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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)

TITLE: Running...
By Ann Martin


Lori fumbled with her key in the dimly lit hallway. Her mom was working and as usual she would be making her own dinner and spending the evening alone. Her mom worked two jobs to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. Lori would likely just watch television and go online to talk to her friends from back home. It was a year ago that her dad had walked away from Lori and her mom for a younger woman. Things had never been the same. They had moved out of their home and now lived in this low-income apartment building. Sunlight filtered through the dirty windows and Lori could hear the bathroom tap dripping. Loud voices drifted through the heat ducts and Lori knew it would not be long until things would get out of control in the apartment above theirs. She threw her schoolbag on the unmade bed and shut her bedroom door to block out the loud voices.

Changing schools in the 11th grade had been really tough and Lori was struggling at school. Falling asleep in class with her homework undone, her teachers already had her pegged as below average. She felt as if she was invisible in her new school. The truth was that she had actually been a straight A student. Her mom was so busy that she had not noticed that Lori did not do any homework. Lori knew her mom would soon find out and would not be pleased. But, Lori just did not care anymore.

How could God have let this happen to her and her mom? Her mom still had such faith that God would take care of them. But, Lori was not so sure. Why did her dad leave? God could have done a miracle but He didnít. God seemed so far away. Tears welled up in her eyes and as she wiped them away an idea came to her mind. She would leave and go back to Hamilton and stay with one of her friends. She was 16 years old now and could live away from her parents if she wanted to. They were the ones who had messed everything up by not staying together. Things began to come together in her mind as she packed her suitcase. Things would be so much better when she was back with her old friends again. How she missed them. They would be so excited to see her. She could not stay in this dingy old apartment alone one more evening.

She ran into her momís room and rifled through her momís top dresser drawer. She found what she was looking for, grabbed her suitcase and with a quick glance around the room for the final time she closed the apartment door with a sense of finality.

This idea had not just suddenly popped into her mind. It had been brewing for a while. Her mom would be upset, but Lori was determined. She would drop out of school, find a job and begin life on her own. Lori was too young to grasp the fact that we all have choices. Her father had made a choice and the consequences of his unfaithfulness were now trickling down over his family. Although her earthly father had let her down, her Heavenly Father was there for her. He would carry her through this pain if she let Him. But, right now as Lori made her way to the ticket counter in the train station she was running not only from her pain, but also from God.

Later that night her mom stood in her daughterís bedroom holding an old teddy bear, sobs coming from the very depth of her soul. She heard a knock at the door and the police officer came in and began to listen to her story.

As the train pulled away from the station, Lori stared out the window. Living in the moment, she did not understand the depth of the sorrow she would cause her dear mom. Only when she was older would she realize that dropping out of life was not the answer and would lead her into more pain than she could ever imagine. One thing and one thing alone was sureÖGod would be waiting.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Mull 05/19/11
I enjoyed this and felt that you did a very good job with the story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/19/11
Wow, you did an amazing job of capturing Lori's pain. Sometimes I feel like I've dropped out of life and it is a difficult place to be; but how wonderful to know God is always there. Well done.