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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)

TITLE: Dad, can we talk?


“Are you sure?” my voice quivered. “Ok, well, I’ll call you later.” Slowly, I returned the phone to its base and slid to the floor. My head was spinning with rage, fear, and questions of “What will I tell Dad?” I felt dizzy.

I closed my eyes as the past summer months played like a movie in my mind. It was my last week of summer break before my senior year at Bible College. I was majoring in pastoral ministries, just like my father had done. “Oh man,” I groaned. “God, please tell me this is a dream, and I will wake up.” I closed my eyes. Paralyzed, I couldn’t move. When I opened my eyes, tears were streaming down my face. No, this was no dream. I began to wonder, “What do I do? What will my Dad say?”

I got up, I had to get out. I had to run. My feet hit the sidewalk, and I ran like I have never run before. Memories filled my mind. Her face flashed before my eyes, her smile. I stopped abruptly, almost losing my balance. Bending over to catch my breath, I prayed, “God, please tell me what to do. I need your help.”

I felt the sun shine down on my back. It felt warm, as if an arm were reaching down around my shoulders. I looked around me. I was all alone, just the bright blue skies above and a few pigeons nearby. Instantly, I knew where I needed to go.

I stood up, and began to walk, slowly. I was really dreading this conversation. The sun continued to warm my back. The stride in my step quickened. I began to run faster and faster to the church. I remembered all the times I came to see Dad at work. The time when I was having trouble at school, the day I asked Jesus into my heart, the day I got the acceptance letter from college, and now, today. This time will be different.

When I got to the church door, I took a deep breath. This was not going to be easy. I knocked softly on the door, “Come in,” I heard Dad call.
He was sitting in his leather, desk chair. His head was bowed and he apparently studying for his sermon on Sunday. “Hi, Jim”, Dad smiled. “Sit down.” He motioned to the chair beside his desk. “Been running, I see.”

“Dad, I am sorry to bother you. Can we talk?” I asked, shifting my feet.
“Sure son, what can I do for you? Getting nervous about school?” he said, still smiling.

“Dad,” I cut in, “I need your help,” my voice trembled. He lifted his eyes and looked straight into mine. He could see I was struggling. Dad always seemed to know.

I poured out the whole story about getting closer with Jenna and how much I thought I loved her. How I dreamed of a future life with her by my side. Then, I told him about the phone call I just got. “Dad, Jenna’s pregnant," my head dropped. "I’m the father. I am so sorry, Dad, I know I let you down.” I wiped my tear streaked face. “Please help me know what to do,” I pleaded.

Dad stood up and walked around his desk, tears sparkled in his eyes, “Come here, son,” he said. Then he grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me to his chest. We wept together. Gently he whispered, “Son, my love for you reaches farther than any thing you might have done. I can’t tell you what to do this time. But, whatever you do, I will always love you.”

Later that afternoon, I climbed the steps to Jenna’s house, determination in each step. Jenna answered the door. Her sea green eyes were red from crying. Her rich, brown hair tucked behind her ears. My heart melted as I saw her. I handed her a bouquet of red roses. Then grasping her hand I pulled her close to me. I whispered. “I love you, more than anything. I want to give the same unconditional love that my father shared with me, to you and to our child. I want you both in my life, forever.” I felt her shoulders relax, and saw her face brighten as a smile formed on her lips. Somehow, we both knew we would make it together.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 04/17/08
There are so many pivotal moments in a son's life where his parents can help or hurt just by their actions. Your story reflects one of those moments where recrimination and harsh words just won't help anyone. I like the loving way this dad cried with his son, and then got on with the job of loving his son, even in a disappointing moment. Good story!
Jan Ackerson 04/18/08
Very well done, and the characters are well-written.

I think you could tighten up your writing a bit, though. For example, you have paralyzed, I couldn't move. Watch for redundancies like this, and then you'll have even more words to develop your characters.
Lyn Churchyard04/20/08
A real model of love and grace on the father's part. What an example he has set for his son. Well done.
Sheri Gordon04/24/08
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. This is really good--a nice take on the topic.
Lynn Jacky 04/25/08
HI Amanda: Amazing story and congratulations. This is a teary one. Well written and good luck in the future. Look forward to reading another story.
Funmi Betty05/03/08
Very touching and emotional. I love this. Keep writing.