Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)
TITLE: Amy's Choice
By Steve Clark
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Reluctantly, she got out of the car, locking it. Filling the meter for two hours, she checked her watch. Five minutes yet. She shuffled slowly down the sidewalk toward the entrance, alone.
In her mind she carried the concerns of her parents, her future, and her fiancée. They weighed heavy on her and pushed her from behind, but something else was fighting them. She knew she had to do this. “It is best,” she convinced herself, adding, “Or, is it?” Not wanting to re-open the debate she had already exhausted, she pressed onward, saying aloud, “God help me.”
Still lost in the soup of her emotions, Amy neared the door. The address was correct, but the only sign was on the inside of the glass door, just above the handle. It said “Enter.”
The word caught in her mind like a log that turns sideways in the river, jamming the others. “Enter,” she repeated in her mind as if choosing a melon in the market. “Enter what? What am I entering?” The more she thought about the word, the more it seemed to lead toward a cave, a cavern of shadowy mystery. It was like seeing a nightmare coming toward you before you were actually in it.
Shaking off the fear as “a normal part of the procedure,” just as her mother had said, Amy took a step toward the door. As she reached her hand toward the handle her eyes caught the sign again. “Enter.” Her hand recoiled as if reaching for a cookie sheet and suddenly remembering it had just come out of the oven.
This was not as easy to do as her mom had told her it would be. Once again she said aloud, “God help me.” Standing there on the sidewalk, trying to do the right thing, she really wanted God’s help.
"Enter." Again the image of a deepening dusk came over her. Nightfall, it seemed. Her feet were anchored in the mire of her struggle. They wouldn’t move. “Please Lord, give me a sign,” she prayed. “Show me what path to take.”
Immediately her feet were free. She walked up to the door, swung it open with great resolve and marched inside. It looked like any other waiting room with styrofoam ceiling panels, fluorescent lights, and an array of chairs with people in some of them. Approaching the receptionist’s counter she was told to sign-in. She picked-up the pen. As she poised the tip near the paper, the lights went out.
In that moment, when the air conditioning fans wound to a stop amidst the silence of people pausing to realize what had happened, Amy remembered the silence in the car. She looked around. Everything was dark – except the glass door. In an instant her body sprang to action. Dodging furniture and people, she headed for the door as if chased by demons. As her hand rammed the push-bar, her eyes caught the reverse side of the door sign. “Exit.” As the door swung open she thought with crystal clarity, “Exit? You bet, baby.”
She danced her way up the sidewalk, skipping and even throwing in a couple twirls. Her joy was immense. It surged through her. She laughed. She was a healthy young woman with her whole life ahead of her.
She opened the car door, got in, and sat there a moment to gather what had just happened. Some people may reject her for this decision, and she was willing to accept that. She may end up on her own, but she wouldn’t be alone. Her Holy Father had come through for her. He told her what path to take and she was now sure He would always be there when she needed Him.
She turned the key and the engine roared to life. “Life,” she thought. “What a good thing.” Sitting in her parked car with a big, uncontainable grin on her face, Amy stared years down the road, and said, “I’m going to be a mother.”
As tears of joy welled in her eyes she corrected herself. “No. I AM a mother.”
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