Here is a snippet from my book that will be free for download tomorrow and Wednesday.
“So are we buying something for everyone in the group?” Mags asked.
‘Yep, price is between $5-$10.” I confirmed.
The guys were coming up for a movie night again. We were in our final push before winter break. The pizza was ordered, the movies were cued, and I was finishing trimming Edward’s hair.
“I’m next.” Jared said. Jared started hanging around us more after the physics study session. It was nice having him around again and I was doing a good job of not letting my mind take it past a friendship.
“Edward, you are all set, that will be $100.” I smiled.
“Umm, I will gladly pay you Tuesday.” He joked.
“What are you doing? Channeling your inner Wimpy? I’ll just take a ‘thank you’.”
The boys were so trusting to have me give them a trim. I was not skilled at cutting hair but I was anal about symmetry and the only girl brave enough to risk the boys getting ticked if they hated it. It was a good thing I hadn’t had an angry customer yet. “Jared, you’re up.” He sat in front of me and they began the movie. When I was more than halfway done with his cut, our phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hold on a sec.” I said to Jared and I went out into the hall and shut the door to speak in private. My mom then inquired how my studying for finals was coming. I wondered if she could hear the people in my room. She probably thought I never studied and just partied. If that’s what she thought, she’s mistaken. I socialized about 25% of the time and that included meals and roommate time. The rest of my time was spent in class, studying, or sleeping.
“Mom, I walked past this building called Student Services the other day. I went in to see what was in there and they had guidance counselors that could help you make choices for your classes and career.”
“So?” She asked in an annoyed tone.
“So, they had this test you could take. It asked a ton of questions. Then they scored it and they could narrow down which careers would be best for your personality.”
“Again, so what?”
“So I took the test. I figured this career path I am currently on is so competitive that if my best isn’t good enough, it’s nice to know there are other options out there.”
“Yeah, like flippin’ burgers at a fast food joint,” she muttered under her breath. But I heard it and I was feeling both mad and defeated.
“Actually, there are tons of good careers out there that would pay well. And guess what? My personality doesn’t even fit with the career path I am on!” I was beginning to talk faster and louder. I was excited about learning about other jobs I could pursue and wanted to share that promising news. I was a good student and knew I could succeed at something, if I found the right path.
“What do a bunch of hippy guidance counselors know?! I have known you my whole life and know what’s best for you. And you’d better remember that if you don’t have outstanding grades...this will be your last year there. If you can’t succeed at life sciences, then you will amount to nothing. There is such a need for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, vets, that is the only career worth spending any time and attention.” The tears were racing down my face. “I don’t agree with you. There are lots of jobs you can work and make good money at. Besides, you have to LIKE your job too. You’ll be working at it the rest of your life. Doesn’t that matter?” I hated my life. Why could I not be free to make my own decisions?
“Goodbye mother.” I said and hung up before she could say anything more. I took some solid breaths and wiped my tears away. It took me several minutes though because the tears fell faster once I hung up the phone. Hopefully no one would notice, I didn’t want the whole crowd asking me a million questions to try and understand my home life. When I felt calm and collected, I returned to my room.
The movie was rolling and everyone was settled in their spots. Jared was right where I left him and I picked up my scissors to finish his haircut.
“You know, your eyes are so beautiful when you cry,” he said very quietly. I was shocked and ashamed at the same time. I thought I had waited long enough in the hall for the physical signs of crying to dissipate. I must have looked splotchy with blood shot eyes. I looked to the ground to avoid his eye contact. “Are you ok?” He asked. I glanced around the room, everyone was distracted by the movie except Jared. I nodded and continued cutting his hair. “I’m sorry, it’s really hard for me to sit here while she says mean things to you on the phone. It takes everything in me to not rip the phone out of your hand and chew her out. I don’t even know her and I already hate her. You’re a good person Perry, I don’t know what her problem is.” I felt new tears forming. He got me. No one ever spoke up for me or defended me. Everyone would just look at me in silence or disbelief. I felt his arms wrap around my waist for a hug. I put my arm around his shoulders and whispered “Thank you.” I felt part of my heart heal with his kind words. All this time I never thought anyone would understand what it felt like to be me. I had quit trying to get people to understand because they only saw the facade, they never saw how behind it was a pile of crap that rotted and festered. No one had believed me, until today.
Inconsequential (book 2 of J+P series) free for download Wed 4/23 & Thurs 4/24