Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)
TITLE: The Price of Wealth
By Rachel Rudd
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With a knowing smile her parents responded, ”Yes, I’m sure that sounds like a good idea to you, but you know what? We are rich. We have clothes to wear, food to eat and a place to sleep. That’s a lot more than most of the world has. And most importantly, we have the treasure of God’s love.”
“I don’t really care what you say. I am going to become a top executive and be in charge of other people and my own life!”
Camille’s long body floated in her Olympic-sized swimming pool. A bottle of champagne sat nestled into the holder beside her. Her long-blond hair spread out around her perfectly sculptured face. She glanced up at her maid approaching from the four story English manor house.
“Barbara, bring me another towel and some aspirin. I’m getting a splitting headache.”
“Yes, ma’am, right away.” A few moments later Barbara returned with a tray. “I brought you today’s newspaper that just arrived.
“That will be all for now.”
“What’s the news, Camille?” her boyfriend questioned.
“Religious right conservatives discriminate against the adoption of children by same-sex couples.” She shook her head in disgust. “I don’t understand it, Daniel. Why do they persist in forcing their beliefs on the rest of us? What gay people are doing isn’t harming anyone!”
“Yeah, I know.” Daniel grinned as he knew what was coming next. “Why can’t we all just get along.” He flipped his boyish hair around to face Camille. “Hey, you know what? How about we invite some friends over tomorrow night to discuss the new book I just read-Spiritual Awareness and Enlightenment? The Smith’s and the Little’s have read it. I bet they’d get a kick out of having a discussion group.”
“That’s fine with me. Just remind Barbara to put the kids to bed early. I don’t want them poking their heads in when we are trying to talk.”
The next evening, six well-dressed adults dined together. While the couples relaxed in the living room, Daniel brought up the content of the book. “So, what is your opinion, John, on the different levels of enlightenment and the path to divinity? I think that if we relax our bodies enough to a complete rest then we will achieve the harmony we all desire.”
He flashed a smile at Daniel and nodded his head. “I agree. There is nothing like being totally at peace.”
Camille spoke up, “What about the concept of inherit sin? My parents taught me that when I was little.”
Daniel’s eyes sent daggers her way. “Why did you ruin a perfectly good conversation? I thought you didn’t believe in that stuff anymore.”
“Oh, I don’t. I just wondered…never mind. I’m going to retire to my room. Have fun and goodnight.”
The door slammed behind her on her way out. When the icy air had melted, the discussion continued as the wine flowed freely into lips well versed in its seduction.
Up in her room, Camille’s tired eyes grew to heavy for her and she fell into a deep slumber. When she awoke the sun danced playfully on the carpet and the birds sang outside the window. I wonder where Daniel is, she thought. He probably never made it upstairs to the bed.
Camille check their bedroom for signs of him. In her dizzy state, she didn’t notice the clothes hanging out of the closet and the missing suitcase. Maybe he’s gone to work, she reasoned. But a quick check out of the kitchen window disproved that theory. His black Porsche sat in the driveway.
This is really strange. Then she found it. A hurriedly scribbled note taped to the refrigerator door.
Thanks for all the fun years that we had together, but I can’t hide it anymore. I love John more than anyone else on earth. Together we find perfect peace. Don’t worry about me taking your wealth. You can have it. I only want John.
Camille fell down on the floor in a heap. When the last of the tears had soaked her cheeks, she groaned in uncertainty, "Maybe my parents were right. Maybe there is more to life than I know."
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