Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Barbeque/Cookout (09/06/12)
TITLE: Another Chance
By Kathy Kinzig
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“Mommy, look at the lake!” Billy called out as he threw open the car door and ran down to the sandy beach.
He immediately ran back saying, “Mommy, can I get in the water?”
“Honey, you’re going to have to wait until we unpack your swim suit,” she said tousling his curly red hair while opening the trunk.
Jenny and Billy came on vacation hoping to get some much needed relaxation and time together, something a single, working mother carrying a full load of college classes doesn’t get much of. She had last been to the lake as a child with her own parents, and she wanted to bring Billy to one of her favorite vacation spots.
As Jenny unpacked, there was a knock on the door. “Hi Jenny,” Mrs. Koerner, the owner, said as she opened the door. “I wanted to stop by and make sure everything was to your satisfaction.”
“Everything is perfect,” Jenny replied. “Billy is so excited to get in the lake.”
“Just like you, Jenny, when you were his age. What is he, about five or six?”
“He’s five-and-a-half, she said smiling at her little man.”
“Well, I’ll let you get unpacked. By the way, we still have our Sunday night BBQ so all of our guests can meet. My husband, Hank, and I provide the hot dogs, hamburgers and buns. Just bring a covered dish by around 5 o’clock tomorrow night,” Mrs. Koerner said as she let herself out of the cabin. “By the way, Hank’s nephew is here from Virginia. I’d like you to meet him.”
“Sounds great. We’ll definitely be there.”
On Sunday Billy never left the water as he had found some friends his own age to play with. Jenny enjoyed the quiet time soaking up the sun.
She could smell Hank firing up the grill. She had to coax Billy out of the water by promising him a hot dog for supper. With that he ran up the sandy beach leaving a spray of water and sand behind him as he beat Jenny to the cabin.
“Billy, we need to change clothes for dinner. I’ve laid your clothes on the bed.” With blue lips quivering from the cold swim suit, he ran to his room to change clothes.
Jenny slipped on a sun dress and unplugged the crock pot of baked beans.
“Billy, can you open the screen door for me please?” she asked as they headed to the area marked off for the barbeque.
“Mommy, your beans are the best,” he said smiling up at Jenny as he opened the door.
Picnic tables were lined up, and smoke from the grills filled the air with a wonderful aroma. Setting the beans on the serving table, Jenny and Billy stood in line with plates in hand. Jenny noticed a man with curly red hair surrounding a baseball cap working the grills with Hank.
As the line moved forward, Billy began dancing around. “Mommy, can I have two hot dogs?”
“Well, let’s see if you are still hungry after you eat everything on your plate,” Jenny replied.
As they approached the grill, Billy went up to the man working with Hank to get a hot dog. Hank looked up and welcomed her and said, “Jenny, have you met my nephew, Jason, yet?”
She looked at the man with the curly red hair in the ball cap. She froze as he looked at her. There was immediate recognition for both of them. Finally, Billy said, “Mommy, I’m hungry,” as he impatiently tugged on her arm.
Billy’s question brought Jason back to the moment. He looked at Billy, then back at Jenny and said, “Mommy?” questioningly.
“Yes, this is my son, Billy,” she said awkwardly. Jason and Billy’s features were identical—curly red hair, cleft chin, freckles, brown eyes and even a tiny mole on the upper lip. Jason had clearly noticed the similarity and was doing the math. It had been six years that he had last seen Jenny. They had been young--Spring break their senior year. Another beach. Another life. Promises made and forgotten. Now two very different people and a chance for a new beginning—a chance to do it God’s way.
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