Page 46… in a fiction series
It was the first week in January and the lobby of the unemployment office smelled like wet parkas and overheated bodies, all waiting for their name to be called. Maybe everyone was thinking the same thing– a new year, a fresh start.
It was the last place Miranda expected to find herself, but with her money gone, she needed a job. She didn’t know a soul in Petoskey, Michigan and wondered how much that might hurt her chances. Even though she had been sober since that day on Greg’s boat, it had only been two weeks. If she didn’t stop drinking, she would have no chance at all.
There were forms to fill out and applications to complete. And then she waited. With her resume in hand, she patiently shuffled with the crowd, inching the way to her future . Harry would die if he saw her like this, an unemployed drunk, a princess no more. A lady stepped out from behind a closed door. She walked right up to Miranda and said in a pleasant voice, “My name is Janet, you can come with me.”
Janet led the way to a cubicle at the end of a long hall. She was a black lady well into her sixties with a round face and a cameo pin on a faded blouse. On her metal desk sat a Poinsettia left over from Christmas, a small stone cross, and an ”IN” box crowded with applications– not a good sign.
Miranda pulled nervously at the hem of her Dior skirt, tastefully paired with a cashmere sweater, (both from her recent spending spree in Palm Beach). Harry always said you should never outdress your interviewer. If the outfit didn’t give her away, the shoes and handbag from Coach surely would. Miranda pulled at her skirt again, worried that she had already made the wrong impression. Her self-esteem hadn’t improved one iota since the seventh grade.
Janet’s warm smile and curly grey hair gave her a motherly appearance that put Miranda at ease. She still wasn’t sure why she was chosen to jump to the head the line when other job seekers were there first. Janet took the completed applications, laid them on her desk, and asked Miranda what she was looking for. Broken and defeated, she would have taken any job at all. She gave the answer she had rehearsed all weekend, hoping to sound professional and qualified.
Janet listened, nodded, and studied Miranda’s resume. She took a business card from a plastic holder on her desk, and on the back wrote a name and address. She stood up indicating their meeting was over and said, “Go talk to this man and do your very best. A business suit would be appropriate.”
“One other thing, Miranda– I’m going to be praying for you, that God would bless you on your journey.” In stunned silence, Miranda paused. That comment, as far as she could tell, came out of left field. Choked up, she took a deep breath and looked at this lady who, for some reason, cared for her. She reminded Miranda of Mavis, the bartender at the club back in Providence. She always said that, too.
She felt her face turn red and mumbled, “Thank you.” Janet put her hand on Miranda’s shoulder and said nothing, leaving Miranda to walk down the hallway alone.
“The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases Him.” Proverbs 15:8 (NIV)
To be continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.