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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: A Needed Embrace
By Judy Doyle


“Honey, I think I need to see a counselor,” she announced. Janet had known that for several days. Her heart was so heavy, heavy with shame. It was an undeserved shame.

“Why? Can’t you talk with one of the pastors?” Her husband was frugal and didn’t want her to spend money foolishly. They had health insurance, but the policy wouldn’t pay for counseling. He couldn’t get a handle on what was troubling his wife. He, like most men, tended to understand things in black and white concepts.

Janet nervously answered, “I need to talk to someone who doesn’t know me.” Her anxiety level was increasing by each tick of the clock.

“I don’t understand. Why?” Men don’t understand sometimes. There are some topics so personal a woman wants to talk to someone she doesn’t know. This was one of those topics.

Janet, a usually outgoing person, was so ridden with guilt. It was as if a dark cloud hovered over her. The memories of years ago haunted her. Janet took a deep breath and blurted out,

“Because I was sexually molested when I was a kid.” Having verbalized her deepest, darkest secret, Janet ran to the bathroom. She desperately wanted to hide. It was a small bathroom, barely large enough for one person. Janet climbed into the shower, trying to escape the humiliation she thought might follow. Perhaps it was figuratively a means of washing away the disgrace.

For a very brief period of time, there was silence. Between Janet’s sobs, the soft scraping of metal on metal could be heard. Craig was pushing the shower curtain aside. He tenderly wrapped his loving arms around his sobbing wife.

“It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault.” Janet cried for several minutes. Craig tenderly held her until her tears subsided and her energy was spent. She felt like a wet doll in his arms. “Yes, honey. You may see a counselor. I’ll help in any way possible.” He gently stroked her hair, assuring her of his love. Suddenly she felt safe, secure in his loving embrace. It was all she needed.

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This article has been read 742 times
Member Comments
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Laury Hubrich 02/28/08
This is very tenderly written. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure many will relate to this. Thank you so much for sharing!
Marlene Austin02/28/08
Good character interactions depicted here. You had a lot of words left in the word count, could use some of those to build a deeper description of each of these characters. :)
Seema Bagai 03/03/08
A powerful, emotional story. I would have liked to have seen more development of the characters here. Keep writing.
LauraLee Shaw03/04/08
Thank you for the cleansing tears. Very moving story.
Joshua Janoski03/04/08
Wow. Even though you used only a few words, the emotion was definitely there. Sometimes we just need someone to be there for us and let us know that we are loved, despite our past problems and insecurities. Thank you for sharing.
Lyn Churchyard03/05/08
You have told this superbly. Starting out almost as a casual conversation then building to the terrible revelation. What a beautiful story of love. Well done!
Debbie Wistrom03/05/08
I agree with the others, good job and would have liked more words. Keep it up.
Joanne Sher 03/05/08
Powerful and tender - and the perfect title. Thank you for being so transparent.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/05/08
You created a very emotional story with a perfect ending.
Julie Arduini03/05/08
You nailed the topic, what a wonderful ending. How the power of sincere touch can bring such hope, especially after a cruel act like the one described.
Beckie Stewart03/06/08
This is good....showing the actions of love and the emotion that victims go through when they carry this burden alone for so long. Well done.
Sara Harricharan 03/06/08
So, sad, but so glad that she had someone who cared that much for her. This was short, but well written. I liked the opening with the descriptions of 'black and white' that made this real. Nice writing! ^_^