Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BUG (04/06/17)
TITLE: Dogs, Spiders, And A Man Named Jonathan
By Leola Ogle
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First, some things you need to know. I have twins, Kyle and Katelyn. I’m a single mom. My husband, David, went to Heaven when our twins were six-years-old. Not heaven where God dwells – to a co-worker named Heaven.
How could someone named Heaven do something as dastardly as steal my husband?
The first year, I prayed David would wake up and come to his senses. The only waking up he did was next to Heaven each morning. The second year, I was ready to move on and date. But I was nervous. It was like foreign territory – dating again. So I prayed.
Which brings me to another thing you need to know. I’m scared of insects. Terrified of bugs of any kind. So is Katelyn. Kyle – not at all. He snickers when we scream in the presence of bugs. We don’t just scream. We get hysterical. This tidbit is important to my story.
Another thing you need to know. Jonathan. Pitter-patter goes my heart. He’s the reason I decided to move on after David went to Heaven. Jonathan and I had both been single for two years when his daughter, Emma, and Katelyn became best friends. Jonathan’s wife had cancer and went to heaven – the real heaven.
I hoped Jonathan was ready to move on, and if so, I prayed it would be with me. How to make him notice me as something besides Katelyn’s mother would take some doing. I was a bit rusty in flirting and coquettish behavior.
Jonathan and his daughters, Emma and four-year-old Cecelia, didn’t go to church. So, I invited him to ours. For the sake of the girls. After all, Katelyn and Emma were best friends.
He came a few times, but mostly the girls would go if I picked them up. I was happy to do it – anything to be near Jonathan.
When Katelyn’s soccer team sold scented candles as a fundraiser, Jonathan ordered one. When they came in, I decided to deliver his. And a chocolate cake. Homemade. Because Emma told Katelyn that chocolate cake was her dad’s favorite.
Katelyn and I went to his house mid-morning on Saturday. Kyle waited in the car. I had the glass-jar candle in one hand and the cake in the other. Katelyn rang the doorbell. When Jonathan answered the door, I knew I was in love. The man had on an apron. An apron! I’d never owned an apron.
He smiled, hollered over his shoulder, “Emma. Cecelia. Come say hello.” To me he said, “They’re cleaning their rooms.”
Like a scene from a horror movie, I spotted the spider web above our heads as Jonathan’s girls walked up. A spider dropped on Katelyn’s arm the same time one landed on my wrist. We screamed in unison– a shriek that would curl your hair. Mama spider must’ve been having a “how-to-weave-a-web” party because there were a dozen spiders.
Okay, there were three, but still...
The candle dropped and shattered, and the cake went flying just as the door flew open and Jojo, the dog, took off with Cecelia running after him. Katelyn and I took flight while my mind registered that Jonathan was trying to hold back the other dog, Jack, and yelling at me, “Hurry, Heather. Grab Cecelia for me.”
The man thought I was chasing after his daughter and not on a fear-flight to my car, so I angled in the direction of Cecelia. My brain acknowledged that Jojo had stopped three houses down, taking a poo in the neighbor’s yard. When Cecelia got there and grabbed for the dog, she slid in the poo, her feet flew up, and she landed in the middle of poo.
Jojo was resting on his haunches when I reached them. I scooped Cecelia up before I realized she was covered in dog poo which made my arms streaked with.... Chocolate cake?
I was glued to the spot as a thousand scenarios ran through my mind. It took a few seconds to hear the buzzing of bees? Flies? Wasps? It made no difference. It was insects. A squeal quivered from my lips. I turned to run and smacked into Jonathan.
“Whew! You two stink.” Then he laughed and called me his hero. He said he fell in love with me – smeared with dog poo.
And that’s the true story of how Jonathan asked me to marry him six months later.
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