“It’s not a bad life,” Spring protested weakly into the phone. She had it pressed between her ear and her shoulder – an old-style analog phone with a big headpiece, easy enough to manage – while she danced into the high-heeled sandals. The litter of indecision sprawled across the tiny bedroom – six and a half pairs of shoes, three dresses, two pairs of pants, and a half-unraveled sweater. “A day’s work for a day’s pay, and I get to meet all sorts of interesting people.” Like her date tonight. A star mapper, but so very interesting.
“I know honey, but…” Her mother had mastered the motherly “but;” it conveyed paragraphs in a single syllable. But it’s not how we do things. But it’s so common. But how can you go about your art when you’re tied down to a day job? But, and this one was most important and never quite said aloud, but it’s not the way your brother and sisters do things. Sometimes Spring loathed being the youngest of four, the least predictable, the least well-behaved, after three so very exemplary examples.
“But it’s fun, mom.” Would she spend her whole life having this conversation, again and again? She pulled out her trump card as she buckled her second sandal on. “I get all sorts of opportunities to mess with people. Important people. Famous people, sometimes.
As she’d known it would, that stopped the argument. “Well, honey, if you’re happy where you are, then I guess that’s what matters. Are you working tonight?” She still managed to make “working” sound like “streetwalking,” of course.
“Not tonight, mom.” She hung the pendant Winter had given her over the dress Summer had helped her pick out, feeling happily wrapped in her family. “Tonight I have a date.”
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