Posted by: fictionopia | January 9, 2009

1.05 – “Everyone else paid $24.95.”

The morning after her birthday Sarah intended to take action. She spent most of the morning online sending out her resume. But the lack of appealing prospects took a toll on her enthusiasm. By lunchtime she had given up her job search and was on her third game of computer hearts.

Sarah was in the kitchen when she heard her mother come in the front door. Sarah’s search for lunch had turned out little better than her search for work. Fortunately her mother had come bearing gifts in the form of moo shu pork and shrimp lo mein. Sarah gathered plates and forks and met her mother at the dining table.

“Want to talk about it, Sare-Bear?” Melody asked.

“There’s nothing to talk about. I mean literally, nothing of my life left to talk about.”

“Then start a new life.”

“I wish it was as easy as you make it sound, mom.”

“Sarah, tell me something. Before yesterday, were you happy with your life?”

Sarah stalled for time by tearing open a packet of duck sauce with her teeth. She squeezed some of the sauce on her egg roll and took a big bite, even though she knew her mother would simply wait patiently for a reply rather than let her off the hook.

“I don’t know,” Sarah relented, shrugging. “I mean, I wasn’t unhappy.”

Melody waited.

“Maybe I thought my apartment was too small. And sometimes it did bother me that my boss was younger than me. And I just…I just don’t know if I saw myself spending the rest of my life with Drew. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, mom. My life was fine. But that’s sort of the problem. It was just fine.”

Placing a hand gently on top of Sarah’s hand Melody told her daughter, “Sare-Bear, if you want a different life, you have to—“

“Make some different choices,” Sarah finished for her.

“Hmm…that sounds familiar,” said Melody. Sarah endured a long and knowing look from her mother.

“Mom, you can’t be serious. The horoscope? Is that really your advice, that I plan my life around some random horoscope?”

“My advice, Sare-Bear, is that getting what you want out of life means putting the “work” in “work-in-progress.” Melody started towards the kitchen with her dishes, pausing briefly to give Sarah a kiss on the forehead.

Sarah remained at the table, helping herself to seconds. She thought for a moment then called out to her mother, “Mom, isn’t that from one of your books?”

“Yes, sweetie, and you got that for free,” Melody called back. “Everyone else paid $24.95.”

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