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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)

TITLE: Jake & Julia
By Candace Moles
01/07/11


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One word described how she’d felt the day he came in and told her he was leaving. Broken. There was no other way to describe it. For the first time in her life, Julia was broken, and she had no idea how to pick up the pieces. As she sat alone in her favorite chair, a single candle sent shadows of her life dancing across the room. The walls echoed with the laughter of her children, the voice of her husband saying, “She completes me.”

Julia crossed the room, grabbed a tissue and retreated to the front porch. She took in a deep, cleansing breath of fresh air. A warm breeze rustled the leaves in the nearby trees. A glittering of diamonds blanketed the night sky. She settled on her porch swing and hugged her knees to her chest. In the two years since the divorce, she’d had a lot of time to reflect. Her children weren’t completely grown, but as teenagers, they had their own friends; their own things to do. And she assumed that Jake, now her ex-husband, was somewhere in the arms of the twenty-something he claimed ‘completed him.’ Her thoughts drifted back to his days of ‘completion’ and a single tear trickled down her cheek.

Yes, she had been hurt and angry with Jake for the affair, but what really bothered her was ‘why.’ Why had he cheated? Sure they’d had their share of problems, but for the most part things were good. She supposed she shouldn’t really have been surprised. They never fought, but, then again, they never really communicated, either. They had always claimed to love each other. Then they had children, and life just kept moving forward. They lived as husband and wife, but somewhere along the way they’d forgotten to be friends. She decided maybe that lady was right when she sang the lyrics, ‘sometimes love just ain’t enough.’ But shouldn’t it be? Despite all that had happened, she was able to admit to herself that she still loved Jake.

Julia closed her eyes, blinking back a few more tears. She could hear a dog barking in the distance, and smiled as she wondered if he was trying to harmonize with the crickets. From inside, she could hear the telephone ringing. She thought about going in, but decided the machine could get it. Her son and daughter, who would have called her cell, were both at the movies with friends. Friends. Those were few and far between. Not only had she and her husband forgotten to be friends, but she’d forgotten to be friends with anyone really. Until Norah. Norah was an old high school friend who had invited Julia to church shortly after she and Jake had separated. Church was another thing she and Jake had forgotten to do. They were so wrapped up in living life that they’d forgotten to go. Ever.

Life was different for Julia now, though. It’s a funny thing, she mused, when you’re broken, you realize that God is the only one Who can put you back together. She took another deep breath and silently thanked God that Norah had introduced Him into her life. It was through her newfound relationship with Him that Julia was able to find peace in her life and ultimately able to forgive Jake for the affair. Sometimes it was hard for even her to believe, but that was another thing she’d learned about God—He was the God of the impossible.

Just then, Julia’s cell phone vibrated in her pocket. The two quick buzzes indicated she had a new text message. She set her feet down to stop the swaying, and wiped her eyes one more time. Releasing the past, she reached in and pulled out her phone. The screen lit up.

1 NEW MESSAGE FROM JAKE

Julia’s stomach did a little flip flop just before she touched the screen.

HEY JULES. BET YOU’RE SURPRISED TO HEAR FROM ME. LOOK, I KNOW I’VE MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES, BUT I WAS JUST WONDERING…DO YOU THINK WE COULD WORK ON THIS WHOLE FRIENDSHIP THING? I NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO. I HOPE SO, BUT I UNDERSTAND IF YOU SAY NO.

Her heart pounded a little faster as she stared at the screen. She had so many questions, but only one answer made sense. The only thing she knew to say to him. She touched the screen and tapped her reply.

I THINK I’D LIKE THAT.


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This article has been read 305 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nichole Hall01/13/11
As a reader, you pulled me right in with the first line. You made great use of the senses bringing this piece to life. I felt you gave just enough information from the past to give us a glimpse of the marital relationship and still managed to keep the story moving. I'd certainly like to know the rest of the drama this story holds! Great job!
diana kay01/13/11
very well written, great description of the shadows and the night time on the porch and a surprise in the ending :-)i was captivated by the story, there is little i could think of to better it; perhaps if i was to be real picky i would say perhaps think of an alternative title. I know the peice is about the relationship between Jake and Julia so there is nothing wrong with it as it stands :-)
Lisa Harris01/13/11
Loved it! I had to look back at the top to make sure I was really in the Beginner category...:) You did great!
Lillian Rhoades 01/13/11
Aside from the Ho Hum title,
you've written a great story.

The narrative flowed easily from one scene to the next. I was very impressed with how you brought the story to an anti-climax, then pulled back to pack the final punch.

It's always great to have to wonder what happened next.
Sharon Laughter 01/14/11
A marvelous telling of a common scenario. It could have been SO cliche but your spin and writing made it sparkle. Have your title reflect that talent as well!You left me wanting the story to continue so thats "SCORE!"
Sarah Heywood01/14/11
Fabulous! Are you sure you're only in Level 1? This was very well-written and kept my attention all the way through. I loved the ending with its hope of reconciliation. Great job!
Verna Mull01/15/11
This was a very good story that really held the reader's interest. I would have liked a more intriguing title. I almost skipped reading it,but I am so glad that I did read it.
Jody Day 01/18/11
"a single candle sent shadows of her life dancing across the room" Loved that part!
Bonnie Bowden01/20/11
Friendship is such an important part of anyone's life.

Congratulations on your 3rd place finish, it was well deserved.
Kim Hamlin01/21/11
Congrats Candace, great job!