Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End (02/13/06)
By Lawrence Travis
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Billy saw that much of her in the momentary glance before he looked away. He groaned, "When will it end?"
Billy had left the pizza shop with three orders. It was his first delivery run of the day, a bright summer day in which a pretty girl's blonde hair could look like the very rays of the sun caressing her face. On sunny days in that part of town, many pretty girls walked in public with less covering than most people wear in the privacy of their homes. Billy was not happy about it.
His first delivery was to someone at a public swimming pool. Near the pool, the green grass was flowered with colorful swimsuits worn by young women and girls. There were also male sunbathers and swimmers, but they didn't bother Billy. There were so many girls, and it was hard to rest eyes anywhere but on smooth legs or a bikini top. Billy stared down at the ground, watching a troop of ants march without guide, overseer, or ruler. The woman expecting the pizza noticed him and came to pay for it. She came wet from the swimming pool, and her swimsuit let too much of her bust glisten in the sun. Billy had difficulty completing the transaction calmly.
His mood worsened as he delivered the second order, two small pizzas out to Indian Hill. He passed a billboard advertising a refreshing drink. The billboard showed a small group of men and women on a boat. The three men were around the periphery of the picture, one bringing drinks and another looking off into the horizon, the third lounging back on a folding chair, his hands behind his head and a wide hat down over his face. The two women, both in white t-shirts and tan shorts, both attractive for a living, stood in the center of the ad, their legs the color of caramel and their eyes looking straight at Billy. He wanted to curse the whole advertising industry.
He arrived at the large, beautiful house and parked in the long driveway. Two pretty girls answered the door. They had dared each other to greet the pizza guy in their underwear. Billy had had enough.
So as he was driving to the last address and saw the young woman walking on the sidewalk in her revealing outfit, he was at the end of his rope. Was it too much to hope that he could drive for thirty minutes without seeing a horde of scantily-clad females?
He got the third order delivered on time. The woman who answered the door had a Bible in her hand.
Billy was surprised. "Are you a Christian?"
"Yes," she said. She could see Billy was upset. "Are you all right?"
Her voice was warm and her eyes kind. Billy opened up. "I don't know if I can take it any more. All over town I see girls without enough clothes on. It's making me sick."
"Well, I guess modesty isn't very common these days." The woman paused a moment. "I'm surprised someone your age is so concerned about it. Most young men like to look at girls..."
"I do!" Billy's voice was strained. "That's the problem. I'm sick of it -- I'm sick of myself! I know that looking lustfully at a woman is just as bad as adultery, but I can't seem to help it." He hung his head, ashamed.
"I see," she said slowly. "Are you a Christian?"
"Yeah. I look away. Honestly, I do. But it's always too late, after I've had a glance. Sometimes I can't resist having a second look." Billy's voice was shaking. "I just want all the temptations to end."
"One day He will end your temptations, but now you must endure temptations."
Billy sighed. "I know." He wept.
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