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

TITLE: Love Lives Here
By remi oyeyemi


I sit curled up on the love seat, tears flowing. Staring at the far end of the room, I ignore the shadows cast on the wall by movements out side my window. My mind is in turmoil. I look around the house, five years and I hoped I’d still be counting but I’m not sure now.

I caress my wedding band, turning it round and round on my finger. I remove it and hook it to my necklace, like a pendant, close to my heart.

What will it take to make it work?

I remember when it all started; I just knew Steve was right for me. Barely out of college, we began planning a wedding. I believed he was every thing I wanted. Mum thought it was too soon. We had only been dating for 4 months.

“Hold on for one year and you’ll be blessed many times over” she said.

Should I have waited? Would it have helped? Would things be different now if we had wedded after Christmas like we originally planned?

The questions swim in my head.

I switch on the television. Too much thinking is making me sick. I flip through the channels, nothing good on a Wednesday evening.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a child, I muse. Steve loves children; I see it when we have Derin’s kids over. But that’s not my fault. The doctors say we’re both okay.

The tears keep flowing fast; I blow my nose hard, feeling a slight headache in my temples. I rise from the seat to turn off the lights in the room. My eyes catch something as I sit back down. I see a flicker of light from the table where I have my precious keepsakes. I move towards the object bending down to pick it up.

Its a little velvet bag with a shiny logo. I open the bag and let out a soft sigh. Relief washing over me, no longer able to stand, I dropped on the floor, crossing my legs.
Inside the bag are little red beads, hundreds of them.
My mother gave it to Steve and me on our wedding day, with a little illustration. She had us remove a bead and return it.

“Shake it together and remove the same bead form the lot” she said.

We looked at each other and burst into laughter.

“That’s impossible, Mum” I said, laughing.

“Good. Now that you know, when you feel like giving this all up remember It can only be over when that lone bead turns up” and she shuffled away.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My sweet wise Mum. I close my eyes and lean on the bed thinking how impossible it is for me to give up now.

Steve should still be at work.
I walk over to the computer and begin typing an email. I pour my heart out in a few words.

* * * * * *

Dear Steve,

I’ll be waiting today so we can have a heart to heart. This is really hard but I’m willing to make it work. I’ve decided giving up on us is not an option, at least, not for me.

I love you,


* * * * * *

I sigh, hoping he at least catches it on his blackberry.

Back on the bed, I fall asleep almost immediately.

A few hours later, I wake to see him at the foot of the bed, head in hands, weeping. I move to his side, rubbing his back slowly. I know he likes that. He looks at me, tears in his eyes, his nose running. We stare at each other and I see in his eyes what I’ve always known. Love lives here.

We sit in the dark for hours, in each others arms, grateful. Today could have been the end but we’ll start over.

I fall asleep again, right where I should be, unaware of the ten paged document from the divorce courts, the forms completely filled, lying on the bedroom floor………………in shreds.

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This article has been read 457 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Seema Bagai 04/23/09
Well-written and infused with truth and emotion. Good work.
Joanney Uthe04/24/09
I love the mother's illustration and the fact that they kept the bag of beads. Great story with a lot of emotion.
Kathy Gronau 04/25/09
I loved it. What a wise mom. And you were wise too. If this is a true story, please read 42 years... and cherish every moment that you have.
Loren T. Lowery04/27/09
Bravo for the Mum (her little lesson with the beads), the MC and Steve for not giving up. Loved this heartfelt story and the message it delivers. It needs to be told over and over again.
Deborah Porter 05/06/09
Hi Remi. I’m running a little late this week, but just wanted to leave a quick note to congratulate you on your Highly Commended award for Level 1, and to also let you know you did very well overall, ranking 21st out of all entries for the week. You were just eleven places off making it into the Editor's Choice. That's very close.

It was a big week of entries, so you really did exceptionally well. If you would like to see the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.
Again, well done. :-)

Hope to see you at the FaithWriters' Conference in August.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)