Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
TITLE: Walking the Valley
By Jennifer Waddell
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Erica is sitting on a bench next to the playground, overlooking a lake. She is deep in thought. Kelly arrives with her two kids and sees her friend on the bench. Her children scamper over to the playground and Kelly takes a seat beside Erica.
Kelly: Hey Erica, how are you?
Erica: (Snapping out of her trance) I’m great!
Kelly: How is Ken?
Erica: He’s great!
Kelly: Is he enjoying his new job?
Erica: Oh, it’s great!
Kelly: I heard that your mother was in the hospital, how is she doing?
Erica: She’s actually doing really great right now. Hopefully, she’ll be able to come home soon.
Kelly: That would be great!
They share a long moment of silence. Each lost in her own thoughts as they stare across the lake.
Kelly: So, do you want to talk about it?
Erica: Talk about what? Everything is great!
Kelly: (Turning to face Erica) Erica, I’m your friend and I love you.
Erica: That’s great, Kel, I really appreciate that.
Kelly: (Reaching out to touch her friend, in a soft voice) I know you.
Erica: (Looking away) I know.
Kelly: Erica, how are you?
Erica: (Close to tears) Not great.
Kelly: I’m here for you.
Erica: (In a small voice) Thank you.
Kelly: I’ll leave you alone if you want. I’m sorry I brought it up.
Kelly stands to go, but Erica’s words make her stop.
Erica: I only had 4 more months to go. (Starting to cry) I just wish I knew what I did wrong. (Pause) I feel so empty, you know?
Kelly: (Putting her arms around her friend.) Actually (Beat) I do know.
Erica: You do?
Kelly: I had a miscarriage too.
Kelly and Erica cling to each other as tears cascade from their eyes. They are united in their sorrow. At last, Erica finds her voice.
Erica: How far along were you?
Kelly: I was only 2 months.
Erica: How did you get through it? (Pause as Erica watches Kelly’s children playing on the jungle gym) How did you ever get the courage to try again?
Kelly: (Pulling a few tissues out of her purse, she hands one to Erica) I prayed to God for strength.
Erica: How did I know you would say that?
Kelly: I know it seems like the last thing you want to do.
Erica: (In a low voice) I’m done with God. (Louder) He used me as a pawn. (Almost shouting) We tried to get pregnant for 2 years! What did I do wrong?
Kelly: You didn’t do anything wrong, honey.
Erica: (Crying again) I felt so close to Him with a life growing inside me. I was a creator just like my Heavenly Daddy. Then, he literally ripped that life out of me. How could He do that?
Kelly: There’s no way that we can understand. His ways are…
Erica: (Finishing the familiar verse) higher than our ways. I know. I’ve heard that so many times, but at this point, I don’t really care what His ways are.
Kelly: What can I do for you?
Erica: (Shrugging) Just be my friend. Say it’s okay that I’m mad at God right now. Love me anyway.
Kelly: (Hugging her friend) I will, it is, and I do.
Erica: Thanks for being such a great friend.
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