Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Appointment (02/09/12)
TITLE: Unplanned Appointments
By Michelle Meyers
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The appointment was scheduled for 10:00 this morning, the Friday of Mid-Winter Break, commonly known as President’s Day Weekend. Karla hummed as she stirred cream into her coffee, noting that she had to leave in 15 minutes. The Metro Parks and Recreation office was located downtown, and since she didn’t often drive into the city, she was allowing ample time to find the building.
Karla hurried down the steps that lead from her condo to the garage. It was 9:00 and she needed to be on the road. Backing out of the driveway, she was filled with excitement at the prospect of this new opportunity. Working in education, she was a natural with kids and this volunteer position, working at an inner city recreation center playing games and doing crafts on Saturdays with the neighborhood kids, seemed perfect. She thought maybe she could eventually create a library for the kids at the center. The director was very positive toward Karla when they had talked on the phone so she felt sure she would be chosen for the job.
The skyline of the city stood tall against the pale winter sky. Such a beautiful sight Karla thought wistfully as she neared the exit listed on the Google map directions. She kept one eye on the traffic and the other on the map as she drove through the unfamiliar streets. After two rights and a left she looked to where 2911 Boren Avenue stood. Expecting a building of some size, she was surprised to see a small, square structure at that address. Her surprise grew as she read the sign: Joe’s Donuts, fresh every morning. She checked the address on the paper, and compared it to the building. 2911. This should be it. A car came up behind her and began to honk. There were no available parking spaces so she continued down the street. Her heart was beating fast as panic set in. The dashboard clock read 9:50. How unprofessional to be late for an appointment. She saw the volunteer work slipping away and she had felt so sure it was the right position for her.
Karla circled the block, hoping against hope that it had been some kind of silly mistake, and that this time she would actually find the right 2911 Boren Avenue. As she turned the corner, she verified the street sign: Boren Avenue. Driving slowly by the buildings, she checked each address: 2907, 2909, and 2911. Still the donut shop. There was again no place to park so she drove on. She would find the nearest parking space and walk back to ask Joe, the donut guy, where the Metro Parks building was located. It was probably just next door or something.
Three blocks later, the clock read 10:01. Karla’s eye filled with tears of frustration. Now she was late. Finally, a parking space appeared and she quickly parked. Not looking forward to the trudge up three city blocks, she quickly pulled her things from the trunk. As she lowered the trunk lid, the sign on the building in front of her came into view: St. Francis Homeless Mission. Karla hesitated as she noticed the sidewalk filled with people, bundled up against the February cold, and weighed down with bags of tattered belongings. Most were men, but huddled on a bench against the wall was a woman with two children.
As Karla stood next to her car, unsure of how to maneuver through the people, the door of the mission opened and a kindly looking man called to the people to come in for coffee and warm donuts. Karla vaguely wondered if the donuts came from Joe’s down the street. The people made their way inside and Karla stepped onto the emptied sidewalk, noticing for the first time the “Volunteers needed” sign in the window of the Mission. She glanced at her watch. 10:08, she was late. But as she stepped toward the door of the Mission, she felt, perhaps, that she had arrived on time for a new appointment.
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