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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: The Last Supper
By Connie Dixon


I seem to have aged more in the past year than ever… since Paul left. I stare at my reflection, trying every possible facial contortion to find that perfect position, the one that will erase the deep lines and the blotches that stand out like bruises on a peach. Smiling seems to be the only way to hide my 'maturity'. That – or just closing my eyes. And since closing my eyes all day is not plausible, I choose to smile.

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. Dang it!

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. Smile. You can do this, you don’t need another person to make you happy – you will survive.

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.

Dinner anyone?

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This article has been read 589 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shellie Bailey12/09/10
Very emotional piece and the writing was brilliant. Loved this. It is so hard to imagine what it would be like to be alone after living with someone for a longtime. Great insight. Great job!!
Joy Bach 12/09/10
So very vivid, I was right there. Not sure I would be strong enough to sit and stare at the billboard. Very well done.
Rachel Phelps12/10/10
Unique concept. I love the voice of your MC. Powerfully done.
Anita van der Elst12/12/10
Excellent writing. You took me to the heart of the MC. without being maudlin. It felt authentic.
Melanie Kerr 12/14/10
Very creative. It was classic "show" not "tell" in revelaing so much about her reactions to the break-up. Well done.
Lollie Hofer12/14/10
You did a remarkable job of capturing your mc's pain but also her determination in moving forward. I enjoyed your mc's voice and personality. Well done.
Catrina Bradley 12/14/10
Your writing in this piece is stunning. So many emotions and very vivid images, all meticulously crafted.
Edmond Ng 12/15/10
Very good imagery! You have captured the emotions and the scenes very well. As I read through your story, I was able to feel and picture everything as though I was there with the MC. Excellent piece.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/15/10
I really enjoyed seeing how the MC went from despair to hope. It's a refreshing message of hope for all who have had their heart broken one way or another. You did a good job on this.