Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: Mismatched Memories
By Brenda Welc
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As the waves gently caress the shoreline in the bright sunlight of the afternoon, Lori frets about what to do next. Joe just decided out of the blue to leave her. He left no clue, no forwarding address. What could she have possibly done to scare him away? Joe and Lori had spent so many wonderful years together enjoying the life they were handed by fate and now here she walks endlessly up and down the beach searching for answers to this mystery.
Lori met Joe in high school at an after school program for dysfunctional families. Lori’s dad had left her mom and three sisters two years before and Joe’s mom left when he was just an infant. At the time Joe was living with his grandparents while his dad was sorting through what to do with his life having enough of the single parenting days. This program was suppose to help kids figure out their place in all this madness and offered a Christian aspect to the situation. So there they were, two young souls in the mix of uncertainty, not knowing what was going to happen next when their eyes met and it was love at first sight.
As Lori and Joe became closer and graduated from high school they decided not to make the same mistakes as their parents did and stay together forever. They began attending the local Pentecostal church and making friends who supported them and their aspirations. They dreamed of getting married, owning a huge house and having lots of kids. It was a dream of happiness intertwined with the assuredness they would never be apart from one another until they departed in death. Lori often sat for hours on the beach planning their wedding and dreaming of possible names for the children she would bear someday with Joe. She knew what song would be played during the lighting of the unity candles and she could envision the dozens of white, sweet smelling lilies that would fill the church on a summer day in June.
Now those dreams were out of reach. Joe had taken them with him two days ago when he left in a rush with a short good bye and a small peck on the cheek. Lori picked up a handful of sand and threw it into the wind as she screamed as loud as she could in anguish. It’s not fair she kept thinking. Do good things ever last forever? Why me? Where did he go? Will they ever be together again to live out the dream created by two who were so in love? What did I do to make God separate us? As the sun begins to set, Lori decides to leave her frustrations to the wind and starts putting her mind to rest.
Lori began to slowly walk back to the beach house she had rented for the summer when in the distance a strange scene began to unfold. First she could see a group of musicians walking toward her playing “Starry, Starry Night” softly in the approaching twilight. It was a shocking experience to hear the song she and Joe had first dance to being played by a band walking down the beach. Next behind the band there was a street vendor pushing a small cart. Oh the smell of sauerkraut and mustard filled Lori’s nostrils bringing her back to the first meal her and Joe had shared while they were at the park on their first date. Tears began to well up in her eyes as all the wonderful memories of Joe started to flood her thoughts.
Last in this line of mismatched memories was Joe holding a dozen white lilies and a small box in his hand. He approached Lori as the musicians continued to softly play their song and the wonderful smell of food surrounded them. Joe handed Lori the flowers, lowered himself to one knee and proposed a marriage that would last for eternity. And the mystery was solved. Joe had decided it was time to go forward with his dreams and left on a journey to compete the mission of surprising Lori with a marriage proposal. Lori just stood in awe of everything going on around her. All those fearful thoughts disappeared as she smiled sweetly at Joe and said, “Yes!”
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