The Interview With Sarah Cummings
He pulled up the hood of his coat to cover his head as he looked straight ahead into the direction of his future. Thomas James pondered for so many years what would become of his life once he made it out of jail. He learned not to fear the unknown. For all that was known to him was a past full of darkness, but today, not even the faintness of the grey clouds could stand in his way of progressing forward with his life.
Anticipation filled his heart with rhythmic patterns of hope that cut through the fog built up within his soul. The cloudiness of his future is opening up, as a result of light cutting through, making its way through the darkness.
Turning to the left on his walk, he thought about what he wanted to do with his life, and most importantly, he thought about what he wanted from life.
During his years in jail, he read up on various forms of literature. In addition to reading the Bible from the jail library, he developed a passion for poetry. In particular, he loved Pope, Dunn, Shakespeare and the writing style of Emily Dickenson. He often wished he lived during her time, because she had much in common with him. Well, their passion for knowledge.
Throughout the years, Thomas James developed a passion for knowledge, reading philosophy, all the great authors of fiction such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. E. Cummings, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote. He considered them all to be geniuses in their own right. Truman Capote was his most favorite writer of all time, because he could relate to his life of depression, suffering, and inner turmoil. Truman Capote committed suicide, because he couldn’t endure the emotional turmoil going on inside of him. Thomas James often considered suicide himself throughout the years that lead up to his arrest and being placed under a psychiatrist’s care. He was diagnosed as being Bipolar, because he displayed all of the symptoms, especially the fact that he self medicated for a number of years prior to his arrest at the age of eighteen.
Coming to the end of the second block, he stopped at the curb, and waited for the light to change to green. Upon proceeding across the street, he picked up his pace, because the rain began coming down a little stronger.
Just a little ways further, and he made it to his destination.
Entering the restaurant, he removed the hood from his head, shook out his air, wiped his feet on the mat, and approached the cashier at the counter to ask for Sarah Cummings, the owner of the establishment. “I was told to report to her for a job. May I speak to her please, Miss?”
“Sure. I’ll go get her. If you’d like to have a seat her at the counter, I’ll see to it that the waitress gets you something to drink.”
“That’s quite alright. Thank you, but I’m fine. Please don’t trouble yourself,” he said as he sat on the stool at the counter to wait to talk to the woman.
The cashier then disappeared into the kitchen.
Upon returning to the dining area, the cashier went back to her post.
Sarah Cummings entered and approached him with her hand outstretched for a handshake, “Mr. James, I’m Sarah Cummings. Thank you for coming in to see me.”
Greeting her with a handshake, Thomas James replied, “Thank you ma’am. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“Likewise. I understand you’re in need of a job.” she said while laying a packet onto the counter.
“Yes, ma’am. Officer Jarvis Maxwell highly recommended you to me.” he said while unzipping his coat.
“Okay. I have a packet for you to fill out. There’s an application, along with forms for W2’s, 401K, etc… This is standard procedure for all who apply here for a job at this establishment. He tells me you have cooking experience.”
“Yes, I was a short order cook at a…where I did time. I’m sorry, this is embarrassing. I’m ashamed of myself for having been in jail. But I want so badly to change my life, so I can make a descent future for myself. I don’t mean to put you in an awkward position,” he said in almost a whisper.
“Listen, I hire lots of folks who have had a bad past. This place is about giving second chances. Officer Jarvis Maxwell only recommends folks to me who have made serious changes in their lives during the years behind bars. He wouldn’t have recommended you to me if he thought you were dangerous. Nobody’s perfect. Just fill out the papers during our interview here. When your done, I’ll take them from you, and look them over. And, if you’re able to, I’d like to have you start work today.” she said with a cheerful tone.
Thomas James had a gleam in his eye and a sense of pride in himself for the first time in his life. He thanked the woman, and got started on the paperwork.