I took a deep breath. You can do this. I told myself. I opened the garage door and turned on the car. The seat was sticky and I shifted to try to find somewhere comfortable. I had been sitting in the car for hours debating back and forth on whether or not I could do this.
You can still turn back.
But I shouldn't. Doing this will be for the better.
If I did this and I told my family I wouldn't be continuing the business they would be heartbroken. But I couldn't stay there any longer. I wasn't happy there.
I turned on the radio to try to drown out my thoughts as I drove my car along a familiar path. Left twice right three times left right left left right left. I emerged in a city full of towering buildings that loomed over you, casting shadows on a sidewalk littered with garbage. People sat on the side of the roads with signs begging for food while others sat at expensive restaurants gazing at the lake on the other side of the city. It didn't make sense how such a beautiful sight could be right next to a polluted city. Someone honked and I was jolted out of my thoughts.
I turned right at the stoplight and found a parking spot on the side of the road only a couple of blocks from my destination. I opened the door to my yellow slug bug, a car choice my father had scoffed at. “Why don't you get something more professional?” He had asked. But I had just shrugged. This car just made me feel happy, the bright bubbly yellow color on a small metal machine. The headlights looked light wide bright eyes and a smile lingered beneath the motto everything about that car just screamed happy!
No. I didn't want one of those ominous black cars my father drove. Those cars where you would expect a wealthy businessman to get out of and glare at you like you were a rock among diamonds. I sighed and pulled a yellow sweater over my navy blue crop top and pulled my hair up into a ponytail.
I walked up to a building that I had always feared ever since I was a child. My parents always used to go on and on about how when I grew up I was going to work there. I would be a businesswoman like my mom and be as wealthy and successful as they were. But I never liked it there. The dull colors, blank walls, and the cold calculating looks I always got there. I hated it here every single inch.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the looks and the judgment. I curled my fingers around the icy cold door handle and pulled it open. I stepped onto the tile floor and shivered. It seemed to be colder in here than it was outside. The walls felt like they were closing in on me, not enough space, not enough air to breathe, to small of walls.
“Hello, how can I help you.” A woman asked in a monotone voice.
“I'm here to see Mrs. and Mr. Stoddard.” I stuttered.
“Mrs. and Mr. Stoddard are not available at the moment she replied. Please come back later”
“Please don't.” A gruff voice responded. I jerked my head up. A man stood at the top of a winding staircase, his shadow slithered down the stairs after him as he walked, his shoes clinking against the stone.
“Now is a fine time.” I nodded meekly as he approached me.
“Hello, darling!” My mother exclaimed walking out from behind a large stone column. With her long bony arms, she wrapped me in a hug.
“Quite a pleasure to see you here now what are your motives?”
My mom's cheery face made me feel all the more guilty.
You can leave
They'll be suspicious and you know you want to get this over with.
“Finally decided to accept our offer?” He asked.
“Umm.” You can do this. “Actually no.”
“NO?” My dad spluttered. “NO? You don't just say no to an offer like this! Do you know how many people dream about this offer their whole life?”
Less than you would probably think.
“But why honey?” My mom asked. “You've been looking forward to this your whole life!”
No, you have. I thought bitterly
“I'm sorry this is not what I want to do with my life!” I exclaimed.
“This is a great thing to do with your life. Do you know how successful you'll become?”
“I don't want to be successful! I want to be happy, I don't want to go to work dreading it, I want to be excited!” I exclaimed. “You can spend your life however you want but you can't control mine and I’m deciding not to work here and you can't do anything about it!”
“Are you sure honey?” My mother asked sadness in her eyes and I felt a pang of guilt.
“Yes, I'm sure I've been sure for a long time.”
“Then why didn't you tell us?” She asked softly.
“Because I knew you would respond like this!”
“And we're right to do so! You're throwing away your life!!”
“Honey maybe we should try to keep an open mind.” My mother suggested.
“Fine. But when you're broke and living on the side of the road don't come to us for help because you'll find none! don't come back!” He hissed storming off.
I don't think you know what keeping an open mind means.
“I'll support you, honey.” My mom promised.
No, you won't. You'll be too scared to speak up to my father. But I hugged my mom anyway. I walked out the door turning at the last second to see my mom’s sad eyes. I waved sadly.
You did it!
This isn't what I wanted! I wanted my parents to support me. Not for them to tell me I'm throwing my life away! That's not what I wanted!
I threw open the car door in a huff and drove angrily out of the city and into the city park I opened the door shut it and walked into the forest I sat under a tree and buried my head in my arms.
You're finally free!
Just be happy they'll come round
I loved the forest, the animal sounds, large trees. It never judged you, always loved you no matter who you were. “Hey, are you okay?” A man asked.
I nodded unconvincingly.
I looked up and stared into my friends' large blue eyes. “How did you know I was going to be here?”
“Well, I knew you were going to come here if you were disappointed because this is your safe space, hmm I'm not sure where you would have gone if it had gone well. Also here? But it doesn't matter where I am now. I'm assuming it did not go as planned?” He asked, plopping down beside me.
I shook my head.
“Did they lasso you in? Not let you leave. They can't do that can they though?”
I shook my head.
“They let me leave they just said not to come back and that they wouldn't support me.” I sniffled.
“Don't let them get to you.”
“But they're my parents! All a child ever wants is for their parents to love and accept them for who they are. But they aren't.”
“They'll come around eventually when they see how amazing you are.” He gave me a smile.
“But they should have already seen,” I grumbled.
“Yes they should have, but just give them time okay? Everything will be alright. And I know you want to mope but what good will mopping do? Nothing moping does not accomplish anything. And you forgot this is a win for you your not stuck there anymore let's go celebrate!”
“I don't feel like celebrating,” I grumbled.
“You should. And that wasn't a suggestion.” He pulled me to my feet and wiped a strand of hair from my face.
“Let's go get some ice cream. I know today didn't go exactly how you wanted but that's okay. Your parents will always love you no matter what you choose and they'll accept you eventually. You hear me?”
“Ben and Jerrys or Baskin Robbins?” He asked.