Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Up From Sorrow - Ch. 3

Across town Kristin sat in the reception area of a computer training center, waiting to be interviewed for a computer instructional position. Trying hard not to appear nervous, she flipped open her portfolio and perused her resume’ again. She was the only applicant in the reception area and she was hoping that that was a good sign.

Relax, Kristin told herself as she repositioned her tense body on the comfortable hunter green sofa she sat on. The settee was almost too comfortable for office furniture. It could have easily been used to furnish a home.

Just then, someone approached her. “Mrs. Gray, step this way please,” said a friendly woman with beautiful salt and pepper hair. Her hair said fifty, but her wrinkle-free plump face suggested early forties. She’d been the same lady that had greeted her and given her an application, and it was this same friendly lady that conducted the interview.

During the interview, Kristin took several deep breaths to remain calm. She answered Mrs. Combs’ questions in a professional and masterful way. Her college education and previous work experience made the questions very easy to respond to. Knowing that she had the qualifications for the job caused Kristin’s confidence level to rise even more. And because the interviewer was so pleasant to talk to, she even began to relax somewhat.

Kristin was thrilled at being interviewed today. She’d completed seven applications so far with polite, insincere promises of potential interviews, but this was the first company who had actually interviewed her on the spot. And to think she’d almost given up and gone home after six disappointing tries.

Towards the end of the interview, Brenda Combs looked over at the young lady sitting across from her and smiled, taking a brief pause from her professional demeanor. She liked Kristin and out of the six people that she’d interviewed today, this young lady was by far the most qualified and most pleasant.

Brenda’s boss had stressed the need to have the position filled by Wednesday. They were approaching their peak season and their services would soon be needed tremendously by the community. Mrs. Combs knew that she had to make a decision fast. But only the right person would do. She didn’t want to hire another person like Claudia Dafoe. A person that was a good worker, yet found it hard to get along with the other employees. As a matter of fact, Claudia only seemed to want to get along with their boss. Or rather get alone with him.

“One last question, Mrs. Gray. How well do you get along with others?” Brenda asked from across the polished oak desk she sat at.

Kristin took just a moment to think about the question. Then she answered very truthfully. “Well, Mrs. Combs, I have no problem getting along with my peers, supervisors, or clients. I really like people and I am willing to go the extra mile to get along with them, even if I can’t go along with them. I know how to agree to disagree very well.”

As Kristin finished her candid statement, she thought of Kambria and the fact that it had been a long time since they last talked. It’s time for me to call her again. I’ll do it tonight, she decided with a heart now open to reconcile with her older sister.

That answer pleased Mrs. Combs tremendously. Her gut told her that this was the person for the job and Brenda always followed her gut feelings. Then instead of delaying her decision until she’d had a chance to completely check all of Kristin’s references, she said, “Welcome to Rogers Computer Training Center, Mrs. Gray. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday at 9am.”

“Thank you so much, Mrs. Combs, and I’ll be here bright and early,” Kristin said, smiling as she rose to shake the woman’s hand in gratitude.

When she finally made it out to her car, Kristin closed the door and screamed, “I got it, I got it, I got it! Thank you, Jesus! Wait until Mama Gray hears this!” Then she turned the key in the ignition and proceeded to go home, singing hallelujah all the way there.

* * *

Van, you really did a good job on that yard,” Jana said as she and her cousin sat leisurely drinking iced tea on the porch swing, admiring the well-manicured lawn. The shrubs were rounded and the thick grass looked like plush green carpeting now. I can’t believe there was actually grass among all those weeds.

Van smiled. “Thank you, Cousin J. Your praise is appreciated. I’ll be back out here in two weeks to check on it.” Then he thought of something else. “By the way, when do I get to meet your daughter-in-law? Everybody says that she’s pretty nice.” He took another sip from his glass. “Or was it pretty and nice?”

Jana laughed and nudged him playfully with her elbow. “She’s both, Van. Right now, she’s out job hunting. I think you’ll like her a lot when you finally meet her. She was so good to Sammy, always encouraging him to go after his dreams. They loved each other deeply,” Jana said, distantly remembering their long courtship.

Just then, Kristin’s red Corolla pulled into the driveway. Getting out of the car smiling, she said, “Ooo...wee…this lawn is gorgeous! Your cousin did a fantastic job out here. And speaking of jobs, I got one today!” Her voice was bubbling with excitement.

“Looks like you’ll get to meet her today after all, Van. Come on,” Jana whispered, pulling him up from the swing. Then her voice got louder and her smile got wider as she spoke to her approaching daughter-in-law. “Kristin, that is good news to my ears. You’ll have to tell me all about it later. Right now, there’s someone I want you to meet. This is my second cousin, Van. Sammy’s third cousin. He’s also the man behind that fantastic yard work,” Jana said, pointing to the tall man beside her.

“Hi, Van. Nice to meet you,” Kristin said, extending her hand to the hazel-eyed man who now stood before her as she ascended the stairs.

“Same here, Kristin,” Van replied, his thoughts instantly raging. Bump the yard, this ‘girl’ is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

Van was right. Kristin was gorgeous. She had long black wavy hair that caressed her shoulders and mid-back. Her skin was the color of a caramel stick candy he used to eat as a kid and her high cheekbones were magnificent, looking like ripe apples upon her face. Kristin also had full lips, an ample bosom, and hips that made Van struggle to keep his eyes where they respectfully belonged – on her face. Sammy certainly did alright by himself with this one.

Kristin instantly saw the change in Van’s wonderful hazel, now chestnut-colored eyes as he stared at her. She recognized that look. She’d seen it before – it was red-hot desire. Seeing it now, made Kristin abruptly drop her hand.

Van immediately picked up on her withdrawal and cursed himself for allowing his feelings to momentarily surface. He usually was so good at hiding his emotions. At times, he’s even been known to be a bit aloof in that department. In fact, Van’s emotionally reserve nature was one of the reasons he’d gotten divorced. That and the other man Laura had cheated on him with.

Since then, Van has vowed to be more expressive with his next woman. And after meeting Kristin today, he suddenly wanted her to be his next woman. With her, he’d be willing to explore every single emotion he had. I don’t know what it is, but there is something special about this woman, Van pondered, determined to find out soon. Very soon.

“Well, Cousin J, I have to be going now,” Van said to his keenly observant older cousin. Then smiling apologetically, he fixed his eyes on Kristin again. “It was very nice to meet you, Kristin. And congratulations on that new job.”

When he flashed another smile her way, a lump formed in Kristin’s throat at the sight of his deep dimples and all she could do was nod in response. Quickly clasping her hands together behind her back, Kristin resisted the urge to trace the grooved trail of dimples down Van’s face. She also resisted the urge to stare at his muscular frame in the khaki overalls he wore. Van had only worn a white tank t-shirt underneath and his large arms were exposed, distracting her in an unexpectedly sensual way, letting Kristin know that everything didn’t die with her husband as she erroneously assumed. To her surprise, every womanly desire she had was still alive and kicking. And kicking hard, too.

“Bye, brown-eyes,” Jana chimed in as Van proceeded down the stairs to his jeep. Then after he drove off, she picked up the two empty iced tea glasses and turned to go back inside. “Okay, daughter-in-law, I’m ready to hear all about this new job that’s got you’re so excited.” But I bet it don’t have you half as excited as that new man you just met, Jana added to herself.

© 2007 by Suprina Frazier

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