Arlynn's Way (continued)
|"I think you should come home with me this weekend. Take some time to relax, visit with your family at the cottage. Talk to your aunt about your options. Don't rush into anything, Arlynn."
"I am not rushing into anything, Em. I just don't see a lot of options... besides Lance has big plans for us this weekend."
Emily wrapped her arm around her friend's shoulders. she leaned her head into Arlynn's as they sat quietly.
"I really can't believe I have heard nothing from those companies. I sent my resumes out weeks ago. I should have heard something, don't you think?"
"It's still early yet." Emily tried to reassure her.
"Lance said I could move in with him. I could take the job in the graphic arts department over at Kellerman and Griffen." at Emily's intake of breath, she plodded on, "it would give me experience, at least. I can look for other things in the city if I stay."
"I don't know, sweetie. I still think you should take some time...."
"The city has a lot of opportunities for me as a graphic designer. I am not as talented as you. I don't see myself working in a gallery or painting. I also don't feel I could do the whole freelance thing...."
"You are so talented, Arlynn. Don't sell yourself short. Remember you won the Parsmen award a year early. No other third year ever got that honour." Arlynn shrugged as if it was not big deal and Emily felt a wave of frustration roll over her. Lance's influence had dulled her friend's exuberance. She disliked Lance for that alone. Taking another calming breath she went on, "You don't have to be perfect at it, Arlynn. You learn as you go and you're young. This is the time to try new things...mess up and try again. Maybe even try to illustrate your stories and get them published."
Arlynn gave a cynical laugh, "That's a childish dream. There is no time for those kind of dreams... I need to join the real world." she paused and gazed over at her friend. "I don't see myself muddling through. I don't know anyone doing that kind of thing and I don't want to fail. Besides what if no one is interested in hiring me.... Lance would not be a fan of me not making money or pulling my weight."
"You don't have to move in with Lance..." Emily said as calmly as she could manage. "If you freelanced, I bet your aunt would let you live with them for free..."
"That wouldn't feel right, besides I want to be with Lance."
And that was the problem. Emily pressed her lips together and rubbed her hand over her face in frustration. She knew only too well that trying to discourage Arlynn's involvement with Lance only made her dig in her heels and now was not the time to have Arlynn shut her out. Lance would probably like that, but Emily refused to back out of her best friend's life.
"I know you don't like Lance that much, but he really is a good guy." Arlynn told her.
"So you say, but the man rarely wants to hang out with us and he's only met your family, what... once? I find it hard to trust a guy like that. If he really cared..." Emily stopped herself. This was not helping. The hurt look on Arlynn's face was proof of that.
"He's met my family several times." she said quietly.
Emily looked over at her with her brows raised. "I just don't have a lot of faith in a guy who, after a year of dating him, has never once been up to your family's cottage. The fact that you did not make it up there at all last summer..."
"I was working and seeing Lance. We did a lot of fun things in the city. He even took me to visit his family in Ottawa for the Canada Day celebrations."
"But you love the cottage. You can't change what you love for a guy."
"We'll go up this summer, I promise."
Emily shook her head slowly from side to side, "I'll believe it when I see it."
Emily blew out a breath as she gave her friend a long serious look, ""I'm just saying - you need to follow your heart. Your creative heart, Arlynn."
"I am following my heart, with Lance."
Emily let a deep sigh escape. They had had this argument many times before. "I just don't want you to lock yourself in."
Emily did not look convinced.