ago when she was stripped of her dignity, accused of stealing a 'diamond' ring that she had only seen on the accuser's finger. Suzie Mae knew that she had been wronged! That public humiliation was etched in her mind. She began to feel an awful pain moving through her body. The memory seemed to grab hold of her mind, no letting go. Suzie Mae sought relief, a big cup of herbal tea would be able to cure this she thought or at least soothe the constant drumming she was experiencing in her head. After a few gulps, the pain seemed to lessen, that African Rooibos tea worked wonders all the time. She sat in her favorite chair with the cushion fluffed up, about to get lost in her thoughts and as she sipped the red bush tea,she felt calmer. Her mind took her to that fateful day when she was questioned for hours in a small room. She was left for moments at a time while the 'authority' stepped outside to compare notes and decide her fate. The room reminded her of the cell she was sure to occupy if she could not defend herself. She had read stories of people who were wrongfully accused and had a difficult time proving their innocence. Would this happen to her too?
There were no angry thoughts, a strange reaction she recalled; she had allowed herself to quickly remove anger. She felt hurt, no denying that but anger would have taken up too much space in her life. she was a fighting spirit and needed to pack her mind with fighting tools as she called them;faith,hope,belief and gratitude. there was no time to feel downtrodden. Only for a short moment did she stop to think why this was happening but she needed all the strength to fight this malady, she could not afford to slip into bitterness.
As she sat there waiting, her mind wandered to the day in question. It started out great, a bright sunny day. She was in a good mood, later that night the group as she called her like minded friends and a few others who like to hang with them, would meet for their charity date. They were ready to do some good for the women in crisis and make a difference in this great wide world. This was the beginning of their meet-ups that Suzie Mae was putting together to benefit their newly planned organization. The spices from today's dishes filled the room and as they unwrapped the foils, and uncovered the dishes, each surprise was met with cheers. Their appetites seemed to open but Suzie Mae was anxious to get the meeting off the ground before digging into the meal. She eyed the onion pie and the lentil stew filled with chunks of pumpkin and scallion, that basmati rice with its nutty smell permeated the air. The very humble bread pudding made in a mold was all dressed up with a creamy sauce running down its sides. As she secured the dishes,keeping them warm or refrigerated as needed, she marvelled at her small group of friends, coming together was part of their makeup, they were always ready and willing to go the extra mile.
Mendacity was part of this group but it was evident that her interest was elsewhere. She was constantly promoting herself without a care for anyone else. Suzie Mae allowed her to join the group knowing that we come in all sizes and shapes and may be she would have a change of heart and gain a sense of community at these gatherings. Today she came late, decked out in 'mink' and 'diamond'while everyone else was casually dressed, she was one for attention seeking. As the others gawked, Suzie Mae wanted to get on with the business at hand and so she paid little attention to the distraction.
The group enjoyed putting their ambitious plans together and as they shared their pot luck meals and belly laughs, this soiree was happy to get their project off the ground. "We will call it Bringing Salvation" Tandem proclaimed and a new project was brought to life. Suzie Mae laughed as she recalled the antics of the night, the spirits were high, they even allowed Mendacity to strut her stuff and everyone clapped and cheered her on as she worked the crowd. That Mendacity sure loved the limelight. And when they said goodbye as the sun began to rise, Suzie Mae sat contented, listening to the soothing voice of Seal pealed out "A Change Is Gonna Come" until she fell asleep.
Her spirit was soaring as she worked on their "Bringing Salvation" project. it was in the midst of this uplifting project that she was summoned to face false accusations made by Mendacity. Suzie Mae remembered that Mendacity had her ring finger pointed out, forcing everyone in the room to stop and adore it and she told them that it was a gift from her beau and it cost a whopping six figure. She also remembered the chuckling from the group and someone muttering under her breath that it was a fake. That is the last memory Suzie Mae had of this "diamond ring." Mendacity kept a straight face and ignored the chuckling and snide remarks from the group. She did not bat an eyelid and did not pay any attention to the silly remarks; she had gotten their attention. They had noticed her masterpiece and that was her intention.
Mendacity told the authority that the crowd of women wanted to try her ring and the last person wearing it was Suzie Mae. Suzie Mae gave her side of the story remembering the distraction. She recalled Mendacity prodding everyone to look at her ring and to try it on and a few may have but not Suzie Mae. She is serious minded and knew that tonight at the firm(the place of gathering) was not merely for gallivanting but to get down to business. Suzie Mae was accused of robbery, she was shaken, broken in spirit, feeling downtrodden. Although the evidence was not strong, Suzie Mae's reputation was tainted. This left her despondent, empty, every last drop of energy poured out of her.
After the initial shock had worn off she forgave Mendacity,only then could she forge ahead. She made a promise to herself that one day when the time was right she would seek and find Mendacity and ask "why?" She wanted to restore her honor, worth and reputation. She wanted redemption.
Staring with a new fervor, she opened the window of her soul and let the bad air out. And with passion she continued to fulfill the promises she made to bring the project to fruition. she had lost hope but restored it. Sometimes we are the victims of pure bad luck, she thought, trying to console herself. But as she milked the red bush tea and listened to Bob Marley's "No woman No cry" she knew for sure there was no time to wallow in her sorrows as she fervently worked at their Bringing
It has been five years but something was different about this anniversary. She had glimpsed Mendacity only a few times since this groundless incident; yet they carried out their lives in close proximity. Today Suzie Mae was fidgety, the memory of that call began to position itself in her mind. This was not good, she thought. "I have to remove this poisonous thought." Right about now a good cup of tea would soothe her soul and she stepped into the cafe to mull over this thing that has never left her mind. She had just settled into a cozy corner when she heard someone called out her name and soon they were facing each other. Mendacity pointed to the ring on her finger and Suzie Mae let out a loud gasp. She was lost for words, but Mendacity explained that she wanted to teach Suzie Mae a lesson and so she pinned the story of the stolen ring on her. Mendacity was seeking forgiveness. This was the opportune moment Suzie Mae was hoping for, this was the "why"? time. Yes indeed, it was the chance to close the book on their unfinished business.
QUESTIONS FOR UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- Suzie Mae described packing her mind with what she called fighting tools. How is faith,hope, belief, gratitude, fighting tools?
- Name other fighting tools of your own.
- "Bringing Salvation" seemed a peculiar choice of name. Name some ways this group could bring salvation to women in crisis?
- Did Suzie Mae find redemption when she came face to face with Mendacity. How would you handle the confession of the accuser?
- Unfinished Business is the title, why is it appropriate?
- Continue Suzie Mae's story after her path crossed with Mendacity.