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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

TITLE: It's All About Bob
By Sharlyn Guthrie


“Do you mind filing today while I watch the desk, Lauren? I’m expecting someone, and I don’t want to miss him.” Christy, Lauren’s co-worker, had that ask me more look about her.

“No problem. Is he a friend of yours?”

“Sort of. I mean, Yes! I met him online, and he’s such a cool guy; a little older than most of the guys I date, but the things he says to me…oooh, I just can’t wait to be alone with him. We’re staying at the resort. That’s one of the perks of working here, you know.”

Lauren gulped. Christy often talked too much, revealing startling naďveté. Lauren was hesitant to interfere, but besides being thoroughly disgusted, she feared for her friend. “Do you really think it’s wise to spend the weekend with someone you’ve never met?”

“I’ll meet him soon, and so will you. You’ll see. Bobby’s wonderful!”

“God, I don’t know what to do. Give me wisdom,” Lauren prayed as she filed. But she was soon interrupted.

“You’ve got to be Christy. Wow! Your picture doesn’t do you justice.”

Filled with dread Lauren turned, and her dread immediately turned to horror. “Bob?!”

“Lauren? I certainly didn’t expect to see you here.”

I’ll bet you didn’t, Lauren thought. Instead she managed, “What brings you to Lake Geneva?”

“Just a little R and R,” Bob replied, winking at Christy. “Ready to go?”

“You two know each other?” Poor, gullible Christy looked delighted.

“Not very well.” Lauren’s eyes narrowed as she considered the irony of her reply. She thought she knew Bob. In fact, she had once admired him. Now she felt like throwing up.

Christy grabbed her purse and was chattering away about the resort’s amenities. Lauren watched in stunned silence as Christy walked out the door hanging on the arm of her former youth pastor.

Lauren was tormented all weekend; both by Bob’s sleazy charade, and by her unwitting involvement in it. She knew she should do something, yet she had never been particularly courageous. “God, make Bob and Christy miserable this weekend,” she prayed, hoping that the problem of Bob would simply go away.

It had been through Bob’s youth group that Lauren first accepted Christ. She had grown to love Bob and his wife, Carol. In fact, the whole congregation loved and respected him. They would never suspect the double life he was leading. As Lauren continued to pray and consider her dilemma, she knew what she had to do first. It would require extraordinary courage; she would just have to trust the Lord to provide it.

Christy was somewhat subdued on Monday, but she accepted Lauren’s invitation to dinner that night. “There’s something you need to know about Bob,” Lauren began hesitantly, and from there the whole ugly truth was gradually revealed.

“Bobby, or uh...Bob, said he was divorced, but I noticed that quite a few things he told me didn’t add up. I had already decided I didn’t want to see him again. It was really stupid of me to spend the weekend with him. It’s not like you didn’t warn me.” Tears coursed down Christy’s cheeks as she asked, “Do you think God can ever forgive me?”

It was just the opening Lauren had prayed for. Eagerly, courageously, she shared the truth of God’s grace and forgiveness with Christy. Finally she witnessed Christy’s transformation from friend to sister in Christ. The two held hands and prayed together.

Much later their conversation returned to Bob. “It’s all so wrong, Christy. Bob not only deceived you, he’s living a lie before God, his family, and the church. Will you help me expose the truth?”

Following a carefully devised plan, Lauren and Christy left early the following Sunday morning and drove two hours to Chicago. They slipped into a back row after the church service began. Bob was easy to spot, sitting near the front with his wife and their four children. “Courage, Lord. I need courage. Make me strong for Your sake, and for Christy’s,” Lauren prayed.

After the service Bob and Carol proceeded to the youth room for high school Sunday school. Lauren made her entrance as class was about to start.

“Great to see you, Lauren!” Bob’s plastic smile looked a little off-kilter. “I hear you’re living and working up north these days. You all know Lauren, right?”

“That’s right. Most of them know me,” Lauren replied, as she pulled Christy through the doorway, “but you’ll want to introduce them to your friend.”

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This article has been read 752 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Betsy Markman08/21/08
Oooh...can you write the rest of it? I want to see him get his comeuppance...
Catrina Bradley 08/23/08
Get 'im Lauren!!! :) I wish I could have been there to see the look on Bob's face when Christy came in the room. I love Lauren's prayer for them to have a miserable time, and then hoping the problem would go away. Great story!!
Joanne Sher 08/24/08
Very good characterization, especially through your dialog.
May be me, but the "conversion" seemed a bit too easy.
That definitely DID take courage. Glad your MC had it :)
Beth LaBuff 08/25/08
So that's what it's called, (from your first paragraph) the "ask me more" look. :) Love it! I like the ending with Bob being confronted by Christy, but I was a little worried for Bob's wife Carol (not that Carol shouldn't know, but.. ). Excellent story for the topic.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/26/08
That was a very interesting story...leading to a lot of thinking about what the mc should have done. I can't help but wish she had been a little bolder...like ask Bob how his wife and children were in front of her friend before she spent the week-end with him, and/or tell the pastor of the church about his charade, lest he mislead the young people. See how brave I can be when I'm not involved! I like how you left it open-ended.
Betty Castleberry08/26/08
Busted! I was surprised Bob was who he was. I thought he was going to be an old boyfriend of hers, and that's how she knew him. This was a good read.