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Authors: Dagny Rand
Copyright 2016 by (Dagny Rand) - All rights reserved.
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How far would you go to become someone else?
By: Dagny Rand
To have everything you have ever dreamed of having is something most people talk about but never really attain. The house on hill with the white picket fence, and the too die for man that will do anything to please you. These are just some of things that fit into the dream that many never attain. Most people strive for happiness with little success. One of the people who certainly got everything she wanted and more was Leann Ford. She led a pretty charmed life. She never wanted for anything; she grew up in an affluent and loving family and was blessed with both brains and beauty. She was like the perfect storm.
In spite of her many blessings, Leann was not a spoiled, arrogant woman. She had always worked hard, tried to be kind to people and remained humble. People usually liked her and she was the classic over-achiever. There was just something about Leann.
As Leann got older she lost none of her charm. She went away to college, which saddened not only her family, but her whole community just outside of Chicago. She was received with as much appreciation at college, becoming popular very quickly. One of the people she got along with best was her roommate, Susan. They were both nervous about starting college and they leaned on each other to help them through it. Their friendship continued through their college career, even after they moved into separate dorms and got swallowed up into different majors. Leann moved into the business school crowd, preparing to join the family business. Susan started out as a nursing major, before becoming an engineering major, but by Leann’s senior year, Susan had moved over to the business school as well. Leann graduated at the top of the class and moved back to Chicago to begin work with the family. Susan continued on in her studies. The two friends tried their best to stay in touch.
Leann was very happy to be back home with her family. She picked up on the work very quickly, got a place of her own, and moved back into the social circle of her community. She was as popular as ever and her family was very proud of her. She had not been back long before she met a newcomer to town named Ryan Weathers. Ryan had moved into town to help take care of his ailing uncle. One night while out at a party, Leann and Ryan met and the connection was instant. They soon broke away from the party and talked through the night. From that night on they were pretty much inseparable.
At this point Leann was leading a full, happy life. She was balancing, work, family, friends and Ryan very well. As the holidays approached, which was her favorite time of year, she found herself counting her blessings. They were so many she’d usually lose count at some point and have to start over. Then to put the sprinkles on top, one night at an event for Ford Enterprises in front of all of her family and friends, Ryan got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. Leann jumped up and down yelling yes at the top of her lungs. She thanked God for her perfect man, perfect family, and perfect life.
The following week Leann received some more happy news; Susan was moving to town. It was a very pleasant surprise. She had no idea that Susan was interested in moving to Chicago, but she would be more than happy to welcome her. Apparently Susan had just completed her business degree and would be moving to Chicago to look at the prospects in the job market. Leann anxiously awaited her arrival.
Within a month Leann was meeting Susan at O’Hare Airport. They greeted each other eagerly and could barely make it out of the airport for all of the chatter between them. They caught up on the ride to Leann’s condo. Leann could not wait to introduce Susan not only to her family, but also Ryan. He was waiting for them when they got back to the condo. He rushed out to help them bring in Susan’s bags. As soon as they got settled Leann formally introduced them. As they sat down in her living room she turned to Susan and said, “Susan, this is my fiancée, Ryan. Ryan, this is Susan Richards.”
“Fiancée? Oh my god, you’re getting married?”
“Yes, girl! He just asked me a few weeks ago. I wanted to wait till you got here to tell you face to face.” Leann put up her left hand and showed Susan her beautiful 2 and a half carat, flawless princess cut ring.
“Oh my god, girl! Congratulations!”
Susan jumped up off of the couch and hugged Leann tightly. They held a big hug for quite some time, until Susan broke away, turning to Ryan and saying with a laugh, “Oh, sorry. Hello and congratulations to you too.” Before Ryan could say anything Susan was going in for a hug. Leann watched them embrace and smiled, glad to see them getting along already. Leann then looked at the clock and realized it was dinner time. She said, “Oh, I’m going to cook us something to eat.”
Ryan looked at Leann apologetically and said, “Oh, I’m sorry baby. I have to go back and check on Uncle John. Tammy went back home today and he’s there by himself. You two go ahead. I’ll get with you all another time.”
“Aw, really? I understand.”
Leann got up and walked Ryan out. She went out to the elevator with him and gave him a hug and kiss. After he got on and the doors closed she turned back around to walk to her condo. For a moment she thought she saw someone standing in her doorway, but there was no one there now so she shrugged it off. She went back into the condo and went to the kitchen to find what she would make to eat. Susan was standing at her bookshelf looking at her pictures. She said, “This is a really nice place, Leann.”
“Thank you girl.”
“And you have a very nice looking family. And your fiancée seems like a nice guy.”
“He really is. He’s amazing. I’m so lucky.”
“You have it all, girl.”
Leann laughed and replied, “I don’t know if I have it all, but I do have a lot. I’m truly grateful. What about you? How have things been?”
“They’ve been alright. Just had to work and hustle to finish school, not to mention the student loans. I went back home for a while, but there’s nothing for me there. I figured I’d see what the Windy City had to offer.”
“You’re going to love it here. I always have. But what about your family? You’ve never really talked about them. All this time I’ve only ever really heard you mention your grandma and a sister.”
“Yeah there isn’t much to tell. My grandma died last year and my sister and I don’t really talk. My family isn’t like yours.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. But so long as you’re here my family is your family. I want you to make yourself at home and know that whatever is mines is yours.”
“Thank you so much, Leann. I really appreciate it. I know it seems kind of crazy coming out here with no job and no place to stay, but I just have a feeling that there is something here for me.”
“I have that feeling for you too.”
“Plus there’s you. You’re the closest thing I have to family. I’ve really missed you since you left.”
“Aw, I missed you too girl. Aw, come here.”
Leann came out of the kitchen and gave Susan another hug. They rocked slowly and held onto each other. After a few moments, Leann broke away and said, “Alright now, I have to get dinner started. I’m making my famous chicken parmesan with spaghetti, a fresh salad and some homemade garlic cheese bread.”
“It’s usually pretty good, if I do say so myself.”
“I know. I remember when you used to make stuff at school. Plus you do everything well.”
“Oh, stop it. I do alright. Just make yourself comfortable while I get dinner together.”
“Alright girl. I’m gonna go and shower this flight off of me while you do that.”
“Okay. There are towels in the linen closet inside the bathroom. Take your pick of soaps and whatever else is in there. I set up the room to the right of the bathroom for you. You can go on in and set your stuff up.”
“Okay, thanks girl.”
Susan went off to take her shower. By the time she made it back out Leann was putting the finishing touches on the meal, just taking her garlic cheesy bread out of the oven. She had already set the table. Susan took a seat and watched as Leann brought the food out. Once she had brought out everything she sat down and said grace over the food before they began to eat. As soon as she had said Amen, Susan launched into the food. Leann watched with a smile as Susan devoured the food on her plate. Once she had cleaned it she asked for some more. Leann gladly got up and refilled her plate.
Leann was barely able to finish her own food before Susan was clearing her second plate. Chuckling a bit, Leann said, “I’m glad to see you like it.”
“Girl, it is really good. Plus I hadn’t really eaten all day.”
“I see.” Leann went to get up and clear the table, but Susan jumped up and picked up their plates. Susan said, “I’ll take care of it. It’s the least I can do.”
“Thank you, Susan. You really don’t have to.”
“It’s my pleasure. Go ahead and sit down.”
“Well, if you insist. I think I’m going to go ahead and take a bath. Do you need me to show you where everything is?”
“Oh, no. I’ll figure it out. You go ahead.”
With that Leann turned and went to her bathroom to run the bathwater. Once she got it running with her bath salts and a few candles, she went back into her bedroom to take off her jewelry and grab her robe. She walked back into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. She pinned up her hair and began to take off her clothes. She turned off the bathwater and stepped into the tub, sitting down and letting the water come up to her neck. She lay back and closed her eyes. After a few minutes of silence, Leann thought she heard footsteps past the bathroom, in the direction of her bedroom. She told herself it was probably just Susan going into her new room for something. She set up and began to wash herself. She noticed that a lot of the stuff in the bathroom had been moved. She guessed Susan had really helped herself. That was good. She slowly but surely washed herself, before pulling out the stopper with her toes and rising out of the water. She stepped out onto the rug and dried herself off before putting on her robe and heading out into her bedroom.
Once Leann got into her room, she began her post shower ritual, complete with moisturizing her skin and putting her pajama set on. She wrapped her hair and prepared to go back out and check on Susan. She automatically reached for her engagement ring on her way out. She always kept it sitting on top of her chest right next to the door. She reached into the little holder, but her ring was not there. She looked around it and it was not there either. She searched the area on the floor next to it, but saw nothing. She began to look everywhere, even going back into the bathroom to search. She didn’t find it there either. She decided to go back into the living room, perhaps she had taken it off while cooking and hadn’t put it back on.
Leann walked into the kitchen and looked on the counters around the sink, but it was not there either. She was beginning to panic and trying to remember the last time she had seen it. She remembered showing it to Susan. She decided to ask Susan if she had seen it. Right as she stepped out of the kitchen she noticed Susan sitting on the couch looking at something shiny on her hand. At closer look she realized it was her engagement ring. She felt a strong sense of relief that it was not lost. She said, “Girl, I was just looking everywhere for that ring. I thought I had lost it.”
Susan said, not taking her eyes off of it, “I’m sorry, girl. I couldn’t resist. It is so gorgeous; I had to try it on.”
“It’s okay, I’m just glad it’s not lost.”
“It is wonderful. How do you do anything, but look at it.”
Leann laughed and said, “Oh, I do plenty of looking at it. Can I have it back now?”
Susan took another moment looking at it. Leann felt a bit awkward standing there with her hand out, not to mention the way Susan was looking at the ring. It did not look like she wanted to take it off. After another few moments, however, Susan slowly removed it and placed it into Leann’s hand. Leann tried to shake off a queer feeling that she had and replaced the ring back on her finger. There was bit of awkward silence to follow as Leann tried to figure out what to say. She didn’t know where Susan’s head was. She came around and sat on the couch next to her. She decided to power through the moment and asked, “So what were you thinking in terms of jobs?”