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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: Jumping to Conclusions
By Patricia Protzman
04/22/10


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“Yeah, I’m tired of this relationship. I’m telling her tomorrow it’s over and I’m leaving. I can’t stand another year.”

Jill could hardly believe her ears. Kyle, her husband of seven years, had told their neighbor Dave he was leaving her. Their marriage was over. Why had he not told her?

Jill removed the hamburgers and hot dogs from the fridge and went back outside. This day was one she and Kyle had planned and looked forward to all year—a neighborhood party. Most of the neighbors had come.

“Hey Jill, whatcha thinking about? Asked Carly, who lived down the street. “Hmmm?”

“Whaaat?” Stammered Jill, “Oh, I was daydreaming. What did you say?”

“I asked you what you were thinking about.”

“Oh, nothing important.” Jill answered pretending to watch a volleyball game.

I had no idea he was unhappy with our marriage. What am I going to do?

“Mommy, mommy, can I show Jason my new train set?” asked five year old Eddie, as he shook Jill’s arm trying to get her attention.

Jill turned to Eddie hesitated and replied, “Yeess, I guess so.”

Lord, what did I do to cause Kyle to want to leave me? We are Christians. I don’t understand what went wrong.

Jill’s attention was drawn to the deck. Kyle and Dave were laughing.

How can he be happy at a time like this?

“Hey hon, want me to start grilling the burgers and dogs?” Kyle yelled to her as he laughingly punched Dave’s arm.

“Yeah, everyone is ready to eat.” Jill said her voice barely audible.

“What?” Asked Kyle.

“Yes, go ahead.” She snapped.

Jill went through the motions of playing a volleyball game and conversing with the neighbors the rest of the afternoon, but she couldn’t stop thinking of Kyle’s hurtful words.

Later that evening after all the neighbors had left, Jill, Kyle, Eddie, and seven year old Cassie cleaned up the deck and back yard. Neither Kyle nor Jill mentioned what Kyle had said to Dave and Jill didn’t want to bring it up with the children present. She would talk to him about it in the morning.

“The party was great, wasn’t it, hon.? Maybe we can persuade some of them to attend our weekly Bible study.” Kyle said as he bent down to kiss her cheek.

“Yes, it was okay.” Jill said pulling away from him and going inside.

Jill seems quiet and a little irritable today. Kyle thought as he followed her indoors. Maybe she’s tired. I know I am.

Jill awoke and raised the shade next to her bed. Sunshine filled the bedroom indicating another sunny July day. She turned to look at Kyle.

He’s gone, and not a word.

Jill left her bed and checked on the children. Cassie and Eddie were playing in the back yard.

She showered, washed the children’s cereal bowls, and strolled into the living room. On the coffee table was an envelope with her name on the front.

This is it. He’s telling me he’s leaving. The rat, he didn’t have enough guts to tell me in person. Jill thought as she opened the envelope and took out the letter.

Hi Hon,
You looked so peaceful this morning I decided not to awaken you. I’ve gone down to the office to talk with my manager, Ms. Hall. I am going to tell her I’m leaving my current position with the company because of too much traveling. She has refused to listen to my previous requests and our work-relationship has been strained this past year.

Another manager in the quality control department has asked me to come there and I’ve agreed. The salary is the same and there is no traveling. I was going to talk with you yesterday about my decision, but we were busy with the party and both of us were so tired last night.

See you soon.

Love Ya,

Kyle

Jill kissed the note.

Oh, what a fool I am. This is what I overheard Kyle telling Dave yesterday but I only heard part of the conversation. I’m glad I didn’t mention it to anyone.

“Mommy!” Eddie and Cassie yelled as they burst through the kitchen door and ran into the living room.

“Mommy, can we go to the beach today?” Cassie asked as Eddie jumped up and down.

“Sure, as soon as daddy comes home.”

And, he will be coming back home, thank the Lord. Jill thought as she hugged her children.


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This article has been read 290 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/24/10
You had me worried right along with Jill. Your ending was very welcome. Phew! :) I enjoyed this creative and well-crafted story. Your title is perfect!
Carol Penhorwood 04/27/10
Great story!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/10
Great story. I knew there was a twist coming but I still enjoyed every word. You teach a valuable lesson.
Noel Mitaxa 04/28/10
A terrific mix of suspense and reassurance. Very well written.