The Next Chapter
Sarah Liang | Monica Johnson
“How long did you think I would wait?” asked Julia. She continued to pick up her heavy white dress and glanced around the room for an escape. Her eyes rimmed with tears and her mascara dripped down her cheeks.
“Calm down. Just take a deep breath and sit down. You kind of owe it to him,” Jane consoled.
“I can’t do this anymore, I’m… I’m not ready. What was I even thinking?” She slumped down on the wooden chair as she bursted into tears.
“Can we just talk about it?”
Julia called for a taxi.
“If you cancel it, do you know the costs?”
“Money is not really the first thing on my mind right now, Jane.”
“I just don’t understand why you want to cancel it. Isn’t Steve like perfect? Isn’t this whole wedding going to perfect? I don’t get it.”
Julia sniffled. “Steve is great. The wedding arrangements are exactly as I’ve always wanted them, but is it all too soon?”
“I always thought your dream after college was to get married and start your life. What’s holding you back now?”
“You’re only in high school so you don’t understand. It’s a tough world out there. I’ve only just gotten my degree.”
“Yeah. Well you can get a job, move in with Steve, and have a kid. Isn’t that the dream?”
“Jane, it’s never that easy. Steve and I have just gotten out of college. He still needs to go to med school and I need to find a job.”
“Well go find a job and live at home until you can afford an apartment or something.”
“It’s hard to find a job with a history major. I don’t want to become a teacher and I don’t even know what I want to do with my life.”
“I want to be a teacher. I always have.”
“There’s plenty of time for you to choose what you want to do or change your mind. It’s never too late for anything.”
“Is that why you’re changing your mind right now.”
“Yes… I guess I’m just kind of realizing, I’m not ready.”
“Didn’t you call for a taxi?”
“Yeah, I need time. Just some more time, to figure this all out.”
“Like you said never too late, right?”
Julia began pacing around the room and nodding her head. “Should I just leave?”
“Leave? Are you serious? People are waiting at the chapel. Steve’s waiting! Shouldn’t you say something to him?”
“I have to go, I can’t let him see me like this. What do I do? We rushed into things. How am I supposed to know who I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with?” asked Julia as tears form in the corner of her eye.
“Talk to him.”
“What do I say?”
“Everything you’ve been telling me, duh.”
“Okay. So I’ll say like I’m not ready, I don’t want to move in with him yet, We don’t have jobs, I don’t want to be poor.”
“You didn’t say any of that to me except that “I’m not ready part.”
“A lot of things come after marriage. It’s scary. We’re supposed to live together. Pay rent with money we’re supposed to have. Get children, grow old. That sort of stuff.”
“I didn’t know it was so much work, but you said supposed to. Don’t you plan your own future? Can’t you choose what’s in the next chapter in your life?”
Julia realized her sister was right. She didn’t need to do what everyone else was doing. She could decide her own future.
“You’re so wise. I think what I need is some soul searching.” Julia said as she looked out of the window hoping for the right answer. The silence was interrupted by a honk from the taxi outside.
“So, what are you going to do?”