Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Love's Final Destination
By Jennifer Argotsinger
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When they got home to the enormous mansion on the beach, Allison took her young daughter upstairs. She laid her sleeping daughter on her bed, not even bothering to take off Nicole’s swimsuit.
Walking back downstairs she thought about her divorce. The papers had come yesterday and that was why they had spent the day at the beach. So they could get their minds off “him”. When they had gotten married it seemed so right. Over time however, it got worse. They had fought all the time even after Nicole was born.
The phone rang, breaking into her thoughts.
“What are you up to?”
Her mother. She kept calling to check on her. It was nice at first, but then it got a bit annoying.
“Mom, what did I tell you last time you called?”
“Honey, you know I won’t listen to that!” Before her mother could say more, Allison hung up the phone. Allison went up to her room, put on her silk pajamas, and went to bed.
The next morning, after a restless night filled with hatred, guilt, and worry she took her coffee out back. It was gorgeous spring day with sun and cool breeze. She couldn’t believe she, with her lawyer’s salary, had found this gorgeous home. Allison needed the tranquility.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw the man running. She had never seen him before. All of a sudden as he stopped and walked into the house next to hers, her heart stopped for a split second. He was beautiful.
He had thick dark, curly brown hair and green eyes. She forced herself to look away from him, not wanting to stare. She turned to go back inside, a blush rising on her cheeks. To her surprise she heard a man’s voice behind her.
“Wait. I don’t believe we’ve met. I just moved in a couple months ago. I’m Jesse.” He extended a tan hand without a ring.
“I’m Allison Mapleton. Maybe, since we haven’t formally had a meeting, you could come over for dinner with me and Nicole.” Was she serious? This couldn’t be her talking.
“Nicole?” A look of disappointment in his eyes.
“Oh!” He said with a look of compassion in his eyes this time. “Well in that case, count me in.”
She walked away thinking what am I doing? I can’t possibly get involved with another man.
She spent the rest of the day preparing. She had told Nicole that a man was coming over for dinner. She understood that. Then at six o’ clock sharp, the doorbell rang. Running to the door in her silver heels and a pink skirt, she opened the door.
“Wow. You look amazing.” He said as he stared.
“Thanks. This is Nicole.” She said as the little girl came up behind her.
“Hi! How old are you?”
“Six. I’ll be seven in a month.”
They sat down to dinner and talked about their lives, where they’d been, and family. After dinner as Nicole went to bed, Allison and Jesse went onto the deck with coffee.
“Nicole is adorable. Dare I ask where her father is?”
“I don’t know. He left right after her fifth birthday. I got the divorce papers the other day.” She looked down, a tear falling from her eye. To her surprise Jesse reached up and whipped it away.
“I’m sorry. That jerk isn’t worth your tears.” He tilted up her face so her eyes met his. Then, he leaned down and kissed her. "I love you and will never leave you. Not as long as I live. I'll never leave Nicole either."
"I love you too." She kissed him and they lived happily ever after.
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