Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: QUESTION (S) (05/30/19)
TITLE: Dropped Notes
By Betty Castleberry
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Quite honestly, I never thought I’d find myself, Jessica Wilson, ever speed dating. That was for people who wanted to weed quickly through the chaff. Maybe it was even for losers, but certainly not for me. That’s what I thought until I woke up one day and realized that I was thirty-six years old and hadn’t had even a casual date in over a year. I’d never worried about that ticking biological clock thing, until I realized that my own wasn’t just ticking, it was hammering away, telling me if I ever wanted to marry and be fruitful and multiply, I should get on it.
That’s how I found myself in a community center multi-purpose room full of hopeful folks making their way around the room, asking questions of possible suitors. Yellow Suspenders was the first gentleman I spoke to. He cleared his throat nervously when I sat down. I had a few questions jotted down for everyone, but the most important one was about Jesus and their relationship, if any, with Him. Since I was new at this, I didn’t know if I should ask, “Do you go to church?” No, too broad. Asking if someone was a Christian was probably still too broad. That had too many interpretations. Maybe I could blurt out “Are you washed in the blood?’ for lack of a more refined query. It was one of my favorite hymns, so I scribbled the title down with my questions, just as a reminder. Actually, I thought I might start by asking about their work and hobbies, and a few other benign things.
Yellow Suspenders blew his nose repeatedly into a dainty flowered handkerchief. Then he said he hoped I didn’t have a problem with a forty-year-old who still lived with his parents.
Okay then, on to the next table and prospect number two. This gentleman asked if I wanted to see his “baby.” He opened his wallet and showed me a photo of a five-foot long snake. “He’s a ball python,” he announced proudly. I didn’t care if it did the laundry, cooked dinner, and laid golden eggs, it was still a snake. I couldn’t see myself hanging out with a guy who owned any kind of reptile, let alone one that was only two inches shorter than I was. I scrapped the notion of asking him any questions, not to mention the all-important one about Jesus.
Table number three was occupied by a man who immediately started telling me how he was often mistaken for Matthew McConaughey. He then said he’d even handed out a few autographs when he was feeling “ornery.” This last comment was accompanied by him wiggling his eyebrows up and down and a knowing smile. I couldn’t see the resemblance myself but elected not to burst his bubble. Instead, I asked him his favorite flavor of ice cream. When he said he was a vegan and never ate dairy, I knew it was time to move on.
In fact, I was about ready to call it a night and go home. It didn’t appear that speed dating was for me. When I got to the door and reached for the handle, I dropped the notes I was holding.
Before I could retrieve them, a handsome man had done it for me. “I believe you dropped these.”
“Oh, thank you,” I said, quickly pocketing them. Wow, he had gorgeous brown eyes.
“I was just leaving,” he said. “This doesn’t seem to be my thing.”
“Mine either.” I decided to be bold and reached out to shake his hand. His grip was gentle but firm. “I’m Jessica.”
“Nice to meet you, Jessica. I’m Jeffrey.” We stood awkwardly for a moment. “So, are you?” he asked.
He pointed to the pocket where I had stashed my notes. “I saw one of your questions. Are you washed in the blood?”
I smiled sheepishly. “Oh, that. As a matter of fact, I am. Are you?”
“My garments are spotless. White as snow. Saved when I was fifteen. And I love the hymn, too.” He studied me for a moment. “If you haven’t had dinner, I know a great Mexican place right down the block.
“That sounds nice.” I had a feeling it was going to be a great evening after all.
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