WHAT SHALL I WEAR? (3rd place)


Line up guys. You know the routine.

Toes meet toes in my full-length mirror, turned horizontally and angled for best viewing. At least fifteen pairs of designer dress shoes are arranged from lightest pair to darkest. Heavy on the Christian Louboutin with a handful of Jimmy Choos and a dash of Chanel. Judging me by my collection, anyone might think I’m a rich snob, a superficial diva. Anyone would be wrong. I’m not rich. But I do have impeccable taste and know the value of optimal footwear.

I admit to having a smidgen of a purchasing addiction, but these guys are my first step toward getting a job as a fashion designer’s assistant. Everyone knows the sayings: "best foot forward” and “no second chances at first impressions.” I spend a tad extra for quality. But if you could smell that strong leather scent I’m enjoying right now, you would understand my obsession. Brand new Louboutins smell of importance.

Lord, please, please help me pick the right ones. Okay, shoes, do your thing. And no, I’m not crazy. I’m single and have the right to talk to my shoes out loud. Only God can hear me unless I forget to close the windows.

I pull out classy yet stylish black pumps with striped three-inch heels. When Ms. Rolen-something catches sight of these babies, I’ll get the job. Good thing no one heard me say this on my first ten interviews. But those managers had good reason not to hire me after I faulted with amateur mistakes. I should never have picked the fancy glittered pair with flowers for a tailored suit designer or wore the cute Mary-Jane style patent leathers to a sportswear company. The worst choice was rain galoshes to a couture dress designer, but the sky dumped ponds in the street that day. Ms. Dubois shook her head and arched one eyebrow when she heard them squeak across her office. I could barely answer her questions since I knew my fate.

I slip into my classic fit and flare black dress with chiffon sleeves and a silk scarf. A safe choice. I spin around singing my favorite Mandisa song. “Cause if He started this work in your life, He will be faithful to complete it, if only you believe it…this is gonna make you stronger.” Got my shoes, song, and resume. I’m ready.

My heels tap, tap, tap with my heartbeat as I navigate my way through the gleaming hallways around marble tiles, indoor waterfalls, and tropical plants to the elevator. Interview number eleven, here we go. Jesus, I could use a few more seeds of faith. Help me make a good impression. The old lady in the jogging suit is looking at me. I have got to stop talking to myself.

The elevator dings and slides its doors open. The lady steps out first and falls on her face.

I crouch to the ground. “Are you okay? Can you get up?” She doesn’t answer, so I yell, “Help, someone!” I call 911 and wrap my scarf around her bleeding forehead. Within seconds, a group gathers around us.

Someone asks, “Mrs. Bee, can you hear me?” She finally sits up and holds her head.

“Look at this pretty scarf someone gave me.” She rubs the fringes with her fingertips and drapes the blood-stained fabric across her shoulders.

When the paramedics arrive, I rush off to my interview. Instead of fifteen minutes early, I’m three minutes late.

Ms. Rolen-Beacon is stunning with long braided black hair and natural looking with pale pink lipstick. She shakes my hand. “You’re late. Trisha, is it?”

“Tasha. I’m sorry. You see as I was coming out of the elevator…”

She holds up her right hand like a crossing guard and stops me from explaining. “May I see your resume?”

My hand leaves a sweat mark on the crisp paper. Lord, help me.

“Did you say something?”

My face must be a nice shade of strawberry. “No, I mean a little prayer slipped out.”

She smiles. “I saw you helping Mrs. Bee. She comes here every month for clothes donations to bring to her church. Sweet lady. So, when can you start?”

I click my heels together as I leave her office. Thank you, God. I knew this was the right pair.

###

1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Note: I wrote the first draft of this story for the Faithwriter's Weekly Contest and received 3rd place Editor's Choice. Since I rushed to enter the story before the deadline, I went back to edit and this is the finished work.

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