Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)
- TITLE: The Confrontation
By Ellen Abragar
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I prepared myself for this moment dozens of times in my head. Angela and James’ mom never liked me since the day I started dating their father. Glenn shared stories about their many arguments over the children and about all the yelling and the verbal abuse toward him. It’s been eight years since they separated, and she had not changed one bit. Did I know this before I made a commitment to Glenn? Yes, I did. But Glenn’s strength became mine. My insider knowledge about her prepared me for whatever she tried to do.
Like this very moment. Due to miscommunication on her part, as always, their mom decides that she wants to pick the kids up from school after she and Glenn agreed that we would take them for the evening, at her request. Coincidentally, we arrive at the same time she does. She unfortunately witnesses Angela giving me a big hug because she and James were so surprised to see us. Their mom yells, “Angie!” and Angela immediately lets go of me like a dog obeying its master.
The sight of her paralyzes me for a second because I do not expect to see her. Her profanity reaches my ears and snaps me back to reality. She yells, “I am their mother! You can’t replace me!” I motion for Glenn and the kids to go in the car. He knows better because I think he prepared for this moment himself.
I remain calm for a while. Then she does something I do not expect. She starts attacking my own daughter, the child that Glenn and I have together. She brings my innocent little girl into her business, describing her with terrible words. I begin to feel defensive. The kids’ mom has no right to drag my daughter into this.
My pulse quickens. Sweat beads form along the hairline of my forehead. My head fills with the same words she used. My mind replays the image of me pinning her to the ground. I have to show her that she can’t mess with me and my family.
Suddenly, I start to fall into the dark place that only the kids’ mom can take me. When I let her into my system, I enter that place. It makes me feel ugly, negative, and insecure. I become a person that I do not like. I become like her.
I am ready to give her a piece of my mind and avenge my daughter. I am ready to defend myself both verbally and physically. She has to pay, and pay dearly for the person that she is.
I am about to open my mouth when suddenly, I hear a voice. "Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin (Proverbs 13:3)." For a moment, I am stunned. Then the voice speaks again. "Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end (Proverbs 29:11)." I try to make sense of what I’m hearing. Then I look in the car, and I see my family waiting for me with worried eyes and my one-year-old daughter playing in the back seat oblivious to everything. Right then, I know what I have to do.
Calmness quickly comes over me. By this time, the kids’ mom is in my personal space, yelling at the top of her lungs and repeating every profanity and insult she can think of. I stare at her, but this time with eyes of pity. I suddenly feel sorry for her because I realize she is a very unhappy woman. I guess I would be too if my children didn’t want to be with me. So I let her continue yelling for what felt like an eternity.
Then, she stops.
She seems to be waiting for me for say something. Usually she doesn’t allow anyone to speak a word. But she waits and glares at me intently.
“Are you done?” I ask her.
Surprised, she replies, “Y-yes.”
“So do you feel better?”
Still stunned, she says, “Yeah, I guess.”
“Good for you, I’m glad,” I say. And with that I walk to the car with a smile on my face.
I look at Glenn and say to him, “Let’s go home.”
*Names have been changed.
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