Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)
- TITLE: Welcome Home
By Brandi Roberts
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All Charles wanted to do was relax in a warm bath. He turned the calcium-crusted tap and groaned as the dingy water sputtered from the spout. He was going to have to wait one more night to soothe his aching muscles.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he flicked on the television. Static. He groaned again. He wondered when God would make sense of it all. He had driven himself into his work - so-much-so that his wife sent him packing when he decided to move his business to Toronto.
While living in Toronto, he had a dream. An angelic being came to him and told him to leave his business and return to his family. Torn by the dream, Charles awoke the next morning and prostrated himself before God, giving everything - even his beloved business - over to Him.
Now he was in this motel room, and slowly but surely the barrier he had placed between himself and his family was being pulled down. Tomorrow, he'd be with them again. He had walked all day, pushed himself. It was only a short distance to his home and he could have made it that evening but God was telling him 'no'. Maybe it would be better, easier, in the morning.
He pulled back the blankets on the old spring mattress and crawled under the stiff, cold sheets. As he closed his eyes, his thoughts turned to his daughter's gorgeous smile. Yes, tomorrow would be a good day.
Eight a.m. Charles was standing, suitcase in hand, in front of the solid oak door that still separated him from his family. Not being able to stand it any longer, he stepped up the concrete stairs and knocked. His wife was at the door in seconds. She tried to look pleasantly surprised, but her eyes gave her true feelings away. Bitterness had taken the place of love.
"Charles..." She only needed to say his name.
"Susan, I'm sorry." The words tore down the last of the wall. "I want to come home."
"I'm sorry, too, Charles." She stared at the threshold he had often passed. "But you can't."
As the last pieces of his wall came crumbling to the ground, Charles was left standing behind another wall, but this time, it wasn't his.
The door closed in front of him, finalizing her words. His body trembled, and he looked up to God. Why? All this for nothing! Quietly, in the depths of his heart, there came a reply. I gave you the tools to break down your wall, now use them to break down hers. A little light shone through a crack in the wall, and Charles smiled. Returning to his motel room, he devised a plan to get them back.
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