Courageous Expectations

Submitted into Contest #231 in response to: Write a story about hope.... view prompt


Christian Drama Inspirational

Samantha sat beneath the tall and aged oak tree with her notebook clutched tightly to her chest. The breeze blew gently across her brow. The coverage of the tree protected her from the high sun. This was the most important day of her life. Today is the day she finds out if all of her hard work pays off. Today, she finds out if the internship will be awarded to her … or to Tabitha … a not as talented but more likable personality. The announcement was to be made later this afternoon, Samantha sat on the ground recalling each step that she made in this process, confirming each decision she had made and praying that they; the confirming committee, would see that she is the best choice. She had only one fear really, Tabitha was quite likable and easy going, Samantha always spoke her mind … just as it came to her. She knew that sometimes she came off strong and that was what worried her about getting this position; but she really wanted it, and she worked harder than ever to get it.

Last year she had tried for a different job and was bested by a very likable person who she found out later paid her way into the job. It hit Samantha hard because she had worked hard to get that spot only to have it taken away by a cheater…someone who knew that they were not as good as Samantha. She had been raised to work hard and earn her way. All her life this was how Samantha operated. She was also raised to be honest, even if she was standing alone. Samantha took her grandmother’s advice to heart, for she was the strongest woman that she knew. Samantha had great respect for the woman who stepped in to raise her when her parents were killed in an automobile accident when Samantha was quite young.

Her grandmother, Ruby, held her to a high standard and would not let anything be an obstacle that Samantha could not overcome. Ruby was a strong independent Christian woman. They lived a modest life, but not overly struggling. Ruby insisted on teaching Samantha the values of honesty and hard work. She instilled the satisfaction of learning how to overcome obstacles and challenges. She questioned choices along the way to make Samantha use her brain and make sure that the choice was a sound one. Ruby would challenge all her choices in the beginning to see if Samantha would stand up for herself, offer alternative possibilities and outcomes causing Samantha to look at the whole situation and not just what was before her. It was not all doctrine; Ruby was quite a childlike character. Games were every night in some fashion, story telling of one’s day and as always, plenty of quality time. There was no doubt in Samantha’s mind that Ruby loved her more than life itself. She also knew that there was only one person that Ruby loved more and that was Jesus. Ruby had instilled a great since of loyalty and love for Him and passed that love along to Samantha.

When Samantha was devastated with the failure of the job last year, Ruby was there to console her, giving her an appropriate amount of time to grieve and be angry and then to challenge her to seek out what it was that she was really supposed to be doing. Ruby used the same technique whenever Samantha would get down about the tragic death of her parents. Ruby would always see the signs of an episode coming and prepare for the outbursts. Some were more difficult than others, but Ruby stood firm in her faith that Samantha would prevail and be stronger from her grief, that she would embrace it and make her more fortified to manage upcoming worldly challenges.

Samantha began to pray for the internship when her mind started to wander. She could not stay focused on asking for favor in this moment. Samantha felt an urgency to contact Ruby. Something was off but she could not put her finger on it. Reaching for her phone, she noticed that there were several missed calls from an unknown number. She called the number back and an unfamiliar voice was on the other end.

“Samantha?” they asked.

“Yes?!” she replied.

“This is Toni from Saint E hospital. We have been trying to get ahold of you for over two hours. Your grandma Ruby is here in the hospital. She had a heart attack. We need you to come to the hospital immediately.”

After a few more questions, Samantha composed herself and hailed a taxi. She knew that she was in no shape to drive. She would return to get her car later.

When Samantha arrived at the hospital and explained who she was, a security guard arrived and escorted her to her grandma’s room. There she found a uniformed police officer and someone else in plain clothes that identified themselves as a detective.

“Miss Samantha, I am Detective Ross. I am the detective assigned to your grandmother’s case.”

Samantha interrupted, “Her case? I am confused, she had a heart attack?! Why are the police involved?” with a very direct and bold tone and eyes of steel looking directly at the detective.

“My apologies, I told the nurse to lie to you so that you …”

“So, I would what???????” Samantha was now working on fury mode and trying to contain her anger. They lied to her once…now what is going on.

“Ma’am, miss, I need to explain to you what is going on. Your grandmother is a hero. I did not want to scare you with what happened over the phone. A heart attack at her age is scary enough. She saved a young woman’s life today by taking a bullet for her.” Detective Ross began.

“Wait!!!? She ‘took’ a bullet?” Disbelief and shock hit Samantha instantly.

“I know you are confused, let me explain. I will explain everything to you, and I will answer all your questions.”


Samantha turned her eyes to her grandmother who was resting comfortably, it appeared. Millions of thought raced through her mind and none of them were pleasant. Was she about to lose the one solid rock of her life? She was not up for that concept or conclusion.

Detective Ross explained that Ruby had been to the grocery store and was walking out when she noticed a couple fighting. When the man pulled a pistol from his waist, Ruby dropped her groceries and stood between the woman and the man. Ruby tried to reason with him and get him to understand the consequences of his actions. Witness accounts that the conversation between the two lasted almost five minutes and most bystanders thought that she had gotten through to him, however, in a blink of an eye, his demeanor switched, and he fired one shot at the two women. Ruby must have sensed the switch in his mood because she turned to cover the young woman as a shield catching the bullet in her right side. Other bystanders subdued the man and retrieved the gun until the police arrived.

Samantha looked at the detective with tears streaming down her face. Ruby had always told her to stand up even if she was alone. Accept the consequences and move on. But how was Samantha going to move on if she lost her grandma? Her internship was not as important anymore. All she wanted was for her grandma to be okay. After a few more minutes with the police, Samantha sat down beside her, bowed her head, and began to fervently pray for a full recovery.

Throughout the night, Samantha remained at Ruby’s bedside. When the nurses had shift change, they brought some snacks in for Samantha, a pillow, and a blanket. They knew that they were not going to convince her to go home. Samantha pulled her phone out of her backpack; it was dark and dead. ‘Well, I am sure I lost that internship, they could not reach me, so I just handed it over’ she thought. One of the nurses had a charging cord and offered to charge her phone for her. With deep gratitude, Samantha agreed.

Samantha’s thoughts were all over the place as she stared solidly at her grandmother. The internship was most definitely a wash, that snarky lovable Tabitha surely got it. Her parents’ accident crept into her thoughts. Then the job she lost last year. Then wondering thoughts of failure from throughout her life. Samantha was starting to feel the weight of the world heavily about her shoulders. Then she reflected on all the challenges that Ruby had made her work through. How many of those that she was sure she had the right answer for, and Ruby challenged her with alternative solutions. When she got to the hospital yesterday, she was sure she had the answer of what was going to be the outcome of this stay, it was not pleasant, but now … she is challenging herself with an alternative outcome for both the loss and/or the favor of her grandma. She was not going to accept defeat. Then the prospect of the internship crossed her mind. If they awarded it to Tabitha because Samantha’s phone died, then they can have her, but … she was preparing alternative solutions … she was going to fight for this internship. They were not going to leave her in the wind without a fight. She had worked too hard. She was going to win that internship regardless of what happened. Her grandma did not raise a quitter. She raised an honest fighter.

Several hours passed and the nurse brought Samantha her phone, fully charged. Hesitantly she opened it up and noticed that there were several more missed calls…all from the company she was trying for and one from an unknown number. She took a long look at her grandma who was still asleep. She had not awoken in the entire time she had been there. That concerned Samantha more than anything else. Nurses tried to reassure her, but Samantha could read the writing on the wall, if Ruby did not wake up soon, she might not wake up at all. An idea that Samantha refused to entertain.

Samantha pondered several scenarios of the facts before her with both Ruby and the internship. She decided that she needed to go for a walk and clear her head. Before she left for her walk, she spoke directly to Ruby, “Grandma, you have always taught me to speak the truth. The truth is you look horrible. It is noon, and you are still in bed. You are being lazy and selfish. You act like you were shot or something. If I ever tried to stay in bed until noon, you would have my ass. Yes, I cussed, what are you going to do about it? Nothing because you are being lazy today. I am going for a walk. When I get back, I fully expect to get a severe tongue lashing for my disrespect and cursing. Do not fail me old woman. I know you are in there and ready to go home. Wake your ass up and put me in my place. Or…are YOU not a fighter?”

Samantha walked out of the room with phone in hand. She acknowledged the nursing staff who had heard her little speech, and each had a smirky smile on their faces. They reassured Samantha that if something happened that they would notify her immediately.

With a desperate need to clear her head, Samantha decided that she would walk back across town to get her car. The hike there would be about five miles. Plenty of time to do some necessary soul searching, thought processing, and potential decision making. Enough time to process Ruby style alternative answers to this problem. One thing she was not going to do…was give up on either dilemma…the internship was hers and Ruby was going to wake up prepared to chew her up. These were two facts of life that she was going to stand solidly on.

The walk took about an hour and a half to make. Along the way, she met a few very interesting people who thought her crazy to walk all this way instead of taking a taxi but encouraged her to keep her focus and her faith. Once she arrived at the aging oak tree outside the business with the internship, she sat down for a moment, took a deep breath, paused, and then looked to the heavens. “Jesus, I know this is a test of my faith and a challenge of my fortitude. My desire to work here was brought on by You when you introduced me to Melvin, the CEO at the restaurant at which I was working. If You had not intended for me to be here, You would not have introduced us. I know that You have blessed me with this internship, now grant me the strength to walk through those doors and receive my blessing. No phone calls, this is face to face.”

She stood up, brushed the grass and dirt from her already day-old clothes, squared away her hair, and with a determined square in her jaw, Samantha walked into the reception desk. The receptionist snarked at her appearance but rang upstairs Melvin’s secretary. Samantha allowed access to the upper floors. Upon exiting the elevator, she noticed that Tabitha was there as well. She was clean, and smartly dressed. She, too, snarked at Samantha’s appearance. After a few minutes had passed, the two ladies were called into Melvin’s office. Some small talk ensued to which Tabitha jumped on to show how personable she was. When Samantha had had enough of sugar coating she spoke up, “Sir, I know that I am still wearing yesterday’s clothes and I am not kissing your ass like Tabitha. I apologize for my language; however, you and I both know that you don’t want Mrs. Sugary Pants over here running this campaign, you want an independent thinker who does not need a babysitter and will make choices based on the information at hand and will also process alternative solutions before setting on any one solution. I am as hard working as they get. I make not excuses for my actions, I am who I am because I was raised by an independent strong woman whom I cannot wait to go back to and tell her that all her hard work in me has paid off. So, can you please just award me the internship and let me get back to my grandmother.” Samantha looked right at Tabitha with eyes of steel and expression of ‘you know this is mine.’ She could see fear in her eyes.

Clearing his throat, Melvin addressed the two young ladies. “Well Samantha, that is a bold claim for someone who failed to respond to several calls yesterday afternoon. Would you care to explain yourself? Why should I give it to you when you seem to be unreliable.?”

A glimmer of hope sparked in Tabitha’s eyes.

“Sir, frankly, if that is how you see it, then you have forgotten all the hours of hard work I have already put in here. If one moment of unavailability is what disqualifies me because of a family matter and me putting my family ahead of your position, then you should absolutely take Mrs. Sugary Pants over here. But you told us from day one that family is the cornerstone of success, so I put that into play. With all do respect sir, is that your motto or just a catch phrase?” Samantha spoke with confidence.

Tabitha’s fearful eyes returned.

With a smile on his face and genuinely wanting to continue this banter, but knowing it was unfair to Tabitha to string her along, Melvin concurred with Samantha’s statements, offered her the internship, and thanked her for her candor. Then told her to return to her grandmother, he had seen the news last night, recognized her, and knew exactly where Samantha had been. That he was proud of the decisions she had made and could not wait to work further with her on upcoming projects.

In her car, Samantha cried at the blessing of the new job. Holding true to what she had told her grandmother, she drove back to the hospital ready to receive a lecture like no other. She knew without a doubt that she was about to get reamed by an old woman with gunshot wound and that was all right with her.

Entering the floor to Ruby’s room, the nurses were all smiling. Samantha cautiously walked into the room and Ruby sat there with a firm face, she instructed Samantha to close the door that there was no one here to save her and proceeded to give her a respect lecture.

With tears of love, Samantha sat still and endured the lecture she so rightfully deserved, from the strongest woman she knew.

December 31, 2023 19:17

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Domika Stewart
12:20 Jan 11, 2024

"Hello! You sound like an interesting writer. I have to be honest; I feel uncomfortable with critiques. I see some issues with my writing sometimes as well. I write and sometimes forget to not have run-on sentences. Or sometimes my sentences don't show organization. I can only imagine what you all see when you read my prompts. Overall, I love that you have a story to tell. I am still learning. You guys help me more than you realize.


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Rabab Zaidi
02:24 Jan 07, 2024

Very well done!


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