The mood was heavy as the three moms sipped coffee at the diner.
“It’s so sad. How could anyone spread such lies about Coach Reed?” Becky whimpered as a tear ran down her check. Karen and Sarah were used to seeing their sensitive friend cry, so they were unfazed by her emotions.
“It’s just wrong,” Sarah said in disgust as she threw down her napkin. “Ben Beckman thinks because he has money he can do whatever he wants.”
Karen sat silently as she stirred her sugarless coffee.
“I wish someone would stand up to that man,” Sarah continued. “No one said anything when the school district paid his brother-in-law too much money to pave the school parking lot. Everyone was quiet when his son made the National Honor Society even though the entire student body knows he cheats. This time he’s gone too far.”
“People are afraid of him,” Becky whispered as she glanced around the restaurant to see who might be listening.
“Why? What can he do? He won’t stop donating money. He likes having ball parks and schools named after him too much.”
Karen looked at Sarah with a mischievous smile. “I dare you.”
Sarah was confused. “Dare me to what?”
“To go to the school board meeting and say all this.”
Sarah blew on her hot coffee. “Yeah right,” she said with a sarcastic chuckle. “Why don’t you?”
“It wouldn’t be appropriate because my husband’s a teacher. Plus, you’ve talked to Coach and know what really happened.” Karen took a bite of her bagel and grinned at Sarah.
“No one would listen to me.”
Becky wrung her hands anxiously. “Oh, Karen, don’t tempt her.” She turned to Sarah. “Don’t do it, Sarah. Don’t make a scene. Please.”
“Sometimes you have to make waves,” Karen said.
“I don’t like waves. I get seasick. Don’t make any waves, Sarah,” Becky pleaded.
“Don’t worry, Beck. I don’t have the nerve.”
That night Becky, Karen, and Sarah sat on hard metal chairs in a packed cafeteria as the school board conducted their public meeting. The crowd was getting restless when the board president, Phil Butler, finally introduced the subject they’d all been waiting for.
Karen elbowed Sarah. “Watch his head. It turns red when he gets nervous.”
Phil leaned into the microphone and did his best to make his cracking voice sound official. “The next item on the um, agenda, is, um, Mr. Ben Beckman regarding Coach Reed.” Red splotches spread across Phil’s bald head as he nodded toward Ben Beckman.
Ben’s expensive suit contrasted dramatically with the majority of the crowd’s flannel shirts and work boots. He turned to the audience and flashed a plastic smile. “I have some serious issues regarding Coach Reed that I’d like to share.”
“Puh-lease,” Karen whispered loudly.
“Shhhh!” Becky nervously reprimanded her friend.
Ben turned to the school board. “We should not tolerate such an unfair teacher.”
“Unbelievable!” Sarah said, crossing her arms across her chest.
“Calm down, Sarah,” Becky patted her friend on the knee.
“Someone needs to speak up,” Karen whispered.
Sarah said a silent prayer then rose to her feet. “Excuse me, I’d like to say something. I have evidence that contradicts what Mr. Beckman is going to share.”
There was an audible gasp throughout the cafeteria.
“You go, girl!” Karen said quietly as Becky sunk low in her seat and covered her face.
Before Ben could stop her, Sarah spoke directing her words toward him. “I know Coach Reed was the first faculty member to stand up to your son. I also know your allegations are unfounded and false.”
“No one believes that.” Ben said angrily.
“Whether anyone believes it or not, I feel obligated to tell the truth.”
Ben pulled on his tie. “You aren’t on the agenda. No one wants to hear from you.”
Suddenly Becky stood up. “I want to hear from her!”
Sarah looked at Becky in shock. Becky shrugged her shoulders sheepishly, then winked at Karen. “Sometimes you have to make waves.”
One by one people around the cafeteria stood in support of Sarah.
Phil Butler, his face as red as a tomato, said, “We’d like to hear from both of you.”
The three friends were giddy that night as they left the building.
“You were incredible, Sarah.” Becky wiped her wet eyes with a tissue. “I’m so thankful Coach gets to keep his job.”
Karen nodded. “Yea, you were great. You should run for school board. I dare you.”
This story is fiction and any similarities to real people or events is purely coincidental.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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