Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: It Would Have Been Enough
By Gerald Shuler
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âGrandma?â She touched the grave stone as she read the inscription.
âGrandma, why does Mamaâs marker say âIt would have been enoughâ?â
The old woman tensed briefly but then put a frail, loving arm around the childâs shoulder. âI guess itâs time, Gail. Youâve gotten old enough to know about your Mama.â She bit her lower lip softly, but then added "And your Daddy."
Carolyn took her motherâs tattered coat and placed it in the closet next to her own new mink stole. âThanks for coming, Mama. I just changed Gailâs diaper and she's already been fed. Hopefully he wonât be keeping us out too late tonight.â She smiled weakly. "If it does get late just curl up in one of the spare bedrooms."
âDonât fret yourself over it, Carolyn. Weâll be fine âtil you get back.â
âI wish I didnât have to go at all.â Carolynâs eyes darted quickly toward the bedroom door, still closed as her husband continued getting ready. She lowered her voice to a whisper. âHe always drinks too much at these company thingsâŚâ Her lower lip quivered slightly. âand you know what that means.â
âThen why go?â
âYou know Jack. If he says go, I go.â She looked at the baby resting quietly in her bassinet. âBesides, Mama, itâs the price I have to pay to give Gail a future.â
âHog wash. I know I donât have much compared to all thisâŚâ Her arm did a panoramic sweep of the lavish surroundings. ââŚthis stuff.â She looked directly into her daughterâs eyes with all the tenderness she could muster. âCarolyn, getting yourself beat up every time your husband takes the notion isnât love.â She shook her head in disgust. âThat isnât love at all. For the life of me, I donât understand what keeps you here.â
âYou know why I stay, Mama.â Carolyn reached for her mink stole and absent-mindedly adjusted her diamond studded necklace. âYou believe the love of Jesus is enough to keep you going. For me it just wouldnât be enough. I donât need love. I need Jack. I need the lifestyle he can give me.â
The elder lady had heard her daughter talk like this before. Still, it crushed her to hear it again.
Carolyn saw the hurt in her motherâs eyes. If only there was a way to have what her mother had without losing everything else. Being able to feel love again would be nice but she knew better than to hope. Someday, though. Maybe someday.
â Mama, if there was any other way Iâd leave him in an instant.â
Jackâs bedroom door slammed loudly and both women gasped.
âYouâd leave me in an instant, huh?â The frigid coldness in his voice pierced both their hearts with emotionless daggers. âGet your coat on. Weâre late.â Jack forced his way past mother and daughter, heading directly for the front door.
Carolyn fell in step and followed behind him. She turned and looked at her mother. Tears refused to fall but only because fear had built a dam to hold them back. When Jack was out the door and out of sight she looked back at her mother and silently mouthed the words âIâll leave him tonight. Get Gail out of here.â
And then she was gone.
âThat was the last time I saw your mother alive.â The old woman hugged her granddaughter again. âTheir car was found at the bottom of a ravine late that night and the police said your father was so drunk he probably didnât see the curve in the road. I want you to know, though, blood tests showed that your mother hadnât had a drop to drink.â
There was a long silence before Gail finally spoke. âGrandma?â
âDo you think Mama finally trusted Jesus enough to understand?â
âUnderstand what, Dear?â
âIt would have been enough.â
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