Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Dead End (02/06/14)
TITLE: Washed Out Roads
By Tracy Nunes
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“We’re never going to be close again. Accept it. It’s just the way it is.”
I reread them a dozen times, even read it out loud, but they twist and turn in the telling. Like those weird movie endings that leave the viewer confused and questioning the entire story, the blunt statement left me squint-eyed and tongue-tied.
Outside my window, the steady drip, drip, drip of the evening rain beat out in cadence with mental snapshots as I sat in the dark staring at the words on the screen.
Drip, drip… an ultrasound picture before the days of 3D; a blurry little blob, beautiful in its embryonic glory, my baby.
Drip…a hard kick to the ribs; my hand pressed gently to my skin in maternal caress, wondering at the force of it.
Drip, drip, drip…gut busting laughter at being found in a game of peek-a-boo and a little girl begging, “Do again!”
The rain pours outside, the drips transforming to torrents as I sat staring at the words on the screen and watching the progression of our lives together in my mind’s eye. Rumbles of thunder peal over the mountain range but I barely notice in my reverie.
Drip, drip…little pink plastic shoes worn as if they were jewels for princess feet bound for the royal ball.
Drip…wrinkled nose and giggles from puppy kisses; a big smile with two missing front teeth.
Drip, drip, drip…twirling in a puffy dress and little polka-dotted socks on smooth cement like an ice skating Olympic champion.
Distant thunder turns to overhead flashes and booms and still I drift in the sea of memories more real than the harsh words on the screen or the flash of light though the window.
Drip, drip…an adolescent girl; too young to become a woman, passing the threshold anyway, not ready for the changes to come.
Drip…long legs pumping hard, pushing forward; a foot connecting with a ball and the crowd yelling, “Goal!”
Drip, drip, drip…longing looks from boys; long blonde hair being blow dried in the bathroom; eyes rolling; sarcasm dawning.
The storm quiets. The cadence slows. My regret stews. Words that shouldn’t have been said hang thick in the air, unsaid words that lay dead, unable to be resurrected.
Fifteen simple words strung together to mark the end of the road. Did I miss the posted signs, the highway markers? Was there a turn I missed on my way to forever?
Drip, drip…dire young actions not disciplined; chasms not vaulted; mysteries left unsolved.
Drip…a Hand reaches down, palms facing up, ready to receive her.
Drip, drip, drip… I hold tight, can’t hand her over, and can’t surrender. The Hand presses further. Waits. I let go of my Isaac. A Greater Love takes over.
I sit in the darkness feeling the emptiness of my palms. The rain stops but my road has been lost in the flood. The sign ahead: No Access - Dead End Ahead. The old has passed away.
I sink into sleep on my tears, and I twist and turn on the rain trashed highways of regret, looking for road markers and signs for safe passage. I go in circles and find myself back at the end where the road has been taken from me. I sit staring at the chasm.
A Voice says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.*
Dead End Ahead becomes Detour – New Bridge Under Construction.
The Engineer has spoken.
* Isaiah 43:18-19
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