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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)

TITLE: Tears with laughter
By Christine Nakyana


I immediately groaned when I opened my eyes. The dull heavy throbbing in my chest was still there. I turned flat on my stomach, hands pressed close to my chest. And as I lay there, I wished there was a way I could remove my heart out of my body until it became better and stopped hurting so much.

It was not the first time I was feeling this sad, and I knew that it would not be the last - I just hate it so much when my heart starts complaining after a close friend is torn away from it. Yesterday, I had stood in the departure lounge of the city airport, and given a dear friend of close to three years a very tight, breath stifling hug, while telling her how much I was going to miss her. I had determined that there would be no tears as we said goodbye, but when I could not control myself, I had turned so suddenly that I had nearly been knocked over by a harassed mother pushing a trolley full of luggage with her playful looking boy perched on it as well.

I dragged myself out of bed, turned on the radio, and walked to the bathroom. A crying face looked back at me from the mirror and I lifted my fingers to wipe away my hot tears. The longer I looked at my face creased up with pain, the more I felt like crying. So I slid down and sat on the cold, tiled bathroom floor, buried my head in my hands, getting ready for another good cry.

I was crying because it was Thursday and I had not taken my usual morning jog with my best friend. I was crying because we would not watch our favourite Friday sitcom together, and she would not be there to go to the market with on Saturday. We were not going to help out with rearranging the chairs after Sunday service anymore. She would not be there on the regular coffee night out we had on Wednesday.

I guess I was really crying because I thought she would always live only six minutes away from me; had hoped she would always be physically close enough to laugh and cry with, and had expected that this stage of my life with her so near was going to last much longer. I had not reckoned that the divine planner might guide and lead her on a journey that would take her thousands of miles away from me. Of course there were mobile phones, e-mails, instant messaging and other distance-defying technologies but it would not be the same without her so close by.

My heart has walked this terrain before, and it knows what to do to survive. Actually, I can think of about two others whose leaving made me feel so much more bereft. And so I knew that the tears I was crying were good tears. They were good because they showed that I had not had just a surface relationship, but that I had let my friend get under my skin and into my heart. They were good because they showed I had let myself form a good, healthy bond with another human being. I also knew this season of mourning would pass by entrusting my heart to my heavenly father, who Himself knew how to weep, but also how to comfort and heal me. I knew I had new and exciting friends to look forward to. Not to replace her; no one could ever do that; but to complement and be blessed by the place in my heart that she had enriched.

I finally stood up, knowing that it was getting late and I had to get ready for work. And as I did, the summer tune started playing on the radio. It was an upbeat, easy to bop to tune with nonsensical lyrics, that my friend had loved to sing. The video was just as silly, and it showed these computer generated tomatoes, trying to run away from a man who wanted to catch them and make ketchup. And I suddenly had a vision of my friend with arms flailing and legs cocked at stupid angles as she tried to imitate the dancing movements, if I could call them that, the tomatoes made as they tried to flee the ketchup maker. And I doubled up again, this time in laughter.

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This article has been read 439 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/02/07
"My heart has walked this terrain before..." Nice metaphor.

I liked this--consider tightening it up a bit and adding some more specifics of your time together with your friend, to help your readers to better understand your sadness.

Tender writing with a lovely ending.
Brenda Welc08/06/07
Great rhythm to your story. Well done.
Joanna Jayaprakash08/26/07
"...I had let my friend get under my skin and into my heart." I liked this part as it implied the depth of the friendship.