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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: Second Chances
By Denise Trujillo


Andrea’s olive dress rippled as the cool April breeze ran through it. She closed the door with one hand, while the other hand clutched onto her plastic shopping bag. Her head jolted upward as she heard a loud squeak. She saw him. He was closing the car door to a late model car. His dark denim jeans and black button up shirt reflected off the flower shop behind him. Their eyes met. Unable to move, she illuminated a smile. Immediately, his deep dimples appeared as he replicated a smile. She felt an explosion inside that she had never experienced before. At once, she knew there was something special about him.

Andrea was in her early 30’s. Beautiful and vivacious, her, self-proclaimed, downfall was that she had not found love. She had dated for years but had never found the man she wanted to spend her whole life with. She valued the importance of finding a lifelong mate, since her father was a preacher. She prayed to God countless times and had faith that, at the right time, she would meet her soul mate. Was this it? Was this the right time?, she thought. Was she destined to meet him here on Grand Avenue on Saturday at 2PM?

Inwardly she began to plead, “Oh Lord, let this be the one.” He lifted up his left hand and waved. There was no wedding ring—good sign. She screamed inwardly and smiled outwardly. She waved back. This was ridiculous, she thought to herself. For years, she longed to fall in love, and now a stranger was captivating her. Questioned raced through her mind: Was he a Christian? Did he have a job? Was he single? She stood frozen in front of Macy’s, smile bolted into place. He stood frozen outside of his car. Time stood still.

Finally, he gestured for her to wait and he would be right over. Her heart pounded. She mumbled to herself prayers and practiced self-introductions. He walked a few feet out to a bus stop. His eyes followed the city bus until it stopped in a few feet from him. Three men came out. He greeted the men and pointed in Andrea’s direction. They looked quite different from him. They each had tattoos covering their arms. One of the men even had tattoos on his neck and face. Their clothes were ragged and they had a disillusioned look upon their face. Andrea’s heart dropped. Her eagerness to meet him turned into a frantic need to disappear. He smiled and motioned he would be right there. She shook her head and pointed to her watch, signifying she had to leave. He put out his hand to stop but her head pulled in the opposite direction. Her heart and high heels pounded in unison as she dashed down the sidewalk and skidded down a side street. She then began to sprint down the road so that he would not catch her. Finally, she weaved her way through alleys and back to her car. She slammed the door and hit the lock button. She inspected every mirror in sight, and then sped off. She scolded herself for being so naïve and desperate as she drove home. Confusion and anger filled her heart.

Meanwhile, he maneuvered across the busy street but soon lost sight of her. His hazel eyes shifted from left to right, searching each street. His heart sunk—she was gone. He turned back and reunited with the men across the street. He led them down the road to an old white building with a cross mounted on top. He led the men to the back room where several other similar looking men were waiting. He welcomed everyone to his Saturday afternoon bible study. He was the ministry leader for Second Chances; a ministry aimed at helping ex-inmates find hope through the Lord. He opened his worn bible to the New Testament. He began to encourage them through God’s Word. However, he could not help but think of that woman he encountered just moments before. There was something different about her. He had thought God’s perfect plan for his life was unfolding right there. He had prayed for a godly soul mate and felt an inexpressible connection with her. He sighed and continued teaching the men about God’s second chance for them. However, he could not help but hope for a second chance himself.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/07/08
Interesting and very visual, this unfolds like several feet of movie film--very nice.

FYI--"Bible" is always capitalized. I felt that the "oomph" ending was "...something different about her" and the rest may have been unnecessary.

I hope they do get second chances!
Patty Wysong02/09/08
Oh, I Liked this! It's a twist on the topic in that he was judged by the company he kept, but it turned out it was a false judgement. Unfortunate. I hope they get a chance to meet so she can see the truth.
Glynis Becker02/09/08
I really enjoyed this. The descriptions were good. I would love to hear the rest of their story!