TITLE: Dillard's Storm 10/10/16
By Gloria Pierre Dean
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He shovelled his eggs in, swiped his mouth with his napkin, and stood up to kiss her goodbye.
“Drive safely, my love.” Bertha’s arms lingered around his neck.
He hated to pull away, but he had to leave.
As he hurried to work he squinted through the darkness and sighed.
“I have to get there early so I can have some peace and quiet while I finish yesterday’s paperwork.”
When he reached the office, he swiped his security card twice before the door opened. He stumbled through quickly and made his way to the elevator. No one was about. It was 6 am. The office staff would arrive at 8. He placed his briefcase down and noticed that his socks were mismatched, again!
Dismissing that, he proceeded to turn on his computer. He noticed that his hands were shaking.
“Firstly I must read yesterday’s emails that had been sent to me late last night. Then I must address the stack of correspondence awaiting my signature” he thought.
The demonstrators were beginning to gather in the street below. He knew because of the sudden increase in noise. He offered up a silent prayer, “Please help me Lord. Help me not to lose my cool today.”
In this democracy, individual opinions mattered. The people were making their feelings plain. The company that his government had contracted to do fracking was causing disquiet.
“No fracking! No fracking!!” the demonstrators kept yelling. They did not seem to care that there was an oil shortage and importing oil was costing the government so much. Yesterday he had stood before the screaming crowds trying to explain his party’s point of view, but the opposition did not agree and so the conflict persisted.
His PA arrived looking dishevelled and harassed. She rolled her eyes and he knew that she was not looking forward to today any more than he was. By 10 am, he had cleared his desk and answered all the emails.
A bathroom break found him crouched in a private booth in silent tears. “Big boys don’t cry” he said to himself manfully. He was about to exit the booth when he heard other male voices. He recognised the voices of four co-workers.
“We need to pray” he heard Jo the district manager say. He opened his door and noted they all looked pale and determined. With bowed heads they all joined in;
“Our Father who art in heaven” and ended with “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.”
After shaking hands they went back to their offices.
His phone rang as he entered. It was the Prime Minister. “Dillard, we need to meet urgently. Can you come to my office” she said. He hastily tidied himself and made the short trip to the fifth floor. In the room were ten others
“ I am having an emergency meeting to reconsider our options. Maybe this time we should listen to the people. We need to bring in energy consultants and see what environmentally friendly options we may have” she said with alacrity.
From the back of the room Jim Slater spoke up.
“I have made an extensive study and I have the report ready. Solar and wind are our alternatives!” he declared with passion. He continued to explain the financial, social and environmental benefits. The final result was that after more meetings and consultations, fracking was ousted.
Dillard no longer crept into work, nor did he weep in the bathroom, wear mismatched socks, nor did his hands shake when he saw a crowd.
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