Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: Swept off My Feet--I Don't Think So!
By Verna Cole Mitchell
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What a torment he was when we were in junior high school! He would scare me to death if I went out in the yard at night by sneaking up on me and shouting in my ear. He pelted me with snowballs in the winter and pushed me in the lake in the summer. He hid behind the shrubbery to listen when my girlfriends and I were whispering and then told the other boys our secrets. He made fun of me when I tried to walk in my first high heels.
Later when we were in high school, and Jerry was the star quarterback on our football team, I was disgusted by the gaggle of girls who trotted after him like little geese following their mama. “Oh Lizzie,” they would sigh, “you don’t know how lucky you are to live next door and see him every day!” They acted like he was some big movie star!
We have never quite become friends, not enemies like when we were kids, but, for sure, not friends. I always laughed at the boy-next-door stories I read, where the bratty neighbor suddenly became a romantic figure.
It’s hard to imagine two people more different than we are. He is the athlete; I’m the reader who spends hours writing in my journal. He is the one with a whole tribe of friends while I have a few close ones. With a ready joke, he makes everyone laugh; I am more serious. About the only thing we have in common, besides our being neighbors, is our belief in God. We were in the same Sunday School classes and youth groups at church, where we grew stronger in our faith.
Then something funny happened last night. I came home from college for Christmas vacation, and I just happened to run into Jerry in his driveway. Now he has a toothpaste-ad smile, but all I could see was that gap-toothed grin of my former tormenter. His brown eyes twinkle with the same mischief that used to make me so mad when we were young. With him was a beautiful blond, holding onto his arm like she was afraid he’d get away. We talked for a few minutes, and he introduced me to his friend, Missy. I can tell you there were no green eyed monsters bothering me. She was welcome to him!
Later last night when I was having my devotions, I read in Jeremiah about God’s plan for His people. Since I want His plan for my life, I prayed that I’d know just what that is. Then the strangest thing happened. As I was looking at the Bible, all I could see was Jerry’s face. I shook my head to clear the image, but he kept appearing right there on that page. I thought, “Surely, this is just a trick of my mind. This couldn’t be a message from God. No way!” I closed the Bible and climbed into bed, but I couldn’t sleep. All I could see was that smile of Jerry’s and those liquid brown eyes just dancing. I finally got to sleep, but when I woke up and opened my eyes, there was that same face, imprinted on my ceiling. I told my mom about this picture I couldn’t get out of my head, and she just laughed. She said, “Your dad and I have always thought you and Jerry would make a fine couple.”
“Oh Mom!” I said, “Jerry would never think of me like that; anyway, he already has a girlfriend.”
Later this afternoon, there was a knock on the door. Jerry stood there with this odd look on his face. “Liz, can we talk? You’ll never believe the pictures in my mind that I’ve been having when I’ve tried to pray lately.”
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