Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)
TITLE: A Greater Love
By Jessica Smith
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Amanda dangled her swollen feet over the grey concrete stones. Pebbles of every shape and color encased the triangle patterns overgrown by moss and ivy.
Steps of hurried excitement echoed off the cool, hard pavement.
“Amanda, are you up there?”
No answer came.
Wiping away the wetness from her eyes with the cuff of her read bell sleeve, what was she to say? “All is well, let’s go back, eat some fruit cake, down some egg-nog and pretend months ago that she was never drugged and taken advantage of.
Trey heaved a sigh deep from within his chest. Chasing after her all over campus, holding doors open for her, and romancing her was wonderful. “But this? Am I ready? Lord, Please show me your strength and comfort us both now. Mama White didn’t mean to upset her so.”
Rubbing her enlarged middle, gut wrenching sobs of sorrow billowed from her core. Her mom wasn’t the only one who made comments, snide remarks, or changing topics whenever she entered a room. What capped it off was the infamous look from her father; disappointment and shame. Shaking her fist into the air, and pointing erratically at her stomach she shouted, “God, why did this have to be me? Why this?”
“Amanda?” Came a call from low inside the staircase.
“You left too soon.” Stepping beneath the upper balcony, Trey’s eyes danced with hope and mystery.
“How did you know I was here?”
“It’s easy to follow a seven month pregnant woman across the street.”
“Thanks, I know I am fat.”
“Come on now, I never said that.”
“Didn’t you? Your face sure did!”
Shaking his head in puzzlement, Trey painstakingly climbed last part of the steep winding stair case. “How you ever waddled up here, I’ll never know.”
Far below them laid the old stone chapel built in the mid 1850’s for the Catholic Church, it once housed one hundred and fifty orphans, given up by parent’s of low class and poverty. Three stories high, with a castle like feel, the old rugs, shelves, and lanterns still held their places in the massive auditorium. Picture perfect figures of Christ, the disciples, and the Virgin Mary shown in blues, violets, and yellow, reflecting the dancing moonlight into millions of tiny lights bouncing as the wind blew.
Turning around, he slid his Bible from the pocket of his London Fog coat. Opening to Mark 1, he read to Amanda, “Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be?’...And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
Pointing to verse 42, he asked her to read it again with him. Reaching out to take the Bible, she instead felt a large lump in her hand. Flexing her fingers, a small blue pacifier fell onto her lap, along with it, a one caret princess cut diamond engagement ring. Clearing his throat, Trey took Amanda’s hands into his own.
“Six months ago, we didn’t even know each other, except at worship practice for church. I saw your love for God, and the restoration He was bringing to your heart. As we grew in love, so did my love for your son. You are blessed Amanda, in good health, and your son is blessed by God. I am asking you now Amanda White to be my wife and let me be a father and your husband. Will you marry me?”
Trebling now from tears of joy, all she could do was nod causing her blonde hair to curl under her chin. Blue eyes twinkling with joy, she untied the ring letting Trey slide it on her ring finger.
Arm in arm the two walked back to the family Christmas party, down the frosty glazed street of Long Ridge Drive, whispers of new beginnings tied hearts together in unconditional love.
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