Kendalynn stands next to a table full of perfumes, accessories and makeup samples. Her dress denim slacks and crimson pullover sweater look amazing with her red, gold and brown ankle boots. She joins Elaine next to a display for jewelry and trendy graphic tees with Christian sayings and scriptures. Elaine looks spunky in crème Capri pants, knee high deep brown boots and a checkered brown, tan and white sweater. They begin to walk towards a table near the front where Carmandi and Patronda are seated when they are stopped by a salesperson from a major design company in New York that caters to conservative styled celebrities.
Patronda is hovering near Carmandi in a light blue blouse and navy pencil skirt. She is shifting her weight from one foot to the other in a pair of 4 inch silver and navy stilettos. Carmandi is breathtaking in a salmon tank under a khaki colored waist cropped blazer with matching wide leg pants. Her salmon and taupe kitten heels finish the ensemble.
“It is time for us to hear from the lady of the hour and find out why she has brought us all together.” Patronda speaks into a wireless microphone she is handed by a short African American woman who disappeared as quick as she appeared. With a wave of her hand Patronda directs everyone to several rows of seats facing a large blank wall.
Everyone makes their way to the seating area. Carmandi takes her time walking to the front of the chairs. Patronda sits in the chair second from the end and hands the microphone to Carmandi. A large projector lowers from the ceiling and switches on and a logo appears on the wall.
“Thanks for coming everyone lets’ take a few moments and see an amazing presentation about the new thing God is doing through us for our members. I hope everyone here will find a way to contribute and help us make this a great success.” Carmandi picks up a small remote from the end chair next to Patronda. With a point and click the lights dim and the presentation begins.
Elaine looks at Kendalynn who is biting down on her lip and trembling. The presentation of slides and imagery ends almost as soon as it starts. Carmandi stands and points the remote at the projector. The lights come back on. The logo remains on the wall.
“I will be over at the table taking commitment cards which are available on the tables throughout the room. This makeover ministry is near and dear to my heart. We have so many women who are beautiful on the inside which is important. Internal beauty is great but Better Out Than…excuse me, Better Out and In is all about making who we are on the outside as beautiful and amazing as we become more like Christ on the inside.” Carmandi lowers the microphone and takes a sweeping look at everyone seated. “I look forward to working with you all.”
Kendalynn stands and walks briskly out of the room. Elaine follows her. They enter the women’s restroom. Muffled sounds of laughter bubble up from behind the bathroom door. Moments later Elaine and Kendalynn exit the bathroom. Elaine walks ahead of Kendalynn into the room and stops to pick up a commitment card. Both of the ladies read it then make eye contact. Once they break eye contact they walk over to the table where Carmandi is sitting to wait in the line.
Patronda walks over to them from beside Carmandi. “Hey ladies, isn’t this amazing? Carmandi has reps from every major designer in California, Georgia, Florida and New York here. She is amazing.”
“She is definitely something, Patronda.” Kendalynn smiles and clears her throat. “How long has she been working on this?”
“Not long, says she received a divine revelation at your event, how to connect her passion and help her ministry.” Patronda said.
“Now that is amazing.” Elaine nods and smiles. “I didn’t realize she was that into helping others.”
“Well, she says Better In and Out is going to be so great other churches will probably wanna mirror it and get permission to do it at their churches too. Everything is being packaged and organized to make sure that it can be duplicated.” Patronda holds up her hand. Carmandi motions for her to come back to the front of the table. “I have to see what she needs. Thanks for coming.”
“You’re welcome.” Elaine said to Patronda’s back. “Why are we standing in line?”
“I was just thinking the same thing. Let’s go to Clicks and Coffee. This bird food was cute but my stomach is rumbling loud enough to register on the Richter scale.” Kendalynn smiles at the young lady standing behind them as she steps out of line.