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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)

By Adetokunbo Oluwasanjo


I’d replayed the scene over and over in my head. Same cast, different scripts. Eighteen years had passed since I took the train without looking over my shoulder or peering from under a hood. I fought a hurricane of emotions as nostalgia and anticipation lashed out like angry waves at each other. Memories of my past and a cocktail of hope and fear for my future. I looked again at the only picture I had of Anna-Marie, my wife, carrying our then unborn child and our two sons, Victor and Tony. I imagined our daughter, Samantha, now twenty-two, beautiful and gracious just like her mother and if God was truly kind, the boys different men from who I was. Or had been. Would they want to have anything to do with me? Will they call me Simon and spit in my face or Dad and hug me? What if Anna-Marie had moved on, re-married a better man, had more children and was happy and free? Time would tell. And ‘time’ now was a short forty minutes left.

I had written several letters but got no replies. Not that I expected any. My life of crime, drugs and violence had left ugly, jagged scars on her body and even more on her soul. My brother, Sean, told me about how she and the children had been kicked out of the apartment weeks after I got convicted and how he had lost touch with her after that. I feared for her safety. I feared T.Y.’s boys may track her down, kill her and waste my children. I feared their blood would be on my head. Ten years of hopelessness, guilt and pain brought me to hell’s gates. With an overdose and a shank, I attempted to go in but as I now know, Christ saved me. All the boys said it was a miracle I survived. I had painted my cell walls red with my blood. A few weeks later, the prison chaplain, a middle-aged, no-nonsense, but kind-hearted lady named Jackie (or Jack as we all called her) led me in the sinner’s prayer. Six week after that, I got baptized.

I got off the train at Redwood Station. Jack had told me that morning I was trading colors. My orange suit for a smart gray one I hoped Anna-Marie would like. I unscrambled a rough piece of paper on which I had written Anna’s address. With Jack’s help I had tracked Tony down. She had visited with him to tell him about my changed life since I met Christ. He couldn’t come visit but spoke with me twice on the phone and said he’d let Anna know I was being released. He was formal but courteous and offered no promises for a celebrated prodigal father’s return. He only mentioned he was glad to hear I was saved and let me know they had all been praying for me. I’d been overwhelmed and asked God just for an opportunity to make amends where I could and to help them forgive me as He had. I knew I was asking for a lot but I hoped…..just kept hoping.

Suddenly someone tapped my shoulder.


I didn’t need to reply. He threw his arms around me and held on for what seemed like an eternity. Tony finally let go and waved. Samantha came running towards me just as Victor reached me and wrapped a scarf around my neck. In the distance was Anna-Marie walking slowly towards me with tears streaming down her face. Tears welled up in mine and poured down my cheeks as Samantha kissed my cheek and whispered “Welcome home.”

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This article has been read 442 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Francy Judge 11/27/09
Your story brought tears to my eyes. Great writing.
Kate Oliver Webb 11/29/09
Wonderful story! Very well-written, very emotional; I was caught up in this homecoming and delighted with the ending (or should I say "beginning?").
Noel Mitaxa 12/01/09
Very powerful depiction of hope mixed with fear, and how grace wins out. Very well drawn emotional profile.
This should rate very highly indeed.