Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Valentine (05/16/05)
TITLE: Pink Paper
By Madonna Hooper
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After lengthy collaboration with Blue Bunny, Jenna takes a deep breath and starts writing. Carefully formed letters begin to cover her pink paper like raindrops. As the intensity builds words spatter the paper like rain against a window pane. Finally, the shower subsides and she looks proudly at her pink paper, now drenched and overflowing with puddles of paragraphs. “There BB, it’s done. Now we just have to deliver it.”
“I’ll be back in a little while mum. Just going to deliver a letter.” Jenna skips out the front door, BB in one hand, a pink envelope in the other.
Lana, Jenna’s older sister smiles and shakes her head. Glancing out her bedroom window she expects to see Jenna pacing the sidewalk, eager to casually place her letter in the neighbors’ letterbox. Young Todd Smythe has recently become the object of Jenna’s affection, something Lana finds both cute and startling.
Surprisingly Jenna is nowhere in sight. She feels slightly uneasy but is distracted by the arduous task of choosing the perfect outfit. She thinks tonight will be ‘the’ night. Todd, her boyfriend of two years, has been hinting that Valentines Day this year will be extra special. Lana surveys her left hand imagining a diamond ring on her finger. She laughs to herself wondering if it will feel like an extra appendage after several years of marriage.
For some reason she cannot focus and casually glances out the window, expecting to see Jenna and Todd tossing a baseball to each other. Still no sign of her sibling or her little prince. Her stomach somersaults and she begins to wonder where Jenna could be. What should she do? She does not want to burden her mother, Anna, who has enough on her mind at the moment. How could her parents be contemplating separation? Jenna refuses to entertain the thought. That would be like separating coffee from cream; the clouds from the sky; a baby from its mother. She shakes her long brown hair as if to drive the thought from her mind.
At five forty-five the front door slams and erratic footsteps patter through the house. Like a crazed jack-in-the-box, Jenna’s cheeky face appears at Lana’s bedroom door.
“Jenna! What are you doing? Don’t scare me like that. I’m too young to die. And where have you been? I’ve been worried sick about you young lady?”
“I’ve been around.” Jenna’s jack-in-the-box smile is permanently etched on her face.
“What on earth are you …..?”
The familiar ‘ding dong’ of the doorbell ceases Lana’s quizzing.
“That’s probably Todd,” gulps Lana, applying yet another coat of lipstick.
Both girls race to answer the door. Descending the stairs they stop midway, wide-eyed at the scene unfolding before them.
In the living room Anna and John Forbes embrace tenderly. A dozen red roses and a box of chocolates sit proudly on the table next to them like esteemed guests.
“I’m so sorry Anna. I’ve been incredibly impatient and selfish lately. I don’t know how you’ve put up with me. I really needed a wake up call.”
Through muffled tears, sobs and sniffles Anna Forbes manages to ask, “But what made you realize John? And today of all days. The timing is perfect. What made you realize?”
John Forbes reaches into his coat pocket and feels the slightly crumpled pink paper.
“Let’s just say a little birdie told me … a very intuitive, clever little birdie.”
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