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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: A Lesson in Life
By Jacquelyn Horne
02/07/08


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Candy smiled at Warren Greely as he sat down across the table from her. This was fast becoming a habit. Warren and she talking in the fellowship hall during a “singles” function on Saturday nights at the church.

She was really beginning to like Warren. She hoped he felt the same about her. Apparently there was some attraction for he seemed to search her out in the crowd. He must like her company. It warmed her to think so.

Smiling in return, Warren winked. “Is this place taken?”

Candy blushed. “It is now.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………

“Come on, Candy! I need a ride. My car is in the shop.” Christa was up to begging if she had to. She needed a ride to the party. She didn’t want to miss all the fun. “Just this once?”

Candy and Christa had been college buddies. They’d been through a lot together. Done a lot of partying. But Candy had moved on. She was trying to straighten up her life, correct her mistakes. “I don’t party anymore, Christa. I’ve made a new life for myself.”

“You don’t have to party, just take me and hang around ‘til I’m ready to go. You don’t have to drink, smoke pot or go upstairs with anyone. You can enjoy the food…or read a book if you want to. I’d do it for you. Pleeeease?” Christa knew how to make you feel indebted.

Candy succumbed. “Alright, alright! But be glad it’s on Saturday afternoon, ‘cause I have plans for that night.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Candy felt out of place at the party. She no longer enjoyed the things that were going on around her. She felt uneasy as she was approached, more than once, to smoke a joint or check out the bedrooms upstairs. She tried to mingle and be friendly, but she had a bad feeling about being here.

She lost all track of time, and she certainly didn’t know where Christa was. It was getting late and in a couple of hours, she needed to be ready for the singles function at church. She began to make a real effort to find Christa. She needed to get out of here.

She finally found Christa in a smoke-filled room with ear-splitting music coming from a stereo. But Christa wasn’t ready to go yet. She became loud and began using abusive language. It was all Candy could do to steer her toward the door leading to the front of the house. With a stumbling Christa leaning on her arm, Candy threw open the heavy door, allowing the music to scream out to the street.

There she stood, Christa plastered to her side, loud music penetrating from the room behind her, feeling guilty enough already. But just as she looked up a red sports car drove slowly by, just in time for her to glimpse the shocked expression on a familiar face. Warren Greely!

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Candy went to the singles affair in spite of her shame. Any hope she had for a relationship with Warren had been dashed by that quick glimpse of his face as he passed by “that” house Saturday afternoon. How could she have been so foolish?

She saw Warren the minute she walked into the fellowship hall. He was talking to a group of young men and women over by the coffee stand. As soon as he saw her, his expression changed and he turned his back to her, continuing his conversation with the group of young people.

Candy’s heart dropped. She knew she’d been “branded” by her choice of companions. It would take a long time to work through this one. But she had to try. She’d made a great mistake this afternoon, but God had promised to never leave her. He knew her heart, and she’d learned the hard way about making better choices in friends.

“Is this seat taken?”

Candy looked up into the face of Stuart Carey. “It is now,” she smiled; taking note that God is a God of second chances. There’s still hope for me. Thank you, Lord.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/09/08
Well, shame on Warren for being so quick to judge! Really good story.
Joanne Sher 02/10/08
Like the hope at the end - and I'm with Jan - Warren is certainly too quick to judge. Nicely written.
Julie Arduini02/11/08
What a great way to use the topic. I'm glad it ended on a happy note! Well done!
Sara Harricharan 02/12/08
What a life lesson indeed. Isn't it amazing how just those little, one-time decisions affect the first chance/opportunity. Warren should've given her a second chance, but maybe she's better off with the new guy-who, so far, hasn't judged her so quickly. nice job! ^_^