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by Rhonda Clark
12/13/2007 / Short Stories
A swell of red flooded Aaron's face while the muscles in his body trembled. How could something that happened over 25 years ago still cause his body to spasm?
The day was like most others of young Aaron Singleton's life. The gangly teen with thick glasses and an acne-covered face stood half-hidden behind his open locker door. His unobstructed eye was trained on Sara Chasethe homecoming queen.
Every day at this time, the raven-haired girl with sapphire blue eyes would reapply lipstick to her plump, cherry lips, and every day Aaron watched her. He dreamed of transferring that lipstick to his own lips, but today, in the midst of his lip-locking daydream, a nightmare occurred.
Just as he imagined his lips pressed against Sara's, he felt a jerk and heard raucous laughter.
When he looked at the floor, he discovered his pants were covering his shoes.
Pointing fingers seemed to penetrate deep into his soul as the deafening sound of cackling classmates filled his head. He swallowed hard to force away the lump that had settled in his throat as he grabbed his jeans with both hands. For the second time that day, he cursed the fact that he had to wear his brother's hand-me-downs.
"Hey Sissyboy, don't you have any clothes that fit?"
Aaron didn't have to look up to see who was speaking to him. The voice of Grey Masterson was all too familiar. For some reason he'd always been Grey's favorite target.
He tightened his belt another notch, and looked in the direction of Sara. She chewed her freshly colored lip as sadness filled her eyes.
"See what happens to Sissyboys that stare at my girl," Grey said with a sneer, slipping his arm around Sara's waist.
Aaron wanted to crawl into his locker until the hall cleared so he could run home. Instead, he hung his head in shame and gathered his books for the next class.
Once again, he read the invitation and planned itinerary for his twenty-fifth high school reunion. Cold beads of sweat popped out of his skin and onto his forehead as his heartbeat quickened. The acids in his stomach acids churned into a whirling vortex that reached up and seared his throat. It wasn't the itinerary so much as the personal, hand-written note at the bottom.
Can't wait to see you again.
Aaron dropped the invitation on his desk and spun his chair around. His fingertips automatically came together as his chair leaned back. A smile parted his lips as he stared at the beauty of the Arkansas River. This particular stunning view and penthouse office suite had been on the wish list of many business tycoons in the city, but it was his. So, why did he still allow people like Grey Masterson to control himand his emotions?
He was far from that poor cotton-picking kid who grew up in the Arkansas delta. Now, he was the top paid lawyer in the state with the prettiest, most wonderful wife in the world. Something else, he was a Christian now. If he was worthy of forgiveness, so was Grey. In a quick swoop, Aaron picked the phone up and pressed the speed dial button for his home.
"Hi, Sara. Do you feel like a trip home to the delta? We've got our twenty-fifth high school reunion coming up next month."
"Really? Did the invitation come to your office?" Sara said with a squeal.
"Uh-huh." An evil grin filled his face. "Grey Masterson sent a personal note that he couldn't wait to see us again."
Silence filled the phone for a moment. "I could go a lifetime without seeing him again."
"I thought you'd feel the same?"
Once again, he ran his finger over the handwritten note at the bottom of the invitation. "Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Plus, I married the homecoming queen."
(c) 2007, Rhonda Clark
Rhonda Clark is a stay at home mom of two and a freelance writer. She and her family makes their home in Bartlett, TN. For more information about her writing visit: www.freewebs.com/rhondaclark or contact her through www.faithwriters.com
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