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Guardian Angel
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TITLE (EDIT)
Guardian Angel
DESCRIPTION
Robin struggles between wanting to get out of poverty at any cost and of remaining true to herself in the choices she has to make.
[1,365 words]
AUTHOR
Danielle Pettrey
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I live in Maryland with my husband and our two children. I am currently at work on my first novel. I enjoy reading, hiking, and traveling.
[July 2002]
Guardian Angel
Danielle Pettrey

"I can take you away from all this," Jerry whispered. Robin could feel the heat of his breath on her neck.

"Thatís very nice of you, Mr.Carlone . . ." Robin began.

He interrupted, "Jerry, please babe, call me Jerry."

"Okay, Jerry, I really appreciate your offer, but I have other plans for my life."

"Other plans? You waitress in a dive and live in a hole." He laughed.

"I donít plan on staying here. Iím going to work my way out," Robin said.

"Work your way out?" He roared with laughter. "Oh, honey, why donít you make it easy on yourself. Move in with me and I will show you a whole new life. No one has to know where youíre from. It will be our little secret." He grinned deviously.



Why canít anything decent ever happen to me
? Robin thought, I want out of here so badly, but is selling myself to this snake worth it? Dear God, why canít you ever make anything easy? Couldnít you just send a fairy godmother or a guardian angel or something? She prayed.

"I am sorry, Jerry, but I am going to have to refuse," Robin said.

"Refuse! Youíre making a big mistake."

"I am sorry, but I need you to leave now," Robin said.



"Iíll leave for now. But, you think long and hard about your decision. Do you hear me?" he asked, grasping her arms.

"I hear you. Now leave," Robin said, pointing to the door.

Robin quickly changed into her faded pink uniform and headed to the diner. The Elm Street Diner sat only three blocks from her house, but she prayed fervently to arrive safely. The neighborhood had grown so bad.

"Youíre late," Chuck growled, as she entered.

"Sorry, boss," she said.

"Donít worry. You can make it up to me later," he said, winking.

"Ugh," Robin sighed.

"Hey, honey, whatís wrong?" asked Alma.

"How do you always know when something is wrong?" she asked.

"A woman has her ways," Alma said.

Robin laughed. "Oh, Alma, you are too much."

"Thatís what I always told Freddie. Too much goodness for him," she said.

"You were too good for that leech," Robin said. "Speaking of leeches, guess who paid me a visit today?"

"Not, Carlone, again?" Alma gasped.

"The one and only. Told me he could take me away from all this," Robin said.

"Yea! Away from all this and straight into hell!"

"I told him to get out," Robin said.

"Good for you girl. Whatíd he say?" Alma asked.

"He just laughed. Told me Iíd always be stuck here and I should reconsider his offer."

"That pig," Alma huffed.

"My thoughts exactly," Robin said, smiling up at her old friend.

"Get to work," Chuck hollered.

Robin was surprised to see a new customer at table number five. New customers didnít enter the diner often.

"What can I get you?" she asked.

"Whatís good here?" he asked, smiling up at her.

"Not much."

He laughed. "Iím Mark. Whatís your name?"

"Iím Robin," she said hesitantly. Nobody had ever bothered to ask her name.

"Itís nice to meet you, Robin."

"Youíve never been in here before?" she questioned.

"No, I just moved to town," he said.

"You picked the wrong place to move." She laughed.

"It doesnít look like the wrong place," he said, smiling gently at her.

"Robin," Chuck shouted.

"Iíd better get back to work," she said.

"Of course. Iíll have a Western Omelet and coffee," he said.

Robin hurried through her other tables, hoping to talk to Mark again, but she was too late. He had already left. He didnít say goodbye, she thought sadly. On the table sat a card for Philadelphia Christian Church and a ten-dollar tip. He was just showing me charity. Robin thought, ashamed. I should have known better. Robin slid the card in her pocket and headed home. Along her walk, Robin heard a voice calling her. She turned to see Peggy leaning out her front window.

"Peggy, you scared me."

"Sorry. Hey, Michelle and I are going down to the high school for a self-defense class tonight. Wanna go?" she asked, throwing a punch in the air.

Robin laughed. "Sounds like fun."

"Cool," Peggy said.

Robin was shocked to see all the desperate faces, as she the entered the high school gymnasium that night. Itís like looking in a mirror, she thought.

"Ladies, gather around," a voice called. "I am Denise. Iíll be your instructor tonight. Before we begin, Iíve been asked to pass out these fliers."

Robin eyes scoured the flyer. It was an advertisement for Grace Girls, a Christian charity that helps girls turn their lives around.

"Itís one of those halfway houses," said Peggy, tossing the flyer aside.

"One of those Holy-Roller houses," teased Michelle.

"I donít know," Robin said. " A nice roof over my head and an education. Sounds pretty good to me."

"Youíve got to be kidding," Peggy said.

"Those people will turn you into some Bible freak," Michelle added.

"Iíll see," Robin said. She wasnít going to let her friends bully her out of a good decision for once. Maybe this is just what I need, Robin thought.

The next morning, Robin called and set up an interview. Grace Girls sounded perfect. She would finally be able to get herself on the right track and obtain a college degree.

"This is such a tremendous blessing," Robin said, as she thanked Mrs. Simpson, who ran the program.

"Weíll see you Monday," Mrs. Simpson replied.

Robin packed her few belongings as quickly as she could. I canít wait to march into Chuckís and quit. I canít wait to see the look on his greasy face. I am going to shove this uniform at him and sayÖ "Wait a minute. What is this?" Robin said, pulling a card from her uniform pocket. It was the church card Mark had left her. Robin flipped it over and her eyes grew wide. Mark had scribbled a note on back. How did I not notice this before? Robin wondered.



Robin,

Hope to see you again.

Mark

He did like me
, she whispered. Tears filled her eyes.

The first few weeks at Grace House were an adjustment, but Robin persevered. Her roommate Sandy came from a similar situation and the two bonded instantly.

"Letís try out the new Bible study tonight," Sandy said, one Wednesday evening.

"Okay, sounds like fun," Robin answered. As Robin and Sandy entered the study room, Robin could hardly believe her eyes, there sat Mark.

"Hey, Robin! I was hoping our paths would cross again," Mark said jovially. "They told me at the diner youíd lost your mind and joined a nunnery." He laughed.

"I joined the Grace Girls program. Everyone thought I was crazy." Robin said.

"How are you liking it?" Mark asked.

"I love it. Everyoneís great. By the way, I was thinking of visiting that church of yours on Sunday," she said.

"Thatís great. How about we go together?" he asked.

"Iíd like that," Robin said, shyly.



Four years later, Robin sat in her cap and gown, with her eyes closed and her head tilted back, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

"Robin Jennings," a voice called. "Robin Jennings," the voice repeated.

"Robin," Mark said, waving a hand in front of her face. "Where are you?"

Robin awoke from her daydream. "Someplace far, far away," she said, remembering how this had all started four years ago. It seemed like a lifetime ago.

"Itís your turn," Mark said, gesturing towards the stage.

Robin smiled and walked up to receive her diploma.

"Can you believe we did it?" Sandy said, hugging her. "Itís like a dream come true."

"Actually, itís a prayer come true." Robin smiled.

"I canít believe youíre starting your new job in just two weeks. You are going to be a great counselor," Sandy said.

"Thanks. I am just glad I can give something back to the old neighborhood. If I help just one kid, I will be happy," she said.

"Youíve already helped more than that, just by your example," Mark said, putting his arm around her.

"Youíre my finance, you have to say that."

"But, itís the truth," Mark said.

"Oh, would you two get out of here." Sandy laughed. "I will see you two tomorrow, at your wedding."

Our wedding, Robin thought, as she looked up at Mark. She had to smile, God, you really did send me a guardian angel after all.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2002 Danielle Pettrey
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
July 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1845
 

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