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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: The Surprise
By Esther Gellert


Angela sighed as she dunked the teabag again. Up and down, up and down.

“Just like my life, huh,” she muttered. “Sometimes I feel up, but mostly, just this miserable down.”

She’d had a perfectly normal, rushed morning. Beginning with the rush to get Tom’s lunch ready and see him off to work with a smile, and followed by an hour of hectic rushing around as she made school lunches and nagged at Alexis and Cody to get ready for school. Jai had done his usual carry-on, crying and complaining when she had tried to make him use the potty. They were late for school, again.

When she reached the supermarket it was crowded. The ‘sale items’ were already sold out and Jai grizzled the whole time.

“Thank goodness it’s Jai’s ‘special afternoon’ with Nanna,” Angela had thought as, with a sigh of relief, she watched Nanna back out of the driveway. Jai waved joyfully from his booster seat in the back of Nanna’s car.

Angela squeezed out her teabag, grabbed a piece of cake and sat down for a moment to gather her thoughts.

Unexpectedly, she felt tears begin to prick the back of her eyes. A moment later she found herself slumped on the floor, face buried in the sofa, sobbing.

“Oh, Lord,” she cried. “What’s wrong with me? I feel so lonely Lord. I feel so unloved. God, do you think Tom still loves me? Does he even SEE me anymore? Does he notice me? Am I anything to him any more? Other than a cook and a babysitter, that is.” There was silence for a moment before she continued. “I know you love me Lord. Please fill me with your love and help me to go on.”

Angela sat with her head on the sofa for several minutes until, as her sobbing eased, she felt God fill her with peace and a certainty that he was in control. She got up, dried her eyes and went to rinse her mug out.

As she was folding the clean washing she heard a car pull into the driveway. She glanced at her watch, wondering who it could be at this time of day.

A moment later Tom burst into the room and grabbed her in a bear hug, planting an excited kiss on her lips. “You look beautiful today, Angie. I love that colour blue on you.” He paused a moment, gazing into her eyes before continuing. “Come on, my beautiful wife. Pack your bags and let’s go.” He released her and started pulling an overnight bag out of the cupboard as he spoke.

“What? …Huh? I … What are you talking about Tom? I’m not going anywhere. I have to pick the kids up from school in an hour.”

“Not tonight my beloved.” Tom grinned. “Nanna’s picking them up. It’s all arranged. You and I…” He took her face in his hands and looked deep into her eyes.

“You and I are having a weekend away. Just us. No kids. I noticed you’ve been looking a little down lately and I thought you might need a little holiday. I hope you don’t mind if I come too.”

He kissed her again, gently and tenderly, but with a promise of more to come. “Have I told you lately that I love you?” he asked.

“Thankyou Lord,” Angela whispered as she began to shove some clothes in a bag.

Constructive criticism welcome.

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This article has been read 517 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LaNaye Perkins04/26/07
What a wonderful story! I don't know a single mom that hasn't felt this way at least 100 times in her life! You did a great job describing her feelings.
Jacquelyn Horne04/26/07
God is a romantic. We fail to realize it sometimes. Wonderful story. I could feel Angela's misery and her surprise in her husband's plans. Good writing.
Martha Helton04/27/07
Enjoyed reading this and identified with this mothers' feelings-I can't wait to show this to my husband to give him some ideas for a "surprise" getaway!
Brenda Welc04/27/07
I loved the feel of this story--a true marriage romance! Great writing.
Pat Guy 04/30/07
The only thing I can see is a 'run on' sentence in the third paragraph. (really it's the first paragraph after the first two seperate sentences) Those are easy to look over when you are writing and telling a story.

Other than that I got swept away in the mood of the feelings of a normal wife and felt elated at her husband's romantic thoughtfulness.

Kudos to you! :)
Rita Garcia04/30/07
Fantastic story! I enjoy you gift for writing!
Sara Harricharan 05/02/07
A most welcome surprise (and a quickly answered prayer too!) I'm so glad that Angela was able to get it all sorted out and a nice romantic weekend to boot. It did seem a little rushed when she just prayed, dried her tears and got up, going about so quickly after such a sudden breakdown. Then again, she is a strong character. Just a thought. Good writing! ^_^
Pam Carlson-Hetland05/02/07
I really enjoyed this story. You expressed those emotions familiar to so many of us very well. I liked how the character gave her problems to God. And it was a wonderful ending. Good story, good writing.
Julie Arduini05/02/07
I chuckle at the character names only because my husband is Tom and his first wife was an Angela. This was romantic and the cry of every mother of preschooler's heart! I'm not strong in grammar but in the beginning I saw a "She'd had" and I'm not sure if that is correct. I also thought the beginning told more than showed, yet I can't think of how I would have written it differently. This was a sweet romance and I'm cheering because her needs were met!