Caged in Winter

By: Brighton Walsh

“Jesus, Tess, just spit it out.”

“I just . . . I don’t get you. I mean, you’ve got this amazing job waiting for you after graduation, one most people fresh out of college would kill for, where you’ll probably make three times what I could ever even hope to make, and you’re moping around like a petulant child. What gives?”

“Look, I know how good I have it, okay? And I feel like a selfish asshole for not being grateful for it. But how would you like it if your whole future had already been mapped out for you from before you could even walk? It’s a lot of pressure. And not only that . . . What they want me to do? Being the vice president of a financial investment company? It’s not me. I hate that shit, you know that.”

“I do . . . But it’s not so bad. Have you talked to your dad about maybe doing a different job within the company?”

I shake my head. “Nope. No way he’d go for it. It’s all or nothing with him. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word compromise.”

“So you’re total opposites, then, huh?”

“When you start comparing me to my father, that’s my cue to leave.” I move to get up, but Tessa laughs, pressing both her feet on top of my thigh to get me to stay put.

“You’re nothing like him, not really. But you are stubborn. Which is why I’m so surprised you’re taking this lying down. Just try it. What have you got to lose? He might surprise you.”

Or he might prove every thought I’ve ever had of him right, and I’d be back at square one.

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