. I like the beginning too.
What I might change - watch some tense shifts and do some editing here and there. The dialogue is good but stiff in a few places - try reading it out loud and see if it flows (I know that helps me a lot)
I like your whole story line and the scripture that goes with it. Just making a few changes here and there will really strengthen your story! Promise!