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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)

TITLE: No Surprises Please!
By Genstacia Bull


Jade hates surprises. She had a sneaky suspicion her family might be arranging a surprise 40th party for her. She knows they mean well, but she saw it as another ambush so they could tell her “The Lord loves you so much, just give your life to Him”

She steps out of the beauty saloon with designer shopping bags on both hands; she does not do ‘surprises’ she does ‘strategy’. As a top corporate executive, money was no object and Jade has been indulging herself. She swaps one bag to the other as she tried to pull up the zip to her jacket when she bumps into David. “Some things just don’t change…still juggling more than one thing at a time, Jade” Jade could feel her face go red and she was not sure if it was from shock or embarrassment. “David! Are you on holiday, when did you get back to London?” “Can I tell you about it over coffee across the road, besides it looks like it’s going to rain shortly.”

Jade reluctantly agrees out of loss of what to say or do. Not so in control now, are you Jade! she silently chides herself. He helps her with her bags as they walk into the coffee shop. “So what are you doing on the big day tomorrow?” He remembers! She sighs and tells him of her suspicion, and how she has been a target for their avid evangelism. “So what brings you to London?” She could not believe he still had the ability to make her spill her thoughts after all this time. He smiles at her “Since you asked, I am in transit on a mission trip to Guatemala.” Jade beckons to the waitress and asks for a stronger coffee. “Excuse me! A mission trip.” David allowed her to digest the information, “To cut a long story short I am a Christian now. Relax! I am not going to preach to you, from what I gather you already know the truth.”

Jade leans back and roll her head from side to side; she could feel a headache coming on. David averts his eyes, determined not to get distracted by this woman again. “You haven’t answered my question, what’s the plan for your birthday?” “Nothing if I could get out of it, anyway tell me about this Christianity thing. You are the last person I would imagine to be a Christian.” “Why did you say that.” He asked patiently. Jade did not expect that response she thought he would respond defensively, she shrugged her shoulders and gave him a sheepish grin. “Jade could you just for once open up your heart and be real with yourself. What are you afraid of?” Jade feels like she was loosing control of the conversation but couldn’t fight it. “Unlike you Jade I recognised that life is not just about the rat race, after achieving all my many goals, I still felt empty. A friend invited me to church, and I came face to face with the truth, simple truth that without Christ I would not only be lost for eternity, but life would not mean much, life is so much more than acquiring things. I know what you are scared of, Jade” She was trembling on the inside though her facial expression did not twitch outwardly, a good trait in the corporate world. The problem was David could still read her like her book.

“It’s all about control, isn’t it?” He did not bother waiting for a reply it was a rhetorical question. “Take it from me, He is trustworthy, He will not violate your will Jade. He is a gentleman.” At this stage she lost her composure and started weeping. He was grateful that they were at a discreet position in the coffee bar. He wanted to hold her hand, hug her, but he didn’t want to influence her decision. So he just paused and waited. “Jade can I pray with you.” She nodded. Relieved, he proceeded. She smiled and wipes her eyes with the back of her perfectly manicured hands. “So now that I am born-again does that mean I have two birthdays?” “You could say that.” David replied with a hug.

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Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight05/31/05
Nice entry! The conversation at the coffee house is very believable.
Leslie Lamb05/31/05
Bravo! I enjoyed this. Your dialoge was very believable. It gives me courage to be more open about my own faith with those that I meet.
Jan Ackerson 06/01/05
Nicely plotted. I would suggest that you try to be more consistent with verb tenses; about half are present tense and about half pastt tense. It's a little distracting for your reader. Otherwise, a lovely story.
Michelle Burkhardt06/02/05
I really enjoyed the story. I wondered about their past together and could picture the two of them sitting in the coffee shop. The conclusion was too quick for me. You gave so much to your story. Nice job.
Leticia Caroccio06/02/05
Interesting story. I particularly liked: "She does not do surprises, she does strategy". This was was fun.

Did you mean to say: She came out of the "salon" or was it supposed to be "saloon"? In any case, nicely done.