Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Senior Cadie Dawson has just been named editor of the school’s literary magazine. She hasn’t written anything decent since her breakup with Tom last year. She’s a little surprised, and a lot conflicted, to find new inspiration in Shane, a guy who runs in a completely different social circle and also happens to be her best friend’s brother.
Sophomore Melody Dawson has been friends with Andy for so many years, she’s never really known anything else. Lately she’s been wondering what it would be like to take their relationship to the next level. When she tries to build up the courage to take the risk and tell him, she finds herself facing the prospect of life without him.
Welcome to small-town Pennsylvania, where everybody lives within a stone’s throw of everybody else, and the rumor mill is the prevailing force in every high school student’s life. Relationships change, people move away, and friendships are tested, all within the privacy of a very public school. You might bluff or you might fold, but once the cards are dealt, everyone has a tell.
Balanced, i.e. "Why I Love Accounting"
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In Tell, Cadie is asked what she wants to do with the rest of her life, and her response is nearly identical to what mine was in high school: “I want to write. But I can hardly do that right away. I’ll probably pursue something in editing or publishing until I can get published myself.”
Or, teaching English. Of course, we all know how well that panned out. I loved the idea of having a positive influence on students, as so many of my teachers had on me, but when I was working toward my education degree, I found nothing less appealing than the thought of having to go back to high school, even as an educator. Do you know how early those people have to get up in the morning? I know that school starts so early so it can be finished early so kids can do extracurricular activities and then eventually spend time with their families, but seriously, the thought of having to be somewhere that early in the morning makes me physically ill anymore. I can’t believe we force kids to do that.
I bounced around with degrees. Education was a no-go. I took a year off from school to consider my options. The only thing I knew after being off from school for a year was that I could not be a waitress for the rest of my life, so I went back to school with less of a clue than I had the first time, declaring my major as general studies. After a semester, I thought, “Maybe I could be a business major.” After all, I’d always liked playing Monopoly and Zapitalism. (You can play Zapitalism too, at http://www.zapitalism.com.) I took one accounting class over that summer and enjoyed it. In my second accounting class, my professor was passing back our first tests when he stopped at my desk and asked me if I was an accounting major.
“No,” I said.
“You should be,” he answered, handing back my exam, on which I’d gotten a 108%.
Well, okey-dokey then.
I was an accounting major the last three semesters. It was the longest standing relationship I had with any major. Accounting was the degree that stuck. I still thought that accounting would be a means to an end. I was writing Tell, and that was the end goal, wasn’t it? To get published. I was still just working until I could have success as an author, and then I wouldn’t have to work at a “real” job anymore. Nobody dreams of growing up to be an accountant. I was going to be an author.
Here’s the kicker that nobody (least of all me) was expecting: I actually really like accounting. Legitimately and a lot.
Do you know what the symbol for accounting is? A yin-yang. I found that out my senior year, when ordering class rings, because you can get the symbol for your major inscribed on the ring. I saw that accounting was a yin-yang and I thought, “Lawd, how stupid.” Well, if you’ve seen me, you might have noticed that I now have a yin-yang tattoo on my wrist, not just because of its association with accounting, but because of what it represents. The reason accounting has yin-yang as its symbol is because of one word: balance. For every debit, there is an equal credit. If you are out of balance (or OOB, as we like to call it), you cannot go any further. Well, I like to live my life that way too. Balanced.
I have “Accounting” mode: DEBITS | CREDITS | ALLOCATION | ACCRUAL | RECONCILIATION | EXCEL | AUDIT | FINANCIAL STATEMENTS | GENERAL LEDGER
I have “Author” mode: WRITE | EDIT | PROOFREAD | DAYDREAM | BLOG | PROOFREAD | TALK TO MYSELF IN THE MIRROR ABOUT MY CHARACTERS | GOODREADS | PROOFREAD AGAIN
I have “Faith” mode: PRAYER | SERVICE | REFLECTION | SELF-IMPROVEMENT
I have “Girlfriend” mode: [EXPLICIT CONTENT BLOCKED BY YOUR BROWSER]
I also have “Vegetate” mode: EAT CHEEZ-ITS | PLAY WITH CAT | DRINK WINE | CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY | EARTHBOUND ON SNES | FAILBOOK
I feel balanced. I like that I spend my days at the office and then can come home and write. When I start getting OOB errors, I can adjust a little bit, reorganize myself, until things get balanced again. The life of a full-time writer was not for me. My heart also belongs to another.
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