Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)
TITLE: A Gift of Hope...
By Misti Chancellor
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John Robertson’s hand trembled as he held the pen. Wads of paper were scattered around the room, evidence of his frustration. Tears dropped on the pages, smearing the ink. He gritted his teeth, his knuckles white as he tried to form the words. “Oh, honey… how can I do this to you?” An agonized groan slipped from between his lips as his head dropped forward onto the desk. He lay there for a long time, his sobs echoing in the dark room. He stood, pacing, restless. He reached, then reconsidered, and then reached again, only to pause. He balled his hands into fists in frustration, willing himself to reach out again. Trembling hands held the gun. He looked and then quickly set it down, only to be drawn back to the only solution he could see to the problem. Turning, he stumbled back to the desk, and picked up the letter. “Honey, I don’t know what else to do. I miss your mother so much, and I feel like such a failure. As hard as I’ve tried, no one wants me. There’s no job… no future… no hope… and I’m tired. I can’t do this anymore. I wish there was some way out, but I feel so alone. Please forgive me. Love always… your dad.” The paper crumpled beneath his fingers. “No!! I can’t do this,” he thought, and trembling fingers touched cold metal.
The phone rang. John turned and listened as the answering machine came on and played through to the beep. “Hi! This is David Jacobs. I’m trying to reach John Robertson about a job he applied for a month ago. We’ve been sorting through the applications, and we believe that he qualifies for the job. We’d like to set up a time for an interview…”
The gun clanked against the floor as a tiny flicker of hope welled up and cut through the darkness of John’s despair.
**Note: For many people, the holiday season is not one of joy, but one of despair, and this is especially true in hard economic times. Take time to reach out, care, and instill hope in those around you. It may save someone’s life.
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