Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FRESH START (01/05/17)
TITLE: Man of My Dreams
By Holly Westefeld
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Perhaps it is time for a fresh start. There must be a real man of my dreams out there somewhere.
I tap "download" on a popular dating app, and begin browsing the profiles. All the ones with photos are good looking. I wonder, though, if they are real pictures, or just nice images captured from the internet. At the same time, I speculate what those sans picture are hiding. I'm not sure I want someone who is intent on looking like a gym ad model, but I don't want a slob either.
Reading profiles muddles things even more. Do I even really know what my ideal man would look like now, or only the under current of disappointment that has been tugging at me lately?
The notification pops up for my daily devotional, but I swipe it away. Shane rarely attends church with us anymore. Wouldn't God want me to be with someone who would give Him the time of day? Doesn't He want me to be happy?
Lena wakes from her nap, and we need to go get Troy from school, so I close the app and pack up supplies for the afternoon, snacks, drinks, diapers, etc.
We arrive at the soccer field, and Troy dashes off to join his teammates, while I attempt to corral Lena on the bleachers. Glancing longingly at a handful of dads in the stands, I try to recall the last time that Shane made the effort to show up for a game.
Shane pops in for dinner, but ducks back out to the gym, leaving bath and bedtime to me again. Can't he see the longing in Troy's eyes when he asks if he'll be there to read him story and tuck him in?
Kids off to their own dreamland, I resume looking at profiles. Most of them blather about how much fun they are, what music and movies they like, what leisure activities they are seeking companionship for, and some even so brash as to brag about more intimate details. Nobody admits to working hard, except at the gym, which is certainly not a draw for me. I don't know if they don't want to admit to being workaholics, or don't want women interested in them for possible money.
I flick the app closed and open sudoku as I hear the door from the garage earlier than expected. Shane spots me in the family room and joins me on the futon. I stay focused on the screen until he brushes my cheek with his fingertips.
"Lensy, can we talk?"
My stomach does a somersault. "About what?"
"Us? Is there really an "us" anymore?"
"That's what I want to talk about."
He gazes at me steadily, and I try not to be affected by his warm brown eyes, but they still can make me feel like warm fudge.
"I saw Todd at the gym tonight, and..."
"He told me that Liz had left him for some guy she met online. He probed about whether I am being the husband you need and deserve. I gather, from your response, that you may not be sure I am still the man of your dreams. I hope and pray that you will forgive me, and that we can make a fresh start."
I shrug. "Actions speak louder than words. We'll see."
He sighs, and nods. "I will do my best. That's all anyone can do."
When he heads for the shower, I delete the app.
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