Gene got to work forty minutes early the next morning after having spent a restless night at home. He wasn’t the only one early today. Kylisha and Arnaz’s cars were also in the parking lot.
Wonder why they’re so early today, Gene mused. He hoped they weren’t in the break room having an intimate moment like he and Kylisha had once upon a time.
Gene quickened his strides as jealousy coursed through his veins. When he got to the break room, he saw Kylisha and Arnaz huddled up at a table. A black Bible and two notepads were in front of them. Ready pens sat in their hands. They were having pre-workday Bible study.
Gene’s jealousy grew as he walked over to the coffee dispenser without saying a word to either of them. Was he jealous of two Christians having fellowship? No, ninety percent of Gene’s closest relatives were Christians, who were always studying or discussing the Bible around him.
Gene’s jealousy rested on the fact that Kylisha’s fellowship was with a man who clearly wanted her for more than just a study partner. It also included the fact that Gene knew Arnaz was a better man for Kylisha than him right now. That stabbed him deep, like a dagger to the gut.
“Good morning, Mr. Waldenhall,” Kylisha said, turning to smile at Gene upon noticing him in the room.
“Good morning, Miss Greene,” Gene replied, talking over the thick lump in his throat. Just the sight of her smile made him happy inside, made him forget all about his misery temporarily. “Morning, Arnaz,” Gene said, forcing himself to be civil to the man he secretly envied.
“Morning, Mr. Waldenhall,” Arnaz said, sounding just as forced.
Returning his gaze to Kylisha, Gene felt the need to explain himself. “I’m sorry I didn’t say hello sooner, but if my grandmother ever found out I interrupted somebody’s Bible study, she’d whip my hind. Even at this age.”
Kylisha chuckled at the mention of her favorite matriarch. “I believe she would, too. From what I’ve seen of her, Grandma Janelle don’t play.”
“Who you telling.” Gene winced and patted his backside, causing Kylisha to erupt with laughter.
While Gene and Kylisha jovially discussed Grandma Janelle, Arnaz fought not to frown. Although he liked Gene as a boss, he didn’t like the effect Gene always had on Kylisha. With just a few words, Gene could make her laugh or cry depending on what was said.
Arnaz also didn’t agree with Gene’s lifestyle. It made things harder for loyal guys like him. Arnaz had been having regular Bible study with Kylisha for weeks now and she still wouldn’t go out on a date with him.
I guess I have to move a little bit faster now. Step up the pace, Arnaz mused, determined now more than ever to capture Kylisha’s heart.
“Excuse me, Kylisha, but if we’re going to finish this chapter before work starts, we need to get back into it,” Arnaz said, breaking into her conversation with Gene.
Kylisha blinked rapidly, as if she’d been in a daze. “Oh, yeah. Of course.” She reached for her notepad.
Gene’s smile drooped into a straight line. This was the closest he’d come to a lighthearted conversation with Kylisha since their altercation, and Arnaz had to go and ruin it.
“What book are you reading in?” Gene asked, not quite ready to release her yet.
“1 Samuel 16,” Kylisha replied. She looked pleased by his interest, unlike Arnaz, who looked a bit peeved.
Gene nodded. “That is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible.”
Sure it is, Arnaz mused in disbelief.
“I love the part where God tells Samuel that he sees not as man sees. That man looks at a person’s outward appearance, but God looks at a person’s heart,” Gene said, reciting what had been spoken to him many times by his grandmother.
Arnaz’s mouth gaped open in shock.
Kylisha grinned in approval. “I love that part, too, Ge…Mr. Waldenhall,” she replied, catching herself just in time. “I try to live by that godly principle.” She lowered her gaze to the notepad in her hands.
“It’s a good one to live by, Kylisha,” Gene said, deliberately addressing her informally, causing her to meet his gaze again. “Well, I’m not going to hold you up any longer. You guys have a good day,” he added, turning back to the coffee dispenser.
“Y…you, too,” Kylisha stammered out while Arnaz brooded beside her.
After finally retrieving his coffee cup, Gene went to his office. He grinned the whole way there as hope made happy footprints in the sand of his heart.
© 2006 by Suprina Frazier
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