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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: White (10/29/09)

TITLE: Tears Go Away
By Laury Hubrich
11/04/09


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If I put my head down, maybe she won’t see me.

I feel her come near me anyway. Mrs. Roberts leans down and puts her head close to mine. I breathe in deep. She smells good.

Tears go away. Tears go away.

Teacher whispers in my ear, “Cassidy, it’s time to color.”

Let the other kids color on their big white papers.

She moves the hair away from my face.

Oh, that feels good.

Her hands are soft but I shrug away.

“Is there something wrong?” Mrs. Reynolds asks me.

I can’t talk to you. I want to but I can’t.

I lift up my head and wipe the snot from my nose. Teacher takes a tissue from her pocket and wipes away my tears.

While the rest of the class leaves for lunch and recess, Mrs. Roberts sits beside me on one of our first grade chairs. I almost giggle cuz her bottom poofs out from both sides. She puts a sheet of drawing paper on the table in front of me.

She asks me, “Why are you sad?”

I ignore her question and search for a crayon in my plastic box. I pull out a black one and scribble on the page.

Black is for bad girls and I’m bad.

“Why don’t you use another color?”

I pick out another crayon just to make her happy. Blue is my favorite. I draw a picture of me, the way I was a long time ago. Pretty.

“Is that you?”

I nod and then pick up the black crayon again.

I’m scared. Please don’t let him hurt me again.

I color on it so heavy the paper rips.

He hurt me. I hate him.

Mrs. Roberts scoops me into a grandma hug. I feel safe. I know nothing bad will happen to me with her here. She carries me to a chair in the story corner. I feel like a baby but I don’t care. I like her touches.

“You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to.”

I want to but I can’t.

She rocks me softly, back and forth, back and forth.

“I’m bad.” I didn’t mean to think out loud.

“Why do you say that?”

I can’t tell you. He’ll hurt me.

“You’re a sweet girl, not bad.”

He told me to pull down my panties.

I wish I could tell Mrs. Roberts but I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone. I bury my face in her big, squishy chest.

Teacher rocks me some more.

He pulled his down, too. It was gross.

“You don’t have to tell me. We’ll just sit here quietly.”

She starts to hum and I burrow into her plump lap and I feel myself falling asleep.

“Cassidy?”

I jump cuz it’s not Teacher’s voice. I open my eyes and see a man instead. I know him from a picture that hangs in my Sunday school class. I’m pretty sure it’s Jesus.

“Yes, it’s me.”

He answers me and I didn’t even talk.

“I love you. You aren’t bad. I made you perfect. Little girls are pure white.”

“He told me I’m a sinner. My heart’s black.”

“No, Child. He sinned. He has the black heart.” Jesus takes my hand and puts it on my chest and says, “Your heart is snow white.” He looks me in the eyes and I know He’s telling me the truth.

“I want you to do something for me. You have to tell Mrs. Roberts what happened. That man won’t hurt you. I won’t let him. Okay?”

I shiver and He put his arms around me. “He said he would tell Mommy that it was my fault.”

“She won’t believe that for one second. Trust me?”

I feel all warm inside, and safe. “Okay, Jesus.”

He kisses me on the cheek. “I’m always with you, Cassi.”

“Cassidy, did you fall asleep?”

I open my eyes and my teacher’s holding me again. “Mrs. Reynolds?”

She hugs me close and says, “Yes?

“I need to tell you something.”

I feel shy so I cover my face. It was easy to talk to Jesus but Mrs. Reynolds is different. What if she thinks I really am bad? But Jesus told me to trust him… so I do.

“He did something bad to me,” I whisper. I don’t know what else to say.

“Is this person a friend?”

I’m not afraid anymore. I sit up straight and look into her eyes. “No, he’s my grandpa.”


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This article has been read 790 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Engle 11/07/09
I'm crying.
Joanne Sher 11/08/09
So powerful. So sad. But I love the hope. Incredible. I hope the right children get a chance to read this. It WILL minister.
Jan Ackerson 11/09/09
Astonishing, Laury. Wow.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/09/09
In my 20's I wrote a story similar to this in that the child experienced a very real Jesus. I understand where you are coming from.
Virgil Youngblood 11/09/09
An excellent job of writing. The word "gross" seemed out of character for a first grader. But, I'm no authority on kid-speak. You have written a meaningful story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/10/09
I love the delicacy with which you handled this oh so sad story. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 11/10/09
Your story had me smiling with your descriptions of the teacher sitting on the chair, then the rest of the story was gut-wrenching. It's doubly sad that this is true.
Betty Castleberry11/11/09
*That* is the most moving thing I've read in a very long time. Being a grandparent, it is truly heartbreaking. Grandparents are supposed to be a child's refuge. They are supposed to be very loving, special people who spoil their grandchildren. This evokes all kinds of emotions in me. Sadness, frustration and anger, to name a few. I'm glad Jesus spoke to her in such a real way. Very well done.
Lenda Blackmon11/11/09
So sad that these things happen, if not for God we would never recover.
Bryan Coomes11/11/09
Wow. Extremely moving piece. I got goosebumps at the end when the "who" was finally revealed. I was afraid it was going in the direction that it ended up being, but the who made it all the more devastating. I have prayed for dear Chloe...wow.
Joy Faire Stewart11/11/09
Oh, how sad and written with such sensitivity. I pray for her and all other children in like circumstances.
Laura Manley11/11/09
I relate to this story. This was written with a deep knowledge of what happened to yourself or that of someone very close to you. You captured the feelings of this child wanting to tell, but afraid to do so. Written with a great deal of sensitivity. A job well done! Laura
Laura Manley11/11/09
I forgot to mention that in referring to the teacher, you originally speak of Mrs. Roberts, then change it to Mrs. Reynolds (or vice versa). I've done the very same thing in my writing at times. Laura
Sunny Loomis 11/11/09
Very powerful. I'm glad the little girl had the courage to tell her teacher. Thank you for this.
Catrina Bradley 11/11/09
I'm so choked up. Such an important topic, and you handled it SO well. Love it, and God bless you for writing and entering it. Hugs! Cat.
Sherrie Coronas11/11/09
Oh my goodness. Unimaginable. Reaching for tissue. And, God bless all the teachers who are lifelines for so many children suffering from abuse by a family member. Who else can they turn to? Great writing.
Aaron Morrow11/11/09
Extremely powerful writing that provides a riveting tightrope walk between light and dark. The MCs internal monologue was exceptional in its realism. Excellent work!
Dee Yoder 11/11/09
A love the hope, too, in this powerful, sad, but honest story. Without that hope, I wonder how children go on with their lives. So glad you wrote this. A wonderful ministry tool, Laury.
Melanie Kerr 11/12/09
I love the simplicity of the child's thoughts. A real Jesus is needed inthese times.
Leah Nichols 11/12/09
Very emotional piece. You captured the moment well. Congrats on your EC - very well deserved!
Yvonne Blake 11/12/09
So "real"...and sad. CONGRATULATIONS!
Marita Thelander 11/12/09
*sigh* Thank-you.
Beth LaBuff 11/12/09
Congrats, Laury, on placing with this touching story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/12/09
Congratulations on your EC. Sending hugs!
LauraLee Shaw11/14/09
Congratulations! This is so moving, wow.