The Many Lives and Times of Sam Saturday: An Ordinary Life

September 9, 2007

Samantha Saturday will end up living… an entirely normal life. She will marry her high-school sweetheart. She will enjoy a rewarding career as a florist. She will have two kids, one named after her grandmother, the other after the city in which her husband was born.

She will have a surprising love of mathematics, but never pursue it in college, and it will result in nothing more than efficient tax returns and easily calculated retaurant tips. She will enjoy running her shop, though she won’t be as good with flowers as she thinks, and the quality of the shop’s merchandise will be due far more to her coworkers than herself.

She will be good with people, however, and will develop a base of returning customers who enjoy chatting with her as much as actually perusing her wares. Her customers, her coworkers, her family and friends, will all speak well of her, and envy her ability to engage in conversation with such ease.

She will have a hobby outside of her work – collecting jade statues, of which most are cheap and plain, but she will have one specific ancient lion with which she is unspeakably proud. She will enjoy watching her children play sports, and will be a fan of soccer in general from an early age – it is how she will meet her husband, who will be the third best soccer player at her high school.

And four times in her life she will have the opportunity to enter an extraordinary life, and four times she will turn it aside.

What the opportunities will be does not matter – suffice to say it involes faeries, and dragons, and lands in need of heroes from a distant realm. But while she may enjoy the talk of such things, Samantha always manages to walk away from the chance at glory, and proceed with an altogether normal life.

One might say the decisions she makes will be wise, in hindsight – if she were to take the first opportunity, at the tender age of fourteen, it would mean never experiencing the bulk of high school, and never attending the soccer matches, and never meeting Graeme, the man of her dreams.

If she were to accept the second offer, at the youthful age of twenty-two, it would mean never settling down to a stable job, never buying a roomy and comfortable house, and never having the time for the children that will bring her so much joy.

If she were to pursue the third chance, at the healthy age of thirty-eight, it would mean a life far from home and family, and not having the chance to visit her parents – and thus not being there when her father suffers a heart attack, and not being his sole chance at survival as she brings him quickly to the hospital.

And if she were to go after the final path to fantasy and magic, at the ripe old age of sixty-three… well, she wouldn’t miss out on much. Her love would have passed away a few years before, of a sudden and unexpected illness. Her children will have their own families, and live far enough away that she only sees them a few times a year. It would cost her almost nothing to finally take the step onto a wondrous journey…

But she will turn it down, nonetheless. She will have lived an ordinary life, up to that point. A happy one, filled with ordinary things, and its share of joys and sorrows, memories and dreams. It will not have been a perfect one… but it will have been everything she could have hoped for.

And that, in the end, is all she needs.

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