Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: true love
By Libby East
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Jenna and Paul had been dating for two years. They had talked about marriage and Jenna was sure he was the one. Except there was this girl Mallory from his office who kept calling him. At first she thought it was no big deal. Paul wasn’t calling her, it was the other way around. They were friends from work and how many times did she talk to her friends from work on the phone at night. But then she noticed that whenever Mallory called him, he would always leave the room. The calls kept coming more often. She asked him about it once and he got defensive. “Why do you care who I talk to. She’s just a friend. You talk to your friends on the phone. What’s the difference?” She cried and tried to explain her fears but she eventually gave up. A few days later he finally assured her of his love. “Ah, Jen don’t you know how much I love you?” She sighed and rested her head on his shoulder as they hugged. But as the calls continued her doubt grew. After many conversations he finally said what she wanted to hear. “I’ll tell her to stop calling and I won’t call her.” He finally agreed. But now she suspected that he was talking to her again.
He drove away and she followed him careful that he wouldn’t see her. She followed him all the way to an apartment building. She parked her car far enough away that he wouldn’t see her but close enough that she could see what was going on. He walked to a door and knocked. A moment later, a girl came to the door. What happened next would change Jenna’s perspective on love for years to come. Paul hugged and kissed the girl the same way he had hugged and kissed her just a short time before. For a long time she just sat there in total shock. Not knowing quite what to do next she drove away. When she got home, she dialed his cell number.
“Hello?” Her heart sank at the sound of his voice.
“Do you even know what love is?” she blurted.
“What?” He had no idea what she was talking about.
“You say you love me and then I see you kissing some other girl.” she sobbed. “That’s not love. I really loved you. Now I just feel sorry for you. I hope that one day you will learn what real love is.” After she hung up the phone she cried for hours until eventually sleep claimed her.
Six months later Jenna attended a church service with her friend Sophie. The preacher was talking about love. He started off with a story of a jilted woman. The story sounded sadly familiar. Jenna found herself lost in the story. The woman had thought for sure she had found her soul mate. She thought he loved her. But then she discovered that there was someone else that he was spending his time with. Jenna found her cheeks moist as she remembered her own wounded heart. The preacher went on to talk about a man who showed the world the true meaning love. Jenna discovered that she never knew what love meant until that night. But she did now. She only prayed that Paul would discover the same thing.
“This is how we know what love is: That while we were yet sinners Christ died for us...”1 John 3:16
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