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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: He Didn't Pass Me By
By Jan Ross


Rebecca’s intellect and engaging personality became her worst enemies. She had a strong relationship with God throughout college and law school, but now her career consumed her. She enjoyed a successful practice in a prestigious law firm until…

“Becca, you’re wanted in the Board Room.” Her clerk was always looking out for her.

Breathing a labored sigh, “I hear. You coming?”

“No, just you—Goldstein was specific.”

She walked down the mahogany corridor, careful not to disturb the daunting, if not sacred, presence of partners many years her senior.

“Come in, have a seat.”

Suddenly, she began to feel nauseous. The presence in the room was threatening. Two visitors in black suits introduced themselves, flashing badges.

“I have to admit, this is a little unnerving. What’s this about?” Rebecca wasn’t one to mince words.

“Ok.” Glancing at Mr. Goldstein, an FBI agent continued. “We don’t have time to waste. We know you’ve been representing the Ali family. Last night Jassim Ali was arrested; you have evidence that will secure a conviction.”

A few weeks earlier Ali asked Rebecca to put some papers in the firm’s safe. It was late so she didn’t take time to inventory them—she just locked the safe and left.

“Gentlemen, I’ll answer what I can. But, I remind you my conversations with Ali are protected by attorney-client privilege.”

“Ma’am, please come with us.” Motioning to the door the men got up and escorted Rebecca down the corridor and out the door where a car was waiting. Without a word, they opened the car door motioning for her to get in.

The ride to FBI headquarters was intimidating; silence was one thing Rebecca hated. She was masterful with words, but the overwhelming sound of nothing allowed her conscience to speak clearly, something she worked hard to avoid. Not a word was spoken and, for once, Rebecca dared not utter a word.

Lord, forgive me. I need You!

It had been a long time since she last prayed, but she knew He was near.

“Please come with me, ma’am.”

Consumed in her thoughts, she didn’t notice the car stopped. Following the men into the building, two detectives met them and led them to a conference room.

“This is a matter of national security. You’ve been brought here because you’re the attorney of record for Jassim Ali. We know he gave you a package. What was in it?”

“I never opened it—I just put it in the safe.”

There was a knock at the door; Mr. Goldstein and another agent entered with the package. As they opened it, Rebecca gasped.

The diagrams emptied out onto the table confirming everything. There, in black and white, was proof.

Oh, dear God, help!

“Listen, we need to know what Ali told you. And, think before you answer—you’re already in serious trouble.”

Mr. Goldstein shook his head. “Why didn’t you follow procedure? You’ve now implicated our firm.”

Her mind was bombarded with conversations, recollections, emotions, and then out of nowhere a song from her childhood:

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

“I admit I didn’t inventory the package, but I assure you I had no idea. There isn’t much I can say that doesn’t breech Mr. Ali’s constitutional right to privacy. I know he spent time overseas, but as for dates or circumstances, I cannot say.”

Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

The door opened and a uniformed officer walked in and handed an agent a note.

“It appears that confidentiality no longer applies. Jassmin Ali was just pronounced dead; he was stabbed by an inmate.”


Rebecca and Mr. Goldstein returned to the office. She followed him into his office where she was confronted with her negligence.

“Rebecca, I don’t need to tell you that this situation could have cost this firm our flawless reputation. I’m sorry, but I am putting you on disciplinary leave without pay indefinitely. Give your calendar to Mr. Silverman, gather your personal items, and go home. You must appear before the senior board members before being considered for reinstatement.”

Stunned, Rebecca got up to leave and turned to Mr. Goldstein. “I was wrong, sir. But now I know He didn’t pass me by.”

With a puzzled look, Mr. Goldstein glanced over top of his glasses. “What’s that?”

“Nothing, sir. Goodbye.”

(1) Leaning On the Everlsting Arms, by Eli¬sha A. Hoff¬man
(2) Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior, by Fanny Crosby

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This article has been read 1187 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/31/07
This is a most interesting story. The verses of the song interspersed among the narrative fit very well. The story is well written with a great message.
Joanne Sher 09/01/07
Great description - and I also loved the touch of the songs interspersed. Great ending too.
Dee Yoder 09/02/07
Your entry illustrates how we often wait for trouble to come before we call on the Lord for help. It's a good thing He is faithful to answer our cries for help, even though we may have not been faithful to Him in our Christian walk. I could empathize with this character.
Sheri Gordon09/04/07
Your writing is quite engaging ... but I want to keep reading. What happens to her? What was in the package? What did her client do? I know that's all irrelevant to the message of your story ... but I want to know the rest. :)

Very good writing.
George Parler 09/05/07
I was very intrigued with this piece. I would like to have read more in this but even with the word cap it was still wonderful. Good job.
Sherrie Jackson09/05/07
I liked the MC's strong personality, as well as the timeliness of this piece. Great job!!
Lynda Lee Schab 09/05/07
OK. What I didn't like about your entry was that it read too much like a novel and I wanted to read more! It was almost like a movie trailer...bits and pieces of the story revealed. 750 words isn't nearly enough for this. I'd love for you to develop it into a longer version. Good stuff!
LaNaye Perkins09/05/07
I also found myself wishing you had more than 750 words to tell this story. I would have loved to have read more!
Betty Castleberry09/05/07
Intriguing. Like others have said, I wanted to read more.
This was very well written.
Jan Ackerson 09/05/07
What I particularly loved about this was the verses from hymns--this may be heretical, but there have been many hymns that have moved me as much as Scripture does. Your portagonist, it appears, felt the same way. Wonderful!
Brenda Welc09/05/07
Great writing and thanks for the hyms now in my head--I can sleep peacefully! Keep up the great writing, this really held my interest because I was curious about what was happening. Be Blessed!
Jacquelyn Horne09/06/07
Frightening situation. God is always there for us. True, he doesn't pass us by.