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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Valentine (05/16/05)

TITLE: Will you be mine?
By Leslie Lamb


Little Tommy was an orphan; the children’s home where he lived was just across the street from his school. At the end of the day, he always waited until all the other kids were gone before he headed home. He didn’t want them to know that he didn’t have a family. His mom and dad had left him. No other explanation and no forwarding address, he was all alone. He would watch as parents would drop off and pick up their kids; he would dream at night that he had felt those hugs and kisses, and the words of love they had spoken would become his. It was the only way that he felt he would survive, by living in his imagination.

One day, things began to change. Ms. Holly, one of the teachers in the school, stopped him in the hall to say hello and asked how he was doing- something that he had never experienced. Then, the next day she brought him a special treat of homemade cookies. Imagining his mother had made them, he savored each crumb and made those three cookies last a week. Little by little Ms. Holly paid more and more attention to him, buying him a gift for his birthday, giving him a ride to his “home” (he had let her in on his little secret), and inviting him to her home for the weekend. He was happy but scared because he knew that one day it would all end and she would forget all about him and leave. He knew because long ago he discovered that he wasn’t a little boy that people wanted. He knew the pain of rejection.

Months went by and Valentine’s Day came. Tommy usually ignored such holidays, stuffing the small cards he would get from kids whose parents had made them write something into a shoe box under his bed, to be read again at desperate times. This holiday though, he decided to do something special for Ms. Holly who had come to mean so much to him. Carefully he had cut a perfect red heart out of construction paper and in the middle had written as nicely as he could, “Love, Tommy.” It wasn’t much but in that one little card, Tommy had bore his soul. Holding onto the special card until just the right moment when he could present it to her, he watched as the other kids read their valentines and smiled and laughed. Politely, he received those he had been given and tucked them away, too anxious to read any.

At the end of the day, he walked slowly by Ms. Holly's room, trying his hardest not to cry since it was taking every ounce of his will power to hand her his love on paper. When he reached her door, she smiled and beckoned him inside. Slowly he made his way to her side, holding the pocket where he had placed her valentine. He felt like his heart would beat out of his chest, his palms were sweaty, and he took a big swallow as he gently handed her his little red heart. With a twinkle in her eye, she took his note and slowly opened it. When she read the words inside, she stood looking at him with that smile that he thought must surely light the world. Slowly, she reached inside her own pocket, and pulled out a heart of her own. Tommy’s eyes grew wide with disbelief; she had a heart for him? His fingers were wet as he took the card from her hand and looked at her, searching for a look of carelessness or hurry in her face, but there was none, only sweet eagerness. He opened the heart and in red ink was written the words, “Will you be mine?” Tommy was scared. Here was the acceptance that he had always wanted but what could it mean? He looked at her, his eyes full of questions. Her eyes were filled with tears as she said, “I have the adoption papers.” Tommy let go of every doubt, fear, and feeling of rejection he had ever had as he reached out for her never wanting to let her go and realizing with a sudden peace, he didn't have to!

“The Lord delights in you and will claim you as His own.” -Isaiah 62:4-

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This article has been read 979 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Maxx .05/23/05
very touching! a moving bit of writing and a great valentine story!
Lynda Lee Schab 05/23/05
Sweet story - a real heart-tugger. Nicely done!
Blessings, Lynda
Crista Darr05/25/05
Hooray! Your ending surprised me. I'm trying not to cry. This is precious!
Val Clark05/25/05
You've portrayed the inner life of a broken hearted boy really well. A delightful story with a neat double barelled twist at the end. Watch out in para one where you have used the passive voice: 'Would dream'
'would drop' stop the flow and immediacy of the piece for the reader.
darlene hight05/27/05
Wow! What a great story!
Tesiri Moweta05/27/05
Love is that thing that really inspires people like Ms Holly to cause changes in the lives of people like Tommy.What better day than Valentines day? and how great His desire for us is shown in this wonderful piece. Thank you for touching me.God bless you.
Debbie OConnor05/30/05
Bravo! What a beautiful story. Loved every line.
Lois Jennison Tribble05/30/05
Happy FW anniversary, Leslie, and congratulations! I love this precious story, and hope in the future you won't wait so long between submissions! Great job!
Deborah Porter 05/31/05
Congratulations on your 7th place win in the Editors' Choice Awards Leslie! Well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)