Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: The End
By RuthAnn Cornelson
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He let her check out first. “Hey,” he said, as she picked up her plastic bag, “Let’s go for coffee when I’m done here.” Same old Jake – no, can you, would you like to. “Yes,” replied the same old Sara, always willing to put aside anything for a chance to be with him. How long had it been? Four years, but her heart still skipped a beat at the sight of him. Her mind flashed back to her senior year in high school, Biology class.
She found her seat and saw the name tag next to her, Jake Johnson. She knew of him; everyone did. Partier, jock, popular; everything she wasn’t. She’d never met him, just heard stories. He arrived a couple minutes after the bell with a grin and no apology. Her heart flip-flopped. She’d never heard about his good looks. Should’ve guessed considering the stories.
They didn’t talk for a couple weeks; he was always late. Then one day he asked, “So, what’s that about,” pointing at her Christian button and Bible. She explained briefly. They talked every day after that; he had a lot of questions. She invited him to a Billy Graham movie at her church on Friday. Afterwards he said he wanted to ask Christ into his life, so she prayed with him.
She’d grown up knowing Jesus, but this was the first time she’d helped someone else accept Him. She was amazed at the transformation in Jake; so was everyone else. After that they spent all their time together, going to youth group and Bible studies and church. She’d heard about evangelistic dating, but this was different, genuine. Still, she knew she was falling in love with him but he never made any moves that way, until one night after Bible study. When she got into his truck he leaned over and kissed her, just a simple, quick kiss; her first kiss, her first love.
At her house there was a brief, awkward moment before he leaned down to kiss her again. The kiss grew and deepened, but suddenly he stepped back, said he’d call tomorrow and left. She didn’t understand, but after that, things went right back to the way they’d always been; like it never happened. Every time they started to get really close, he withdrew, and sometimes she didn’t see him for a couple of weeks. She’d be hurt and cry and then suddenly he’d call and she’d always say, sure, she could go out, but he never kissed her again. Still, they became “Jake and Sara” to everyone, even to her, but maybe not to him. She knew he loved her too, but he resisted falling in love with her.
They went to different colleges after graduation and she never heard from him again. She’d questioned the Lord about it many times over the years. She loved Jake so much and she’d always been so sure that God was going to give him to her in the end, but the end never came.
She looked at him across the table, holding her Caramel Machiatto with both hands to keep them from fidgeting. They talked about their lives, their eyes seldom leaving each other's faces. Then they talked about high school, and she realized that while she’d been falling in love with him, he’d been falling in love with Jesus. First loves for both of them.
Jake put his hands over hers on the cup, “Sara, I was so confused back then. You were my teacher, my spiritual mother, but you were a beautiful, amazing girl too. I didn’t know how to blend the two. I’ve thought of you so often over the years, but still never knew what to do; should I call, shouldn’t I? Now it looks like God has made the call for me. I don’t need you to be my teacher or mentor anymore, but I think maybe I still need you. Can we get to know each other again?”
Sara’s eyes glistened slightly, “Yes,” she said softly to Jake, while her heart questioned, “Oh Lord, is this finally the end?”
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