Surrounded by luxury, Caitlyn slumps in her big, canopy bed. Everything in her room is white. It is clean, expensive, and made to impress. Only the best for the Colemans’ only daughter. Trophies fill bookshelves. Awards for tennis, field hockey, volleyball, and swimming sit alongside certificates for finishing various classes in music and dance. Hers is a life of accomplishment and opportunity.
She rules the roost in her upper-middle class suburban high school. Pretty, smart, funny, and always well dressed, Caitlyn is the envy of every other girl there. The pool party is always at her house, always catered thanks to her parents, and always the social event of the week. The other party, the one parents pretend not to know about, is held at the home of Caitlyn’s very handsome, very popular boyfriend. He is a sweet enough guy, but they both know in July they will graduate from more than High School.
Her life is so perfect, so easy in so many ways, so why does she feel so lost lately? She wants to hide under her covers today and never come up. She knows part of it is nerves about going on to college. Here at home she is the big fish and she will have to fight to gain a place among the leaders at University. Deep down, though, she knows that is not it.
Caitlyn knows her path has been chosen for her. Her parents have groomed her for success, and she will succeed. She will be the best and brightest in college, just as she was in high school. She will meet the right man, and have her two point five kids and live in the right neighborhood throwing all the best social events. She will chair a charity or three and will look the other way, like mom, when her husband’s eyes, hands, and possibly other body parts wander.
Any choice for another life is impossible, she thinks. No peace corps, teaching in an inner city school, or living with an artist in his tiny studio apartment for her. No real adventure or learning. Just a routine from which there is no escape. Caitlyn looks at the bottle of prescription sleeping pills, and wonders if there is a way out.
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