Lily was scrolling through her newsfeed on her phone when her friend Courtney messaged her. She sounded really hyped about the online novel she was reading. The latest chapter apparently ended in a cliff-hanger, and it was all Courtney could do to not jump off a cliff, she said.
Even though Lily usually enjoyed listening to Court’s rants and analysis of certain events in the story, she could not concentrate on what Courtney was saying. The mind numbing thoughts she’d been having all day continued to make her mind numb. Thoughts, she thought, did little to help. They did what you didn’t ask for. She replied only occasionally, and even then with only a few casual words.
Lil? You okay? Courtney asked. She even added a worried emoticon.
I am confused at times. Lily replied warily. Should I sound? Should I echo? Should I lead or should I follow?
It took her friend longer than usual to reply, even though she’d seen the message almost immediately. This is about that family business, isn’t it?
Again, the reply took a long time.
I think you should just be yourself and follow your heart. You need not answer all the questions definitely before you even start. You can just laugh and laugh again. Have fun and do what you love, you know?
Lily huffed. If only life was as simple as that for everyone. Courtney could live by that. She could live up to her words. But she couldn’t expect everyone to.
She knew it. There was no answer in sight. She didn’t know, and until she did she didn’t know how she would proceed.
Taking a deep breath, she replied, Uh, I don’t think that’s going to work.
Have you tried it? came the reply, and this made Lily’s brain stop dead for a moment.
Had she tried it? No. She’d always found it easier to start down a path when she knew what to expect. Never was she faced with something so volatile and unpredictable.
I thought so too, Lily. Courtney said after a moment of uncharacteristic silence from Lily.
Lily, on the other hand, could not bring herself to contrate on anything. Even when her mother came in she had to pretend, pretend that she was studying. Many years later she would realize that at times, we pretend to think on one and actually think everything else.