Suzanne stopped at the sound of her name, sure the grimace on her face was hidden from the speaker behind her. She took a deep breath to steady herself and turned around. The new choir director marched through the hallway aiming for directly for her.
Her lips pinched and her sight narrowed as she spoke to man. “Mr. Powers, we have already discussed the issue and I have nothing more to say.” She glanced at her watch and tapped her foot in irritation. She had less than ten seconds before Ryan started looking for her, and, in the labyrinth of the church hallways, he could hide forever. She had no patience to play hide-n-go-seek with her ten-year-old son.
“Ryan’s class has been let out and I must pick him up.”
“He will be fine for a minute. I need to talk to you.”
“I will not be late.”
“Mrs. Stanford, please think of the talent that Ryan has. God has given him a gift that should be shared, not hidden. What did Pastor Mike say just today? ‘We must give God our all.’ Cannot Ryan share his gift instead of keeping it to himself?”
“I have told you already the answer is ‘no.’ Now please excuse me.” She turned to leave and was surprised to feel a strong grip on her elbow. She glared at the hand holding her elbow and lifted her eyes to man who owned the hand. With clenched teeth and her frostiest voice she spoke loud, emphasizing each word. “Please excuse me.” She jerked her arm away and practically ran from the man.
“I’ll call you later,” she heard him answer as she swiftly covered the distance to Ryan’s room.
Why did he keep on persisting, she wondered. Mr. Powers had been hired as the new choir director at her church last month and someone had told him about Ryan’s beautiful singing voice. Two days ago, he called her and asked if Ryan would sing a solo for the Christmas Eve service. Ryan loved singing, but not in front of people. He did not like the attention, unlike his father, who constantly craved attention. Suzanne thought wryly of her ex-husband, he craved so much attention that he had a different girlfriend every week, even when married.