Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Key (02/14/13)
TITLE: Hot Pants, Sardines, and Baseball
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Marietta was a fierce player and preferred fast pitch softball. When she stepped up to the makeshift plate, her tanned skin and brown hair shone in the afternoon sun. Charles recognized her from school. She was a sophomore and he a senior. He recalled this year’s beauty pageant and Marietta had entered. She didn’t place in the pageant but he will never forget what she wore that night. All the girls had worn light pink or white dresses but Marietta had stepped on stage in a bright red dress. A wide black belt had cinched her tiny waist. She was probably a foot shorter than him but he could tell she made up for it with personality and plenty of spunk. Although Charles was an all-star athlete and voted best looking boy in school, Marietta didn’t give him the time of day. Her favorite thing to do was play ball and cause mischief.
“When you’re done there, take out the trash, son and we’ll close up shop.” Charles’s father, Bryant, directed from behind the counter.
“Yes, sir.” Charles answered as he stacked the last can and put the sign in the window that read, ‘five cents per can’.
It was a beautiful summer afternoon as Charles took the trash out. The girl’s game had come to a standstill and everyone was standing in the road looking at old Mr. Garner’s tack store across the street.
“What’s going on over there?” Bryant asked as he came out behind Charles to lock up for the day.
Charles studied the situation for a moment and said, “I think their ball is stuck in the eaves on old man Garner’s building.”
Seconds later Charles saw a flash of bright yellow and realized it was Marietta. She was climbing up the side of Mr. Garner’s store on a makeshift ladder and wearing yellow shorts. Her legs looked long and lean as she climbed without fear to retrieve the ball. Once she got to the top, she held up the ball triumphantly for all to see.
“I’m going marry her one day, Pop.” Charles told his father.
He was good to his word. They were married for fifty years. Charles and Marietta were my grandparents and they possessed the only the key that fit each other’s hearts. My grandparent’s love for one another got them through years of alcohol and substance abuse, troubled children, and financial woes. It was ultimately their love for God in their later years that made their relationship even stronger and solidified their eternal union. In today’s society, too many people give up on each other and on their marriage. Marriages, like my grandparent’s that lasted for fifty years are dying out along with the people that had made it last for so long. Married couples today are encouraged to seek the guidance of the Lord and of our nation’s older generations instead of tossing away the key to their spouse’s heart by getting a divorce.
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