Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)
By Tiffanie Chezum
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“I can’t,” she murmured, clenching her fingers into her unkempt brown hair. “No more.” Her voice quivered as she rocked on the edge of her bed. “Can’t do it.” The beleaguered lady heaved a sobbing sigh as she smoothed the paper on the nightstand.
I’m so sorry. I know what a burden I’ve been to you, to everyone. You deserve so much more. She smudged an ink mark to the edge of the page. More than I can give.
The dejected housewife paused, gazing at her reflection in the mirrored back of a small knickknack shelf on the wall. “It’s not right,” she yelled. Mascara smears accentuated her distant hazel eyes. “I’m not right.” Her voice faded to near a whisper. “Why?”
Nothing’s right any more. I’m empty.
“So empty.” She captured a tear on the fingernail of her index finger; another cracked the silence of the room as it splashed onto the page.
I remember being happy.
The dampened words blurred.
We were happy together. She wiped her eyes with the palm of her hand. It’s gone.
“Where did it go?”
It was supposed to get better. She scratched a line across her latest words. I tried to get better. The words became more scribbled as she hurried her thoughts onto the paper. I haven’t.
“I won’t.” Her lips quivered as she uttered the words.
Jenny’s eyes wandered the walls of the bedroom. A lifetime of snapshot memories decorated the powder blue backdrop. “So long ago.” Cuddling a fleece blanket to her chest, she stared at the wedding picture over the dresser. “It was a fairytale.” She nestled her face into the soft throw. “Now, nothing.”
I’m tired of the struggle. She blinked her dampened lashes. Tired of waiting, wondering. She sniffed, trying to control the stream of tears and mucus. Why? She sobbed aloud. I just want things the way they were.
A passing siren broke her concentration. “To be normal again.”
I give up.
She opened her nightstand drawer, fumbling open a bottle of pills.
It’s better this way.
The phone rang.
The despondent wife flinched at the abrupt disturbance, spilling the contents of the container. Tiny capsules bounced about the floor. “Oh no … “ The answering machine intercepted the call. “Leave me alone … please.” She dropped to the ground, scrambling to retrieve the medication.
“You there Jen?”
“Patrick!” The young lady slumped against the wall at the sound of her spouse’s voice.
“Pick up the phone, babe.” Excitement sparkled in his voice. “Guess what.” He cleared his throat. “I’m leaving the conference early. I should be there by dinner … OK?” He laughed. “Can’t wait to see you, babe.”
Jenny scooped the pills back into the bottle. “No more, sweetheart.” Setting the medicine on the table, she grabbed her pen.
You don’t have to worry about me anymore. She sipped some water from the cup by the lamp. I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you. She wept. Love always, Jen.
The distraught young lady flopped across the bed. She hugged her husband’s pillow. “It’s not fair,” she whispered. Her fists clenched with anger as her voice grew with intensity. “It’s not fair.” She threw the pillow, knocking the contents of Patrick’s nightstand onto the floor. “No.” She peered over the edge of the bed. “Did I …” She saw his Bible laying open on the ground. “Oh, Lord.”
The young woman retrieved the book.
She sat up, leaning against the oak headboard with her knees drawn to her chest. “I … I bought this for you … ” Her eyes grew wide. “… In college.”
She wiped her face and read the open passage aloud. “John 14:1.” Her voice cracked. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
She set the Bible on the bed.
“Oh my God. Patrick …” Jenny buried her face into her hands. “I would read this to you when you had doubts about school … and wanted to …” She sobbed aloud. “You wanted to quit.” She struggled to catch her breath. “And I wouldn’t let you.”
She slid down on the bed, curling in the fetal position.
“God … Please … “ Tears streamed down her face. “Help me.” She reached for the prescription on the nightstand. “I’m so confused.”
John 14:1 Quoted from King James Version
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