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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

TITLE: Happiness Anonymous
By Virginia Gorg
07/17/07


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Happiness Anonymous


Looking back, I realize how wrong I was. Here is my story.

Two years ago, I was depressed and anything but happy. My friend Carla introduced me to Gloria. For the next six months, life was good because of Gloria.

“The state of being happy is in your inner self. Breathe and let your feelings arise. Your energy will control you. Your inner self will discern what people think about you.”

People noticed my change of moods. Take my boss, for instance.

“Marla,” he said one day, “you’re missing deadlines. Shape up.”

With Gloria’s help, I realized he meant: “Your work is great. Get it to us whenever you want.”

My husband, likewise, said, “Sandwiches again?” when he meant, “I love your cooking.”

My sister, Barb, was different. “Marla,” she said as she held my face and stared into my eyes. “Gloria is evil. You are jeopardizing your family and your job. You must stop.”

I responded, “my family loves the new me.”

“Nonsense. You have been deceived into a false sense of happiness.”

I panicked until I pulled myself away and ran to Gloria, who soothingly told me, “don’t worry about her. Breathe and be happy.”

Hours later, I was deliriously happy as I floated home.

Brad greeted me at the door, “we have a problem.”

I smiled, “nothing can take away my happiness.”

“Twelve thousand dollars is missing from our account.”

“It’s not missing. I gave it to Gloria as a small payment for being happy.”

As I floated off to my bedroom, Brad’s voice melted into a silent void.

I didn’t realize that my happiness was soon to end.

Two weeks later, Harry told me, “If you don’t turn in your work today, you’re fired.”

Breathing deeply didn’t help, so I went directly to see Gloria. “He wasn’t talking to you; he was rehearsing for someone else and wanted your opinion.”

Around two o’clock, I arrived home to a quiet house.

Soon, the phone rang. “It’s Gloria. There is a problem with the check I’m cashing. Could you go to the bank and then come and see me?”

At the bank, Miss Carter was upset. “Mrs. Henderson, your name has been removed from all your accounts by legal order. You have no access.”

“Whose order?” I shouted.

“Your husband and Judge Murphy.”

I rushed to Gloria’s. “Do you have my money?” she asked sweetly.

“No, my husband removed my name from everything. Why would he do this?” I cried out.

With a sugary voice, Gloria said, “Run on home and get my money. Don’t come back without it.” She slammed the door in my face.

Brad sat on our back porch. “Why are you doing this? I need Gloria. She’s everything to me.” No amount of cajoling could change Brad’s mind.

Finally, he handed me a book. “You used to find happiness when you read this. It’s time to rediscover the true source of contentment.”

I threw the book to the floor. How could I survive without Gloria? I called her, but she refused to speak to me. I drove to her house, but I was forbidden entry. Exasperated, I drove home and sat on my porch, wallowing in my self-pity.

Next to me sat the book, which seemed to call me with a soft voice, “come to me, all who are burdened.” A second voice said, “Breathe. Think of Gloria.”

I listened to a battle in my mind.

“Breathe. Think of yourself.”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

I couldn’t focus. As I grabbed the book, it opened to the following words:

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.

I instantly knew that Gloria was evil. She deceived me into false beliefs and extracted a large sum of money from me. I cried, “O God, I am a sinner. I have neglected my first love, You, as well as my family and friends. How can I be forgiven? How can I ever hope to feel Your love again? What can I do to make this up to You and my family?”

The wind blew the pages and I read: For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I found my forgiveness at the cross. Would I also find Brad there?

References: Psalm 68:3, Colossians 1:13-14


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This article has been read 482 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester07/21/07
This is very interesting. It kept my attention the entire time. I wondered how the MC could be so easily fooled by Gloria. I am glad her husband stopped her and helped her see the truth. Good job!

Catrina Bradley 07/22/07
At first I thought the sentences were too short and choppy, but when I got into it (and that didn't take long), I found the writing echoing the shallow happiness and focus the MC was experiencing. Brilliant! Her turnaround may have been too instantaneous for me, but otherwise, I loved the story and the message. Good job!! :)
Dee Yoder 07/22/07
This is a nice twist on the topic. I became absorbed in the story and the characters. I also wondered, at first, how the main character could be so blind to the shallow Gloria. But after a sentence or two, I just went with the flow of the story. Very unique!
Lisa Holloway07/26/07
I really enjoyed your story. Seeing the nonsense the MC and Gloria churned out actually made me laugh--mainly because I've heard people express similar sentiments before with a straight face, even if they didn't say them in such an obvious fashion. I'm glad your story pointed to where our focus should be.
Donna Howard07/27/07
At first I wondered how Marla could be so naive. Then I saw myself in her. Thanks for reminding us of how sneaky and cunning the devil can be. Great story. Great message.