a cat walks past

Amber left her apartment and set off down the street at a steady jog. She had an important choice to make and running was the best way to make that decision.

After a few blocks, Amber settled into a comfortable pace and allowed the thoughts to bubble up. She had found herself in a situation many would envy: she had two job offers on the table and was being asked to choose between them. Amber herself had been envious of classmates in similar situations. 

Now, she wasn't so sure this was a blessing.

This would be her first "real" job. She'd started earning money baby sitting for neighbors at 13 and took a job in retail at 16. But this was a full-time position that would launch a career and required more consideration than choosing between Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop. 

The choice boiled down to a simple choice: take a job that was interesting and paid well or take a job that paid next to nothing but fed her soul. 

Not for the first time, Amber wished she had married well or had wealthy parents. Then she could take the job that fed her soul, Job B as she called it, without a second thought. But she wasn't so fortunate. Amber's parents didn't have much money to spare and there were no men in the picture. Besides, she wasn't sure that relying on someone else to provide for her really made her comfortable. Amber loved her independence, loved providing for herself, loved being in control of her financial life. Taking Job B would take all that away.

But at the same time, Job B was a chance to actually make a difference, to do some good, to feel alive in the deepest sense of the word.  Could she let go of that? Could she settle for a job that was mildly interesting, even if paid more? 

She supposed she could find something outside of work that would fill the hole that either job left. Amber could take Job B and get a second job waiting tables. Or she could take Job A and volunteer. 

Therein lay another problem. Neither job allowed her enough time to take on much outside of the office. So maybe a volunteer or server position was out of the question. 

Amber let out a sigh while stopped at a cross walk. The light changed and Amber set off again, allowing herself to sink back into her thoughts.

Job A certainly had its benefits outside of the fatter paycheck. It wasn't necessarily an area she had considered but Amber could see how it could be very interesting. Certainly the position would be intellectually challenging even if she was familiar with the area; the lack of familiarity would make it even more so. There was the name too: with this position on her resume, more doors would swing open for her. 

Rounding a corner, Amber reached her church and pushed open the door. A group was gathered in a sanctuary for a wedding rehearsal but Amber was headed for the crypt and the quiet of the adoration chapel. 

"I'm sorry ma'am but the church is closed today." The woman who had approached Amber looked kind. 

"I just need to pray in the crypt. Please." Amber felt tears well behind her eyes. Why was she crying?! She felt like a fool as the tears threatened to spill, which only encouraged more tears to join them.

"I'm so sorry but you'll have to leave."

Amber turned on her heel and pushed a bit too forcefully through the doors onto the portico. She sat down on the steps and chewed the inside of her lip.

She had to face the fact that she was growing up. She had bills to pay. She had to support herself. Plus, Job A wasn't all bad. She could always use it to land a higher paying position doing something along the lines of Job B. She'd find time to volunteer. Resolved, Amber stood up and brushed off the back of her compression tights.

As she left the front gate of the church and stepped onto the street, she held her head high, pleased with her decision. 

And as she started to run, a black cat crossed her path. 

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