Today’s daily prompt: Good Tidings
Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.
Most challenging thing: Caring too much about what other people think. It’s still something difficult to handle as an adult, but it’d be better if you are able to believe in yourself more early on. Do not base your opinion of yourself off other people. Realize your own potential even if nobody else sees it. You are a good person- smart, punny, and a hard worker. You are what you believe yourself to be.
Most rewarding thing: Study Mandarin. I know, you hate going to Saturday School. Just suck it up for now and Mom is right- you will thank her later! Being able to speak Mandarin reaps rewards. You’ll get to experience living and going to school in Beijing. You’ll meet people from France, Germany, and Italy and the only way to communicate with them is through Mandarin. It’ll help you at work, whether it be your part-time jobs during high school or your future career.
Most fun thing: Look forward to meeting ATG; they are the close-knit group of friends you want so badly. They are your safe haven and they’ll help you open up your narrow world.
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
“So Samantha, any plans for post-secondary?”
What had started off as a study session turned into a very unexpected dinner in Connor’s polished dining room. The guest shifted awkwardly in her seat, her brown ponytail swishing behind her head like the tail of a horse.
“I’m aiming for James Hopkins.”
“Good for you, James Hopkins has some great programs.”
Connor munched on his pasta as he listened to Father rave about James Hopkins University as if he had actually attended the school himself. When Samantha agreed to come over to his house to prep for the final exam, he didn’t think it would be a big deal. But the moment Mother saw Samantha step foot into his house, he knew he had made a very insensitive request. Two hours later, Father randomly returned home early for dinner.
“I’d like to be an author.”
Samantha wanted to become an author. Connor felt like that was something he and everyone at school always knew. Samantha had an obvious love for literature, and Connor had noticed this even during elementary school. However, he realized now that it this was the first time she had ever actually stated it.
“An author, that’s a wonderful aspiration.”
Connor almost choked on his food. Since when did an author become a “wonderful aspiration” in Father’s mind? He had always urged Connor to study law, medicine, engineering, or business.. anything except the arts. Father had always deemed occupations like authors, artists, and musicians as ones that weren’t realistic. In other words, you didn’t earn any money. It was basically the same as being unemployed.
The more he listened to Samantha and Father’s conversation, the more difficult he found to join in. He didn’t know anything about James Hopkins or being an author. In fact, he didn’t even know where he wanted to go after high school. Connor shifted his gaze towards Mother, who also had not said a word since she placed the dinner plates down, but she was too busy smiling at Samantha.
Connor felt out of place in his own home.
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to read some of your drafts when I have the time.”
Connor couldn’t stop his face from distorting into a incredulous expression at the man who claimed to be Father. Since when did Father have time to read stories written by a sixteen-year-old girl? He barely had time to eat dinner with his own son.
“I don’t really have anything extraordinary at the moment.”
“Well when you do, hand me a copy. I’d really like to read it.”
Father’s persistence was astonishing. It made Connor wonder what his motive was. There was no way in hell he wanted to read Samantha’s writing just for the fun of it.
“Has Stevie read your drafts?”
Connor wanted to change the topic, but he realized that he had stepped on a land mine by bringing up Samantha’s family. He felt like smacking his forehead against the oak table for being so stupid.
“Yes, he has.”
“How is your family doing?”
This time it was Mother who stepped on a land mine. Connor wondered if he and Mother shared the same disposition to not think things through before saying it out loud. She had asked the question that was swimming around all three of their heads since the beginning of this dinner. Granted, it was a question that was needed to be asked, but now that it was said aloud it was as if she had opened the Pandora box. The air smelled thick.
Samantha reached for a glass of water. “It’s been a little better.”
Connor felt like she had so much more to say underneath that little sentence.
“If your Mother ever needs help with anything, please give us a call.”
Father meant that in good gesture, but Connor’s stomach sank thinking about all the unwanted gifts he had sent to Samantha’s family.
The dinner ended as awkwardly as it had started with Connor giving Samantha a ride home because the thought of letting her sit in Father’s car was the worst possible scenario to end the night on.
“I think you’d be a great author.”
“Well, I don’t know if I can actually become one. It’s not exactly the safest choice in jobs.”
“But you love to write.”
Samantha’s eyes shone in the moonlight. Connor saw it from the corner of his eye.
“Yeah, I do. It’s a challenge to get published and actually have readers, but if I’m successful, it’ll be the most rewarding job I can ever ask for. So I’m going to give it a try.”
They reached Samantha’s house.
“I’m sorry for asking you to come over today. It must have been very uncomfortable after what happened.”
Samantha didn’t deny Connor’s statement. “Thanks for the ride. Good luck on your exam.”
The moonlight followed her into her house like a spotlight. Connor looked outside from the car window and saw the twinkling stars high above him. He remembered how Stevie dreamed of being with the stars. He wondered what his dream was.
To be continued…