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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Exam (09/12/13)

TITLE: There, But for the Grace of God, Go I
By Lisa Hudson


Lynn barely remembered the drive to Christy’s apartment, due to the constant images that kept replaying in her head, of recent arguments between the two. If the truth be known, Lynn didn’t want to make this trip either, for fear of more confrontations. She also knew Christy had no one else to help her, so there she was, again.

As Lynn drove up, Christy started limping toward the car. As she opened the door and sat down, Lynn could smell the all-too-familiar scent of cigarette smoke from Christy’s clothes. “Why did she have to start smoking again?” Lynn thought to herself. “She can’t afford them, let alone what they’re doing to her lungs.”

Christy said, “Hi Mom”, and buckled her seat belt. By the tone in her voice, Lynn could tell something was wrong. “I’m glad to finally be having this surgery done on my foot,” Christy said. “I’m so tired of my ankle hurting all the time. Plus it’s so hard to keep up with my feisty toddler!”

Lynn backed out of the parking space and as she headed out the front gate, she asked Christy, “So what’s wrong, besides your ankle, I mean? I can tell something is up.”

Christy looked out the passenger side window as she said, “I think I’m ready to end it with Jerry.” Christy looked down at her lap and then over to her mother, trying to guess what her facial expressions meant. “He just doesn’t seem to care about me and little Adam anymore.”

Lynn wasn’t sure what to say. Christy had been living with Jerry for the past year. They had started dating when Adam was just a few months old. Adam’s father was nowhere in the picture, and never had been since he was born. Jerry seemed like a nice enough person, but Lynn and Bill never could understand why a man of thirty-two would want to see a young, single mother of nineteen. It was all so strange from the beginning. Then again, nothing about Christy was what it seemed like it should be.

Ever since middle school, their daughter had become like a stranger to them. She started to rebel in the way she wore her clothes, how she wore her makeup, and even the people she chose to hang around. Everything seemed to be in direct conflict with the Christian upbringing she had known since she was a baby. The final straw was when she had given herself away physically, when she was only sixteen. The relationship between mother and daughter has been strained, to say the least.

Now she was driving her daughter to the orthopedic surgeon to have her ankle operated on, an out-patient procedure. She would need someone to drive her back home afterward, so as usual, Lynn was the first person Christy called when she needed something. A part of Lynn was thankful to hear this news about Jerry, since she never was comfortable with their ‘arrangement’. Like all mothers, she wanted to see her daughter find a nice young man, get married and then start a family. “What made you decide this?” Lynn cautiously asked her daughter.

“It just doesn’t seem right, between us. I’m not happy, he’s not happy. It feels like we are just existing in the same house.” Christy continued to babble on while all Lynn could hear was her own voice in her head, screaming, “You were right! You were right!” Lynn simply said, “Well then, maybe it’s for the best.”

The two entered the medical building and as Christy filled out the paperwork, Lynn sat and watched television. It seemed like just minutes before they called Christy back, so Lynn smiled and said, “I’ll see you on the other side.”

She had been waiting for about twenty minutes before a nurse came out to Lynn and told her that Christy needed to see her. A little frightened, Lynn gathered up their belongings and headed back to see her daughter. Immediately she knew something was wrong, as Christy had been crying. “What’s wrong?”

Barely able to speak, Christy managed to get the words out…”I’m pregnant.” Lynn wanted to fall back and faint, but she stood her ground, looking down into the frightened eyes of her child. Even with all of the disappointed thoughts and harsh words that entered Lynn’s head at that moment, all she could manage to do was bend over and put her arms around her daughter, and gently say, “It will be all right.”

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This article has been read 184 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Philippa Geaney 09/21/13
Nice writing. Lots of tests there-mostly for the mother. Impactful story.
Joanne Sher 09/23/13
LOVE the title - so true! I absolutely want to know what will happen here. Attention and curiousity absolutely piqued!
Jan Ackerson 09/23/13
During the break in the Weekly Challenge schedule, I’d like to invite you to the FaithWriters forums, where I’m holding a weekly free “class” in various writing strategies. Participation is strictly voluntary, but I give free and timely feedback on all contributions. I’d love to have you drop by! http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=67
Brenda Rice 09/23/13
The Mother-Daughter relationship is often difficult, but as the Mother in your story, love wins in the end.

Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.
Samantha Arroyo 09/24/13
The title rings so true! I loved how you portrayed the emotions of the mother - how tired and worried she must have been given all she and her daughter had gone through together. Her thoughts and emotions were very real and raw.

A nice take on the topic, too. The orthopedic exam was the backdrop of the story, yes, but I saw "exam" in the way the mother examined the past, examined her daughter in the present and examined her own thoughts toward her daughter. Nice work.
Wilma Schlegel09/24/13
Very believable and compelling. Nicely done.
Great title!