Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
By Irvine Saint-Vilus
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from a hard day’s work or sit on my mother’s lap to be comforted when I felt like
crying. That was the burden in my family, to conceal the tears that threatened to
unveil weakness or hide the love when the risk was exposing vulnerability. When
I became an adult I knew how to hide things well. I hid my inadequacy with a
bright and empty smile and fooled all but God, reasoning that He’d made His only
mistake by creating me. In hiding myself I became perfect and spoke the right
words with the proper tone; had a measured expression for the suitable
occasion, and always wiped anguished tears in the dark. My perfection brought
me the love I sought like a drug. But the stress of hiding became too much and I
crumpled up like a junkie dealing with withdrawal. Flaws exposed I snapped. I
couldn’t accept the unlovable and yearned for the end to lighten the load of living.
I became obsessed with my mother’s little white pills she used to sleep. And
each day I fidgeted with them wondering if I could swallow death. One day, alone
in my mother’s home with its brown and beige tones, I sat in her floral print sofa
with pills in hand and imagined my mother’s reaction to finding my limp body
sprawled on her sofa. Taking a deep breath I brought the pills to my mouth and
leaned back into the folds of the sofa, circling my fingers over its feathery fabric.
Some time passed and I began to feel numb with the balls of my eyes rolling
under their lids. My life flashed in slow motion, the bad times outweighing the
good, the regrets overshadowing the successes. I reached the point I was in just
then with death in my hand about to take it in when a voice rising from within
challenged my effort. It is your father, he said, your Heavenly Father. I gave you
life for My sake and not your own, He continued, and you must live for Me until I
call you home. Until then I will be with you always. Awake, He said, and live. I
roused from a deep sleep and looked about me confused. My head throbbed and
I reached for my temples and realized the pills I thought I’d taken were in the crux
of my palm. I shivered and let the chalky drug slip from my fingers. I slid onto the
floor sobbing uncontrollably. I closed my eyes and cried out to my Father. Thank
you Lord, I mouthed in between hurried breaths, for loving me and for saving me
from myself. I want to live for you and no one else.
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