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Change

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Olivia Clark ran down the wet Manhattan sidewalk, the pouring rain splattering down on her black rain jacket. The rain splashed out from under her black stiletto boots and she clutched a copy of ‘People’ magazine to her head. Cars zoomed noisily past her and big raindrops splashed off the tall trees lining the street. A very wet Olivia hastily ducked inside a Starbucks and plopped down on a big, plush armchair, avoiding the glare of the store manager, who was obviously mad that she was ruining the chair. Olivia reluctantly got up again to stand in line for a coffee. As she stood in line waiting, she recalled what had happened earlier that day, until of course, it had been rudely interrupted by the rainstorm.

Olivia had woken up at ten that morning, it being a Saturday, and dragged herself downstairs for breakfast. She had lived in the same rather-large-yet-not-quite-a-penthouse apartment all fifteen years of her life, and barely had to open her eyes to find the kitchen. When she entered the kitchen, she saw her fluffy, white bathrobe clad mother, but was surprised to see her father sitting there as well. Harold Clark owned a small cosmetics company, and pretty much lived at work. Olivia couldn’t recall the last time she had seen him sitting at the table on a Saturday morning.

After saying a muffled, “Good morning,” Olivia sat down, started sipping her strawberry-peach smoothie and looked expectantly up at her father. Harold finally looked up from his newspaper and said, “Olivia, honey…we’re moving…” her mother, Alice, quickly added, “To Arkansas…” Silence. When Olivia finally found her voice she exclaimed, “What?!” “Ummm, yeah, I sold the business,” Harold sighed back. Her father went on to explain that a man had placed a high bid on the company, enough to allow Harold to retire, and that he wanted to move back to where he grew up, Arkansas.

When he was at home, Harold often told story’s of the little farm he grew up on in southern Arkansas. Olivia thought it sounded cute and all, but she didn’t actually want to live on one! In Arkansas she was to go to a tiny school in a tiny town, and Olivia was definitely not a small town girl. She loved the big, noisy city, where there was always something to do. The city where she knew everyone and the people she had gone to school with since pre-school. Her life had always been so predictable, and she had never expected for anything to change.

The next few minutes were a blur, as Olivia jumped up from her chair and ran back up to her room and threw herself on her bed. Crying, she picked up her phone and called her best friend Arianna, who tried to soothe her without much success. She then sent out an e-mail to all her other friends, sharing the horrible news. After a couple of minutes, Olivia’s mother appeared at her door. “Honey, we’re leaving tomorrow, so you should probably go out and get some shopping done. You need to buy some luggage and travel supplies.” This is the first time in my life that I don’t want to go shopping… Olivia thought.

Dark rain clouds were beginning to seep in as Olivia got dressed. After throwing on a pair of jeans and a tank top and grabbing her rain jacket she took the elevator down to the bottom of the building. Her mind was racing with horrible ideas of how she thought Arkansas would be. I’ll be living with a bunch of hillbillies! No more Chinese take-out! Once outside, Olivia hailed a taxi and told the driver to take her to Nordstrom’s. At Nordstrom’s she picked out a new suitcase and some clothes. She was dreading having to pack up everything in her room, and leaving her apartment that was known for having the best view of the city .

When she was done shopping, Olivia went outside to find that it was pouring, like it often does in New York City. She saw no taxis anywhere, but did make out a tiny Starbucks at the corner of the block. Olivia decided to make a run for it, bringing her here, to this cozy, warm Starbucks.

Coffee in hand, Olivia made her way back to the armchair. Once she was comfortably sipping her coffee, a new thought crossed her mind. Maybe moving would be an adventure. It could be something different, maybe even something good. Until now, Olivia had known exactly how her life would go. Finish school, go to college, take over the family cosmetics business. She had always had the same friends and known the same people. Olivia thought, Maybe change isn’t always bad; maybe I need something to make life more interesting…





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