Linda Kolbe

 

Linda looked around nervously as she was summoned to the podium. She felt like she was in some kind of AA meeting. With a sigh, she stood up and walked down the rows of folding gray chairs with the uncomfortable padding, keeping her eyes low to the ground to avoid any sudden, unwanted contact. Linda dragged her Converse across the tile floor, making it squeak occasionally, until she reached the front of the room.

 

Leaning into the wooden podium, her pale, perfectly manicured hand tapped on the microphone to make sure it was on. Making a fist, she brought it up to cover up her mouth as she cleared her throat, "ahem," and then she leaned in to speak.

 

“Hel-hello, my name is Linda.” She spoke in a very soft, shy voice; hoping the setting on the mic wasn’t on high so people couldn’t hear her. “I Graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in graphic design.” Biting her lower lip, now feeling more embarrassed and self-conscious than before, admitting she was a total geek, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of... Right?

 

“Working for the university’s newspaper taught me how to format and typeset which helped me understand printing. This led me to become a designer for a startup company, creating their advertisements, logos, and updating their website.”

 

Linda hesitated, considering if she should continue with her background, thinking most were getting bored. “I’m self-taught in CSS for creating basic skins for forum sites. Allows more creativity than just basic HTML.”

Brown eyes finally looked up at the people staring at her. Sheepishly; she ran her hand over her long, dark-brown locks, brushing strands out of her eyes. “I guess that’s enough of my background. As for the real person, who am I?”

 

She paused and contemplated the question.

 

“Happily married, mother of almost teenage twin girls and one toddler boy, and I have an incredible family that helps me out. My friends mean everything to me! I’d gladly take a bullet for them.”

 

She smiled widely at the mention of her family and friends, dimple displayed on her left cheek. “Laughter is the best sound, especially when it comes from my daughters and son.”

 

With that, Linda stepped down from the podium and slowly made her way back to her seat. The walk back didn’t seem as long as when she first got up to speak, but this time, she held her head up high, proudly, but glad that was over just the same. How she hated to speak in public, but now everyone knew some things about her.

 

 

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© 2014 Jo Michaels

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