"I just had the hot tub replaced, it was too small" Megan smiled widely, and continued, "I couldn't allow us to be the only family in the neighborhood with the smallest tub, how embarrassing would that be?"
Valerie gazed at the hot tub, originally thinking it was a swimming pool. Her friend's home mocked the nearest museum placing it into another category entirely. The spectacular home had a list of items and amenities that Valerie never heard of, let alone viewed up close. Eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, three living rooms, one formal and informal dining area, and a huge eat in kitchen, four car garage, swimming pool, and the newest item, the hot tub. It was exhausting just walking from the kitchen to the living room. Valerie thought if she lived there she would use roller blades to get from one area to the other. With a smirk she turned to her friend once again.
"Sandra had one a little smaller than this particular model, so I called the designer opting for a bigger one," she clutched her heart looking upward and let out a wicked little laugh.
"Having fun at your own party in your head my friend? Perhaps you would you like to be alone with your fiendish thoughts?" Valerie placed her hands over her eyes having her own kind of fun, before pulling them away chuckling.
Megan pouted and with one quick swoosh, pushed her hair over her shoulder before responding, "Kid all you'd like, but you have no idea what it's like to compete with people of worth. You've no idea what it's like to be second best in the crowd. It's rough," turning abruptly she walked toward the kitchen.
Following her friend, she pushed on,"no, because I don't think about things in the same way you do. I could care less if I have the smallest hot tub. Come to think of it, I don't even have one. I live in a three bedroom condo Megan. And, you've been my friend since kindergarten, yet when I'm at one of your high class gatherings...you appear to be something you're not. As a matter of fact, I don't recognize you at all anymore."
"Well, this is my life now. You live modestly, and have a modest income. I've attained fortune and worth through my best-selling books, and I am somebody. Somebody big. And, all of my friends see me for what I am," her lower lip quivered slightly as she looked at a well-manicured hand.
"They see the fake you Megan. I see the happy-go-lucky best friend from years ago. There's nothing wrong with having acquired prosperity, but it's how you choose to use it thatís wrong. You're trying to impress all the wrong kinds of people. Keeping up with vapid robotic individuals that bow to money is wrong. You're stuck in a vortex of pretense," she stopped directly in front of Megan and grabbed her hand pleading, "you have to come down from this false identity my friend, before the evil in the world sucks you up. I love you. You're like a sister to me, you're not happy. You've been blessed with brains, and God has blessed you with sales of your Christian books...but you have to thank Him and give Him the glory. Only Him. He's the One to impress. And, I don't think He cares what size your hot tub is."
Megan's muffled sniffles reverberated in the enormous kitchen. She plucked a purple Kleenex from a ceramic holder on the counter. Blotting her raccoon eyes, she looked at her friend. In a small voice she offered, "I know."
"You need to recognize just how blessed you are, and forget about the rest" stroking her friend's head she laughed, "now go and fix your make-up before your guests get here, you look a mess."
"Thanks," swinging her legs back and forth while on the high stool, she bit her lower lip before adding,"I am blessed to have your friendship Val,thanks for always bringing me back to reality. You keep it real, and bring me back to the righteous path, over and over. Thank you so much."
They hugged, and afterwards Val asked, "now, do you suppose I could do about ten laps in that hot tub?"
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