Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: On the Telephone (11/18/10)
TITLE: Friday Night Dates
By Karen Shell
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Less than one year ago, Chloe had found it hard to be thankful for much in her life. Then, when she wasnít looking, depression was replaced by hope. Now, hope turned into expectation.
That day seemed just yesterday, yet a lifetime ago. Watching from the airport window as her visiting auntís plane took off, following her fatherís funeral, loneliness had consumed Chloe. Then a voice interrupted not only her thoughts of the moment, but her life as well. The concerned look on Jeremyís face let her know his interest was much more than a casual pick-up-line when he asked if he could buy her a cup of coffee.
Chloe recalled the encounter with a smile. Learning that, as a young minister, he had committed to help with a church 300 miles away didnít make the meeting any less meaningful. She connected with someone who cared. Even though he was to leave that day, she somehow knew it wasnít the end.
Snapped out of her memory by an oven timer, Chloe pulled the turkey out as she finished Jeremyís favorite dishes. He had shared stories of spending Thanksgivings in soup kitchens and volunteering for home deliveries with a longing in his voice for a family of his own at the holiday. Chloe wanted a chance to remedy that, filling a void in her own life.
Just as everything was placed on the table, the phone rang. That familiar sound had come to be a weekly source of comfort. Leaving the airport a year ago, Chloe had reached into her pocket for car keys when her fingers found a slip of paper with a phone number on it. Her question of should I or shouldnít I was answered the next day when Jeremy called her for the first time. Every Friday evening from that day on, Chloe anticipated the call. Distance disappeared as each poured out their news of the week, stories from their lives and dreams for the future.
One evening, the call had been late. In fact, it hadnít come at all. At least not on Friday. Chloe was devastated. A million thoughts ran through her mind as she wondered if something had happened to him. Then, of course, what had she done? Was a telephone relationship not enough anymore? Early the next morning, all was forgiven and forgotten when Jeremy sheepishly explained that he had forgotten the date of a young couplesí wedding which he was performing. She still teased him about the misunderstanding. It was just one more shared experience they could laugh about.
As Chloe picked up the phone, she glanced at a mirror hanging directly above the table. Surprised by her own reflection, her smile widened, knowing today, they would finally share face-to-face all that each had to be thankful for this year.
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