Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAMOUS (02/27/20)
TITLE: I Am She
By Terry R A Eissfeldt
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Glancing at my watch an expletive escapes my lips before I can catch it. I better get control of my tongue before I reach the Christian High School for my daughter’s performance. I’m ten minutes away. Curtain in five.
My exit appears. I gear down. A red light stops me. I conger my celebrity power willing it to turn. Even though I’m a superstar in the music world I possess no real superpowers. Green flashes, tires squeal.
I pull into the parking lot. Mary Wilson spots me. Her eagle eye follows my every move. Everyone will know I’m here before she sits down. Her penchant for gossip is legendary.
“Chloe!” She waves frantically as if I can’t see her in the crowd of one.
The disadvantage of one-name fame is that everyone uses it as if they know me.
I slide on sunglasses, grab my bag, lock the Jag, and walk toward the door.
Mary jogs my way.
“Judith will be so excited you’re here,” she quips.
I lock the retort in my throat.
What are you implying? That I’m an absentee parent?
Truth is I’ve missed more than I’ve made. Judith and I just fought about it.
“Judith expects me,” I flash my famous smile, open the door, take the offered program, and slip into a seat at the back.
A student stands centre stage in Biblical costume. The set is minimal; black risers, greek columns, fig trees, and a wooden bench.
She’s in the middle of her soliloquy. I’m not really listening.
I search the program for Judith’s name. I chide myself for not knowing her character.
The actor ends with, “I am she, Elizabeth”.
I find Judith’s name. She’s next. I sigh in relief.
Judith enters dressed in flowing blue and white silk. Her face is veiled. She reaches centre stage and begins.
“I am she, Mary Mother of Jesus.
I am made famous by painters
I am elevated to sainthood
I am prayed to
But that’s not who I am”
Judith removes the veil and silk overdress as she continues.
“I am she, Mary girl ordinary
I am quiet and shy
I am about to be married
I am a faithful daughter
But that’s not all of me”
Judith now stands in a plain woven dress.
“I am she, Mary lover of God
I am visited by an angel
I am receptive to God’s favour
I am overcome with light
Now I carry the Promise”
Judith turns moving to the bench. She again faces the audience. Her belly is swollen.
“I am she, Mary the accused
I am forever doubted
I am pushed to my edges
I am broken as my Son is
But I still believe”
Judith exits. Another student enters.
Other famous women from the Bible appear: Ruth, Abigail, Esther, Bathsheba, and even Eve. They leap from an antiquated book sitting untouched on my shelf and become real, relevant women I can learn from.
The curtains fall. The applause rises. I’m overcome with pride for my daughter and shame for myself. I ride the rollercoaster of public adulation and accusation daily. I allow it to affect me. Suddenly I’m confronted with fame of biblical proportions and witness its affects inoculated by faithfulness and steadfast trust in God.
As we wait for the cast to appear several students approach me hoping for a selfie to boost their online status.
I smile as I put my hand up to ease their approach.
“Not now, okay? Tonight we focus on the real stars.”
The group smiles and dissipates. Judith appears in their wake. Our eyes meet. Her’s are questioning and guarded. I move swiftly to embrace her.
“Wow” I say. We hug for longer than we have in months. As she pulls away her face is shining.
“So you liked it?”
“You were amazing! The whole production was amazing!” I notice other parents giving their daughter’s flowers. I’m empty handed.
“Hey, you know that trip to the orphanage in Mexico?”
“What if we go together?”
“But what about your tour? ” Judith bites her lip.
“I’ll work around it. This is more important.” Judith grabs me for another hug.
“Now maybe I can get a selfie with you, Judith? After that performance fame is definitely in your future.”
“Mom!” She protests as she reaches for her cellphone.
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