The air was so thick I felt as though I was breathing in through a coffee straw. My face was in flames, I was sure; but, a look into the mirror, I could only see me. Nothing too spectacular. Just plain, ordinary – me.
“Annie, if you could have anything you wanted, what would you ask for?”
I couldn’t see anyone, and was certain the doors were locked after everyone left so why I was compelled to ask, “What?” is beyond me. Maybe it was simply curiosity that provoked me to talk to the molecules. “Where are you?” Once my goose-flesh settled, I did feel somewhat drawn to the softness of his voice. I hadn’t had a man in my life since my husband passed on several years ago.
“If you could have anything you wanted . . .”
I giggled. “Is this candid camera?” This little scenario reminded me of the many episodes where a person was made to believe they were talking to some invisible person and then told they’d been "pranked". It’s got to be . . . I mused and began searching behind pictures, mirrors, the coffee pot, and plants for hidden cameras.
I stopped searching and decided to play along. “Alright, since you asked, I would like to be just like Angie. She is the most beautiful woman at church – all the men want to be near her – and the most talented. Did you hear her sing the special song last Sunday? Everyone wants her to sing at their weddings, she’s invited to all the parties and asked to prepare some of the most delectable desserts.”
“Are you sure this is what you would ask for?” he sounded sad.
“Yes sir. I would want at least 24-hours to be just like Angie.”
“Done.” He said nothing more to me that day. I dressed and headed off to our ladies’ ministry dinner and sat in my usual seat near the back corner of the room. Prepared to spend the next several hours watching Angie move about at the center of attention, I folded my arms and pressed into the chair. It wasn’t long before someone approached me, grinning.
“Aren’t you going to lead the prayer this evening?”
“What?” I haven’t been asked.
“Oh, drat! They were supposed to contact you about that. Our MC couldn’t make it today, so we thought you might be able to fill in for her.” To say I was surprised would be a gross understatement. I looked around for Angie, figuring she would’ve been the more preferred choice for these women. She was nowhere to be seen.
“Sh-sure.” I threaded my way to the podium and took the mic in hand. “Eh-hem . . .” a toad somehow perched itself on my larynx and threatened to stay. Eventually, I was able to pray and headed back to my seat. Leah, one of Angie’s best friends waved me over to her table and invited me to sit. I enjoyed an amazing dinner at the front table where we could listen to Danae Dobson share her heart. I never knew how positioning near the front affects what you hear; or, maybe it's my sudden popularity that made the difference?
The rest of the evening was just as magical. Women all over asked me to join them for lunch, go shopping, have coffee, or to just come over for a visit.
The next morning – Sunday – I found my usual seat near the back of the sanctuary. It always provided a quick escape so I wouldn’t have to watch everyone – man and woman – fawn over Angie. Like the day before, someone from the praise team approached and asked, “I was wondering if you would mind singing the special song today. Our scheduled vocalist has laryngitis.” His smile was warm and appreciative, much like the way I’ve seen him look at Angie.
“Sure,” I wasn’t sure how he learned I could sing and decided I didn’t care. I was beginning to like the attention. After service, I had countless people come to me and tell me how much they enjoyed the song.
Conversation carried us into the evening. Then things shifted. “Oh Angie, I wish we could do something to draw Annie out of her shell.” One of the ladies whispered. “She’s so beautiful and talented, but hides behind a shield of fear.”
The woman was talking to me – Annie – wasn’t she?
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