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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)

TITLE: When Lines Are Crossed
By Linda Boulanger


As I sat down at the computer I noticed my heart paperweight had an unusual green glow. The glass was picking up the cover of the book I’d laid beside it. It was a book on overcoming I’d been planning to read.

The phone shattered the silence of the house. Should I answer? I wasn’t expecting a call. Curiosity won out.

“Hi.” The familiar voice made my heart pound as always.

“Did I miss an email?” I couldn’t remember a time he hadn’t emailed to ask if it was okay to call.

“No.” He paused.

“What’s going on?” Feminine instinct kicked in.

“I’m getting a… divorce,” he stammered. “She found my emails.”

My world began to spin as I grasped for coherent thought without success.

“Sam?” I’d been silent for too long. My tongue refused to form words. I thought about my family. Could I keep them out of this? After all, it had been nothing more than emails. Yes, we’d written some pretty explicit exchanges to one another. But it had been writing only. We hadn’t crossed any lines. Not really anyway. I felt my insides quake as they always did when I told myself we’d done no wrong.

“Sam. There’s been someone else.” He signed deeply. “We met. We stepped over the boundaries.”

I would have just as soon he’d slapped me. His words were as painful as a physical punch in the gut.

“Sam? Say something. Please?” I could hear the anguish in his tone.

“Someone else?” My heart ached. He’d cheated on me!

“A couple, actually.” It must be his day for confession.

I stared without seeing; disbelief and resentment wrestled within me. “Who?”

“Sara…” he began.

“Sara Reeves?” I ignored the other two names. I knew them. We’d all been friends back in High School. “She the one?”

“Yes. Sara Reeves. We met last week. Ann found out,” he answered quietly.

Instantly I was green with envy. Hatred tried to creep in. I could sense it lurking at my feet. I pulled my legs into the chair and shook my head. “Go away,” I mouthed to the invisible force.

Why did it have to be Sara? We’d been so close before she’d changed. It was as if she’d suddenly had to outdo me on everything. Well, she’d really done it this time! Amazing.

“I’m sorry, Sam.” His voice was thick with emotion.

“Me too.” I wanted to add that I thought we’d had something. My mind toyed with the word love but he wasn’t even mine to be having these feelings about. That thought brought about another wrenching of the gut.

“Annie? Is she okay?” It was a stupid question. “Does she know…everything?” I felt for his wife, yet self-protection again prevailed.

“Only Sara. All else had been deleted.” Instead of being grateful I had to fight the envy monster again. Why had I been deleted and not Sara?

“I have to go, Jack.” My words were stiff.

“Sam, I…”

“Don’t say it!” I didn’t want to hear those words from him. “Good-bye, Jack.” I clicked the button to end the conversation knowing he’d called because I always made him feel better somehow. He hadn’t received that today.

My world was again quiet yet the rumble inside made it impossible to concentrate.

“Jesus!” I yelled as I closed my eyes, and it all stopped. I focused on that one thing; my Lord’s name. Over and over I said it until my thoughts took shape. I began to pray. I knew He would forgive me if I confessed. My problem had been I’d refused to believe what I was doing was wrong. I’d convinced myself it was okay.

What we’d done was wrong. It was filled with deception and hurting potential. I realized it could have been me instead of Sara. I prayed for her. I prayed for Jack. For over an hour I poured forth to the Lord.

As I rose I knew I was forgiven and I thanked Him not only for his mercies but for having opened my eyes before it was too late.

I returned to my desk, opened my email, and deleted all the saved files. With my toe I drew a line on the carpet between myself and my computer. I smiled noting that the light had shifted and my glass heart was no longer discolored by the overshadowing green. My heart was clear. My Lord stood between me and the line. He would not allow me to cross it.

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This article has been read 428 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Penhorwood 10/29/09
Wonderful writing! And so needed in this world!
Dan Blankenship 10/29/09
Deep, dark, and intriguing. Captivating, moving, and challenging. I found myself cringing and hoping it all ended well.

Good writing.

May God bless.

Dan Blankenship

Lisa Keck10/29/09
I like how the heart changed color--very good. Keep up the good work.
Rachel Phelps11/02/09
I liked the creative angle you took with this one, addressing a hot-button issue in a very unique and non-explicit manner. Well done!