One of my favorite parts of the spring is seeing the local high school seniors prepare for graduation and their end of the year festivities. I smile when I see a limo pull up across the street and a line of 17 and 18 year olds dressed in long gowns and tuxedos piling into the fancy car. A pang of nostalgia hits me as I drive past my old high school and I see chairs lining the football field in preparation for commencement ceremonies. I remember the excitement well. The future held endless possibilities as my friends and I prepared to head off to college in fall. We each had our vision of what our lives would hold. Of course, as time goes on, everyone knows that life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. One of my favorite lines from The Other Side of Later is from a conversation between Julia and Drew. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!
“You know why I said yes when you called that first night?” He looked at me. “When we were in that gazebo, the conversation was so cathartic. I feel like I have so much baggage from the past 10 years, but when we talked, it was like it didn’t matter that my life took a different route than I had planned. I was curious of why I felt different it in that gazebo.”
“And then you realized who I was and reality struck?” He asked.
It would have been easy to say yes to that question. Drew may have been offended, but he would have left me alone. However, I was on a roll with the truth. “No, reality struck, but it wasn’t because I with you. It was because all of a sudden I realized you understand how I feel every day. The ideas and ideals that we have in our 18 year old heads when we graduate from high school are hardly realistic. Julia Merina, single mom at 28?” I let out a slight laugh and shook my head. “It certainly wasn’t what I pictured 10 years ago. But it’s a fact of my life. Some people understand that life doesn’t work out the way you planned and some don’t. You get it.” I paused for a split second again and looked at Drew. There was compassion in his eyes, but he said nothing so I continued. “Anyway, it hit me all at one. I realized I was dating again. Before we had dinner at the Shellfish, I hadn’t been on a date since Carson was born. Everything felt real.”
“And that’s bad?”
The Other Side of Later is available on Amazon for only 99¢!