Meanwhile across Selma, Charles Williams finished his morning exercise. He had run on the treadmill for twenty minutes and boxed a punching bag for about fifteen. He proceeded to take a shower and get dressed to prepare for a full day of working as assistant manager at The Pizza Palace. When he had just poured mouthwash into his mouth and thrown his head back to gargle, he looked at the clock in his bathroom and noticed that he had to be at work in twenty minutes! He quickly spit the mouthwash into the sink, grabbed his car keys, and raced out the door and got into his car.
"Dear Jesus, please don't let me be late for work, or I will endure the wrath of my boss for sure," he prayed. Drake Wilkes, the head manager at The Pizza Palace, was very strict about promptness. Workers were only given one chance if they were late without a good excuse. If they were late for no good reason more than once, they could consider themselves out of there. Fortunately, if Charles was late for no good reason, this would be his first--and last--time. Charles couldn't believe how he'd let his mind wander that morning while he was exercising. He'd been thinking about the protests he and Ty had been in recently. Just last night they had tried to get into a movie theater for white people to see a showing of MILDRED PIERCE. Both Charles and Ty thought that Joan Crawford was a fabulous actress. The ticket seller had refused to sell them any tickets, and when Charles and Ty complained that it was unfair for them to be treated that way just because they were black, the ticket master threatened to have the sheriff come for them if they didn't leave immediately. The week before that, they had been chased away by a security guard who was patrolling a park that was for white people only when they went to the park to get a drink from a water fountain. Charles said another prayer: "Dear Jesus, please let this stupid segregation stop very soon! It's not fair that my people and I are being treated like we're less human just because we don't have white skin! Help me not to lose the courage to fight for the freedom I have the God-given right to have and to always believe that all of us fighters as one can make a difference, because where two or more are gathered in Your name, You're right there in the midst of us! I pray for more people to get involved as well!"
When Charles reached The Pizza Palace, he found that he'd gotten there right on time. He breathed a sigh of relief and gave thanks to God.
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