Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: My Computer Problem
By Lynda Lee Schab
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Meanwhile, I tried my friend, Marcy. I sent off an email and waited for several minutes. No response.
I surfed over to a few of my favorite message boards and was disappointed to find none of my friends online. Didn't they know I was in the mood to chat?
My stomach growled and I reached for the bag of chips, still open on my desk from the night before. I blew on my keyboard to clear a month's worth of built-up crumbs. As I munched on stale chips, I checked the weather forecast, caught up on the latest Hollywood gossip, and shopped for jeans, new bedding, and a belated birthday gift for my sister.
Two hours and no message later, my impatience was rising at the same rate as my credit card balance. I clicked over to a gaming site to play Internet Solitaire while I waited.
I was on my way to winning when the doorbell rang. Annoyed to have my game interrupted, I almost didn't answer. But, grudgingly, I stood, stretched, and trudged to the door.
I was surprised to find my mother, my sisters Ann and Cheryl, and Ann’s three-year-old son, Dawson, standing on my stoop.
“Hey, Kris, can we come in?” Ann asked. Before I could answer, all four of them whisked past me.
“Sure,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“We want to talk to you about something,” Cheryl said. Her eyes rested on the computer. “Do you mind if I turn this off?” As she reached for the power button, my email light flashed.
“Nooooooo!” I shouted. I lunged at Cheryl and shoved her hand away from the computer. She looked at me, wide-eyed, and I cleared my throat. “I just need to check this message,” I mumbled. I sank into my computer chair, swiveled around and retrieved my message. It was from Dana, and I typed a response, acutely aware of my guests’ silence. I imagined there were plenty of looks and hand motions being exchanged behind my back.
“Kris, come on. We need to talk,” Ann said.
Reluctantly, I turned around with a heavy sigh. “I’m busy, guys. Can’t this wait?”
“You don’t seem busy to me,” my mother noted. “How busy can you be in your bathrobe and slippers?”
“I have a lot to do.” I was getting defensive. What did these people want? I glanced at the computer screen and saw my mail light flashing again.
“Don’t even think about it,” Ann spat. Before I knew what was happening, she reached over and turned off my computer.
“Geesh, Ann! You didn’t have to turn it off!”
“I’m just going to come out and say this,” she said. “You need help. You’re on that computer twenty-four-seven and it’s not healthy.”
“What is this? Some sort of intervention?” I asked, incredulous.
“You never even call us anymore. You stay holed up here, just you and that dumb computer. You’re becoming a hermit, Kris. You probably don’t even read your Bible anymore,” Cheryl challenged.
“Of course I do!” I glanced sideways at the end table where I kept my Bible. There was my nephew, Dawson, scribbling in the half-inch of dust that had settled on the cover. My face heating up, I looked back at Cheryl, who raised her eyebrows, in an “I told you” sort of way.
“We’re taking it away, and that’s final,” said Ann. “Trust me. It’s for your own good.”
Cheryl and my mother held my arms while Ann unhooked the computer. I begged them to let me check my messages one last time!
My hysterical cries followed Ann as she hauled my beloved computer away...
I woke up to a mascara-stained pillow. I took a deep breath; it had only been a dream…
My computer was still there, blue light blinking in the darkness. I made my way over, fighting the familiar urge to check for messages. With a trembling hand, I reached down and turned off the power.
At the moment, another "message light" was blinking. I walked over, retrieved my Bible from the end table and blew off the dust.
My "inbox" was filled with messages from God. I knew He was waiting patiently for my response. I sank to my knees in reply, thankful that He was always in the mood to chat.
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