Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Oops( 01/14/10)
By Lisa Tyre
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A sullen courier glared at her, rubbing his elbow where she’d accidently smacked him.
“Sorry,” she whispered, smiling.
He didn’t smile back.
Kelli composed herself. She had 22 floors and three minutes to the biggest interview of her life, she needed to focus.
The elevator stopped on the next floor and most of the crowd exited, including the angry courier. But not before, with a smirk at Kelli, he ran his hand down the buttons lighting every one.
“Well for the love of…” Kelli’s voice trailed.
An older woman stood in the corner, the only other occupant. “I am continually amazed at the behavior of people. I hope this isn’t going to make you late,” she said.
Kelli sighed. “It’s probably not going to matter. It’s a long shot anyway.”
“Yes, with Trenton Industries. Mr. Trenton is interviewing for a new executive assistant.”
The elevator stopped on the next floor and Kelli, seeing no one waiting, leaned forward to hit the “close” button.
“Trenton Industries? I’ve heard John Trenton is not an easy man to work for.”
Kelli smiled. “I’ve heard that, too, but I try not to listen to gossip. I like to make up my own mind about people.” She held out her hand. “I’m Kelli.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Martha. If you don’t mind me asking, why is this interview a long-shot?”
The door opened. “Going down?” Kelli shook her head. The door closed; 19 floors to go.
“I don’t have a lot of experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good secretary, but Mr. Trenton is in a whole different league than the people I’ve worked for in the past.”
Martha smiled. “So you’re trying to upgrade, as they say?”
Kelli watched the elevator stop again. At this rate she’d never get there.
“Not exactly. I was pretty happy at my last job. But about a month ago I saw Mr. Trenton’s photo in the paper… “ She hesitated. “You’ll think I’m crazy.”
“Well, I saw him standing there, with a beautiful lady on his arm, surrounded by his rich friends, and I just felt overwhelming sadness. It was odd, like God shared his heart for Mr. Trenton with me. I thought that while he might have a lot of things, he didn’t have a wife or children to pray for him. Can you imagine having no one to pray for you? So I committed to praying for him daily.”
Martha looked stunned. “My goodness. For someone you’d never met?”
“I told you that you’d think I was crazy. When I saw the ad in the paper for an executive assistant, I felt like God wanted me to apply.” She laughed, “Trust me, I’d never think of it on my own!”
“I see,” Martha said. “What if he’s as bad as you’ve heard? They say he’s demanding and arrogant, with a different girl every night. You seem awfully sweet for a job like that.”
Kelli grimaced. These were all doubts she’d had herself. “I hope not, but this isn’t up to me. God told me to come, so I did. If I don’t get the job, at least I was obedient. If I do, I think God is going to use me to speak truth into Mr. Trenton’s life. Either way, He’ll handle it. It was His idea, after all.”
“Two more floors to go.” Martha smiled, “You seem older than you look Kelli. Have you been a Christian long?”
“Yes, almost twelve years now.” She grinned. “I have six younger siblings, too. That’s probably what’s aged me.”
The door opened.“This is it.” Kelli said. “It was nice meeting you.”
Martha smiled, and then strode ahead, holding open the door to Trenton Industries.
“Do you work here?” Kelli stammered.
“I could never work for Mr. Trenton,” Martha answered, “ he’d drive me crazy.” She continued walking until she was standing in front of the receptionist. “Sally, tell my son I have to cancel our appointment today. I’m taking his new Executive Assistant to lunch.”
Kelli felt her face warming. “You’re Mr. Trenton’s mother?”
“Yes, Dear. And I enjoyed our elevator ride very much. But you have one fact wrong.”
“Yes, you’re not the only one that’s been praying for my son. Now, let’s go celebrate answered prayers. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.”
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