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Rebecca glanced over her shoulder and ran, as fast as she could, dodging the customers on Main Street in search of refuge. There, up ahead she spotted The Marigold, maybe she could hide there. She tried the door. It opened and she sprinted to the back. She heard him follow her, stumbling around in a drunken stupor, calling her, yelling at her, promising her that he would do better if she would just give him a chance. She watched his shadow moving towards her, a scream hung in her throat. He saw her, he reached down, getting closer, closer…
Rebecca bolted up in a cold sweat, a dream, just a dream. She turned to see Zoe peacefully sleeping, oblivious to her mother’s nightmare. Reassuringly, Rebecca started to count her blessings. She had run away from that life, her ex had no control over her. With this job interview today, at The Marigold, a new future awaited. The cold water from her morning shower ran down her face in an attempt to remove all memory of his piercing eyes. The day could only get better.
“Think about The Marigold, think about your interview,” she said out loud. She counted The Marigold as a godsend. When she had lived on the streets her only thing of beauty had been her poor, orange marigold plant that she had resurrected from the gutter. That marigold, her pride and joy, had given her hope in the darkest times. When she had seen the greenhouse on Main Street called The Marigold, she had earnestly filled out an application, as a result she now had an interview.
Rebecca nervously walked up to The Marigold, self-consciously touching the curls piled upon her head. She entered the greenhouse, with the bell above the door announcing her presence.
“Rebecca, isn’t it?” Isaac greeted, as he maneuvered his way through the hanging flowers.
“Yes, I’m here to interview for your opening,” Rebecca managed to spit out.
“Well, come into my office over here, so I can ask you a few questions,” he replied. As Rebecca followed him to his office she could not help but notice all of the beautiful flowers that smiled down upon her.
“So, tell me, do you have any experience with plants?” Isaac asked inquisitively. Rebecca’s mind raced back to her nightmare of the past, the abuse, the poverty … her marigold.
The next few minutes passed in a blur, with Rebecca thinking she was stammering through her answers.
“Can you start Monday?” Isaac said with a smile.
“Yes, I believe I can,” she replied, coming out of the fog, in a shaky voice. She then collected her things, allowing Isaac to show her to the door. As she stepped onto Main Street she had a spring in her step. It was sunny and pleasant, quite the opposite of her nightmare. People scurried all about her, but she stopped, looking up to the heavens.
“Thank you,” she whispered, “thank you.” She knew that she had nothing to be afraid of; her life had taken a turn for the better.