Lindsey and Shawna met at orientation. They bonded over making fun of the guest speaker’s hand gestures from the back row.
“So what’s your major?” Lindsey asked once they were free from the crowded hall.
“Film and Television.”
“No way! Me too!”
They were instantly friends and made college all that more enjoyable for each other knowing they had someone by their side.
At the beginning of the next school year, they heard about the internships they could apply for. They were both accepted as editors on film production through one of the companies. After two weeks of running for coffee and other menial tasks for the upperclassmen, the weaker ones were weeded out and only seven interns remained.
“Listen up,” the senior directing intern called the room to order. “You’ve made it through, congratulations. But know that there are more tough times ahead. Being an intern is always harder work than the work you’ll do when you get paid. But if you really love this, you’ll put up with all of it. With that being said, keep your eyes on the future. Always think about your next step forward. Because next year, you’ll be upperclassmen and us seniors will be gone. Our spots will be open and we only promote from within here. You’re new right now, but next year, you could have my job.”
Both the girls found themselves wanting his job. But they didn’t discuss it with each other. They knew there was only one senior directing spot. Plus there were the other sophomores and juniors to compete with. It was a non-issue.
At the start of the next school year, Lindsey and Shawna submitted their applications for the senior directing position and then went out together for drinks.
The bar was loud and full of rambunctious students enjoying the first weekend back together. But the two girls sat quietly in a corner watching their cups.
“So…” Lindsey began, trying to cut through the tension.
“Neither of us is going to get it,” Shawna wanted to get the issue over with.
“Maybe. But then we do this all again next year.”
“Then we’ll worry about it next year.”
They took a few drinks from their cups, eyes wandering around the room.
“I’m going to back out,” they both said at the same time. Then they laughed.
“You can’t do that, you love this,” they said together again. More laughter.
“Ok, no, really,” Lindsey said. “This is your dream, you need to go for it.”
“It’s your dream too, though.”
“There’s always the assistant director position.”
“Lindsey, stop. You don’t need to pull your application. We’ll let them decide. We’ve both tried our best up till now. One of us will get the lead job and one of us will get the assistant. It will work out.”
They went on sipping their drinks for a moment.
“What if neither of us gets it,” Shawna said in an almost whisper.
“Who’s better than we are?”
“I don’t know, maybe Tom?”
“No way. It’s one of us, for sure.”
They tried to change the subject and enjoy the rest of the night, but the list being posted on Monday morning hung over them all weekend.
The list was hung on the bulletin board next to the film department’s hallway. Lindsey and Shawna stood back from it while everyone else checked for their names. Some of their fellow classmates smiled at them as they turned away.
“Congratulations,” Jimmy said to Lindsey as he walked away.
“Good work,” Tom said to Shawna.
They looked at each other. What did they mean?
As the hall cleared out, they stepped closer to the board at last.
Lindsey found her name next to assistant director. Shawna found hers next to senior director.
“I knew you’d get it,” Lindsey said and hugged Shawna.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m good. You’re going to kick ass as my boss.”
Besides my regular writing, I try to push myself by doing writing exercises out of the book The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kitely and I find it really beneficial. I feel like I come up with ideas out of so little and could have a whole book from just one writing prompt. 10/10 would recommend.