Jennifer Jackson opened her eyes, then closed them again as the early-morning sun beaming in through the window of her bedroom shone a little too brightly for her sleep-dilated pupils. After a few moments, she slowly opened them again, then took a minute to orient herself to her surroundings.
From her bed, looking out of her apartment window, she could see nothing but sky, and a few gulls soaring high above. Through the closed window she could hear the muffled sounds of the city; the chirp of an automobile horn as somebody locked a vehicle close by, the hum of traffic on the busy street that intersected her own a block away and the sound of a siren somewhere in the distance. She heard a cupboard door close and a pot clank on the stove in the kitchen at the other end of the apartment. Her roommate was already up.
She threw the covers off and sat up. Reaching down she picked up the socks that she had pulled off during the night and slipped them back on her feet. She yawned and stretched, then stood up and padded out of her room and down the hallway to the kitchen, where she found Kendra, leaning over the stove stirring a frying pan full of grated hash browns. Kendra looked up as Jennifer appeared in the doorway. She grinned broadly.
“Wow,” said Kendra. “Epic bed-head!”
Jennifer reached up and attempted to smooth her unruly locks. “I’ve had better,” she said. “That smells amazing. Is this what you do every morning? Because if it is, I will be your roommate for life.”
Kendra chuckled. “Not every morning,” she said. “But when I do, it’s worth it. You’re gonna enjoy these potatoes darling. I dare you not to ask for seconds.”
“No worries,” said Jennifer. “I’m starving. You might as well give me my seconds with my firsts.”
Kendra opened the fridge. “How do you like your eggs?” she asked.
“Over hard. Runny yolks are the worst.” Jennifer got up and headed over to the cupboards to look for a coffee mug as she spoke.
“Ugh,” said Kendra. “If you ever make me an egg that doesn’t have a runny yolk, I swear I’ll move out.”
“If it ever appears that I’m going to fry you an egg,” said Jennifer, “you probably should escape while you can. How did you sleep?” she added.
“Like a log.” Kendra turned the element down and left the stove to sit down at the little dining room table where her own cup of coffee already sat. “I was pretty tired,” she added.
“Moving is horrible,” said Jennifer.
“Yeah, no kidding,” said Kendra. She turned to look at Jennifer. “This is a big day for me. My first day of not living with my parents.”
Jennifer sat down across from her friend and smiled. “It’s pretty awesome isn’t it?”
“Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe. It’s pretty intense.” Kendra took a deep breath. “I’m euphoric and deeply anxious at the same time.” She took a sip of coffee. “I picture my parents sitting down to breakfast and rubbing their hands with glee that I’m finally gone.”
“They probably are,” said Jennifer. “They’ll be high-fiving and hooting with joy, and two minutes later they’ll be sobbing into their oatmeal because their little girl is gone. That’s how parents are. Totally unstable.”
Kendra laughed. “SO true,” she said.
“Ah yes,” said Jennifer. “And you have that once-in-a-lifetime experience ahead of you now.”
Kendra gave her a curious look. “What are you talking about?”
“What I’m talking about,” said Jennifer, “is that first time going back home after you move out. You walk through the door and your mom and dad are there waiting for you and they look at you as if they’re seeing you for the first time ever and it’s the best moment of their life so far and you feel like it might be the best moment of yours too because you get to appreciate your parents for who they really are without having to worry that they’re suddenly going to tell you to go clean your room.”
“Wow.” Kendra sat with her coffee cup halfway to her mouth for a second. “Is that a scene from a movie or did you just make that up?
Jennifer laughed. “It’s a scene from the movie of my life,” she said, “which you are in, playing the role of the amazing best friend who cooks breakfast every day.”
“Every day, because it’s a movie and not real life,” said Kendra.
“Of course,” said Jennifer. “It’s a good movie though.”
“Glad I’m in it,” said Kendra.
“So am I,” said Jennifer. “So am I.”