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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)

TITLE: Emma's Fridge
By Karen Ward


Sunlight streamed into Emma’s kitchen, reflecting off the gleaming white surfaces. Emma and Caroline sat at the little wooden table drinking the last of their tea, and chatting as they always did on a Wednesday morning.

“I see you got another postcard from Jane” Caroline nodded to the postcard covered fridge, her eyes picking out the latest addition despite the crowded array of cards.

“Yes, she and Louie have just about finished touring Italy, they’re off to Greece this week.”

“Oh, I thought they were still in France! You keep good track of everyone’s roaming Em.”

“Mmm. I guess I do.” Emma’s gaze seemed to go beyond the postcard covered fridge as she answered her friend.

“Em? Hello, Earth to Em! Where did you go?”

“What? Oh, sorry, Caroline. What did you say?”

“Are you wishing you were there too?”

“Sort of. No, I guess not, not really. Just dreaming. So, did you ever tell me what part Alissa got in the school play?”

Twenty minutes and many threads of conversation later, Emma waved goodbye as her friend pulled her newly polished BMW out of the driveway. She returned to the kitchen and fingered some of the postcards, knowing by heart who and where they were from without needing to read them again.

Jane’s been all over the world since high school. She’s transformed from the skinny 8th grader I befriended to a high powered jet setter. Ulrike has been traveling back and forth from Germany since she was 2 years old. Gemma’s parents seemed to think it wasn’t a holiday at all unless it was overseas. Even Caroline has traveled the world now that she’s married to Jim.

And I stay at home.

Why not me Lord? Why did you put this longing inside me if it’s never going to be fulfilled?

If I had stayed with Owen instead of marrying Trevor, we would have traveled the world by now. He couldn’t wait to take me overseas with him, we were planning that first trip when it all fell apart. He’s done so well for himself. His company is booming, if I were still with him we’d be traveling together all the time.

He really understood that side of me. He was always ready for adventure. Always ready to get in the car and just go. Imagining the places we’d see together was one of our favourite things, and he’s seen them all.

And I’ve stayed here.

My life would be so different now if I were with him. Trevor just doesn’t get it. I don’t think he’d ever leave home if I didn’t push him for our holidays at the coast. I’m sure we could afford to go overseas if he really wanted too. It’s not as if he’s poorly paid.

If I had married Owen, I’d be the one sending postcards.

Emma sighed, and focused again on her postcard shrine.

Her mind had been to this place before. The Land of Discontent. She knew she needed to put it aside, but sometimes the pull was strong.

I did love him. We had fun. He loved me too, it was easy to see. I can still see his eyes, dark with love and longing. Feel his touch, gentle, but with the power of his passion just held in check. It was all great apart from that one issue. If only Owen had wanted to have children.

But he didn’t.

Is he happy now? Does he ever think of me like I think of him?

Her gaze shifted to the family portrait on her kitchen wall.

My beautiful girls! Bethany and Rachel would not exist if I had married Owen. How can I be thinking of a life without them!? You know how I love them Lord, they are Your most wonderful blessing. Not even travel can compete with my precious ones. I need to stop these indulgent thoughts.

Jesus, please, help me to love Trevor and the girls more. Teach me to be content. Take away these longings and especially the thoughts of Owen.

Emma looked back at her fridge.

Do I have to Lord? Is that what it will take?

She paused, sighed, and one by one, slowly removed the postcards from the fridge.

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This article has been read 1553 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany09/05/05
This was excellent! I could get into her head and have travelled to that same land myself on many occasions. I wondered how you would resolve it and taking the source of discontent away was a great way to do it.
Brandi Roberts09/06/05
Very much like a novel I just finished reading! I love when God shows us these things, even if it hurts. Thanks for sharing!
Alexandra Wilkin09/06/05
I really liked this, the way you explore the characters doubts about the path she chose. Many would empathise with that, and nicely written and paced. God bless
Michelle Vander Wal09/06/05
A good revelation of a house wife's "what ifs". Thanks.
Julianne Jones09/07/05
A great message tied up in a well-written story. I suspect most of us have sojourned in the 'Land of Discontent' at some time or another. You've done an excellent job of pointing out that we need to change if we're to ever leave that place. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 09/07/05
Very, very good. I like the way you indicated your protagonist's inner dialog. Thanks for this story!
Phyllis Inniss09/08/05
You handled this story so well. The way you developed the idea of discontent to not having reason for discontentment and then getting rid of all the reminders was quite a master stroke.
Anita Neuman09/08/05
Oooh, Karen, GREAT job on this! There are some punctuation errors to fix up, but they didn't detract from the story at all. This was very well-written!
Debra Brand09/08/05
Good flow throughout. I agree with the punctuation. Excellent ending.
Jan Warrick09/08/05
I love this story. It effectively portrays the inner struggles so many people have, The "what ifs" and second thoughts. Very good piece. I enjoyed reading it.
Tammy Johnson09/08/05
Unfortunately, I think many of us can identify with this character. You did a great job of opening her heart to us. Your portrayel of her actions matches well to the inner dialogue. Great ending! Have had to remove sources of discontent myself!
Anita Neuman09/12/05
Woohoo, Karen! Way to go!!!
Anna Meadows09/12/05
Congratulations, on your win! Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.
janet rubin09/12/05
Congratulations on the win! I could most certainly relate- very real. Hmmm... must be a "chic" story- no guys leaving comments!
M'Kayla Kelly09/12/05
Congrats on 1st! This is a great reminder of focus! I enjoyed your writing! Be Blessed.
Shirley Thomas09/12/05
Congratulations for a well deserved win!
Val Clark09/12/05
Great story, Karen. congratulations. Guess you have to move up a grade now. Won't be long B4 you're playing in the Advanced sandpit. Loved the way you got into the character and kept back the reason for her not marrying the other guy. Satisfying end. Good sense of place, too. Yeggy.
Suzanne R09/13/05
Great work, Karen! I bet many people can identify with the main character ... seems like you've really touched something here. The postcards wouldn't get me so much as other things, but the response should be the same - deal with the discontent - a timely challenge. Thanks. And CONGRATULATIONS!
Deborah Porter 09/20/05
Karen, I'm only just getting a chance to leave some feedback for the Postcards Challenge now, but really wanted to publicly say "Well Done!" for this 1st place winner in both the Editors' Choice and the Level 1 awards. It was a very good story, that was made a great story by that last line. It was the perfect ending. Well done and I'm looking forward to seeing some more from the Aussie Invasion in the future. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)