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: The Last Five Minutes
By Karen Ward
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“Mum!” the front door slammed, breaking the tranquillity. I turned towards the door of the study.
“In here.” The response was so automatic, I suddenly wondered if my role had changed at all.
“Mum.” Troubled eyes flashed from the face I’d loved for twenty four years. “Lili doesn’t want to be married at the SCG. I can’t believe it. I’m going to call it off. I’ve always wanted to be married at the SCG. She knew that. She says she thought I was joking. Why would I joke about something like that?”
Interesting. Jake had always loved cricket. He determined at age nine that if he ever got married it would be at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Someone on the news had been married there, and he thought it was great. Cricket was in his blood. He was chosen for the PM’s XI last year and I was sure he'd make the Australian team soon. I was surprised that Lili had said no, but then, I loved cricket, and I didn’t think it was the most romantic place to be married either.
“She says it’s just a stunt. It’s not a stunt. It’s what I’ve always wanted. If she won’t marry me there, she won’t marry me at all.”
He had always been stubborn about the little things. He kept talking, venting his frustration.
“Jake.” He didn’t even hear me.
“Jake!” He looked up from his ranting.
“Do you remember when you played Have-A-Go cricket? The year Mike saw the knee specialist?”
“The first time I got him in to the specialist, it was just after cricket. You were only six. I told you that morning that we’d have to leave five minutes early so that we could get him to the appointment. You lost it. You didn’t want to leave early. You whinged, shouted, and told me I was mean. Finally I said if you didn’t stop, we wouldn’t go at all. I distinctly remember that I expected you to stop. You didn’t. You kept crying and screaming about the last five minutes."
“I ended up sending you to your room and then crying myself because I couldn’t believe you were going to miss out over that. I really wanted to take you, because I knew the last five minutes weren’t important. You didn’t believe me. Nothing could stop you. You cried for the whole hour and a half that we should have been there, and when I said cricket had finished, you stopped. But you made it clear that you thought it was my fault because leaving early was so horrible.”
I paused and looked him in the eye.
“Do you still think that was my fault?”
“Of course not. Giving up the whole game was stupid. I was a kid.”
“Right. Stupid. Wouldn’t have mattered in the long run eh?”
He looked confused. I wasn’t sure if he saw what I was getting at or not.
“Jake, darling, what do you want with Lili? Do you want a game, or just the last five minutes?”
I could see the truth dawning in his eyes. Thank Heavens maturity had taken the edge off his stubborn nature.
“The marriage is more important than the wedding venue?”
“What do you think?”
“Go talk to her. Maybe she’ll come around. Maybe you’ll give in. But whatever happens, don’t throw away the marriage for the sake of the wedding, Jake. She loves you.
"I’m your mother, and it’s hard for me to believe anyone is good enough for you, but you know I love Lili. She’s worth it. Now go talk to her.”
My boy turned man rose and hugged me over the back of my chair, and my heart welled with happiness.
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