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    Mercury in Retrograde—Chapter 1

    Chapter 1

    Tina Kennard had a feeling her entire life was about to change.

    As she sat on the steps outside the business school at NYU, evidence of dusk fell gradually around her. The sun dipped. The sky pinked. The air crisped and the temperature dropped. The outline of the moon loomed faintly overhead as she exhaled, feeling the weight of the thick folder in her hands. Heavy, which was fitting, as it contained the intricate details of her would-be future.

    She’d been sitting on those steps for the better part of two hours, watching coeds crisscross the sidewalk, perhaps heading out for dinner or to the library to get in a last cramming session before finals week. All the while, she battled within her own head, vacillating back and forth between logic and risk.

    Earlier that day, she’d been offered her dream job, everything she’d been working toward. Upon graduation in two weeks, she would be a junior account executive at Masterson’s Agency on the Upper West Side. This should be the happiest day of her life.

    Unless she changed her mind, that is.

    Masterson’s was an older, well-established firm with a fantastic reputation and, let’s face it, large amounts of money. She’d completed her third interview with them just that morning. By lunch, they’d ushered her into the conference room and presented her with a lush starting offer, one she knew her parents would endorse. And that was important, as her family had standards to live up to. The Kennard name came with a certain set of expectations, not to be downplayed. But for whatever reason, in a move atypical of Tina she had this ever-growing urge to go with her gut for once.

    As a result, the gnawing in her stomach didn’t seem to be going anywhere, and she couldn’t shrug off the recently formed idea that played constantly in the back of her head any longer. Without giving it any more thought, for fear she might lose her nerve, she flipped open her phone and dialed her friend Dana’s number.

    ”TK?” Dana said upon answering. ”Hang on a sec. Just need to…pay for my coffee…so I can leave………. Thank you. Keep the change,” she heard Dana  say distantly. ”And I’m done. The coffee champion of the world. What’s up?” she said with an uptick in volume and energy.

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