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two short stories

Jenny had finally made it. She reflected in her comfortable home over a dark rich glass of red wine about how it had really happened. It certainly hadn’t been any influence from her parents. They had always been barely scraping by, her father an aspiring artist and her mother a musician. Jenny and her sister shared a bunk bed in a small, dingy room. They never had the cool toys the other kids at school had. The yo-yos, the scooters, the trading cards. Jenny and her sister would beg their parents over and over, but the best they ever got was a knockoff version, six months later for Christmas.

Now she could have the “cool things” whenever she wanted. Jenny chuckled to herself — a yoyo had seemed like a life essential when she was a kid, but now seemed so ridiculous. She wouldn’t spend money on that kind of thing anyway, except maybe for her kids. Oh yeah, her kids. As soon as she saw her first son’s perfectly arranged tiny face and felt warm buzz of unconditional love envelop her body, she resolved never to let that child suffer the way she did. He would not be “scraping by”, and if he wanted a yoyo, he would damn well have it by tomorrow.

His mother had always told him not to major in philosophy. “Major in something that will get you a real career!” she said. But the fact was that he loved philosophy, and people always say to do what you love, so why not try. His parents hated their jobs, he could tell, and early on he had resolved never to be like that and to get a job he loved. After all, you spend most of your waking hours at your job, what’s more important than being happy during most of your waking hours?

But at this point he was starting to have second thoughts. Living in a small apartment with a few roommates and an hour long commute each way was shocking to him at first, before the grim reality started to settle in. This was nothing like the life he was accustomed to — being chauffeured anywhere he needed to be by one of his parents, the big, brightly lit, spacious home, quality food for every meal, vacations to different countries twice a year. All he wanted was to have that life back — his real life.

That philosophy degree could just as well be toilet paper at this point, for all the good it was doing him. What had chasing his dreams given him? What were his dreams anyway? At very least to live a reasonably comfortable lifestyle, and he couldn’t even get there. Maybe it was time to give up on philosophy and chase a real career. It might not be what he loves, but at least it will get him a normal person’s lifestyle.

This is a part of my continued experiment with fiction. It’s weird to me not to directly say the point I’m trying to make, but I trust you’ll figure it out : )