Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MAIL (02/18/16)
TITLE: The Unexpected Note
By Cindy White
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“Bills, bills, bills,” Sharon mumbled. “What’s this?” The words ‘Reunion Committee’ hinted at the contents. Was it really time for that already? Sharon tossed the pile of mail on the kitchen counter. She would look at it later.
Steam from her teacup fogged her glasses. She closed her eyes and sipped the hot potion. Her thoughts drifted back in time. Seemed like a dozen lifetimes ago that she rode in Gary Sanders’ Chevy Bel Air to prom, he in his tux with the wide, satin trimmed lapels, and she in the silvery satin gown her mother made her. How beautiful she’d felt. Gary had been quite the handsome gentleman. She’d been so in love with that boy.
“We’ll get married after college, Sharon,” he promised her with a kiss. She believed him.
But time and distance don’t always make the heart grow fonder. Eight months later it was over. In spite of her broken heart, it wasn’t long before Kenny at work had captured her attention and won her love. Soon she became Mrs. Macmillan.
Sharon and Kenny shared thirty-one happy years together, followed by four miserable years of financial disaster and infidelity that destroyed everything. Kenny filed for divorce and left. It took many years to heal, but with the support of her church family and God’s faithful love, Sharon was eventually surrendered to the single life.
Sharon’s mind wandered back to Gary. She fantasized about how life could have been different. Last she’d heard he was living in Montana with his wife and some horses. Not the life she ended up with, for sure.
Sharon’s eye spotted the letter she’d tossed on the counter.
50 Year Reunion
A small folded paper fell out of the invitation. What was this?
I hope this note finds you in good health. It’s probably been a long time since you’ve thought of me, but I think of you often. My wife passed away 3 years ago and it’s been a difficult adjustment. I hope you will be attending the reunion. It would be great to catch up. I’ve included my email and phone number in case you would like to talk sooner.
Sharon felt giddy as a school girl. She had no idea Gary was a widow. To hear his voice would be wonderful, but that would require the courage to speak to him. Sharon thought it best to start with an email.
What a pleasant surprised to get your note. I’m sorry for your loss. It must be very difficult to lose someone you love. I’ve been divorced a long time now. I’m not sure one ever gets used to being alone after so many years of marriage. I plan to attend the reunion and look forward to seeing you.
She took a deep breath and hit Send. There was no turning back now.
Sharon put the finishing touches on her makeup. In one hour from now she would be face to face with Gary Sanders. For eight months they had communicated, first through email, and then by phone. The feelings Sharon had for Gary had renewed and deepened. And it seemed he felt the same.
They had shared their life stories, joys and sorrows. They shared their faith in Jesus Christ, something they both had depended on for survival. They discovered a shared desire for travel and many other interests.
In spite of Gary’s determination to pick her up, Sharon insisted she meet him at the reunion. She wanted his first look at her to be under the glamor of the hotel chandeliers, not her modest little cottage with it’s dusty porch light.
Sharon’s heart raced as she walked into the lobby. She scanned the room for her handsome prince.
“As beautiful as I remember,” Gary said, handing her a rose and flashing that drop-dead smile she never could resist.
They embraced and she was seventeen again.
“Thank you for sending that note,” Sharon whispered.
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