Such Great Heights - Sydney Logan

Don’t make me come over there.

I roll my eyes. It’s only her thousandth text. Doesn’t Dana realize I just want to be left alone?

Ignoring her threat, I scroll through my phone until I find my Adele playlist. I’ve always loved her voice, but I’ve never really been able to relate to her sorrowful lyrics until this summer.

Am I being dramatic?


Do I care?

Not a bit.

Before I spiral into a total depression, I toss my phone aside, wrap my blanket around me, and dig in the couch for the remote. Mindlessly, I flip through the channels, settling on reruns of Friends, but not even Chandler Bing—the man of my dreams—can pull me out of my misery.

I can’t believe this is my life.

After busting my tail in college to get my teaching degree, I thought I’d spend this summer decorating my beautiful new classroom. Instead, it’s August, and while other teachers are busy getting ready for the new school year, I’m wallowing in my apartment—binge-watching TV shows and surrounded by pizza boxes.

While my college degree hangs on the wall, taunting me from its frame.

Disgusted with pretty much everything, I pull my blonde hair into a sloppy bun and reach for my trusty pint of ice cream.

I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was old enough to write on my chalkboard easel—a Christmas gift from my parents when I was six years old. Back in my little hometown of Chestnut Grove, I used to arrange my stuffed animals on my twin bed and teach them how to do important things, like count to ten and sing their ABCs.

When it was time to pick a college, I knew I wanted two things—to attend a school in nearby Nashville and to major in elementary education. Both dreams came true, and after graduating with honors in May, I applied to every school district within a hundred-mile radius of my apartment. In my mind, I had a clear vision of my future classroom, filled with happy children surrounded by brightly-decorated walls.

Not for one moment did I worry that my fantasy would remain just that.

A fantasy.

College doesn’t prepare you for the cold hard truth. My advisor didn’t tell me that I could do everything right and it might not matter. My professors failed to explain that I could make the Dean’s list and ace my teacher exams, and it may not be enough. Nobody told me there would be over a thousand applicants and nowhere near that many jobs available. No one told me that I, Olivia Stuart, would be a very small fish in an enormous sea of honors degrees and glowing recommendations.

So here I sit—spoon in mouth, ice cream carton in hand. And I’m one of the most highly recommended, unemployed teachers in Metro Nashville.

Go me.

A relentless pounding jerks me out of my nap. I throw back the blanket and hurriedly rush to the door, still too sleepy to remember that I’m ignoring all annoying knockers. I’m quickly reminded when I open up, and my two best friends push their way inside.

“It's about time. I was on the verge of calling your parents, and you know how much I hate calling parents. Any parents. Especially my own. Take this.” Dana shoves a bottle of wine into my hand before heading toward the kitchen. “Do you even own a corkscrew?”

“No. I don’t drink, remember?”

“Well, that’s part of your problem.”

Angel smiles and offers me a bakery box.

“Dessert. I come in peace.”

With a groan, I roll my eyes and kick the door closed.

“That's the spirit!” Angel beams. “I'll grab some plates and forks!”

I ignore her enthusiasm and stumble back to the couch.

“Can you believe I found a corkscrew in the back of your silverware drawer?” Dana asks, collapsing on the sofa and reaching for the bottle.

“Not really, no.”

“Good lord, Olivia, your hair. When was the last time you showered?” She glances around the living room. “Or cleaned.”

“You showed up unannounced and uninvited. Deal with it.”

Angel appears with plates and forks. I have no idea where she found them. I haven’t washed a dish in forever.

“You’re depressed. We get it,” Angel says as she joins us on the couch.

Dana hands me a plate. “Yes. We totally understand. But you’ve had the whole summer to wallow. It’s time to get back on that horse.”

“And we are here to . . . offer you a horse, so to speak. And cheesecake. Eat up.”

I take a bite and moan. The cherry sauce is gooey and delicious.

“We have a job opportunity for you,” Angel says.