Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: Finding Sam
By Stanley McMahon
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Sam was sitting on the last step of the stairs waiting for the phone to ring. He was drumming his fingers against the side of the cold coffee cup and staring into space. He had been sitting there for some time, not really registering how much time was passing. He was beyond that. Time had become irrelevant. It was all down to the phone call now. That’s what would decide his future. That’s what would help him clear his head and get some direction.
Only two months before he had been reflecting on how well things were going in his life. He had everything he had ever dreamed of. He had ticked every box. A beautiful home and a beautiful family that was his pride and joy. That had in a very short time become the focal point of his problems. He was losing them. And it was all his fault.
“If only I had listened to Bill. He had seen it coming.” Sam reprimanded himself as he went over and over again in his mind how the whole thing had to come to a head.
Sam had been so devoted to his work, so taken up with all that was going on around him that he hadn’t noticed the tell-tale signs of family neglect. The thing that really got to him was the fact that he had taught others the same thing. He had held seminars, conferences, family getaways and pastors’ retreats sharing from his heart and his experience and from a large repertoire of witticisms and illustrations. His popularity, his success as a much-loved speaker had become a noose around the neck of his private life.
When Tricia had finally exploded into the staff meeting and slapped Sam fully on the face he knew that it was his turn to wake up and smell the stench of the three hurting humans who had stuck with him and supported him through everything.
Tricia had gone to her mum’s for a week just to get away. She had taken the boys out of school and left Sam to dream up an excuse.
Now as he waited by the phone he pondered the imponderable. How quickly, how silently, how unannounced had come his demise. The helper had become the helpless. It was time to regroup, re-evaluate and redirect his life.
The phone rang. “Hello honey. Yes, she’s gone to her mum’s place. Do you want to come over for a chat?”
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