Friday with Friends ~ Welcomes Amy Magaw
Cram Session ~ by Amy Magaw
She offered her daughter a mug of hot cocoa on that cold winter’s day, as she helped her climb out of the snow laden toboggan. Immediately the little girl’s frozen mumbles turned to smiles of joy. She emptied the packet’s contents including the mini-marshmallows. As she poured the steaming water into the Princess themed mug and stirred the concoction, the special chocolate aroma infused her nostrils, taking her back in time to a younger, simpler place. She couldn’t help but smile.
It was a Sunday night, and he remarked to her how the book report was due tomorrow, and he hadn’t even read the book. How could she let the “love of her life” take an ‘F’? She had been ‘in love’ with her best friends’ brother for about a year and a half, and spending the night with his sisters was nothing new. Could God have opened a door?
Immediately, she came to his rescue with a proposition. “I’ll come over tonight, and we’ll pull an all-nighter, like a cram session. I’ll help you. Between the two of us, we’ll get the book read, and the report done.” How could he turn down his only hope? Surely, he would see her love for him through her sacrifice, and see the error of his ways.
He agreed, and the night was set.
After getting comfortable, and bidding his family ‘goodnight’, the two sat at the kitchen table. He took the book from his backpack. “Oh, The Great Gatsby! This will be easier than I thought! I’ve seen the movie, so we’ll skim the book for some details, and we’ll be done in no time,” she offered. “I’ll take the first chapter, and we can alternate, okay?” she suggested. The plan sounded fine to him, as he began to set up his writing paper and tools.
As her eyes scanned the pages of the book, learning about the ‘East Eggers’ and the ‘West Eggers’, she couldn’t help but be keenly aware of his every move. ‘I can’t believe that I’m here! What will his girlfriend think? Yes, I know that I’m pitiful, but, I don’t care. This is my one chance. If I save you tonight, will you love me tomorrow?’ she thought to herself. But deep inside, she already knew the answer. ‘I don’t care. I love him, and I’ll rescue him anyway; I can always hope,’ she vowed as she read on.
The clock ticked on. Her eyes became heavy, and he noticed. “Would you like some coffee?” he offered.
“No thanks; I don’t drink coffee, but I like hot cocoa,” she replied.
“Well then, hot cocoa it is,” he answered. “It’s the least I can do-two hot cocoas coming up!”
She was in heaven! He was making hot cocoa, just for her! ‘Mr. Rationale’ began to speak to her again. ‘You poor victim of unrequited love! You’ll never learn,’ screamed her conscience. She quickly shoved him and his thought back into his box. She would savor every moment of this night.
They finished their cocoa, and continued to work on the report until the wee hours of the morning crept into the kitchen. While he was reading an ‘even chapter’, she had found herself a pillow and blanket to break the chill and rest her head on the table. Her eyes became heavier, and heavier, until…
It came—the highlight of the entire evening—his touch. “Hey…hey…are you awake?” he spoke to her softly. He gently touched her arm, in effort to rouse her from her slumber.
She opened her eyes slowly, as she didn’t want to ruin the moment. Almost immediately, panic set in. ‘Oh, I hope I didn’t drool on the report,’ she thought as she raised her head from the table. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Is it my turn again? Where are we?”
“We’re in the kitchen,” he replied with a smile.
She gave a small laugh. “I know, silly. Where are we in the book?”
“We’re almost done,” he answered. “You’re so tired. I think that I can manage it from here on out,” he offered.
“Oh, no; I’m fine. I’ll make it,” she pleaded in desperation to spend just a few more moments at his side, even if it was drooling on the kitchen table.
“No, really, you can’t rest like that. You go on to bed, and I’ll finish up here,” he told her. And that was that. She knew that her moment in time was done; and even though he was thankful, she knew that she hadn’t wiggled her way into his heart as she’d hoped that she would.
“Okay. If you need me…” she began.
“…I know right where to find you,” he finished as he thanked her and bid her goodnight with a smile.
For one night, she had a taste of what it might be like, as she fantasized that they were married; it was their home, their kitchen table, and she was his devoted wife, helping her husband with his business project. And best of all, now she knew what it was like to have his gorgeous face be the last thing that she'd see before morning. ‘Thank you, Lord, for giving me that.’
He never did come around. He stayed with his girlfriend for the rest of his high school years, but the two young people continued to be friends. He got a B+ on his report. ‘Would an ‘A’ have won him over?’ she sometimes wondered.
The years sailed on, and God brought her another man, her true love, her soul mate - the man to whom she was now married. ‘I thought I knew it all back then,’ she thought her herself. She now smiled at that thought, looking at her beautiful daughter and her husband’s picture on her mug—the Lord knew best.
But, the night was worth it. She knew that she had given it all she had while retaining her dignity, and she had helped a friend. One night, one last chance, cramming all of her hope into one book report had yielded a thank you, a gentle touch, a steaming cup of hot cocoa...
...and a memory as sweet as the brown liquid itself.
Victory Christian Publishing.