I picked up my cell phone and dialed Mona's number. After a few seconds the call connected and I heard my friend's voice.
"Hey you," she answered.
"Hi Mona, I've...," I stammered for a second then decided to blurt it out. "I've decided I'm ready."
"You're ready?" Mona lowered her voice as if someone might be listening to us. "When did you decide?"
I fidgeted with the coffee maker while we talked.
"I can't do this by myself. I hate how I feel about them. They drive me crazy. I don't know what to do and it's obvious that I can't escape them."
"Oh come on now, it can't be that bad," she giggled into my ear.
The aroma of fresh coffee lured me away from our conversation. "Hey Mona, hold on a second. Let me pour myself a cup of coffee."
I set my phone on the table and retrieved a mug from the cupboard. I would feel better once I had some caffeine. I emptied two packets of sweetener along with a splash of cream into the mug. I poured black coffee on top and stirred until the steamy liquid resembled chocolate milk. Then I lifted the mug to my lips and took a cautious sip... Ah, nothing like fresh caffeine to soothe what ails you.
Satisfied, I sat down and resumed my call. "Mona, you still there? Hello...?"
Mona usually answered incoming phone calls while I talked to her. Our conversations tended to be lengthy and I had grown accustomed to the hold button. I sipped my coffee and waited.
Before long I heard her voice again. "Hey sorry about that," She said. "Did you get your coffee?"
"Yes, I'm drinking it now." I pushed the speaker button on my phone and picked up where I left off.
"Okay, I'm ready. It's time to do something about them."
"I see," she replied.
I continued with my complaint. "They are out of control. I try to ignore them, but they refuse to leave. Even my husband knows how I feel about them, but he's no help."
"Okay, okay...," Mona interjected. "I hear you. Just promise me you won't do anything drastic. Don't forget what happened last time."
"Oh, give me a break," I snapped. "I knew you would bring that up."
I considered her remark.
"I haven't forgotten what happened last time. That's why I called you before I did anything. Anyway, the last thing I want is..."
My voice trailed off. Mona waited. I sipped coffee.
"Mona...," I paused. I couldn't risk offending her. Plus, the thought of what might happen without her expertise sent a shiver up my spine.
"Yikes Mona!" I spoke with an apologetic tone. "I'm sorry. I know you are trying to help. It's just that things got ugly this morning when I saw them."
"What do you mean... 'things got ugly'?" she asked.
I felt a rush of anger as I recounted my morning. I detected an escalation in my voice as I shared each detail.
"You should have seen them. There they were in all their glory -- taunting me -- trying to get a rise out of me."
"Alright, alright," Mona stifled a laugh. "I will help, but only if you follow my rules. First, you must cooperate with me. Second, you have to let me choose..."
"No problem!" I interrupted. "Mona, you're the best friend ever. I knew you would understand how I feel. I'll be right over."
"Okay, but...," Mona hesitated, "oh, never mind. I'll clear my schedule for you."
I clicked my cell phone shut before she could change her mind. And then -- before I chickened out -- I grabbed my keys and rushed out the back door. As I steered my car onto Main Street an old jingle popped into my head...
I'm gonna wash that gray right out of my hair...
Ah, I feel so much better now.
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?
But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.
And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable
to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
(Matthew 10:29-31 NLT)
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