Friday, December 4, 2015

Which Will She Choose?

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

Marlene’s mother set a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon before her. “Have you thought about what we discussed last night, dear?”

The teenager swallowed a forkful of egg. “I’m still thinking about it.”

Her father looked up from his coffee. “It’s a terrific opportunity, sweetheart.”

Mrs. Prentice shot her husband a reproachful look. “We’ll support whatever decision you make, dear. I realize it’s not easy being uprooted and having to make new friends. There’s a lot to consider. It’s your decision… but it is a tremendous opportunity not likely to come by again.”

Her father nodded. “Like I always say, when opportunity knocks, always answer the door.” He rose from the breakfast table to leave for work. “Whatever you decide, honey, your mother and I are proud of you for having been chosen.”

“I’d better head off to work, too,” Mrs. Prentice said. “Those groceries won’t scan themselves. Marlene, you’ll need to make a decision by tonight. I promised your principal I’d call her tomorrow morning to say either we’re on our way to Ferncrest or to give them time to offer the scholarship to another girl.”

Marlene swallowed her bacon. “All right, Mom. Let me get the last day of seventh grade over, first. I’ll be thinking about it all day and I’ll let you know what I’ve decided at dinner.”

Mrs. Prentice smiled. “I know you’ll make the right choice. Have a great day at school, hun.”

Marlene watched her mother dash off to her job at the supermarket. She appreciated how hard her parents worked, but she wanted more for herself than to be bagging groceries when she was her mother’s age. She knew she was smart and now her belief had been validated. She pictured herself sitting behind a large desk in the executive suite of a Fortune 500 business, in a penthouse office overlooking a metropolitan skyline, far from Serenity Valley. And far from Mackenzie Mortimer. She sighed. Her father always said, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” Why did she have to choose? Why couldn’t she have it all? Life was unfair, the 13-year-old concluded.

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Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!

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