Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)
TITLE: The Redeemer's Cafe
By Rhonda Ritenour
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Filled with a renewed sense of determination, she continued walking. As she rounded the corner, she saw Susan sitting inside the window and froze. A fond memory of when they first met twenty years prior came to mind as she contemplated taking the final steps to greet her long-lost friend . . .
“Kelly, please go answer the door. That should be the new family from next door coming for dinner.”
Kelly did as her mother asked, thrilled to be making a new friend. Especially since they had a daughter her same age.
By the time dinner was over and they’d placed a few board games, Kelly knew she’d found the “kindred spirit” she’d been looking for.
Breathing in the peaceful aroma of her chai tea latte, Susan felt anything but relaxed. Uncertainty and fear reared their ugly heads, as they’d been doing the past fifteen years. But, if she’d learned anything the past five years, it’s that life is much too short to allow fear, anxiety or unhealed wounds to control your life.
Nevertheless, Susan twisted her hair as she awaited Kelly’s arrival. Closing her eyes, she desperately tried to recall the “good ‘ol days” . . .
“Hey Susie, are you ready or are you going to make me wait out here all night?”
“Geez, Kelly, can’t you be late for once?” Susan mumbled as she yanked open the door and headed back to her room, still needing to finish her make up for the homecoming dance.
“You’re not wearing that, are you??” Kelly cried.
“Why not? Baggy jeans and huge sweaters are the latest craze. Don’t you pay attention?”
Kelly sighed, “First of all, you’re crazy for wanting to wear that. And, secondly, this is a dance. Here,” she said, handing Susie a beautiful satin gown, “wear this.”
Susan stared, “Where did you get that?”
“I knew you’d need something for tonight and I bought it for you. Don’t make it a big deal. Just put it on and let’s go or we’re going to be late . . . and you know how I feel about that!”
“Yes, yes . . . I know, Ms. Drill Sergeant!”
That was Kelly. Always thoughtful, always there for you. How could it have all changed in one dreadful night?
Tentatively, Kelly stood before the café table. “Hello, Susan. I hope you haven’t waited long.”
“Kelly Anderson . . . I can’t believe it’s really you. Or that you’re late! Here, have a seat.” Susan stood, inviting Kelly to sit, unsure of what to expect. They were definitely not the same wide-eyed girls of their youth.
Trembling, Kelly began. “Susan, let me begin. I need . . . that is, would you forgive me?”
Susan was shocked. She didn’t know what to say. Kelly must have taken that as a sign of Susan’s anger, because she trudged on. “I know what I did was unforgivable and I don’t blame you for not speaking to me all these years, but I’ve asked God’s forgiveness and now I am asking for yours. Please, can we start fresh? You were my dearest friend and . . . ”
Susan could take no more. What was Kelly rambling on about? It was her fault, not Kelly’s! “What do you mean asking for my forgiveness? It’s I who needs forgiveness from you.”
Kelly sat in stunned silence as Susan related what really happened on that dreadful night fifteen years before. Through tears, they confided in one another and soon the bond they once shared was reignited.
Redeeming a friendship once lost is not an easy task, but through grace, forgiveness and humble hearts, God can rebuild even the most tarnished of bonds.
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