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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

By Tricia Nechibvute


Perhaps I have become old before my time. Too much has happened, without respite. I see people through glass windows. The glass is so clear that sometimes it gives the illusion of not actually being there at all. I reach out to touch someone; to assure myself of their realness; and find I canít. I find the glass instead. I am well and truly alone. Interacting and interfacing with people, yet neither touching or being touched.
Life can numb one. It can be such an assault to the senses. After a while; I stopped grieving for the little girl that I once was; I just donít remember. She is like an illusion. I donít remember what it is to be happy, carefree. What it was like to have hopes and aspirations. Life kept beating me down. I stopped dreaming. I lost my sense of self, my raison díÍtre; commonly referred to as the arrogance of youth; when the sky is the limit and no ceilings exist except oneís own zest for life.
Every day began to fuse into another. I become like everybody else, doing what everybody does, indistinguishable, keeping my head down and just getting by. Doing what needs to be done. Getting a job; holding it down. This blissful state of automation is known as being a responsible citizen. Too many opportunities for promotion have passed me by. First, I listened to the reasons given, but even after I addressed these, there would be yet more. Eventually, I wised up; gave up. I believe I heard a collective sigh of relief when this happened. I reckon that they had probably run out of reasons (or is it excuses), perhaps if I tried one last time.... Iíll never know. It seemed as if the odds were forever stacked against me. Forever is a longtime. A person can only take so much disappointment.
I come home to an empty apartment. I donít watch the news. It makes a bleak world bleaker. I flip from channel to channel and that is my eveningís entertainment. The highlight is the off chance of actually finding something to watch. This is the most excitement I get every day, the only prospect of being pleasantly surprised. I like the reassurance of the voices coming from the box. It is almost as if I am not alone. But alone I am. I donít have a phone for unreachable people to reach me. People that keep so much locked in, because they are afraid that if they let you in, you will realise they donít have the answers either. With age, comes liberation and I simply refuse to play anymore. Finally, I take charge of my own life and declare enough is enough. I leave the treadmill.
I acknowledge the deplorable state I am in. I do not remember who I am. I do not know myself. To me this is rock bottom. This is the end of my introspection. If I am to find hope; I have to find it outside me. Salvation will not be from within. I not only look outwards, but upwards as well. As I look up, I note the exit sign. It is exactly where I expected it to be as the only way out is up. I remember as a little girl asking that question that causes parents much consternation Ė where did I come from? Hope is birthed within me as I look up. I see the Light of the World and I call out to my Saviour. That question is now answered as I embrace my Fathers love and He makes Himself known to me through His son Jesus Christ. Always note the exit. Look up. Note, exit points denote new beginnings.
It doesnít matter now that I donít remember the little girl that I once was; I embrace the woman that I am and love her. I embrace today and savour the moment. Now that my Beloved is mine and I am His, I can soar only on the wings of Love and I do. God is love. I have been set free. The days no longer fuse as one. I now have a song in my heart. I sing of my Saviour's love for me and refuse to be silent. I have found my purpose. As I sing and tell others of Godís love for them; the glass screens shatter, the unreachable become reachable; against love there is no defence. My disappointments have become Godís appointments.

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Loni Bowden-Horn 02/18/13
"Grieving for the little girl I once was..." drew me into the story.
When you were a child, you seemed happy and carefree. What caused the pain that made you old before your time and withdrew? I wanted to know why your emotions changed over time.

This story compelled me to examine my own life. At the end you were like a caterpillar in a cocoon tearing off the layers until you turned into a butterfly.

Only an awesome God can make such a transition in a person.

Thank you for sharing your story.
Bonnie Bowden 02/19/13
Very thought provoking piece. There is no way to recapture the past. I'm glad the MC found a way to break free at the end.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/19/13
This is such a powerful piece. Your description of loneliness is exquisitely painful. Though you use the word note in the story and use it in a clever and fresh way, I'm not positive that it makes your story on topic or that the main point of your story is about note. This one is kind of borderline for me and I suspect if it doesn't rank as high as one might expect that would likely be the reason. The other criteria is great. You have a conflict in the beginning that draws me in and I feel all kinds of emotion in this piece. The message about only finding ourselves if we look above is intense. The ending brings the story full circle and leaves me with much to think about.