Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: All Eyes on Her
By Keturah Alvin
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Another daily confession, she thought. She hummed as she dressed for work. Her children were at the kitchen table eating cereal and fully dressed. She was way ahead of the game, determined to make it to work on time. Today, she would be spared the third degree from her obnoxious supervisor.
“Mom” he whispered. She didn’t hear him. “Ma-ma!” he shouted. Shock and fear spun her around so quickly, she almost landed flat on her face. Instead, she came face to face with her 4 year old son, Christian. “What… is it?” she asked between breaths. He stared at her with confused eyes that turned soft and sad. Her nostrils caught a whiff of an awful smell.
“Christian, what have you done?”
Before he could answer, she noticed a tiny face peering from behind him.
“Nadia Ari Baker. What have you done little girl?”
“She made a stinky mommy” said Christian.
Maxine quickly checked her watch. “Okay. Come on. I’m still ahead of schedule. Let’s get you changed little girl.”
“But mom –“ said Christian much too late. The mess Nadia made was all over her clothes and now Maxine’s clothes too.
“Ugh!” she screamed. “
“Maxine Baker, you’re 20 minutes late!”
She didn’t respond.
He sashayed to her desk with that sadistic grin on his face that she loathes.
“You hear me Baker?”
“Lord help me” she prayed in her mind. “Yes sir. I hear you. I apologize and I promise to make up the time this evening” she said while appearing to be preoccupied with logging onto her computer and putting her things away. She hoped he would get the message and poof - disappear.
“What do you have to say for yourself?"
She smiled and said, “Nothing sir. I apologize. Now if you would excuse me, I would like to get to work please.”
Oh but he wouldn’t – he couldn’t let it go today. I want everyone to see her true colors by proving she is not the Christian she claimed to be. Well…. she never actually said she was a Christian, but I know she is.
She interrupted his thoughts. “By the way sir, I finalized the report that the home office is expecting.” She handed it to him. “Would you like to review it before I fax it?”
You could hear a pin drop as other employees looked on, hoping for a good old fashioned showdown.
He muttered something obscene under his breath, sucked his teeth and snatched the documents from her hand.
All eyes were on her. She maintained complete, secure composure, topped with a grand smile.
“Is she singing?” someone asked.
“How does she do it?” another one whispered.
“It that were me, I would’ve given him a piece of mind” said yet another.
Everyone scrambled to their respective work stations.
“I need to see you in my office pronto” said Mr. Steele.
“Go get ‘em girl. We’ve got your back” someone whispered.
For the rest of the day, Maxine endured great hardship at the hands of Mr. Steele. She continued to shine in the glory of God by no means of her own. Her flesh wanted to launch a gruesome attack that her co-workers would probably give her a medal of honor for. But she could not do it. The Spirit wouldn’t let her.
At the end of the day, as everyone was preparing to leave, she remained at her desk working.
“Hey Max” said the team leader, Will. “Mr. Steele left the building an hour ago, none too happy I might add. Why don’t you go ahead and leave.” .
She wanted to because she was exhausted, but she still had 20 minutes to make up.
Will smiled, shook his head and grabbed his coat. “You’re a classy lady Ms. Maxine.”
As her other co-workers filed out one by one, they all bid her a good night.
The next morning, news hit that Mr. Steele was fired and Maxine was the new supervisor.
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