Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: Revealed Treasure
By Pam Carlson-Hetland
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"Could be just junk." the ever-practical Daniel stated.
"Nope! I asked God to show me a treasure today. He's never failed me yet."
Debbie and Daniel's friendship began two years earlier when their respective daughters became best friends in high school. Frequently brought together with the girls' school and social pursuits, they--as single parents often do--coordinated activities. In doing so, they discovered many common interests.
Squealing in delight, Debbie pulled out a red feather boa, swirled it around her neck, and flipped the end over her shoulder. "Is it me?" she asked.
"Actually...yes!" Daniel chuckled.
Out came more prizes: a tangle of jewelry, an ornate hand mirror, and a man's hat ––which quickly adorned Daniel's head. At the very bottom were old record albums. Gleefully, Debbie pulled out a large black disk and put it on the stereo turntable. It was scratchy but soon filled the room with lively swing music.
Much to her amazement, Daniel grabbed her hand and swung her skillfully into his arms. Without missing a single beat, the two friends twirled and boogied until they were both laughing.
"Where did you learn to dance like that!" Debbie asked in astonishment, still breathless..
"My mother was a dance teacher. You?”
"Years of dance classes."
The music slowed to a medium tempo two-step. Daniel held out his hand.
"You are a man of many talents, Dan!" Debbie said as she draped her arm over his shoulder.
Rakishly tipping the hat, Daniel teased, "Oh, you have no idea!" Debbie's mind instantly rejected how attractive she found him at that moment.
"We dance well together," she said later, breaking the silence.
"We do most things well together."
"Did you and your wife dance?"
"No, she didn't like to. You?"
"Yes, we danced....but not like this."
Daniel swung Debbie out and expertly executed a turn. She floated smoothly back into the circle of his arms. Their steps slowed. Daniel begin to speak, his head bent close to hers.
"When my wife left, I was shocked and so angry. I tried to be a good father, tried to stay on top of things at work; but I was numb. I saw no hope for my future. I kept asking how it could have happened. Recently, I saw how unequally yoked we were. She didn't share my faith or much of my life. I guess, in her mind, there was no reason to stay."
"I know how that feels. I never intended to be divorced, never wanted it. But my marriage was betrayed; I was deceived. I don't ever want to experience that much pain or feel that helpless again. It took a long time to heal. It's hard to trust...anyone." Debbie whispered.
"Remember Sunday's sermon? Pastor talked about risks of loving a spouse, our children, or friends, because––at some time––they will disappoint us. But the Lord takes all love, like seed, and brings a harvest even though it may not grow as we anticipated. I thought about that for a long time."
Debbie nodded, but remained silent. That sermon had greatly affected her, too. Grateful to distance herself, she pulled away to flip the record. A slow waltz began. Daniel gently took her hand in his and attempted to pull her close. Automatically, she resisted. He loosened the hold. Intensely searching her face as if for an answer, his eyes held hers. He closed the gap between them, lowered his head to Debbie’s ear, and spoke softly.
"Just for now, set aside the past hurts and present uncertainties. Be here––all here––with me."
Debbie’s tension dissipated. There was a sense of peace in her spirit. She closed her eyes and melded to the dance embrace. They danced in silence--in perfect harmony. With long, graceful steps, the couple moved around the room. Daniel was a masterful lead. Debbie followed effortlessly. In swift turns, they held each other tightly for balance. At the end of the music, Daniel dipped Debbie low––his lips agonizingly close to hers. Slowly bringing her upright, he asked what had been on his mind for weeks:
"Could this be more than a friendship, Deb? Does the Lord have more for us in this relationship? Are you willing to find out?"
Debbie smiled and nodded. "I asked God to show me a treasure today. He did."
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