Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)
TITLE: The Last Supper
By Connie Dixon
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I notice a bad odor and follow it into the kitchen. Garbage. Now…it’s my job. Pull the bag out of the can, tie the little plastic thingies, take it out to the trash can…dripping all the way. <i>Dang it!</i>
I hate him for leaving. He said we’d grown apart; we didn’t have the same values, the same direction, the same goals. How would I have known that? He never talked to me. <i>Smile. You can do this, you don’t need another person to make you happy – you will survive.</i>
Returning to the mirror, I work on my self-talk…and my smile. Not the fake smile that abolished ruts and crevasses, but a real smile, a happy smile. Like Picasso painting a masterpiece, I begin to apply make-up, and I create my own. In a short while, my reflection smiles back at me. She looks pretty good…no not just pretty good, attractive…gorgeous if I do say so myself. And the smile emerges easily. I am…content.
The real test will come when I leave my sanctuary and enter the overwhelming outside world. It’s been so long since I’ve done anything alone. Today’s the day. A movie? A concert? A drink? I rummage through my closet searching for my favorite jeans, my too-tight jeans, the ones that make me look…hot, sure of myself, and the sweater that feels like home. I dress, do one last inspection of my face…and smile, a confident smile. It’s time.
I have avoided the 3.1 mile route to the mall ever since I saw the billboard with Paul’s picture looming out over the city, lit up like a Las Vegas show poster: Elect Paul Scranton – City Council. Today, I will no longer let the monster of defeat control me. I will confront the demon, and I am determined to succeed.
Three hundred yards from the billboard, I pull my Volkswagen convertible into the Best Buy parking lot and position my car to face it…the sign…him. The image triggers emotions within me. Love, joy, hate, sadness, grief…they all have their way with me. But I am impressed by what I see, a figure of integrity, caring, kindness, humanity…all of the things that once drew me to him. I miss him.
The sports coat over his shoulder reminds me of the night Paul asked for a divorce. He came home from work as usual, threw his jacket over the back of the sofa and yelled out to me, “I’m home, what’s for supper?”
A tear rolls down my cheek as I pull back out onto the busy street. Driving past the mall, I head for my favorite market to purchase ingredients for a deliciously idealistic meal…and candles. I determine that I have prepared my last supper and resolve that from this day forward, I will serve dinners only, prepared as for royalty, for one or for two, it matters not.
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