“Hey, how are you doing?” Kate asked looking at her cousin up and down.
“What? You mean since I made a fool of myself last night?” Samantha answered opening the door wider to let Kate come in. “I’m okay. I haven’t regressed back to the state you first found me in.” She looked down at her bathrobe. “It’s nighttime. I’m allowed to wear my pajamas at night.”
Kate shrugged. “It is 7:00.” She looked at Samantha and added quickly, “but a pajama evening is good for the soul.”
Samantha sat on the couch and un-paused her movie.
“What are we watching tonight?” Kate asked sitting down in the chair.
“Clue,” Samantha answered and looked at Kate. “Absolutely no romance.”
“Nice,” Kate nodded. “Want me to pop some popcorn?”
“Already there,” Samantha reached down on the side of the couch and pulled up a bowl of popcorn. “I had a feeling you’d come tonight.”
Kate nodded. “I am predictable.”
Samantha paused the movie. “No, you are thoughtful and nice and…” she paused “confident.”
The words sounded like compliments but her tone suggested otherwise.
“I’m sorry,” Kate said slowly.
“That’s why we didn’t get along as kids. You were always so confident. Although back then I called it cocky because it was so annoying. But now I see it. You are confident and you don’t care what other people think. And that’s a good thing. But I don’t have that. Unfortunately, I care what others think about me.”
“What?” Kate asked keeping her voice calm. “You think I’m impervious to what others think about me? It still stings. It still hurts. By the way, ouch.”
Samantha sighed. “It’s just that I’ve always been a bit jealous of you. What’s your secret? How do you rise above it?”
Kate nodded her head as she thought. “I guess I just know who I am. When you know who you are you won’t be swayed by the pettiness of others.”
They sat in silence for a few minutes.
“Who am I?” Samantha asked slowly.
“Only you can answer that.”
“Crud,” she snorted. “I was hoping for an easy answer.”
“Do you remember that movie Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts?” Kate asked and Samantha nodded. “Remember she didn’t know how she liked her eggs? She always ate her eggs the same way as the guy she was with. But then, she found out independently how she actually liked to eat eggs.”
“I like my eggs over easy,” Samantha said.
“It’s not really about the eggs,” Kate said. It’s finding out what who you are.”
Samantha thought about it.
“Okay, if you are serious, let’s do this,” Kate said startling Samantha out of her reverie. “Start with what you like to do. What we spend our time on usually reveals a lot about us.” Kate looked for some paper and a pen. “We’ll make a list. What do you like to do?”
“I liked to spend time with Cody.”
“Okay, maybe aside from Cody. When you are by yourself what do you do? How do you pamper yourself?”
Samantha slid down on the couch. “This is like the worst version of a break-the-ice game.” She tossed the remote on the coffee table. “I always hate those games because I don’t know what to say.”
Kate ignored her remark. “You like going to that bar, right? Aside from Cody it seemed like you knew people there. You liked that drink.”
“I do like that drink.” Samantha thought about it. “It was nice of Garrett to fix me that drink. Yeah, I would go there without Cody. I mean, aside from last night, I haven’t since I met him. But I like Garrett. I would go back to see Garrett and have that drink.”
“Okay, that’s a start,” Kate added the two things to the list.
“It’s a bit of a pathetic start,” Samantha looked at the list. “I like to go to a bar and have a drink.”
“We’ll add to it. What else do you like to do?” Kate asked.
Samantha’s face contorted with thought. “I…well…these are Cody-less activities, right?”
“Preferably. Unless there are things you liked to do with him and independently as well. Surely, you two did activities that you liked and wanted to do,” Kate said. “Please, tell me you didn’t always do what he wanted to do?”
Samantha bit her bottom lip. “The truth is, I guess I’m a bit of a chameleon. I like to do what others like to do.”
“Okay, you like people being happy,” Kate wrote that down.
“That makes me sound like I’m a people pleaser,” Samantha scrunched her nose.
“Well, that isn’t all bad. We can work on that later. For now, we are going to say you like people to be happy.”
“You are watching Clue. You must like comedies.”
“My dad introduced me to this movie. When I watch it I think of him laughing. It still makes me laugh.”
Kate wrote while Samantha talked.
“Have you ever gone to a movie by yourself?” Kate asked.
“Because we are going to find out what you like to do. And we are going to find out what you don’t like to do. Once you know that, you won’t let others convince you to do things you don’t like so easily.” She set the paper and pen down. “I’m going to come back tomorrow with a notebook and we are going to fill it with activities for you to try.”
“That’s not really me,” Samantha said.
“One a day. One new thing a day.” Kate said smiling.
“For how long?”
“As long as it takes for you to know you.”
Samantha didn’t look convinced.
“Yeah, you think about it tonight and we will make the list tomorrow.” Kate nodded her head agreeing with herself. “Tonight though, let’s watch the movie and have some popcorn.”
Samantha didn’t pay much attention to the movie. She was thinking of activities she could try and if she would be brave enough to do them on her own. By the end of the movie she could see the merit of the plan. She was going to find out who she was because she was the only one who could answer that question.
Today was the most productive day of her life.