Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRUST (07/21/16)
TITLE: Naomi's Suitors
By Leola Ogle
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If sorrow could be packaged to sell, Naomi would have cornered the market on it. According to her, life had been nothing but sorrow. The good times in her life outnumbered the bad, but she was so focused on the bad, she never acknowledged the good.
One of her favorite sayings was, “If tears could fill an ocean, there’d be an ocean named Naomi.”
It was a tale as old as humanity. Naomi got dumped at the altar when she was twenty years old. Her fiancé, William, just up and left her high and dry. Moved off to the big city where choices for a wife were better than what he could find in the little Podunk town of Tillerman. Or, so said William.
Townsfolk called him Slick Willie. He could charm a grizzly bear into being a household pet. He considered himself to be the butter and honey on a warm biscuit. His smooth talk was slipperier than tabloid gossip.
The town sheriff said, “Small town living was never good enough for Slick Willie. He always had his sights on something better. He thought he was too good to marry Naomi and settle down here. He kept saying Naomi pressured him to get married.”
Naomi would never trust a man again. Never. Ever. Again.
But she wanted a husband. She prayed for a husband. She would show William and everyone that she was desirable.
It was a paradox of grand proportion. For how can you get a husband if you don’t trust men?
She kept praying, and we know God answers prayer. However, her trust issues found something wrong with every man God sent her way.
She was twenty-five when Aaron came a-courting. Nope, she wasn’t interested. He was shorter than her and she wasn’t bending over to kiss any man.
Brady became smitten with thirty-year-old Naomi. She sent him packing. Brady had the most annoying habit of clinking a spoon against the side of the cup, incessantly stirring his coffee. It drove her bonkers – she actually slapped him.
She was thirty-five when Arnold declared he loved her. She turned him away. She certainly couldn’t trust a man who was divorced, could she?
At forty, widower Jerry showed up at her door asking to date her. She wasn’t about to trust a man who obviously only wanted a mother for his kids. It was tempting because his kids were so cute. But she was sure Jerry would toss her away like torn underwear when the kids were grown and gone.
She was forty-five when Bobby announced he was willing to end her spinster status. She wasn’t interested. Surely there must be something wrong with a grown man who wanted to be called by the boyish Bobby version of his name instead of Bob or Robert. Who could trust a boy-man?
At fifty, Henry, Tom, and Donald tried wooing her. She was suspicious of their motives – convinced they were after her money. It made no difference that she had no money.
On Naomi’s fifty-fifth birthday, Sam dropped on one knee and announced he had loved her for years. She laughed until Sam’s face turned red with humiliation. She wouldn’t believe the words of a man who took decades to declare his love.
At sixty, little old decrepit Matthew came a-calling. He feebly tottered up her sidewalk and onto her porch to ring her doorbell. “No sense in both of us living alone. Marry me, Naomi.”
Matthew’s proposal left her so depressed she cried for a week. She railed at God for William being a scoundrel who left her at the altar. She railed at God for not answering her prayer for a husband.
Shortly after Matthew’s proposal, Naomi awoke one morning with a song in her heart. The sun was glorious, birds rustled the leaves with their serenade, the cat purred as he rubbed against Naomi’s leg, and the breeze coming in the kitchen window caressed Naomi’s cheeks with hope.
She finally opened her heart to trust. For all the years Sam was her neighbor, he had showered her with kindness. She decided she should give him a chance. Perhaps he was speaking truth when he said he loved her.
Today was the day. The whole town turned out for the wedding.
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