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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)

TITLE: Heart Thaw
By James Clem


No, no, no, no! Another stupid stoplight!

I'm going to be late again! Lord, you know I'm trying to get there as fast as I can, but this line of cars just isn't moving today. Every stupid traffic light between work and the day care center has been red.

I promised her Iíd be early today, but Iím not going to make it. Monday she gave me that sad little look. Just as she did the other day when she said, ďMom, Iím always the last kid to get picked up every night.Ē

Lord, what am I supposed to do? I donít want my life to be like this and it wasnít supposed to be this way. I just canít do this by myself.

Every day I take Jessie to school, work all day, and then rush back to pick her up. Once we get home, I try to throw something together for dinner and the next thing you know; itís already time for bed. Every day is like that!

I guess I better call Diane to pick her up. The Wee Care center charges a dollar a minute after 6:00. Iíll never make it on time. Wee Care - yeah right, We Care Little is what that really means. Oh, Iím just frustrated. I promised I would be there, but I just canít make the cars in front of me go any faster.

I could call Michael. He would get her for me. Heís been a good friend these past two years since Steve left. I think he hopes our friendship will grow into something more. But Iím just not ready. I donít know if Iíll ever be ready again. My life just feels like itís covered by an icy winter snow. I donít know if spring will ever come.

Michael is a good man. I do like him. But Lord, I donít want to open my heart again. Itís just too painful. Why couldnít Steve and I work things out? We were so much in love Ė and I still love him. How could he leave me? How could he leave Jessie?

Lord, I cannot have feelings for Michael. It might happen all over again. I canít go through that again. And I wonít let Jessie go through it again either. She misses her daddy, but to lose another would just be too much.

Michael gave me flowers for Valentineís Day; not roses of course, because weíre just friends. He would make a good dad for Jessie and she needs a father in her life.

Just a few weeks ago, the three of us went on a picnic together. Jessie adores him. Lord, help me to know what to do. You are the great Physician. Can you really mend the brokenness in my heart? Can you really cause new feelings to spring up out of the barren coldness that grips it? Iím so afraid.

Another red light! Okay, let me dial the number.

ďMichael, hi. Yeah itís Anne. Iím stuck in traffic. Iíd really appreciate it if you could pick Jessie up for me at the day care. Youíre such a lifesaver. Iíll pick up something to eat on the way home.

ďHey I was thinking too that maybe you could stay for dinner and then afterward we could talk a bit. Iíd like that.

ďGreat! Iíll see you soon. Bye Michael and thanks again.Ē

Lord, I feel the ice breaking a bit. Maybe there will be a new spring in my life, with fresh experiences waiting to be discovered and new feelings ready to bloom.

Lord I trust in you that you do know the plans you have for me. I trust you with my life, my talents, and my little girl. And I will trust you with my own heart.

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This article has been read 878 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/07/05
Usually thoughts and prayers are put in italics, but since most of this story is a prayer, perhaps you could put the dialog at the end in italics, to signal the switch to your readers.

I'm not sure she's ready for Michael, if she still loves Steve. Maybe she should be working on reconciliation with him?

What I really liked about this was your protagonist's conversational approach to prayer--it seems as natural to her as breathing, and that is very special, indeed.
Jeffrey Snell12/08/05
Realistic portrayal of a struggling, hurt, confused mind. Good job conveying her frustration and uncertainty.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/21/05
Received your ty msg. So, am reading more of your work. My biggest surprise is that this one, "Heart Thaw", "Rose Bush" and "Vines and Whines" are written by a man; Unless, of course, you are writing under an assumed name. Nice writing...and will continue to follow your progress. I see I predicted your win in Vines & Whines... Hmmmm!
Keep up the good work!