Young Adulting - Christina Benjamin



The giant pile of clothes in the middle of my bed appeared to be talking as I sorted through the contents of my closet.

“I just don’t want you to gooo,” Fallon whined.

My best friend since kindergarten was sprawled out on the other side of the clothes and her voice was muffled thanks to the pillow she’d thrown over her face in her misery. It would have been sweet if she wasn’t currently giving me a guilt trip for choosing the opportunity of a lifetime over a plan we’d made when we were twelve.

“I’ll join you at Ohio State in the spring semester,” I said. “Stop being melodramatic.”

“Me?” She sat up so quickly the pillow fell to the floor and her long brown ponytail swished wildly as she crossed her arms in indignation. “You’re calling me melodramatic? Please. You’re the theater freak around here.”

“Film major,” I clarified. “And I’ll be studying screenwriting, not acting.” I tossed the balled-up T-shirt I’d been about to fold in her direction and it landed on her face before sliding down onto her lap, making us both grin.

Fallon might have been driving me nuts ever since I’d told her my decision, but the truth was, I was just as heartbroken as she was that we wouldn’t be rooming together and going through the whole freshman experience side by side. We’d done everything together for as long as I could remember, and not sharing something so huge as college move-in day?

Yeah. My sentimental heart was breaking over here. But that was all the more reason why her guilt trip was driving me insane.

As if she could sense my thoughts, Fallon leaned over a stack of sundresses that I prayed would pass for adequate office attire at the internship.

“You could still change your mind,” Fallon started.

I cut her off with a groan. “Either help me pack or leave me in peace.”

“Nice. Real nice,” she muttered. “Your last day at home and you’re threatening to kick me out.” But despite her complaints, Fallon picked up the T-shirt and folded it up into a neat little square, adding it to the pile right behind her. In true Fallon fashion, she picked up the conversation where she saw fit, heedless of whether it was what we’d just been discussing or not. “But you’re not studying screenwriting,” she said. “You’re not studying anything. You’re just flying off to Los Angeles, leaving me to go to college all on my own.”

I held back a sigh—we’d been over this more times than I could count already. Fallon couldn’t seem to understand that interning for a major Hollywood production company in their script development office would do more for my career than any classroom ever could.

It’s why I worked my little overachiever butt off in high school, taking enough AP classes to be starting as a junior in the fall. That work ethic is what won me this internship. I believed hard work paid off and it was about time I reaped the rewards.

I held up a pair of jean shorts that were still up for debate and eyed them critically. I didn’t have much room in my luggage so every piece had to serve a purpose. But then again, I didn’t have much to bring. My summer clothing options were minimal, and my business-attire outfits were...few and far between.

I mean, I’d just graduated from high school. It wasn’t like my closet was overflowing with pencil skirts and silk blouses.

Theoretically I could go shopping when I got there but unless they gave clothes away for free in Hollywood, I wasn’t sure how much good that would do me.

I threw the jean shorts back into the undecided pile.

They definitely weren’t office friendly and I didn’t expect to have a ton of downtime these next few months—in fact, I fully planned on being such an amazing worker that they’d be forced to offer me a job when the internship came to an end in January.

But it was California, and there were beaches, and…

Oh what the heck.

I moved the shorts over to the to-pack pile.

“So,” Fallon said, breaking the silence as she reached for my remote and turned on the little TV on my dresser. “Have your parents come around yet?”

“Eh…” I made a face at her in the mirror and she laughed.

“Is your mom still wailing that she’s losing her baby to the big bad city?”

I nodded. “But that’s nothing compared to my dad. He hasn’t stopped crunching numbers since I told them the news.”

“But you just deferred