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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: When God Gave Out Noses
By Mary Lang


When God gave out noses I thought he said roses, and I ordered a big one….

A kid’s rhyme dancing in my head?

I blinked awake. It hurt to move my head, or any part of my body. There was an oxygen mask over my mouth. My eyes peeked through bandages and darted around the room. It was familiar, oh too familiar. I had been here before.

I searched my mind to remember why I was here.

Jack hit me, a solid blow to my nose. Then he started punching me, more blows to my head and my stomach. I was so afraid, and he was hurting me so much. I don’t remember more…. Gees, what happened after I blacked out? Where’s Jack. Oh God! I don’t want to see him. Please keep him away from here.

Familiar fear and panic gripped me. Warm tears slid out of my eyes then cooled into sogginess on my bandages. I wanted to wipe the water from my eyes, but couldn’t stand the pain when my fingers brushed my cheekbone.

He did this to me. I’ve been so careful to do everything just as he says. God, you know I’ve tried to be a good wife and he still did this! I’ve followed your teachings, but I’m so tired of trying to please him – forgive me for failing.

A shape appeared in the doorway and my heart stopped. I panicked, thinking it was Jack. But the man that came through the door was a doctor. I recognized him from a recent television interview. He was Dr. Aaron Perry, plastic surgeon.

“Hello, Natalie.” His voice was pleasant and calming. “I’m sure you have a lot going on in your mind.”

“I’m Dr. Perry,” he smiled. “I’m here to help you get back on your feet, and my specialty is rhinoplasty.”

He waited a moment to let the topic register. His eyes never left mine.

I remembered parts of the interview. He was one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in the country. There was something else about him, but I couldn’t recall it.

“You’ve sustained considerable facial damage, mostly to your nose,” he continued softly. “We’ll need to reshape the bridge of your nose as well as reconstruct your nasal passages. I’ve studied your x-rays, and I believe we can do this in one surgery. If we do it right away, you’ll only have to heal once.”

The gravity of what he said terrified me.

I can’t heal by myself? How bad was the damage? What did he mean reshape my nose?

Instinctively I touched my face feeling the bandages. I hadn't seen myself in a mirror yet.

“I’ve brought some photos of noses that would fit your facial structure,” Dr. Perry’s voice was soothing. “I’ll help you decide on a shape.”

Then he smiled. “There is one small benefit of this whole crisis: you can pick the shape of your nose. It’s the epitome of shopping. Do you want it turned-up, narrow, or short, or like a Hollywood starlet?”

My mind played the child’s rhyme again: When God gave out noses, I thought he said hoses, and I asked for a long one…

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He is talking to ME, about a nose job!

Suddenly I remembered more of Dr. Perry’s interview. He performed plastic surgeries for abused women often on a handshake and a covenant. He studied the patient’s history before he made his offer. If the battered woman got out of her abusive relationship and learned to be more self-sufficient in a year, he would write off all the charges. I remembered how impressed the interviewer was because Dr. Perry’s success ratio was eighty-nine percent.

Thank you God for sending this angel.

I offered him my hand.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mariane Holbrook 03/08/07
What an extraordinary piece. It started out with a joy ride and ended up in a puddle of tears. You have the ability to grip your readers! If my house had started burning down, I would have had to finish reading this before I exited. It's that good!
Loren T. Lowery03/08/07
Humor, pathos, hope and humanity - this article has it all. Good job on writing about such a tough subject.
Virginia Gorg03/10/07
A great story - a new beginning for a battered woman. Thank God there are really surgeons who do these things. Very well written, good flow, and a nice way of bringing the characters to life.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/11/07
Well written entry; but when it comes to "topic," I would classify it more as a story about spousal abuse, plastic surgery or even about a kind doctor; perhaps if the title were "Shopping for Noses" - THEN I would say...right on target. (a personal opinion only) However, it is an interesting read and has a great message for abused wives, who should adhere to this doctor's advice.
cindy yarger03/12/07
Well written. I loved the touch of the childs nursery rhyme. Good job.
cindy yarger03/12/07
P.S. I like the title because it shows that God was in this with her. She hadn't failed at all and this was one of His gifts to her. Well done!
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
Yes, that was an angel. I like his form of payment. It forces those who would not otherwise be able to cope, to get out of abusive situations. Good story. Well written.
Mo 03/12/07