Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRIAL (05/10/18)
- TITLE: Struggle
By Robin West
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I stare at the yellow wrapper and wonder how long I can take this. Roberta told me to organize files again. Bad enough they promoted her instead of me, now she’s bossing me around. Today, that snob assembled the rest of the staff in the conference room and closed me outside to do grunt work. I shouldn’t get this worked up, but I feel . . . well, defeated.
Why won’t the candy drop? I drill the button repeatedly, which never works, but it’s always worth a try. For a moment, I consider other options. P4 has brownies, P2 chocolate bars. I could go wild, switch to the S row, and get a salty snack.
No. I want M&M’s as certainly as I wanted the Quality Control Administrative position Roberta stole from me.
Maybe I’m not acting right, but I’m dealing with this challenge way better than I would have in the past. In fact, I’m surprised I feel this angry. I thought I was over this behavior. I used to hold grudges and conspire to get even. When I decided to forgive instead of hate, I thought I’d changed with my improved attitude. But, I didn’t change overnight. It’s been a trial.
Like the time Carla started dating my old boyfriend. The minute I dropped him, she couldn’t wait five minutes to pick him up. I fumed for several hours before remembering my new commitment to forgive. The last thing I felt like doing was forgiving that backstabbing wench. But I let go of my right to get even, and I forgave her. I felt better—for a while. But soon my thoughts started replaying Carla’s faults. Then I had to forgive her all over again.
I’m jonesing for Peanut M&M’s. Just one candy-coated chocolate-covered peanut—is that too much to ask?
Maybe I can reach in a grab one. I drop to my knees and slide my hand through the floppy door where my treat should’ve landed. My forearm gets stuck at the fattest part before my elbow. I point my fingers upward, but they won’t even touch the granola bars on the bottom row. My prize sits two levels higher, looking through the glass and mocking me.
It’s no use. With a struggle, I free my arm from the vise. I lean my other hand against the vending robot for support while hoisting myself to my feet. My good hand rubs the red dent the vending door left in my forearm. Once that stops throbbing, I massage my wounded knees.
I need to forgive Roberta . . . again. She’s only doing her job, and I guess she has every right to expect me to do mine. After all, if I can forgive a wench like Carla, I can forgive my new supervisor who’s younger, less experienced, and blonder than me.
Also, I need to get back to work, but not empty handed. I swing my arm back, and roundhouse the side of the vending monster, bang. Then I swiftly kick its knees, clang.
It still refuses to let go. It stole my dollar, and now it broke my toe.
Down the hall, a door opens and Ron Phelps pokes his balding head out and gives me a puzzling stare. I don’t know what he sees in my face, but he quickly retracts his dome and shuts the door.
I give up. I turn and limp toward the door leading back to my desk. At least I managed to forgive Roberta. I just hope I don’t have to look at her smug face for the rest of the day.
Who am I kidding? I haven’t forgiven Roberta. Furthermore, I’m still as angry with Carla as I was five years ago.
Tears invade my eyes and a sob clenches my throat. God, I want to forgive—I really do. But I can’t. I just can’t. Is there any way you can do this for me?
After swiping tears off my cheeks, I reach for the door, when behind me, I hear a whirr followed by a plop. I return to the candy machine and retrieve my Peanut M&M’s. Before walking away, I nod to the machine, and say, “Sometimes you just gotta give up.”
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