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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: STEPPING STONE
By Ogechukwu Maduka
02/14/08


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STEPPING STONE.

Nothing will make Ada feel better. Within the confines of her campus room she sobbed quietly every night. Brewing inside her was so much pain and bitterness. She felt used, miserable and abandoned. More so, she hated herself for what she had done a few days back.
Being 17 and growing up in an African strict traditional family, parental communication had its limits and cultural barriers. She would have been treated like an outcaste if the story ever came out. She was not ready to experience that. “How could I have done this? I am supposed to be smart, how could have I have been so silly to mistake lust for love, so much as to dabble into premarital and unsafe sex? Now, see where that has landed me! I have destroyed the first fruit of my womb in a crudest possible means, how can I ever forgive myself?” she pondered.
Two weeks ago, Ada had found out that she was 7weeks pregnant by a man she thought loved her and had dated for one year. But Steve, her boyfriend on hearing about the pregnancy was angry and very far from being thrilled by the news. He told Ada he was not ready for the huge responsibility of fatherhood, he also declared his intention to discontinue the relationship because he didn’t think they were very compatible after all.
Ada pained and shocked by his reaction, couldn’t believe her ears but she decided to solely take care of the situation via the fastest possible means. In a panicky response to the challenge, she thought to herself “I can’t have this baby alone, my parents will feel so disappointed, how can I cope as a single mom with the years I still have to complete my studies?. NO! I just have to do something real quickly…..everything is crumbling”
The next day she walked into a clinic and had a willing doctor evacuate the pregnancy. But what she did not bargain, was the feeling of guilt, emptiness and self condemnation that enveloped her afterwards. She had gone contrary to her personal values and beliefs and still lost the man she loved. The world seemed to have collapsed around her. She became withdrawn, not talking much and gradually started losing her natural vibrant self.
Peace, Ada’s roommate taking a long and thoughtful look at her said, “Can you just tell what’s been eating you up? You have suddenly become a ghost of your old self. Your eyes are swollen every morning apparently from crying yourself to sleep and you are so withdrawn these days. What seems to be the problem?” She asked. “You know, a problem shared is a problem half solved, whatever it is, you can share it with me. That’s friends are for.” Ada soberly looked down with tears building up in her eyes and not really in the mood to go into details, said, “I got pregnant, Steve broke up with me and I had the baby aborted. I feel so ashamed, I feel so guilty and rejected. After a whole year of devoting my self to him, this is the reward I get….” “Ooh…. I am so sorry; you should have told me all these while, but you know what? What has happened has happened. You can’t change it or turn back the hand of the clock but you have the power to put it behind you and positively take charge of your future by gracefully moving on. A gloomy past can only hurt and stall your progress if you let it. God loves you and is willing to give you a wonderful new beginning. He can restore a lasting peace and joy to your heart. But you have to believe what the bible tells us in Isaiah 1:18(NIV) which says…..though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Also Psalm 103:12{NIV} tells us that….. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. I tell you, that’s exactly what he will do for you. Don’t waste your energy dwelling on the past, rather let it be a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block……”Ada nodded, wiping away the tears in her eyes.


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This article has been read 541 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/21/08
What a tragic, and all-too-common situation. Yet there is hope, and I'm glad you presented it.

Your dialogue sounds quite stilted in places--not like people actually speak. I'd recommend working on writing natural-sounding speech, and your writing will greatly improve.

Thanks for this entry!
Marlene Austin02/21/08
Good job. Putting an extra space between paragraphs will help your readers. Also, a new paragraph should be started every time a different person speaks. :)
Yvonne Blake 02/21/08
Very touching...so sad, yet a good ending!
It would help the reader if you leave a space between paragraphs. Break whenever a new person speaks or when there is a change of thought.
Good use of dialogue.
Keep writing.
Seema Bagai 02/22/08
A good piece. Polish this up using the suggestions listed abouve and it will be even stronger. Keep writing.
Jacquelyn Horne02/22/08
A moving story. Probably all too often true. Right on topic.
Joshua Janoski02/23/08
I have no other suggestions other than the ones already mentioned. Whitespace definitely helps the reader.

Your story addressed a very big problem that occurs all to often nowadays. I like how you offered some hope at the end. Isn't it wonderful that God gives us a second chance? :)
Laury Hubrich 02/24/08
Nice title! I love this friend. She has very good advice. There are many errors in this piece. It would help if you got someone to proof for you. Keep on writing!
Laury
Helen Harris02/24/08
So true, we got to give it all to God and let it go.
Phil 4:5-7
6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your
needs, and don't forget to thank him for his answers. 7 If you do this, you
will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind
can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and
at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus
TLB
I like this piece. Great ending!

"I tell you, that’s exactly what he will do for you. Don’t waste your energy
dwelling on the past, rather let it be a stepping stone instead of a
stumbling block……”Ada nodded, wiping away the tears in her eyes."

"What has happened has happened. You can’t change it or turn back the hand of
the clock but you have the power to put it behind you and positively take
charge of your future by gracefully moving on."

Enjoy your gift and Keep in the Writing Lane. : )
God bless, Helen


Hanne Moon 02/27/08
I like the way you ended this piece with hope. Take the suggestions already listed to heart - they will help you! Good job!