Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: Such a Fraud
By Sally Hanan
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“Nothing!” I laugh and stroke my husband’s stubbled cheek.
“That’s not true,” he smiles, and gazes into my eyes as he talks. “She looks after the kids, she homeschools, she runs a business, she’s a writer, she keeps the house clean, she cooks all our meals, she heads up the middle school group on Sundays, and she prays with people.” My beam is unstoppable, and his stubble gets a big kiss planted on it. He has to lean down so I can reach.
“Wow!” Their eyes are large with admiration.
Yea, I look after the kids – they’re both out of elementary school – it’s not like they need much looking after. Even with homeschooling they pretty much follow the schedule and I just need to be available. My business hasn’t made a sale for months, and I only send out writing submissions when impulse actually translates into action. Last time the house got cleaned properly, my son asked me if someone was coming over. He guessed right. Dinner is whatever is in the pantry. Saturday finds me late at night searching the internet for a good game for the kids on Sunday, and desperately finishing up my 20 minute talk in my head, along with a quick prayer that God will show up. Prayer … now that’s a huge passion, but it’s not me at all, I just sit there, ask the right questions and let God do all the work.
“So what do you write about mostly?” she asks. Her boyfriend has stepped aside to talk to my husband.
She thinks I’m this wonderful person. Do I put her straight or let myself lie back in the warm bath of respect?
Aw heck, let’s go for it Holy Spirit. This could be fun! :)
I straighten my back and give her my most professional laugh. “Well, my favorite thing to do is write short stories…”
The car drive home is quiet, my husband’s hand wandering over the console occasionally to hold my hand. I give his a squeeze.
“Thank-you,” I say.
“For what?” He looks surprised.
“For making out like I'm some wonderful, hard-working woman.”
He slows down the car for the light and turns so that his eyes can take in all of my face. “But you are. I really appreciate everything you do for me, for us.”
And I lean back in the warm bath of love and appreciation, trying not to choke as I repeatedly swallow my tears. And this time, I do not feel like a fraud.
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