Episode 1 ~ Caroline
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Caroline Davison sat on the ground, eyes wide open staring out at what should have been a soothing view. The air was crisp the and the gentle lap of the water seemed to have a sedative effect on every other person in attendance at the sunrise Yoga Legacy had talked her into. Legacy seemed to be in a deep state of bliss but Caroline suspected it was another brilliant performance, meant to impress the sexy AF Yoga instructor, who called himself Cloud.
His name was probably Brad or Mike and he was probably some trust fund baby or maybe he carried the shame of being the child of some banker or corporate whore more concerned with the bottom line than the rapidly disappearing bee population. It’s Global Warming, right? She wondered to herself when she got to be so judgmental. Say what you like about “Mike” but he didn’t seem too concerned or interested at all in Caroline, Carrie to her friends, which was a very welcome change.
The group, sans Carrie, were Ohm-ing as if it was the thing they did every day at sunrise. Maybe they did and maybe they knew a secret she didn’t know. All she did know right now is that her life, okay not her life, but career was in serious jeopardy and she was in real danger of flickering out right into obscurity. Legacy convinced her that it would be a good idea to get out of town to decompress a little, so here they were at a quiet resort on Hilton Head Island. It was freezing in New York but here in South Carolina, it was nearly 70. There was so much speculation in the media during and in the days after the lawsuit. Caroline won but the court of public opinion was what mattered most and that verdict was still impending.
“Okay,” she thought to herself. “Ohm or whatever.”
It had been so long since she’d actually taken a full breath and as she tried now, the binding in her rib cage forced her to cut yet another breath just short of a satisfying and calming full inhale. Her own body was in opposition. If there was one thing she could count on, no matter what, was the control and cooperation of her own body. She’d built an empire on it, after all, an empire that was now, possibly circling the drain. She tried again, this time looking over at Legacy who, first the first time, had her eyes open looking at Caroline with concern. “Cloud’s” dulcet voice snapped Legacy back to the Ohm-ing.
“The divine in me acknowledges the divine in you. We represent this by placing our hands together at the Third Eye. We bow and bring the hands to our Heart Center. Namaste”
Carrie mouthed to Legacy, crossing her eyes and then collapsing in silent laughter. Legacy, clearly hot for the brawny Cloud, shot Carrie a look. A look that only made Carrie laugh that much harder. She knew she was embarrassing her friend and ruining the Zen or something. But it was too late. It was the best she’d felt in weeks. Cloud, was the only one who looked at her with approval. He winked at her and said nothing but, “Congratulations.”
Okay, so Cloud with his stupid and weird name wasn’t so stupid after all.
“May I leave you with a few thoughts before you greet the rest of your day.” It wasn’t a question. “My hope for you is that you’ll never settle for a life half lived. That you’ll strive for boldness in everything you do. That you will speak, no, sing out loud with nothing but your full voice. And the people who challenge you to push on the walls around you, that you will love them with all of your heart”
“Stop seeing my soul, Cloud,” she thought.
A lump formed in Carrie’s throat and if she’d been the crying type, she might have dropped a tear. But, she wasn’t, so she didn’t. Instead, as the class dispersed, she, for the first time sat with her eyes close and said a quick prayer. “Thank you God for the Clouds, for they bring the rain.” It was a really stupid thought but it’s what popped into her head so she’d go with it.
When she opened her eyes, Legacy was already flirting with Cloud, her hand on his forearm. Carrie quickly grabbed a Sharpie out of her bag and attempted to remember what he had said about ‘boldness’ and ‘pushing on the walls.’ She added the phrases to the others that already cluttered her Yoga mat. Carrie’s Yoga mat was a one of a kind piece of inspiration covered in doodles and scribbled quotes like, “Do a little more than you think you can” and “Balance is in the mind not in the body.”
It was as if her entire life were a laboratory.
She had never looked at setbacks as errors, only lessons on the way to her pursuit of perfection. She’d nearly attained it, the perfect body, the perfect business, the perfect friend (she hoped). The only thing that had eluded her was the perfect love, something she was sure existed but never had the “boldness” to let in before. There would always be time. She had believed that she could have it all, just maybe not all at the same time. Now, she was less sure. Nothing had ever knocked the wind from her sails quite like this before.
Legacy finally joined her and the two gathered their mats and headed for the spa. Legacy was the perfect friend. Okay, she was neurotic and impulsive but when it counted, she always managed to be the anchor to Carrie’s kite. Carrie’s Dad always said, “every kite needs it’s string,” meaning that every visionary needed an anchor so it was free to fly as high as it could without flying away (or getting tangled and shredded in the trees). Legacy and Carrie had always been able to take turns doing exactly that since they’d been besties in middle school. But, it had been Legacy, for the last 10 or so years, who had played the role of the kite string, allowing Carrie’s empire to grow beyond anyone’s imagination. She benefited from it, greatly, financially and otherwise. But it was Carrie’s dream and Carrie’s rise to fame and fortune. Legacy rarely complained.
They had promised each other when they moved to New York 12 years ago, that the first one to “make it” would pull the other one up with them.There wasn’t a time, since they were 13, that either of them could remember not having the other. Which brought them to right here. Carrie had a knack for over-dramatization and saw everything she had worked so hard to build careening out of control. Legacy had watched as Carrie turned every lemon life handed her, not into lemonade, but into a grove of lemon trees. From the outside, it looked as if they had the world on a string.
Legacy was one of the few who knew exactly what Carrie had come through, the insecurities she faced, and her deep need to be seen as she truly was and to be loved for it. Legacy envied her friend’s ability to take whatever crap life handed her and spin it into gold.
Carrie had often said, “What gets in your way should become the way. Go over it, go under it, or tunnel through it. If it’s in the way, what’s on the other side is probably exactly what you’re looking for.” She was never afraid of a challenge and this time, would be no different. She wasn’t an optimist, she wasn’t a pessimist. She was an opportunist, in the nicest sense of the word. Legacy’s job, at least for the long weekend, was to hold up the mirror until Carrie saw herself, the one who got up when she was kicked down. Only then, would she see the opportunity in the current situation. Legacy was uniquely qualified. Her friend could not be allowed to wallow. She needed a little bit of understanding and the ability to vent but Legacy’s gift was the tough love. She was the only one who was permitted to “tell it like it is” without consequences.
To her fans, Carrie was the ideal. She became, for those that she encouraged to a healthier lifestyle, the person she thought her mother would have been for her had she lived to see Carrie grow up. The truth was, that Carrie spent a lot of time trying to be like her mother or the woman she thought her mother wanted her to be. In business, however, Carrie was shrewd. You didn’t cross her twice. There were two people who had earned the right to an opinion, and Legacy was one of them. David, Carrie’s sometimes boyfriend, sometimes got away with it too. Right now, they were in a pretty good place, though, he had, wisely, left this spa getaway to the girls.
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