Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
By Holly Westefeld
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When the only reply was a resounding plop on Dee's bed, Grace turned from her book and paper strewn desk and saw her friend sprawled, with her face buried in her pillow.
"That bad?" Grace queried. Dee's chestnut ringlets shook, ever so slightly.
"One of your other finals?" Grace tried again. Again, a subtle shake of the head.
"I don't mean to pry, Dee. Just let me know if you need an ear." As Grace turned back to the diagrams and lists she was reviewing for her anatomy exam, Dee began sobbing convulsively.
In a flash, Grace knelt by Dee's bed, a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Lord, help me know what to do or say, she pleaded silently.
Finally, Dee's muffled voice stammered, "S-S-Sam b-broke up with m-me."
"Oh, Dee, I'm so sorry! That's hard anytime, but a really lousy thing to do in the middle of finals!"
Dee continued quivering under Grace's hand. "W-We had t-talked about getting m-married after he g-graduated and found a j-job." Grace squeezed her shoulder gently. A note of bitterness crept into Dee's voice. "Well, he's got a job lined up alright, on the west coast, and says he doesn't want to be tied down to someone two thousand miles away."
"Why would he even apply for a position so far away, if he didn't want to try to maintain a long-distance relationship?"
"Because they offered him the most money, and for Sam, the bottom line is the bottom line."
"I'm so sorry!" Grace repeated.
Dee scrunched over onto her side, swiping at her tears with the back of her hand. Grace let her hand fall to the covers, as Dee scrutinized her face. "Grace, I've been so wrapped up in Sam that I haven't been a very good friend, but I believe I can trust you, and I've got to talk to somebody. The loss of what I thought were mutual dreams isn't the half of it."
A deep sigh threatened another flood of tears. "I guess I'd better start at the beginning."
"As you know, we met at that first dance, and have been inseparable ever since. He was charming, funny, and good-looking, and so smart. My first mistake was when he suggested relocating our German tutoring sessions from the library to his room, "so we won't disturb other students," he claimed. The problem was that his roommate went home most weekends, and we ended up studying each other more than we studied German. You must have noticed that I never came in some Saturday nights."
"Needless to say, those weren't weeks I showed my face at church, even though things weren't quite as bad as you probably suspected. I even resolved, a couple of times, that we would study elsewhere, but Sam gave me those puppy-dog eyes and whined that I didn't love and trust him. Never mind him; I shouldn't have trusted myself! Things got out of hand early in March, and poof, that which I had always said I would save for my husband, was gone. I haven't been back in his room since. I tried to tell myself that since we were talking about marriage, it wasn't so bad, but I knew better."
Dee's eyes pooled once more, and overflowed as Grace took her hand. "My period was due over Spring break, but never came. The test was positive. When we got back, we went for a long walk. To make a long walk short, he said that he would still like to marry me, but children would have to wait. This could not be our first child, for all the "obvious" reasons."
Dee began shaking once again, as she wept uncontrollably. "I was so stupid! How could I believe that someone who would expect me to kill his child would keep his promise to marry me and have children later?"
Grace put an arm around Dee's shuddering shoulders. "Dee, I know you're struggling with a heap of guilt right now, but I want you to remember that Jesus still forgives, and heals broken hearts. Would you like for me to pray with you?"
"Y-Yes, but I sure w-wish I had n-never crossed that boundary of total privacy, even if S-Sam had broken up then. There would have been nothing in need of f-forgiveness, and only a tiny hole to mend, rather than a fully broken heart to bind together now."
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