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Dime for Diamond Part 2

Dime for Diamond Part 2
By Michelle Tan


            "Mildred." Her name is Mildred, the lady who helped me. Somehow she told me stories about me coincidentally saving her. First, when there was a spread of wildfire on North Carolina, I saved her two-year old son. Second, on the grocery store, I was outside when a robber tripped while I was squatting. Mildred's groceries were taken away from her but were redeemed from the robber's tripping. She told me that her shopping was intended for her boss's coffee and creamer budget. Apparently, she was an assistant, and somehow I don't know why her boss would ask their assistant to get some groceries, I mean it's outside business. Honestly, I don't remember anything of these encounters and ask why would any stranger remember a filthy, informal settler as she did to me.
            "Diamond"
            "Hi Diamond, I just wanted to thank you for saving my family's life"
            "Oh, no problem."
            "So tell me, Diamond, what do you want in life? I mean, when I look in the shine of your eyes, there is a spark of hope that tells "life awaits!""
            "I just want a family. Or at least at home."
            "A family, say, then what are these notebooks for? I've read them, and you're such an excellent writer. I apologize for not asking your permission, but I was curious. And I saw your files. You're trying to get a job from top companies. I won't question your intentions, but whatever they are I will help you. Come by my office tomorrow. From now on your name would be Diamond Stone. But before that we'll fix your papers, then you shall try an IQ test from North Carolina University. I hope you’ll like your new home, okay. Babysit baby Jacob for me when I am at work, okay?"
            Before she left me at home for work, she toured me around the mansion. It was gigantic. I don’t know how I would keep up with this lifestyle. Of course, I wouldn’t be too comfortable with it, as I am reminded by my past.
            “There’s this magazine that changed my life—Dime. I don’t know if they still publish.”
            “Oh they still do.” She dials series of number on her phone. “Roger, I’d like to make an offer. I want to subscribe monthly at Dime Magazine. Please book me V.I.P. tickets into all of their events as well. Thank you.” What? I never asked Mildred to buy me or subscribe for me at Dime. 
           "Diamond, if reading Dime Magazine had changed your life positively, then I'd like you to continue it. But for now, I'm late for work. Louissa, your maid, will assist you. Bye." I don't get why I have to babysit Jacob and have a maid at the same time. But before asking, she left.

            A part of me is beaming in glory but another is terrified, what if they won't like me? Well, nobody really loved me anyway, so why must I care? Why is she even helping me? And where is his son that she said I saved several months ago? Instead of asking questions, I must be thankful that somehow, my old life is over. This might be one great opportunity for me to start anew.

            From that day, change started. I mean, life started. Mildred provided me everything--food, shelter, clothes, Dime magazine subscription and books. I never felt welcome before in my entire life.  No more scraping garbage for food, no more selling used bottles, no more worrying about my next place to stay. I asked Louissa to just be friends with me, or at least assist me with things when I need some help. I have to get used to this life, somehow, but not as comfortable like a grasshopper on autumn season. So me and Louissa treated each other like friends when "mom" is out. This happened 4 years ago. Today, I must deal with another important change in my life.

            Was I talking about my lipstick a while ago? Yes. My Crimson Red MAC lipstick; I don’t know how to feel but to be a little bit less confident of my presentation now that I am the C.E.O. of Face and Skin Cosmetics Enterprises. Now is the time I shall defend the board about my next successful product—Thrive!, a nerve calming and rejuvenating leg cream. As I wear my first lipstick, I guess all the flashbacks made sense now. That the life you always wanted is so horrific when in quest of stacking them into reality, but once your dreams are happening, there is no doubt that there is a feeling of gratefulness and achievement. Anyway, here comes the sun.

My story, the filthy turned into dazzling is not an ordinary story. Many of us are afraid of facing the odds of failure or the consequences of letting their dreams happen. Well, good thing I saw one page of Dime this saying, “You are stronger than your excuses!”
As I walk through the hallway of my own company, I remembered how I was first introduced into the corporate world.

Days after Mildred “found” me lying on the street ground and accepted me as her own child; I took an IQ test on North Carolina University.
“143.” That’s what the number indicates after the word TOTAL. I think this is my first exam after seven years. “Superior.” So that’s my IQ. Wow.
“Go ahead Diamond, don’t be shy. Hand me the results.” And I gave Mildred the papers. It’s just a number. No big deal for me, until she screamed hysterically that students at the hallway thought it was already lunch break. Professor Steve Brown was with us when he guided us at his office.
“It appears that your daughter, Miss Stone, is a gifted child with no educational background. I did not mean to offend you that way. But it seems that we never had a student who perfected our exams and finished it half the time it requires to. I would want to know your secret in nurturing your child, but I guess we just have no time. Anyway, North Carolina University accepts her to choose any advanced program for early graduation. If you are interested, here.” He hands us a bulk of brochure indicating a number of special programs offered at his University. I guess he is the main dean or leader of the school. Wow! I get to wear uniforms, for the first time in so many years. My life has transformed.
I didn’t choose the program I was in, BS Biology and Chemistry Major in Cosmetics. I guess all programs are interesting that I ended up choosing everything, then Mildred would lay out what she thinks are best for me, I ended up choosing all her options as well. So she chose the hardest. I don’t know why. But I graduated as Magna Cum Laude in the end of three years. When I was bored after class, I would visit Mildred’s office. One of a kind and state of the art architectural designs and facilities they had, I was awed.
I remember the first time I laid my eyes on her company. As Assistant of the C.E.O., Mildred managed most of the inner part of the board. That day, I had a list:
1.                   Phone calls are always answered. Press hold if semi-important, and make excuses if irrelevant.
2.                   Fax machines are only given to executives. Although, the photocopying machine is open to everyone.
3.                   The building has surveillance cameras in all places. Even the restrooms.
4.                   The company provides a planner for all of its employees; do manage your nifty journal as to organize your workplace.
5.                   The coffee nook is open for free coffees and free appetizers. An employee is only allowed to enter during break time, board meeting executive/s commands for coffee, or the C.E.O. asks for coffee.
6.                   Fire exits are used during emergency situations and catastrophes only; Quickies are not allowed.
7.                   Office supplies are available on the Supply room. The rule to hoarding is implemented. Once caught, the salary decreases depending upon the cost of damage.
8.                   THE LIST IS GROWING.

I remember this list every time I pass through ever corner of a cubicle in my office. One day, while I was just roaming at Mildred’s office, I remembered, her boss discovered my “brilliant” invention because of my notes. Okay, he asked me for my notebook because he thought I was skipping classes. Accidentally, I handed him my Idea notebook, where I place some cosmetics I plan to implement someday, that time. He offered me a slot to be an intern while I was studying at the same time. He asked if I wanted to work at his company. I rejected, but then he gave me other options (partners of his company) to choose from, since it was an advertising company.

Back in reality, I finally latched through the doorknob as I entered the room, while everyone else is waiting. This will be the next big thing, hopefully. Thrive! will make a big difference to eliminating varicose veins, a problem faced by most women. Anyway, everything starts here.
           

Moments later, the presentation was over. I don’t know how I did. The board applauded for my “success”; I looked through the transparent window at the room. Things have changed. The rays of sunshine are brighter today than it was ever before, as I bet that its warmth would welcome me later. As for now, I have to call Mildred; She’ll be happy, I swear. But before everything I dialed her digits, an unknown number called.
“Hello, Miss Stone. This is Roger Sander, Editor-in-Chief of Dime Magazine. We would like to schedule an interview for you as you feature a four-paged editorial on our August 2013 issue. Should you be interested, please call. You are one of our finest picks.”
“Hi, I will make a call when I cleared my schedule, but will you please excuse me for a minute. I’d want to make an important phone call. It would just be quick. It will be on hold.”
“Okay, Miss Stone.” And I pressed the phone on hold.
“Mom, hi. I just want to know if you’re okay.”
“Hey, Sweetie. I’m good. How’s the interview? I bet you did a great job. Would you please fetch Jacob in school? He’ll be out by two.”
“Great mom. I got accepted. Dime magazine wants an interview too. I don’t know how to even breathe.” I collected great amounts of air.
“Diamond, it’s up to you now. I saw you made great decisions in life. You’ll do great… I mean the first teenage Chief Executive Officer is my daughter. I’m so proud of you. But I need to finish my errands. We’ll celebrate later, I promise.” Then she dropped the call, and I went back to Mister Roger Sander.
“I’m free tomorrow, or any day within this week. Please inform me what day you are available.”
“As soon as possible.”
“So tomorrow.” Oh, my. I forgot the formality I must be in.
“Sure.” And he reciprocated my informality. I hope it’s a compliment.


~~~~~
Thanks Kelly and Alyssa for helping me complete this. You guys rock!



Tags:  Success, Fiction
Dime for Diamond Part 2 Dime for Diamond Part 2 Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 7:19 PM Rating: 5

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