Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Happily ever after?
By Tiffanie Chezum
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The delight in Jenny’s chestnut eyes warmed my senses, her embrace, her fragrance, mesmerized me. “I had a wonderful time tonight,” she kissed me.
Flushing heat rushed to my cheeks, “Me, too.” Images of dancing and frivolity hung fresh in my mind, I couldn’t stop the grin that spread across my face. “See you in school … Monday?”
“Sure,” she buried her nose into her corsage. “Thank you, it’s beautiful.”
My heart raced, jubilance coursed through my veins. We shared one more hug, “Good night.”
Where’s it gone?
“No, I mean it, Jenny” I was unable to look away from her beautiful gaze, “I wann’a get married.”
Astonishment mirrored in her eyes. “You’re …” she gasped, wiping away tears, “you’re serious?”
I nodded, my heart palpitating with anticipation.
“Of course … yes,” she grasped my trembling hands, “yes, yes, yes!”
The special times we shared.
She chased some peas around the plate with a fork, her stare distant and distracted.
“Honey, are you going to eat it or just rearrange it?” I chuckled, putting another piece of beef in my mouth.
In stunned silence she gawked at me. Her eyes grew wide, moisture dampened her lashes.
Her lips quivered, “I went to the doctor.”
“What’s wrong?” trepidation filled my mind.
“I’m pregnant … I’m sorry, I know we weren’t …”
Astonished, I dropped my fork. “Don’t be sorry,” elation overwhelmed me. “That’s wonderful! The best news you could give me.”
We used to spend so much time together.
The phone rang for the third time, “C’mon babe, pick it up.”
“Hello?” Jenny answered with an anxious tone.
“I did it. I got the job,” I could not contain the euphoria in my voice. “We don’t have to live in the apartment anymore. We can afford that house, like we always dreamed of.”
“That’s fantastic! I’m so proud of you,” her voice spiked with excitement.
“We’ll go celebrate tonight, the three of us. Wherever you and Shelby want to go.”
When did it change?
“No, honey, I’m sorry. I have to work late again.”
“But Shelby’s school play’s tonight,” her voice sagged with disappointment.
“I’ll take her for a special day this weekend.”
“I thought we were going to spend some family time … the three of us, together.”
“If I’m going to get this promotion I have to prove I want it. If I don’t make some sacrifice Schmidt will take it from me.”
“Fine, just fine,” her voice wavered.
“A little more time, we’ll have everything we’ve always wanted.”
I worked hard … so hard.
All I wanted was a better life for us.
I locked the latch on my suitcase, “It’s only a week.”
“Why can’t someone else go?” Jenny sat on the edge of the bed.
“This is my big opportunity. If I can pull this off I could be made region manager,” I kissed her cheek.
“Is this what you really want?”
“I’ve worked my entire career for this,” frustration built within me.
“We hardly see each other anymore,” misty eyed she turned away.
“Shelby’s going to graduate soon. Can we afford a big name college on what I make?” I cupped her chin in my hand, wiping a tear with my thumb. “It’s only a week.”
I’ve got everything I ever wanted. But I’m not happy.
Did it just leave? Or did I push it away?
“You wrecked the car? The Beemer?” Anger engulfed my senses, “What were you thinking? I have a new client tomorrow, what am I supposed to do now?”
Jenny collapsed into her chair and buried her face into her hands, “I’m sorry.”
“I’ve worked my tail off so we can live in comfort, so we can be happy, and what do you do?” I exhaled with exasperation, “I can’t believe you would be so careless. This could cost me a big contract.”
“I wish you’d never gotten that job,” her cheeks smeared with watery mascara.
“This job is going to let me retire early.”
“What’s happened to you?” drops continued streaming down her face. “You’ve changed … you’re never satisfied anymore,”
“I’ve done this all for you. So you … so we could be happy, live the life that we dreamed.”
“I don’t need this life … the car, the house. All I need is you,” she gasped, sobbing, “what you used to be.”
I’ve done the unthinkable, the unforgivable … I’ve stolen our joy.
How can I get it back?
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