“Just got off the phone…I HAVE A JOB OFFER!!!!!!!!!”
Her 7:43 pm text with nine exclamation points, to her sister and me, lit up my phone which I’d left on the table in the restaurant, screen up, in anticipation of this or a distraught text. She had told us she thought she’d hear something before close of business California time. Indeed, it was just before 5 pm on the west coast. And the news was good.
I exclaimed to her sister and friends, “She got it. She got the offer.” My shoulders relaxed with relief. My eyes shone with joy. My smile showed my pride. But California…gulp.
Shoulders, eyes, and smile aside, my heart… it twisted just a little and I felt the hint of ache forming around its edges. My brain… it told my heart to buck up.
I turned my attention back to the conversation with the girls sitting in the booth with me in the bustling restaurant. Claire, her friends and I chatted briefly about Frances’s news before returning to the conversation that wandered from their party later that night to assignments due on Monday to spring break plans. We sipped our margaritas and munched on the restaurant’s legendary “Red Hot Blues.”
Dinner ended. I dropped the girls back at their apartment, saving them the Uber charge, and headed towards my home in the country. Soon the lights of town were in my rearview mirror and fewer cars were on the road with me as it narrowed from four to two lanes.
I pulled up my driveway, looking left through the darkness for the barely noticeable deer grazing on the grassy hill in front of my house. It was quiet. It was dark. My heart was full. And proud. But California…gulp. The ache was back.