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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: Botched Love
By Marlene Bonney


He had planned if for weeks. This was a last-ditch effort for his parents to prove their love for him, and all his previous escapades paled in comparison . . .

“What’s the matter with you, Son? You always got good grades before this year,” his frustrated father continued the interrogation.

“It’s just harder this year, that’s all,” he lied.

“That doesn’t explain not handing in your work and skipping classes! Don’t you want to graduate?!”

The teen shrugged, “Can’t see what difference that stuff they keep cramming down our throats is going to make out there,” pointing out the window.

“Now, that’s just the attitude I’m talking about! Where do you get these loser ideas?”

On and on the now one-sided tirade continued, but the young man had shut his mind after the first few sentences. The pain in his heart went straight to his head. Usually a faint hammering across his brow, it was lately escalating and interfering with his activities. He just wanted it all to stop. No one knew he was hurting, of course—probably wouldn’t matter if they did, he had convinced himself. His mother had abandoned him when he was a baby, not mature enough to accept the responsibilities of parenthood. As the years passed, his father turned more and more to his job and overtime work to keep from spending time in the lonely house that seemed no longer a home, his son being cared for until after work by an aging grandfather who lived down the street.

“I didn’t know ours wasn’t a normal family until much later,” he had at one time divulged to a school counselor. “I wanted to ask my mother why she didn’t love me enough to stay . . . My dad’s okay, I guess.”

But the social worker had heard about the neglected house he came home to everyday after school and could well imagine the loneliness and hopelessness her client experienced. To his credit, the father apparently encouraged and supported (with his finances and his presence) the son’s participation in all sports activities.

In her notes, the caseworker had written: “Sports seems to be the way the father connects emotionally with his son, which the son in turn has interpreted as love dependent on performance.”

After purposely flunking out of most of his classes, a failed attempt to get the unconditional love he so craved, the boy’s pain erupted in other ways. The first time, it happened quite by accident. He dropped a glass in the porcelain kitchen sink and cut his hand. As he watched his blood spill down the drain, the pain from the cuts released the pain in his heart as if it, too, was ebbing away. Later on, after bandaging his hand up, he felt almost euphoric as a plan gradually surfaced in his mind.

The stage was set, the main player in place. The props had been strategically settled and his parts were memorized. Everything was precisely timed to begin the play’s First Act at the exact moment his father would arrive home, rush to his side, and enfold him in a loving embrace. Act Two would bring his sobbing mother rushing to his hospital bedside, and in Act Three they would all love each other.

“Ba-bam, ba-bam, ba-bam,” the garage door had been activated with the car’s remote, his cue to begin. However, he did not hear his dad backing out of the garage after noticing he had forgotten a special file from the office.

Carefully the teenager sliced his wrists just so with the awaiting razor blade and a detached horror fogged over him as he watched his life’s blood squirt and then spatter onto the situated towels on the floor. And, as he waited in vain for his father to enter the house, he realized this would be his final botched attempt to win this battle he had waged.

An hour later the stricken father arrived home to find the lifeless body of his only son in a pool of blood on the toweled kitchen floor.

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This article has been read 503 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/21/08
How tragic! My heart just stopped. Parents, PLEASE show your children you love them.
Henrietta W. Romman02/21/08
This is an extremely pathetic story....one that can be quite fruitful in these hard times!

O that this piece would bear many, many lessons grasped for treating the damaging behavior of broken families! Especially Christians.
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
This is so incredibly sad! I bet this took a lot to write. You made me feel sorry for the son and frustrated at the Dad for giving him everything but the love that he really, honestly needed. Your title hints at the ending-but this is pretty good. My only note is the sentence with the social worker was a tad bit long-otherwise, good stuff. ^_^
Joy Faire Stewart02/23/08
This is so incredibility sad. Very good job of showing emotions.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
Very sad, and well-written. (Did you catch the typo in the first sentence?) I like the way that this unfolds in "scenes", almost like little snapshots of this guy's life. A nice touch.