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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Purple (11/05/09)

TITLE: One last gift
By Marc Smith


“How does this one strike you?” asked the salesperson behind the counter.

“Perfect,” Alan simply stated.

He had been to countless stores searching for the perfect pendant, and it had taken him nearly an entire day but he finally found what he was looking for. A brilliant amethyst stone with a heart shaped cut laid in a glistening white gold setting. It was the first gift he had ever given his wife of 30 years. She was born in February and that may have had a little to do with her fascination with the color purple or it could have been she was an absolute vision when she was wearing it. Although, Alan could never imagine his bride not being beautiful no matter what she was wearing. He remembered the first time he had laid eyes on her like it was yesterday. He was standing in the isle of local church talking to a friend of his when she walked into the sanctuary. His eyes got wide as his heart started beating stronger, and he completely stopped speaking mid-sentence. His friend thought he was having a heart attack and he very well could have been, for she was the most beautiful women he had ever laid eyes on. Her long flowing blonde hair wrapping her perfectly round face wearing the most stunning violet dress would have brought even the most poised of men to their knees. Even after all of these years the mere thought of her made his heart melt.

Alan finished paying for the necklace, placed the bag and the receipt in his coat pocket and headed for the car. As he drove to see his wife, Amanda, is mind continued to dwell on that first night. He had gotten up the nerve to approach her after the concert and ask her out for a cup of coffee. The date was an utter disaster. He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t eat, and he nearly dumped her onto the floor when he pushed her chair in for her. Yet she was the picture of grace and beauty, never once losing her composure. He felt as if he couldn’t stop staring and when she spoke it was as if music was flowing from her lips. He hadn’t even spent 15 minutes with her and he knew this was who God had for him to marry. That night on her front porch Amanda graciously thanked him for the evening and gently shook his hand, leaving behind a piece of paper with her number written on it.

“I’ll see you soon" Amanda said, with a small smile.

They had seen each other every night from that night for a year until he had finally gotten the nerve to ask for her hand in marriage with every date ending with the same words, “I’ll see you soon”. He loved her more now than ever and every day spent with her was better than the last.

Alan parked his car and made his way up to her room at the hospital. When he entered the room he stopped for a second at the door and gazed longingly upon his sleeping wife. Her hair was gone, her face drawn and her body a shell of what it once was, but all he saw the vibrant beautiful women he had fell in love with 32 years ago today. She had been battling this disase for a long time and the doctors had told him yesterday that her battle was nearing the end. He slowly walked to the side of her bad and sat in the chair next to her. He gently reached out his hand a stroked her cool forehead.

“Sweetheart, it’s me,” he said quietly. “Remember this?” he asked pulling the necklace from his pocket.

Amanda mustered up the strength for a subtle nod to answer his question. A small tear formed in the corner of her eye and rolled down her check. Alan reached leaned down and put the necklace on Amanda and lightly grasped her hand. Her fingers wrapped around his hand a gave a light squeeze.

“I will love you forever, Amanda. I thank God for the time he gave me with you.”

As he finished his sentence he felt her hand release its grip as her eyes closed for the last time. Alan noticed Amanda had reached up grasped the necklace with her other hand. He leaned down, gently kissed her forehead and whispered, “I’ll see you soon.”

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This article has been read 508 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 11/15/09
Beautiful, emotion-filled. I enjoyed reading this poignant story. Nice work!
Carol Penhorwood 11/16/09
Absolutely heart-wrenching!
Barbara Lynn Culler11/16/09
Sweet and sad. Good job.
Aaron Morrow11/18/09
Very nice work, a few nits here and there but overall a compelling story with great details (especially when he first saw her).
Ruth Ann Moore11/18/09
A beautiful story of the sweetest part of a marriage; to be loved and seen through love's eyes no matter the years or trials. Very lovely.
Bryan Ridenour11/18/09
Beautiful love story...thanks for sharing a look at "for better or worse..."