Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
- TITLE: Much More Than Worthless
By Amanda Brogan
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Stacks of dishes are mounting up against me and hazardous hills of laundry are taking the offensive ‘round about the washing machine. A tactical defense is in order, but instead I raise the flag of surrender – my computer screen.
I click onto my e-mail and tap my violet fingernails on my desk, watching the number of new messages escalate.
The sound signals that the messages are finished loading.
Now what do I have here ... I wonder as I scroll through my digital mail. Deleting it ... deleting it ... ahh! Facebook notifications!
My trusty mouse leads me to the links.
Hmm, new photo comments. Let’s check ‘em out.
I click over to a picture of my cat, Freckles, to continue a conversation on how the critter got his name. Then I notice that I have a new friend request.
Who could it be?
I squeal with delight when I see the name.
“I can’t believe it! My old friend Meg found me on Facebook!”
Her face in her profile picture looks much older than I remember, but then, it has been awhile since I’ve seen her. I waste no time in confirming the request, and my fingers fly across the keyboard as I type out a private message to her.
Meg! It’s so good to hear from you! Wow, time flies doesn’t it? We aren’t kids playing tag between church pews anymore. You must be what? Around thirty now? If I recall, your birthday is just a few days after mine. :) Are you married? Do you have kids?
Message me soon!
I click back to the Freckles picture and find that I have another comment. No sooner have I typed out a response then I see a message notification. I quickly click over.
Yep, I’m thirty. I was married, but that went downhill a few years ago. Got one kid – Valerie.
I freeze, letting the information absorb into my heart and emotion seep through my fingertips.
Oh Meg! I’m so sorry. Did y-
I pause. How should I ask this?
Did you get a divorce?
I have one child too. A five-year-old named Nathan. He has his daddy’s sunshine hair and sky-blue eyes. I’ve got some pictures of him posted in my “Family” album.
Albums. That gives me an idea. While waiting for Meg’s next response, I decide to take a closer look at her page and see what pictures she may have posted.
She is only tagged in a few photos. One shows her holding little Valerie on her lap while perched on a couch, watching television. Her chin is rested atop the toddler’s head, TV light illuminating her face and the wall behind her. Something about her eyes looks deep – layered. More than just concentration on a movie. She looks ... hurt.
I view a few more pictures before another message appears.
The divorce was final recently. Don’t be sorry. The jerk and I were always fighting. Just didn’t work out.
Nathan is adorable. You and your husband look very happy together.
I’m just poising for another response when I hear the grating whimper, “Mooommmyyy! I need milk on my cereal!”
Guess Meg will have to wait.
I don’t make it back to the computer until the next day. Errands and housework kept me busy. My mouth drops as I see the latest update from Meg in my list of friend updates.
It reads: Life is so worthless! All it does is break you repeatedly until there’s nothing left. Why bother with it?
My heart pounds in my ears. My thoughts race.
Meg, you’re not worthless! I type. Every life is precious, and yours has a purpose and a meaning. It may be hard at times, but you don’t have to face it alone. Know that I am here for you ... and so is God.
“Comfort her, Lord.” My eyes close and my lips fill with prayer.
A notification interrupts my pleas to heaven. It’s a private message.
You have no idea what your comment means to me! My husband’s trying to take custody of Valerie, and I feel so hopeless. Thanks for your comfort. If you think of it ... please pray for me.
My reply is quick.
I won’t stop praying, Meg. I promise.
I learn more of her story and continue to pray over the week. One morning the update appears:
Valerie is mine!
Before battling the laundry, I shout victory in my latest message to Meg.
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