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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

By ashlee norgren


Day after day she sat in her chair. The first time I met her she was sitting in that chair. Why she loved that chair so much, I do not know. It was old, cracked, and worn. I thought for sure one day it would fall apart. She did the same thing day after day in her chair. She stared out the huge open window as the seasons past by sewing away every second she had. As I watched her carefully I was amazed by what I saw. Her hands were always moving and her eyes glued to the window. Rarely would she look down to see what she was doing. I sat across from her and what I saw in her lonely, gray eyes touched my heart. Sometimes I would try and talk to her, but she always responded with the same answer.
“Wait,” she said very softly and gently.
“Wait for what,” I would say.
“Wait,” she repeated.
I couldn’t help but wonder what I was suppose to be waiting for. What was she waiting for? For the last 5 years she had been waiting, but whatever for?
As I cleaned the dust from her pictures I tried to figure out just who she was. I had not seen any pictures from her younger years. I can’t help but wonder what she looked like. In one picture I saw her standing alongside this tall, handsome man. I had never seen this man before. Was this her boyfriend or perhaps her brother? I had so many questions running through my head. As I started looking at the other pictures I noticed something very bizarre. This was the only picture she smiled in; she actually looked happy. I didn’t get that sad feeling from her eyes that I knew so well. One thing I knew for sure was that this man had to mean so much to her. In all the other pictures she wore a frown on her face. The eyes, the sad and lonely eyes, stuck out like a sore thumb. Once again I returned to the only happy picture of her. I picked it up and held it in my hands to get a closer look.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
Startled, the picture fell from my sweaty fingers to the floor. As I stared at the shattered glass, tears began to form in my eyes.
“I’m so sorry! Please, let me pick up the glass for you,” I said in a shaky voice.
“You best be going now. I’ll take care of this,” the old lady replied.
“I’m so sorry,” I added once again.
“Go,” she said in a low key voice.
That was the first time she had ever said anything to me, other than to wait. There had to be something significant about those pictures or that picture in particular. Maybe she thought I was snooping, but what could she had been hiding? What didn’t she want me to know?
That was also the last thing she ever said to me. That very night she died, while in her chair holding onto the only picture she had smiled in. She had no will and she had nobody to claim her things. She was just a lonely old lady with nobody, but me. I was asked if I would like to keep anything, and so I kept the picture of her smiling. What I found wrote on the back of that picture brought tears to my eyes. It said...
To my dearest Anne,
If you get this picture I want you to hold on to it. It has brought me many smiles through these long, bloody days. I do not know how much longer I will last. I’m starting to get very weak and tired. There’s not much food to go around for everyone. The Lord is my only strength. I want you to know that I’m ready to be with my Creator. I’m waiting to see Him face to face. With all my love, Richie.
Then I finally knew what she meant. The days she spent in that chair sewing and staring out the window were the days she spent waiting. She was waiting to be with her Creator.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/05/07
There's a lot of potential in this moody piece, which could benefit from some edits for clarity and flow.

Its strength is its characterization of the old woman, and the narrator's voice.

Keep writing, this piece shows great promise.