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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)

TITLE: The Plus Sign
By Von Pickett


With tears creeping down her face, Alva sighs as she watches Stefan’s 350Z back out of the driveway and slowly make its’ way down the street. Panic threatens to overwhelm her as she realizes he’s not coming back this time. “What happened”, she says to no one in particular. “How did my life get so messed up?”

Her first days at Vanderbilt University: getting settled into the routine of attending classes, listening to lectures, hours upon hours in the library doing research, completing homework assignments, and not to mention time getting involved at her new church - all consumed her life . . . and she loved every bit of it. Then they met . . . and her life was turned upside down.

Her dorm roommate, Sheila, was disgustingly smart and got away with little study, yet somehow breezed through all the tests. That left her with lots of free time to pursue other interests - - namely the Commodores football team. She was a very pretty girl, “the life of the party” kind of girl, and teased Alva unmercifully. “All work and no play, makes life no fun. Come on Alva, just this once?”

“Okay, just this once. But you know I have that Statistics test so I really can’t stay long. I’ll go if you promise to lay off”, Alva remarked jovially.

“Okay, let’s go! The party has already started without us”, Sheila bemoaned as they made their way across campus to The Hangout.

“Surely I have died and gone to Heaven”, exclaimed Alva under her breath to Sheila.

“Whatever do you mean girlfriend?” said Sheila.

“He’s walking this way!”

“Oh, it’s just Stefan”.

“He’s just drop dead gorgeous!”

“Well, yeah, I guess he is a little. He’s not my type”, said Sheila, her interests already looking elsewhere.

Alva had just fallen madly in love with the starting Quarterback, big man on campus. At a little over 6 feet, blue eyes you could swim in, and a crop of unruly blonde hair, he was a feast for sore eyes. Eyes overtired from much study and little sleep.

Falling in love (or was it something else) was a short trip for both Alva and Stefan, the “chemistry” between them was unmistakable.

It didn’t take long for Alva and Stefan to become an “item” on campus. They spent every free moment together and it certainly seemed like theirs was a match made in heaven (until the + symbol). Stefan’s life became her own and although Alva felt she was strong in her faith, her church attendance became a casualty, as well as her studies. “I can’t go to Wednesday night prayer meeting when that’s the only evening Stefan has free can I?”, Alva reasoned. “We can go to Sunday church maybe this weekend”, she consoled herself. But it never happened. The weekends, when the games were at home, were unbelievably busy and Sunday became “the day before Monday” when it all starts over again.

“Oh, yeah, the plus symbol”, said Alva as her thoughts turned to the current state of events, ‘’that’s what happened”. Stefan was not ready to be a father, she could “take care of it” and he could pursue his future in pro ball, hopefully. “Nowadays, it’s not necessary to be parents when we’re not ready for it. It’s your body, you decide.” Stefan said and with that he had walked out the door and out of her life.

As she turned from the window she turned in her resolve to “do the right thing”. Alva retreated to her “quiet zone” and reached for her NIV Daily Chronological Bible and wiped off the dust …all the more earnest to “get it right” this time. There’s so much more at stake now. . .

"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:5 NLT

“Man was he ever right,” thought Alva. She began to pray, “Father I have messed up miserably. Forgive me for turning my back on You. I had no time for You but Thank You for Your faithfulness to me anyway. Thank You for not giving up on me! Cleanse me from all unrighteousness of my flesh and spirit with your precious blood Lord. Lord Jesus, only you can redeem what’s left of “our” life . . .

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rachael Severa08/12/11
Your story was a nice read. There are many people who can relate to this story. I liked how you described the us factor with (the + sign). I enjoyed reading this from one beginner to another.
Thanks for the story.
Helen Curtis08/12/11
This is a great story and shows the importance of being committed to Christ, for our own good! I liked the ending; isn't it wonderful to know that God accepts us,'mistakes and all' and will use all situations for good! Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/13/11
I really commend you for tackling a difficult topic. Even the most dedicated Christian can be talked into doing something that goes against her beliefs.

You did have several minor editing errors its' should be its. Also when using ellipses be consistent if you put a space between the dots or not. Also try not to overuse them.

But the strength of your story helps to overcome any errors. You had great developed characters and a message we all need to hear now and then.

Andrea Willard 08/14/11
Your dialogue moved your story nicely and at a quick pace. When your main character chooses to return to her faith I applauded you for your choice for her. Thank you for a story that captures hearts for Jesus.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/17/11
How sad that she got involved with someone out of the faith but praise the Lord for His mercy and welcoming arms. I'm glad your character made the right choice in the end. This could be a tool to speak to young girls and women everywhere. I'd like to see more of this in later chapters showing her life as she grows in the Lord, along with her little + sign. :)Keep up the good work.