Carissa’s jaw dropped as she sat before the computer for their monthly online meeting. Leslie was at it again, jabbing Carissa with little poisonous darts, trying to bring her down.
“I’ve talked with several of you,” said Leslie, “and we all agree that management should conduct a review on Carissa’s marketing initiatives. I’m sure it’s all good.” She brushed her bangs from her eyes. “But her accounts are not moving forward.”
Carissa felt her face flush. “We’re in sales right now. A review will mean costly downtime. We could lose clients.”
“But I’ve heard rumours,” argued Leslie. “Customers are talking.”
The line was quiet, and of the faces she could see online, most averted their eyes.
“I’m trying new ideas,” suggested Carissa quietly. “We just need to give it some time before we evaluate.”
“I’ll line up a review committee,” said her supervisor. “Thanks for your input, Leslie.”
Carissa felt like stabbing Leslie. If there were indeed rumours, they were the ones Leslie had started. This wasn’t the first time. Maybe she was jealous of the attention Carissa’s marketing campaigns were gaining. The tall bony girl had swaying powers and the naive ear of the supervisor.
She couldn’t fall asleep that night. What would she say the next day? She knew she needed to forgive Leslie. Like that was ever going to happen.
While starting her car the next morning Carissa finally surrendered a prayer. “Lord, help me love Leslie. I can’t do it in my own. P.S. I don’t want to love her.”
A series of red lights dragged Carissa’s mood down. She slapped the wheel. On her right was a “Bean There” drive-thru espresso and cappuccino bar. A new thought splashed into her burning heart like cooling rain.
Carissa made a right turn, joined the caffeine-desperate line-up, and ordered the plain black espresso Leslie raved about. Hope warmed her when she set the steaming beverage in the cup-holder.
When Carissa walked into the office, the chatting died. Several co-workers gathered around Leslie’s desk dropped their heads or looked away.
“Bean There”? You starting something new Carissa?” asked Leslie, with a sugary smile.
Carissa took a deep breath. “Yeah, as a matter of fact, I am.” She gave the steaming coffee to Leslie. “For you.”
Leslie’s eye-brows shot up. She shrugged at the other girls. “My favourite,” she said, removing the lid.
Carissa bit her lip to stop a gush of tears. “Have a good day, Les.” She felt several eyes on her as she walked to her cubicle. But she also noticed the lightness in her step. Forgiveness had washed away the anger. She looked back at Leslie, sipping her coffee, alone. She wasn’t expecting miracles. Leslie would probably throw another dart her way, but for now she was grateful. God had filled her with more than enough love for today.
by Pamela Mytroen