Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: The Glass Door
By dub W
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A car pulled up and Kim watched a woman open the glass door and go into the building. A cold chill ran down her spine. All I have to do is follow that woman through that door.
Kim started the engine on her tiny Honda and drove out of the parking lot and to the local Wal Mart. Maybe, Susie is there I’ll talk to her. She parked her car far from the other cars and walked into the large store. An elderly man smiled and spoke to her. Kim ducked her head and walked straight back to the notions department. Though she searched through every aisle she could not find her friend. In the early morning there were few shoppers in the store. I’ll get a Coke and go to my car. Kim walked to the front of the store and found a soda cooler. She took a Coke out and set it on the counter in front of a tired looking woman. The woman looked up, smiled, and said something to her. Kim lowered her eyes and handed the woman a five-dollar bill. On Sunday, her sponsor had put her money in order in her billfold. She basically knew number symbols and the one with a straight line would not pay for a coke; but the curved symbol would.
The cashier handed Kim three bills and some coins and said something. Kim stuffed the money in her billfold and gently took the coke and receipt off of the counter. She had learned that the white paper was necessary to get out of the store.
Once she was secure in her car again Kim leaned back and sipped on the soft drink. Oh dear Jesus, why did you send me here to this strange place? She started the car and drove back to the parking lot where she could watch the glass door.
People of all descriptions came and went through the door. Finally, the clock on her dash showed a straight line and a circle. Kim knew that meant she had just a few minutes to get to work. At least there I can speak to friends. Even though they speak a dialect, I can understand them.
The next morning, the process began again. Kim watched the parade of people walking into and out of the office behind the glass door. Finally, a man and woman arrived and walked toward the door. They both looked Korean. Kim struggled to get out of her seat belt and open her car door. But, before she could get out of the Honda, the couple disappeared behind the door. She quickly retreated the safety of her vehicle. Perspiration formed on her upper lip and she noticed the trembling in her hands. She started the engine of her car and began to drive out of the parking lot. “Oh, Kim, you are such a little girl. You can do it.” Her subconscious was screaming at her. She stopped the car and backed up into a parking space. She took a deep breath, picked up the sheet of paper her friend Susie had written for her, and opened her car door.
Seconds later she stood on the door mat in front of the glass door. Oh, Jesus, help me do this.
Tiny bells jingled as the door opened and a rush of cool air-conditioning struck her in the face. I can go back to my car. Nobody knows me.
A smiling red headed woman approached her and said something in English. Kim handed her the piece of paper. Written on it were these words: “My name is Kum-ja, but you can call me Kim. I am Korean. I do not speak or read English. Can you help me?”
The woman opened a file drawer, pulled out a card and handed it to Kim. In Korean it said: “Welcome, we're very glad you are here. This is your first step to learning English. Proliteracy America.”
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