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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: First (as in original) (01/10/05)

TITLE: No Toys For Justin
By Hugh McLean


Adrienne opened her eyes. She noticed a little figure standing in the hall. He was looking in at her with innocence. She smiled at him.
"Hi there handsome."
He waved.
"Wanna come in?"
He looked uncertain.
"Okay. But you can if you want to."
She noticed that he was eyeing her teddy bear. She slowly held it up in view. The boy's eyes sparkled.
"Like it?" she asked.
He nodded his head. After pondering for a moment, he succumbed to the temptation and came in. She held it out to him.
She looked at his white shorts and shirt. How quaint! The outfit had blood red buttons and matching bowtie. He wore white socks and white sneakers with red laces. Too cute!
"My name is Adrienne."
He pointed to his chest. "Justin. My daddy likes to call me J.J."
"Justin? That's my friend's name too."
"Does his daddy call him J.J.?"
She laughed. "No. We just call him Justin. Who are you with?"
"My mommy and daddy."
"Are they visiting someone?"
"No. My mommy said I made her sick."
Tears appeared in his eyes. Adrienne forgot her own pain and tried to comfort him. He walked closer to her. He relaxed in her arms, still toying with the bear.
"Oh, Justin. She doesn't mean that." She stroked his hair.
"So, why she say I make her sick and then come to the hospital?"
"Well, when people get sick, sometimes they say things that hurt the people they love, but they don't really mean it."
"So why she say it? "
Adrienne tried to sit up. The pain in her abdominal section throbbed again. She collapsed back on the bed.
Justin looked at her.
"See, I made you sick."
"No, JJ. I was already sick when you came in here. Say, you look real sharp in that outfit."
"I have to wear it."
"Don't you like it?"
"I dunno."
"Well, you look very handsome in it."
"Thank you."
He eased the teddy bear into his arms. She watched him. There was something very familiar about him. The big brown eyes, the tan skin, even the body language.
"Whatta you want to be when you grow up J.J.?"
"I was gonna sing and make a lot of money and buy my mommy a car."
"That’s sweet. I like to sing too. You know what? When I was ten, I won our class talent show by singing a medley."
"What's that?"
"That's when you sing parts of different songs together."
Adrienne began to cry. There was definitely something familiar about him that seemed to sink deeply into her heart, but she couldn't figure what it was. Did he look like a nephew? A cousin? Suddenly, a light went on in her head.
"You know what, J.J.?"
"Would you believe that you look like my friend, Justin?"
"You are such a sweet and tender child. You know- if you were my son, I'd love on you all the time."
Suddenly, that statement seemed to cause a change. The sweet and innocent Justin changed into a more serious Justin. He dropped the teddy bear back in the chair and looked Adrienne in the eyes.
There was a piercing glare coming from him. There was fear in her as she tried to discern the look. Then came a voice from the doorway.
"Time's up Justin. Patrice needs to see her mother now."
Justin turned to leave. Adrienne reached after him. Tears streamed from her eyes. He faded into brightness.
"Justin! Come back! I am sorry! Please come back. I DO love you!"
"I love you too, mommy."
"NO! "
She closed her eyes and cried.
"Addie! Addie! Adrienne!"
She opened her eyes again. The tears blurred her vision. She wiped her eyes and was looking into a familiar face. It was her fiancée. She reached out to him and embraced him.
"Justin. Oh, Justin. Let's get out of here. I don't want to have an abortion. I want this baby. And yes, I do want to get married and have a family."
"What are you saying, Addie?"
She looked up at him.
"I want OUR baby."
She felt a sharp pain in her abdomen.
"I'm sorry, Addie,” he cried sadly. “B-but you were adamant about NOT having a baby. It's too late."
Adrienne could hear the echo of J.J.'s voice: "I love you mommy."
Her sorrow stabbed deeply into her heart.
The abortion was complete.

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This article has been read 622 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight01/17/05
Heartwrenching! Excellent entry!
Joanne Malley01/17/05
I agree...heartwrenching entry. You drew me in and kept my interest. Very well written.
Christine Rhee01/17/05
Maybe try to intersperse description about what's happening, physically, amongst the dialogue.
Angie Schulte01/17/05
This article is very emotional. It's one of those that is difficult to put into words what it makes you feel. Thanks for sharing!
Kathy Cartee01/19/05
Very well written, but what does it have to do with first as the original?
Deborah Anderson01/22/05
I felt the pain in this heartwrenching story, which means you did an excellent job getting the point across. Space between paragraphs to make it read easier for us older people in here. :-) God bless you.
L.M. Lee01/23/05
whoa...what a strong story
Deborah Porter 01/24/05
Hugh, this was overwhelming to read. Powerful in every way and quite shocking when the ending was revealed - congratulations on receiving a Highly Commended Award. It was very well deserved. With love, Deb (Challenge Co-ordinator)
Anna Kittrell01/26/05
I am so impressed. I understood how it related to the "first" theme...it was her first child; her first chance at motherhood. Your story was very suspenseful and enthralling to read.
Jonita (Jay) Johnson02/04/05
Oh, how wrenching. I think this must have/maybe should have touched everywoman's emotion that has had an abortion. Keep writing. God's Blessings continue to be upon you.