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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: Love Can Be Confusing!
By Jacquelyn Horne


Delbert sat tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, waiting for Gene to appear. He’d waited in front of the house for at least ten minutes and was anxious to get going. The youth rally was still fifty miles west and he hadn’t seen Janice since last month’s rally. He couldn’t wait to see her again. Letters and telephone conversations were nice, but he wanted to actually see her. He was fast falling in love, and long distance relationships didn’t work for him.

Delbert beeped the horn several times. Come on, Gene, we’re going to be late! He didn’t speak aloud. There was no one to listen.

Delbert put the car in gear the minute he saw Gene emerge from the door. The car was already moving as Gene opened the door and swung inside. “Woahooo,” said Gene. “Slow down, Delbert, I want to get there alive.”

“Well, you shouldn’t take so long preening yourself,” snapped Delbert.

Sniffing the aftershave on his friend, Gene grinned and replied, “You must have taken some time yourself. You smell like a flower garden!”

Delbert could laugh now that they were on their way. “Well, Janice is waiting for her prince charming,” he boasted, sporting a wide grin. “I guess Judy will be there too?” He asked his friend.

“I suppose,” said Gene nonchalantly. “They’re usually together.”

The two young men then slipped into thoughts of their own. They had been “going with” twins Janice and Judy for about a year now. Although the boys had graduated this year, the girls were just sixteen, and their father kept them close to home. So they seldom saw one another except at special church services, which wasn’t often enough for Delbert. He was “smitten”.

Traffic was heavy, and nearly every small town they passed through held them with its solitary red light. Today was Friday, and all the shoppers were out on cue, holding up progress. Delbert was “champing at the bit” and needed to remind himself several times that he was a Christian.

Finally, they arrived in the church parking lot with ten minutes to spare. It was hard to find a place to park, but at last they pulled into an empty slot. As he exited the car, Delbert noticed the new church sign. Large bold letters proclaimed, “New Life Church”.

Oh no!” he groaned. “This is the old church. They moved to the other side of town into a new building and sold this property. I remember now.”

Heading further west, Delbert could not hide his annoyance. He was fast becoming frustrated and wondered if love was worth all this. Gene, on the other hand, was taking everything in stride. His calm, collected attitude only served to irritate Delbert.

When the car finally pulled into the packed parking lot of “The First Church”, the young men could hear the singing drifting from the tabernacle. The service had already begun. Beyond “annoyed”, Delbert double-parked with an attitude and started toward the building leaving Gene in his wake.

As he entered the foyer Delbert spied Janice and Judy sitting together in the sanctuary. The girls had saved a seat, one on each side of them, for Delbert and Gene. He hurried to the row the girls were in, Gene still at his heels - while the congregation watched. Latecomers always got special attention.

Sliding past those on the outside of the row, Delbert proceeded to the far side of the girls and sat down. Gene took the available seat. The congregation settled into the worship mode once again. But some of the curious still kept an eye on the couples.

Janice and Judy each leaned over and whispered into the ear of the boy sitting next to her – while the curious watched.

A befuddled, red-faced Delbert rose to exchange seats with Gene – while the curious watched and snickered, causing most of the congregation to turn their eyes on the two young men.

How could I have been so confused? thought Delbert, hanging his head and aiming his eyes at the floor. Justifying his confusion, he reasoned, they ARE identical twins!

Gene, on the other hand, took it all in stride, bowing to the curious before he was seated. He was secretly enjoying Delbert’s dilemma.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey08/24/07
I can really appreciate this story. I'm a grandma of 7 month old twins from my daughter and am waiting for the birth of twins from my son. We have had plenty of laughs imagining such things as you describe. You did a good job of portraying the build up, the pent up desire of your main character. It was nice to experience this earliest phase of love! Keep it up!
Joanne Sher 08/24/07
I truly enjoyed the descriptions, especially of the characters' emotions. I hope you expand this - would love to learn more about all four of these characters. What a contrast between the two young men!
Janice Cartwright08/30/07
I too liked the contrast in characters. For a while there I thought the mix-up might prove provedential. Great writing, as always, Jackie.
Janice Cartwright08/30/07
oops! misspelled providential!