Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
TITLE: Because I Love You
By lynn gipson
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“Mommy, please! Please don't hit me again. I'm sorry!” Lily saw herself at the age of four, cowered in the corner of her room, begging her mother to stop the abuse. That particular abuse didn't stop until she was eight years old, and finally had been taken away from her mother and placed into the foster care system.
Four sets of foster parents and various abuses later, she graduated from high school with honors and won a scholarship to college. She obtained a Business degree, landed a top-notch job with an advertising agency as a salesperson, and worked her way up to senior executive level in four short years. She was cold and tough and aptly earned the nickname, “Tiger Lil.”
Most people feared her, so shock washed over her one day when she discovered someone had the audacity to steal her parking place.
“Hey! That's my place! Would you kindly move your car?” Lily growled at a handsome man getting out of his car as she drove up behind him.
“Sorry! Can't. Late for a meeting!” He gave her a disarming smile and hurried away.
Lily clenched her fist as she chased the culprit down the parking lot and obtained the thief's name.
She then stomped off to her penthouse office and barked at her secretary. “Jenny, find out what floor Christopher Haynes works on!”
“Oh, he works on the fifth floor Ms. Weldon. Everybody knows who he is. He's gorgeous, single, and a gentleman to boot!”
“That gentleman just stole my parking place! Send him a memo expressing my displeasure, now!”
As it turned out, Chris stole more than her parking place that day. A few hours later he came into her office with a bouquet of flowers and an invitation to dinner, and walked out with her stone cold heart.
After six months of movies, dinners, and walks on the beach, Chris had called yesterday and asked her to meet him for dinner. There was a serious tone to his voice, and Lily thought he might be planning to propose. She couldn't have been more wrong.
“Lily, I'm sorry, this just isn't working for me. You are a lovely person, but you don't seem to be able to really care about people. You lack a certain warmth and compassion for others. Forgive me, but I have to end this before it goes any further.”
Lily was so stunned she couldn't speak. She simply rose from the table and left the restaurant. She was numb while driving home, and instead of crying she ultimately became angry. Not at Chris, but at herself. She unlocked her front door, went straight to her room, and took the gun from her dresser drawer.
She lay awake all night thinking about her relationship with Chris. How could she not have seen this coming? Was she that blind? Was she so love starved that she imagined he was in love with her? What a fool she had been! She had waited all her life for love, only to be told she was unlovable.
Lily had never been particularly religious, but now she prayed for an answer as to why she should not put the gun to her head and pull the trigger.
God, please help me! Give me a reason to live. I need an answer now!
Lily waited, and heard nothing. She prayed once more.
God, please answer me. Help me. Tell why I should not do this, or I will!
Silence filled the room.
Lily placed the gun to her right temple and fired the fully-loaded gun.
Shaking violently, Lily dropped the gun, and for the first time in her adult life, started to cry. She cried for her mother, for all of the abuse her poor body had known, and for all of the love her heart had never known. She sobbed for hours, and when at last she was completely spent, she heard God speak.
“Because I love you, Lily.”
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