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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)

TITLE: Optimistic Pessimism
By LaToya Freeman


I can’t believe Johnny dragged me into this crazy place! I should’ve KNOWN that it sounded too good to be true.

I don’t like these people or this place already. The way they prance around like everything’s okay .The way they greet me with their smiles and get all cuddly wanting to hug coming with the OH so familiar “welcome, God bless you dear”…I’ve seen it all before and their façade disgusts me! I know that I don’t fit in here and I’m fine with that so why do they try to make it like I do?! Look at them! With their clothing all loose and no make-up or anything and here I walk in like this. I know that my skirt is above my knees and I’m showing a little bit of cleavage and I don’t care! At least I took the time to wear stockings; I bet they didn’t even notice that.

It’s so weird! We walk in and the music is playing all slow like some kind of hippy mess and all their hands are raised and all I hear is soft mumbling. I try to get into it but I can’t and I’m in no mood to try and fake it. The music is kind of catchy but I have this warm fuzzy feeling all around me that just has me standing awkwardly in front of my seat—I think they need to cut the air on or something, I’m feeling dizzy! The lyrics for the song they’re playing is on the screen and it seems like a good song but all I can do is stand in the dimly lit room trying to mumble the words to the best of my ability considering I can’t catch the rhythm. Man! I wish they would cut the lights on and get to “the word” or something!

FINALLY, they turn the lights on and this little lady comes up with this long dress on and her hair all wrapped up like one of those Africans. She starts to talk and I can’t help but say I’m pretty impressed, I look at Johnny and he seemed pretty impressed as well. This is the first time that we’ve been here and he encouraged me to come. I figured I couldn’t get any worse so I said “why not” with a crooked smile and here I am. The message here is crazy! Me and Johnny keep making eye contact because this lady is all in our Kool-Aid if you know what I mean. It’s like she’s been reading our minds or something and as soon as this thought crossed my mind she says “I know that some of you here are wondering how I know all of these things about you and I will tell you that it’s the Holy Spirit…”

What?! Whoever this “Holy Spirit” is I need to know him for myself! Maybe if I did I wouldn’t be here right now all broken, busted, and disgusted looking for some type of refuge that I KNOW I can’t get. Maybe this Holy Spirit would’ve told me that the first guy that I would give myself to would leave me with absolutely nothing including my self-respect. MAYBE he would’ve told me that our neighbor was touching my little sister whenever I wasn’t around. BS! I can’t believe that these people here fall for this crap! If this “Holy Spirit” really had all of this power then WHY is the world the way that it is?! I’m SO out of here!

As I head for the door and reach for the door knob I feel a hand gently but firmly touch my shoulder. This shocks me so I spin around quickly to see who it was and can you believe that no one was there?! The little lady walks up to where I’m standing and whispers softly “I know that you’re looking for an escape and God says that he is here and he has always been here waiting for you”. For some reason that was my breaking point, I just start crying and fall to my knees sobbing like a baby as she leans over and prays something. I didn’t catch a word she said but the feeling alone spoke for itself and for the first time in a long time I felt like I was safe and that someone actually cared about me.

I looked over at Johnny and smiled; I’m so glad that I came with him today.

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This article has been read 387 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/09/11
This is a great story from the title to the very end. I was hoping the MC would stick around for a while. Nice job.
Nancy Bucca06/12/11
I really like this, and can really relate. Every article I start off reading thinking "do I want to stick with this or not?" I'm glad I stuck with this. You can really feel what the character is feeling as you read. Great job!

Jim McWhinnie 06/12/11
Fine work in catching the realistic inner dialog of the main character.

The ending seemed a little too sudden.

I sense that shorter paragraphs could help slow the pace.

Gutsy story!
Nadine Clark06/13/11
I'm glad to see a writer willing to address the reality of evil forces in our lives. You did a great job connecting the horrible impact that has in people's lives and the resulting pessimism toward God's loving presence in our lives.
Leola Ogle 06/13/11
Wonderful story and cleverly written. I loved it from start to finish! Good job! God bless!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/17/11
Congratulations for ranking 11th in level one!

Highest rankings are posted on message boards usually late Thurs evening.