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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)

TITLE: Sleeping Suns
By Ifeoma Dennis


The thing is this:when situations knock us down and out,if our faith is not strong,no matter what the Bible tells us,it’s actually hard to see beyond the looming darkness.
My suns were asleep.
My faith was frail and I did not see an end to this pain and loneliness.
I still dreamt of Darl and I,of the happy friendship we had,of the places we went to,of the laughter we shared – a dream which was an outright fantasy because Darl and I were barely on speaking terms so the others had no place to exist.
You see,it was all my fault.I was the one who fell in love with dead smart,hunky 6”4 Darl with not just the large brown eyes but the large heart to go as well,the minigod of a man whom every girl in my class was tripping for.
As if one act of stupidity was not enough,when my feelings for him got too overpowering to handle and my faith was rock solid that we could work things out notwithstanding that he had left Nigeria and gone back to the United States; I perfomed another act of outright stupidity.
I called him and told him how I felt for him.He made a sound that portrayed a chicken on a difficult dance and replied in a low voice,
“I’m not interested in any girl right now.”
My heart lost three or four beats as his words sealed my love struck fate.
“Excuse me?” I asked,willing myself not to believe what I just heard.
“I said I am not interested in any girl right now,”he repeated,stressing every stressable syllable in every word.
I felt ashamed and hurt.To worsen matters,he stopped calling,sending text messages and emails.He cut me off.
I sent him emails apologizing for my highly inappropriate declaration but he said that he understood and that he was just busy with college work.Yet he still did not make effort to improve communication or even get it back to the way it was before.
My suns slept.
My smiles faded.I knew no real happiness for several months.Every night,I cried on my pillows with only God as my sole witness and although I asked God to help me get over Darl,I saw no beginning to this end.
Early one morning,I opened my daily devotional and I heard God speaking to me right through the pages.
“Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past.See,I am doing a new thing.Now,it springs up;do you not perceive it?” [Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV]
Then,I felt something amazing happening within me.I felt my tears drying up inside,I felt God’s Spirit feeling me up with hope and excitement and a new gusto for living; feelings I had not experienced for a very long time.I did not have any idea what God had in His plans for me but a new surge of optimism grew in me and I knew somehow that He'd do the best for me.
Later that same morning,my friend,Bibi took me to the lawn tennis court to introduce me to the coaches as a new learner.As we were walking through the court,I was so engrossed in staring at some girls training at the other side that I did not notice the breathtaking 6”7 giant of a man standing at the edge of the court we were walking past.
Bibi stopped to greet him and I waited a few centimeters away,aching to go join the girls I saw training.Then,Bibi pulled out a hand to me and drew me closer,saying to the overtowering handsome grinch,
“Lenz,meet Leny,my friend.She wants to learn how to play tennis.”
He gave me a smile that awoke all the sleeping suns in my life.
Bibi turned to me,
“Leny,this is Lenz.He’s the captain of this court.He’s gonna help teach you how to play.”
I lifted my head and my eyes took an elevator up his skyscraper torso to his smiling eyes,nose,lips and his smiling everything on his face,as he brought out a hand that held mine in a strong,warm grasp.
“Welcome to my court,”he said,his genuine smile unwavering.
A million rainbows swam before my eyes and I saw God’s lips behind the clouds spread out in a big big smile.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Herchenroether04/25/09
Ah, romance. Nice story, but you need to put spaces after commas and periods. Keep up your writing!
Lauren Dahl04/26/09
I especially like your beginning sentence, it's very insiteful, very real. The rest of the story was also well-written and your descriptions were also clear and life-like.
I don't really feel qualified to give criticisms because I tend to be rather skeptical of romance in general, but I think perhaps you moved a little too quickly from Darl to the other man (I'm sorry, I don't remember his name and can't see the article right now).
On the whole, well done!
Loren T. Lowery04/28/09
This is good and still has a lot of potential. I would suggest picking up a copy of EB White's "Elements of Style" to help with punctuation and grammar. It will make the piece easier to read and help it truly shine.