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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: Always Room for One More
By Patty Wysong


Emma ran into the house and charged up the stairs to her room, slamming the door. She never wanted to go back to church after what happened that morning. Grabbing her stuffed bear she curled up on her bed.

A few minutes later Gran knocked gently on the door and peeked in.

“Emma, what is it, honey?”

“I’m never going back, Gran!” Tears were dripping off her nose, making a big wet spot on her pillow.

Gran sat on the bed and smoothed Emma’s hair away from her face. “What happened?”

Emma rolled onto her back, still hugging her bear. “Stacey found a note she said I wrote to Derek and she read it to everyone. I didn’t write it; I would never write anything that sappy. Derek was there and heard it all, Gran. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my whole life.”

“Did you tell them you didn’t write it?”

“Yeah, but Stacey waved the note and said it had my name on it. Gran, I can never face them again.” Tears trickled into her ears.

“You can and you will. If you fight this it will just make it worse, but if you go back with a smile and simply remind them you didn’t write it and move on, it will eventually be forgotten.”

Emma blinked tears away, “You think so?” she asked hopefully.

“Do you think people will believe you or Stacey?”

“Well, after her stunt last week, I don’t think they trust her too much.” Emma sat up, her bear resting on her lap. “Why would she do that, Gran?”

Gran looked out the window before answering. “Think about her home life, Em. Since her dad left, her mom’s had to work two jobs and she’s not been around for Stacey. I think Stacey is trying to find attention and love, but she’s going about it the wrong way. She doesn’t realize she’s driving away the people she wants and needs. What she did was wrong, but I think she’s just trying to get noticed.”

“I keep forgetting about her dad.” Emma hugged her bear tight. “She’s not a mean person,” Emma said slowly and quietly, wrestling with her emotions. “I think you’re right. I think she needs friends and lots of love right now.” Taking a deep breath Emma looked at Gran. “She and I used to be friends; maybe we could be again. Do you think it would help her?”

“Can you forgive her for embarrassing you like she did?”

“If I’m gonna try to be her friend, I guess I better, huh?”

That evening at church Emma’s friends were laughing and teasing her as they made her sit in the middle.

“Don’t worry, Emma,” one of them said, “we know you didn’t write the note, you’re not that sappy. After you left, one of the girls grabbed it and said it was Emma Landon’s handwriting, not yours.”

Just then Derek sat down beside her, draped his arm around her and winked. “I never knew you felt that way.” Leaning close he whispered in her ear, “Actually, I wish you did.”

Emma’s eyes widened as she looked at him, then quickly looked away as her face turned red.

Derek leaned close again, “Do you? Is that why you’re blushing?”

Emma’s face turned scarlet and she turned away, hoping he couldn’t see it. She was saved by church starting. Later, as soon as the service ended, she jumped up to leave, but found her path blocked.

“Hey, Emma, a bunch of us are going for ice cream. Wanna come with me?” Derek invited her.

Behind Derek Emma saw Stacey duck her head and turn away, but not before Emma saw a sheen of tears in her eyes. Looking back at Derek she took a deep breath, “Sure, but can Stacey come with us?”

At Derek’s look of surprise Emma smiled and quietly said, “She needs friends and love, Derek. Since her dad left she’s been pretty much on her own and she really needs us.”

A smile of understanding spread across Derek’s face. “You’re right. She was probably just trying to get attention this morning. C’mon, let’s go get her and go out for ice ream. There’s always room for one more, besides, without that note I wouldn’t know you like me.”

Emma opened her mouth to protest but Derek laughed. “Don’t worry, I’ve liked you for a long time, so I’m glad you like me, too.”

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This article has been read 862 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini07/26/07
Great lesson and a very sweet ending, even sweeter than ice cream!
Joanne Sher 07/26/07
Very real - great dialogue and wonderful lesson!
Dee Yoder 07/26/07
Charming and tender story. There are so many dramatic moments in the life of the teen!
Catrina Bradley 07/29/07
Very real sounding dialog - great example of forgiving. No, Emma didn't forgive too easily, she just loved like Jesus does. :) Nice job!
Marie Fieldman07/29/07
Emma was good. She didn't forgive too easily. She has her head on straight. The story is sweet. I wish you the best.
Kristen Hester07/29/07
I'm such a romantic sap. I really like this and got chills when Derek admitted he liked Emma. Good story telling.

In answer to your question, I don't think she was too forgiving if she was a mature Christian and it seems she was. I have been very impressed by some teens at our church who reach out to others. Really nice job.
Betty Castleberry07/29/07
What a wise Gran. There are several good lessons here. This is well done and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.
Jan Ackerson 07/29/07
Awwww, sweet and romantic, great for teens to read.
william price07/29/07
What a sweet story. Very well done. I liked it. Great display of character by your MC and super advice from Gram. God bless.
Loren T. Lowery07/31/07
Really liked this story, and no, I don't think your MC was either too quick nor was it too unrealistic in her forgiveness. Set in the church environment you created, I think it is exactly what a teen would do. She, as a young Christian, was looking for advise and and trying to understand. What you wrote was a great example for any such tender-hearted Christian to follow.
Esther Gellert07/31/07
Hmmm, this brought back some not so great memories of my teenage years... very vividly in fact. I guess that means it must be well written, huh ;)
I agree with others comments that she did not forgive too easily and I loved the fact that she found out he liked her too.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/01/07
This is a great teen story. I think her wise Gran, as well as knowing Derek liked her, emboldened her in her forgiveness.
Sara Harricharan 08/01/07
Oooh, a sweet love story. ^_^ I liked this, but I wasn't sure how old the characters were, I assumed they were teens later when they were all going out for ice cream. Good job with Emma's character, she is so real. ^_^
Jacquelyn Horne09/05/07
Beautiful story of love for our fellow man. Good job.