Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)
- TITLE: Relief
By Lori Othouse
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Thoughts, fragments really, sift in and out of my mind like commuters through a revolving door. Sometimes I see the whole image, sometimes just bits and pieces. No matter what I remember, though, it’s all ugliness. Stupid, selfish actions that are no one’s fault but my own. I thought I was good, protected somehow from the temptations around me just because I wore the label of “Christian”. The correct description would be “self-righteous”. It’s what I had become, only I never knew it until it was too late.
2:17 pm, January 14
I just got off the phone with Krista, my old college roommate. She’s in town for the weekend and wants to get together tomorrow night. No problem, except I remember how we were, how I was, back then. I know a night out with her means hitting the bar. Not that I have to drink, it just may be difficult to explain how much my life has changed since then. I suppose she would understand, and I sure would enjoy a night out. I told her I would let her know.
4:36 pm, January 15
It’s not easy being a leader’s wife in a large church. So much constant expectation…from all these people that don’t even know you. Always having to say the right thing, dress the right way, remember the name and life story of every person you’ve ever been introduced to. I try so hard to be all those things, to be what I think I should be. Or maybe it’s what everyone else thinks I should be. I don’t even remember anymore. All I know is I need some relief. My husband has a leader’s meeting tonight and my daughter is going out with some church friends. It’s the perfect opportunity. I told Krista it was a go. We’re meeting at Rocco’s at 6:00.
6:21 pm, January 15
I knew we would end up sitting at the bar. It’s funny, I feel a certain kind of freedom in being with Krista again. Like someone who knows me but doesn’t care how I’m dressed or what I say. Something I haven’t felt in a while, actually, and it feels wonderful. I mention church, but she just nods like I mentioned going to the mall. She just ordered what used to be my favorite drink, an Amaretto Sour. After offering me one, I politely refuse, but I can see that look in her eyes. I used to look at people that way. I suppose just a sip wouldn’t hurt.
8:46 pm, January 15
Blinking up at the neon beer signs, I smile. I haven’t felt this relaxed in years! Krista and I are laughing like a couple of schoolgirls over everything and nothing. I feel that peace I’ve been missing. It’s a good feeling. Suddenly, another feeling overcomes me…I need to find a bathroom, fast. I stand up a little too quickly and Krista has to catch me before I fall in a heap. We decide we better go together, which for some reason seems extremely funny. Holding each other and singing our college fight song, we make our way down the aisle when I lose my balance again and have to grab a table for support. Looking up to apologize, I freeze. I blink several times in disbelief as I focus on my daughter’s horrified face. Sitting with her at the table were three of her friends and our Pastor’s wife.
5:58 pm, January 16
The worst part is…I don’t even know what the worst part is. Forever ruining my testimony to my roommate, the enormous humiliation and wretched example to my daughter and her friends, what might happen to my husband’s position within the church…irreparable damage done to the people I care about most. All for a little relief that I though I deserved.
7:09 pm, January 16
I’ve been sitting and staring and thinking and thinking and thinking and I have only one conclusion. I would give everything I own to go back and live yesterday over again. But the bottom line is, I can’t. It’s done. It’s over. And I just have to live with it somehow. Maybe someday things will be okay again. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
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