Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IMís, etc) (11/04/10)
- TITLE: Must Love Crosswords
By Colin Nielsen
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The impatient cursor blinked. I closed my eyes and groaned.
Ok, skip that field. Let's go onto something easier.
Weight: Guess I was 56kg once upon a time.
Age: Never you mind.
"Hey Mum, what's a word for something hard to deal with, starts with 'a', and contains seven letters?" said Katie, my crossword wiz.
"That's what I thought but there has to be an 's' in the middle."
"Really?" I said, a small smile crept across my face.
"Mum, have you been filling in my crossword again? You rat." Katie jumped up, ran to my small writing desk, wrapped her arms around me, and squeezed hard. I chuckled.
"Just helping you finish, darling."
It was a joke we shared. She'd start the crossword, I'd slip in a wrong word, and it would take her days to find it. Some might have considered it cruel. But oh the achievement and joy in her eyes made it worthwhile. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. It's a lesson I had learned well.
"So, what's this?", she said glancing at the web page.
I grabbed the top and pulled down quickly.
"Not for you. Go away Katie," I said sternly.
"Oh Secrets. Now you have to tell," she said, trying to pry the screen out of my determined fingers.
"No!" I snapped just a little too loudly. Katie picked up on my darkening mood and returned to her crossword without a word.
I hated yelling. Never solved anything. Happened far less these days now that the black cloud over our house had started to lift. But it wasn't always easy raising a strong-willed ten-year-old alone.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to snap. Forgive me?" I said, hoping I hadn't hurt her.
Katie tilted her head up and peered at me through her bifocals. It always made me laugh.
"Why of course, Mother," she said in an unbelievable awful English accent.
I flipped the laptop open and returned to the page.
Interests: Walks along the beach. Reading. Lord, what on Earth am I doing?
My mobile rang. I closed the laptop and wandered outside into the warm sunshine.
" Amanda, had a feeling I'd hear from you."
"Have you done it yet?"
"Anyone ever tell you your a nag."
"Just my husband when he thinks I'm out of earshot. So, have you sent the application yet?"
"Doing it right now. Still not sure about this you know."
"You're kidding. It's been six years. Tim would want you to move on," she said.
I missed Tim. Every so often I think about him. What would our lives have been had a motorbike accident not tore him away from us. I missed his touch. His smile. His desire. He made me feel alive.
"What about Katie. Am I being selfish? I don't want to replace her father."
"Nor should you. But don't you think he'd want you to be happy?"
"You're right. It's just so hard. I don't want to hurt her."
"Listen girlfriend, I've got to go. I'll call back in an hour and If you have not sent that email application form thing, I'm going to come over there personally and kick your butt."
I shook my head and went back inside. Katie had gone.
I read the screen and fear smothered me.
Thank you for your application. A copy has been sent to your email.
Katie! Girl you are so dead.
I quickly opened my email. Two messages waited for me. One from Katie and one from the web dating site. I opened the email from the site and skipped down to where I had trouble completing the field. Katie had filled it out.
Tell the potential suitors about yourself:
My life is a book to be completed. I've travelled through some dark, cold valleys and witnessed some glorious peaks on which I've wanted to stay forever. If you're interested in sharing the next chapter and climbing the next peak, then I'm waiting for you, but only if you love crosswords.
Then I opened the one from my daughter.
Mum. Hope your not too upset. I was just helping you finish it. I knew you'd probably would talk yourself out of it. I think your dating is a fantastic idea. It's been too long. I want to see you laugh like you used to. I want to see the light shining in your eyes again.
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