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.

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13 Responses to Janet

  1. ann says:

    Wow, Linda

    Talk about twists! :-)

    I’m glad He had someone there looking out for her. Prayers are always good :-) Yes .. I am looking forward to the bubbles even more.

    God bless you, Dear Friend.

    Happy catching up,

    • Linda says:

      Thank you, Ann. I told you the bubbles and better times were coming! What a good chance to start over. That’s why Jesus came, right? No doubt that prayer works. It’s nice to be one of the believers who now has the privilege of praying for others… : )

  2. Theresa says:

    I was so comforted by this post. (Psalm 139)


    • Linda says:

      Theresa, I am always so amazed by the way you can put your finger on a chapter of the Bible that perfectly fits the situation. I think I’ll use Psalm 139 in two places that are coming up because so many of those verses are a perfect fit.

      I’m also changing Janet’s verse. Like you, I am so overworked, tired, and over migrained lately that it’s hard to come up with good stuff at midnight.

      Take care of yourself, girlfriend… : )

  3. Jan says:

    That is amazing. What a wonderful experience, this woman reaching out to Miranda so whole-heartedly.

    • Linda says:

      I went back to find Janet shortly after she helped me. She had retired and no one at the unemployment office would give me any contact information. I’ve always wondered where she is… wanted her to know how much her prayers meant to me at such a terrible time. Good memories… : )

  4. .endtransmission. says:

    I can exhale now… It appears that Miranda has chosen wisely, and made progress. Not without a guardian angel, in the form of Janet. I am cautiously optimistic this time, as I’ve seen this story take many twists and turns. Yet, I see strength in Miranda; it is undeniable. She has weathered the storms both literally and figuratively.

    Perhaps that is why I am so enamored with this engaging character, and her story.

    But what of the mysterious man on the dock?

    • Linda says:

      Rats. I am so glad you asked about the man hanging around the ladies room. I wrote it, then never posted it! All that work… and I BLEW IT!

      I just posted the story about Neil Lipman in the correct place in the sequence. It explains alot, now and later.

      About those many twists and turns… that’s the way alcoholics do things. You wouldn’t believe how many people come in and out of AA. We call them retreads.

      Thanks for that sneaky compliment. Miranda is glad you enjoy reading… : )

  5. Debbie says:

    Another angel in Miranda’s life . . .and she doesn’t reject the prayer and care for her. yay! I love seeing how God was working in her life all along! God bless you as you share this amazing story and journey with us! love and hugs!

    • Linda says:

      The rejection factor is interesting, isn’t it… There was a time when I couldn’t make it through the Lord’s Prayer without breaking down. By the time I got to AA, I saw the same reaction in the new people. When I spotted one I always made sure to be beside them during the prayer… hoping that my ability to make it through would somehow bring them along.

      Glad you brought back that warm memory. ; )

  6. Larry Who says:

    “…But what of the mysterious man on the dock?”

    Raymond Chandler, the author of the Philip Marlowe mysteries, wrote while drinking whiskey. In one book, he had a sailor murdered while stepping into a taxi cab at the beginning of his novel. No more was mentioned about this murder in the rest of his book. A journalist later asked Chandler, “What about the sailor?” Chandler replied, “What sailor?”

    • Linda says:

      I hardly ever really “laugh out loud,” but this is very funny! I wonder if Chandler wrote on a laptop or in a notebook. Even with a few shots of whiskey, a pen, and paper, this error would have never slipped by me. Thanks for a great story…

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