Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)
TITLE: A Little Spark
By Ekua Bartlett-Mingle
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I wanted to run after him, grab his shoulders and tell him I was sorry. But all I could do was stand there, shaken by the events of the past few minutes. The sound of his car engine starting jolted me out of my dazed state and I ran outside, in a desperate attempt to undo what had been done. But it was too late, he had already backed out of the front yard and was on his way out.
Three days later, I received a note from Greg. My hands trembled as I opened the envelope and began to read.
Let me first say that I love you and have always known that you are the woman for me.
When you told me about your failed relationships my heart went out to you and I remember thinking “I have to keep her safe from hurting again”. But now I wonder whether you will ever allow yourself to be loved and protected.
I promised my mother one thing when she was dying, that I would love my wife and treat her like a Queen. So I have always tried to love you the best I can and treat you like the Queen you indeed are. However, you seem to be totally insensitive to my feelings. While I am quick to cover your shortcomings especially in front of our friends, you don’t hesitate to embarrass me at the slightest provocation in the company of others. Your words have done nothing to encourage me in the last three months since I lost my job and have tried to get back on my feet. You constantly, make me feel so inadequate, comparing me to your friends, your brothers and God knows who else! I am a man and if the woman in my life can’t appreciate who I am and encourage me in my times of difficulty it hurts real bad.
I know you’ve always been a straight talker but that doesn’t mean ignoring the feelings of others. Is it any wonder you find yourself at odd ends with your siblings? I have seen how your words have pierced and hurt them. Like the day you told Carrie that she had always enjoyed bad bargains and it was no wonder she settled for a loser like John. I almost could have strangled you myself that day. What you don’t know is that John was standing at the kitchen door and heard your hurtful words. He quickly turned away quietly and sat waiting for Carrie in the car. I am only sorry he didn’t hear his wife come to his defense. But now you compare me to the same man you derided now that he’s in a good job and they have a lovely home!
Your words have unleashed mayhem in our home through the years. We’ve lost good friends because you spoke carelessly and refused to apologize. I have tried so hard to let you know how this is hurtful not only to others but to yourself but I can’t seem to get through to you.
This morning your words stung and wounded me so deeply. When I left the house I really felt dejected. What was there to live for, if all I got for loving the most important person in my life was scorn and rebuke? I drove to the little Church were mother is buried. I laid a rose on her grave an then I remembered my vow to her, I remembered my vows to you on our wedding day and I went into the church to kneel and pray. I felt at peace then and able to forgive you once again.
On the wall of the church are inscribed these words, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Pvb 15:4,KJV). I thought you should think about that today, perhaps then you will begin to realize that your words matter. Cruel words are like a spark that if let loose carelessly can lead to an outbreak of fire, destroying everything in its wake.
I truly love you still, but the outbreak must stop.
I dropped the letter and fell to my knees, “God please forgive me, heal my tongue and give me another chance”.
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