Doug clocked out and avoided eye contact with his coworkers as he left. He took the stairs to the garage two at a time, not only was it faster, he got some much needed exercise. Plus, the elevators were always crowded.
“Hello, Doug.” A voice slowed his progress, but he didn’t stop. Sarah caught up to him and matched his gait, walking toward the cars.
He avoided her gaze and kept walking. “Hello.” She was kind of pretty, but he didn’t even bother to get to know her. Nobody liked him anyway, so why open himself up to the hurt?
“Did you have a good day?”
“Good as any, I s’pose.” Another pity conversation, but maybe not. “And you?”
“Wonderful. I was able to get three more contributors for the charity auction tomorrow. It’s going to be a great time. Are you coming?”
“Nah, I don’t have any extra cash to bid on anything.”
“Well, you could help at one of the tables instead. Won’t cost you anything but a little time.” Sarah stopped at her car.
He unlocked his car, took a sideways glance at her. She was smiling, and seemed sincere, which made him nervous. “We’ll see.”
* * *
Sarah’s phone rang just as she unlocked her apartment door. She dropped her purse on the desk as she answered. “Hello?”
“Hi, Mom. How are you?”
“Doing well, I see the doctor tomorrow. This sugar nonsense is driving me crazy. One day I can hardly see and the next I don’t even need my glasses.”
“I know, but hopefully once they get your levels regulated, things will be easier.” Sarah snuggled into her comfy chair and kicked off her shoes, “Do you need a ride?”
“Oh, no, dear, I know you have your auction tomorrow. One of the ladies from church is taking me. Do you have all the tables covered?”
“Almost. I spoke to Doug, the man I told you about, to see if he’d help. He might.”
“I’ll keep praying. Is he still avoiding everyone at work?”
“Most of the time. I manage to get him to at least answer me when I talk to him. But, he usually walks around with his eyes down.”
“Sounds like he needs to see himself in a new light. Have you invited him to church?”
“Not yet, I’m hoping to have one of the men at the table invite him tomorrow. I don’t want to give him the wrong idea.”
Her mother chuckled, “Is it the wrong idea?”
“Mother,” Sarah scolded, “you know I won’t date him, he’s not a Christian.”
“Goodbye, Mom, I have some more details to take care of before tomorrow. Love you.”
“Love you, too, Dear.”
* * *
Doug hit the clock as the alarm went off. “Ugh. Must be crazy.” He crawled out of bed and showered. He tried to avoid looking himself in the eyes as he shaved. He started his coffee then finished getting dressed.
The smell of coffee floated out from the kitchen as he looked for his work directory. He looked up Sarah’s number and started to dial, but hung up before he punched in all the numbers. “She’s probably not there.” He went back to the kitchen, poured a mug of coffee and grabbed a cold slice of pizza from the box, then headed for his car.
He pulled into the parking lot and only saw a handful of cars, including Sarah’s. He decided to take the elevator. As it moved up, it stopped on every floor, someone else entering each time. Doug stared at the buttons, trying to keep his pulse from racing. He let out the breath he’d been holding once they reached his floor.
He saw a huge banner in the hall that read “Diabetes Research – Looking to the Future”. He looked around for Sarah, and saw her standing near two older gentlemen.
“Oh, hello, Doug.” She waved as she saw him approach “This is Dr. Perry. He’s going to be giving vision screenings and this is Dr. Lindsey and he’s going to be doing free blood sugar tests. I was wondering if you could help them today.”
Doug tentatively shook the men’s hands, trying to keep himself from shaking. “What do you need me to do?”
“Pass out these symptom checklists for people to fill out while they wait their turn. Maybe you could even go first, to get the ball rolling once people arrive.”
”I’ll see what I can do.”
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