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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Dial T for Turnaround
By Lucile McKenzie


The phone sat on the desk like a guilty conscience, immovable, unrelenting, and silently shouting accusations and complaints. Karen stared at it resentfully. All I have to do is pick up that phone. All I have to do is dial her number. And all I have to do then is apologize. But I can’t. I know it’s the Christian thing to do, but why should I apologize to her when it’s her place to apologize to me. She’s the one who betrayed my trust. Maybe she knows that. Maybe if I wait a while longer, she’ll call me. The minutes ticked by. The phone did not ring.

For the hundredth time Karen replayed the scene in her mind. She and Janice were having iced tea together in the outdoor area of The Gypsy Caravan Cafe, laughing over memories, exchanging confidences. Then Janice said, “Marge was really excited that you and Bill are going to have a baby.”

“What?” said Karen.

“Marge,” repeated Janice, “She’s really excited about your baby.”
Karen stared at Janice in disbelief.

“Janice, I told you I didn’t want anyone to know about this pregnancy yet. After two miscarriages in the third month, I specifically told you I didn’t want anyone to know until I make it well past that mark. It’s just too disappointing and I don’t want to hear everyone telling me how sorry they are. If you told Marge everyone will know. How could you?”

Janice stared at Karen. “I just am so happy for you. The doctor assured you it would be fine this time, with the new medication. You are a little over three months along now and you are o.k. I thought it would be all right to tell Marge now. She knows how much you want a baby and she immediately formed a prayer chain to pray for you all through the pregnancy. I just wanted her to know because she’s been so concerned about you.”

Furious, Karen stood up. “Now, if something does go wrong, I’ll have to face everyone and their sympathetic looks again. I thought you could keep a secret. Obviously,I can’t trust you. I’ll certainly remember that!” She tossed a few bills on the table and stalked away, ignoring Janice’s soft, “Karen, please.”

Now, as Karen relieved the scene over yet again one sentence from Janice’s remarks suddenly jumped out, “She knows how much you want a baby and she immediately formed a prayer chain to pray for you all through the pregnancy.”

Karen sat very still, then bowed her head in shame. How could I have missed those words? Why was I not listening to what Janice was saying? Imagine having someone care so much they set up a long-term prayer chain. And, evidently God heard because I am over the three months mark and it does look like I’ve made it past the danger point. Oh, God, thank You and forgive me. I owe so many people an apology, starting with Janice. Karen reached for the phone.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Hannah Hunter07/27/08
You give a good picture of the way God works in our hearts to change our perspective.
Patty Wysong07/27/08
Oh, good one!! I love the inner turmoil and using the phone for good. Well done!
Mary Hackett07/30/08
Well done! Karen's frustration at the beginning is very understandable, and the reader stays sympathetic & wants her to do the right thing. Keep writing :)