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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: A Familiar Story
By Michael Joshua


She hung up the phone and buried her head in her hands.

Her quiet sobs were barely audible to her mother as she neared the bedroom door.

Pushing the door open, her mother stepped across the threshold.

Carrie squinted when her mother turned the light on, wiping the tears from her cheeks.

“What is it, honey?”

“Mom, they’re calling me all kinds of names. Some of the guys are saying they have been with me. Jason does not believe me that he was the first and only man in my life. I don’t know what to do. It’s like a runaway train and I can’t make it stop.”

Her mother placed an arm around her shoulders and Carrie leaned into the embrace.

Her slim frame slowly began to move in rhythm with her breathing instead of the sobs. As her mother pushed her blond bangs away, Carrie started to regain her composure.

“What can I do to help you get through this?”

“I need to get to Jason, so that he understands this is not what it appears to be. He might call off our wedding because of this. I didn’t do anything wrong, why is this happening?”

“Carrie, I warned you about texting. I warned you about those photos.”

“I know, mom, I know. You were right.” An audible sigh escaped her lips and she leaned back into the bedding.

“Oh, Carrie, I don’t want to be right. I want to protect you.”

“I have to go to Jason.” She got up from the bed and stood in front of the dresser mirror. Refreshing her makeup, she turned to her mother – receiving the nod of affirmation – she held her hand out. The car keys clinked as they hit against her engagement ring.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, mom.”

“Don’t forget that you are due back at the university in the morning. Don’t let this consume you. Call me when you are on your way back.”



The voice came over the intercom, “Who is it?”

“It’s me, Jason.”

The buzz followed and Carrie walked through the door. She didn’t want to wait for the elevator, so she climbed the three flights to his apartment.

The door with “318” on it was slightly ajar. She walked in.

Jason sat on the couch. Looking up, he said, “How did this happen, Carrie?”

“It was a high school indiscretion, Jason. We had a slumber party during our junior year, we all posed in our underwear for fun. There were not supposed to be any of those pictures left. I don’t know how it got out. I don’t know why all those guys are saying they have been with me, Jason. It’s simply not true. I not only signed the pledge to stay pure, I did it. I have been with no one but you. No one. I was only with you because our wedding day is so close.”

Jason only shrugged.

“The guys at Campus Crusade are telling me I should call off the wedding. I deserve someone who is completely honest with me. With our wedding only two weeks away, how can I be sure? I know that we took a chance last month when we were together. But with this picture floating around and everything that is being said… I just don’t know. Is the baby mine? Are you sure? You do see how this looks to me, don’t you?”

“But, Jason…”

“One of the guys suggested that you agreed for us to be together to cover up that you were already pregnant.”

“Now, that is just an ugly lie, Jason. It’s bad enough, the rumors others are saying. But, that is just too much. How can you even believe that? As long as we’ve been together? Three years, Jason. Three years! Our wedding is just around the corner – as soon as we finish final exams...”

“Two weeks, Carrie, I know.”

Carrie knelt down in front of Jason – she took his hands in hers and bowed her head. “Jesus, please help Jason to see that I love him with all my heart and that the life inside me springs from our love. My life is his.”

Carrie looked at Jason full in the face. He swept a tear from his cheek.

He placed his arms around her. “You know, I remember another story about a young mother who said she was innocent. Who cares what anyone says? We’re getting married.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/04/10
This is a great story. Young people have no idea how those pictures can come back and bite them. Much to my daughter's chagrin I've made her take down a FB picture of her swimming. She didn't understand but we need to help them understand. In just under 2 years she'll be at college and it'll be harder for me to suggest what picture to post. Thanks for this touching story. I loved every word and it took hits to write it.
Lollie Hofer11/10/10
Sometimes it seems with the invention of all these electronic devices and the computer, it opens even more avenues for young people to hurt each other and be hurt. Thought-provoking story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/11/10
Congratulations for placing 9th in this level!