Did You Hear?!

Bring Bring, The sound of the phone ringing painfully surrounded the room like nails to a chalkboard. Jessica rolled over quickly to put it to an end. Slowly picking up the phone without even looking to see who it was, “Hello”, she said lightly. The light from the early afternoon sun beamed directly into her face.

          “ Hey girl, hey!”

From that response it could only be her best friend, Alexa. Every Saturday afternoon she called around the same time with the same intent: gossip. Sitting up in the bed, Jessica finally got herself together. Noticing that her boyfriend Dino’s side of the bed was empty, she stretched her legs across the bed.

“What’s up love”, Jess finally responded.

“Jess, you do this every Saturday. Get Up!”

“I’m up. I’m good. What’s up?” Rolling her eyes, Jess already knew the real reason for the call. She wasn’t much of a gossiper but sometimes it was entertaining to hear.

“You remember Tina from senior year?”

Jess took a second to think. “Wait...yeah I do. We had a design class together. I remember she aced our final project, even though she had just done it the night before. I failed.” Jess felt those same feelings trying to resurface as she told the rest of the story. “I worked so hard on mine too. It was so important to me. This guy from the industry came in that day to see all of our work. I was so upset. Anyway, why?” There was a dead silence on the phone.

“Oh yeah. Never mind then. Forget I said anything.” Alexa tried quickly to change the subject. Jess was all the more interested now.

Through much demanding Alexa had no choice but to tell her. “Ok, ok. She just moved to LA-- all expenses paid. Apparently, from that very same project you guys did last year. The guy called her and set something up for her to do some design work for his company. He’s allowing her to create her own collection.”

Jess couldn’t believe it. “How do you know?” she asked Alexa.

“Of course it’s all over her social media. Also, her cousin Martin and I are friends. He was telling me all about it. He said she goes out there next week.”

Jess felt a bit uneasy. She didn’t want to be too upset on the phone with Alexa so they said their goodbyes. Jess quickly hung up the phone and eased herself back down into the covers.  She wanted nothing more than to push her artwork all over the world. Jess was a jack of many trades but painting and clothing design were her true passions. If she could somehow incorporate the two and never have to work again, life would be perfect. “This isn’t fair,” she mumbled into the pillow.

Rolling over to look at the time, Jess noticed it was already 1 o’clock in the afternoon. She got out of the bed to try to make some type of breakfast before it was too late. Walking into the kitchen, Jess was startled when she noticed Dino already flipping pancakes.

“Ooh, you scared me! What’s up, babe? That’s for two?” she asked pointing to the plates of food.

“Of course. Hey you ok? Usually your convos with Alexa last much longer than that.”

Dino knew Jess too well.  “Guess what?” she blurted out. “Remember that girl, Tina, I told you about from my class last year?”

Dino didn’t remember but he knew that didn’t really matter at the moment. She continued without his response. “The guy who came to see our designs just offered her an opportunity to create a whole collaboration for their line. It’s a start up company, but it’s still such a good opportunity. They are paying to move her to LA and everything, man. It’s not fair. She didn’t even work hard on that.”

Dino poured more batter into the pan. He didn’t even look up from what he was doing. “That’s actually pretty cool, babe.”

“What? No, it’s not. That should have been me. I can never get anything that easy. There’s always some struggle or I have to work so much harder than everybody else. I’m tired of always pushing. When can I just coast?”

“Jess”, Dino said casually. “That’s just not the plan for your life. You ever think about it like that?”

“What do you mean?”

Dino continued to watch over the stove, “You can never judge your life based on other people. It will only bring you down in the end. You only see the big picture and not all the tiny specs that make up that picture.” He sat down at the table with her. “You’re young and living in New York City. You know how many people would love that opportunity? People have bought your art and you’re creating more. Is it a whole collaboration? No. What the universe has in store for you won’t be the exact same as someone else. See what you have; what we have. Count your blessings and be grateful.”

“But still!” Jess still felt a sense of sadness.

“Oh hush”, Dino said getting up from the table. “Be grateful for your own purpose. Just like you should be grateful for this breakfast that someone else put in work to make for you.” He put the plate of food in front of her.