Peacar, winter, 2019
Amanda Wilsonoff is 24, Elliot Fairbairn is 24
narrated by Amanda
If you had told me that after graduating from URock and living in the big city afterwards, that I would have returned to Apple Valley...to tiny weeny itty bitty Apple Valley, I would have laughed...and then cried in disappointment. However, that's exactly what I've done and I haven't died. I had dreams of staying in the big city, but after completing my masters in physical therapy I found out that most reputable centers wanted a doctorate in physical therapy. I had no desire for even more school and student loans, so job hunting I went. It was months and nothing. Every interview, every phone call, every resume I sent yielded nothing. Until I heard from the Healing Arts Center in Apple Plains.
They focused on a blend of eastern and western healing techniques and needed a physical therapist trained in both. Finally, my eastern medicine philosophy was coming in handy. More importantly, it was a job.
A real paying job. Elliot convinced me that moving back home wasn't that bad, I would be near family and be able to have a career that aligned my eastern and western healing interests. Plus simoleans in my pocket.
Elliot was lucky, he was able to transfer to the local news station in Apple Valley as a weekend reporter. He works during the week compiling his stories, and then he reports from the news desk on the weekends. It's actually a great schedule. It allows me some much needed alone time during the morning on the weekends, but we still have time in the evenings to be young and watch movies on the couch like the hermit I am. I must admit, Elliot does push me to get out of my shell more often, but he respects that I highly value my alone time.
Elliot has been trying to get to know my family a bit better. He and Papi meet together to discuss...well, I don't know what they talk about
since it seems like they're not interested in the same things. But they seem to have fun together.
I have two stand out clients at work. One is Benjamin Endeavour, the current basketball MVP superstar. I'm a big fan of his, but I try not to fangirl too much during his appointments. I mostly help him with a few physical exercises to help with a recurring injury of his.
Thankfully the injury isn't too much to worry about now, but if we were not treating it then it could end his career later.
My other client is Naraj Shazad, an old crush of mine. It's strange how life has pulled us in so many different directions. He's no longer dating Annie, that was over ages ago, and he has moved on from his grudge with me, which to be honest, I don't remember what it was about. He's going to be getting married soon, his family is arranging his marriage.
I know few of the details about the arranged marriage since my brother is married to Naraj's sister, Myra, and she's making a lot of the arrangements and negotiations. I don't know if I would agree to something like that. On one hand, I wouldn't have to worry about small talk and flirting, but on the other hand...marriage isn't something that I have on my mind.
Apparently, I'm the only one who feels that way. I ran into Annie in the hallway of our apartment building because her boyfriend lives there. We decided to get together like we used to, all the girls. It was strange looking around the table and wondering what it would have been like if my cousin, Grace Elise, was still alive and eating lunch with us. She probably would be a dancer in a ballet company by now and would have ordered a salad, or quinoa. Everyone in the cafe would have stared at her because she was so beautiful and graceful, always moving like a dancer. Light as air, delicate as glass, yet with the inner strength of steel.
My mind didn't stay on Grace Elise long as Annie filled us in on her life now. She's dating a guy, Erricson Frankson, that she met during a school field trip to the musuem that she works at. She was their tour guide and he flirted with her a bit. Things seem to be moving quickly. She has already met his daughter, Quinn, and apparently Erricson said that he wants to get married before he turns 30. Well, he's 28 now.
This was all a shock to me, the Annie I remembered seemed only interested in casual woohoo and now she was contemplating marriage? I asked her if she even wanted to get married.
"In general...no. I don't want to sacrifice my career for a husband or babies, but..."
"But when I think about it, I would love to get married to Erricson. I feel like that we could come to a compromise and that I wouldn't have to give up my career as a sacrifice for my family. That...that we could make it work and...and it would be beautiful."
I looked over at Myra to give her a look of disgust, but she had this sappy look on her face and was nodding.
"When you marry the right person, it's like that. Marriage and babies are hard, but when you have a great partner, a team mate who is on your side, who fights for you and not against you...then...then it's a beautiful thing."
Of course this made me think while I sat alone watching Myra and Annie play pool.
Everything seems so different now that we're older, and marriage seems to be one of those things.
I'm not one to idealize marriage, but when I think about it...well...I would like to marry Elliot.
But how do I tell him that I'm ready for marriage?