Speaking in Tongues 6

After closing the video, Claire found it difficult to regain her focus on work, this skill she’d developed too wonderous for her to ignore. She bit her lip, then rose from her chair, walked past her boss’ office, asked to take half a personal day that afternoon.

“Everything OK?” Her boss sounded polite but wasn’t even looking at her, his face turned in the direction of his computer’s screen.

Claire said she was fine, and after receiving permission to leave turned to walk away. Then stopped herself, tilted her head into her boss’ office again.

“You were born in Algeria, right?”

Eyebrows raised, her boss turned to her. “Ah — yes. Why do you ask?”

Claire frowned. “No reason, just — what language do they speak, over there?”

She had never seen her boss look so confused. “There’s lots of languages. French, Arabic — I learned some when I was a child, but my family moved when I was three, I don’t remember much.”

“Huh.” She pursed her lips. “So your family, they didn’t speak no French, no Arabic?”

“My parents were missionaries, from Oklahoma.” A chime sounded from her boss’ monitor, and he turned to face it with what looked like relief. “Excuse me.”


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