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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: The Uneasy Line of a Broken Heart
By stanley Bednarz


Lisa was only nine years old when she wrote a broken heart with her finger on the picture window. On a rain soaked night, she hoped her father would see it as he left. He never returned, and her heart simply melted in despair.

Mother said, "All parents argue now and then." But the little girl wondered why he never came back for another round. Over the years, she often sketched her broken heart on the front room window hoping he might drive by and take notice.

The house had been an active one: full of furniture, full of life, full of arguments, but over the years the house grew louder with an empty echo of her fathers memories. Often, she retreated to her swing under the old oak tree, lifting her legs and closing her eyes, imagining he was pushing her from behind.

But time blew like a winter wind covering the tracks of her past memories, and as she grew into a woman, she survived like a rose that sprouted from the fresh snow. Her blonde hair turned golden, and her once sad blue eyes sparkled like diamonds.

When high school graduation came, she scanned the stage, taking a final look before grasping her diploma to see if her dad could be found in a sea of proud faces. A vacant chair beside her mother only sharpened the pain.

She met a young man at the grocery store where they both worked. He was working his way through college, and she had yet to make any plans for her future. She knew she wanted love, and she knew she wanted children.

They started dating, but he had only one thing on his mind. It wasn't about making love, or even stealing his first kiss. He looked at her with his delightful chocolate eyes in the break room. "Lisa, I have fallen for you. You must notice it, because I keep tripping into things at the store when you walk by."

"Yes, I noticed how once you had an avalanche of melons come toward you." She laughed heartily. "And... and you tried in vain to pick them all up at once."

"I have to tell you, I'm a born again Christian, and I can't become more than a friend, until, or unless you become one too."

It wasn't what she expected to hear, and during a long pause her lips quivered without words, and the unknown Holy Spirit sent chills through the tendrils of her heart.

It was an awkward moment, and the weight of his words followed her home where she let tears fall freely by the window of her childhood dreams.

Several days later, she snuck up behind him in the grocery store. He knocked over a pyramid display of soup cans with his broom. She smiled broadly, and told him the words he desired to hear. "Zach, I prayed last night. Now, I have a father in heaven who will never leave me or forsake me."

The following year, they got married. As she walked the aisle, she wept inside, scanning the crowd for a glimpse of her father, hoping he could still be the one to give her away.

They started a family, and it wasn't long before she gave birth to a healthy boy. A few years later she had a little girl. She gave them all she had, but most of all she gave them a steady diet of love, listening to all their cares.

One day she got an unexpected phone call from the hospital. A nurse said, "Your father has cancer, and he would like to see you before he dies"

She dropped the receiver, and it smashed to pieces at her feet. Her husband came running into the kitchen. She told him.

That night, little Lisa slipped down the corridor like a lost girl seeking the sweet nectar of a fathers love. Checking the names on the doors of the hospital rooms, she found her maiden name. She pushed the door open slightly and tiptoed to his bedside.


His eyes opened.

"It's Lisa, your daughter."

He couldn't talk with a breathing tube inserted. But with tears in his eyes, he squeezed her hand, and mouthed the words she longed to hear. "I love you."

The door widened as Zach escorted their children to his bedside.

She stepped over to the perspiring window and sketched a large heart with her finger for all to see. It was perfectly unbroken.

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This article has been read 337 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 12/29/10
This is an absolutely beautiful piece with wonderful descriptions. You kept me engaged until the end.

Maybe I'm missing it, but I'm not seeing the tight connection tot he topic.

Very nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/04/11
What a touching story with a great message. Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of level 3.