Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
By Ashley Johnson
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As Abigail, her mom, and her sister, Christine, walked through the woods in the early morning hours, Abigail began to have flashbacks of these similar nights. Hiding from bullets in ditches, sneaking out of the house after Lenny had fallen asleep, and watching her mom get beaten was a regular occurrence for Abigail. Abigail herself had been a victim of Lenny. “How can momma stay this time?,” she thought. That night, as Abigail walked through the trees, crunching leaves under her feet, she made a promise to herself: “My life will be different. My kids lives will be different. They will know the love of God and the meaning of family.”
“I’ve only got thirty minutes,” Abigail thought, as she dialed her daughter’s phone number. “Hello?” Abigail closed her eyes as she heard her daughter’s voice on the other end of the phone. “Hi, honey. How are you doing today?” Abigail said. “Oh, hi mom. I’m just getting dinner ready. We’re having Sawyer’s birthday dinner tonight.” Abigail’s eyes began to tear up. With her voice shaking, she said “I’m sorry I have to miss my grandson’s first birthday. I know how much it means to you, sweetie.” There was a long pause. “Well, mom, sometimes there are things you just can’t change.” Abigail looked down at her feet and said “Honey, I just want you to know that...” Suddenly, she was interrupted by a large woman dressed in a blue uniform with a silver name tag. “Time’s up!,” the woman bellowed. “Sweetie, I have to get going now. We’ll finish this conversation later, okay?,” Abigail told her daughter, reassuringly. “Okay mom. I love you.” As Abigail put the phone to her chest, she said aloud “I love you, too.”
As Abigail followed the uniformed woman down a long corridor, she began to have flashbacks of her life. She remembered the words that she had promised to herself as a child: “My life will be different.” Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the prison doors clanking shut behind her. As she stared into her small cell, her daughter’s words echoed in her mind: “Sometimes, there are things you just can’t change.”
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