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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)

TITLE: I'm Not Connie
By Donna Emery
04/26/11


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If you hear something about yourself often enough; you tend to believe it.

Heres what Ive heard: my twin sister, Connie, is one of the coolest people, ever. As for me? Im absolutely nothing like her.

Two things you should know about Connie: she was good at everything she ever tried to do and, she died in a car accident last year on her way home from our Junior Prom.

When we were kids, Mom dressed us in the same outfits and even styled our hair the same. We were identical twins. Have you guessed our names even rhyme?

Yeah Im Bonnie.

People had trouble telling us apart; until we began going to school. Then unfortunately for me it became way too easy. Everything came easy to Connie: her grades were all As or Bs; she was captain of every team she tried out for, and she always got the lead in the school plays. She was our class president, every year. The boys all liked her and at church, she was tops at memorizing Bible verses.

Me? I struggle just to pass my classes; I trip over my own shoelaces in gym; and I once got stage fright while working the lights. In class elections, I was the one who handed out the ballots. Boys were only friendly to me if they wanted to date Connie and as for church, Im the kid who sits in the back and just doesnt get it.

And just about everyone told me about it. From parents; to teachers; to so-called friends, I cant tell you how many times Ive heard, Why cant you be more like Connie?

Yeah Im Bonnie.

Everyone loved Connie. I loved her, too. Even though it was hard to always be compared to her (and to always fall so short) I couldnt help but love her, just like everyone else. Her smile was full of joy and warmth and she made everyone feel as though she was listening just to you.

When she died, I felt as though my world had stopped, for a few days. How could Connie be dead? How the sister who did everything right be gone? No one ever said it or even hinted at it but I cant help but wonder how many people at our school thought it was a shame the wrong twin had been in that car, when it crashed.

Ive tried to find my own niche. Ive tried to improve my athletic skills and studied myself numb to improve my grades. I even stood in front of the mirror for hours, a few weeks ago, trying to copy her smile.

That was a real waste of time.

Yeah Im Bonnie.

Ill never be Connie. Ill never be the one who gets all the friends and the smiles and the applause. Ill never be the teachers pet or the valedictorian or the class president.

But I did think Id finally found something Im good at. It was so cool to finally have something that comes easily to me; something thats all mine. This year, instead of art, I decided to try Photography. I really like it. And the teacher told me Im really getting the hang of it. She even told me she wanted me to make a portfolio for an exhibit; she wants me to enter a contest.

So, when I opened my report card and checked out my grades, among the usual Ds and Cs I was looking for an A in Photography.

Instead, I saw a zero.

A zero? Was the teacher serious? What about all that talk about getting the hang of it the exhibit what about?

Oh, wait

Hey its not a zero. Its the letter O. O for outstanding. And, its for me. Outstanding! I was so ready to believe it was yet another failure that I couldnt even accept it when I had reason to expect success.

Im Bonnie. And Im outstanding. Yeah!


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Member Comments
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Margaret Kearley 04/28/11
I love this poignant and touching story - it really draws you in and once you have started to read, its hard to stop! The repetition 'Yeah... I'm Bonnie' is powerful and strongly reinforces the message of the story. Great writing.
Sarah Heywood04/28/11
This made tears come into my eyes. What a sweet, sorrowful story! You told it so well and in such a realistic voice. Great job!
Margaret Kearley 05/05/11
So glad this was placed Donna - loved this story. Congrats.
Amanda Brogan05/05/11
Aww ... loved this bitter-sweet story about individual uniqueness. Yes, Bonnie was special in her own beautiful way -- just the way that God intended her to be.
Bonnie Bowden05/27/11
The truth is my name is Bonnie and I have a rhyming twin name (although not Connie).

My sister are a lot alike, but my older sister was the popular one. I can so relate to this story. I am glad she finally got to embrace her own self worth at the end.